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iOS 11: INDISPENSABLE NEW TIPS & TRICKS
APPLE TEAMS WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG ON VIDEO EXPANSION
FAKE NEWS IS STILL HERE, DESPITE EFFORTS BY GOOGLE, FACEBOOK
32 SPACEX LAUNCHES 10 MORE IRIDIUM COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES
GADGETS GET IN GEAR: TECH PAVES SAFER PATH FOR CARS OF FUTURE 08 GOODBYE: PIONEERING AOL INSTANT MESSENGER TO BE DISCONTINUED 22 FAMILIES USE FACEBOOK TO SEARCH FOR LOVED ONES AFTER FIRES 26 FACEBOOK BEGINS ‘HUMAN REVIEW’ OF POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE ADS 42 NEW CARS INCREASINGLY CRAMMED WITH DISTRACTING TECHNOLOGY 60 IKEA ON AMAZON? FURNITURE GIANT TO USE ONLINE RETAILERS 68 ‘LEGENDS’ STAR SHATTERS STEREOTYPES WITH MUSLIM SUPERHERO 70 TWICKETS LAUNCHES EUROPE-BASED RESALE TICKET PLATFORM IN US 76 IN ‘MARSHALL,’ A YOUNG THURGOOD IN CONNECTICUT 80 ‘BLADE RUNNER 2049’ TOPS BOX OFFICE BUT STILL DISAPPOINTS 106 STORMTROOPERS ON SOLDIER FIELD INTRODUCE ‘LAST JEDI’ TRAILER 116 SPACEWALKING ASTRONAUTS GREASE ROBOT ARM’S NEW HAND 120 BIG TECH HAS BIG PLANS TO HELP RECONNECT PUERTO RICO 124 SCIENTISTS SAY COST OF CAPTURING CO2 DECLINING 142 60 YEARS AFTER SPUTNIK, RUSSIAN SPACE PROGRAM FACES TROUBLES 150 UBER RIDERS IN DUBAI CAN NOW SELECT ELECTRIC-POWERED TESLA 160 GOOGLE UNCOVERS ADS BY RUSSIAN OPERATIVES 164
TOP 10 APPS 86 iTUNES REVIEW 90 TOP 10 SONGS 132 TOP 10 ALBUMS 134 TOP 10 MUSIC VIDEOS 136 TOP 10 TV SHOWS 138 TOP 10 BOOKS 140
GADGETS GET IN GEAR: TECH PAVES SAFER PATH FOR CARS OF FUTURE
The Apple iPhone was introduced in 2007; Apple has sold hundreds of millions of them. The eighth iteration was just announced. And desktop and laptop computers are pretty much obsolete after five years of use. Technology moves fast. What’s hot today will be dated soon. And today’s consumers hate to be behind the times. The automotive world is listening. And what they’re hearing is that we want communication and we want to be safe. Although some prospective buyers will complain about the growing “Nanny State” takeover — including vehicle geo-tracking and the emergence of self-driving cars — there are clear benefits to settings that will parallel park the car for you, warn if you’re going to back into an object, and let you know if you’re drifting out of your lane or approaching an obstacle too quickly. 8
And though all the safety features in the world aren’t going to create a world without car accidents, vehicles with cutting-edge warning systems will go a long way toward reducing fatal car accidents, which claim the lives of an estimated 1.2 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization. As lane departure and collision warning systems become more commonplace, analysts expect the number of smaller, low-speed fender benders will plummet, which means car owners will eventually see their insurance rates going down. And since insurers like collecting premiums and not paying claims, it’s a rare win-win. So, as we await the self-driving systems of the future, here’s a look at some nifty features we’ll have to rely on until we’re all “driving” autonomous vehicles:
• Blind-spot warning alerts drivers if there’s an adjacent vehicle in the danger zone.
• Forward-collision warning provides a visual and/or audible warning to the driver if a crash is imminent. Automatic braking will stop the car if it’s going off.
• Lane-departure warning will let you know if you’re crossing into another lane, though it requires clearly marked lanes.
• Adaptive cruise control basically slots a vehicle into traffic, keeps it a safe distance from other vehicles and even stops and starts automatically. But the future of driving isn’t just focused on keeping you in your lane and away from other vehicles. 10
Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volvo — all members of the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium — are em- bracing vehicle-to-vehicle technology that will allow connected vehicles to share information about driving conditions like weather, speed, sudden braking, accidents and more. If you already use smartphone navigating apps like Waze or INRIX, it’s a similar concept. The state-of-the-art technology could lead to a concept called “platooning,” which would allow clusters of vehicles to drive close together and at higher speeds without slowdowns or accidents. Toyota even has an available comprehensive package called Toyota Safety Sense, which, using radar and cameras, offers drivers forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and automatic high-beam headlights. Volvo’s new S90’s Pilot Assist and City Safety technology offers similar features. Both will automatically brake, steer and adjust the vehicle’s speed based on sensors surveying surrounding input. Even Ford’s F150 pickup truck is getting into the game, offering a feature that accounts for towed objects and automated trailering, which lets drivers navigate with a trailer with the turn of a knob. Kia’s UVO eServices connected car features a parking location reminder — you can remember where your car is parked with an app — remote diagnostics, and 911 connect in the event of an accident. 12
Via a 12.3-inch touch screen, Audi drivers who have the Virtual Cockpit feature — available as of 2017 — can customize their view using steering-wheel mounted controls. If they punch one button, they’ll have typical instrument clusters for RPM, speed, and basic gauges. If they push another, the screen minimizes the tachometer and speedometer to the corners and pulls up the navigation system using highres Google Earth images. Toggle again and drivers can see their connected smartphone. Again and a radio pre-set menu surfaces. Lastly, drivers can arrange for a combination of these views in whichever configuration they want. Remember that iPhone story we started with? Most manufacturers now feature Apple CarPlay, which connects an iPhone to the car’s built-in display, enabling a driver to make calls, send texts and listen to music. Android Auto is similarly widely available, offering non-Apple users compatible usability. And though some of these features may overwhelm less tech-saavy drivers, the brave new world they’re creating will make the roads safer for everyone.
APPLE TEAMS WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG ON VIDEO EXPANSION
Apple is teaming up with award-winning director Steven Spielberg for its first major push into TV programming. The iPhone maker is bringing back Spielberg’s 30-year-old anthology series “Amazing Stories” in its attempt to build an online video subscription service to challenge the digital networks operated by Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO. “We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming, and can’t think of a better property than Spielberg’s beloved ‘Amazing Stories’ franchise,” NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said in a statement Tuesday. NBC Entertainment works with Spielberg’s Amblin Television on the series. Apple declined to comment on the deal. The Wall Street Journal first reported Apple had secured the “Amazing Stories” rights. The series aired on NBC from 1985 to 1987 and won five Emmy awards for its mixture of science fiction and horror episodes, although the series was never a big hit in the ratings. 19
It marked a return to TV for Spielberg, who first made a name for himself directing the ABC film, “Duel” in 1971 before moving on to the movie theaters. His films include box-office blockbusters such as “Jaws,” ”E.T.,”“Jurassic Park,” the “Indiana Jones” franchise and critically acclaimed pictures such as “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lincoln” and “Schindler’s List,” for which he won an Academy Award for best director. Apple is planning to spend about $1 billion on original programming during the next year in an effort to bring in more revenue to its rapidly growing services division. The Cupertino, California, company already offers two video series through its Apple Music streaming service, “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke,” but neither has created much buzz. Even though it appears to be more serious about TV programming, Apple still isn’t sending anywhere near Netflix, which is pouring $6 billion into its line-up this year as it tries to expand its current worldwide audience of more than 100 million subscribers. And Netflix is increasing the prices for its two most popular plans by a $1 to $2 per month in an effort to raise more money to spend on future programming. Apple is expected to spend more than $50 million on 10 episodes of “Amazing Stories.” While the future plans for the series revival haven’t been revealed, the original “Amazing Stories” run attracted guest appearances from a list of stars that included Kevin Costner, Harvey Keitel, Charlie Sheen, Mark Hamill and John Lithgow, while its list of episode directors and writers included Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis and Brad Bird. 21
GOODBYE: PIONEERING AOL INSTANT MESSENGER TO BE DISCONTINUED
AOL announced that it is discontinuing its pioneering Instant Messenger chat platform after 20 years of service. An article on AOL’s website posted last Friday says AOL Instant Messenger will be discontinued on Dec. 15. In a blog post, a spokesman for AOL’s parent company explained the platform’s demise as the casualty of the evolving way people communicate. “AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” wrote Michael Albers, vice president of communications at Oath. 23
The program will still function until Dec. 15 After that date, users won’t be able to sign in and all data will be deleted. AOL says people with an aim.com email address will still be able to use it. Launched in 1997, AOL Instant Messenger was at the forefront of what was called at the time the biggest trend in online communication since email. The platform, which provided instant access to friends and contacts on a user’s “buddy list,” was wildly popular for the first few years after its launch. It claimed more than 100 million registered users in 2001. AOL was fiercely protective of its dominance in the instant messaging market. It fended off rivals, including Microsoft, by blocking their messaging platforms from communicating with AOL users. Its actions prompted a coalition of rivals to complain to the federal government ahead of AOL’s ill-fated merger with Time Warner that was completed in 2001. Its popularity as a communication tool waned amid the rise of text messaging, Google Chat and social networking sites. Despite the decline in usage, the announcement made the platform a trending topic online and revealed an outpouring of nostalgia. Some users posted images of the AIM’s famous “running man” logo outfitted with wings and a halo. Others reminisced. In his post, Albers noted the strong affinity many feel for the messaging platform and its place in the evolution of communication. “In the late 1990s, the world had never seen anything like it,” he wrote. 24
Image: Jeff Chiu
FAMILIES USE FACEBOOK TO SEARCH FOR LOVED ONES AFTER FIRES
Desperate to find her mother after hearing her say “I’m going to die” over the phone as her mobile home caught fire, Jessica Tunis thought she should put her mom’s name and picture on Facebook with a plea for help, a now common and constant move for concerned loved ones in disasters such as the Northern California wildfires. But she hesitated. “At first, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I wanted to respect my mother’s privacy,” Tunis, whose mother was still among the missing amid the fires, told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. “I didn’t want to spread her all over the place.” 27
She soon realized that was exactly what she wanted to do. She joined the dozens of people posting heartfelt pleas like “Looking for my Grandpa Robert,” We are looking for our mother Norma,” or “I can’t find my mom,” with hopes they are just out of touch and not among the dead. The increasingly familiar ritual was seen with recent hurricanes Harvey, Rita and Maria and after last week’s Las Vegas shooting. Nearly 200 people were reported missing, though authorities say many are believed to be safe just unable to communicate with friends and family because of downed communication lines in the fire areas. Tunis posted a picture of her mother smiling at a café with the caption, “Does anyone know if Journey’s End Mobile Home Park got evacuated before it burned down? I can’t find my mom, Linda Tunis.” Most, including the owner of the trailer park and residents who talked to the AP, believe everyone did, in fact, get out before it burned to the ground. But Linda Tunis is still missing. “I’ve called the coroner. I’ve called every hospital. There are no Jane Does, which is amazing that they know who everyone is,” Tunis said. “I’ve called burn units, I’ve called everywhere.” Jessica Tunis’ post spawned well over 100 comments, most from strangers. Some gave suggestions of places to look or call. Many just gave good wishes and prayers, then came back to ask for updates. Others took it as an assignment.
“I’ve had people going to shelters for me because of Facebook,” Tunis said. “It does help. For sure. Anything helps.” It’s only drawback, she said, has been false reports and false hope. “One person messaged me that they saw her,” Tunis said, “they said she was looking at her phone. I knew that wasn’t her. You get your hopes up for a split second.” Tunis said the online support has given her hope, but can’t stop thinking that her mother might have been missed during the evacuation. When her mom called to say her house was on fire before dawn Monday, Tunis screamed repeatedly for her to get out. “She said ‘I can’t get out. There’s fire at both doors. My house is on fire.’ She just kept saying ‘fire,’ and coughing. She said ‘I’m going to die.’ Then the phone went dead.” Jessica Tunis was not among the lucky ones whose loved ones turned up within hours or minutes after their Facebook posts. “This is my grandma,” read a post by Mica Jennings. “We haven’t heard from her all day and have checked the shelters ... with no luck.” Then, a few hours later, the post was edited: “UPDATE: FOUND.”
FAKE NEWS IS STILL HERE, DESPITE EFFORTS BY GOOGLE, FACEBOOK
Nearly a year after Facebook and Google launched offensives against fake news, they’re still inadvertently promoting it — often at the worst possible times. Online services designed to engross users aren’t so easily retooled to promote greater accuracy, it turns out. Especially with online trolls, pranksters and more malicious types scheming to evade new controls as they’re rolled out.
FEAR AND FALSITY IN LAS VEGAS In the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Facebook’s “Crisis Response” page for the attack featured a false article misidentifying the gunman and claiming he was a “far left loon.” Google promoted a similarly erroneous item from the anonymous prankster site 4chan in its “Top Stories” results. 33
A day after the attack, a YouTube search on “Las Vegas shooting” yielded a conspiracy-theory video that claimed multiple shooters were involved in the attack as the fifth result. YouTube is owned by Google. None of these stories were true. Police identified the sole shooter as Stephen Paddock, a Nevada man whose motive remains a mystery . The Oct. 1 attack on a music festival left 58 dead and hundreds wounded. The companies quickly purged offending links and tweaked their algorithms to favor more authoritative sources. But their work is clearly incomplete — a different Las Vegas conspiracy video was the eighth result displayed by YouTube in a search Monday.
ENGAGEMENT FIRST Why do these highly automated services keep failing to separate truth from fiction? One big factor: most online services systems tend to emphasis posts that engage an audience — exactly what a lot of fake news is specifically designed to do. Facebook and Google get caught off guard “because their algorithms just look for signs of popularity and recency at first,” without first checking to ensure relevance, says David Carroll, a professor of media design at the Parsons School of Design in New York. That problem is much bigger in the wake of disaster, when facts are still unclear and demand for information runs high. Malicious actors have learned to take advantage of this, says Mandy Jenkins, head of news at 34
Image: John Locher
social media and news research agency Storyful. “They know how the sites work, they know how algorithms work, they know how the media works,” she says. Participants on 4chan’s “Politically Incorrect” channel regularly chat about “how to deploy fake news strategies” around major stories, says Dan Leibson, vice president of search at the digital marketing consultancy Local SEO Guide. One such chat just hours after the Las Vegas urged readers to “push the fact this terrorist was a commie” on social media. “There were people discussing how to create engagement all night,” Leibson says.
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER Thanks to political polarization, the very notion of what constitutes a “credible” source of news is now a point of contention. Mainstream journalists routinely make judgments about the credibility of various publications based on their history of accuracy. That’s a much more complicated issue for massmarket services like Facebook and Google, given the popularity of many inaccurate sources among political partisans. The pro-Trump Gateway Pundit site, for example, published the false Las Vegas story promoted by Facebook. But it has also been invited to White House press briefings and counts more than 620,000 fans on its Facebook page. Facebook said last week it is “working to fix the issue” that led it to promote false reports about the Las Vegas shooting, although it didn’t say what it had in mind. 36
Image: Drew Angerer
The company has already taken a number of steps since December; it now features fact-checks by outside organizations, puts warning labels on disputed stories and has deemphasized false stories in people’s news feeds.
GETTING ALGORITHMS RIGHT Breaking news is also inherently challenging for automated filter systems. Google says the 4chan post that misidentified the Las Vegas shooter should not have appeared in its “Top Stories” feature, and was replaced by its algorithm after a few hours. Outside experts say Google was flummoxed by two different issues. First, its “Top Stories” is designed to return results from the broader web alongside items from news outlets. Second, signals that help Google’s system evaluate the credibility of a web page — for instance, links from known authoritative sources — aren’t available in breaking news situations, says independent search optimization consultant Matthew Brown. “If you have enough citations or references to something, algorithmically that’s going to look very important to Google,” Brown said. “The problem is an easy one to define but a tough one to resolve.”
MORE PEOPLE, FEWER ROBOTS Federal law currently exempts Facebook, Google and similar companies from liability for material published by their users. But circumstances are forcing the tech companies to accept more responsibility for the information they spread. Facebook said last week that it would hire an extra 1,000 people to help vet ads after it found a Russian agency bought ads meant to influence last year’s election. It’s also subjecting potentially sensitive ads , including political messages, to “human review.” In July, Google revamped guidelines for human workers who help rate search results in order to limit misleading and offensive material. Earlier this year, Google also allowed users to flag socalled “featured snippets” and “autocomplete” suggestions if they found the content harmful. The Google-sponsored Trust Project at Santa Clara University is also working to create tags that could serve as markers of credibility for individual authors. These would include items such as their location and journalism awards, information that could be fed into future algorithms, according to project director Sally Lehrman.
FACEBOOK BEGINS ‘HUMAN REVIEW’ OF POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE ADS
Facebook says it will begin manually reviewing advertisements that target certain groups and address politics, religion, ethnicity and social issues. The company has informed some advertisers about the new “human review” requirement, warning them that it might cause delays before their ads can appear on the social media platform. Facebook has had to apologize amid recent revelations of rampant abuse of its automated advertising process to broadcast false news or promote divisive and hateful messages, such as ads aimed at people who’ve expressed anti-Semitic views. The company is also under increasing congressional scrutiny after revealing that ads linked to a Russian internet agency were seen by an estimated 10 million people before and after the 2016 election. Axios first reported on the written notice to advertisers. Facebook confirmed it Saturday. 43
Since September 19, iOS 11 has been publicly available - both as a free download for many in-use iOS devices and preinstalled on the recently-released iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Furthermore, even if you haven’t yet got up and running with iOS 11, you are probably aware of many of its headline features - including the new iPad multitasking functions and support for augmented reality apps that use Apple’s ARKit framework. However, many other neat additions to iOS 11 are more concealed. Typically, you probably wouldn’t even uncover many of those fresh functions unless you spent a lot of time looking through various screens of the Settings app or experimenting with touch gestures. However, we think it would be tragic if you spent many more months with iOS 11 without even knowing about the most exciting little tweaks that Apple has made to its phone and tablet operating system. Here are some that we reckon could dramatically change your iOS experience for the better.
Image: Justin Sullivan
GROUND CONTROL CENTER TO MAJOR... CHANGES If you still havenâ€™t made the move to iOS but plan to do so soon, how exactly will you be doing it? If you intend to jump on board by purchasing a new iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus to replace an older model, then resist trading in that model just yet. Once your new device is with you, it will be possible to - during the setup process - hold it near the old one to quickly transfer the old settings. This can further ease the already straightforward task of transitioning from one iPhone to another. Shortly after you start using iOS 11, you might notice just how different the Control Center looks. Itâ€™s now all on one page, rather than several cards through which you would need to swipe. The various buttons on the Control Center may initially look confusing, like a rather elaborate piece of pop art; however, you can make it all easier to visually digest by customizing what is there. Go into Settings, the Control Center, and finally Customize Controls to get started. Once you do, you could quickly grow to appreciate the new Control Center much more than the old one, given how you can limit its functions to those that you actually regularly use. There are certain links, such as to the Camera app, that you are likely to want to keep in there. You can, however, opt to make various other apps, such as the Calculator and Notes apps, easy to reach from Control Center. You could even make the Apple TV Remote app more accessible from here.
PICTURE THIS: AN EVEN BETTER CAMERA APP With every new generation of iOS, Apple lavishes a lot of attention on the camera functionality; it’s hardly surprising that the iPhone has developed an amazing reputation for its camera alone. Furthermore, you don’t need to have one of the latest iPhones to enjoy many of the best additions and changes to the iOS Camera app. For example, it now lets you capture photos and videos in the more storage-efficient formats of respectively - HEIF and HEVC. Sadly, you might find that not all pieces of software let you use photos and videos captured in these formats. Perhaps that software could include your favorite imageediting app? If you can indeed foresee compatibility headaches with the new formats, you can still go into Settings, Camera, and then Formats to select the “Most Compatible” option for image and video formats. This feature will enable the files to be automatically saved as JPGs and h.264 .mov files instead. Whichever of the app’s built-in filters you would like to add to something you have captured, you can now flick through those filters by using a slider view format. This prevents you having to leave the standard camera mode - and, on the subject of that mode, you can use it to scan QR codes for the first time. Here, Apple has been late to a party which many third-party apps have already joined; however, the functionality lets you scan QR codes to access Wi-Fi, add contacts, and do even more. 50
LIVE PHOTOS FOR THE MOMENT The ability to take Live Photos debuted with the iPhone 6s series in 2015 and has been included with every new iPhone model released since then. If you have long overlooked Live Photos out of a belief that they are essentially a gimmick, iOS 11 could sway you into thinking otherwise. You can now edit Live Photos, which bring more animation to what would otherwise be a static image, in fresh ways. Those ways include Loop, which enables a Live Photo to be repeatedly played; Bounce, which lets a Live Photo be played either forward or backward from especially suitable start and end points; and Long Exposure, with which all of a Live Photo’s frames are blended together. Those three features are available in an “Effects” menu that you can access by upward swiping on a Live Photo. You can also scroll through Live Photo frames to choose the default one or make one the preview photo.
HAS iOS 11 HIT YOUR BATTERY LIFE? TRY THESE TIPS Since iOS 11’s public release, many Apple users have taken to Twitter to complain that the update has adversely affected the battery life they are getting out of their devices. If you are in the same boat, rest assured that the problem might solve itself in a few days, if not even sooner. Your device needs time to entirely re-index and cache its contents in the wake of a software update - and all of that added work can eat up battery life. If the issue still lingers, however, then try this...
Head into the Battery part of Settings to see which apps have been most draining the battery life recently. Tapping any app’s entry in this list will show the amount of time the software has been active in the background. If certain apps seem overly heavy with their background activity, then go over to the Settings app’s General section and then Background App Refresh. Here, you can disable background activity for particular apps that seem to be wreaking particular havoc on the battery. Some battery-draining features you might deem fluff that you don’t genuinely need. These include the Home screen’s parallax effect which makes app icons appear as though they are floating above the wallpaper. You can deactivate this by switching off Reduce Motion in the Accessibility section under General in the Settings app. If your device supports “Raise to Wake”, you can also disable that - under Display & Brightness in Settings - and so prevent the display inadvertently switching on.
ENJOYED YOUR WARM-UP? THERE’S EVEN MORE... iOS 11 is effectively a treasure trove of new additions, many of which we haven’t had space to detail above. For example, you can now drag and drop content between apps on iPad, choose to send questions to Siri with text instead of your voice, and compress the onscreen keyboard towards the screen’s left or right to enable easier one-handed typing. Fortunately, various sites, including TechRadar, BGR and Business Insider, have dug more deeply into what iOS 11 offers.
by Benjamin Kerry & Gavin Lenaghan
Image: James Bareham / The Verge
NEW CARS INCREASINGLY CRAMMED WITH DISTRACTING TECHNOLOGY
The infotainment technology that automakers are cramming into the dashboard of new vehicles is making drivers take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerously long periods of time, an AAA study says. The study is the latest by University of Utah professor David Strayer, who has been examining the impact of infotainment systems on safety for AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety since 2013. Past studies also identified problems, but Strayer said the “explosion of technology” has made things worse. Automakers now include more infotainment options to allow drivers to use social media, email and text. The technology is also becoming more complicated to use. Cars used to have a few buttons and knobs. Some vehicles now have as many as 50 buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard that are multi-functional. There are touch screens, voice commands, writing pads, heads-up displays on windshields and mirrors and 3-D computer-generated images. 60
Image: Alexander Heimann
“It’s adding more and more layers of complexity and information at drivers’ fingertips without often considering whether it’s a good idea to put it at their fingertips,” Strayer said. That complexity increases the overall amount of time drivers spend trying to use the systems. The auto industry says the new systems are better alternatives for drivers than mobile phones and navigation devices that were not designed to be used while driving. The vehicle-integrated systems “are designed to be used in the driving environment and require driver attention that is comparable to tuning the radio or adjusting climate controls, which have always been considered baseline acceptable behaviors while driving,” said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. But Jake Nelson, AAA’s director for traffic safety advocacy and research, said drivers testing all 30 of the 2017 model year cars and light trucks took their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel while using infotainment systems. The test drivers used voice commands, touch screens and other interactive technologies to make calls, send texts, tune the radio or program navigation all while driving. Clearly automakers haven’t worked hard enough to make the systems quick and easy to use, Nelson said. Researchers rated 23 of the 30 vehicles “very high” or “high” in terms of the attention they demanded from drivers. Seven were rated “moderate.” None required a low amount of attention to use. Programming a destination into in-vehicle GPS navigation systems was the most distracting 63
activity, taking drivers an average of 40 seconds to complete the task. At 25 mph (40 kph), a car can travel the length of four football fields during the time it takes to enter a destination. Previous research has shown that drivers who remove their eyes from the road for just two seconds double their risk for a crash. Under pressure from industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2012 issued voluntary safety guidelines to automakers for dashboard technology instead of enforceable safety standards. The guidelines recommend that automakers lock out the ability to program navigation systems while a car is moving. However, the ability to program navigation while driving was available in 12 vehicles in the study. The guidelines also recommend automakers prevent drivers from texting while driving, but three-quarters of the vehicles tested permit drivers to text while the car is moving. Texting was the second-most distracting task performed by test drivers. Drivers looked away from the road less when using voice commands, but that safety benefit was offset by the increased amount of time drivers spent interacting with the systems. AAA said drivers should use infotainment technologies â€œonly for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving-related purposes.â€? It also urged automakers to block the ability to program navigation systems or send texts while driving. Automakers should also design infotainment systems so that they require no more attention to use than listening to the radio or an audiobook, it said. 65
Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say they want the new technologies in their vehicles, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly, according to an opinion survey conducted for AAA. “Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO, “but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers.”
Image: Jens Meyer
IKEA ON AMAZON? FURNITURE GIANT TO USE ONLINE RETAILERS
Ikea will start selling furniture through thirdparty websites next year as it tries to find new ways to reach customers in the digital age. Kaisa Lyckdal, spokeswoman for the Swedish home furnishing giant, says the aim is to start a trial in 2018 but that “no decisions are made regarding what platforms/markets will be in the pilot.” Lyckdal said Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press that Ikea would further develop its online sales strategy “over the coming years.” Ikea’s main focus “remains of course with our existing sales channels,” including its own websites and stores. The group says 2.3 billion people globally visited Ikea sites in 2017. Founded in Sweden and headquartered fiscally in Leiden, the Netherlands, Ikea has more than 400 stores in 49 countries. 69
‘LEGENDS’ STAR SHATTERS STEREOTYPES WITH MUSLIM SUPERHERO
Tala Ashe is thrilled to debut her new character, a Muslim-American superhero joining season three of “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” It’s a particularly poignant moment for the Iranianborn, Ohio-reared actress who described the hardship of portraying stereotypical characters in the past. “I have been part of projects where it is not dealt with sensitively or accurately and it’s incredibly painful. It’s incredibly painful,” said Ashe in an interview while promoting The CW series during the Television Critics Association summer meeting. 71
One of Ashe’s first breaks was on a soap opera. She took the role to pay the bills, but said she would never agree to the part now. “It’s still actually painful for me to talk about because I, it was such a stereotype,” she recalled. “I try not to berate myself for taking it because I understand the reasons that I did. But I would never, I would never say ‘yes’ to something like that now. ... Going through that experience taught me the power of saying ‘no’ and saying like, ‘Actually I’m not OK with that.’ And if that’s all there is out there for me then it’s OK. I’ll go work in a law firm pouring coffee. I’d rather do that then to be part of promoting that stereotype.” Actress Tala Ashe is thrilled to debut her new character, a Muslim-American superhero on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” The series’ third season premieres Oct. 10 on The CW. (Oct. 9) Her experience playing Zari, a computerhacking superhero in “Legends,” which returns Tuesday, could not be more different. “What is great is (her ethnicity) is an aspect of who she is, as much as she’s an activist and she’s a strong woman and someone who speaks truth to power,” Ashe said. “It’s really important that we have representation in the media and specifically we have MuslimAmerican representation that isn’t just positive in a sort of rosy, un-nuanced way, but is a real person. And there’s so much of the other right now and there’s so much making Muslims ‘the other’ that I’m excited to play this character in what I hope will be a very nuanced and sensitive, accurate way.”
DCâ€™s Legends of Tomorrow | Season 3 |
Ashe was particularly impressed when showrunners brought in a Muslim-American writer to help craft her role and hopes that kind of inclusivity will spread throughout Hollywood. “I do think there are more stories being told. I think more stories can be championed both in theater and in television and certainly in movies. I think we have a long way to go in terms of representation in movies. But I think TV is doing kind of the best job in terms of realizing that we need to reflect our world and that it matters,” she said. Ashe aims to be a positive role model for young fans and perhaps break down a few stereotypes along the way. “I’m excited to see what the reaction is and if it can make someone feel a little less alone or — here’s the big hope — if it can change a mind,” she said.
TWICKETS LAUNCHES EUROPE-BASED RESALE TICKET PLATFORM IN US
Twickets, a Europe-based face-value ticket platform supported by several popular music artists including Adele and Ed Sheeran, was launched Wednesday in the United States. Founder Richard Davies said fans will be able to buy and sell spare tickets at face value or less for concerts and live events at Twickets USA. “We’re looking to provide an alternative to genuine fans that want to look out for other fans potentially and not gain a substantial profit,” Davies said. “We’re not planning to be the solution to scalping. Fans deserve a choice. We don’t want them to get ripped off.” Twickets, which was launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, has partnered with Adele, Sheeran, Mumford & Sons and Queen. The company said it has also handled about 6,000 tickets for One Direction. 77
Adele teamed up with Twickets for her sold-out Wembley Stadium concerts in 2016. This year, the company expanded its platform to Australia as Sheeran’s resale partner. Davies said Twickets users have saved other fans more than $20 million in inflated prices and fees for event tickets in the United Kingdom. He said he hopes his platform can reshape the ticketing landscape by allowing music artists to ensure face-value resale. “It’s been a mix of support from artists, event organizers and record labels,” he said. “Outside of any artist endorsement, this has been purely word of mouth. We’ve never spent money on marketing. Word of mouth plays an important part of what we do.” Twickets said it has secured partnerships with Niall Horan of One Direction, Pixies and PVRIS for their upcoming U.S. shows. It collects a 15 percent transaction fee from the buyer for each sale. The platform has more than 500,000 registered users, Davies said. In Europe, Twickets has listed spare tickets for festivals, sports, comedy and theater, and arts shows. Davies said the company will initially focus on using the platform to resell tickets for music shows and hopes to incorporate sporting events in the U.S. in the future.
IN ‘MARSHALL,’ A YOUNG THURGOOD IN CONNECTICUT
Thurgood Marshall, a titan of 20th-century law and a civil rights pioneer, has until now largely eluded Hollywood’s notice. Despite its title, “Marshall,” too, is wary of taking on the Supreme Court justice in full, sticking to a minor case from Marshall’s early career as counsel for the NAACP. That makes, for better and worse, a sometimes slight, sometimes serious courtroom drama, shot through with bright certainty in the coming triumphs for Marshall and the civil rights movement. It’s a superhero-style origin story: Thurgood, pre-“Brown v. Board of Education,” pre-black robe. And there’s something bulletproof about Marshall, as played by Chadwick Boseman, in Reginald Hudlin’s film. Boseman has launched himself as a leading man with an ambitious trio of historical African-American figures: Jackie 81
Robinson, James Brown and now Marshall. His gift isn’t in connecting deeply to these characters but in capturing an innate and unstoppable swagger. His icons are forwardmoving forces of talent and charisma that no bigotry could hope to contain. In “Marshall,” the attorney is sent to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to represent a black chauffer, Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), who has been accused by his wealthy, white Greenwich socialite employer (Kate Hudson) of rape and attempted murder. Marshall, then 33, is an out-of-state attorney who needs a local lawyer to help try the case, turning to the reluctant insurance lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad). The suburban New England setting differs greatly from the Southern terrain where most civil-rights battles were fought, and where Marshall tried many of his early landmark cases. But it roils with much of the same racism. Marshall is barred from speaking in court by a judge (James Cromwell) little impressed by the NAACP’s mandate to ensure black defendants get a fair trial. But from the moment Marshall breezes into the New Haven train station and hands his bags to Friedman to carry, he oozes an untroubled belief in his cause and his tactical prowess at trial. He needs no assistance, and he gives no quarter to prejudice, telling Friedman to object over every racial bias. Where others stay mum, he proudly declares from the courthouse steps: “The Constitution was not written for us. We know that. But no matter what it takes, we’re going to make it work for us. From now on, we claim it as our own.” 82
He’s an undeniably empowering and inspirational figure, and “Marshall” is a smooth and straightforward package. That the stakes for justice are high is never in question, especially once Spell — and the extreme poise of Brown — takes the stand. But “Marshall” doesn’t go for the kind of gravity echoed, say, in the one-man play “Thurgood,” which James Earl Jones performed on the stage and Laurence Fishburne on the screen. There’s a light comic interplay between Boseman and Gad. Marshall sorts the case out without cracking a book or breaking a sweat. And, well, Connecticut has never exactly had the dramatic pull of other, more explosive states when it comes to civil rights battles or, well, most anything else. Currently in development is a film adaptation of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner “Devil in the Grove,” which chronicles a 1949 case of Marshall’s in Groveland, Florida. That, perhaps, will be a richer, more evocative tale. But not all civil-rights battles need to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. That will fall to future installments of Marshall’s exploits — and upcoming films for Boseman, who’ll soon star as the Marvel hero in “Black Panther.” “Marshall,” an Open Road release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and some strong language.” Running time: 118 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.
MPAA definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Marshall - First Trailer
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A Ghost Story In this ambiguous story of love, loss and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased ghost (Casey Affleck) returns to his home to try to reach out to his bereft wife (Rooney Mara) only to find that he has become unstuck in time, only able to watch passively the life he once knew.
FIVE FACTS: 1. All filming for this movie was hidden from the public, and the project was not even announced until months after filming had wrapped. 2. Director David Lowery shot the movie off the funds he made from Pete’s Dragon (2016)
by David Lowery Genre: Romance Released: 2017 Price: $14.99
3. The movie reunites David Lowery with regular collaborators Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck who both starred in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)
4. A24 acquired the film before it premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. 5. The neighbor’s ghost is played by Lowery.
A Ghost Story | Stay | Official Clip HD | A24
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent This documentary follows Jeremiah Tower, a chef that influenced a new American cuisine and created the cult of the “celebrity chef.” With a career that spanned the sexual revolution of the 70’s to the spirit of the 80’s, this biopic covers interviews with celebrities to show how much Tower has influenced today’s food culture and the overall restaurant industry, essentially changing the process of how we eat.
FIVE FACTS: 1. In 1996, Tower won the James Beard Foundation’s award for “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” 2. The documentary includes some famous faces that play homage to Tower including Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, and Wolfgang Puck. 3. The movie’s official tagline is “Great Chefs Stand Out.” 4. In 2016, Tower was a key speaker at the Ken Hom lecture series at Oxford Brookes University. 5. The movie premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016.
Trailer by Lydia Tenaglia Genre: Documentary Released: 2017 Price: $9.99
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent Official Trailer 1 (2017) - Documentary
Phantom Anthem August Burns Red A band that has a reputation for writing some of the most technically advanced and lyrically sophisticated songs that metalcore has to offer, August Burns Red release their seventh album in 12 years. Melodic solos are found on tracks “Coordinates” and “The Frost” while instrumental passages lead up to chunk staccato riffs on “King of Sorrow” and “Her of the Half Truth.” Genre: Metal Released: Oct 6, 2017 11 Songs Price: $9.99
FIVE FACTS: 1. Brent Rambler said that if he weren’t in a band he’d more than likely be in real estate and he has completed all courses and exams to do so. 2. Although all members of the band are Christians, they don’t believe in preaching to their audience and believe that the music should speak for itself. 3. The band released their first DVD Home in September 2010. 4. In 2008, they released a version of the Christmas song “Carol of the Bells” which appeared on the punk compilation X Christmas and was used in several adverts for the movie The Spirit. 5. Original vocalist Josh McManness left in 2006 due to exhaustion from constant touring.
Take Me Apart Kelela Kelela’s latest LP is deeply personal one, meaning that it does exactly what it says on the label. Her self-assured and forthright lyrics are placed over beats from the likes of Jam City, Bok Bok, Kingdom and Arca, demonstrating her ability as an underground artist that can spin from one mode to the next, from breakup songs like “Frontline” to pickups like “LMK.”
FIVE FACTS: 1. After transferring from Montgomery College to American University, Kelela began singing jazz standards at cafés. 2. In 2008, she joined an indie band called Dizzy Spells and tried to sing progressive metal after meeting Tosin Abasi, who she also dated. 3. Her 2013 mixtape Cut 4 Me was praised by music critics and contemporaries such as Solange Knowles and Bjork. 4. Her 2015 EP Hallucinogen covers the beginning, middle and end of a relationship in reverse order. 5. Her track “Go All Night” was included on Saint Heron, a multi-artist compilation album released by Solange Knowles in 2013.
Genre: R&B/Soul Released: Oct 6, 2017 14 Songs Price: $14.99
Kelela ‘Take Me Apart’ | Track by Track
‘BLADE RUNNER 2049’ TOPS BOX OFFICE BUT STILL DISAPPOINTS
“Blade Runner 2049” may have been the top choice for moviegoers this weekend, but the long-anticipated sequel failed to generate the soaring box office returns industry watchers expected. Despite positive reviews and certified starpower in Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, the dystopian thriller took in $32.7 million during its debut weekend, which hardly makes a dent in its reported $150 million budget. The adventure romance “The Mountain Between Us,” debuted in second place with $10.5 million. It stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba as strangers who develop a relationship after their charter plane crash lands in the mountains. “My Little Pony: The Movie” opened in fourth place with $8.9 million. 107
The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:
“Blade Runner 2049,” Warner Bros., $32,753,122, 4,058 locations, $8,071 average, $32,753,122, 1 Week.
“The Mountain Between Us,” 20th Century Fox, $10,551,336, 3,088 locations, $3,417 average, $10,551,336, 1 Week.
“It,” Warner Bros., $9,972,002, 3,605 locations, $2,766 average, $305,250,480, 5 Weeks.
“My Little Pony: The Movie,” Lionsgate, $8,885,899, 2,528 locations, $3,515 average, $8,885,899, 1 Week.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” 20th Century Fox, $8,675,412, 3,488 locations, $2,487 average, $80,539,837, 3 Weeks.
“American Made,” Universal, $8,446,715, 3,031 locations, $2,787 average, $30,818,675, 2 Weeks.
“The Lego Ninjago Movie,” Warner Bros., $7,002,474, 3,611 locations, $1,939 average, $44,076,137, 3 Weeks.
“Victoria And Abdul,” Focus Features, $4,171,870, 732 locations, $5,699 average, $5,987,264, 3 Weeks.
“Flatliners,” Sony, $3,975,021, 2,552 locations, $1,558 average, $12,504,623, 2 Weeks.
“Battle of The Sexes,” Fox Searchlight, $2,562,066, 1,822 locations, $1,406 average, $7,839,641, 3 Weeks.
“MET Opera: Norma (2017),” Fathom Events, $1,500,000, 900 locations, $1,667 average, $1,500,000, 1 Week.
“American Assassin,” Lionsgate, $1,388,305, 1,656 locations, $838 average, $34,449,582, 4 Weeks.
“Til Death Do Us Part,” Novus Content, $762,125, 481 locations, $1,584 average, $2,668,754, 2 Weeks.
“The Stray,” Quality Flix, $596,547, 640 locations, $932 average, $596,547, 1 Week.
“Home Again,” Open Road, $568,000, 1,003 locations, $566 average, $26,353,346, 5 Weeks.
“A Question of Faith,” Pure Flix, $453,717, 608 locations, $746 average, $1,788,973, 2 Weeks.
“mother!,” Paramount, $387,753, 481 locations, $806 average, $17,297,289, 4 Weeks.
“Judwaa 2,” Fox International Productions, $312,250, 192 locations, $1,626 average, $1,184,239, 2 Weeks.
“Despicable Me 3,” Universal, $289,605, 304 locations, $953 average, $262,637,975, 15 Weeks.
“Stronger,” Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, $277,809, 335 locations, $829 average, $3,770,182, 3 Weeks.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
STORMTROOPERS ON SOLDIER FIELD INTRODUCE ‘LAST JEDI’ TRAILER
The trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” debuted in dramatic fashion during Monday Night Football halftime. Fireworks flashed and Stormtroopers marched onto Chicago’s Soldier Field as the preview played onscreen. It featured new and familiar characters from the Star Wars universe. The clip opens with voiceover from Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren saying, “When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power — and beyond that, something truly special.” Then Rey (Daisy Ridley) is shown wielding her light saber and questioning her destiny as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) observes, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Carrie Fisher also appear in the trailer, as does Chewbacca and a new bird-like creature known as a Porg. “The Last Jedi” is the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise since the Disney reboot that began with 2015’s “The Force Awakens.” It’s set to hit theaters Dec. 15. 116
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer (Official)
Image: Charles Rex Arbogast
SPACEX LAUNCHES 10 MORE IRIDIUM COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES
Ten new satellites for Iridium Communications Inc. have been carried into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from California. The booster lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Air Force Base before dawn Monday. Its first stage successfully returned from space and set down on a landing platform floating in the Pacific Ocean as the second stage went on to deploy the satellites in orbit. It was the third successful launch in the McLean, Virginia-based companyâ€™s campaign to replace its entire globe-circling fleet with a total of 75 next-generation communications satellites. Five more SpaceX launches are expected to complete the process by mid-2018. The satellites also carry payloads for global realtime aircraft tracking and a ship-tracking service. The old Iridium satellites are being deorbited. 118
SPACEWALKING ASTRONAUTS GREASE ROBOT ARMâ€™S NEW HAND
Spacewalking astronauts hustled through a lube job and camera swaps outside the International Space Station on Tuesday, their second trip outside in less than a week. Astronaut Mark Vande Hei made fast work of greasing the big robot armâ€™s new hand. Vande Hei and station commander Randy Bresnik replaced the latching mechanism on one end of the 58-foot robot arm last Thursday. The mechanism malfunctioned in August. 121
Image: James Blair
Tuesday’s work involved using a grease gun, which resembles a caulking gun, to keep the latching mechanism working smoothly. Vande Hei got a jump ahead in some greasing chores, but the two-part job still will spill into next week, in a third and final spacewalk. “Why don’t we wash, rinse, repeat. Do it again in a week,” Bresnik said as the 6 ½-hour spacewalk came to a close. These latches, or hands, are located on each end of the Canadian-built robot arm. They’re used to grab arriving U.S. cargo ships and also allow the robot arm to move around the orbiting lab. Launched in 2001 with the rest of the robot arm, the original latches were showing their age. NASA plans to replace the latching mechanism on the opposite end of the arm early next year. Vande Hei and Bresnik also replaced several camera assemblies at the 250-milehigh outpost. “What do you do for an encore?” Bresnik asked Vande Hei, after two successful spacewalks. “I finish six months on the space station,” Vande Hei replied. He arrived a month ago. Vande Hei will sit out the next spacewalk on Oct. 18. Instead, Bresnik will be accompanied by Joe Acaba, a teacher-turned-astronaut. Six men live at the orbiting lab: three Americans, two Russians and one Italian. As the space station approached Italy early in the spacewalk, Mission Control urged Bresnik and Vande Hei to take some photos for their crewmate, Paolo Nespoli. 122
Image: Carlos Giusti
BIG TECH HAS BIG PLANS TO HELP RECONNECT PUERTO RICO
Facebook and Google once aimed to connect the world. Now they would be happy just to reconnect part of it. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to send a â€œconnectivity teamâ€? to help restore communications in ravaged Puerto Rico. Google parent company Alphabet offered to send its Wi-Fi balloons. They were among several tech companies proposing disaster response ideas, most aimed at getting phone and internet service up and running. Some of these plans, of course, are more aspirational than others. 125
BATTERY POWER Tesla CEO Elon Musk often takes to Twitter to mull over ideas, but last week his musings about sending his company’s solar-powered batteries to help restore Puerto Rico’s power attracted the attention of the island’s governor. “Let’s talk,” said Gov. Ricardo Rossello in a Friday (06) tweet . Musk agreed. Hours later, he announced he was delaying the unveiling of Tesla’s new semi-truck and diverting resources, in part to “increase battery production for Puerto Rico and other affected areas.” The need for help in restoring power and communication after Hurricane Maria is great: The Puerto Rican energy authority reported Saturday that about 88 percent of the island is still without power. The Federal Communications Commission said Saturday that 82 percent of cell sites remain out in Puerto Rico; 58 percent are out of service in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FCC’s daily status report also shows significant wireline, TV and radio outages remain in both U.S. territories. The agency formed a task force this week and approved an advance of $77 million to support carriers working to restore telecommunications services.
VAGUE PROMISES But many offers of help from big companies remain somewhat vague. Google parent company Alphabet has proposed launching balloons over the island to bring Wi-Fi service to hard-to-reach places, as it has in other parts of the world. 126
Image: The Washington Post
The FCC announced Saturday that it’s approved an experimental license for Project Loon to operate in Puerto Rico. But that doesn’t mean it will able to get them in the air anytime soon. “We’re grateful for the support of the FCC and the Puerto Rican authorities as we work hard to see if it’s possible to use Loon balloons to bring emergency connectivity to the island during this time of need,” said Libby Leahy, a spokesman for Alphabet’s X division. But there are limitations, she said Saturday. “To deliver signal to people’s devices, Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner’s network — the balloons can’t do it alone,” she said, adding that the company is “making solid progress on this next step.”
COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS Cisco Systems has sent a tactical team and says it is working with local government, emergency responders and service providers to facilitate restoration and recovery efforts. The company, along with Microsoft and others, backs the NetHope consortium, which specializes in setting up post-disaster communication networks and has field teams now operating in Puerto Rico and several other Caribbean islands. “Communication is critical during a disaster,” Zuckerberg said after the hurricane hit, announcing that employees from his company’s connectivity team — the same group working to build highaltitude drones that can beam internet service down to Earth — were heading to Puerto Rico. But with its aircraft still in the testing phase, the company said that the engineers it’s sent to Puerto Rico are focused on providing support to NetHope’s teams. 129
Image: Ricardo Arduengo
SMALLER ORGANIZATIONS Much of the ground work is being spearheaded by nonprofit organizations and small firms with expertise in rural or emergency communications. Lexington, Massachusetts-based Vanu Inc., which sets up wireless communications networks in rural parts of the United States, Africa and India, is sending dozens of its small, solar-powered cellular base stations to volunteer crews on the ground in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Aid workers are pairing Vanu’s devices with other technology, such as inflatable satellite antennas. After setting up a network on the island of Vieques, off the main island of Puerto Rico, one team watched from a roof as local residents started getting text alerts from family members who had been trying to get in touch. “They noticed everyone in the plaza pulling their phones out,” said CEO Vanu Bose. “You don’t have to announce you’ve lit up coverage. People know right away.”
ALMOST LIKE PRAYING (FEAT. ARTISTS FOR PUERTO RICO)
FEEL IT STILL
PortugaL. the man
HAVANA (FEAT. YOUNG THUG)
LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO
I WONâ€™T BACK DOWN
tom Petty & the heartbreaKers
TOO GOOD AT GOODBYES
tom Petty & the heartbreaKers
KANE BROWN (DELUXE EDITION)
BLADE RUNNER 2049 (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)
hans ZImmer & benjamIn waLLfIsCh
ANTHOLOGY: THROUGH THE YEARS
tom Petty & the heartbreaKers
august burns reD
LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO
WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS (LIVE)
DhanI harrIson, jeff Lynne, PrInCe, steve wInwooD & tom Petty
I WON’T BACK DOWN
tom Petty wIth the traveLIng wILburys
DESPACITO (FEAT. DADDY YANKEE)
THE REST OF OUR LIFE
tIm mCgraw & faIth hILL
DON’T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE
tom Petty & the heartbreaKers
WHAT LOVERS DO (FEAT. SZA)
maDam seCretary, season 4
GO BIG OR GO HOME
greyâ€™s anatomy, season 14
sCanDaL, season 7
SEX (TIPS) IN THE CITY
shahs of sunset, season 6
A MANNY-SPLENDORED THING
thIs Is us, season 2
DETECT, DEVICE, DESTROY
the Last shIP, season 4
THE CLEVELAND SHOW
KeePIng uP wIth the KarDashIans, season 14
the Last shIP, season 4
STING OF THE TAIL
DesIgnateD survIvor, season 2
homeLanD, season 6
DIRTY LITTLE PROMISE
THE CUBAN AFFAIR
TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN
DONâ€™T LET GO
THE RULES OF MAGIC
Image: Branden Camp
SCIENTISTS SAY COST OF CAPTURING CO2 DECLINING
Technology now in limited use removes about 90 percent of carbon dioxide from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, but energy experts say cost remains the chief obstacle to bringing the “clean coal” touted by President Donald Trump into the mainstream. They cite recent advances in applying the longstanding technology, despite some earlier setbacks, but say the U.S. power sector needs bigger tax credits or other incentives to close the cost gap for using them. “What we have now is a public policy challenge, or call it a political challenge if you will, in that next phase which is to deploy this technology more widely and bring the cost down, (which) requires a whole new set of policies that go beyond R&D to actual deployment incentives,” said Brad Crabtree, vice president for fossil fuels at the Great Plains Institute. 143
The U.S. has successfully cut other smokestack pollutants, including sulfur, nitrogen and mercury. But carbon dioxide is a bigger challenge because there is so much of it. Coal- and gas-fired electrical generators produce about 30 percent of CO2 from human activity. Other industries like cement, steel and fertilizer manufacturing add another 20 to 25 percent. Farming and vehicles are also major contributors. John Thompson of the nonprofit Clean Air Task Force said there would be no way to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels without taming carbon emissions. The world has already warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the Industrial Revolution. Scientists say every fraction of a degree change in average temperatures can lead to noticeable swings in local weather patterns. “If you don’t tackle that you really can’t constrain warming on the planet to one-and-a-half to two degrees on anybody’s likely scenarios,” he said. In Congress, bills that now have 64 bipartisan sponsors would raise carbon-capture tax credits from $10 or $20 per metric ton depending on use to $35 or $50. Advocates want it added to the current tax overhaul proposal. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican and co-sponsor, said carbon capture would help protect the coal industry and expand oil production as well as reduce emissions. As for chances of passage, she said Thursday that it’s “too early in the process to know whether those priorities can advance together or separately.” 144
The Natural Resources Defense Council, like other environmental groups, first advocates efficient energy use and switching to renewable sources, but regards carbon capture as “a potentially useful tool in the climate protection toolbox,” said David Hawkins, director of climate programs. At federal labs in Morgantown and Pittsburgh, researchers cite one recently successful 13-megawatt pilot project in Colorado and say they are on target for a handful of others by 2020 while reducing the cost of carbon capture from $100 per metric ton to $40. “We’re definitely close,” said Lynn Brickett, the labs’ carbon capture technology manager. The labs are also identifying methods to inject more liquefied carbon dioxide back into the Earth. That’s where the carbon-based coal, oil and natural gas originally came from before they were burned and produced the CO2 in the atmosphere blamed for global warming. New energy technologies normally take 15 years to move from the laboratory to the outside world, according to the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Its researchers are developing computer models to accelerate that timeline for carbon, engineer David Miller said. The lab, a division of the U.S. Energy Department, acknowledges routine use would be at least another decade away and historically such advances have taken 20 to 30 years. Meanwhile, more U.S. coal-fired power plants are scheduled to close. In June, Mississippi Power Co. suspended special carbon-capture efforts at its 582-megawatt Mississippi power plant that first turned coal 147
Image: Jeff Swensen
into gas, which cost more than $7 billion to build, more than double the planned cost. Once regarded as a possible model for “clean coal,” it now burns natural gas. The Petra Nova project outside Houston used a $190 million federal grant toward installing a $1 billion system to capture CO2 from an existing 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant, piping it to a Texas oil field and pumping it underground to boost oil production. Operating since late December, the system is currently “breaking even,” NRG Energy spokesman David Knox said. “We’re very interested in the technology, but until the economics work, we’re not committed to a second one,” Knox said.
With underground carbon storage, research began 20 years ago and builds on the practices of the petroleum industry, which uses carbon dioxide to drive more oil from the ground, said Traci Rodosta, the lab’s carbon storage technology manager. NETL has regional partnerships across 43 states, small-scale projects that began in 2005 and larger-scale field projects in 2008. There are ongoing efforts in 30 countries. A Norwegian reservoir under the North Sea has injected more than 16 million metric tons of CO2, Rodosta said. Lab scientists say there have been no major incidents with leaking or seismic activity.
60 YEARS AFTER SPUTNIK, RUSSIAN SPACE PROGRAM FACES TROUBLES
Six decades after Sputnik, a refined version of the rocket that put the first artificial satellite in orbit remains the mainstay of Russia’s space program — a stunning tribute to the country’s technological prowess, but also a sign it has failed to build upon its achievements. And unlike the Cold War era, when space was a key area of the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, space research now appears to rank low on the Kremlin’s priorities. The Soyuz booster, currently the only vehicle that launches crews to the International Space Station, is a modification of the R-7 rocket that put Sputnik in orbit on Oct. 4, 1957. Another Soviet-designed workhorse, the heavy-lift Proton rocket that has been used to launch commercial satellites to high orbits, was developed in the 1960s. 151
Both rockets established a stellar reputation for their reliability, but their record was tarnished by a string of failed launches in recent years that have called into question the Russian space industryâ€™s ability to maintain the same high standards of manufacturing. Glitches found in Proton and Soyuz in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh that builds engines for both rockets. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, sent more than 70 rocket engines back to production lines to replace faulty components, a move that resulted in a yearlong break in Proton launches. The suspension eroded the nationâ€™s niche in the global market for commercial satellite launches. Last year, Russia for the first time fell behind both the U.S. and China in the number of launches. Clients have increasingly opted for new, more efficient and affordable choices, such as the Falcon 9 built by SpaceX, which broke ground in reducing costs by making its rockets reusable. Russian officials have recognized the challenge posed by SpaceX and others, but they have offered few specifics on how the nation hopes to retain its place in the global market. The only short-term answer appears to be a plan to manufacture a less-powerful version of the Proton booster to lower costs. In an astonishing recognition of the depth of Russiaâ€™s space woes, Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov declared earlier this week that the Voronezh factory used substandard alloys because of a logistical failure that occurred after a warehouse worker had become ill.
Image: Kirill Kudryavtsev
The Khrunichev company that assembles the Proton also has fallen on hard times amid criminal investigations into alleged mismanagement and a decision to sharply cut its assets. Much of the prized real estate it occupies in western Moscow has been designated for development. Meanwhile, the development of the Angara, a booster rocket intended to replace both the Soyuz and the Proton, has been repeatedly pushed back, and its future remains uncertain. More expensive and lacking the longestablished track record of its predecessors, the Angara probably will find it hard to compete with SpaceX rockets and others in the international market. The first tests of the Angara have been successful, but full-scale production is yet to be organized at a plant in the Siberian city of Omsk. And while the Soyuz is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the International Space Station following the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet, Russia stands to lose the monopoly soon as the SpaceXâ€™s Dragon v2 and Boeingâ€™s Starliner crew capsules are to fly test missions next year. Work on a new spacecraft intended to replace the Soyuz crew capsule designed 50 years ago has crawled slowly. The ship, called Federation, is tentatively set for its first manned flight in 2023, but little is known about it. Roscosmos also has talked about sending several unmanned missions to the moon in the next decade, but details are yet to be worked out. Attempts to send unmanned probes to Mars in 1996 and to the Martian moons Phobos in 2011 failed due to equipment problems. 154
Image: Boris Bethge
Image: Bill Ingalls
Russia also has struggled for years to build its own scientific module for the International Space Station. Originally set for 2007, the launch of the Nauka, or Science, module has been pushed back repeatedly. A 2013 check revealed that its systems had become clogged with residue and required a costly cleaning. The launch is now tentatively set for next year, but some reports suggest it could be delayed further. Amid funding shortages, Roscosmos has decided to cut the size of its ISS crews from three to two, a move criticized by many in Russia. “It’s very bad when we have to cut the number of cosmonaut seats,” cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya said in parliament this year. “The situation in our space industry is quite alarming.” One Russian cosmonaut currently in orbit, Sergei Ryazanskiy, on Wednesday posted a picture of himself holding a tiny replica of Sputnik on Twitter to mark the 60th anniversary. Ryazanskiy’s grandfather, the chief designer of radio guidance systems for space vehicles during Soviet times, was involved in Sputnik’s launch. While other space programs faced cutbacks, Russia spent billions to build the new Vostochny launch pad in the Far East as a possible alternative to the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan that Moscow has leased from its former Soviet neighbor. Many have questioned the feasibility of the expensive new facility, given the fact that Russia intends to continue using Baikonur for most of its launches. Work at Vostochny has also been dogged by scandals involving protests by 157
unpaid workers and the arrests of construction officials accused of embezzlement. A launch pad for Soyuz finally opened in 2016, but another one for heavier Angara rockets is only set to be completed in late 2021. Amid massive spending on Vostochny, whose future remains unclear, some have criticized Roscosmos for cutting corners on personnel. Cosmonaut Maxim Surayev, who now serves as a lawmaker, lamented the poor conditions for future space crews at the Star City training center outside Moscow.
“It’s wrong when, instead of fulfilling their task to prepare for space flight, they have to find side jobs and a place to live,” Surayev said in parliament. Several veteran cosmonauts were forced to retire earlier this year amid vicious infighting at Star City. One of the retirees was Gennady Padalka, who holds the world record for the longest time in orbit — 879 days over five space missions. In a letter to the media, Padalka urged authorities to fire the director of Star City to prevent the facility from falling into “complete ruin.”
UBER RIDERS IN DUBAI CAN NOW SELECT ELECTRICPOWERED TESLA
Ride-hailing service Uber on Tuesday began offering its customers in Dubai the option to ride in one of 50 new Tesla electric-powered vehicles â€” a stark contrast to the large gas-guzzling sedans and luxury sports cars that dominate the emirateâ€™s six-lane highways. The U.S.-based ride-hailing app launched the UberONE option in partnership with Dubai Taxi Corporation, which added 50 Tesla Model X and Model S to its fleet last month. The vehicles, which Uber riders can select for a slightly higher fare, are equipped with self-driving components. 161
Dubai’s transport authority is aiming to add another 150 Tesla vehicles to its fleet in 2018 and 2019, part of a wider push to have 25 percent of all journeys autonomous by 2030. Already, Dubai has the world’s longest driverless metro network. Uber’s General Manager in the United Arab Emirates, Chris Free, said the partnership to introduce electric-powered rides for customers is line with the company’s drive to provide riders with “new and progressive experiences.” The forward-looking emirate of Dubai and the oilrich seat of the federal government, Abu Dhabi, have embraced the push for electric-powered vehicles. In Dubai alone, there are electric vehicle power stations near the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, and the Middle East’s largest mall, the Dubai Mall.
Tesla also opened a showroom in Dubai in February. The American electric car manufacturer’s chief executive Elon Musk has said the company plans on investing millions of dollars across the United Arab Emirates to support building up an infrastructure for electric vehicles, despite facing competition from the region’s subsidized lower gas prices. There are currently more than two dozen Tesla chargers in the UAE, with another 50 planned. Still, Teslas and other battery-operated models sold in the UAE, such as Renault’s Twizy and Zoe, remain rare as soaring summer temperatures require drivers turn on air-conditioning.
GOOGLE UNCOVERS ADS BY RUSSIAN OPERATIVES
Russian operatives likely spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads across Google products, including YouTube and Google search, according to reports. Accounts connected with the Russian government spent $4,700 on search and display ads, while another $53,000 was spent on ads with political material that were purchased from Russian territory, from Russian internet addresses, or with Russian currency, The New York Times reported. The Times cited an unnamed person familiar with the ongoing inquiry by the search giant. The Washington Post earlier reported that the technology behemoth uncovered the Russianbacked disinformation campaign as it considers whether to testify before Congress next month, also citing anonymous sources familiar with the 165
investigation. Social media companies Facebook and Twitter have already agreed to testify. The reports said the company discovered the Russian presence by analyzing information shared by Twitter and Facebook, as well its own research and tips from outside researchers.
In a statement, Google said it has a â€œset of strict ads policies including limits on political ad targeting and prohibitions on targeting based on race and religion.â€? â€œWe are taking a deeper look to investigate attempts to abuse our systems, working with
researchers and other companies, and will provide assistance to ongoing inquiries,â€? the statement continued. Facebook recently shared about 3,000 Russianbacked ads with Congress.
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a disinformation campaign aimed at helping Donald Trump win the presidential election.
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