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CAN WE TRUST APPLE? FEARS ABOUT THE iPHONE 7
CHINA’S LAUNCH OF QUANTUM SATELLITE MAJOR STEP IN SPACE RACE
SCIENCE - DIRECTOR: NEW MEXICO SPACEPORT POSITIONED FOR NEXT FRONTIER
66 BUFFETT’S COMPANY ADDS TO STAKES IN APPLE AND PHILLIPS 66
SMILEY FACES AT SMALL COMPANY MAKING POPULAR EMOJI APPS 08 IOC FIGHTS CYBERATTACKS DURING OLYMPICS 22 HOTELS IN 10 STATES AND DC MAY HAVE BEEN HIT BY HACKERS 26 TESLA: REMOVAL OF ‘AUTOPILOT’ FROM CHINESE SITE A MISTAKE 30 SNOWDEN: EXPOSURE OF ALLEGED NSA TOOLS MAY BE WARNING TO US 34 GERMANY WARNS ON RISKS OF PLAYING ‘POKEMON GO’ AT AIRPORTS 62 GAWKER SOLD TO UNIVISION IN AFTERMATH OF HULK HOGAN CASE 74 BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘SAUSAGE PARTY’ SCARFS UP $34.3 MILLION 98 JASON SUDEIKIS WILL LEAD STAGE PLAY OF ‘DEAD POETS SOCIETY’ 108 SURVEY: TOO MANY NEW SMARTPHONE MODELS RELEASED EACH YEAR 110 HEALTH: ORGAN NETWORK MAPPING A PATH TO MORE FAIR LIVER TRANSPLANTS 116 GOOGLE’S DUO APP JOINS CROWDED FIELD OF VIDEO CALLING 128 FORD SAYS IT WILL HAVE A FULLY AUTONOMOUS CAR BY 2021 142 ANDROID MAKERS REALLY WANT TO MAKE THEIR PHONES EYE-CATCHING 148
TOP 10 APPS 78 iTUNES REVIEW 82 TOP 10 SONGS 132 TOP 10 ALBUMS 134 TOP 10 MUSIC VIDEOS 136 TOP 10 TV SHOWS 138 TOP 10 BOOKS 140
SMILEY FACES AT SMALL COMPANY MAKING POPULAR EMOJI APPS
Mobile apps that allow users to create their own emojis or share the stylized images of NBA star Stephen Curry and other celebrities are paying off for a small upstate New York company. Moji Maker- with its mix-and-match menu of happy, angry or goofy faces - was the No. 2 paid app on the iTunes chart as of last Friday morning. The company that made it, Moji, recently scored big with its Curry app and is following up with similarly styled apps for two Olympic athletes who won gold this week: swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Simone Biles. 9
The company of about a dozen people is based far from Silicon Valley and celeb-heavy Los Angeles in Binghamton, New York, where the three principals - all between 30 and 32 years old - grew up. None of them had a background in programming. Their success provides a window into a quickly evolving emoji market that didn’t even exist until recently. “We look at everything that we make and we ship objectively, and say, ‘Is this something that we would actually use in our everyday texts? Does this have relevance in a person’s everyday conversation?’” said Oliver Camilo, the company’s founder and CEO. “Because we don’t want to create stuff that’s just a boring bottle of water.” The emoji market is flourishing as mobile users demand more ways to express themselves. Kim Kardashian and Justin Beiber are among the growing number of celebrities who have their own emoji apps. “Right now, there’s just not a lot of players doing it and that’s why a very small player who aligns himself with a Steph Curry or anyone else is able to achieve so much adoption,” said Travis Montaque, founder and CEO of the research and brand integration company Emogi. The emojis from Moji and its competitors have not been adopted by the California-based Unicode Consortium, which controls official emoji standards used on standard keyboards. Camilo said that’s not their goal. The roughly 20,000 emojis from Moji can be texted, tweeted and posted on Facebook, but they cannot be used in Instagram comments and only in Snapchat messages since they are not approved by the consortium, Camilo said. 10
Image: Michael Poehlman
The privately held company - which Camilo runs with his partners, brothers Johnny and Liam Burns - does not provide download or sales numbers, though Camilo said the fast-selling Moji Maker app netted them sales in the six figures within a week. Camilo is now based in Denver and the company is setting up an office in Los Angeles. They will continue to partner with celebrities as they look at working with corporate brands. Their StephMoji app debuted just before Curry and the Warriors faced the LeBron James-led Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in June. The app features Curry smiling, shooting, dribbling and chewing on his mouth guard. With an assist from Curry on social media, it quickly became a best seller. “It was literally perfect timing,” Camilo said. The Olympic athlete apps, PhelpsMoji and Simoji, debuted in late July. The Phelps app was already updated with a new scowling emoji after a photo of Phelps glowering inside his hood dubbed “PhelpsFace” - went viral this week. 12
CHINA’S LAUNCH OF QUANTUM SATELLITE MAJOR STEP IN SPACE RACE
China’s launch of the first quantum satellite Tuesday will push forward efforts to develop the ability to send communications that can’t be penetrated by hackers, experts said. The satellite launched into space from the Jiuquan launch base in northwestern China’s Gobi desert will allow Chinese researchers to transmit test messages between Beijing and northwestern China as well as other locations around the world. If the tests are successful, China will take a major step toward building a worldwide network that can send messages that can’t be wiretapped or cracked through conventional methods. 14
Image: Jin Liwang
“It moves the challenge for an eavesdropper to a different domain,” said Alexander Ling, principal investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore. “Lots of people around the world think having secure communications at a quantum level is important. The Europeans, the Americans had the lead, but now the Chinese are showing the way forward.” Quantum communications use subatomic particles to securely communicate between two points. A hacker trying to crack the message changes its form in a way that would alert the sender and cause the message to be altered or deleted. Researchers around the world have successfully sent quantum messages by land. But a true satellite-based network would make it possible to send quickly encrypted messages in an instant around the world and open the door to other possible uses of the technology. Cybersecurity has been a major focus in recent years for China, which has pushed regulations aimed at limiting technology imported from the U.S. in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations of widespread surveillance by the U.S. through the use of American hardware. China has in turn been repeatedly accused by the U.S. of hacking into computer systems to steal commercial secrets and information that could harm American national security. China has rejected claims that it runs a statesponsored hacking program and says that it is among the leading victims of cybercrime. Quantum messaging could become a major defense against hackers and have applications 17
ranging from military and government communications to online shopping. The biggest challenge, Ling said, is being able to orient the satellite with pinpoint accuracy to a location on Earth where it can send and receive data without being affected by any disturbances in Earth’s atmosphere. The results of China’s tests will be closely watched by other research teams, he said. “It’s very difficult to point the satellite accurately,” Ling said. “You’re trying to send a beam of light from a satellite that’s 500 kilometers (310 miles) above you.” Hoi Fung Chau, a professor and quantum communications researcher at Hong Kong University, said that it was too soon to say if the tests will succeed, but added he expected quantum messages by satellite to become the global standard eventually. “The theory is already there, the technology is almost there,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.” The launch is a major triumph for China, which has spent years researching quantum technology and developing the satellite and other uses for it. China has previously announced the construction of a quantum link between Beijing and Shanghai that would be used by government agencies and banks. Pan Jianwei, chief scientist on the satellite project, was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying the launch proved China was no longer a follower in information technology, but “one of the leaders guiding future IT achievements.”
IOC FIGHTS CYBERATTACKS DURING OLYMPICS
The International Olympic Committee is fending off massive cyberattacks during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. “Throughout the games, the same in London (in 2012) when you are the center of attention of the world, there are massive attempts everyday all day long to break our security,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the Associated Press. “We have it all year round anyway but it’s particularly intense at the moment.” The IOC is coming under “regular attack,” he said. The Court of Arbitration for Sport warned earlier this week of attempts to break into its website. Image: Ricardo Moraes
The sports court is overseeing doping sanctions at the Olympics for the first time. The World Anti-Doping Agency has disclosed a successful breach of its system by hackers, who gained access to Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova’s account for the ADAMS database, which tracks athletes for drug testing. The 800-meter runner and her husband provided evidence that exposed the doping scandal in Russian track and field. Stepanova has been barred from competing in Rio because she served a past doping ban. WADA said Saturday that Stepanova’s password for ADAMS was “illegally obtained, which allowed a perpetrator to access her account.” The database is used by athletes to enter so-called “whereabouts” information which they are obliged to provide in order to make themselves available for drug testing outside competitions. Someone with an athlete’s credentials could potentially change that information, sending testers to the wrong location, potentially leading to athletes being wrongly blamed for missing a test. Users of the database have been receiving so-called phishing emails disguised as official WADA communications requesting their login details. “Through WADA’s regular security monitoring of ADAMS, the agency noted that someone, other than Ms. Stepanova, had accessed her account,” the agency said. “WADA immediately locked Ms. Stepanova’s account to prevent further access and notified her of the situation.” 25
HOTELS IN 10 STATES AND DC MAY HAVE BEEN HIT BY HACKERS
Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott and Westin hotels in 10 states and the District of Columbia may have been targeted by hackers for months. According to the hotel operator HEI Hotels & Resorts, malware put into place in at least 20 locations may have collected names, card account numbers, card expiration dates and verification codes. Data from customers may have been collected from early December, through late June. At some properties, HEI said, data collection may have begun as early as March 2015 at hotel locations where people bought food or drinks. 27
HEI said in a company release that “We are treating this matter as a top priority, and took steps to address and contain this incident promptly after it was discovered.” HEI said that once it found out about the problem it transitioned payment card processing to a stand-alone system that’s completely separate from the rest of its network. It disabled the malware and is in the process of reconfiguring various components of its network and payment systems to make them more secure. The company said it’s continuing to cooperate with the law enforcement investigation and coordinating with banks and payment card companies. Anyone who used a card at HEI hotels in the given time frame should review their account statements and look for discrepancies or unusual activity, both over the past several months and going forward, the company said. Customers who notice anything out of place should contact their credit or debit card issuer. Customers may also visit www.heihotels. com/notice for additional information about the incident. The company says the breach has been contained and customers can safely use cards at all of its properties.
TESLA: REMOVAL OF ‘AUTOPILOT’ FROM CHINESE SITE A MISTAKE
Tesla said Monday that the term “Autopilot” was mistakenly removed from the electric car maker’s website for China, but it has been restored. The company said it did revise some language on the site to make it clearer to drivers that Autopilot is a driver-assist system and not a selfdriving system. Tesla has been under pressure to stop using the term Autopilot in the U.S. following the death of an Ohio tech company owner in a Florida crash involving the system. Last week, a driver in Beijing relying on Autopilot mode sideswiped a car parked on the side of the road. Tesla says the driver’s hands weren’t detected on the steering wheel during the crash. The company says drivers using Autopilot must keep their hands on the wheel and be ready to take over. Image: Zhang Chenlin
Revisions to the language on websites have been under way for weeks to address “discrepancies across languages,” the Palo Alto, California, company said in a statement. The timing had nothing to do with current events or articles, and Tesla has no plans to remove any references to Autopilot from any website, spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn said. Tesla’s Autopilot system uses cameras, radar and computers to detect objects and automatically brake if the car is about to hit something. It also can steer the car to keep it centered in its lane. The company says that before Autopilot can be used, drivers must acknowledge that it’s an “assist feature.”
In July, Consumer Reports magazine said the company should drop the name because it gives car owners too much trust in their car’s ability to drive itself. The influential magazine also said that Tesla should disconnect the automatic steering system until it’s updated to make sure a driver’s hands are on the wheel at all times. Tesla’s system currently warns drivers after a few minutes of their hands being off the wheel. At the time, Tesla said data it collects show drivers who use Autopilot are safer than those who don’t.
SNOWDEN: EXPOSURE OF ALLEGED NSA TOOLS MAY BE WARNING TO US
The exposure of malicious software purportedly linked to the National Security Agency is likely a message from Moscow, former intelligence worker Edward Snowden said Tuesday, adding a layer of intrigue to a leak that has set the information security world abuzz. Technical experts have spent the past day or so picking apart a suite of tools allegedly stolen from the Equation Group , a powerful squad of hackers which some have tied to the NSA. The tools materialized as part of an internet electronic auction set up by a group calling itself â€œShadow Brokers,â€? which has promised to leak more data to whoever puts in a winning bid. In a series of messages posted to Twitter, Snowden suggested the leak was the fruit of a Russian attack on an NSA-controlled server and 35
could be aimed at heading off U.S. retaliation over allegations that the Kremlin is interfering in the U.S. electoral process. “Circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom indicates Russian responsibility,” Snowden said. “This leak is likely a warning that someone can prove U.S. responsibility for any attacks that originated from this malware server. That could have significant foreign policy consequences. Particularly if any of those operations targeted U.S. allies. Particularly if any of those operations targeted elections.” Snowden didn’t return messages seeking additional comment. The NSA didn’t return emails seeking comment on his claim. Messages sent to an address registered by the Shadow Brokers were also not returned. Allegations of Russian subversion have been hotly debated following the hack of the Democratic National Committee, an operation
which Democratic politicians, security companies and several outside experts have blamed on the Kremlin. Russian officials have dismissed the claims as paranoid or ridiculous, so the message delivered by Snowden - who resides at an undisclosed location in Moscow under the protection of the Russian government - struck many as significant. Academic Thomas Rid, whose book “Rise of the Machines” traces the earliest known Kremlinlinked computer hacking campaign in the U.S., said Snowden’s declaration would likely be interpreted as “shrewd messaging” from Russian intelligence. Matt Suiche, the founder of United Arab Emirates-based cybersecurity startup Comae Technologies, said he and others looking through the data were convinced it came from the NSA. “There’s zero debate so far,” he said in a telephone interview.
KENNY BAKER, WHO PLAYED R2-D2 IN ‘STAR WARS,’ DEAD AT 81
Kenny Baker played the lovable droid R2-D2 in the “Star Wars” films, achieving cult status and fans’ adulation without showing his face or speaking any lines. The 3-foot 8-inch (1.1 meter) performer - a word he preferred to actor - inside the waste-binshaped costume has died at 81. Baker’s nephew and carer, Drew Myerscough, said he found Baker dead Saturday (13) at his home in Preston, northwest England. Myerscough told Sky News that Baker had suffered years of breathing problems, “which he had borne very bravely.” He said the affection of “Star Wars” fans around the world “kept him going, without any doubt.” 38
“He was amazed that, even after 30-odd years, the fans still basically adored him,” Myerscough said. Baker’s agent, Johnny Mans, confirmed his death. He said Baker was “one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet, and a fabulous and talented performer.” Mark Hamill, the “Star Wars” series’ Luke Skywalker, tweeted: “Goodbye #KennyBaker A lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism & determination. He WAS the droid I was looking for!” - a reference to a famous line from the first film. Actor Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in three “Star Wars” movies, tweeted: “So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny.” Born to a music-loving family in the central England city of Birmingham on Aug 24, 1934, Baker started performing at 16 as part of a troupe called “Burton Lester’s Midgets.” Baker told The Associated Press in 1985 that Burton had asked him “What can you do?’ I said I could roller skate, ride a bike and whistle. I joined them and did all that, and conjuring tricks, played drums and comedy routines as well.” Baker later worked as a DJ and circus clown, and as half a comedy-musical duo called the MiniTones with Jack Purvis, who also appeared in the “Star Wars” films. Fame came when he was cast as the actor inside R2-D2’s cylindrical robot costume in 1977’s “Star Wars.” “I worked the levers,” he told the AP.
Baker said he initially turned down the part. In an interview on his website, he said he told director George Lucas “I don’t want to be stuck in a robot, what for, for goodness sake?” Eventually, he said he told Lucas, “I’ll help you out.” Even though R2-D2’s dialogue amounted only to beeps and whistles, the droid and his lanky friend C-3PO became two of the series’ most beloved characters. Baker returned for “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” and reprised the role in three prequels released between 1999 and 2005. Despite their onscreen rapport, Baker and Anthony Daniels, who played the protocol droid C-3P0, weren’t close. Baker accused Daniels of being snobbish; Daniels was once quoted by Britain’s Daily Mirror as saying Baker “might as well be a bucket.” Baker also appeared in films including “The Elephant Man,”‘’Time Bandits,”‘’Willow” and “Labyrinth.” Baker’s wife Eileen died in 1993. The couple had two sons.
Image: Michaela Rehle
Being one of the biggest companies in the world doesn’t happen by accident. Apple has consistently been one of these enormous companies, currently topping Forbes’ ‘World’s Most Valuable Brands’ list, but how did they get there? The company has a history of providing reliable and powerful tech, which is obviously the main factor in their success, but the Apple brand encompasses a whole lot more than this. Building a brand from the bottom up isn’t just about the product. The culture surrounding the company is also important. There’s no point in creating a wonderful product if nobody trusts the people making and selling it. Apple 48
has carefully built consumer relations through trust, and it is this trust that allows people to be confident in purchasing their products, proven in their sales figures, with a staggering 1 billion iPhones sold. However, doubts have been shown about the iPhone 7, Appleâ€™s newest upcoming smartphone. Worries have been voiced about the technology behind the phone, and whether it can stand shoulder to shoulder with the latest big hitters of the smartphone world, like the Samsung Galaxy S7. On the other hand, Apple has such an excellent reputation for delivering smart, stylish technology that surely itâ€™s best to trust them? 49
THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB(S) Apple’s late, legendary co-founder Steve Jobs was an iconic figure, and not just for his contributions to the revolutionary company.“We started out to get a computer in the hands of everyday people” sums up just one part of Jobs’ driven motivation. This huge idea of making computer technology widely available to anyone who wanted it helped Apple create the perfect product for any customer and statements like this helped them trust the company. Despite a turbulent rise to success, Steve Jobs never lost faith in Apple, the company he loved, and helped found. The way he enthused about Apple and the technology they created was infectious and inspiring. Customers saw that Jobs saw the world differently, and constantly wanted to put change, and superior technology, in the hands of consumers. But Jobs was much more than just the face of the company; he was admired separately to Apple. Seeing a man in jeans and sneakers is not what most people think of when they picture a speech about technology, but Steve Jobs was that man. He constantly bucked conventions, and followed his inner conventions, and become the rock star of technology. His extraordinary vision helped define the world of technology and was a huge factor in why Apple succeeded in such a spectacular manner. This personality helped give people faith in the company and helped them trust the products it released.
QUALITY ASSURED Apple has a well-established reputation for producing high quality, high spec technology, backed by an excellent support service. With multiple members of staff reiterating the companyâ€™s focus on quality, rather than profits, there is a lot of emphasis on the superiority of Apple products. In fact, products like the iPhone, or MacBook, have become synonymous with high-end quality and coolness. With their sleek lines, cool colours, and partly-eaten Apple logos, their devices stand out in the market. Buying one of these items feels like an investment in quality and luxury, thanks to the superior build quality. All MacBooks are built from a single piece of aluminium, which provides lightness and strength, and alongside their sandblasted exteriors, make for a high-end, strong (yet light) laptop. MacBooks are, in fact, consistently named as the best laptop brand to trust. iPhones combine smooth curves, beautiful colours and Retina HD displays (on newer models) to make them functional, yet elegant. Tie this in with the consistently efficient iOS or OS X, created specifically for iPhones and MacBooks respectively, and you have a device you can trust. With 85% of all mobile device failures in Q4 of 2015 coming from Android handsets, iOS seems like the more reliable option. Apple knows exactly what itâ€™s doing, and that is creating sturdy, quality products for consumers to enjoy.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF APPLE Apple has never published a ‘mission statement’, and yet the company remains pretty transparent on what it stands for. Former CEO Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook often give speeches, and talk about what Apple means, and how they think. Cook recently gave more insight about the company in an interview, leading to some very interesting thoughts about Apple. Summarising these thoughts really emphasises the idea that Apple just wants to make really good products. The fact that Cook says ‘we believe we’re on the face of the Earth to make good products’ and doesn’t mention profit or income at all shows that they’re focused on the technology they create, rather than what they make out of said technology. ‘We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make’ ensures that Apple can continuously improve and better these technologies, as they have free reign over them. Combine this with the line about ‘saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us’ gives the impression of a company that truly cares about delivering the best service it can to each and every customer. However, it is not only the customer that Apple is making sure to look after. The firm is constantly finding more ways to aid the environment, and counter the inevitable impact that tech production has. In 2015, 93% of Apple’s energy came from renewable sources, and the team are still looking for ways to try and hit 100%, which would be an incredible feat. Image: Stephen Lam
Liam â€“ An Innovation Story
They have also designed robots to recycle old iPhones, removed lead, arsenic and mercury out of their devices, and make sure that over 99% of the paper in their packaging is recycled or sustainable. A company that goes to these lengths obviously cares a great deal about not only the people buying their product but the effects that creating these products can have on the world around us. Demonstrating these ethics makes Apple a lot easier to trust, and have faith in.
HAPPY CUSTOMERS? Despite Apple focussing their brand on looking after their customers, and putting their satisfaction at the forefront of what they do, is that reflected in how their consumers view them? Well yes, as it happens! In 2016â€™s American Customer Satisfaction Index, Apple inched ahead of their biggest rivals Samsung, to a score of 81 out of 100, making them the industry leader. The newest addition to the Apple range, the Apple Watch, was also a huge hit with customers, with 97% customer satisfaction, actually rising above the levels recorded for the iPhone and iPad when they were released. As well as providing their customers with satisfactory products, they take that a step further and listen to them closely, taking feedback on board. For example, when iOS 8 was released, a lot of problems with installation arose, and the sheer volume of complaints was enormous. Apple listened to this, and took note when creating and releasing iOS 9, and will make further improvements with the fall release of iOS 10. 58
Image: Toru Hanai
SO SHOULD WE TRUST THEM? Apple has done a lot to get where they are now, fostering a reputation built on quality and care. The company has been going for 40 years, which is no small feat within the ever-changing tech industry, and has consistently produced popular, high-quality products tailored to the consumerâ€™s needs. The iPhone 7 may not be perfect, and might not appeal to everyone, but the experience and knowledge displayed in previous iPhones should give worried potential purchasers faith, both in Apple and the 7. As we learn even more about the phone, more concerns will be laid to rest, making the choice of whether to upgrade or swap a bit easier!
by Benjamin Kerry & Gavin Lenaghan
GERMANY WARNS ON RISKS OF PLAYING ‘POKEMON GO’ AT AIRPORTS
Police and the airport operators’ association in Germany are warning of the potential dangers of playing “Pokemon Go” in some airport areas. They say so-called Pokestops beyond security controls should be deleted to prevent possible incidents. “Pokemon Go” was rolled out in Germany in midJuly. Federal police and airport association ADV said Monday that playing it at airports can bring “special dangers and risks.” 62
They suggest that players avoiding security checks or opening emergency doors to catch their virtual quarry could cause “widereaching police measures and possibly civil damages claims.” Separately, police in the city of Osnabrueck said they’d rescued a man who “apparently wanted to catch a particular Pokemon” from railway tracks. They said the inebriated 22-year-old told them his cellphone led him to the spot Sunday morning.
At what was once a remote desert outpost with spotty cell service and little infrastructure other than the shell of a quarter-billion-dollar futuristic hangar, Christine Anderson has watched the transformation of Spaceport America from her office window. The hangar sits just to the south, its patina metal paneling and glass walls rising from the valley floor. It’s Anderson’s favorite view. “I always get inspired,” she said of being at the spaceport. “It sounds so trite, ‘the dawn of the new space age,’ but you know it really is. I think it’s just going to be amazing what we in our lifetime get to see happening in this industry.” Even though commercial flights at Spaceport America have yet to begin, Anderson - executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority - says her job is done as the spaceport stands ready for anchor tenant Virgin Galactic and other companies working in the industry. Anderson announced her resignation this summer. Her last day is next week, and the search is underway for her successor. Anderson told The Associated Press the decision to leave was difficult but noted she initially signed up for only a year. She has served in the position now for more than five years. “I figured, ‘This sounds fun. Let’s see if I can help out for a year as part of the transition process,’” she said. “Of course, I got so involved and so excited about the job and the commercial space industry that one year led to the next and the next and the next.”
It hasn’t been easy. There were numerous contracts to manage during a rocky construction period. Then there were delays and other setbacks as Virgin Galactic worked to develop and test its spacecraft.
“There are naysayers,” she said. “I think you just have to maintain the high road with all of that because it’s an important project, and with any new thing - this whole spaceport business is new - you just have to have patience.”
Some state legislators called for pulling the plug, adding fuel to criticisms that the project - first initiated by former Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, and British billionaire Richard Branson - was a boondoggle.
Spaceport Authority board chairman Rick Holdridge praised Anderson after news broke of her resignation. He said she took a collection of contracts that were barely in place and built a fully functional spaceport.
Anderson was grilled at legislative hearings. She held fast to the idea that the spaceport would be a game changer for New Mexico.
“I don’t think the people of New Mexico realize what she has done for the state,” he said. After beefing up its business plan more than a year ago, the spaceport has attracted new customers and hosted events for the public. The next open house will be in October. Officials also are in discussions with three major aerospace companies interested in using it as a testing ground.
Image: Mark Greenberg
Many companies have nondisclosure agreements that prevent spaceport officials from talking about the projects being conducted at the facility, Anderson said. While the names may remain secret, Anderson said the effect on the bottom line is welcome. Spaceport America is on track this year to have three-quarters of its operating budget covered by revenues. Next year, that’s projected to be 90 percent.
The goal is to have operations paid entirely by lease revenues and other user fees given that the state and taxpayers in southern New Mexico already have contributed about $220 million to construct what is the nation’s first purpose-built spaceport. Another six rocket launches are planned over the next six months, and the spaceport is readying to serve as a base for a major project with Boeing and the adjacent White Sands Missile Range as researchers work on a transportation system that can shuttle cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station. After starting with little, Anderson said the spaceport is on the right track. “When I got here in 2011, it was a construction site. You couldn’t go out there without your hard hat on,” she said. “It was tough because it is in the middle of nowhere. We actually had to build a whole city in the middle of nowhere.” Stretching across 28 square miles of the Jornada del Norte desert basin north of Las Cruces,
the spaceport also benefits from thousands of square miles of restricted air space belonging to the missile range. That remoteness is drawing customers, Anderson said. “They value the privacy and our airspace and our 24-7 security,” she said. “This is a competitive industry, and they’re doing a lot of aerospace testing that they don’t want other people to necessarily keep tabs on.” Anderson, who spent 30 years with the U.S. Air Force as a civilian before heading up the spaceport authority, said the one thing she’ll miss is being in the front row as the burgeoning industry grows. The tons of files and boxes of notes she has amassed have been handed down to her crew. “I thoroughly believe in the commercial space industry, and I think we’ve gotten to that place where we can pass the baton,” she said.
GAWKER SOLD TO UNIVISION IN AFTERMATH OF HULK HOGAN CASE
Spanish-language broadcaster Univision won an auction Tuesday for Gawker Media, which was put on the block in the aftermath of a $140 million judgment against it in the Hulk Hogan invasion-of-privacy case. Univision is paying $135 million for the online gossip and news publisher, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the deal had not been formally announced. Expanding from its Spanish-language base, Univision has been investing in media properties aimed at young people, including taking a stake in satirical website The Onion in January. In April, it said it was taking full control of Fusion, a TV channel and website aimed at English-speaking young people it had launched with ABC in 2013. 75
Univision outbid Ziff Davis, the owner of tech and gaming sites, in the auction for Gawker Media. They were the only two bidders, according to a person familiar with the bankruptcy auction. A judge must still approve the sale at a hearing Thursday. Gawker Media properties include its namesake site, the women-focused Jezebel, tech-oriented Gizmodo and sports site Deadspin. Their breezy and often confrontational style has been influential in the publishing world. But it filed for bankruptcy in June, about three months after Hogan won his lawsuit against the 14-year-old company. Gawker founder, Nick Denton, a former Financial Times journalist, also filed for personal bankruptcy. Denton said Tuesday that the sale to Univision means “our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership disentangled from the legal campaign against the company.” Hogan, a former professional wrestler whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued over a tape posted by Gawker showing him having sex with a friend’s wife. The case gained additional notoriety when it was revealed Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel had secretly bankrolled Hogan’s lawsuit. Thiel was outed as gay by a Gawker-owned website in 2007. Thiel’s role paying for the litigation against Gawker raised fears about the power of wealthy people to go after publications they dislike. Gawker argued in the Hogan case that it was protected by the First Amendment. 77
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#04 – Messenger By Facebook, Inc. Category: Social Networking Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#05 – Instagram By Instagram, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#06 – Pokémon GO By Niantic, Inc. Category: Games Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#07 – Google Maps By Google, Inc. Category: Navigation Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#08 – Facebook By Facebook, Inc. Category: Social Networking Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#09 – YouTube By Google, Inc. Category: Photo & Video Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#10 – Remind: Safe Classroom Communication By remind101 Category: Education Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#01 – OS X El Capitan By Apple Category: Utilities Compatibility: OS X 10.6.8 or later
#02 – Xcode By Apple Category: Developer Tools Compatibility: OS X 10.11 or later
#03 – Kindle By AMZN Mobile LLC Category: Reference Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later
#04 – Microsoft Remote Desktop By Microsoft Corporation Category: Business Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#05 – App for Instagram - Instant at your desktop! By Joacim Ståhl Category: Social Networking Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
#06 – Microsoft OneNote By Microsoft Corporation Category: Productivity Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later
#07 – The Unarchiver By Dag Agren Category: Utilities Compatibility: OS X 10.6.0 or later, 64-bit processor
#08 – ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice By ooVoo LLC Category: Social Networking Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#09 – OneDrive By Microsoft Corporation Category: Productivity Compatibility: OS X 10.9.0 or later, 64-bit processor
#10 – Twitter By Twitter, Inc. Category: Social Networking Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
Mac OS X 79
#01 –Endless Ducker By Dude Perfect Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#02 – Minecraft: Pocket Edition By Mojang Category: Games / Price: $6.99 Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#03 – Reigns By Devolver Digital Category: Games / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 9.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#04 – Moji Maker™ By AppMoji, Inc. Category: Entertainment / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#05 – Heads Up! By Warner Bros. Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#06 – Plague Inc. By Ndemic Creations Category: Games / Price: $0.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#07 – Facetune By Lightricks Ltd. Category: Photo & Video / Price: $3.99 Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#08 – 7 Minute Workout Challenge By Fitness Guide Inc Category: Health & Fitness / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#09 – Geometry Dash By RobTop Games AB Category: Games / Price: $1.99 Requires iOS 5.1.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#10 – Bloons TD 5 By Ninja Kiwi Category: Games / Price: $2.99 Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
#01 – GarageBand By Apple Category: Music / Price: $4.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later
#02 – Notability By Ginger Labs Category: Productivity / Price: $5.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor
#03 – Disk Cleaner By Pocket Bits LLC Category: Utilities / Price: $5.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor
#04 – Logic Pro X By Apple Category: Music / Price: $199.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
#05 – The Sims™ 2: Super Collection By Aspyr Media, Inc. Category: Games / Price: $29.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.9.2 or later
#06 – Final Cut Pro By Apple Category: Video / Price: $299.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.10.4 or later, 64-bit processor
#07 – Magnet By CrowdCafé Category: Productivity / Price: $0.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor
#08 – OS X Server By Apple Category: Utilities / Price: $19.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.11.6 or later
#09 – Airmail 3 By Bloop S.R.L. Category: Utilities / Price: $9.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor
#10 – Disk Doctor - Clean Your Drive and Free Up Space By FIPLAB Ltd Category: Utilities / Price: $2.99 Compatibility: OS X 10.7.3 or later, 64-bit processor
Mac OS X 81
The Nice Guys A mismatched pair of private eyes investigates the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.
FIVE FACTS: 1. In the elevator scene, the same music plays in the background as in the elevator scene in The Blues Brothers (1980). 2. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling were both child actors who dropped out of high school to pursue their careers, and never had formal training in acting.
by Shane Black Genre: Thriller Released: 2016 Price: $14.99
3. Shane Black has also directed Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. 4. Similarly to the studio’s marketing campaign for Inherent Vice (2014), Warner Bros. released a 70s-style trailer, complete with Betamax artifacts, an optical soundtrack audio crackle, and an “introducing” credit for Kim Basinger. 5. Jack Kilmer – who plays the character of Chet - is the son of Val Kilmer. Shane Black directed Val in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005).
Joshy After his engagement ends, a young man uses his already-planned bachelor party to live it up and reconnect with his friends.
FIVE FACTS: 1. Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate both guest starred on Parks and Recreation which starred Aubrey Plaza. 2. Devendra Banhart composed the score for the movie. 3. Production on the movie lasted 15 days, only shooting off a 20-page outline, with the rest of the dialogue improvised by the cast. 4. The movie had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. 5. Thomas Middleditch (Josh) has also starred in The Wolf of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and The Campaign.
by Jeff Baena Genre: Comedy Released: 2016 Price: $12.99
Trailer For The Series
Stranger Things, Vol. 1 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack) Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein The soundtrack to the hit Netflix series is highly reminiscent of the 80s, and will appeal to horror and electronic music fans alike. Genre: Soundtrack Released: Aug 12, 2016 36 Songs Price: $9.99
FIVE FACTS: 1. Currently IMDB’s most popular TV show. 2. Winona Ryder is admittedly a late bloomer in terms of electronic devices and hereby didn’t know what streaming was, when she was approached for this Netflix series. 3. The series’ logo resembles the font used on the covers for the original 1980s editions of Stephen King novels, notably Cujo and Christine. 4. The Duffer Brothers originally wanted to make the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s “IT” but were turned down. They then went on to make Stranger Things, playing homage to Stephen King movies. 5. The series heavily references 80s films, especially the work of Steven Spielberg, most notable ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Poltergeist.
‘Main theme for the show ’
Songs from Final Fantasy XV Florence + The Machine British indie legends Florence and the Machine have released three songs set to be used on the upcoming Final Fantasy XV video game – a must-buy for fans of the band or fans of the game alike.
FIVE FACTS: 1. ‘Stand By Me’ is a cover of a Ben E. King song, whilst the other two tracks are originals. 2. Final Fantasy XV is set to be released on November 29th 2016. 3. Florence and the Machine have been nominated for dozens of awards, winning 22 of them. 4. The game is set to be an open world action role-playing game. 5. The fifteenth main game in the Final Fantasy franchise.
Genre: Alternative Released: Aug 12, 2016 3 Songs Price: $2.99
‘Too Much Is Never Enough’
‘I Will Be’
BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘SAUSAGE PARTY’ SCARFS UP $34.3 MILLION
It was a feast for the raunchy animated comedy “Sausage Party” at the box office this weekend. The R-rated pic about anthropomorphized hot dogs and other grocery store foodstuffs earned $34.3 million out of the gate against a modest $19 million budget. “Sausage Party” still came in second to “Suicide Squad,” which held on to the top spot again with $43.5 million in weekend two. The Warner Bros. and DC Comics film has grossed $222.6 million to date. In third place, Disney’s remake of “Pete’s Dragon” stayed earthbound with only $21.5 million. The CG and live-action hybrid cost an estimated $65 million to produce. 98
Holdovers “Jason Bourne” and “Bad Moms” rounded out the top five with $13.8 million and $11.4 million, respectively. 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:
“Suicide Squad,” Warner Bros., $43,536,013, 4,255 locations, $10,232 average, $222,640,741, 2 weeks.
“Sausage Party,” Sony, $34,263,534, 3,103 locations, $11,042 average, $34,263,534, 1 week.
“Pete’s Dragon,” Disney, $21,514,095, 3,702 locations, $5,811 average, $21,514,095, 1 week.
“Jason Bourne,” Universal, $13,846,875, 3,528 locations, $3,925 average, $127,009,220, 3 weeks.
“Bad Moms,” STX Entertainment, $11,362,783, 3,188 locations, $3,564 average, $71,374,076, 3 weeks.
“The Secret Life Of Pets,” Universal, $9,064,565, 2,958 locations, $3,064 average, $336,166,640, 6 weeks.
“Star Trek Beyond,” Paramount, $6,892,793, 2,577 locations, $2,675 average, $139,772,742, 4 weeks.
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Paramount, $6,601,313, 1,528 locations, $4,320 average, $6,601,313, 1 week.
“Nine Lives,” EuropaCorp, $3,526,166, 2,264 locations, $1,557 average, $13,576,991, 2 weeks.
“Lights Out,” Warner Bros., $3,215,446, 1,652 locations, $1,946 average, $61,130,264, 4 weeks.
“Nerve,” Lionsgate, $2,639,399, 1,777 locations, $1,485 average, $33,087,794, 3 weeks.
“Ghostbusters,” Sony, $2,272,206, 1,437 locations, $1,581 average, $121,681,208, 5 weeks.
“Ice Age: Collision Course,” 20th Century Fox, $2,053,831, 1,548 locations, $1,327 average, $58,727,102, 4 weeks.
“Finding Dory,” Disney, $1,312,219, 631 locations, $2,080 average, $476,725,279, 9 weeks.
“Anthropoid,” Bleecker Street, $1,233,516, 452 locations, $2,729 average, $1,233,516, 1 week.
“Cafe Society,” Lionsgate, $937,696, 455 locations, $2,061 average, $8,480,882, 5 weeks.
“Rustom,” Independent Indian, $773,612, 133 locations, $5,817 average, $773,612, 1 week.
“Indignation,” Roadside Attractions, $755,475, 267 locations, $2,829 average, $1,505,571, 3 weeks.
“Mohenjo Daro,” UTV Communications, $747,791, 246 locations, $3,040 average, $747,791, 1 week.
“Hell Or High Water,” Lionsgate, $621,329, 32 locations, $19,417 average, $621,329, 1 week.
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 Inc3.; 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.
JASON SUDEIKIS WILL LEAD STAGE PLAY OF ‘DEAD POETS SOCIETY’
Former “Saturday Night Live” star Jason Sudeikis will lead the cast of the world premiere stage adaptation of “Dead Poets Society.” Classic Stage Company said Tuesday that the “Horrible Bosses” and “The Last Man on Earth” actor will play the same inspirational teacher John Keating that Robin Williams played in the hit film. The story is about a straight-laced, conformist boys’ prep school whose harmony is disturbed when Keating arrives to teach English. Performances begin in October. More cast members will be announced later. Academy Award winner Tom Schulman is adapting his screenplay “Dead Poets Society” for the stage and Classic Stage Company incoming artistic director John Doyle will direct. Sudeikis became a regular cast member of “SNL” in 2005 and was known for mimicking Joe Biden and Mitt Romney. 108
Image: Andrew H. Walker
SURVEY: TOO MANY NEW SMARTPHONE MODELS RELEASED EACH YEAR
Consumers think smartphone makers are releasing too many new models each year, a survey showed Tuesday. The survey conducted in six countries, commissioned by the environmental group Greenpeace, showed that more than half of those who responded would prefer to change their phones less frequently. Handset devices are one of the most frequently replaced electronics products. The top cellphone companies, Samsung and Apple, launch new flagship phone models at least once every year, showing off the latest display and mobile processor technologies. Phone makers typically upgrade their cheaper lineups as well. 111
“Over half of respondents across the countries surveyed agree that manufacturers are releasing too many new models, many designed to only last a few years,” said Chih An Lee, global IT campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia. “In fact, most users actually want their phones to be more easily dismantled, repaired and recycled.” Frequent introduction of new models was not necessarily a bad thing for South Korean Kwon SunHo. “Even if each company releases one new phone every year or every six months, there are so many smartphone companies these days that it feels like new models are often released,” the 24-year-old college student said. “I think it is a good phenomenon because it drives down the prices of older products.” Kwon, who upgrades phones every two or three years, picks a model that is not the latest and doesn’t have the most cutting-edge features to save money. The survey revealed some differences in attitude toward phone repairs across countries. Chinese and South Koreans were more likely to have had their phones repaired than respondents in the U.S. or Germany. Nearly half of respondents in all six countries believed that phone manufacturers should be more responsible in making recycling of their phones easier. “If they give a discount to consumers who return their companies’ phones, they can increase consumer loyalty and help the environment as well,” Kwon said. 112
â€œI think it makes sense that manufacturers promote (recycling) as they know the components during production well,â€? said Choi Yunsu, a 28-year-old South Korean. Choi usually gives his old phones to his family or sells them to someone, and said he has never heard of recycling a smartphone. Respondents to the Greenpeace survey said battery life was an important feature for new smartphones. More than 90 percent of respondents in China, Mexico and South Korea said it is important for new smartphones to be easily repaired if damaged. Consumers in all countries also said that producing phones without hazardous chemicals is an important factor. Greenpeace polled 1,000 consumers each in the United States, Mexico, Russia, Germany, China and South Korea.
The nation’s transplant network is taking a longawaited step to ease a serious disparity: Where you live affects whether you get a timely liver transplant or die waiting. Desperate patients sometimes travel across the country to get on a shorter waiting list - if they can afford it. On Monday, the United Network for Organ Sharing is proposing a change, redrawing the map that governs how donated livers are distributed so patients wouldn’t need to leave home for better odds. “We want to make sure we give everyone a fair opportunity to get a liver transplant,” said Dr. Ryutaro Hirose, chairman of the liver transplant committee at UNOS, which runs the nation’s transplant system. “It’s pretty much long overdue.” The problem is that some parts of the country have fewer available organs, and higher demand for them, than others. That means someone in California or New York, among the toughest places to get a new liver, tends to be sicker before getting a transplant than someone in South Carolina or Washington state. “There’s a huge difference in the risk of death on that waiting list depending on where you live,” said Hirose, a transplant surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco. Shifting the boundaries that determine where a liver is offered first “matches better the organ supply and demand.” More than 14,600 people are on the waiting list for a new liver. Just over 7,100 received one last year - all but a few hundred from deceased donors - and more than 1,400 people died waiting. 119
The geographic disparity adds another hurdle. Livers are offered first to the sickest patients as determined by a ranking, a so-called MELD score, which uses laboratory tests to predict their current risk of death. The nation’s 11 transplant regions are subdivided into local areas with individual waiting lists, and there are wide variations in organ availability both within and between regions. Today, some regions are able to transplant patients before they’re super-sick - with MELD scores as low as 23 - while others can’t provide transplants until a patient’s MELD score reaches 35, meaning they’re at risk of death within weeks, Hirose said. It’s legal to move around for a better chance, if people know that and are able to. For example, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs lived in California but in 2009 had a transplant in Tennessee, which at the time had one of the shortest waits. UNOS’ proposed fix is similar to how politicians redraw voting maps: divide the nation into eight new “districts” for liver transplants. That allows wider sharing and shifts the boundaries to better mix areas where more potential donors live with areas that have longer waiting lists. The goal is for patients to have similar MELD scores at the time of transplant no matter where they live. Research models suggested the change would mean the less sick in some places, such as in the South and Northwest, would wait a little longer so that sicker people elsewhere can get a new organ a little sooner. UNOS has debated how to change liver distribution for several years, a process Hirose called contentious as some transplant centers with shorter waits didn’t want to lose them. The 120
proposal will be open for comment from the public - check https://optn.transplant.hrsa. gov/ - through mid-October before any changes are finalized. Sick patients shouldn’t have to leave home to improve their odds of a transplant, said liver recipient Myles Kane. He was shocked when his own doctors in New York urged the Brooklyn man to explore that option after an autoimmune disease caused his liver to fail at age 33. “There’s this magical window where you have to be the sickest person on the list, but if you die from that sickness - it’s a real narrow window,” said Kane, who eventually got on a shorter waiting list in North Carolina, where his girlfriend’s parents lived. They gave Kane a place to stay for three months while recuperating from his December 2013 transplant; he met other patients who had to spend months in hotels. The transplant chief at a leading liver center welcomed the proposed change. “The distribution of organs is not a right, it’s a gift. We want to try to allocate that gift in the most fair way possible, the way that does the greatest good,” said Dr. Abhinav Humar of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who isn’t part of the UNOS committee. Because a piece of a liver can regrow, patients can avoid the transplant wait if they’re able to find a living donor, he noted. But ultimately, more organs from deceased donors are needed. With the proposed remapping, “we’re just changing the way the pie is distributed,” Humar said. “The best solution would still be to make the pie bigger.” 122
BUFFETT’S COMPANY ADDS TO STAKES IN APPLE AND PHILLIPS 66
Warren Buffett’s company is taking an even bigger bite of Apple stock and adding to its already sizeable stake in Phillips 66. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed an update with regulators Monday on its roughly $130 billion U.S. stock portfolio. Berkshire said it held 15.2 million Apple Inc. shares at the end of June, up from the 9.8 million share stake it first disclosed in the spring. The Apple investment raises eyebrows because Buffett has always been reluctant to invest in technology companies. It may have been the work of one of Berkshire’s two other investment managers. The quarterly filings don’t disclose who is managing Berkshire’s Apple investments, and Berkshire officials don’t generally comment on the filings. 124
Image: Norm Betts
Buffett tends to handle the larger investments in Berkshire’s portfolio, such as IBM, Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola. He has said that investments of less than $1 billion are likely to be the work of Ted Weschler or Todd Combs, who each handle about $9 billion for Berkshire. At the end of June, Berkshire held 78.8 million Phillips 66 shares, which represents about 15 percent of the oil refiner’s stock. That’s up from 75.6 million shares three months earlier. Buffett’s company cut its Wal-Mart Stores Inc. stake to 40.2 million shares in June from 55.2 million in the spring. During the second quarter, Berkshire also made several other changes in its portfolio, including: - Increasing its stake in Liberty Media Corp. to 37.5 million shares from 30 million. - Reducing its Suncor Energy Inc. holdings to 22.3 million shares from 30 million shares. - Increasing its Liberty Global PLC stake to 30.7 million shares from 23.8 million. Besides investments, Berkshire owns more than 90 companies in a variety of industries, including insurance, utilities, BNSF railroad, furniture and jewelry.
GOOGLE’S DUO APP JOINS CROWDED FIELD OF VIDEO CALLING
Knock, knock, Google’s video chatting app has arrived. The app, dubbed Duo, represents Google’s response to other popular video calling options, including Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype and Facebook’s Messenger app. Duo isn’t much different from the other video chatting services, except that it gives a glimpse at who is making the call, helping the recipient decide whether to answer. Google calls this feature, “Knock, knock.” The new app, announced in May, is being released Tuesday as a free service for phones running on Google’s Android operating system as well as Apple’s iPhones. 129
Like FaceTime for iPhones, Duo only requires a personâ€™s phone number to connect. Many other services require both participants to have account logins to use their video calling options. Google has been offering video calling through its Hangout feature for several years, but the internet company is now tailoring that service for business meetings. Duo is being billed as a simpler, more reliable way to see friends and family as you talk to them. It is the first of two new mobile apps that Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., has planned for this summer. The Mountain View, California, company also is preparing to unveil a new messaging app called Allo featuring a robotic assistant that will suggest automated responses to texts.
CLOSER (FEAT. HALSEY)
HEATHENS TwenTy one piloTs
COLD WATER (FEAT. JUSTIN BIEBER & MØ)
TREAT YOU BETTER
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!
CHEAP THRILLS (FEAT. SEAN PAUL)
SIT STILL, LOOK PRETTY
STRANGER THINGS, VOL. 1 (A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK)
kyle dixon & miChael sTein
KINDA DON’T CARE (DELUXE VERSION)
BLURRYFACE TwenTy one piloTs
HOME OF THE STRANGE
younG The GianT
I’M NOT THE DEVIL
SUICIDE SQUAD: THE ALBUM
SAFARI (FEAT. PHARRELL WILLIAMS, BIA & SKY)
MAKE ME... (FEAT. G-EAZY)
ME AND BOBBY MCGEE (FEAT. GORDON LIGHTFOOT, RONNIE HAWKINS & WILLIE NELSON)
CANâ€™T STOP THE FEELING!
THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR (FEAT. RIHANNA)
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
NO LIMIT (FEAT. YOUNG THUG)
THIS HOUSE IS NOT FOR SALE
The real housewiVes of new jersey, season 7
The lasT ship, season 3
suiTs, season 6
The real housewiVes of oranGe CounTy, season 11
baChelor in paradise, season 3
HAVANA GOOD DAY
keepinG up wiTh The kardashians, season 12
baChelor in paradise, season 3
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
murder in The firsT, season 3
preTTy liTTle liars, season 7
suiTs, season 6
THE GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD
janeT eVanoViCh & phoef suTTon
A BEAUTIFUL FUNERAL: A NOVEL
mary kay andrews
THE BLESSING WAY
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
TRULY MADLY GUILTY
FORD SAYS IT WILL HAVE A FULLY AUTONOMOUS CAR BY 2021
Ford Motor Co. intends to have a fully driverless vehicle - no steering wheel, no pedals - on the road within five years. The car will initially be used for commercial ride-hailing or ride-sharing services; sales to consumers will come later. Ford CEO Mark Fields announced the new goal Tuesday at the company’s Silicon Valley campus in Palo Alto, California. “This is a transformational moment in our industry and it is a transformational moment for our company,” Fields said. Ford’s approach to the autonomous car breaks from many other companies, like Mercedes-Benz and Tesla Motors, which plan to gradually add self-driving capability to traditional cars. Instead, Ford is taking the same approach as Google, which supports moving directly to self-driving cars once the technology is perfected. 143
“We abandoned the stepping-stone approach of driver-assist technologies and decided we were going to take the full leap,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s chief technical officer, Nair says Ford will continue developing driverassist systems, like automatic emergency braking or lane departure warning. But making personal cars more autonomous is dangerous, he said, because Ford hasn’t figured out how to make sure drivers stay engaged and ready to take back the wheel when the car encounters an obstacle. Removing the driver solves that problem. Ford’s vehicle will be specifically designed for commercial mobility services, like taxi companies, and will be available in high volumes. Ford says personal ownership of selfdriving cars will come later.
The Dearborn, Michigan-based company also says it plans to double the staff at its Palo Alto research center by the end of next year to nearly 300 people. It will buy two more buildings next to its current building in order to expand its campus, Fields said. Ford said it will make several investments and partnerships to speed its development of autonomous vehicles. Ford and Chinese search engine company Baidu will each invest $75 million in Velodyne, a company that makes laser sensors that help guide self-driving cars. Velodyne, based in Morgan Hill, California, says it will use the $150 million investment to expand design and production and reduce the cost of its sensors. Laser sensors - called Lidar, which stands for light, detection and ranging - can also be used in conventional vehicles as part of driver assist systems such as automatic emergency braking. Ford also said it has acquired Israel-based computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS for its expertise in artificial intelligence and computer vision. It has also formed a partnership with Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC, a machine vision company that has developed devices for restoring sight to patients with degenerative eye diseases.
ANDROID MAKERS REALLY WANT TO MAKE THEIR PHONES EYE-CATCHING
Itâ€™s getting rarer for phone launches to generate excitement these days - especially in the Android world, where all models use the same underlying Google software. Every year, phones get routine refreshes such as faster processors, better cameras and longer battery life. But Android phone makers havenâ€™t given up trying to stand out. Samsung, for instance, hopes to encourage upgrades by giving its new Galaxy Note 7 phone an eye scanner for identification and related security features. Other manufacturers are looking beyond the phone entirely, pinning their hopes on innovative accessories. Motorola offers mix-andmatch modules that let you upgrade your phone on the fly, while Alcatel is focused on adding virtual-reality features, including a headset. 148
Image: Richard Drew
JUST LOOK ... FOR SECURITY Fingerprint scanners are now standard in highend phones, following their big debut in the 2013 iPhone 5S. In the Note 7, Samsung takes the notion of such “biometric” security a step further, adding an iris scanner that detects patterns in your eyes to confirm your identity. The feature is easy to set up, and the iris detection works well - as long as you’re not in direct sunlight or wearing glasses (much less sunglasses). Samsung even warns that contact lenses might mess things up, although the scanner worked fine when I wore them. To unlock the phone, you need to turn on the screen and swipe; then you just stare at the screen. The fingerprint scanner works even with the screen off and glasses on, making it the far better choice unless your fingers are wet. Many Android phones offer a face-detection feature for unlocking phones, but that’s all it does. With the Note 7, the iris or fingerprint can also unlock a secure folder where you can stash sensitive photos, documents and email accounts you might want to keep away from friends who borrow your phone to look at baby pictures.
It’s a good concept, although in practice it can feel like you’re using two separate phones. When browsing photos in the “secure” gallery, all your other photos are invisible. You need to go back out to the “unsecure” gallery to view those. And there’s no way to move text messaging to the Secure Folder. Beyond that, the Note 7 has a more resilient screen, more storage and more ways to use the stylus - for instance, you can translate a phrase just by holding the pen over a word. Samsung also brings water resistance and its excellent Galaxy S7 camera to the jumbo Note 7, while offering easier access to camera settings using swipes. Nothing is radically new, but the improvements are great if you’re already looking to upgrade. The Note 7 comes out Friday and will cost $850 to $880 in the U.S., depending on the carrier. It’s about $100 more than what last year’s Note cost at launch, but all models now have a screen that curves over the sides of the phone, something previously reserved for a more expensive “Edge” version.
BUILD YOUR OWN PHONE Motorola is the latest manufacturer to embrace a new concept called modular design . With it, customers can customize their phones on-thefly by swapping out components to get, say, a bigger battery or more powerful speakers. Another replaceable module can turn the phone into a wall projector for presentations. This takes the idea of personalization way beyond choosing the phoneâ€™s color or storage. LG introduced an earlier modular design with its G5 phone in April, although that phone forces you to shut it down every time you replace a module. Motorola lets you replace modules without missing a Snapchat. Modules attach to the phone using powerful magnets, yet they snap on and off easily, like Lego blocks. Of course, many phone cases and other accessories offer similar functionality, but they arenâ€™t as fun as what the company calls Moto Mods.
For now, you can only use these modules with the Moto Z ($625) and Moto Z Force ($720) phones, which are currently available only through Verizon in the U.S. under the Droid brand. And these modules will cost you: a spare battery is $60 to $90, the speaker is $80 and the projector is a whopping $300. You could shell out more than $1,200 if you also opt for a designer phone back made of fabric, wood or leather. The concept is pretty radical as Android innovations go, but thereâ€™s a chicken-andegg problem. Third-party developers need to know there are customers out there before theyâ€™ll commit the time and money to building imaginative modules. A module with a larger camera lens for better zooming, for instance, would be awesome. But there are no crowds demanding that feature - at least not yet. LG faces the same problem with its G5 modules. For now, it lets you swap batteries and attach a camera grip with physical buttons to take shots and control video recording. 155
ANOTHER WORLD Alcatel’s approach to innovation is to not sell you a phone at all. Instead, it wants to offer you a virtual-reality setup for $400. You get a midrange Android phone, the Idol 4S, along with a VR headset, JBL headphones and an Incipio protective case for the phone. Alcatel doesn’t sell the 4S separately, but based on the $280 price of last year’s Idol 3, you’re paying roughly $100 for the accessories. Alcatel’s headset is a step up from Google Cardboard, a $15 contraption that’s not meant to be comfortable - it’s made of cardboard, after all. But it lacks the head-tracking capabilities of Samsung’s $100 Gear VR, which on Friday is getting a wider field of view and a black interior for more-immersive viewing. The Idol 4S comes with several VR apps already installed, including Littlstar for watching VR videos and Fyuse for stitching together 360-degree photos, panorama-style. Unfortunately, Alcatel’s innovation might feel obsolete in just a few months, when Google releases its Daydream system for headsets and phones. Daydream is designed for higher-end phones than the Idol 4S, so Alcatel’s VR system won’t be compatible.
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