iPHONE 7 AND APPLE WATCH SERIES 2 BREAK COVER
SONY UNVEILS 2 UPDATED PLAYSTATIONS: PRO AND SLIM VERSIONS
LOW TAXES AT DOZENS OF FIRMS IN SPOTLIGHT AFTER APPLE RULING
38 CROWDFUNDED CLASSROOMS: TEACHERS INCREASINGLY SOLICIT ONLINE
TECH MAY HELP STEER OLDER DRIVERS DOWN A SAFER ROAD 08
HALT AND CATCH FIRE: BATTERY WOES GO WELL BEYOND SAMSUNG 22
SAMSUNG VR EXEC WELCOMES COMPETITION TO BOOST AWARENESS 28
GE UPS ITS DIGITAL GAME, SNARING TWO 3-D PRINTING COMPANIES 32
WHAT IF: HACKS, EMAIL LEAKS COULD SWAY ELECTION WEEKS AWAY 48
DRONES SWOOP DOWN PARIS’ CHAMPS-ELYSEES IN FESTIVAL 70
RUSSIAN BLOGGER JAILED FOR PLAYING ‘POKEMON GO’ FILES APPEAL 72
ON VIEW AT TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL: THE FUTURE OF MOVIES 74
BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘DON’T BREATHE’ STAYS NO. 1 AGAIN 102
BROOKS TO INTRO ‘YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN,’ TALK WILDER IN OCT. 112
SCIENCE: EUROPE’S ROSETTA PROBE FINDS LOST PHILAE LANDER ON COMET 122
HEALTH - OBAMA LEGACY: QUIET BUT BIG CHANGES IN ENERGY, POLLUTION 130
TELEFONICA EYES SALE OF MINORITY STAKE IN BRITAIN’S O2 140
NOTIFICATIONS SENT FOLLOWING FISHING LICENSE DATA BREACH 152
VOLVO CARS, AUTOLIV TEAM UP TO DEVELOP AUTONOMOUS DRIVING 156
TOP 10 APPS 82 iTUNES REVIEW 86 TOP 10 SONGS 142 TOP 10 ALBUMS 144 TOP 10 MUSIC VIDEOS 146 TOP 10 TV SHOWS 148 TOP 10 BOOKS 150
TECH MAY HELP STEER OLDER DRIVERS DOWN A SAFER ROAD
Older drivers may soon be traveling a safer road thanks to smarter cars that can detect oncoming traic, steer clear of trouble and even hit the brakes when a collision appears imminent. A few of these innovations, such as blind-spot warning systems, are already built in or ofered as optional features in some vehicles, primarily in more expensive models. But more revolutionary breakthroughs are expected in the next few years, when measures such as robotic braking systems are supposed to become standard features in all cars on U.S. roads. Better technology, of course, can help prevent drivers of all ages from getting into accidents. But those in their 70s and older are more likely to become confused at heavily traicked 9
intersections and on-ramps. Aging also frequently limits a body’s range of motion, making it more diicult to scan all around for nearby vehicles and other hazards. And older drivers tend to be more fragile than their younger counterparts, sufering more serious injuries in traic accidents. “Anything that reduces the likelihood or severity of a collision is really a technology that is primed for helping tomorrow’s older adults,” says Bryan Reimer, research scientist for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab and associate director of the New England University Transportation Center. “We are moving toward an ecosystem where older adults will increasingly be supported by the technology that may help enhance their mobility.” Automakers are rolling out more technology just as the irst members of the culture-shifting Baby Boom generation turn 70 this year. By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau expects there will be nearly 54 million people who are 70 or older living in the country, up from about 31 million in 2014. About 80 percent of that group is expected to be licensed to drive, based on current trends, and that ratio could rise even higher if technology lets elderly people remain behind the wheel and preserve a sense of independence longer. The presence of safety technology will be a key consideration for three-fourths of the drivers older than 50 who plan to buy a car in the next two years, according to a recent survey by auto insurer The Hartford and MIT AgeLab. In an indication that priorities are shifting, only onethird of the surveyed 50-and-older drivers who bought a car during the past two years focused on safety technology. 10
The push to engineer self-driving cars has helped heighten awareness about the role technology can play in eliminating the human error that causes most accidents. Google, now part of Alphabet Inc., ignited the self-driving car research seven years ago when it began working on autonomous vehicles in a secret laboratory. Now, most automakers and other major technology companies, including Apple and Uber, are also working on selfdriving technology, though there is still wide disagreement over when robotic chaufeurs will be ready - and legally cleared - to assume sole responsibility for navigating public roads. Google aims to have its fully autonomous vehicles cruising around by 2020. That objective is considered too ambitious by many auto industry executives and experts who believe self-driving cars are a decade or more away from becoming a reality. In the meantime, plenty of other technology should be widely available for older drivers. Earlier this year, the auto industry vowed to make automated emergency brakes a standard feature by September 2022, but it wonâ€™t be that long before the technology is widely available. Toyota plans to build it into most models, including its Lexus brand, by the end of next year. Cameras on a dashboard screen that show whatâ€™s behind the car have become commonplace in recent years and will be mandatory on all new cars by May 2018. The equipment is expected to be especially helpful for older drivers with a limited range of motion.
Other technology expected to assist older drivers includes automated parking, and adaptive headlights that swivel in the same direction as the steering wheel and adjust the beams’ intensity depending on driving conditions and oncoming traic. Robotic systems that temporarily assist with highway driving already are available, most notably in Tesla Motors’ high end Model S. The electric-car maker released its Autopilot feature last fall, prompting some Model S owners to entrust more of the driving to the robot than Tesla recommends while the system is still in testing mode. For instance, some drivers have posted pictures of themselves reading a newspaper or book with the Model S on Autopilot, or even sitting in the back seat. In May, an Ohio man was killed when a Model S in Autopilot mode crashed into the side of a tractor-trailer while traveling 9 mph above the speed limit on a highway near Gainesville, Florida. Federal investigators are looking into the cause. Highly publicized incidents like that may make it more diicult to persuade older drivers to trust the technology coming to their cars. Older drivers also will need help understanding its beneits and how to use it, says Dale Rife, senior adviser to AARP. To help, AARP is planning to put more focus on car technology in its 37-year-old driver safety programs. “This evolution is going to accelerate in the next few years,” Rife predicts, “but people fear what they don’t understand. And if they don’t understand it, they will just avoid it.”
SONY UNVEILS 2 UPDATED PLAYSTATIONS: PRO AND SLIM VERSIONS
Sony is unveiling a slimmer, lighter, cheaper version of its PlayStation 4, as well as a Pro device targeted at hardcore gamers that features high-resolution images and a 1-terabyte hard drive. The Japanese electronics company revealed the long-rumored updates to its video game console at an event in New Yorkâ€™s Times Square Wednesday. The slimmer, more energy-eicient PS4 efectively replaces the existing model. It will cost $300, down from $350 for the previous version, and go on sale on Sept. 15 in most markets. 16
The PlayStation Pro will cost $400 and go on sale Nov. 10, in time for the holiday shopping season. It will ofer 4K gaming, displaying hyper-realistic graphics and immersive visuals - as long as it is hooked up to a HDR, or high dynamic range TV. At the same time, Sony executives stressed that gamers will not need a HDR or 4K TV to be able to play games on the console. Sony says more than 40 million units of the PlayStation 4 have sold to date. The event was short - less than an hour - featuring just three speakers and a cacophony of lashy gameplay displays. It’s a sign that the video game industry is moving toward more frequent, smaller updates for its consoles, replacing the decades-old tradition of brand-new systems coming out every seven years or so, as consumers become accustomed to frequent upgrades to smartphones and other gadgets.
In another sign of this new reality, Microsoft Corp. unveiled the Xbox One S, a slimmer update to its Xbox One console, in June at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where new consoles are traditionally unveiled. It also hyped Project Scorpio, a more powerful version due in 2017 that will ofer virtual reality and 4K gaming, just like the PlayStation Pro. Releasing the Pro before the new Xbox gives Sony an edge over its rival for the holiday season. Both the Xbox One and PS4 were released in November 2013. Gartner Analyst Jon Erensen noted that there was “not a lot of discussion” about the beneits of upgrading to the PlayStation Pro for gamers who already own a PS4. It will likely be hardcore gamers who buy the new console.
HALT AND CATCH FIRE: BATTERY WOES GO WELL BEYOND SAMSUNG
Samsung’s Note 7 isn’t the only gadget to catch ire thanks to lithium-battery problems, which have alicted everything from iPhones to Tesla cars to Boeing jetliners. Blame chemistry and the fact that the batteries we rely on for everyday life are prone to leaking and even bursting into lame if damaged, defective or exposed to excessive heat. That’s because lithium-ion batteries store a lot of energy in a tiny space, with combustible components separated by ultra-thin walls. If something happens to those separators, a chemical reaction can quickly escalate out of control. Samsung hasn’t speciied exactly what caused the ires that led to the recall of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s Thursday beyond calling it a “battery cell issue .” Still, lithium batteries are so ubiquitous that ordinary users of phones and computers shouldn’t worry. Research suggests that you’re more likely to get hurt by a kitchen grease ire or a drunk driver than the battery powering your iPhone, Kindle or laptop. “It’s not like we live in a world where people’s smartphones spontaneously combust,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager of research irm IDC’s mobile phones team. He said owners of Galaxy Note 7s should err on the side of caution and contact Samsung for a replacement that doesn’t run the same risk. Here’s a look at other notable incidents when lithium batteries by themselves or in electronics have caused problems.
ON AIRPLANES There have been dozens of aircraft ires caused by lithium batteries, so many that the batteries are no longer welcome as cargo on passenger lights. In one of the most recent incidents, a Fiji Airways Boeing 737 was preparing for takeof from Melbourne, Australia, when smoke was discovered coming from the cargo bay. The plane was evacuated and the cargo unloaded. The source of the ire turned out to be lithiumion batteries in a passengerâ€™s checked bags. Hoverboards and e-cigarettes are banned from lights for the same reason.
TESLA In August, a Tesla electric car caught ire during a promotional tour in southwest France. Tesla said in a statement that it is “working with the authorities to establish the facts” about the ire. The driver was quoted in local newspaper Sud Ouest as saying he answered a Facebook ad ofering test drives of the Model S sedan. The driver said he saw smoke, and the three people aboard got out before seeing it catch ire. Tesla hasn’t oicially found fault with the battery. But in 2013 , it faced questions when several Model S sedans caught ire after road debris damaged their batteries. Tesla wound up strengthening the battery shield on new and existing cars.
HOVERBOARDS Hoverboards, or self-balancing scooters, have been linked with at least 99 electrical ires in the U.S., according to the the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Hoverboards might be more susceptible than other products to battery ires because they come under more duress than other electronic devices like computers. Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers dumped the products after videos of burning hoverboards went viral. But they reopened sales this year after passing new ire-safety tests.
COMPUTER BATTERIES In June HP recalled nearly 50,000 HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion computers after seven reports of battery packs overheating, melting or charring, including four reports of property damage totaling about $4,000.
SAMSUNG VR EXEC WELCOMES COMPETITION TO BOOST AWARENESS
Samsung just released its third virtual-reality headset for its Galaxy phones, while Facebook’s Oculus business and HTC have been shipping more powerful systems connected to high-end personal computers. Sony also has an upcoming system for its PlayStation game console. Yet many people still haven’t experienced VR. Tom Harding, Samsung’s U.S. director of immersive products and virtual reality, spoke recently about VR, including eforts to improve interaction and comfort. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
Image: Kim Jin
Q: How would you characterize the year in VR? A: We’ve seen the arrival of high-end PC virtual reality. We will see the arrival of virtual reality for game consoles. It helps grow awareness. It excites developers even further to invest time and money in developing premium titles. Q: What do you think of competition from other VR headsets, including Google’s upcoming Daydream system? A: The market is large enough to welcome multiple types of VR experiences. Anything we can do to expand awareness is positive. Q: Will the lack of a hand-held controller for Samsung’s Gear VR be a problem? A: Developers are working out the best way to interact in virtual reality. The latest Gear VR headset has a new type of USB connector that will open up a ton of possibilities, including new ways to interact. Everyone’s really experimenting. Q: How else are you improving the experience? A: The Oculus home button was delivered based on feedback from users who say, “I don’t want
to hold down the back button to get back to the home.” You will also see a lot of reinements based on consumer feedback - for example, comfortable padding, an even wider ield of view and even subtle things like the insides being black. Q: Why do you need a fancy $100 headset when you can get a free or cheap cardboard version? A: One of the strengths of Gear VR is we’re not leveraging an existing sensor on the phone. The sensor on the Gear VR is a dedicated sensor just for checking in and sampling your head position. It’s been calibrated to virtual reality. We can guarantee that when you move your head, the screen can keep up. Everything will be ultra-smooth. Q: How important is giving away headsets as part of promotions as opposed to making money? A: It’s a new piece of technology. The work we did with promoting is a really great way to bring people to VR and give people a taste of what VR could be. Nothing is quite like trying it for the irst time yourself in understanding what VR is.
GE UPS ITS DIGITAL GAME, SNARING TWO 3-D PRINTING COMPANIES
General Electric is continuing its push into the digital realm, spending $1.4 billion to acquire two European 3-D printing companies. At the same time, itâ€™s upping its old-school manufacturing capabilities with technology that will allow it to quickly punch out components for the automotive, airline and health industries at the whim of any client. The Fairield, Conn. company said Tuesday that it expects the acquisition of Arcam AB and SLM Solutions Group AB to boost revenue within its 3-D printing business to $1 billion by 2020. 32
Image: Eric Piermont
GE has shed most of its inancial service business to focus on its high-tech industrial operations. It had, before the deal announced Tuesday, invested $1.5 billion in 3-D manufacturing technologies since 2010. Last February, in a letter to shareholders, GE Chairman and CEO Jefrey Immelt promised an earnings boost and payout to shareholders while detailing his vision of a more nimble, technology-based company. Once the most valuable company in the world, GEâ€™s market value has declined by about $70 billion during the past decade. Shares of General Electric Co., which are up more than 23 percent this year, slipped about 1 percent in midday trading. Analyst Kenneth Wong at Citi noted that GE paid a premium of about 36 percent for SLM Solutions and more than 53 percent for Arcam and investors took note, boosting shares of other 3-D printing companies. 3D Systems shares jumped more than 6 percent and Stratasys rose about 5 percent in midday trading Tuesday. In its 2016 report, Wohlers Associates, an independent 3-D printing technology consulting irm, says the industry grew by $1 billion for the second year in a row, to more than $5 billion. The number of manufacturers selling industrial-grade 3-D printers doubled from 2011 to 2015 and that about 278,000 desktop 3-D printers were sold worldwide last year, according to Wohlers. GE said it will keep the headquarters of the two companies in place and retain management and employees. 35
Swedenâ€™s Arcam AB focuses on customers in the aerospace and health care industries. Arcam generated $68 million in revenues in 2015 and has about 285 employees. SLM Solutions Group, based in Germany, has customers are in the aerospace, energy, health care, and automotive industries. SLM had $74 million in revenues last year and has 260 employees.
LOW TAXES AT DOZENS OF FIRMS IN SPOTLIGHT AFTER APPLE RULING
It turns out some wealthy companies are just like some wealthy hedge fund managers: Theyâ€™re taxed at far lower rates than nearly everyone else. Whether or not Apple used illegal breaks to pay virtually no taxes in Europe over 11 years, as regulators there contend and the company denies, the order last week that it pay billions in back taxes highlights a worrisome divide among the worldâ€™s biggest corporations: Some pay relatively little taxes, others a lot. Taxes paid in the U.S. and abroad by tech companies like Apple amounted to 24 percent of their proits in the 10 years through 2014, according to a Credit Suisse report. Energy companies paid 41 percent, nearly double. 38
Experts say a tax system that divides companies so starkly into winners and losers raises issues of fairness, along with questions about the wisdom of using tax codes to shape corporate behavior. It may also pose a danger to investors: Are companies that have boosted earnings by shifting headquarters abroad and other maneuvers vulnerable to a tax-collector crackdown? Just which ones are vulnerable is diicult to know because tax rules are so complicated, but there is a lot of money at stake. According to a May report by the research irm R.G. Associates, 78 of the biggest U.S. companies - from tech stars Facebook and eBay to glass maker Corning and food giant Kraft Heinz would have earned at least 15 percent less last year without the beneit of overseas tax rates far below that in the U.S. Stocks of each of those four companies are up more than 20 percent in the past year. “If you have a company that moves proits and operations around the world in a snakelike fashion, you don’t know if they’re going to wind up in the regulatory cross hairs,” says Jack Ciesielski, head of R.G. Associates. “The European Union is getting much better at policing this.” The 28-nation bloc has launched investigations into deals struck by McDonald’s and Amazon. They have ordered Starbucks to pay millions of dollars in back taxes. And in the U.S., the Treasury Department has been tightening rules to make it more diicult to relocate to low-tax countries.
Image: Niall Carson
In Apple’s case, the European Union says it was so skilled at using illegal breaks ofered in Ireland, that the taxes it ended up paying on every 1 million euros in proits amounted to just 50 euros - not enough to buy even two bottles of Jameson whiskey. The company was ordered to fork over nearly $15 billion in back taxes, plus billions more in interest. Apple says it never asked or received “special deals” on taxes and did nothing illegal. The company says it will appeal the ruling and expects to prevail. Whatever the outcome, studies show Apple isn’t the only company adept at cutting its tax bill, which is why oicials are cracking down.
- NO TAXES: Nearly a ifth of proitable U.S. companies paid no corporate taxes in 2012, the latest year tracked in a March report by the General Accounting Oice. Many eliminated taxes by getting credit for big losses in previous years, a common move, but others took advantage of the kinds of overseas tax maneuvers that Apple uses. - BIGGEST WINNERS: Drug maker Pizer beneited the most from paying low foreign taxes last year, according to an R.G. Associates study. If it had to pay the U.S. rate of 35 percent on its overseas earnings, proits would have been $3.1 billion lower, or 55 percent less. The top 10 tax “winners” last year also included PayPal Holdings, whose proit would have been 41 percent lower, and Expedia, facing a potential proit cut of 36 percent. - INDUSTRY DIVIDE: Industries easily able to shift valuable assets abroad - think intangible stuf like patents on drugs - got the biggest boosts, according to a study by Credit Suisse. Health care and technology companies added $266 billion to their proits over 10 years, an increase of 35 percent, by taking advantage of lower rates abroad. Utilities, stuck with power plants in the U.S., got zero beneit. Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, thinks a tax code that treats companies so vastly diferent is troubling if you believe markets should decide which ones will thrive and attract the most investment dollars. “When governments put their tax thumb on the scales,” he says, “too much capital lows to the companies in favor, and too little to companies that are not.” 44
U.S. companies have been taking advantage of various foreign incentives and holidays for years now to avoid the U.S. corporate rate of 35 percent, the highest in the industrialized world. The diference is that they have beneited more from the moves in recent years. Companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index paid 26.6 percent in taxes in the 12 months through March, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. That number can jump from one period to the next, but it’s been generally falling, and is down sharply from 20 years ago. Back then, the average rate paid for all taxes - federal, state, local and foreign - was 32.8 percent. Will the tailwind to earnings keep blowing? Perhaps not much longer, according to the report from Credit Suisse, which suggests that investor ignorance about the issue could make for a nasty surprise in some stock portfolios. The report was written in December, before the political environment got even more perilous. In addition to Europe’s crackdown on Apple, the U.S. Treasury recently announced rules limiting “inversions” that have allowed U.S. companies to slash taxes by moving their headquarters overseas. Ciesielski of R.G. Associates isn’t sure companies taxed at low rates will soon be facing higher ones, but he’s concerned. “It’s a good thing,” he says of the boost low rates give to proits. “But too much of good thing can backire.” 46
WHAT IF: HACKS, EMAIL LEAKS COULD SWAY ELECTION WEEKS AWAY
Brace for a stream of digital leaks and shenanigans by Election Day. Whether it’s newly disclosed Democratic Party emails or someone tampering with voting machines, this year’s presidential election could come with hacking intrigue like none before it. Consider messages stolen from the Democrats by suspected Russian-linked hackers and posted online in the summer by the self-described persona Guccifer 2.0. That trove led to so much outrage from fellow Democrats that the party’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced to resign. Image: Luke Sharrett
Beyond partisan embarrassment from those leaks, security risks to electronic voting machines have the potential to do even more damage. Compromised machines, producing faulty vote tallies, would raise questions about the very integrity of the political process. “Election administrators are trained to run elections, not defend computer systems,” said Joe Hall, chief technologist for the Washingtonbased Center for Democracy and Technology. “The voting systems we use in many cases don’t keep the kind of evidence one would need to detect an attack, let alone recover from it, without disruption or loss of votes.” Donald Trump has already suggested trouble is ahead, saying in early August he’s “afraid the election is going to be rigged.” He didn’t provide speciic evidence. He asked volunteers on his website to sign up to be poll monitors in November. Foreign state-sponsored hacking of the machines - or even voter-registration records - would also have practical implications, like delayed results or hiccups in allowing citizens to cast a ballot. “The biggest potential surprise in 2016 comes from the internet, and the potential for state-sponsored or hacker-instigated data dumps and turbulence that are disconnected from the campaigns,” said Princeton historian Julian Zelizer.
Image: Justin Hayworth
Federal oicials are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility that hackers, particularly those working for Russia or another country, will make mischief. Two U.S. cybersecurity irms have said their analysis of computer breaches at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed detailed evidence that the intrusions were probably linked to Russian hackers. The internet domains and registrants used in the breach of computers used by the committee tied back to a Russian hacking group linked to that nation’s intelligence services. That same hacking group, known as “Fancy Bear,” was previously connected to the cyber breach at the Democratic National Committee. Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins cryptography expert, ofered a simple solution to stave of ballot hacks: “There is only one way to protect the voting system from a nation-state-funded cyberattack,” he wrote on Twitter. “Use paper.”
Image: Melina Mara
BOLD MOVES FROM CUPERTINO FOR LATEST HARDWARE So, it’s inally happened: the big one. Sure, this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote was also a ‘big one’ for the boys from Cupertino, giving us a irst look at the likes of iOS 10, an enhanced Siri and an overhauled Apple Music... but for many observers, it will always be the company’s hardware, rather than software-focused events that are the ones to get truly excited about. With the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2 all breaking cover on Wednesday, September 7, this year’s ‘biggie’ certainly did not disappoint.
But what if things hadn’t gone so well at the venerable Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the San Francisco venue that has provided the backdrop for so many other momentous Apple unveilings down the years? Well, there would have been no shortage of cunningly-fashioned media narrative of decline. After all, late April saw the company report a year-over-year drop in iPhone sales for the very irst time, while IDC has also just released an estimate that Apple Watch sales plummeted by 56.7% in this year’s second quarter, compared to the same three months a year ago. Of course, it’s worth pointing out - as IDC did - that the fall in Watch sales could be largely explained by Apple simply not releasing an updated model on the anniversary of the irst version’s launch. As for the iPhone’s igures, sales of 51.2 million for the second quarter were hardly too shabby. Nonetheless, both of these devices that are so key to Apple’s present and future have been given revamps. Luckily, they are also impressive revamps that demonstrate the Californian tech giant’s sustained ability to take a well-calculated risk or two alongside the usual, slightly more predictable incremental updates.
THE iPHONE 7 HOGS THE HEADLINES Take a look at the media coverage relating to the latest-to-be-unveiled version of Apple’s seemingly evergreen smartphone, and you might notice that it isn’t the device’s enhanced camera capabilities, the introduction of the new custom-designed Apple A10 Fusion chip or even the disappearance of the long-familiar 16GB iteration that has necessarily captured the most attention. The handset even now boasts a ‘water resistant’ coating, which - even if it doesn’t quite render the phone completely waterproof - could nonetheless save you from overly panicking if you drop it in a puddle. No, the bulk of the attention given to the iPhone 7 - which, in common with the iPhone 6, comes in both a standard and larger ‘Plus’ form - appears to have been reserved for what could be a sterling innovation involving the device’s trusty headphone jack. To be more exact, the traditional headphone socket has been ditched altogether, as had been widely expected
pre-event. By means of compensation for those dreading such a drastic change, Apple is ofering an adapter for plugging the older headphones into the smartphoneâ€™s Lightning connector, which is also used for charging. Meanwhile, as outright replacement, new wireless earbuds, called AirPods, have been unveiled in a move that the company hopes will usher in a â€œwireless futureâ€?. As you might have imagined with Apple, almost every change made to the functionality of its devices seems to have some kind of aesthetic dimension, and the situation is no diferent with the beautifully slick and slim iPhone 7. 59
The absence of a time-honored headphone jack on the iPhone 7 enhances its waterproof capabilities, as does the removal of the physical home button in favor of a completely lush ‘button’ providing haptic feedback. The clicking sensation produced by this change is sure to bring to many Apple fans’ minds the touchpad of recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of all things visual, you’ve got ive color options for your new iPhone - black, jet black, rose gold, gold or silver - with space gray no longer available. However, there’s plenty more about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to get enthralled about than media headlines dominated by references to the demise of a headphone jack may have led you to believe. Did you know, for example, that the handset’s 12-megapixel camera incorporates optical image stabilization, along with an enlarged f/1.8 aperture and 6-element lens for brighter photos and videos, bursting with detail? What about a level of graphics performance that amounts to as much as three times the speed of the iPhone 6 while using barely half the power, to say nothing of the inclusion of iOS 10 - with its noted enhancements to the likes of Messages and Siri - ‘straight out of the box’? It’s no great surprise, then, that Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller, has said that “iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus dramatically improve every aspect of the iPhone experience, reaching a new level of innovation and precision to make this the best iPhone we have ever made.” Quite frankly, we think that on all of this evidence, both models are worth getting at least a little bit hyped-up about. 61
Image: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
SERIES 2 COULD FINALLY REALIZE WATCH’S PROMISE When any tech company describes its latest wearable with such terms as “the ultimate device for a healthy life” and “the next generation of the world’s most popular smartwatch”, expectations are naturally heightened - and again, it seems that Apple has taken a bold approach with only the second ever Watch hardware upgrade. Indeed, it may even be the Watch that Apple secretly always wanted to make all along. Why do we say that? Well, many of the Apple Watch Series 2’s enhancements represent natural developments of the original’s speciications and answer many of the criticisms of the Watch that were voiced from the irst edition’s launch. The absence of a GPS chip in the device was one big bugbear, forcing those wishing to call upon such functionality through 64
the Watch to tether it to an iPhone. Thankfully, the new version has built-in GPS capability, a critical update given the strong itness emphasis of the latest Watch and the considerable challenge posed by Samsung and Fitbit rivals. Another big change with the Series 2, or S2, is the introduction of genuinely convincing waterprooing for a wearable that you may well imagine will ind itself dunked - whether accidentally or otherwise - in water on a regular basis, such as when the user is at the swimming pool. That’s why the original Watch’s IPX7 water resistance just wasn’t enough for many owners, who will likely be more than satisied with an upgraded device that now even ejects water from its speaker grill. As a matter of fact, the S2 can be submerged some 50 meters in water, giving you
extra assurance when you make use of the two new workout options, pool and open water. With other features of the S2 ranging from a powerful new dual-core processor that helps to make it as much as 50% quicker than the S1, right through to the watchOS 3 software that enables the instant and simple launch of favorite apps, we suspect that the device may well live up to Apple’s Jef Williams’ claim that it “is packed with features to help our customers live a healthy life.” If you just can’t wait to get on with using yours to keep track of your daily exercise activity, record precise distance, pace and speed information for your outdoor workouts or accurately measure active calorie burn as you swim, you may be interested to learn that you can have one for as little as $369 in the United States.
APPLE CONTINUES TO ENCHANT CUSTOMERS There may have been just a few more question marks than usual surrounding Apple’s sales and revenue fortunes ahead of this year’s September keynote, but it’s fair to say that with its latest big hardware unveilings, the Cupertino irm has given some pretty emphatic answers to its critics. While it remains to be seen exactly how the market will respond to two of Apple’s most important products for the 12 months to come, history suggests that much more than a few sales hiccups will be required to halt the Californian giant’s continued incredible momentum in the face of tough rivals.
by Benjamin Kerry & Gavin Lenaghan
DRONES SWOOP DOWN PARIS’ CHAMPS-ELYSEES IN FESTIVAL
Drones are racing through central Paris - but they’re not hunting for terrorists, they’ve just been brought out for fun. The city is hosting its irst Drone Festival on Sunday, including an international race along the Champs-Elysees. Drones of varying shapes and sizes are zipping along the avenue, lined with trees and luxury stores, in a circuit that stops just shy of the Arc de Triomphe. While drones are increasingly used by French security services, civilians are forbidden from lying them over Paris without special permission. Paris City Hall authorized them for Sunday’s event, aimed at introducing the public to France’s civilian drone industry. France saw a spate of mysterious drone lyovers last year over sensitive sites that worried the authorities. 70
RUSSIAN BLOGGER JAILED FOR PLAYING ‘POKEMON GO’ FILES APPEAL
A Russian blogger who has been sent to pre-trial detention for playing “Pokemon Go” in a church has appealed against his arrest. Russian news agencies on Monday quoted a local court in the city of Yekaterinburg as saying that they have received an appeal from Ruslan Sokolovsky who was ordered last week to stay behind bars at least until November pending trial. Investigators have charged the 21-year old blogger with enticing religious hatred, the same ofense that sent two women from the Pussy Riot punk collective to prison for two years in 2012. Sokolovsky has posted a video on his blog showing himself playing the smartphone game in a church built on the supposed spot where the family of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II was killed. 72
Image: Ruby Wallau
ON VIEW AT TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL: THE FUTURE OF MOVIES
Prophecy abounds at the Toronto International Film Festival. Pundits pronounce Oscar guarantees. Buzz, the most cherished commodity at the festival, is measured and speculated on like stock prices. But this year’s festival, teaming with diversity on screen and behind the camera, stufed to the gills with not just more than 300 ilms (138 of them premieres) but virtual reality and even a smattering of television, might just ofer a broader vision of what’s to come in movies. “If you want to see the future of ilm, you need to come to Toronto this year,” says Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the festival. “It feels like the range of the lineup in terms of the diversity of the stories that are being told and the storytellers that are telling them, the introduction of new technology, like the VR 75
lineup we have, the way that the festival has pretty smoothly integrated television and longform storytelling. All of those things, I think, are where ilm is headed.” It may be an optimistic portrait of cinematic future put forth by the 41st Toronto Film Festival, but the strength of festival lineup lends a sense of inevitability. The festival kicks of Thursday with the premiere of Antoine Fuqua’s “Magniicent Seven” remake, starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. “The industry can only beneit from seeing more diverse everything. Not just in front of the camera, behind the camera, executive positions,” says Fuqua, the director of “Training Day.”‘’It’s good for everyone because movies are a shared experience. People go to the theater and we all get to laugh and have fun with each other.” The movies at TIFF ofer a compendium of the fall movie season, squeezed into a 10 day blitz. Many of them are awards-hopefuls, including most of the top ilms from Cannes, Venice and Telluride. And after a lackluster summer rife with blockbuster disappointment, the distance between seasons has never felt so vast. No ilms come into Toronto with more heat than Damien Chazelle’s Los Angeles musical “La La Land,” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and Barry Jenkins’“Moonlight,” a striking coming-of-age tale of a gay black man. Both have drawn enthusiastic raves out of Telluride and Venice in recent days. Of the many TIFF debuts, few match the size of Peter Berg’s “Deepwater Horizon,” a visceral, bigbudget rendering of the oil rig disaster, made with its own enormous mock rig. 77
Also on tap are courses of science-iction (Denis Villeneuve’s alien communication thriller “Arrival”), fantasy (J.A. Bayona’s emotional “A Monster Calls,” a drama illed with equal parts wonder and grief), and comedy (Kelly Fremon’s witty and honest coming-of-age movie “Edge of Seventeen”). There are highlights from Sundance (Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea,” Nate Parker’s scandal-plagued “The Birth of a Nation”) and Cannes (Jef Nichols’“Loving,” Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey”). And there are dozens of intriguing titles up for sale, including a crop of atypical political dramas that feature Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy (“Jackie”), Devon Terrell as a young Obama (“Barry”) and Woody Harrelson as Lyndon Johnson (“LBJ”). That’s still not mentioning Terrence Malick’s history-of-the-world documentary (in IMAX!), “Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey,” fashion designer Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” follow-up, “Nocturnal Animals” or the Miles Teller-led boxing drama “Bleed for This.” “The enthusiasm that runs through the people that make the decisions of what’s going to be there is ridiculous,” says Jonathan Demme, who will premiere his Justin Timberlake concert ilm, “JT and the Tennessee Kids.”‘’They’ve got good taste and they show TOO many movies. I’ve got the press schedule in my pocket right now. I’m going to see as many movies as I can in between our screenings.” David Oyelowo (“Selma”) will bring two ilms to Toronto that relect the festival in both the diversity of its casts and that they were each directed by women. A record 19 of this year’s 78
galas are directed by women. Oyelowo stars in Amma Asante’s “A United Kingdom,” about a Botswana royal’s interracial marriage, and Mira Nair’s “Queen of Katwe,” about a young Ugandan girl trying to become a world chess champion. For Oyelowo, a Brit of Nigerian descent, the two ilms are a kind of antidote to stories previously told about Africa. Oyelowo co-starred in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland,” about Uganda dictator Idi Amin. “I did have this thought in the back of my mind, I went, ‘This is great but I just know there’s more. I know for a fact there’s more in terms of how Africa could and should be represented on ilm,’” says Oyelowo. “I developed this desire to just have more breadth of you’d seen out of Africa. ‘The Last King of Scotland’ was part of a crop of ilms like ‘The Constant Gardner,’‘Hotel Rwanda,’ ‘Blood Diamond’ and they were all about the darker side of what happens on that continent. All of which is true. Like anywhere, there’s good and bad. But there was almost nothing else balancing it out.”
Image: Edward Echwalu
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by Jon Favreau Genre: Kids & Family Released: 2016 Price: $19.99
The Jungle Book (2016) Inspired by the 1967 animated movie of the same name, this adaptation – which blends both CGI and live-action – sees orphan Mowgli set out on a journey of selfdiscovery, assisted by his animal guardians.
FIVE FACTS: 1. All of the locations in the movie are computer-generated VFX. The story may have been set primarily in India, but the movie was completely shot at the LA Center Studio in Los Angeles, California. 2. The CG character Baloo is so large and furry, he took almost ive hours of rendering time per frame. 3. The talking animals in this movie were created using animal behavior, then having the actors copy those movements in motioncapture VFX. 4. This is the irst time that Kaa the snake is portrayed as female, rather than male. Jon Favreau said the change was a deliberate one, as he felt there were too many male characters in The Jungle Book (1967). 5. Mowgli has a scar on the right side of his chest that appears to be the letter “r”, as well as a scar on his left shoulder that is a “k”. This is a nod to the original author Rudyard Kipling, where the “R” and “K” are the author’s initials. Trailer
Behind the Scenes
The Darkness While on holiday, a family awakens an ancient supernatural entity that then plagues their home.
FIVE FACTS: 1. Director Greg McLean has also worked on Wolf Creek (2005) and Crawlspace (2012). 2. The music for the movie was provided by Johnny Klimek, who has also worked on Wolf Creek (2005) and Cloud Atlas (2012). 3. The ilm reunites Kevin Bacon and Jennifer Morrison for the irst time since Stir of Echoes (1999). 4. It is produced by Jason Blum, the founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, which is known for working on the Paranormal Activity franchise Whiplash, as well as the Insidious franchise. 5. Kevin Bacon has also starred in Footloose (1984), Apollo 13 (1995) and X-Men: First Class (2011).
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Behind the Scenes
Glory (Deluxe Version) Britney Spears The ninth studio album from pop legend Britney Spears is the star’s long-awaited return to top form.
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2. She has been performing a residency at the AXIS auditorium at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas since late 2013. 3. On Most Requested Live with Romeo, Spears revealed it was her son who chose the name of the album. 4. Spears has topped the list of mostsearched celebrities seven times in the last 12 years, a record since the inception of the Internet. 5. She has claimed ive Guinness World Records, including ‘Best Selling Album by a Teenage Solo Artist’ and ‘Best Selling Album in the US by a Female Artist’, both in 2000.
Performance from this yearâ€™s Billboard Music Awards
My Woman Angel Olsen One of the most hyped singer-songwriters of the decade, Angel Olsen’s third studio album is one of her most daring yet, and a must-buy for fans of Bon Iver and Courtney Barnett.
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‘Shut Up Kiss Me’
BOX OFFICE TOP 20: ‘DON’T BREATHE’ STAYS NO. 1 AGAIN
The low-budget home invasion horror ilm “Don’t Breathe” led the box oice for the second straight week, topping all ilms over the Labor Day weekend with a four-day haul of $19.7 million. No new entries made much of a dent on the last weekend of Hollywood’s summer season. The DreamWorks period drama “The Light Between Oceans,” starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, opened with $6.2 million Friday through Monday. It was made for about $20 million. 103
Fox’s rival horror ilm, “Morgan,” was completely overshadowed by “Don’t Breathe. It debuted with just $2.5 million over the holiday frame. The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Monday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Tuesday by comScore:
“Don’t Breathe,” Sony, $19,707,927, 3,051 locations, $6,459 average, $55,131,879, 2 weeks.
“Suicide Squad,” Warner Bros., $12,687,021, 3,292 locations, $3,854 average, $300,104,337, 5 weeks.
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Focus Features, $8,764,182, 2,985 locations, $2,936 average, $36,625,618, 3 weeks.
“Pete’s Dragon,” Disney, $8,499,464, 3,272 locations, $2,598 average, $66,251,403, 4 weeks.
“Sausage Party,” Sony, $6,458,225, 2,766 locations, $2,335 average, $89,604,349, 4 weeks.
“The Light Between Oceans,” Disney, $6,179,208, 1,500 locations, $4,119 average, $6,179,208, 1 week.
“War Dogs,” Warner Bros., $6,100,292, 2,848 locations, $2,142 average, $36,613,252, 3 weeks.
“Hell or High Water,” Lionsgate, $5,864,587, 1,303 locations, $4,501 average, $16,016,220, 4 weeks.
“Bad Moms,” STX Entertainment, $5,800,361, 2,306 locations, $2,515 average, $103,587,555, 6 weeks.
“Mechanic: Resurrection,” Lionsgate, $5,682,633, 2,258 locations, $2,517 average, $15,825,419, 2 weeks.
“Jason Bourne,” Universal, $5,065,435, 1,976 locations, $2,563 average, $156,236,090, 6 weeks.
“The Secret Life of Pets,” Universal, $4,810,915, 2,069 locations, $2,325 average, $359,818,405, 9 weeks.
“No Manches Frida,” Lionsgate, $4,628,506, 362 locations, $12,786 average, $4,628,506, 1 week.
“Star Trek Beyond,” Paramount, $3,231,885, 1,202 locations, $2,689 average, $155,075,207, 7 weeks.
“Ben-Hur,” Paramount, $2,945,244, 2,167 locations, $1,359 average, $24,453,383, 3 weeks.
“Finding Dory,” Disney, $2,932,001, 2,075 locations, $1,413 average, $482,853,070, 12 weeks.
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Paramount, $2,837,415, 1,341 locations, $2,116 average, $24,218,334, 4 weeks.
“Morgan,” 20th Century Fox, $2,518,540, 2,020 locations, $1,247 average, $2,518,540, 1 week.
“Southside with You,” Roadside Attractions, $1,739,732, 897 locations, $1,940 average, $5,397,125, 2 weeks.
“Hands of Stone,” The Weinstein Company, $1,631,026, 2,011 locations, $811 average, $4,048,233, 2 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
BROOKS TO INTRO ‘YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN,’ TALK WILDER IN OCT.
“Young Frankenstein” will come alive in theaters once again on Oct. 5, with a live introduction from writer-director Mel Brooks, who will pay tribute to the classic spoof’s late star Gene Wilder. The intro will be broadcast from the 20th Century Fox Lot in 500 theaters nationwide, according to an announcement from Fathom Events Tuesday. In addition to touring the studio lot, where much of the movie was ilmed, Brooks is expected reminisce about his friend and collaborator Wilder, who died last Sunday from complications from Alzheimer’s. “Young Frankenstein” is one of Wilder’s most fondly remembered ilms. The announcement comes on the heels of AMC Theaters bringing other Wilder favorites “Blazing Saddles” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” back to theaters this past weekend. Online: www.FathomEvents.com 113
CROWDFUNDED CLASSROOMS: TEACHERS INCREASINGLY SOLICIT ONLINE
Paper? Pencils? Laptops? Robots? Teachers are increasingly relying on crowdfunding eforts to stock their classrooms with both the mundane and sometimes big-ticket items. Contributions to education campaigns have climbed on GoFundMe and DonorsChoose, collectively, from just more than $31.2 million in 2010 to nearly $140 million in 2015, the do-ityourself fundraising sites report. Both sites are on pace to eclipse that in 2016. GoFundMe has collected $58 million in just the last 12 months, and DonorsChoose saw more than 50,000 campaigns live on the site for the irst time this back-to-school season. In her irst year as an elementary school teacher in Kingman, Arizona, Shannon Raftery raised $340 through crowdfunding to supplement the money she took out of each paycheck to pay for classroom supplies. Now in Philadelphia, sheâ€™s looking to raise $500 for her new kindergarten classroom at Roosevelt Elementary School. 114
Image: Matt Rourke
She has a supportive principal, she said, but there is just not enough money in the notoriously cash-strapped Philadelphia district to equip her classroom the way she’d like. In her case, reality is a $200 budget allocated to cover 25 students in a school where at least 40 percent of students live in poverty. She has spent that even before the start of classes after Labor Day. “I’d rather spend my own money than have my kids go without something,” she said. “Every dollar helps.” But even as Raftery plans to continue pulling $100 to $150 from each paycheck to meet her classroom needs, she said, she knows it won’t be enough. She has bought cleaning supplies, bulletin board paper, and peach and sky blue paint to cover her stark white walls. She hopes to add to seating with beach chairs and bean bags. “I don’t want a cold environment to ruin a kid’s irst impression of school,” Raftery said. Donors can scroll through all education campaigns listed on the sites, resulting in millions of dollars’ worth of supplies and equipment infused into both high-poverty schools and more aluent districts. “There still is that group of teachers that has amazing ideas even in the most well-funded districts, like the sixth-grade teacher wanting and currently campaigning for an underwater robot to restore isheries,” said Chris Pearsall, DonorsChoose spokesman. Teachers create campaigns by writing a story about their needs, often accompanied by classroom pictures. 116
Teachers have turned to crowdfunding even in states with high per-pupil spending. But while the numbers are enough to cause pause, they aren’t necessarily surprising, said Michael Leachman, director of state iscal research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Post-recession local, state and federal revenue has been unable to keep up with states’ needs after deep cuts. Now, other economic factors, like low property taxes and inlation, are preventing them from a full recovery, even as most states have seen gradual improvement in education funding, Leachman said. “It’s obviously disturbing that teachers are having to raise the money that they need to provide good education to kids,” he said. With crowdfunding, teachers can access funding and supplies within weeks of starting a campaign.
Allan Rogers teaches third grade at Jackson Elementary School in Jackson, Louisiana, a rural community damaged by recent looding. He works with students who are already using crowdfunded supplies mere weeks into the school year. “There have been people who have lost everything due to the looding, and prior to the looding they already didn’t have much,” Rogers said of students and staf at the school, where there is no technology budget and about 96 percent of students are get free or discounted lunches. Teachers at the school have campaigned for basic supplies, like white board markers, but are also trying to buy a functioning computer for each classroom, said Megan Phillips, the school’s principal. They’ve relied exclusively on crowdfunding to purchase computers, iPad and iPods for students to use, she said. “We’re always trying to give students what they deserve,” Rogers said. “Not only what they need, but what they deserve.”
Europe’s Rosetta space probe has located its lost Philae lander, wedged in a “dark crack” on a comet, the European Space Agency said Monday. Rosetta’s camera inally captured images on Friday of the lander on comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, weeks before the probe’s own mission ends, the agency said . The pictures showing the lander’s body and two of its three legs were taken as Rosetta passed within 2.7 kilometers (1.7 miles) of the surface. After being launched in 2004, Rosetta took 10 years to accelerate and catch up with comet 67P. In November 2014 it released Philae, achieving the irst landing of a spacecraft on a comet. Philae bounced after its initial touchdown and its precise location on the comet couldn’t be pinned down until now, though its general vicinity was known. After sending data to Earth for three days its battery ran out and it went into hibernation, only to recharge enough as the comet came closer to the sun to communicate briely with Rosetta in mid-2015. ESA plans to crash Rosetta into the comet Sept. 30, because the probe is unlikely to survive lengthy hibernation in orbit as the comet heads away from the sun. Data from Rosetta and Philae have already improved scientists’ understanding of the nature of comets and the role they played in the early universe. Analyzing the data fully is expected to keep researchers busy for years.
“We were beginning to think that Philae would remain lost forever,” said Patrick Martin, ESA’s Rosetta mission manager. “It is incredible we have captured this at the inal hour.” Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor said that locating Philae provides missing information “needed to put Philae’s three days of science into proper context.” 126
FAR-AWAY ASTEROID NAMED AFTER FREDDIE MERCURY ON BIRTHDAY Queen guitarist Brian May says an asteroid in Jupiter’s orbit has been named after the band’s late frontman Freddie Mercury on what would have been his 70th birthday. May says the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre has designated an asteroid discovered in 1991, the year of Mercury’s death, as “Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury.” May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics from Imperial College, London, says the newly named asteroid is “just a dot of light, but it’s a very special dot of light” and recognizes Mercury’s musical and performing talents. Mercury, born Sept. 5, 1946, wrote and performed hits including “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are The Champions” with Queen, releasing over a dozen studio albums between 1973 and 1991.
NASA SPACECRAFT BEAMS BACK CLOSEUP VIEWS OF JUPITER’S POLES
The irst glimpse of Jupiter’s poles came in 1974 when Pioneer 11 lew by on its way to Saturn.
A NASA spacecraft has captured the best views of Jupiter yet, revealing turbulent storms in the north pole.
The detailed pictures taken by Juno look “like nothing we have seen or imagined before,” Bolton said.
Jupiter’s northern polar region is stormier than expected and appears bluer than the rest of the planet, said mission chief scientist Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
Juno also sent back unique views of Jupiter’s bright southern lights considered the most powerful in the solar system.
“This image is hardly recognizable as Jupiter,” he said in a statement.
Unlike rocky Earth and Mars, Jupiter is a gas giant that likely formed irst, shortly after the sun. Studying the largest planet in the solar system may hold clues to understanding how Earth and the rest of the planets formed.
NASA released a batch of close-up pictures taken by the Juno spacecraft last week when it lew within 2,500 miles of Jupiter’s dense cloud tops. During the rendezvous that took Juno from pole to pole, the solar-powered spacecraft turned on its camera and instruments to collect data.
The lyby was the irst of three dozen planned close passes during the 20-month mission.
After a ive-year journey, Juno slipped into orbit around Jupiter in July to map the massive planet’s poles, atmosphere and interior. It’s the irst spacecraft to carry a titanium vault designed to shield its computer and electronics from intense radiation. Juno is only the second mission to orbit Jupiter. When it completes its job in 2018, it will deliberately crash into Jupiter’s atmosphere and disintegrate. NASA planned the inale so that Juno won’t accidentally smack into Jupiter’s moons, particularly the icy moon Europa, a target of future exploration.
Mostly unnoticed amid the political brawl over climate change, the United States has undergone a quiet transformation in how and where it gets its energy during Barack Obama’s presidency, slicing the nation’s output of polluting gases that are warming Earth. As politicians tangled in the U.S. and on the world stage, the U.S. slowly but surely moved away from emissions-spewing coal and toward cleaner fuels like natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar. The shift has put the U.S. closer to achieving the goal Obama set to cut emissions by more than a quarter over the next 15 years, but experts say it is nowhere near enough to prevent the worst efects of global warming. The overlooked changes took center stage Saturday in China. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping entered the world’s two worst polluters into a historic agreement to ratchet down heat-trapping pollution. Obama hailed “the investments that we made to allow for incredible innovation in clean energy.” U.S. Department of Energy statistics show jolts in where America gets its volts: -In 2008, 48 percent of America’s electricity came from coal, the dirtiest power source; now it’s about 30 percent. That’s less than the combined U.S. output of carbon-free nuclear and renewable energy. -There are now more than three solar power jobs in the U.S. for every job mining coal. -In just the irst ive months of 2016, more solar power was generated than 2006 through 2012. -In 2008, the U.S. imported about two-thirds of its oil, and politicians spoke longingly of energy 132
Image: Evan Vucci
independence. Now, America imports less than half its oil. -U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas - are down more than 10 percent, and this year is on pace to be the lowest in about a quarter-century. “There were gigantic changes happening in the energy world, gigantic tectonic changes,” said Peter Fox-Penner of the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy. “It’s a sea change. There is no question.” Facing steep obstacles in Congress, Obama never aggressively pursued new emissionscurbing legislation, aside from a half-hearted attempt at cap-and-trade in his irst term that was politically disastrous for Democrats. Instead, he relied on executive authority and regulations at home while largely going above lawmakers’ heads by focusing on brokering global deals to curb carbon and other greenhouse gases. So how much credit does Obama deserve? And how much was completely outside his control? That debate is playing out in Obama’s inal months in oice, as the president tries to go out with a bang on climate and the environment. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas lobby, pointed out that Obama pitched his sweeping pollution limits on coal-ired power plants as the main driver of lower future emissions - but the courts have put those rules indeinitely on hold. Meanwhile, emissions have fallen due to a dramatic increase in cleaner-burning natural gas, which Obama was slow to try to regulate. 134
Image: SrA. Brian Ybarbo
“We are leading the world in carbon reductions today, and it’s driven primarily by cleanerburning, afordable natural gas that was brought to you by innovation and technological advances in the oil and natural gas industry,” Gerard said. But Brian Deese, Obama’s senior adviser, said the seeds of the fracking technology that enabled the natural gas revolution were found in federal Energy Department research conducted in the 1970s. He noted that the people who warned Obama’s policies - like his “Clean Power Plan” emissions limits - would be disastrous are the same people now celebrating the natural gas revolution. “You can’t on the one hand argue that the Clean Power Plan is an overarching regulation that’s going to impose all these costs, enforce all these changes in the industry, and on the other hand argue that change is happening independent of what government is doing and therefore these regulations are meaningless,” Deese said in an interview. The advent of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, produced much more natural gas, which became much cheaper and elbowed out coal as America’s fuel of choice. That has surprised all sorts of experts. In 2000, Dana Fisher, director of the University of Maryland’s Program for Society and the Environment, predicted the U.S. was unlikely to wean itself of coal because it was cheap and plentiful. And John Reilly of MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, predicted heat-trapping gas emissions would grow. Both admit they were wrong, with an embarrassed Reilly calling the subsequent decline “a dramatic turnaround from what everyone has expected.” 136
Obama had little to do with the fracking boom, except to not get in the way with regulations, energy experts said. But Obama pushed through 2009’s stimulus package that goosed spending and research in renewables, like solar, wind and hydro. His administration also increased fuel mileage requirements for cars and trucks and ratcheted up appliance and building energy eiciency standards. “His war is against fossil fuels, and natural gas is a fossil fuel,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., the Senate’s most prominent climate change doubter. “You can’t separate that out and say it’s somehow diferent than other fossil fuels. It’s not.” Natural gas is a “bridge fuel” from coal, which spews about twice as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide, but America still needs to wean itself from that fossil fuel too, said Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University engineering and public policy professor. And there are some downsides to these signiicant changes - like higher power bills in a few places - said Jef Holmstead, a Bush-era environmental oicial who lobbies for utilities that depend on coal. “It’s a shame that we’ve shut down a lot of plants that were continuing to provide low-cost power,” Holmstead said. The change in America’s energy supply is still too slow and pollution cuts are not enough to prevent dangerous global warming, Morgan said, adding “but it’s certainly better than the alternative, which is continuing to sail on as if we weren’t heading into the big storm.
Image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais
TELEFONICA EYES SALE OF MINORITY STAKE IN BRITAIN’S O2
Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica says it is considering selling a minority stake in its British mobile phone operator O2, four months after regulators blocked its takeover. Telefonica SA said in a statement Monday it is looking into a variety of strategic plans for O2, one of the United Kingdom’s major operators. The Madrid-based company said it has already started preparing a possible initial public ofering, which it described as just one of the possibilities. The statement said all the options involved Telefonica keeping a majority share. Last May, the European Union’s regulator blocked a $15 billion takeover of O2 by CK Hutchison, citing concerns the deal would have stiled innovation and led to higher prices for consumers. Telefonica is weighed down by some 52 billion euros ($58 billion) in debt. 140
Image: Luke MacGregor
CLOSER (FEAT. HALSEY) THE CHAINSMOKERS
MAKE ME... (FEAT. G-EAZY) BRITNEY SPEARS
HEATHENS TWENTY ONE PILOTS
WE DON’T TALK ANYMORE (FEAT. SELENA GOMEZ) CHARLIE PUTH
TREAT YOU BETTER SHAWN MENDES
COLD WATER (FEAT. JUSTIN BIEBER & MØ) MAJOR LAZER
MAMA SAID LUKAS GRAHAM
LET ME LOVE YOU (FEAT. JUSTIN BIEBER) DJ SNAKE
SIT STILL, LOOK PRETTY DAYA
DIG YOUR ROOTS FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
ENCORE: MOVIE PARTNERS SING BROADWAY BARBRA STREISAND
MIS NÚMERO 1... 40 ANIVERSARIO JUAN GABRIEL
BLURRYFACE TWENTY ONE PILOTS
TRAVELLER CHRIS STAPLETON
A HEAD FULL OF DREAMS COLDPLAY
LOOKING FOR A SAVIOR UNITED PURSUIT
COVERS WITH FRIENDS JASON MANNS
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO MAKE SENSE INGRID MICHAELSON
MAY WE ALL (FEAT. TIM MCGRAW) FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
YO TE RECUERDO (FEAT. MARC ANTHONY) JUAN GABRIEL
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN? (GRACIAS AL SOL) JUAN GABRIEL
MAKE ME... (FEAT. G-EAZY) BRITNEY SPEARS
THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR (FEAT. RIHANNA) CALVIN HARRIS
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
RISE KATY PERRY
ABRÁZAME MUY FUERTE (FEAT. LAURA PAUSINI) JUAN GABRIEL
ME TOO MEGHAN TRAINOR
THE DARKEST KNIGHT PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, SEASON 7
305B BACHELOR IN PARADISE, SEASON 3
WOO HOO WEEKEND THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY, SEASON 11
305A BACHELOR IN PARADISE, SEASON 3
BLOOD, SWEAT, AND FEARS KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS, SEASON 12
LOS MUERTOS FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, SEASON 2
BORROWED TIME SUITS, SEASON 6
REUNION, PT. 1 THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY, SEASON 8
SPA-CATION THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY, SEASON 7
SHAKE THE TREES SUITS, SEASON 6
STING SANDRA BROWN
THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS M.L. STEDMAN
ITâ€™S NOT OKAY ANDI DORFMAN
A GREAT RECKONING LOUISE PENNY
RUSHING WATERS DANIELLE STEEL
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN PAULA HAWKINS
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD J.K. ROWLING
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS B A PARIS
THE GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO AMY SCHUMER
THIS PROUD HEART PEARL S. BUCK
NOTIFICATIONS SENT FOLLOWING FISHING LICENSE DATA BREACH
Notices that personal information might have been compromised will be sent to hunting and ishing license holders in Idaho and Oregon following the breach of a vendorâ€™s computer system. They likely will be sent in Washington state, too. Oicials in Idaho and Oregon said Dallas-based Active Network will mail the notices to people in their states following the computer hack last week that shut down online license sales. 153
Washington oicials said they’re in contact with the company and expect similar letters to be sent in their state, but that hadn’t been inalized Friday. Oicials say the number of records exposed could be in the millions. Online license sales have been halted in all three states until the extent of the hack is fully understood. “They’ve only been able to conirm that it was possible that personal information was accessed,” Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler said. “We do not know yet whether or not that actually occurred, and we may not ever know.” Hunting and ishing licenses can still be purchased at the states’ wildlife oices or at businesses that sell the licenses. It’s unclear when online sales might resume. “I don’t have an estimate,” Bruce Botka of Washington’s wildlife agency said. “Our most important concern is ensuring the security of that particular channel.” Oicials in the three states said only about 20 percent of license sales occur online, with about 80 percent in person at state wildlife oices or businesses that sell the licenses. But that can be a problem for out-of-state hunters or anglers planning trips to the Northwest. Oregon oicials have had to resort to processing license applications over the phone, said Rick Hargrave of Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Kind of the old-school way,” he said.
Image: David McNew
VOLVO CARS, AUTOLIV TEAM UP TO DEVELOP AUTONOMOUS DRIVING
Chinese-owned Volvo Cars and Sweden-based automotive safety group Autoliv say they are creating a jointly-owned company to develop autonomous driving software for Volvo cars. The carmaker said Tuesday the new company, which has yet to be named, will develop advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving systems. In a joint statement, Autoliv CEO Jan Carlson said it was “a recognition” that “autonomous driving is the next step to transform road safety.” The company’s initial workforce will be of 200, and is set to start early next year. In August, Volvo Cars announced it was teaming up with ride-sharing company Uber to develop next-generation driverless cars, in a $300 million project. China’s Great Wall Motor and Geely Holding own Volvo Cars. 157