Arts & Entertainment
0 Comments

Bezos: Enquirer Threatening to Publish Revealing Photos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the National Enquirer is threatening to publish revealing photographs of him unless his private investigators back off the tabloid.

Bezos detailed the revelations in a Thursday post on Medium.com. He accuses the Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail.”

The National Enquirer published a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Since then, private investigators have been looking into how the Enquirer got the texts.

Bezos says the Enquirer’s parent company tried to get him to agree to a deal for the tabloid not to publish the explicit photos.

As part of the deal, Bezos would have to release a public statement that he has “no knowledge or basis” to suggest the tabloid’s reporting was politically motivated.

your ad here
Arts & Entertainment
0 Comments

Frank Robinson, Baseball’s First Black Manager, Dies at 83   

Legendary baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first black manager in the U.S. major leagues, died Thursday in Los Angeles at 83.

He had been suffering from bone cancer and was in hospice care at his home.

Even if he had not become baseball’s first African-American manager, Robinson’s feats on the playing field would have been enough to earn him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

During his career as an outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, California Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, Robinson hit 586 home runs, played in 14 All-Star games, helped lead the Orioles to three straight World Series, and was an outstanding and aggressive fielder.

He was named Rookie of the Year during his first season in 1956 playing for the Reds. 

Robinson is the only player in major league history to win the Most Valuable Player award in both the American and National leagues.

He made history in 1975 when the Cleveland Indians hired him as a player-manager, the first black manager in the major leagues. He made an impressive debut, hitting a home run on the first day. 

He later managed the Orioles, Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Montreal Expos, and Washington Nationals. He was named Manager of the Year in 1989 when he was with the Orioles.

Robinson worked as a baseball executive after retiring as a manager in 2006.

your ad here
Silicon Valley & Technology
0 Comments

Apple to Contribute to Teen’s Education for Spotting FaceTime Bug 

Apple Inc. on Thursday rolled out software updates to iPhones to fix a privacy issue in its FaceTime video calling service, and said it would contribute toward the education of the Arizona teenager who discovered the problem. 

The software bug, which had let users hear audio from people who had not yet answered a video call, was discovered by a Tucson, Ariz., high school student Grant Thompson, who with his mother, Michele, led Apple to turn off FaceTime group chat as its engineers investigated the issue.

The technology giant said it would compensate the Thompson family and make an additional gift toward 14-year-old Grant’s education.

Apple also formally credited Thompson and Daven Morris from Arlington, Texas in the release notes to its latest iPhone software update.

“In addition to addressing the bug that was reported, our team conducted a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service and made additional updates to both the FaceTime app and server to improve security,” Apple said in a statement.

Two key U.S. House Democrats on Tuesday asked Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to answer questions about the bug, saying they were “deeply troubled” by how long it took Apple to address the security flaw.

The company said last week that it was planning to improve how it handles reports of software bugs.

your ad here
Arts & Entertainment
0 Comments

Woody Allen Sues Amazon for $68 Million for Breach of Contract

Filmmaker Woody Allen has filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon for breach of contract, accusing the streaming giant of canceling a film deal because of a “baseless” decades-old allegation that he sexually abused his daughter.

Allen says Amazon sought to terminate the deal in June, and has since refused to pay him $9 million in financing for his latest film, A Rainy Day in New York, his lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan allege.

That film was one of several to be produced with the Oscar-winning director under a series of agreements reached after Allen made the Crisis in Six Scenes program for Amazon, which was then a new content provider.

He is seeking that $9 million along with minimum guarantees owed him for other films, totaling “in excess of $68,000,000,” according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in New York and obtained by AFP.

He says Amazon told him the deal had become “impracticable” because of “supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments” and the refusal of actors to work with him.

Allen has been accused of molesting Dylan Farrow, his adopted daughter, when she was seven years old in the early 1990s.

He was cleared of the charges, first leveled by his then-partner Mia Farrow, after two separate months-long investigations, and has steadfastly denied the abuse. But Dylan, now an adult, maintains she was molested.

In June last year, the same month that Amazon apparently terminated his contract, Allen backed the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment — and said he should be its poster boy.

“I’ve worked in movies for 50 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses, and not a single one has ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all,” he said in an interview with Argentina’s Canal 13 television network.

“I — who was only accused by one woman in a child custody case, which was looked at and proven to be untrue — I get lumped in with these people.”

In recent months, a string of actors who have worked with Allen have distanced themselves from him, and said they would no longer work with him.

Amazon did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

your ad here
Arts & Entertainment
0 Comments

Researchers Seek Fuller Picture of First Africans in America

The first Africans to arrive in North America were so little noted by history that many are known today by only their first names: Antony and Isabella, Angelo, Frances and Peter.

Almost 400 years ago, they were kidnapped and forcibly sailed across the ocean aboard three slave ships — the San Juan Bautista, the White Lion and the Treasurer — and then sold into bondage in Virginia.

Now their descendants, along with historians and genealogists, are seeking recognition for a group of 20-some Africans they describe as critical to the survival of Jamestown, England’s first successful settlement in North America.

“We need to reclaim our history. We need to tell our story,” said Calvin Pearson, head of Project 1619, which is named after the year those first Africans landed near what became Hampton, Virginia.

A few historical markers and records mention these early slaves, but there’s been scant research on their lives. Pearson and others are working to learn more.

Before the slaves arrived, Jamestown was starving. “Basically all of those people were right off of the streets in England,” said Kathryn Knight, who in May will release a book titled “Unveiled – The Twenty & Odd: Documenting the First Africans in England’s America 1619-1625 and Beyond.”

Those colonists “didn’t know how to grow anything. They didn’t know how to manage livestock. They didn’t know anything about survival in Virginia,” Knight said. The Africans “saved them by being able to produce crops, by being able to manage the livestock. They kept them alive.”

The slaves’ arrival marked the beginning of the region’s fractured relationship with blacks. More than two centuries later, Virginia became home to the Confederate capital, and in the last week its governor has been pressured to resign for appearing in a racist photo in a 1984 yearbook.

The new arrivals were Catholic and many spoke multiple languages, according to Ric Murphy, an author and descendant of John Gowan, one of the Angolan captives.

They came from a royal city and “were quite informed and educated, and several of them, based upon what they did in the latter part of their years, clearly were leaders in the community in one form or the other,” Murphy said. “Many of them became landowners, which is quite different from the false narrative of what an enslaved person was.”

In Jamestown, historian Mark Summers leads tourists down paths that Angelo — also known as Angela — walked after being sold to a Captain William Pierce.

Like many of that first group, her life is largely a mystery. In fact, her entire known biography “could probably fit on a 3×5 index card,” Summers said. But being able to show people where she lived and walked is a spiritual experience for some, he said.

For African-Americans, “this is the same thing as going to Plymouth Rock,” said Summers, who works at the Historic Jamestowne park. “Here’s a place where you can stand and say, ‘We set foot here, and we can still walk this ground.’”

The first Africans were among more than 300 taken out of the Ndongo region of Angola, a Portuguese colony of mostly Catholic Africans, on the San Juan Bautista bound for Mexico. That ship was attacked and plundered by the White Lion and the Treasurer, which together seized about 60 slaves. After stopping in the Caribbean and trading some of the slaves for provisions, the White Lion sailed for Virginia with its human cargo.

Englishman John Rolfe, who would later marry Pocahontas, documented the White Lion’s arrival at what was then called Point Comfort.

“He brought not anything but 20, and odd Negars, which the Governor and Cape Merchant bought for victualle,” Rolfe wrote in a letter in January 1620, meaning that the colony purchased the slaves with provisions.

A 1620 census showed 17 African women and 15 African men in Jamestown.

Although sold into servitude, many of those original Angolans fared better than the millions of African slaves who came to North America later, said John Thorton, a Boston University professor of African American studies and history.

“They had a better chance at a better future than almost anybody who followed them because they were the first,” Thorton said. “A lot of them ended up owning property, and they ended up owning slaves of their own.”

By intermingling with the English colonists, some had children who ended up passing for white and merging into early colonial society, Thorton said.

Some, like the Catholic John Pedro, met with tragedy, Pearson said.

Pedro “ended up owning quite a bit of land in Virginia. When the English Civil War broke out, it was Protestants versus Catholics,” Pearson said. Pedro moved to Maryland to live with other Catholics, but he was captured in a battle and executed.

Antony and Isabella became servants for a Captain William Tucker, gained their freedom around 1635 and started a homestead in Kent County, Virginia, Pearson said. Around 1623, they had a son named William Tucker who “became the first documented African child born in English-occupied North America.”

Descendants of Antony and Isabella are buried at a Hampton cemetery that has been in use since the 1600s, Pearson said.

Knight has a different interpretation of those early records, concluding that Frances gave birth to Peter first, making him the first African child born in Virginia.

Described in later records as a “Negro carpenter,” Peter married and received his freedom with the promise of paying 10,000 pounds of tobacco to his master around 1676. He made the last payment in 1682, Knight said.

Murphy, who wrote “Freedom Road: An American Family Saga from Jamestown to World War,” said it’s important for black people to know about these first Africans because it “helps us have more ownership of American history.”

Pearson, whose organization plans to honor the anniversary of the Africans’ arrival on Aug. 24, agrees.

“From here, we see the beginnings of the Africa imprint on what would become the United States of America. It’s worth remembering.”

your ad here
Silicon Valley & Technology
0 Comments

Apple Puts Modem Engineering Unit Into Chip Design Group

Apple Inc has moved its modem chip engineering effort into its in-house hardware technology group from its supply chain unit, two people familiar with the move told Reuters, a sign the tech company is looking to develop

a key component of its iPhones after years of buying it from outside suppliers.

Modems are an indispensable part of phones and other mobile devices, connecting them to wireless data networks. Apple once used Qualcomm Inc chips exclusively but began phasing in Intel Corp chips in 2016 and dropped Qualcomm from iPhones released last year.

Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, took over the company’s modem design efforts in January, the sources said. The organizational move has not been previously reported.

Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to lead chip design, including the custom A-series processors that power iPhones and iPads and a special Bluetooth chip that helps those devices pair with its AirPods wireless headphones and other Apple accessories.

The modem efforts had previously been led by Rubén Caballero, who reports to Dan Riccio, the executive responsible for iPad, iPhone and Mac engineering, much of which involves integrating parts from the company’s vast electronics supply chain.

Apple declined to comment. Technology publication The Information previously reported that Apple was working to develop its own modem chip.

The Cupertino, California-based company has posted job listings for modem engineers in San Diego, a hub for wireless design talent because of Qualcomm’s longtime presence there and a place where Apple has said it plans to build up its workforce.

Apple’s effort to make its own modem chips could take years, and it is impossible to know when, or in what devices, such chips might appear.

“When you’re Apple, everything has to be good,” said Linley Gwennap, president of chip industry research firm The Linley Group. “There’s no room for some substandard component in that phone.”

5G on horizon

Apple’s investment in modem chips comes as carriers and other phone makers are rolling out devices for the next generation of faster wireless networks known as 5G.

Rival handset makers Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd already make their own modems.

Making its own modem chips would likely cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars or more per year in development costs, analysts said, but could save it money eventually.

Modem chips are a major part of the cost of Apple devices, worth $15 to $20 each and likely costing Apple $3 billion to $4 billion for the 200 million or so iPhones it makes a year, said Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon.

Apple may also benefit by combining its modem chips with its processor chips, as Samsung, Huawei and most other phone makers do. That saves space and battery life, two important considerations if Apple introduces augmented reality features into future products.

your ad here
Science & Health
0 Comments

Melania Trump to Anti-drug Group: ‘Recovery is Possible’

Melania Trump, addressing an anti-drug conference, says “recovery is possible.”

The first lady traveled to Maryland on Thursday to address the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s annual youth leadership forum. Her signature “Be Best” campaign focuses on a number of issues, including the opioid crisis.

Mrs. Trump spoke about a former opioid and substance abuse addict who joined her for Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

The first lady says Ashley Evans received treatment at an Ohio facility, has been in recovery for over a year and looks forward to being reunited with her daughter.

Mrs. Trump says Evans’ story shows “recovery is possible” and that community programs can help make a difference.

The first lady was also visiting the Office of National Drug Control Policy for a briefing.

your ad here
Science & Health
0 Comments

WMO: 2018 Was 4th Hottest Year on Record

The World Meteorological Organization says 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record confirming, what it calls a clear sign that long-term climate change is going on.

Of the four past record-breaking years, 2016 was the hottest. The World Meteorological Organization says temperatures that year reached a global average of 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  It says the increased warming in the atmosphere was influenced by a strong El-Nino event, which causes sea temperatures to rise in the tropical Pacific.   

Temperatures in 2018 dipped to 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  But meteorologists say the ranking of individual years is less important than the long-term temperature trend in gauging climate change.

The WMO says other factors besides temperature are involved in changing climate.  WMO spokeswoman Claire Nullis says extreme weather events also play an important role.

“Obviously, as we continue in 2019, we are seeing more extreme weather… in different parts of the world, including dangerous and extreme cold in North America, record heat and wildfires in Australia, high temperatures and rainfall in parts of South America,” Nullis said.

While Australia was baking in its warmest January on record, a cold weather front was gripping parts of the eastern United States. Nullis says freezing temperatures do not disprove climate change is happening.

“We do not just have climate change.  We have the daily weather.  It is summer in the southern hemisphere right now.  So, we do expect to see high temperatures.  It is winter in the northern hemisphere.   We expect to see cold temperatures.  But, in the southern hemisphere, we have seen extreme heat.  A lot of records broken,” she said.  

Nullis added that every single heat wave cannot be attributed to climate change.  But she noted that extreme heat is one symptom of climate change.  It is one of the phenomena expected from a changing climate.

 

your ad here