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Celebrities react to the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential election
Following the first primary debate between the many 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, outspoken Hollywood celebrities far and wide sounded off on social media about what unfolded.
7 m
2 Killed After Russian Passenger Plane Skids off Runway and Crashes
The An-24 plane experienced an engine failure and crash-landed
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TIME - powered by FeedBurner
The Black Keys dismiss rumors that they hated each other
Six-time Grammy winners the Black Keys will release their first new album in five years on Friday. In their only TV interview, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney address rumors of their breakup and tell "CBS This Morning" co-host Anthony Mason what took them so long to get back in the studio.
9 m
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Spider-Man: Far From Home is a full-on heroic triumph
Warning: Significant spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. Spider-Man: Far From Home is arriving in theaters facing impossible expectations. In story continuity, it directly follows Avengers: Endgame, released just a few months ago to record-breaking box office success. In terms of Spider-Man stories, it follows the visually and narratively dazzling Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is still possibly the most ambitious Spider story to ever hit the screen. And in terms of its own internal story continuity, it follows the thoroughly enjoyable Spider-Man: Homecoming, an admirably human film that followed up the big, world-spanning action of Captain America: Civil War by scaling down the action and taking a more personal focus on protagonist Peter Parker, aka the teenage hero Spider-Man. Marvel Entertainment has had a long series of triumphs lately, both in its main, Disney-produced Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and in the affiliated Spider-Man movies produced by Sony Pictures under a separate license. That sets the bar for Spider-Man: Far From Home almost embarrassingly high. But the film clears that bar seemingly without effort. It’s an out-and-out triumph, an adrenaline blast of pure action and emotion that lives up to its predecessors and ably forwards the MCU story in memorable and even touching ways. Far From Home — which Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed is the final film of the MCU’s “Phase Three,” an arc that started with Civil War in 2016 — takes up the story where Endgame left off, both addressing some of its story concerns and processing some of its big emotions. Tony Stark’s death is being felt worldwide, as spontaneous memorials spring up, in the form of everything from stylized murals and urban shrines to cheesy YouTube “in memoriam” videos like the one that opens the film. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been particularly hard-hit by his mentor’s death, and by the feeling that he’s expected not only to carry on without him, but to live up to his legacy, and even to replace him in some way. Though the film doesn’t heavily underline the point, he’s clearly processing a fair bit of trauma over what he went through in the Avengers movies. He’s ready to take a break from superhero life and be a teenager again for a little while. But he’s walking back into a world that’s been radically changed by Thanos’ universe-dividing snap back in Avengers: Infinity War. Endgame restored the people Thanos snapped out of existence, but the world had to adapt to their abrupt reappearance after five years. Far From Home deals with the ramifications only in the briefest and most comedic way, but it’s clearly a backdrop for the world Peter re-enters, where some of the people in his high school have aged five years, while others are exactly as they were before “The Blip,” as the gap is now called. Fortunately for Peter, apparently all of his nearest and dearest — including his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), his best bud Ned (Jacob Batalon), and his crush object MJ (Zendaya) — were blipped away, and are effectively unchanged since Homecoming. He has the chance to take up where he left off, especially when his science class heads out on a European field trip where he hopes he’ll be able to spend personal time with MJ. Photo: Sony Entertainment Unfortunately for his plans, there’s a new hero in the world — Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), an interdimensional traveler whose alternate Earth was destroyed by mysterious raging elementals. Those creatures are now showing up on Peter’s Earth, and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) wants him to come help Quentin — immediately dubbed Mysterio by Peter’s classmates — fight them before they destroy everything. Much as in Homecoming, where Peter was torn between some approximation of a normal life and his perceived great responsibilities as a hero, in Far From Home he keeps just wanting Quentin to handle the problem so he can get a little downtime with MJ. But that proves impractical for any number of reasons, including the fact that the elementals and his class trip keep clashing, for increasingly hilarious reasons. Anyone familiar with Spider-Man’s character gallery will have some idea where this all goes, but they’ll have a harder time anticipating the sheer verve of the playful, thrilling way it plays out. Writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers (who previously teamed on Community, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man and the Wasp, andThe Lego Batman Movie) draw directly on some ideas they brought out in Homecoming, particularly that Tony Stark, while a hero to the world, is still a flat-out villain in other people’s eyes. They draw cleverly on past MCU movies to build up their backstory, in ways designed to have MCU fans roaring with recognition and open delight. And as with Ant-Man and the Wasp, they’re just flippant enough about their character motivations to prevent audiences from taking them too seriously. Like most MCU movies, Far From Home veers between snappy comic banter and big action setpieces, but here, the comic timing seems particularly sharp, with Peter’s open frustration, occasional haplessness, and charming naïveté all turned up for laughs. Gyllenhaal, similarly, delivers a sharp and knowing performance, half modest soulfulness, half something else entirely. He seems like another strongly talented actor slumming it as a square-jawed, nearly expressionless generic hero, until the film calls on him for more, at which point his versatility suddenly comes sharply into play. But Far From Home’s action beats are stunning too. Another dynamic not expressly spelled out, but still evident in every battle, is that Spider-Man’s ability to swing from webs and hit pretty hard aren’t much use against monsters made of water or fire. He has to get creative to fight them, and the creativity of the fights becomes one of the film’s most impressive assets. In particular, Mysterio’s specific power set enables some sequences that actually manage to rival Into the Spider-Verse for dizzying effect and visual creativity. MCU movies generally move fast and challenge viewers to keep up, but director Jon Watts (who also helmed Homecoming) trusts the audience to process an ever-changing world going by at lightning speed, and to take in what’s important in a constantly-changing landscape. The same plot elements that let him play with space and pace also let him draw on Spider-Man’s history in these films, turning the film into a running reward system for sharp-eyed fans picking up Easter egg references. But even for audiences who aren’t coming from that kind of expert-level MCU perspective, Far From Home is a surprisingly effective and emotional film. Peter’s longing for MJ, for a normal life, and for one shot at a peaceful vacation runs throughout the film, enabling a lot of banter and a lot of emotional push and pull. But his grief at losing his flawed father figure, and his fear that he might not be up to the challenge of filling Tony Stark’s robo-boots, gives the movie its true emotional spine. It’s like a gigantic group therapy session for MCU fans, asking them to process the loss of a favorite superhero after a decade of watching him gleefully smarm his way through a winning series of movies. Peter’s loss is more personal and more deeply felt, but he’s still an audience avatar, and the inevitable moment where he steps up feels like a solemn promise that the MCU isn’t dependent on any one talent. There’s a terrific small moment in Far From Home where Tony’s assistant Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) watches silently as Peter steps up to one of Tony’s old fabricators and starts dialing through holographic suit elements, ginning himself up a new outfit. Happy doesn’t say anything about it — he just smiles a small, wistful smile, clearly recognizing the behavior and remembering the last man he watched do this same thing. It’s nothing more than a momentary quirk of the lips amid a much bigger and more thrilling crisis. But it’s Far From Home in a nutshell — an acknowledgement of small emotions amid big moments, an reminder of the ever-building continuity that’s made these stories so memorable and so satisfying for fans, and a moment taken for grief between action beats. It’s a beautiful little moment in a beautifully big film. But moments like these are what make Far From Home feel so heartfelt and relevant. It’s a breathless and admirably well-assembled movie that proves the Marvel formula still isn’t tired. But it’s also a capper on more than a decade of building powerful feelings around powerful heroes.
The Verge
Trump Administration Reportedly Will Strip Deportation Protection for Families of Active Duty Troops
The current parole in place program allows troops to serve without worrying about undocumented loved ones being deported.
Slate Articles
Ford to cut 12,000 jobs in Europe by end 2020
Ford said it will cut 12,000 jobs in Europe by the end of next year to try to return the business to profit, part of a wave of cost reductions in an auto industry facing stagnant demand and huge investments to build low emission cars.
Trevor Project CEO on the risks still facing LGBTQ community: "Words really matter"
A recent survey by the Trevor Project reveals nearly one in five LGBTQ young people attempted suicide in just the last year. For more than two decades, the Trevor Project has worked to end this long-running crisis by offering emergency counseling by phone, text and chat. More than 200,000 calls and messages come in every year. Trevor Project CEO and executive director Amit Paley joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss some of the issues still facing LGBTQ youth today despite all the progress that's been made.
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Phillies vs. Mets: Aaron Nola will continue his bounce back
“It’s a very unexciting group of people.” President Trump weighing in on, no not the Orioles lineup, but the field of 20 Democrats debating in Miami. Split into two divisions and Bill de Blasio, as expected, ran last of 10 Wednesday. While Trump was unimpressed with the low-energy candidates he did say that Mike Pence,...
New York Post
What It’s Like To Be a Teenager in Putin’s Russia
Russian teenagers are not fans of Putin — and now they’re almost old enough to vote.
NYT > Home Page
Degreed raises $75 million to plug employees’ skills gaps
Learning and skill-tracking platform Degreed has raised $75 million to help employees learn new skills and advance their careers.
VentureBeat | Tech News That Matters
Jon Bon Jovi met his future wife in high school
Today he rocks stadiums as the frontman for Bon Jovi, but back in high school, Jon Bon Jovi used to play the trumpet and drums in the marching band. High school is also where the Jersey rocker met the woman he would eventually marry. See what the “Livin’ on a Prayer” singer was like back...
New York Post
Salesforce’s AI grasps commonsense reasoning
Researchers at Salesforce say they've devised a new technique that effectively "teaches" AI models to use commonsense reasoning.
VentureBeat | Tech News That Matters
Cook whips up a batch of 1886-recipe Coca-Cola
The Coca-Cola your rotting your guts out with today isn't the Coca Cola that rotted out your great grandfather's guts. On their way from a recipe sorted out for individual use and one developed for mass consumption, things change. Nuances of flavor or texture may be lost or gained. One recipe involves cocaine. The other? Not so much. Back in 1886, John Pemberton had what you might call a bit of a morphine problem. His solution to sorting this addiction out was to replace morphine addiction with a cocaine addiction. Genius! Instead of snorting or shooting it, Pemberton developed a tasty tonic that he could infuse the drug into and down in a few refreshing gulps. It was the birth of Coca Cola--one of many. There's a number of formulas out there, some written in Pemberton's own hand, that are reputed to be the original. In addition to the fact that today's Coke products don't come packing cocaine as part of their punch, a modern can of the cola has little in common with these early recipes. The YouTube food aficionados at Glenn and Friends Cooking whipped up a batch of Coca Cola, based on Pemberton's hand scrawled instructions. While its missing a couple of hard-to-get ingredients (like coca leaves), the crew stay as true to the recipe as modernity and their finances will allow. Image via YouTube Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Aera raises $80 million to extract and augment enterprise data
San Francisco-based Aera (formerly FusionOps) has raised $80 million to develop data processing and augmentation products powered by machine learning.
VentureBeat | Tech News That Matters
The Completely Mad Story of the Accidental Beatles
In the spring of 1964, the world was desperate for a new Beatles song. Two goofy English folk singers had one. Then things got weird.
Slate Articles
Prison Architect surpasses 4 million players
Prison Architect has surpassed 4 million downloads on PC, console, and mobile. Now, a new developer is taking over updating the game.
VentureBeat | Tech News That Matters
‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is more teen comedy than action movie
Audiences love a good European road trip. Remember when Clark Griswold and family yukked around the continent in “European Vacation”? Or how the song “Scotty Doesn’t Know” incited a “EuroTrip”? Well, now we’ve got “National Lampoon’s Spider-Man.” Actually it’s called “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” but that’s the vibe — teen mischief and transatlantics — except...
New York Post
What if the Eagles had traded for Larry Fitzgerald in 2008?
Philadelphia could have paired Donovan McNabb with Fitzgerald, while the Cardinals would have landed another star wideout. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the greatest wideouts in NFL history and the best to ever wear an Arizona Cardinals uniform. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards, touchdowns, and receptions. Now, Fitzgerald is entering his 16th season in the NFL and despite being constantly asked about his eventual retirement, he continues to show up every training camp. Fitzgerald has been a steady presence for Arizona even through the team’s ups and downs. Every time you turn on a Cardinals game, you are almost certain to see him line up at the top or bottom of your screen when they are on offense. Only Larry Fitzgerald makes a one-handed catch look this easy : @thecheckdown— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) December 30, 2018 In an era when it’s rare to see a player not change teams during his career, Fitzgerald is to be the antithesis to that. But his time with the Cardinals could have ended a lot sooner. Fitzgerald was nearly a Philadelphia Eagle At the end of 2007, Fitzgerald had just wrapped up a season in Arizona where he put up monster numbers. He averaged a career-high 93.9 yards per game and recorded 100 receptions for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns — all of which fell into the top 10 at his position. Fitzgerald was still on his rookie year deal, which had numerous incentives included. With his production, a lot of those clauses were activated and suddenly the Cardinals were tight for cap space. Arizona heavily considered moving him during the 2008 offseason instead of signing him to a new deal, as Fitzgerald revealed years down the line. The supposed trade would’ve sent him to Philadelphia, in exchange for the Eagles’ first- and third-round picks. It would have been a massive deal, one which would have shifted the NFL landscape and altered the paths taken by both franchises. Ripple Effect No. 1: The Cardinals draft DeSean Jackson For starters, if the trade happens it drastically changes the success Arizona achieved the following year. The 2008 season was a historic one for the Cardinals. With Kurt Warner at quarterback, Fitzgerald continued to light up opposing secondaries. He eclipsed the 1,400-yard mark again and led the league with 12 receiving touchdowns. Arizona made the playoffs with a 9-7 record and Fitzgerald was stellar in his first postseason run. In four games, he caught a whopping seven touchdowns and had 546 receiving yards, both single-season playoff records. His most heroic score was the 55-yard touchdown in the Super Bowl which put the Cardinals up late in the fourth quarter. Despite Fitzgerald’s best efforts, Arizona lost in heartbreaking fashion as Santonio Holmes made one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history to clinch a 27-23 victory for the Steelers. The Cardinals likely take a different course of action if they trade Fitzgerald in 2008. Most significantly, they probably don’t make Super Bowl 43 without him. Their offense would still be fine, just not as explosive, with Anquan Boldin as the main wideout and Steve Breaston getting more snaps. There might have also been another receiver added to the mix. With Fitzgerald gone and the trade complete, the Cardinals would have had the No. 16 and No. 19 picks in the 2008 NFL Draft, with the latter coming from Philadelphia. Given that Arizona was coming off a year when it ranked No. 28 in the league in passing yards allowed, it still would’ve taken cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at No. 16 to shore up its secondary. But with its second first-round pick, there’s a good chance the Cardinals would address the hole left by Fitzgerald. Players like Limas Sweed, Devin Thomas, and DeSean Jackson were all available to draft at No. 19. While none of these guys in real life were actually drafted in the first round, in the hypothetical situation the Cardinals need a wide receiver and would go get California’s Jackson, giving them a deep threat who can burn defenses with blazing speed. Taking Early Doucet in the third round, which actually happened, is still on the board as Arizona centers in on the duo of him and Jackson as the future of its wide receiving corps. Although defenses wouldn’t be keying in on one wideout like they usually did with Fitzgerald, Jackson’s speed and big-play ability would open up some space for Breaston and Boldin. It’s fun to imagine Warner throwing deep shots to Jackson a couple of times per game. While it might have not led to the success they would have had with Fitzgerald, the Cardinals would have been an interesting project to watch. Ripple Effect No. 2: The Eagles make Super Bowl 43 Acquiring Fitzgerald would have drastically altered the future of the Eagles as well. First, they wouldn’t have drafted Jackson in the second round. This immediately robs us of some memorable moments, including his celebration against the Dallas Cowboys in 2010 after a 91-yard touchdown, him inexplicably fumbling the ball on the goal line against them in 2008, and of course the Miracle in the Meadowlands, Part II: Muffed punt. Heavy traffic ahead.NBD. DeSean Jackson capped off "Miracle at The Meadowlands: Part II!" #Wayze2Go— NFL (@NFL) December 22, 2016 With Fitzgerald as their star wideout, the Eagles still make the playoffs and finish with a better record than the one they posted in 2008 at 9-6-1. He would be paired up with Donovan McNabb as the quarterback entered the twilight of his career. In his second-to-last season in Philadelphia, McNabb still put decent numbers as the starter. He threw for over 3,900 yards and 23 touchdowns in that season. Those numbers would have been even better with Fitzgerald as his main target. Fitzgerald’s route running and hands would help establish a solid connection between the two. Fitzgerald would be the first wideout on the depth chart, with Jason Avant on the other side of the field and Brian Westbrook as the workhorse. Fitzgerald was instrumental in the real 2008 NFC title game that pitted the Eagles against the Cardinals. His biggest play came when he scored a 62-yard touchdown in the second quarter to put the Cardinals up, 14-3. Fitzgerald torched Philadelphia’s secondary the entire day, going off for 152 yards on nine catches and three touchdowns to lead Arizona to a 32-25 victory. Considering he was the main reason why Philadelphia didn’t win the NFC Championship in the first place, it feels right to have the Eagles make the Super Bowl in this reality. It would be their second time in five years reaching the big game, giving head coach Andy Reid another shot at the Lombardi Trophy. It’d also set up a rematch with the Steelers, who the Eagles beat 15-6 in Week 3 earlier that season. This brings up an interesting question when it comes to future of their core. Who knows, maybe the Eagles front office sees their appearance and possible win in the Super Bowl — which would have been their first ever — and lets the Reid-McNabb duo run a little bit longer, instead of trading away the quarterback in the 2010 offseason. Fitzgerald would be signed to a long-term deal, since Philadelphia wouldn’t want to lose him in free agency for nothing. With him still being in his prime, he’d continue to put up numbers with McNabb as his quarterback. Ripple Effect No. 3: Philadelphia doesn’t trade for Jason Peters The Fitzgerald trade would also change Philadelphia’s future drafts and roster. In 2008, the Eagles moved their first-rounder to the Carolina Panthers for the 43rd and 109th selections and a first-rounder the following year. By not having Carolina’s first-rounder in this alternate universe, the Eagles wouldn’t have been able to pull off the trade that gave them offensive lineman Jason Peters. In 10 years and counting with the team, Peters is a seven-time Pro Bowler and has been a dependable anchor on the left side of its offensive line. But in this reality, the Eagles likely don’t have the assets to entice the Buffalo Bills in 2009 to trade for him. After making a deal with Carolina, Philadelphia made another draft-day trade in 2008 with the Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles moved the 43rd pick and the 152nd pick to Minnesota for picks No. 47 and 117. Those two picks ended up becoming defensive tackle Trevor Laws and cornerback Quintin Demps, who played on multiple NFL teams in his career. While the Eagles did end up with an All-Pro offensive lineman, a solid cornerback, a defensive tackle who played 56 games for them, and one of the more electrifying wide receivers in his era in Jackson, it all wouldn’t have happened if the Fitzgerald trade had gone through back in 2008. Sending Fitzgerald to Philadelphia would have shifted the landscape of the NFC and the entire league in general. Without Fitzgerald, Arizona doesn’t have its miracle run to Super Bowl 43 and in turn we probably don’t get the iconic image of Holmes making a tip-toe catch with two Cardinals defenders all over. Reid is one of the best offensive minds in NFL history, but in his coaching career he has fallen just short of a championship. Fitzgerald is one of the best players to have never won a ring. Things could have been different, though. They both could have gotten that elusive Super Bowl title and added another chapter to their storied legacies.
Sports News, Scores and Fan Opinion Powered by 320 Sports Blogs
New 'Overwatch' Lego sets feature Wrecking Ball, Junkrat and Roadhog
The Overwatch buzz shows no sign of slowing down, and Blizzard is keen to cash in on the enthusiasm with a range of merchandise including action figures, monopoly, nerf guns and apparel. Now, even more Lego sets are being released so you can build ti...
Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features
Spider-Man: Far From Home Is Weirder Than It Looks
A moviemaking lifetime ago, before the dawn of cinematic universes and elaborate studio deals for comic-book intellectual property, Jake Gyllenhaal almost played Spider-Man. This was back in the early 2000s, when contract negotiations with Tobey Maguire got tense enough that Columbia Pictures briefly extended an offer to hotshot young star Gyllenhaal to play the hero for Spider-Man 2. He never took the role and ended up having a much more interesting career (possibly as a result), turning in dynamic work in projects as varied as Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler, and Okja, and becoming that rare sort of character actor with leading-man looks. Which, of course, makes him perfect for a Marvel movie. Everything old is new again.In Spider-Man: Far From Home, the second entry to the second reboot of the Spidey franchise (and that’s not even counting that pesky Spider-Verse), Gyllenhaal plays Mysterio, a velvet cloak-wearing warrior from an alternate reality clad in green armor and a fishbowl helmet who zips around the screen emitting verdant fog. In other words, he’s pretty weird—the kind of B-list villain screenwriters have to start digging out of comic-book back issues when superhero series drag on for this long. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say the weirdness goes several layers deep with Mysterio. Which makes Gyllenhaal ideal casting—he’s a funhouse-mirror take on a caped crusader here to question just how odd audiences are willing to let these movies get as Hollywood keeps offering them up.Ostensibly, this is a regular old Spider-Man movie, one set in a Marvel Universe still roiled by the aftermath of the almighty Avengers: Endgame, in which the 50 percent of people zapped into dust by Thanos’s cosmic snap suddenly popped back into existence. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) was one of the fallen comrades who reappeared, as were his pals like MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon), and here they all nonchalantly resume their sophomore year of high school. Though there’s a little effort to acknowledge the supreme bizarreness of this Rapture-like event (here dubbed “the Blip”), there’s much more material about the death of Peter’s mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who served as his gadget-loving surrogate dad in Spider-Man: Homecoming and assorted Avengers flicks.As Peter wrestles with whether he could ever step into the metal boots of his beloved hero, he is swept up in an adventure of international intrigue by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Mysterio, who enlist his help to do battle with a bunch of elemental monsters across Europe. This plot gets rolled into a high-school trip, bundling Peter’s superhero inferiority complex with the more routine issues of his big crush on MJ and his efforts to keep his costumed identity secret from his classmates. The director Jon Watts, who also made Homecoming, relies on the same goofy kinetics that powered his last film; these movies lack the grandeur of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy, but they do capture the hero’s motor-mouth, wise-guy attitude best.A tale of Spider-Man ping-ponging around cities like Venice, Prague, and London fighting beasts made of fire and water would probably serve the Marvel Cinematic Universe just fine, but happily this movie has far stranger plotting in mind. I just can’t talk about its many twists without spoiling the fun. I’ll simply say that Gyllenhaal, who has a real talent for balancing charm, rage, and utter ludicrousness, is excellent as Mysterio, using the hero’s left-field presentation to satirize the ongoing phenomenon of cultural worship for do-gooders in colorful spandex. Jackson, an old hand in the Marvel world, doesn’t quite have the zingy chemistry with Holland that Downey Jr. did, but as Fury he gets to be a little less stoic and self-serious than usual.The biggest achievement of all remains that Marvel managed to introduce Spider-Man into its crowded universe just a few years after he’d been played by Maguire and Andrew Garfield in five movies and make him feel fresh. Keeping these films as relatively low-scale high-school capers (buoyed by Marvel’s fat visual-effects budget) has kept Holland’s hesitant, kind-hearted Spider-Man from seeming like a fatuous flagship star. These movies still allow Peter to make mistakes, to bumble into heroism rather than boldly go, and to give his chemistry with MJ some time to properly simmer; Marvel movies are naturally episodic, but for Spider-Man that path is at least somewhat distinctive. Spider-Man: Far From Home is a bouncy addition to a bulging franchise, with just enough fringe zaniness to help it stand out from the pack.
World Edition - The Atlantic
Philips Hue's New Bluetooth Bulbs Make It Cheaper to Try Out the Best Smart Lights
Despite being one of the most popular smart light platforms on the market, one of the disadvantages of Philips’ Hue system is its need for a bridge. That means getting started with Hue tended to cost a bit more than competing platforms, because to control even one light, you needed a hub. Read more...
Gizmodo - We come from the future.
Philips Hue bulbs now come with Bluetooth, so you don’t need a hub
Philips Hue smart bulbs are getting what may be their biggest upgrade ever: many bulbs will now ship with Bluetooth built in, allowing them to be set up and used even if you don’t own the $60 hub that, until now, has been necessary to control them. Adding Bluetooth to the bulbs comes with some big benefits and really only some minor drawbacks. The major benefit is that anyone who owns a smartphone will be able to screw in one of these light bulbs and control it directly from their phone. The bulbs still have Zigbee, and you can buy a hub to upgrade them That’s great for the Hue line and for buyers — it’s now far easier to get started with Hue bulbs, because you don’t need to commit to buying and installing a hub before you even know if you’re happy with the bulbs in the first place. Many other smart bulbs have taken this approach, using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and it’s made them far better options for people who only want one or two smart lights, rather than a whole home full of them. The downside to using the bulbs this way is that Bluetooth has a much shorter connection range than the wireless system that Hue bulbs have traditionally used — Zigbee — and they won’t be remotely connected to the internet. That means you’ll only be able to control them when your phone is in range of the bulbs, or about 30 feet away. If you forget to turn off a light, you won’t be able to go into the app and flip it off from outside the house. Fortunately, Hue bulbs will continue to include Zigbee. So you can buy a bunch of Bluetooth bulbs, and if you later want to do more with them — control them out of the house or from a longer range — you can buy the hub to upgrade your system. Signify, which makes Hue bulbs, recommends upgrading once you’re using more than 10 bulbs. Bluetooth is coming first to the Hue line’s traditional A19 bulbs and BR30 flood light bulbs. Prices will remain the same as they’ve been in the past: $15 for a single white bulb; $30 for a single “white ambiance” bulb, which you can control the color temperature of; and $50 for a full color bulb. Signify says more Hue products with Bluetooth will be released later this year and next year.
The Verge
Facebook’s Libra probably won’t help people without bank accounts
Facebook is making promises that Libra can’t cash Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra claims to solve a very dire problem: helping people without access to banks. I have my doubts about how helpful Libra will be. According to the white paper, the entire point of Libra is to “enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.” The company claims LIbra will help give people access to a cheaper system of money transfers. Facebook cites a statistic of 1.7 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to financial institutions, a statistic that originates with the World Bank’s Global Findex Database 2017. Of these people, about 1 billion have mobile phones and 500 million have internet access. Insights like these have led to the phone-payment system M-Pesa, which already operates in more than 10 countries and does not use cryptocurrency. Let’s start with the obvious missing statistic: we do not know how many people have Facebook accounts but no bank accounts. Half of all adults who don’t have bank accounts are living in just seven countries; in four of those countries, it’s hard to see how Libra gets off the ground According to the report Facebook cites, half of all adults who don’t have bank accounts are living in just seven countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan. In four of these countries, it’s hard to see how Libra gets off the ground. Facebook is banned in China. Some countries, such as Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, have temporarily banned Facebook for periods of time, possibly limiting the effectiveness of any money tied to the app. Facebook mentions this as a risk factor to its business in its quarterly filing: “Government authorities in other countries may seek to restrict user access to our products if they consider us to be in violation of their laws or a threat to public safety or for other reasons, and certain of our products have been restricted by governments in other countries from time to time.” That’s not all: many of these countries have laws around cryptocurrency. (Yes, I know it is debatable whether Libra qualifies as a cryptocurrency or not. But Facebook is calling Libra a cryptocurrency, so I am going to assume cryptocurrency laws will apply.) India’s current regulations mean Libra can’t operate in the country. Pakistan is considering regulation for cryptocurrencies, but currently they are banned. Cryptocurrency is also implicitly banned in Bangladesh and China. The big win here is possibly Indonesia, which just legalized trading cryptocurrencies, and was also called out by Facebook in its most recent quarterly filing as an area of growing daily active users. It doesn’t look like Libra has summoned any local support yet in the places it matters most But the majority of these countries have substantial hurdles for Libra adoption. This might explain why Libra’s founding partners aren’t based in any of these countries. (MercadoPago, an online payment company that’s also one of the partners, does operate in Latin America and is based in Argentina.) No founding Libra partners appear to be based in Asia or Africa, either — and that’s where the people without bank accounts are, according to the World Bank stats. It isn’t impossible to see something like Libra taken up, but it will require local support; most countries have a thicket of regulation around banking. It doesn’t look like Libra has summoned any local support yet in the places it matters most. The white paper contains some detail on Libra’s architecture. Still, there’s little discussion of why people don’t have bank accounts. According to the World Bank data Facebook is citing, almost two-thirds of people who don’t have bank accounts say it’s because they don’t have enough money to open one. Libra does not solve that problem. A third of people who don’t have bank accounts said they don’t need one. No need for Libra there, either. Libra solves only the less popular reasons people don’t have bank accounts. Libra solves only the less popular reasons people don’t have bank accounts. About a quarter of respondents said banks’ high and unexpected fees were at least part of why they didn’t have accounts; distance to a bank was a barrier for another 20 percent. So these people would seem to be Libra’s target audience. There’s sort of a subtle hitch here, though: to use Libra, you have to buy Libra. I’m not the first to notice it; the Financial Times’Brendan Greeley has written about the same issue. The papers themselves seem to be considering their end user to be someone like me, a lady with a bank account and a credit card. The process of converting to Libra is described pretty much how I would experience it: you log on and give them your credit card number or bank account number. Problem is, people who do not have banks do not have bank account numbers and they may not have credit cards, either. They have cash. “There’s nothing about how Libra will lower fees to convert fiat cash into Libra money, which is both the essential challenge of consumer banking and an explicit part of Libra’s problem statement,” Greeley writes. “Check-cashing places charge hideous fees, but they’re willing, on demand, to turn physical checks into physical cash, and physical cash into transfers.” As for mobile banking, uptake has been patchwork. M-Pesa has been successful in Kenya. But in Nigeria, people still prefer cash because they worry if their phones are stolen, their money will be gone, too. This is a problem of social norms, not engineering. Clashes between telecoms and banks hamstrung mobile banking applications in Nigeria. This, too, is not a problem you can solve through engineering. There are other, more mundane problems when it comes to mobile banking as well, like the cost of having inactive customers. Libra doesn’t address the main problem the documentation says it’s setting out to address It’s not clear to me why a mobile payments service like the one Facebook is proposing requires cryptocurrency at all. It seems like a non-starter in many of the markets where mobile payments might be most needed. And Libra doesn’t address the main problem the documentation says it’s setting out to address. From the documentation Facebook has given, a reasonable person might conclude that the problem statement exists entirely as a smoke screen. Libra isn’t meant for people without bank accounts; it’s meant for people who already have money. Facebook is a business; businesses need to make money; as we have seen, people without bank accounts mostly don’t have money. There’s one more kink in the documentation, which Coindesk’s Ian Allison first spotted: “An additional goal of the association is to develop and promote an open identity standard. We believe that decentralized and portable digital identity is a prerequisite to financial inclusion and competition.” If Facebook’s problem statement is a sham, then the portable digital identity is another plausible end game. Look, it’s fine that Facebook is building a money app for the privileged class. That’s typical Facebook, actually! But I do not believe Facebook is doing this for the greater good. Reading the documentation, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that all Facebook is doing is trying to dream up a new way to line its own pockets — whether that’s Libra or an open identity standard. Or, you know, both.
The Verge
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Spider-Man: Far From Home Is a Spectacular Leap Forward for Peter Parker and the MCU
Because Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first major Marvel Cinematic Universe film set explicitly after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the great responsibility resting on its shoulders is twofold. Not only does the movie have to bring its titular hero back down to Earth from the most epic adventure of his life, it…Read more...
Gizmodo - We come from the future.
Hannah Hart wants nothing more than for you to love yourself
Every day of Pride Month, Mashable will be sharing illuminating conversations with members of the LGBTQ community who are making history right now.  It was the grilled cheese sandwich heard 'round the world.  In 2011, Hannah Hart made a video. Then an unknown delight with boundless creativity and access to Mac's Photo Booth application, the fledgling YouTuber created a five-minute segment, titled "My Drunk Kitchen Ep. 1: Butter Yo Shit," as a joke for a friend.  Documenting her hapless attempts to drunkenly cook a grilled cheese sandwich (without any cheese at her disposal), Hart's glowing warmth and welcoming nature oozed from lens to playback. It was the start of something spectacular. Read more...More about Youtube, Lgbtq, Hannah Hart, Self Care, and Pride 2019
Google Maps is the new search destination
"Ramen." That's not the usual address or business name you'd put into a navigation app, but many of us are starting to use Google Maps like we do the Google search bar. Instead of searching for "Coco's Ramen" or some other specific business or address on a map, we're trying to find any ramen spot for dinner. Google Maps keeps stuffing more and more into its navigation app, which can be overwhelming, but can also make it a one-step process. Instead of toggling between a review app, a search browser, and directions, we're now taking a more direct approach to search, especially with over 150 million businesses on Google Maps.  Read more...More about Search, Google Maps, Businesses, Navigation Apps, and Tech
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CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Zuckerberg: Facebook needs to form deepfake video policy
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CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Police search home with ‘nexus’ to MacKenzie Lueck case
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New York Post
Why Mormonism is the best religion for cyborgs
It feels like we’re finally getting to the magical stage where technology is catching up with our imagination — which of course only means one thing: cyborgs! This might still sound futuristic, but they’re actually already walking among us, and many more of us could become cyborgs in the coming years, if plans by people like Elon Musk pan out. It’s going to take a while to adjust to this coming reality, both practically (in terms of legislation) and ideologically (we’re all familiar with dystopian depictions of half-human, half-machine abominations). There is one area, however, that’ll probably be particularly difficult… This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
EU to run war games to prepare for Russian and Chinese cyber-attacks
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US news | The Guardian
Amazon expands in-store Counter pickup service to the US, starting with Rite Aid
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The Verge
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Entrepreneur - Start, run and grow your business.
Vienna to host Eliud Kipchoge bid to break two-hour marathon barrier
• Olympic gold medal winner set current world record in Berlin• Sir Jim Ratcliffe: ‘It’s not unlike trying to put a man on the moon’Eliud Kipchoge will attempt to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon in in Vienna in October. The Austrian capital has been chosen to host the the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, which will see Kenyan world record holder Kipchoge make his second bid to run the first sub-two-hour marathon.Kipchoge ran the marathon in a time of two hours and 25 seconds on the Monza race track in Italy in his previous attempt to break the two-hour mark. He was assisted by pacemakers who ran set sections of the course on that occasion, meaning it was not recognised as a world record. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns says Colin Kaepernick is 'the man'
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Reddit ‘quarantines’ pro-Donald Trump group over threats
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Russia behind GPS failures at airport, Israel believes
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Princeton grad charged with killing his father
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Cricket World Cup: India's Dhoni survives stumping chance against West Indies
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BBC News - Home
Amazon strikes deal with Rite Aid for in-store package pickup
Customers can have their packages to be shipped to a local Rite Aid, where they'll have 14 days to pick up
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Thomas Edison Movie Is Finally Out of Harvey Weinstein’s Shadow
The film is recharged and recut.
Slate Articles
How to remove metadata from your photos on iOS
Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. Shortcuts app for iOS is a very useful way to automate your iPhone or iPad. In this series, we’ve been looking at different workflows to make your Apple device a lot more powerful to accomplish specific tasks. Another automation that could come in handy is removing metadata from photos. Every photo that you take with your phone (or any camera) comes with a lot of technical information. They might include details like: Data and time… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: iOS
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Germany’s Angela Merkel renews health concerns with second shaking incident
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen shaking for a second time in just over a week – renewing concerns about her health. Merkel appeared to clasp her arms to keep still for about two minutes on Thursday as she stood alongside German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during an indoor event with the new justice minister. The...
New York Post
U.S.-China trade war could cause price of fireworks to skyrocket
As Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, a Fourth of July tradition faces a potential threat. The majority of fireworks sold in the U.S. are manufactured in China but a trade war between the two countries may cause prices to skyrocket. Adriana Diaz reports.
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video