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U.S. judge suspends Blackstone's lawsuit against Italian media group-sources

A New York judge has suspended a lawsuit brought by U.S. private equity fund Blackstone against Italian publisher RCS Mediagroup over the disputed sale of real estate assets, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.
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Mexican state oil firm Pemex hit by ransomware attack
Mexican state-owned oil firm Pemex has been hit by a ransomware attack that halted critical operations, prompting the company to disconnect its network from the internet and back up critical information from hard drives. According to multiple reports from Reuters and Bloomberg, Pemex (short for “Petróleos Mexicanos”) servers were infected by Ryuk, a ransomware strain that’s typically distributed via email phishing campaigns. “We are taking measures at the national level to fight Ryuk ransomware, which is affecting various Pemex servers in the country,” Pemex told Reuters. Ryuk — believed to be operated by cybercrime group Grim Spider — primarly targets… This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Alexander Albon named Red Bull second driver for 2020 F1 season
Red Bull name Alexander Albon as their second Formula 1 driver for next season.
BBC Sport - Sport
Global stocks seek enlightenment from Trump on trade
World shares inched higher on Tuesday as investors awaited a speech by President Donald Trump on U.S. trade policy and on news he was likely to delay a decision on European auto tariffs.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Iraq's elite rallies around Iran-backed plan to hang on to power
Iraq's ruling parties appear to have rallied behind a strategy, blessed by Iran, to try to survive a mass anti-government uprising by containing protests on the streets of Baghdad while offering a package of political reforms and elections next year.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
'Start Here': Supreme Court weighs DACA and Trump mulls flavored vape ban
It's Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Here's what you need to know to start your day.
ABC News: Top Stories
'Shameful' of UK not to publish report on Russian meddling, says Hillary Clinton
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized as "shameful" British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision not to publish a parliamentary report on Russian meddling in UK politics until after an election next month.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Australia's ferocious fires threaten Sydney suburbs
Ferocious wildfires were burning at emergency-level intensity across Australia's most populous state and into Sydney suburbs Tuesday. (Nov. 12)      
USATODAY - News Top Stories
The Garage opens in Paris as Europe’s largest blockchain incubator
The Garage is a new blockchain incubator being opened in Paris by a coalition of blockchain researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors.
VentureBeat | Tech News That Matters
DACA’s Day in Court
For DACA recipients, the Supreme Court is just the latest battle in a long war.
Slate Articles
Why Tesla inspires such devoted stans
When a friend of mine recently bought a BMW, another (Tesla-owning) friend was concerned, writing in a group text, "[Friend] usually does a lot of research before he buys... there must be some reason why he chose ICE over the [Tesla] Performance Model 3." This politely lays out a refrain Tesla owners constantly pose to the world: Why in the world would you buy an internal combustion engine (ICE) car when Tesla all-electric vehicles exist? It's almost incomprehensible to a Tesla owner that people are still buying non-electric vehicles. Maybe it'd be less of an issue if my friend had purchased an electric BMW i3, since the Tesla-verse is all about sustainable energy, no matter how we get there. But even though fewer than 1 million Teslas have been produced (General Motors sold over 8 million cars in 2018 alone) and electric vehicles only make up Read more...More about Tesla, Model 3, Tech, Elon Musk, and Transportation
Mashable
The Atlantic Makes a New Mark
The Atlantic has an arresting new look, and a new way for readers to experience its journalism.Today, The Atlantic has launched a stunning design and product experience—most striking through a new logo and visual identity; a complete redesign of the print magazine, beginning with the December issue, out today; and an iOS app that now offers a more curated, visual, and personal way to navigate The Atlantic’s journalism. This is the most dramatic overhaul of The Atlantic’s visual identity in its 162-year history; the design draws on the best from that legacy while creating an enduring and instantly recognizable mark for The Atlantic wherever readers encounter it.[See a video about the design and a Q&A between editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg and creative director Peter Mendelsund.]These changes arrive two months after The Atlantic launched a digital subscription service, beginning a new era for The Atlantic and for its readers. September and October both drew record numbers of subscribers—more than double the number of subscriptions and revenue originally forecast.“The design is bold but classical, beautiful but spare, and respectful of the reader most of all. We’ve rethought everything about the way we present The Atlantic to the world, helping readers better understand our words through clarity in design,” said Goldberg. “The resulting work makes The Atlantic visually arresting, classically informed, and radically modern, all at the same time.”Among thousands of design changes, the most noteworthy is to the logo: The Atlantic nameplate that’s consistently topped the magazine (in different forms) for a century and a half has been updated to a simple and declarative A. The Atlantic also commissioned its first bespoke typeface, Atlantic Condensed, which was inspired by the original type chosen by the magazine’s founders in 1857. The new design also marks the start of a wholesale redesign of the website, beginning with a simplified and streamlined design and user experience.The North Face is the exclusive launch sponsor of the new design and The Atlantic’s app.The MagazineThe new visual identity, led by creative director Peter Mendelsund and senior art director Oliver Munday, retains the heritage and sensibility of the 162-year-old magazine while giving as much weight to the design as has long been given to the words. Small design and editorial elements emphasize the magazine's history and ethos: the magazine’s founding year, 1857, is noted quietly on the cover; the mandate of its founders to be "of no party or clique" is prominently noted in the table of contents.By stripping away many graphics and images, the team created a clean new look that emphasizes the text, while enhancing the reading experience through original photography and illustration.The December 2019 issue inaugurates this new look, matching the power of the new design with a remarkable editorial collection. “How to Stop a Civil War” is a singular special edition devoted to explaining this particularly dispiriting moment in America, with essays confronting the question of eroding national unity by writers including Yoni Appelbaum, Andrew Ferguson, Caitlin Flanagan, Megan Garber, Tom Junod, former Secretary of State James Mattis, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Serwer, and Tara Westover. “We don’t believe that the conditions in the United States today resemble those of 1850s America,” Goldberg writes in an introduction. “But we worry that the ties that bind us are fraying at alarming speed—we are becoming contemptuous of each other in ways that are both dire and possibly irreversible.”The Atlantic App: A Guide to IdeasThe Atlantic’s new iOS app is a curated, visual, and personal selection of news and ideas that adapts to a reader’s day. The “Today” tab, available without a subscription, reads like a newsletter/homepage/magazine hybrid, coming in carefully crafted editions while serving as a jumping-off point for the best of The Atlantic’s reporting and ideas of the moment. The design is bold, with whimsical visual cues throughout, such as handwritten greetings based on the current time of day for the reader (when read late at night, the app asks: “Still Awake?”).New features include: “Today,” a curated daily digest. Atlantic editors bring readers the stories that made them think. Exclusively available in the iOS app. Ad-free articles, now also available in Dark Mode. Offline reading. Save articles and download more than 150 archived magazine issues to read later. The Atlantic Crossword. Solve puzzles right in the app. An annual Atlantic subscription unlocks unlimited access to the app and TheAtlantic.com; monthly app subscriptions may also be purchased via the App Store.The app is the culmination of months of collaboration among the editorial, product, engineering, and growth teams, and will inform the next generation of The Atlantic’s digital platforms.###Media ContactAnna Brosspress@theatlantic.com
World Edition - The Atlantic
Snap Spectacles 3 review: A better, more sophisticated novelty
In case you've forgotten, Snap makes video-recording sunglasses called Spectacles. The first two iterations didn't do very well, and you had to go to a special vending machine to pay $130 or $150 a pop. Despite lukewarm reviews, Snap is isn't g...
Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features
Snap Spectacles 3 review: reaching new depths
Snap’s latest glasses are pricey but hint at where the world is going It was three years ago this week that Spectacles first arrived, via colorful Snapbot vending machines that captivated Snapchat fans. But early buzz and largely positive reviews led Snap to make too many of the first-generation video-recording sunglasses than it could actually sell, and the company was forced to write down nearly $40 million in costs. A second generation arrived last spring with a refreshed, waterproof design and the ability to snap still photos for the first time. But Spectacles 2 didn’t cause half the stir that their predecessors had, the company’s vice president of hardware departed, and Snap’s device ambitions faded into the background. Now Spectacles 3 have arrived, available exclusively through Snap’s online Spectacles store. They come with a striking new design and a much higher price — $380, up from $150 to $200 for the previous edition. (Spectacles 2 remain on sale.) Snap says the changes reflect its intended audience for the new Spectacles: fans of high fashion and artists who relish new creative tools. It’s also a way of avoiding another big writedown: measuring demand carefully with a single online storefront, then selling each unit at a price that lets the company recoup a bigger share of its investment. And Spectacles 3 are a milestone for the company in another way, too, CEO Evan Spiegel told me in a recent interview. Thanks to a second camera that lets the device perceive depth for the first time, Snap can now integrate its software into the real world using special filters that map to the world captured in a video. “What’s really exciting about this version is that, because V3 has depth, we’re starting to actually understand the world around you,” Spiegel said. “So those augmented reality effects are not just a 2D layer. It actually integrates computing into the world around you. And that is where, to me, the real turning point is.” Spiegel is playing a long game. He often says that AR glasses are unlikely to be a mainstream phenomenon for another 10 years — there are simply too many hardware limitations today. The available processors are basically just repurposed from mobile phones; displays are too power hungry; batteries drain too quickly. But he can see a day where those problems are solved, and Spectacles becomes a primary way of interacting with the world. Spiegel says the glasses will be a pillar of the company over the next decade, along with Snapchat and Lens Studio, the company’s tool for building AR effects. “I do think this is the first time that we’ve brought all the pieces of our business together, and really shown the power of creating these AR experiences in Lens Studio and deploying them through Spectacles,” Spiegel said. “And to me, that is the bridge to computing overlaid on the world.” Last week, I spent some time with Spectacles 3 to see how that bridge is coming along. The new design will be polarizing As with many products, first impressions count for a lot, and I expect the new Spectacle design will be polarizing. I strongly suspect that I am not the target audience for Spectacles 3, but in any case I never did feel entirely myself when I had them on. Part of it was that big steel bar running across my nose, which I felt gave me a vaguely bug-like affect. And part of it was that thin steel frame, which consistently dug into my ears and scalp. The black and mineral colors are sleek, but for the most part I missed the toy-like, but comfortable, plastic of the first two generations. Next, I put the cameras through their paces. Image quality is sharp, at least when you view the shots on a phone: photos are stored at a resolution of 1,642 x 1,642 pixels, and videos record at 60 frames per second and are stored at a resolution of 1,216 x 1,216. There are four microphones built into Spectacles 3, and audio fidelity on the videos I recorded sounded good. The company says you can capture 70 videos or 200-plus photos on a single charge, which should be enough to get you through most day-long outdoor activities. To recharge Spectacles 3, you store them in an attractive fold-out leather-wallet. (The elegant wallet may actually be my favorite part of the entire product.) A full charge takes 75 minutes, and the case itself recharges via USB-C. The Spectacles 3 are charged through their included case Spectacles reverses the normal user interface for capturing images: you tap on either of the two camera buttons to record a 10-second video, or press and hold to shoot a 3D photo. As with previous generations, you can tap the button again to add 10 seconds to your video, up to a total of 60 seconds. The marquee feature on Spectacles 3 is a new kind of Snapchat filter that takes advantage of the glasses’ depth perception to create a new category of 3D effects. There are 10 of these depth perception effects available at launch — adding disco lights that bend as they hit your body; big red hearts that pop as you move through them, and so on. Unfortunately, though, you can’t see those effects while you’re shooting video. The actual process goes like this: Shoot a video. Open Snapchat. Import the snap from your Spectacles into Snapchat, where it’s stored in Memories. Choose the snap from Memories. Tap “edit snap.” Wait for the snap to be sent to the cloud for image processing, and then re-downloaded to your phone. Begin swiping to apply 3D filters to your snap. In practice, this may only take about a minute. But I found that image processing could take much longer when I was away from Wi-Fi, as I suspect many Spectacles 3 users might be when playing around with their new glasses. Delays like this can discourage the kind of artistic experimentation that Snap has put at the center of its marketing campaign for Spectacles 3. Moreover, I found the initial set of depth-sensing filters mostly underwhelming. Some applied color effects to my videos in a way that made the video look grainy and unattractive. Others aren’t particularly differentiated from regular old filters — it turns out that confetti with depth perception looks a lot like confetti without depth perception. I also found some annoying bugs. Sometimes, after sending the snap to the cloud and back for image processing, two of the included filters simply didn’t work. I swiped over to the filter, and it didn’t apply any effect to my snaps at all. One last frustration with Spectacles’ integration with Snapchat: snaps taken with Spectacles still don’t transfer automatically to your Snapchat account. Instead, you connect to your phone over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and and transfer them manually. In my experience, this has made me reach for Spectacles less and less over time. (If you’re at home, on Wi-Fi, and have your Spectacles charging, Spectacles can be set up to export snaps to Snapchat automatically, but there’s no way to do it while you’re wearing or using them.) The Spectacles 3 package also comes with the 3D Viewer, a cardboard tool for viewing the 3D photos you take with the glasses. (It’s the same basic product as Google Cardboard, which Google just discontinued for lack of interest.) Assemble the Viewer, slip your phone into it, and Snapchat enters a special viewing mode designed for photos. I liked browsing 3D photos in the Viewer — you tap a conductive cardboard button to advance through them, and the photos rotate slightly as you move your head. To me the Viewer felt more like a novelty than a core part of the Spectacles product, but I can see how artists might find better uses for 3D photos. Taken together, the advancements in Spectacles 3 represent a meaningful improvement over what came before it — without quite making a complete case for themselves as an essential creative tool. There’s a good amount of novelty in the product, but I fear that, as with the previous two generations, that novelty will fade quickly. And that matters, since the latest generation of Spectacles is more than twice as expensive as the previous one. Snap’s best hope here is that its community of AR developers, who have proven themselves quite adept at building compelling filters and lenses, make better use of Spectacles’ new second camera than the first batch of filters do. And Spiegel is dreaming much bigger than that. I asked whether it might someday be possible to send messages from Spectacles to Spectacles, making the product feel as immediate as Snapchat itself. He told me that it was already in testing. “This is something that we’re actively experimenting with and playing with,” Spiegel said. “And I think it’s really fun to — in near-real time — see the world through someone else’s perspective, in 3D.” Of course, Snap is far from alone in working on AR glasses. Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are among the companies with versions in the works. Of those, though, Snap is the only company currently selling to consumers. (Microsoft’s HoloLens, at $3,500, isn’t really in the same conversation.) That means its failures get more attention. I asked Spiegel what Snap got in exchange for all the pressure of building in public. He said that getting direct feedback from customers helped Snap iterate faster on its designs. “If you compare version one of spectacles to version three, it’s like night and day in terms of the quality of the product,” Spiegel said. “And so to see that evolution in such a short period of time tells me that if we just keep at this, 10 years from now, I think we’re going to be able to deliver ultra-precise, very high-quality products. And that that’s something that we’re just gonna have to learn, and it’s expensive, and it takes time. But I think in the long run, it’ll pay off.” Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.
The Verge
These genius translation devices will forever change the way you travel
In the Golden Age of Marie Kondo, tiny homes, and minimalist interior design trends, people are focusing their intentions on swapping out things for experiences, making traveling abroad more popular than ever. The shift — and the rise of the sharing economy — has proven that today’s travelers are seeking out more authentic experiences as they’re opting for AirBnbs rather than luxury hotels and planning their travel itineraries so they can fully immerse themselves within the local culture.  Even with the best intentions in mind and all the pre-trip research you can fit in, traveling to a country where you don’t speak the native language presents a roadblock in making the most out of your visit. Experiencing cultures different from your own and meeting the locals is part of what makes international travel so special, but communicating in a country where you don’t speak the same language can prove rather difficult. Even if you didn’t find time to cram that Danish 101 lesson in before landing in Copenhagen or haven’t brushed up on your Spanish since high school, you can relax. There is officially a technological gadget to make everything better. Read more...More about Tech, Travel, Language, Translation Devices, and Mashable Shopping IMAGE: Amazon BEST POCKET-SIZED OPTION Pocketalk language translator device It can translate 74 different languages and comes with two years of built-in data, so you don’t need a plan or a hotspot to use it. Languages: 74 Touchscreen: Yes How It Works: Built-in data $299 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST VOICE ASSISTANT Langogo Pocket AI Translator Device Aside from providing communication across language barriers, it also helps travelers stay connected with information on places to stay, attractions to visit, updates on the weather, and more. Languages: 105 How It Works: Mobile hotspot Touchscreen: Yes $299 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST BUDGET OPTION BUOTH Smart Voice translator device If your travels will keep you in range of a mobile hotspot or WiFi connection, the BUOTH Smart Voice translator is a solid choice. Coming in as the lowest price on our list, you'll get the most bang for your buck. Touchscreen: Yes How It Works: WiFi, mobile hotspot Languages : 70 $168.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST ON EFFICIENCY ZOTO Smart Language translator device With a response rate of 0.3 seconds for translation, communication can flow seamlessly — but it does need to be used on WiFi or a mobile hotspot. Lanuages: 42 How It Works:: WiFi or mobile hotspot Touchscreen: Yes $175.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR NOISY ENVIRONMENTS MORTENTR Smart Voice translator device A high voice recognition ability and powerful noise-canceling speaker make this a go-to for crowded spaces and or other noisy locales. Languages: 70 How It Works: WiFi or mobile hotspot Touchscreen: Yes $269.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST SCREEN RESOLUTION Sogou Salange Pro translator device The Sogou Salange Pro translator device comes with photo translation capabilities and a huge, gorgeous screen to boot. Languages: 42 How It Works: WiFi or mobile hotspot Touchscreen: Yes $354 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST HANDS-FREE OPTION WT2 language translator earbuds The WT2 language translator earbuds are two Bluetooth, wireless earpieces that translate 36 different languages in real-time, while keeping your hands free. Languages: 36 How It Works:: Bluetooth Touchscreen: No $299 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR CHINESE TRANSLATION Alcorrect JoneR translator device The Alcorrect JoneR translator device is a solid choice for anyone looking to primarily translate English to Chinese, as it works quickly even while offline. Languages: 55 Touchscreen: Yes How It Works: WiFi, hotspot, or offline $299 from Amazon
Mashable
This highly reviewed antivirus software is 89% off
TL;DR: Get a three-year subscription to the secure GlassWire Elite for $29.99, an 89% savings.  One fateful day in November 1988, a Cornell University student named Robert Morris changed the internet forever. In an effort to expose the security flaws of computer networks, he inadvertently created a worm that would shut down thousands of computers across the United States. Thanks to his mistake, antivirus tools are practically required, especially for PCs. SEE ALSO: Best antivirus software for Windows 10 Computers have evolved since then, and most are designed to be a lot less vulnerable to various attacks. This might have you thinking that antivirus programs are no longer a necessity. After all, you probably can't recall the last time you panicked over clicking a sketchy link. Read more...More about Cybersecurity, Firewall, Antivirus, Mashable Shopping, and Tech
Mashable
10 Disney Channel Original Movies we’re streaming immediately on Disney+
Disney+ is officially HERE. The hype train has left the station and suddenly hundreds of Disney properties are at our fingertips, from the MCU to the animation vault to the galaxy far, far away. If you had a cable subscription during a certain period of Disney's TV prosperity, you're probably vibrating with excitement about the library of DCOMs — Disney Channel Original Movies — most of which are now streaming for the first time in history. Whether you grew up catching these reruns every night of the week or had never heard of Zenon except in the periodic table (an imposter!), here are 10 DCOMs to stream right away. Read more...More about Entertainment, Disney, Disney Channel Original Movies, Disney, and Entertainment
Mashable
This Curtis Stone sous vide device is $30 off with this early Black Friday deal
TL;DR: Get the versatile Curtis Stone Sous Vide Cooker and Beverage Chiller for $79.99, a 20% savings.  The holiday season is almost here, and if you're in charge of the festivities, you can probably already feel the imminent pressure looming. You'll have to prepare a variety of dishes, while also entertaining, and trying to avoid talking politics with your in-laws. You're going to need all the help you can get. If none of your friends or family volunteer to be your sous chef (and you don't have time to make new friends), the Curtis Stone Sous Vide Cooker and Beverage Chiller makes a great, and potentially less boozy, cooking assistant. Read more...More about Sous Vide, Black Friday, Kitchen, Mashable Shopping, and Consumer Tech
Mashable
Goldman Sachs will let people appeal their Apple Card credit limit after allegations of sexist algorithms
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Goldman Sachs will allow Apple Card customers to appeal their credit limit if they think it's suspiciously low, US bank CEO Carey Hailo said on Monday evening. The bank is Apple's partner for Apple Card and determines people's credit score. It has been at the centre of accusations that it offers lower credit scores for women for no discernible reason. Programmer David Heinemeier Hansson posted a viral thread on Thursday saying that he had been offered 20 times the credit limit of his wife, despite the fact they share all their assets. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak also said his partner had been offered a lower credit limit. Goldman Sachs hasn't explained how its algorithms come up with people's credit scores, but says it doesn't discriminate against women. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Goldman Sachs has a message for angry Apple Card customers worried about alleged sexist credit limits: "We hear you." CEO of Goldman Sachs Bank USA Carey Halio put out a statement on Twitter on Monday saying that it doesn't decide Apple Card customers' credit limits based on their gender. See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Most maps of Louisiana aren't entirely right. Here's what the state really looks like.See Also:From PewDiePie to Shane Dawson, these are the 26 most popular YouTube stars in the worldApple cofounder Steve Wozniak says Apple Card offered his wife a lower credit limitAfter more than 2 months with the Apple Card, I've never felt more attached to my iPhoneSEE ALSO: After more than 2 months with the Apple Card, I've never felt more attached to my iPhone
Business Insider
From record heat to record cold for many in the US
It was just a few weeks ago the US was sweltering in record heat. Now record cold is moving in from the Arctic and approximately 70% of Americans will feel temperatures below 32° by Wednesday morning. Pedram Javaheri has the latest on the impacts from the cold.
Sport
Raheem Sterling dropped by England after altercation with teammate
Raheem Sterling has been dropped for England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday after an altercation with national teammate Joe Gomez.
Sport
Taliban to free American, Australian hostages in prisoner swap, Afghan president says
The Taliban kidnapped American Kevin King in 2016 along with Timothy Weeks, an Australian national, outside the American University of Afghanistan.      
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Putin has relished US political chaos. He may now fear Trump's impeachment
On Russian state television, tightly controlled by the Kremlin, support for Donald Trump in his current impeachment battle is absolute. After all it is Russia, they sometimes joke, that got the US president elected in the first place!
Politica
The Atlantic Devotes Its December Issue to a Special Report: “How to Stop a Civil War”
“We don’t believe that the conditions in the United States today resemble those of 1850s America. But we worry that the ties that bind us are fraying at alarming speed—we are becoming contemptuous of each other in ways that are both dire and possibly irreversible,” writes editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg in an introduction to The Atlantic’s December issue, “How to Stop a Civil War.” The American experiment as we know it is not guaranteed to be eternal. This observation orients every article and essay in this singular edition, with today’s best writers confronting questions of American unity and fracture, and working to explain this particular dispiriting moment. As Goldberg writes: “Our immodest hope is that this special issue, appearing on newsstands exactly 162 years after our first issue, will provide at least a partial road map for a country stuck in a cul-de-sac of its own making.”The design of The Atlantic has been remade in striking, and gorgeous, detail beginning with this issue. The Atlantic’s new visual identity is reflected at TheAtlantic.com and with a new iOS app out today that offers a unique way to experience The Atlantic’s journalism. Among thousands of design changes, the most radical is on the cover: The Atlantic flag that’s topped the magazine for a century and a half has been replaced with a simple and declarative A.Essays and arguments that make up the December cover package are divided into three discrete sections: “On the Forces That Pull Us Apart”; “Appeals to Our Better Nature”; and “Reconciliation & Its Alternatives.” Among those writing are The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer, Yoni Appelbaum, Megan Garber, Caitlin Flanagan, Andrew Ferguson, Sophie Gilbert, and David Frum, along with contributions by Tom Junod, on what Mister Rogers would do in this moment; Tara Westover, examining the urban/rural divide in the context of our national fracturing; Retired General James Mattis, on the democratic principles that citizens must embrace; Danielle Allen, on how more robust citizen participation will enhance social cohesion; and Lin-Manuel Miranda, on art’s power to reflect the world.Please find below details about these articles and others that make up our December issue. Additional stories from this package can also be found online.Yoni Applebaum’s “How America Ends” dissects the exceptional challenges America faces as a unitary construct. Applebaum notes that no rich, stable democracy has made the demographic transition we are now experiencing. As America’s historically dominant group is on its way to becoming a political minority, a sharp political backlash has already begun, exploited and exacerbated by the president. Appelbaum writes: “Numerous examples from American history—most notably the antebellum South—offer a cautionary tale about how quickly a robust democracy can weaken when a large section of the population becomes convinced that it cannot continue to win elections, and also that it cannot afford to lose them.”Megan Garber’s “No Apologies” examines why powerful people can’t quite bring themselves to say “I’m sorry” even when acknowledging wrongdoing. “In some ways it’s understandable, this widespread apology aversion,” Garber writes. “The America of the current moment is heated and hasty, and an apology can be easily weaponized.” She points to the stark contrasts between Al Franken’s resignation and Donald Trump’s election after both were accused of sexual misconduct. “I’m sorry, said sincerely, is supposed to be the first step toward forgiveness. But forgiveness is difficult to discuss when justice is so unevenly distributed—when there’s no meaningful consensus about who deserves redemption, or under what conditions.”Adam Serwer’s “Against Reconciliation” argues that the gravest danger to American democracy isn’t an excess of vitriol—it’s the false compromise of civility. Serwer likens the current state of American politics to the Reconstruction era, “when the comforts of comity were privileged over the work of building a multiracial democracy.” He argues that the illusion of peace and civility is often purchased at the expense of true progress. “The danger of our own political moment is not that Americans will again descend into a bloody conflagration. It is that the fundamental rights of marginalized people will again become bargaining chips political leaders trade for an empty reconciliation.” Andrew Ferguson’s “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” considers whether the techniques of couples counseling might help save our polarized electorate from the same feelings of mutual contempt that spell doom for a marriage. Ferguson attends a workshop put on by the grassroots citizens’ group Better Angels, and finds that teaching people to listen better to those with different political views is helpful for those who want to understand one another. However, he notes, even techniques and classes that are effective at reducing rancor are limited to a self-selecting group, since “the world—for better or worse—isn’t a workshop.”Caitlin Flanagan’s “The Things We Can’t Face” makes the case that the abortion debate will never be won by either side. Flanagan describes how Lysol was once commonly used—even prescribed by doctors—as an agent for at-home abortions, a sign of great desperation and an indicator that women will continue to get abortions whether or not they are legal. “When we made abortion legal, we decided we weren’t going to let that happen anymore,” she writes. “We were not going to let one more woman arrive at the hospital with her organs rotting inside of her.” She notes, “the argument for abortion, if made honestly, requires many words: It must evoke the recent past, the dire consequences to women of making a very simple medical procedure illegal. The argument against it doesn’t take even a single world.” Her call to humility is powerful and essential.Also publishing today: “Why It Feels Like Everything Is Going Haywire,” a look at social media’s impact on democracy from Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell; “The Road From Serfdom,” Danielle Allen’s argument for enhancing participation among the electorate; and “The Enemy Within,” a piece from former Secretary of Defense James Mattis on teaching future generations the principles of democracy.Other features from the issue—including Jeffrey Goldberg’s conversation with Tara Westover about the roots of the urban/rural divide, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s essay on how art can bring America together—are now available at The Atlantic. Find the December issue on newsstands beginning next week.###Media ContactHelen Tobin, The Atlanticpress@theatlantic.com
World Edition - The Atlantic
Instagram is testing a new video editing tool that sounds a lot like TikTok
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge It was only a matter of time before Facebook’s cloning machine was spun into action to counter the growing threat from viral video app TikTok. It seems that Facebook-owned Instagram is looking to copy some of TikTok’s features, with its engineers building a new in-app video editing tool that lets users add AR effects and background music to clips, adjust their speed, and even “remix” others’ videos — a feature that’s very similar to TikTok’s “duet” functionality. The tool is reportedly called “Scenes.” The information comes from Jane Manchun Wong, a software engineer who’s made a name for herself reverse engineering code from top apps to discover as-yet-unreleased features. You can see her tweet on the subject below: Instagram is working on Scenes, a TikTok-like video editing/remixing tool for StoriesOther users will be able to remix your "Scenes" if your account is publicYou are given music, video speed, timer, AR Effect, etc to edit each clipThis feature is previously known as Clips pic.twitter.com/5y1DGACFis— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) November 12, 2019 There’s no guarantee that “Scenes” is definitely going to be launched by Instagram, but Wong has a good track record finding new functions in the app. She discovered Instagram’s mute feature a month before it was officially announced, and found tests to hide likes back in April — a feature that’s about to be tested for real in seven countries. Wong says “Scenes” is itself a remix of an earlier unreleased feature named “Clips.” We also know that Facebook is extremely keen to counter TikTok’s rise. The company has already had a limited launch for a standalone TikTok clone called Lasso, and when audio of Mark Zuckerberg speaking to employees was leaked to The Verge, the Facebook CEO indicated that Instagram might have to be enlisted in the fight against the new upstart. TikTok has “married short-form, immersive video with browse,” said Zuckerberg. “So it’s almost like the Explore Tab that we have on Instagram.” Now is a good time for TikTok’s competitors to pounce (Google is also reportedly working on its own counters). The app has seen huge growth, but is facing trouble from regulators, including a US national security review. Time’s ticking.
The Verge
Data: The UN has overlooked millions of malnourished children in Africa
Four years ago the United Nations (UN) member states created a list of international development targets, known as the Sustainable Development Goals. These included 17 urgent calls for action aimed at improving the lives of people around the world. Tackling poverty and food insecurity were placed at the top of the list. One region where hunger and poverty continue to blight the lives of millions, affecting the survival and development of children, in particular, is in West and Central Africa. For the UN to develop effective policies for reducing persistent poverty and hunger, they first needed a clear picture of… This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Nissan Profit Tumbles as It Struggles to Move Past Management Problems
The automaker said its quarterly profit fell nearly 55 percent, and cut its forecast for annual earnings.
NYT > Home Page
Doug's Gym in Dallas: a five-decade workout – in pictures
Doug Eidd opened his gym in 1962 in downtown Dallas, and over the years collected an eclectic membership. Photographer Norm Diamond photographed the last months of the gym, capturing the daily life and decay before its closure in 2018. Doug’s Gym: The Last of Its Kind is published by Kehrer Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Hillary Clinton attacks Boris Johnson for 'shameful' decision to block report on Russian election interference
Getty Hillary Clinton attacks Boris Johnson over his refusal to publish a report on suspected Russian interference in UK election. The report was due for publication before the upcoming general election. However, Johnson blocked its publication amid reported fears it could cost him the election. Clinton called Johnson's decision to suppress the report "shameful." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Hillary Clinton has attacked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his "inexplicable and shameful" to block publication of a report into Russian interference in UK elections. The former US presidential candidate told the BBC's Emma Barnett that she was "dumbfounded" by the UK government's refusal to publish the report, which was intended for publication before the general election.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hopeSee Also:Nigel Farage boosts Boris Johnson's election prospects by standing down Brexit Party candidates in Conservative seatsHow to vote tactically in the 2019 UK general electionBoris Johnson's Conservative party has received cash from 9 Russian donors named in a suppressed intelligence report
Business Insider
Lionel Barber to step down as Financial Times editor
Deputy editor Roula Khalaf to take over role early next yearThe editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, is to step down early next year, he has announced.Roula Khalaf, the deputy editor, will take over, Reuters reported. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Hong Kong betting inquiry: Racing staff among 21 arrests in Operation Iron Triangle
Horse racing in Hong Kong is rocked by a corruption scandal with 21 people arrested as part of a crackdown on illegal betting.
BBC Sport - Sport
Facebook is secretly using your iPhone’s camera as you scroll your feed
iPhone owners, beware. It appears Facebook might be actively using your camera without your knowledge while you’re scrolling your feed. The issue has come to light after a user going by the name Joshua Maddux took to Twitter to report the unusual behavior, which occurs in the Facebook app for iOS. In footage he shared, you can see his camera actively working in the background as he scrolls through his feed. The problem becomes evident due to a bug that shows the camera feed in a tiny sliver on the left side of your screen, when you open a photo… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: iPhone,Facebook
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Twitter wants your help to figure out its half-baked deepfakes policy
Last night, Twitter released its draft policy on deepfakes and opened up its feedback process for users. The policy is still in a very early stage and a lot of details, like determining and identifying manipulated photos and videos, are unstructured. The company defines deepfakes as “any photo, audio, or video that has been significantly altered or fabricated in a way that intends to mislead people or changes its original meaning.” While the definition kind of makes sense, Twitter will need to make sure its AI wouldn’t classify memes are deepfakes. Expanding on this in its survey, the social network says… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Twitter
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
WW2 wreck of fighter plane off Welsh coast gets protected status
Ghostly remains of ‘Maid of Harlech’ occasionally visible in the sandThe skeletal remains of an American fighter plane that crashed during the second world war off the Welsh coast, and occasionally emerge ghost-like from the seabed, have been given protected status.Welsh government officials say the resting place of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, nicknamed the Maid of Harlech, is the first military aircraft crash site in the UK to be protected for its historic and archaeological interest. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Widow of Elijah Cummings, Will Run for Congress
Ms. Cummings, who said she would resign as chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, is aiming to take over the seat vacated by her husband.
NYT > Home Page
McMansion Hell visits the wealthy DC suburbs, home to the Brick Behemoth, the Tragic Tudor, the Chonky Corinthian, and more!
It's hard to believe, but the latest installment of McMansion Hell's (previously) tour through the architectural monstrosities of America's tastleless elites is even better than the previous ones -- possibly that's because in this edition, editor/critic Kate Wagner is visiting Virginia's Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, these being affluent DC suburbs where beltway bandits and other swamp-dwellers make their dens. If you combine all of the insipid elements of the other houses: mismatched windows; massive, chaotic rooflines; weird asphalt donut landscaping; pompous entrances, and tacked on masses; you’d get this house. The more one looks at this house the more upsetting it becomes. The turrets don’t match. The roofline is truly mountainous. The windows are either too small or too big for the walls they are housed in. The carhole is especially car hole-y. What sends this one over the top is its surroundings: lush trees and clear skies that have been desecrated in order to build absolute garbage. At least it doesn’t have shutters. 50 States of McMansion Hell: Fairfax and Loudoun County, Virginia [Kate Wagner/McMansion Hell] Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Firefighters battle historic blazes in Australia
Firefighters across Australia spent Tuesday battling some of the fiercest bushfires the country has seen for decades -- and the danger isn't over yet.
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CNN.com - RSS Channel
John Bercow announces 'candid' memoir, Unspeakable
Exclusive: Two weeks after stepping down, the former Speaker and MP is set to reveal his thoughts on David Cameron and Boris Johnson in his book, released in February 2020Two weeks after stepping down as Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow has announced that he will publish his memoirs in February next year.Titled Unspeakable, the book was acquired by Weidenfeld & Nicolson after significant interest from publishers, with one insider telling the Guardian that the deal was “comfortably” into six figures. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
HIGHLIGHTS-Hong Kong on edge as anti-government protests grip city
Hong Kong police fired tear gas in the heart of the Central financial district and at two university campuses to break up pro-democracy protests.
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Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
The BBC’s battle with Samira Ahmed only exposes its own weakness | Stefan Stern
Watching the broadcaster belittle its staff and undermine its own work in my friend’s tribunal has been a startling spectacleOne of the BBC’s stated core values as outlined in its mission is, “Great things happen when we work together.” In fact, it’s central to its mission and purpose as a public broadcaster.It should follow then, I suppose, that when it doesn’t work together as a corporation great things won’t happen. That’s certainly one conclusion I’ve drawn from spending a few days watching the employment tribunal brought by my friend Samira Ahmed. She’s suing the BBC for nearly £700,000 in lost earnings over a claim of unequal pay. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Buy a classic sport photograph: 'Gone swimming!'
The seventh of a new Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images from the likes of Gerry Cranham, Mark Leech and Tom Jenkins – yours to own for just £55 including free deliveryA shallow depth of field focused on the tips of the swimmer’s toes; a flurry of bubbles rising upwards; an unidentifiable torso powering serenely into the distance … sometimes a picture only needs a few simple ingredients to make it magical. This shot by Gerry Cranham is a classic example of his ability to craft timeless images. It depicts the Scottish swimmer Bobby McGregor, who would go on to win a silver medal in the 100m freestyle at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics (although arguably it matters little who the picture is of). For those wondering how it was shot … isn’t there magic in the mystery, too? Let’s just say that while the early 1960s had seen a boom in underwater photography with the release of the Calypso camera, which was conceived by the famed oceanographer and film-maker Jacques-Yves Cousteau, there were other options. Competitive swimming pools began to install special viewing windows at their perimeters, allowing photographers seeking “underwater-style” images to remain dry while capturing the beauty of a tumble-turn. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Twitter makes it easier to follow things you like
The accounts you follow on Twitter may not be the only ones talking about things that interest you, and the social network is giving you easy way to find them. Twitter has started rolling out the ability to follow topics, so you don't have to obsessi...
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Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features
Biden campaign pushes foreign policy experience in new ad as impeachment probe begins
The Biden campaign is rolling out a new television ad focusing on foreign policy
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ABC News: Top Stories
Star Wars episodes I-VII are available in 4K HDR on Disney+
Star Wars in 4K Atmos | Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge Disney+ is going live today, and it includes an unexpected perk: the first 4K versions of several Star Wars movies, including the original trilogy. Episodes I: The Phantom Menace through VII: The Force Awakens are all available to watch with Dolby Vision HDR and Atmos support. There’s also a 4K HDR version of Rogue One, though Solo and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi aren’t yet on the new service. “We have actually been spending a lot of time getting the movies and TV shows as appropriate, upgraded and ready to be viewed in that format,” Disney streaming services head Michael Paull said at a media event attended by The Verge in New York City last week. “We are working very very hard at making as much a selection as possible of our programming [available] in 4K UHD.” The Verge has confirmed through first-hand viewing that the versions of the original trilogy are the 1997 “special editions,” which is disappointing but unsurprising. If you’ve been waiting to see Han shoot first in 4K, keep on waiting. Still, this is the first time that most Star Wars movies have ever had a 4K release at all, which is a significant bonus for Disney+ subscribers. The Force Awakens and Rogue One are available on 4K Blu-ray, but the original trilogy and the prequels have never ventured beyond HD resolution — and for now, the only way to watch the new masters will be Disney+.
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The Verge
Boris Johnson backed a Conservative candidate who claimed that immigrants are a bigger threat than terrorists
Boris Johnson is under pressure to remove a candidate who wrote that immigration was a greater threat to life in the UK than terrorism. Anthony Browne claimed that germs carried by immigrants would bring "death to our lands." He wrote that immigration had created "ongoing and sustained racial violence." An anti-immigration publication written by Browne was available in the far-right British National Party bookshop. Browne has been endorsed by Johnson and several senior members of the UK government. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Boris Johnson has backed a Conservative candidate who claimed that immigrants are a greater threat to life than terrorism and warned that immigration risks "utter devastation" for the United Kingdom. Anthony Browne was a former policy advisor to the prime minister when he was mayor of London and is standing in South Cambridgeshire in the general election on December 12.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hopeSee Also:The 'Remain alliance' could accidentally help Boris Johnson win a majority and force through BrexitThe Conservative Party chairman was empty-chaired on live TV as criticism mounts over calamitous start to campaignBoris Johnson's Conservative Party has received a surge in cash from Russian donors
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Business Insider
F1 reveals plans for net-zero carbon footprint and sustainable products
Initiative sets two-pronged target over next decade Chase Carey: ‘We hope to make a positive impact’Formula One has announced ambitious plans to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, and have all grands prix using sustainable products by 2025.The globe-travelling sport, which next season will feature a record 22 races, and with proposals to have 25 per year at some stage in the next decade, naturally has a significant impact when it comes to carbon emissions. But following a 12-month project, F1 – in conjunction with the governing body, the FIA, the teams, promoters and other stakeholders – is convinced it can deliver on its stated aims over the coming years. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
​Twitter is awash in disinformation bots tweeting lies about the Kentucky gubernatorial election results
It's a preview of just how badly things could go in 2020: the Kentucky gubernatorial race was narrowly decided for the Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, but the monumentally unpopular Trumpist incumbent Matt Bevin will not concede, and instead, he is repeating the Trumpist lie that "voter fraud" caused him to lose his office. Supercharging this lie are obvious fake Twitter accounts, like the now-suspended @Overlordkraken1 account, which posted hours after the polls closed with "just shredded a box of Republican mail-in ballots" and "Bye-Bye Bevin." Though the account only had 19 followers and though it was swiftly shuttered, a screenshot of the tweet was retweeted by a botnet army, and then far-right commentators started to cite it as evidence of electoral fraud. The disinformation campaign has also featured bot armies retweeting claims of "rigged elections" and "voter intimidation" (blamed on George Soros, of course!). Mainstream Republican commentators have hinted that the voting machines in Kentucky were hacked (the Republican Senate majority, led by Mitch McConnell, has consistently blocked funding to secure electronic voting machines). The online campaign has been joined by a robocall campaign that urges people to "report suspected electoral fraud." Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said, "Beyond the routine calls that we field, up to and on Election Day, there are no irregularities that would substantiate a 5,000-vote difference margin that now separates unofficially Governor-elect Beshear with Governor Bevin." Data compiled by VineSight, a start-up that detects disinformation on social media, showed that many of the accounts that tweeted the screenshot of @Overlordkraken1’s ballot-shredding claim appeared to be bots. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Nissan reports 70% quarterly profit drop, slashes full-year outlook
Nissan Motor Co Ltd reported a 70% profit drop on Tuesday and cut its full-year outlook to an 11-year low, as the Japanese automaker was hit by falling sales that highlight its ongoing turmoil after the ouster of former head Carlos Ghosn.
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REUTERS
Blaize emerges from stealth with $87 million for its custom-designed AI chips
Blaize, which is developing novel chipsets that accelerate AI workloads, emerged from stealth with over $87 million in funding.
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