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Another year is over. Let’s hope the next is smoother.
#HospitalGlam #thefutureisaccessible #disabled #invisibleillness #ehlersdanlosgrrrls

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Hey – sorry I’m behind on answering stuff in my inbox!  The good news is that today I had a bit of time to do some stats for you over breakfast. :D

AO3 makes it a bit tough to sort fandoms by size, or find the biggest fandoms by genre.  But I’ve written a script in the past to do that for each of their subcategories (e.g., “TV Shows”).  So I just grabbed some piping fresh data off of the “Cartoons & Comics & Graphic Novels” AO3 page, and then removed anything that was obviously a comic.  There may still be comics in there, and I didn’t take the time to remove duplicates/highly overlapping fandoms (and this also relies on AO3′s decisions about how to categorize fandoms, which you may disagree with), but this should give us a quick first look.  

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Voltron currently has A LOT more works than the next most popular show, but it’s also a long-running fandom. (Edit: but Legendary Defender is new. Thanks, eagle-eyed readers!)   One of the ones you asked about – Steven Universe – is still relatively new, but has produced 8.6K works already!

Here are all the ones with at least 500 works – I highlighted the particular ones you mentioned, although I know you were just listing some of the examples you were interested in:

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… and OK K.O.! has 84 works. 

Edit: people have pointed out that this didn’t include a whole bunch of animated stuff that’s categorized on AO3 as Anime & Manga. (Also Homestuck, which is categorized with cartoons etc, but I initially omitted because I’m confused about whether it fits the bill. XD ) Adding all these fandoms in, we get the following top 20:

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I don’t have time right now to dive more deeply into the characteristics of these fandoms vs. live action fandoms – but if you or anyone else want to take this list and dive in deeper, the raw data is here, and I’m happy to share my scripts or other info/ideas about data gathering with you. :)

And for reference, here are some notes on interpreting my fandom stats (I’m probably going to start appending this to all such posts).

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Posted by Samuel Axon

Soylent, shipping now.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has taken action that led to a cessation of shipments of Soylent to Canadian customers, according to Soylent producer Rosa Foods.

As Ars reported two years ago, Rosa Foods began shipping Soylent in Canada in July of 2015. Then, there was a recall of the meal replacement bars related to some customers experiencing gastrointestinal distress in late 2016, triggered by Rosa Foods itself. This regulatory result appears to be unrelated to that event.

In this case, a Monday statement from Rosa Foods CEO Rob Rhinehart explained that the CFIA's issue with Soylent is that it does not meet some requirements (not specified by Rhinehart) for a "meal replacement."

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Posted by Paul Freeman

When you ask a typical teen what they want for a sweet 16 birthday present, you might expect the answer to be cash — or a car. But Emma Gerson, a singer and multi-instrumentalist, opted for a combination of two things she feels passionate about — performing and humanitarianism.

The Los Gatos resident, who turned 16 on Oct. 19, told her mother, singer/vocal coach Ruth Gerson, that the best birthday gift imaginable would be the chance to put together a benefit for one of her favorite causes — the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn initiative. And their talented friends shared her enthusiasm.

Thus was born “Night of Stars,” which will feature performances from several South Bay Teen Idol winners, including Emma. It will be held at the Addison Penzak JCC in Los Gatos on Nov. 10. One hundred percent of the profits go to Let Girls Learn.

Emma started working with Let Girls Learn last year, after entering the Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen pageant. “We had to choose a platform to advocate for and I wanted to do something for women’s rights,” Emma said. “I found Let Girls Learn, researched the program and found that the work that they’re doing is essential for girls living in areas of crisis. It’s helped women tremendously, all around the globe. So it’s something that I definitely wanted to contribute to.

“Let Girls Learn was started by Michelle Obama and the mission was to help girls create value for themselves and their communities around the world though education,” Emma explained. “In those places, education can effectively save a life. So putting together this event really gives me joy.”

“Doing good things for others makes her feel good,” said Ruth, of her daughter, who has taught piano to kids participating in the San Jose nonprofit Sunday Friends.

Emma is a 2016 winner of the South Bay Teen Idol competition. When she competed the previous year, Emma didn’t place. “At the end of it, I was like, ‘OK, so I have work to do.’ Coming back the next year and winning showed me that, if I set my mind to something, I can do it.”

That experience came into play, as Emma went around trying to line up sponsors and ticket-buyers for “Night of Stars.”

“I earned the confidence to do that in the Teen Idol competition,” she said.

Emma said everything she knows about singing, she learned from her mom. Ruth said, “Emma is open-hearted and a very brave singer. She steps out and takes chances with her vocals and always finds something that I wouldn’t necessarily anticipate.”

Needing additional performers, Emma reached out to friends, including fellow South Bay Teen Idol honorees Devon Schreiner (second place 2016) and Sophie Huang (first place 2017). Also featured will be Los Gatos Ballet’s Elizabeth Anderson.

“Through music, I’ve made some of my best friends. There’s been such a great sense of community,” Emma said.

The evening will also include DJ music, dancing, light appetizers, beverages, a silent auction and raffle.

The Gerson Family Band will perform a song. Joining Ruth in the trio are Emma and her 12-year-old singer/drummer sister Hazel. Younger sibling Hope, age 4, isn’t quite ready to join in the onstage fun.

Daphne Chen, a Santa Clara University student based in Los Altos, is to perform at the Nov. 10, 2017, "Night of Stars" benefit. (Courtesy photo)
Daphne Chen, a Santa Clara University student based in Los Altos, is to perform at the Nov. 10, 2017, “Night of Stars” benefit. (Courtesy photo) 

Los Altos-based Daphne Chen, 18, attends Santa Clara University and studied with Ruth. She will sing the Alicia Keys song “Girl on Fire.”

“I strongly believe that music is meant to be shared and inspiring,” Daphne said. “It’s gratifying to be helping Let Girls Learn. It’s extremely important to educate girls, because it will unlock their potential and help them to raise their voices. It’s impressive that Let Girls Learn not only focuses on education, but also promotes values such as proper health, leadership and empowerment — all of which are essential for a thriving community.”

Another “Night of Stars” performer is Menlo Park’s Summer Brennan, an 11-year-old vocal student of Ruth’s.

Summer attends Sacred Heart Schools  in Atherton. She has performed in San Francisco Children’s Musical Theatre and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. She recently sang at the Mountain View Art and Wine Festival.

An avid reader, Summer is eager to support a cause that gives many girls an opportunity for education. The dynamic young performer will sing the Pink song, “What About Us.”

“I think it’s a good song for this event, because the girls are pretty much saying, ‘What about us? We want to get a good education, too.’ And I support that. They shouldn’t be left out,” Summer said.

Summer said, “When you’re singing and telling a story, it brings out so much emotion. But if you’re just saying the words, it’s not the same. I feel the song, when I’m singing it. Some songs can be really deep and I could be connecting to something else that happened in my life.”

Summer said she gets a great deal of satisfaction from performing. “It brings out, sometimes, the best in people and their emotions. And I think that’s really beautiful. It’s kind of sweet, when people cry when I’m singing,” Summer said with a giggle. “But really, I just want to make people happy when they listen.”

Singing has become a vital part of Daphne’s life. She walked into Ruth’s studio as a shy 16-year-old and vocalizing brought her out of her shell. She said being on stage makes her feel vulnerable and powerful at the same time.

“My first and foremost role as a singer is to be a storyteller, which requires me to be transparent with my emotions. This sharing of my emotions makes me extremely vulnerable,” said Daphne. “However, I am also raising my voice, sharing my biggest passion with listeners, and being myself. The combination of the three creates a powerful feeling that is honestly indescribable.”

Ruth will present one of her student showcases at Angelica’s in Redwood City on Dec. 3. Summer and Emma will be among the 20 young artists performing.

Emma said of being on stage, “It makes me so happy, being able to connect with the audience. A lot of times in life, it’s hard to speak to people, because you might worry about how the person will interpret what you’re saying. Or their perception of you might be different from what you intended. But when you sing, you can open-heartedly, honestly communicate with others and not have that fear.”

Her mom has been her biggest supporter. “She taught me that, if I wanted to put myself out there, I should just do it,” Emma said. “She has cheered me on and motivated me to keep sharing my voice.”

Though she isn’t sure yet what her career path will be, Emma said, “I know that I want to be helping people. And I’m still figuring out what the best way to do that is. I’m really interested in politics and science. But music has always been part of my life and it helps me express the way I feel about society and maybe could help me spark some sort of positive change. My mom is a musician and she’s an amazing inspiration to me. So I could definitely see myself being a musician someday.”

Email Paul Freeman at paul@popcultureclassics.com.

 


Benefit

What: Night of Stars

Where: Addison Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, 2017

Tickets: $20-$100; www.lgnightofstars.eventbrite.com or 408-358-3636


 

 

 

 

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Posted by Paul Freeman

Christie Lenée expresses herself with equal eloquence using her fingers and her voice. Her sincere singing captivates. And her versatile guitar wizardry dazzles.

Music has had a dramatic effect on Lenée’s life. She wants her performances and beautiful original songs to move listeners, as well.

“Many years ago, I decided that I wanted to be an inspirational artist,” Lenée said. “And a lot of that really was coming from my experience as a teenager, going through a lot of internal turmoil, due to a variety of things that happened in my life. Music was my anchor, thing that helped me get through it all. It still is. Music has saved my life and mental state. There’s a way to channel all of my feelings into an instrument and have it be a healthy path. It’s like a form of therapy.”

Lenée, 32, is able to work wonders on her instrument, whether she’s exploring classical, jazz, rock or Americana, She recently won the 2017 International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship.

“I arrived at the competition thinking that I was really prepared. I felt great and then I heard about 50 guitarists, warming up, playing some pretty mean guitar. And I thought, ‘Wow, there are a lot of great guitar players here,” Lenée said, laughing.

“So I went in there with the mentality that winning was just knowing that I did the best that I could. And that allowed me to work hard, without putting the pressure on myself that I had to get first place. That mentality allowed me to accomplish what I did.”

For this interview, Lenée phoned from St. Petersburg, Florida, where she has family and friends. It was a stop on the All Strung Up Guitar Tour, which features Lenée and two Australian acts — Daniel Champagne and the Hussy Hicks duo. The artists share the stage throughout the show and perform songs together, as well as individually. They play Redwood City’s Club Fox on Sunday.

Lenée serves up songs from “Stay,” her current album, which features Dave Matthews Band guitarist Tim Reynolds on several tracks. She also performs compositions from her instrumental album “Chasing Infinity,” which was produced by Will Ackerman of Windham Hill fame, plus brand new material.

For Lenée, instrumentals and vocal numbers can both move audiences. “I’ve gotten feedback from people saying they don’t listen to instrumental music, but there’s something about my instrumentals that resonates with them, that they cry, when they listen to certain songs.

“Sometimes for me, as an artist, I feel so much that I can’t even find the words. And that’s often the times when a song becomes an instrumental piece. I say it through sound, as opposed to lyrics. And that’s really powerful, because it’s something that’s universal and breaks through the barrier of language.”

Raised in Tampa and now based in Nashville, Lenée’s musical expression began early. At age 4, she was the youngest member of The Entertainment Revue, singing at Florida events. She tried piano lessons, but said a strict teacher stifled her creativity. At 11, she watched her half-brother shredding on guitar and was entranced. He showed her how to learn licks by dissecting performances on rock records. Lenée studied such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Green Day and Alanis Morissette.

Musical theater, however, was her primary goal. Lenée was studying acting at Blake High School for the Performing Arts, when she heard a professor play a modern classical guitar piece in concert. That changed the course of her musical life.

“It was the most incredibly expressive musical performance I’d ever heard,” Lenée said. “I never heard a guitar do what he did. The emotion that came through really hit home for me. I changed my major and have dedicated my life to guitar ever since.”

She explored not only classical, but also jazz guitar possibilities, including a percussive, tapping style. She can pluck strings with both hands simultaneously, one handling the melody, the other weaving in counterpoint, harmonies or rhythmic patterns. Lenée has also delved into the resonant sounds different tunings can create.

During her senior year of high school, Lenée began writing songs. “At that point, every thing that I’d ever loved in my life became one.”

While in college, she worked on combining vocals with her guitar magic. Lenée immersed herself in the music of such singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Indigo Girls, Ani diFranco and Dave Mathews. She developed the ability to profoundly express herself in her own songs.

The “Stay” album reflects Lenée’s desire to lift listeners. It is dedicated to a friend of hers who committed suicide.

“Because music had been such a beautiful form of therapy and self-expression for me, when it started to come out in song,” she said, “they were songs of overcoming, about hope and getting through life’s challenges.”

She’s now touring extensively, in North America, Australia and Europe. No two Lenée shows are alike. She gets the audience involved and maximizes her sound using tools like the foot stomp box and the Engle — a drumstick for guitar. “Playing live brings me so much energy and happiness,” she said.

Lenée maintains a healthy perspective on where she wants her music to take her. “Somebody might not feel successful until they were selling out arenas and somebody else might feel successful just because they’ve been able to play their songs at a coffee house. So there are different tiers of success.

“For me, it’s a constant evolution, but I want to feel successful just knowing that I’ve accomplished something and that I’m being the best that I can be,” Lenée said. “To me, one level of success is finding joy in doing what I love. Getting a chance to connect with a lot of people feels really special. There are certainly other levels of success that I strive to reach and I’ll keep working hard to do that. But I won’t be unhappy till I get there, because that wouldn’t be a good way to live my life.”

Email Paul Freeman at paul@popcultureclassics.com.


Music

What: All Strung Up Guitar Tour featuring Christie Lenée, Daniel Champagne and Hussy Hicks

Where: Club Fox, 2209 Broadway St., Redwood City

When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017

Tickets: $18-21; http://www.clubfoxrwc.com or 877-435-9849

Artist website: www.christielenee.com


 

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Joanne Engelhardt

Ah, Ibsen.  He’s so maddeningly cruel to his audiences.  He tortures them, he teases them, he runs linguistic circles around them. And then he makes illegal U-turns, verbally speaking, and confounds everyone.

What’s not to like?

Actually, there’s quite a bit that’s not too likeable in Pear Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People.” But … there’s some good stuff, too.  For one, director Betsy Kruse Craig does her darndest to keep viewers on their toes when “audience participation” is encouraged in Act 2.  But first there’s Act 1 to contend with, and it’s sometimes a slow slog.

In her pre-show speech, Kruse Craig, the Pear’s new artistic director, intimated that there are some chilling similarities between what happens in “Enemy” and what’s going on in Washington D.C. these days.  “Fake news” for one.  That becomes abundantly apparent when the play’s protagonist, intense, impulsive Dr. Thomas Stockmann (an equally intense Ron Talbot) is first roundly lauded for testing the small town’s public baths and requesting a report that finds the baths are contaminated, then roundly lambasted for doing so.

Hovstad (a serious, sincere Bryan Moriarty), the editor of the town newspaper called The Peoples’ Messenger, readily agrees to publish the doctor’s findings because he wants to expose the political corruption in the town government. He is joined by his assertive printer, Aslaksen (a too-stiff portrayal by Anthony Silk).

But things get murky quickly when the town’s arrogant mayor Peter Stockmann — the doctor’s older brother — shows up at the newspaper office. It only takes a minute or two for the mayor to convince Hovstad and Aslaksen that publishing Dr. Stockmann’s findings will ruin the town financially because tourists coming to the baths keep the town afloat, so to speak.

That’s when Ibsen’s play falters. Could two men who one moment are firmly committed to publishing the truth and bringing down the corrupt government turn tail so quickly and become partisans of the city officials?

To make matters worse, the doctor starts sounding as egotistical as his brother, self-importantly believing that only he can deliver the town from disaster. (Regrettably, even the good doctor becomes a royal pain after all his pompous piety.)

All of this is in Act 1, so it’s refreshing to have a quasi-break from gloom and doom at the top of Act 2.

As people settle in after intermission, there are several new audience members dressed in the same style 1880 Victorian garb as the “Enemy” cast. They are town residents and they’ve come to the public meeting to hear what Dr. Stockmann has to say. But the publisher, Aslaksen, undercuts him by saying that he can’t talk about his report on water pollution. This upends the doctor, but he gets in his licks by decrying the corruption of the town’s leadership before being booed and yelled at by the angry crowd.

This production even includes a (fixed) voting process that takes place, another obvious reference to the current state of affairs in government today.

The townspeople turn against the doctor at the meeting, hurling insults and threats at him and his family. Even their home is damaged as the mob mentality labels him  “An Enemy of the People.”

One problem with Ibsen’s “Enemy” is that nearly every person is either all good or all evil.  It doesn’t usually work that way in real life, and because the play takes place in a small town more than 100 years ago, the language is so stilted and rigid that it’s hard to relate to some of these one-dimensional characters. (Surprisingly, the program says this is a new version by British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz that “updates the language and tightens the action.”)

Other members of the cast range from credible to unremarkable. John Musgrave gives a strong performance as the curmudgeonly Morten Kill, owner of the tannery that most tainted the town’s water supply and the father of Dr. Stockmann’s wife, Catherine (a sweet Mohana Rajagopal, who ought to speak louder). A sincere Hannah Mary Keller needs a little more seasoning to handle the nuances of the doctor’s daughter, Petra, a teacher who loses her job due to her “progressive” ideas.

The pompous mayor is ably played by Richard Holman, who never veers from his self-righteous views of brother Thomas and his family.

For this show, Norm Beamer designed a simple set consisting of four levels to simulate various rooms and locales. High above are three aluminum-framed windows and a hanging chandelier. The production benefited greatly thanks to the remarkably accurate period costumes created by Kathleen Qui.

Caroline Clark’s excellent sound design helps a lot, and Meghan Souther contributes solid lighting design.

Clearly Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” has withstood the test of time, dealing as it does with a character who makes strident diatribes against the government, the press and the stupidity of the masses.

Yeah, kind of like watching CNN or Fox News on any given day.

Email Joanne Engelhardt at joanneengelhardt@comcast.net.

 


Theater

What:  “An Enemy of the People”

Where:  Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View

When:  3:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays

Through:  Nov. 12

Tickets:  $28-32; 650-254-1148 or www.thepear.org


Bryan Moriarty as the newspaper publisher Hovstad, left, listens to Ron Talbot as Dr. Thomas Stockmann during the raucaus second act of "An Enemy of the People" at The Pear Theatre. In back on the plafforms are, from left, Michael Craig as Captain Horster, Hannah Mary Keller at Petra Stockmann, Mohana Rajagopal as Katherine Stockmann, John Musgrave as Morten Kiil and Rich Holman as Mayor Peter Stockmann. The show runs through Nov. 12, 2017. (Betsy Kruse Craig / Pear Theatre)
Bryan Moriarty as the newspaper publisher Hovstad, left, listens to Ron Talbot as Dr. Thomas Stockmann during the raucous second act of “An Enemy of the People” at The Pear Theatre. In back on the plafforms are, from left, Michael Craig as Captain Horster, Hannah Mary Keller at Petra Stockmann, Mohana Rajagopal as Katherine Stockmann, John Musgrave as Morten Kiil and Rich Holman as Mayor Peter Stockmann. The show runs through Nov. 12, 2017. (Betsy Kruse Craig / Pear Theatre) 
[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Phil Jensen

Behind a balanced running attack, the Willow Glen High School football team defeated Del Mar 34-14 on Oct. 20.

The Rams (5-2, 3-1 Blossom Valley Athletic League Santa Teresa Division) had four players with more than 50 yards rushing – Waking Bailey (71 yards on four carries) and three players with 55 yards (Tyler Hawkins, Connell Ryans and Lorenzo Gayles). Willow Glen rushed for 306 yards as a team.

“We have a lot of really good, skilled athletes. We are able to spread the ball around offensively,” Willow Glen coach Oscar Caballero said. “I’m pleased with the balance of our offense.”

Bailey revved up the Willow Glen offense with a 47-yard touchdown run for the first score of the game. He finished with three touchdowns, and also caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Gayles in the second quarter.

Del Mar (2-5, 2-2) took a 7-6 lead in the first quarter after a two-yard touchdown run by Edgar Santos. But Willow Glen answered with two more first-quarter touchdown runs by Bailey of 2 and 10 yards.

Willow Glen’s final touchdown was a 31-yard pass from Gayles to Ryans. The Rams scored all of their points in the first half.

In the fourth quarter, Del Mar’s Nick Zohourian ended a drive with a one-yard touchdown run.

Gayles completed five of his 10 pass attempts for 110 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating was an outstanding 129.2.

Defensively, Dylan Pruitt and Michael Malvini had fumble recoveries for the Rams. Del Mar’s Dylan Oliver rushed for 127 yards on 15 carries in the game.

“Their offensive and defensive lines took it to us,” said Del Mar coach Jason Bumbaca. “We got beat up front. Their team overall out-performed ours from the first snap to the last.”

On Oct. 27, the Rams will host undefeated Leland (7-0, 4-0) at 7 p.m.

Caballero said that Leland is disciplined, sound and doesn’t make many mistakes. “If we can eliminate big plays, we will be happy,” he said.

Oak Grove 17, Lincoln 7

A special-teams touchdown by a first-year player turned out to be a deciding factor in Oak Grove’s victory over host Lincoln on Oct. 20.

Timothy House, a junior, scooped up a fumble on a botched Lincoln punt attempt and raced 11 yards into the end zone. It was the Eagles’ second and last touchdown of the game, as Oak Grove took a 14-7 lead into halftime.

“That was the turning point,” Lincoln coach Kevin Collins said. “They beat us, but we made some mistakes.”

With the victory, Oak Grove (3-4, 3-1 BVAL Mt. Hamilton Division) remains tied for first in the Mt. Hamilton Division with Live Oak.

Oak Grove’s offense scored quickly on its first possession of the game. After a 62-yard run by Elijah Dominguez, Jashiri Harvey rushed for a 24-yard touchdown.

But the Eagles’ offense did not reach the end zone again, as the team was plagued by penalties both offensively and defensively.

Lincoln (2-5, 2-2) tied the score at seven in the second quarter on a seven-yard run by Isaac Juarez and a point-after touchdown kick by Oscar Castro-Lomeli. But Lincoln’s rushing attack took a hit when Bryan Pantoja left the game with an injury suffered on the first offensive play of the third quarter. The Lions were already missing Gabe Florez, who did not play in the game due to a sprained ankle. Florez and Pantoja combined for 206 yards rushing in Lincoln’s win over Santa Teresa on Oct. 6. Pantoja also grabbed an interception in the first half Friday.

Oak Grove kicker Jose Diaz drilled a 25-yard field goal near the halfway point of the third quarter for the final points of the game.

Juarez paced Lincoln in rushing with 95 yards. Gavin Kalama-Florence added 56 yards on the ground for the Lions.

Lincoln hosts Piedmont Hills (5-2, 2-2) on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Leland 42, San Jose 8

The host Chargers easily defeated the Bulldogs on Oct. 20 to remain undefeated this season.

Leland scored first on a Kyle Anderson 5-yard run in the first quarter. Anderson rushed for a team-high 63 yards in the victory.

Carson Yates connected with Anthony Gonzales for a 12-yard touchdown pass, and a Justin Kuhns point-after-touchdown kick made the score 14-0 with 10 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first half.

Then Cannon Yates reached the end zone on an interception return. Carson Yates and Gonzales teamed up again for another touchdown, on a 59-yard pass from Yates to Gonzales.

The Chargers then achieved their second interception return for a touchdown, this one from Mitch Whitlock. A PAT kick from Kuhns, who was 6 for 6 in PAT kicks for the game, made the score 35-0. Bobby Jabbari scored the final Chargers touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run.

Carson Yates completed nine of his 14 pass attempts for 157 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Gonzales had six catches for 110 yards and the two touchdowns.

Defensively, Garrett Swanson led Leland with eight total tackles, including six solo. He also had a sack, as did teammates Logan Thomas and Parker Petersen.

Correspondent Dave Mendonca contributed to this report.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

Oct. 24th, 2017 01:04 am
[syndicated profile] pats_hotlist_feed

You can now download Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists, edited by Adrian Collins, the man who runs Grimdark Magazine, is now available for 0.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

It features stories by Michael R. Fletcher, Teresa Frohock, Alex Marshall, Mark Alder, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Janny Wurts, Jeff Salyards, Shawn Speakman, Marc Turner, Kaaron Warren, Courtney Schafer, Bradley P. Beaulieu, E. V. Morrigan, Matthew Ward, Deborah A. Wolf, Brian Staveley, Mazarkis Williams, Peter Orullian, and R. Scott Bakker.

Here's the blurb:

Experience your favourite fantasy worlds through some of the most fearsome, devious, and brutal antagonists in fantasy.

Villains take centre stage in nineteen dark and magical stories that will have you cheering for all the wrong heroes as they perform savage deeds towards wicked ends. And why not? They are the champions of their own stories—evil is a matter of perspective.

[syndicated profile] apartmenttherapyla_feed

Name: Lake Sharp, husband Alex, and two-year-old Nevada
Location: Highland Park — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,406 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, owned


Lake Sharp is a skilled maker whose hand-thrown pottery, micro-batch textile goods, and exterior and interior design services comprise her business Array. In addition to being a kick-ass artist, she recently co-founded the "friendly, radically inclusive neighborhood gym and wellness center" EVERYBODY.

READ MORE »

[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by davidruiz

Newly-minted FBI Director Christopher Wray threw out several justifications for the continued, warrantless government search of American communications. He’s wrong on all accounts.                                               

In a presentation hosted by The Heritage Foundation, Wray warned of a metaphorical policy “wall” that, more than 15 years ago, stood between the U.S. government’s multiple intelligence-gathering agencies. That wall prevented quick data sharing, he said. It prevented quick “dot-connecting” to match threats to actors, he said. And, he said, it partly prevented the U.S. from stopping the September 11 attacks.

“When people, now, sit back and say, ‘Three thousand people died on 9/11, how could the U.S. government let this happen?’” Wray said. “And one of the answers is, well, they had this wall.”                                                                       

Wray is concerned with the potential expiration of the one of the government’s most powerful surveillance tools. It’s called Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act and it allows the NSA to collect emails, browser history and chat logs of Americans. Section 702 also allows other agencies, like the FBI, to search through that data without a warrant. Those searches are called “backdoor searches.”

Congress is considering bills with limitations to backdoor searches—including one bill that we have analyzed—and Wray is against that. Section 702, Wray claimed, doesn’t need limitations, or as he called it, a “self-inflicted wound.” According to Wray, Section 702 is Constitutional, has broad government oversight, and keeps Americans safe.

Let’s see where he’s wrong.

Constitutionality

“Section 702 is Constitutional, lawful, [and] consistent with the Fourth Amendment,” Director Wray said. “Every court to consider the 702 program, including the Ninth Circuit, has found that.”

The chasm between Wray’s words and his interpretation is enormous. Have courts “considered” Section 702, as Wray described? Yes. Have any decided Section 702’s constitutionality? Absolutely not.

U.S. courts have delivered opinions in lawsuits involving data collected under Section 702, but no single court has delivered an opinion specifically on the constitutionality of Section 702. It’s an issue that EFF is currently fighting, in our years-long lawsuit Jewel v. NSA.

When Wray mentions the Ninth Circuit, he is likely referencing a 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In the opinion for USA v. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the appeals court ruled that, based on the very specific evidence of the lawsuit, data collected under Section 702 did not violate a U.S. person’s Fourth Amendment rights. But the judge explicitly wrote that this lawsuit did not involve some of the more “complex statutory and constitutional issues” potentially raised by Section 702.

Notably, the judge wrote that the Mohamud case did not involve “the retention and querying of incidentally collected communications.” That’s exactly what we mean when we talk about “backdoor searches.”

Wray is mischaracterizing the court’s opinion. He is wrong.

Government Oversight

“[Section 702] is subject to rigorous oversight,” Wray said. “Oversight, by not just one, not just two, but all three branches of government.”

Wray’s comments again are disingenuous.

U.S. Senators have tried to get clear answers from intelligence agency directors about Section 702 collection. Many times, they have been stonewalled.

When Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) asked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

“No, sir,” Clapper said. “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”

Months later, defense contractor Edward Snowden confirmed that the NSA does indeed collect data on Americans. Clapper clarified his statement: he gave the “least untruthful” answer he could. If intelligence agencies, and their directors, cannot provide honest answers about Section 702, then meaningful Congressional oversight is a myth.

As for judicial oversight, the court that approves warrants under Section 702—known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—has rebuked the NSA in multiple opinions. A chart of Section 702 compliance violations, with accompanying court opinions, can be found here.

While Section 702 is subject to government oversight, it doesn’t look like the NSA pays much attention.

Finally, there can be no meaningful public oversight so long as we are kept in the dark. FISC opinions are not, by default, made public. Revelations to the press are denied. Even negotiations to upcoming bills are made behind closed doors.

American Safety

The safety and well-being of Americans is paramount, and tools that help provide that safety are clearly important. But in his remarks, Wray relied on familiar scare tactics to create political leverage. Unwilling to explain Section 702 success stories, Wray instead relied on the hypothetical. He asked What If?

He conjured hypothetical mass shootings and lone gunmen. He employed the idea of a stranger taking pictures of a bridge at night; another buying suspicious supplies at a hardware store. He imagined a high schooler reporting worrying behavior of an ex-boyfriend. He invoked the specters of would-be victims.

In all these situations, Wray’s position was clear: Section 702 prevents this chaos. Do not challenge it, he begged.

“Any restriction on our ability to access the information that’s already Constitutionally collected in our databases, I just think is a really tragic and needless restriction,” Wray said. “And I beg the country not to go there again. I think we will regret it and I just am hoping that it doesn’t take another attack for people to realize that.”

The U.S. government does not publicly provide data to assert its claim that Section 702 keeps Americans safe, claiming that such disclosures would compromise intelligence gathering. This is understandable. Wray’s suggestion of “another attack” is not. It suggests fear will help steer Americans towards the right decision.             

Fear drove McCarthyism. Fear drove Japanese American internment. Fear drove the Chinese Exclusion Act and it helped drive the Patriot Act. Do not let fear drive us from our rights.

Section 702 needs review, and many parts of it—including the backdoor search—do not measure up to Wray’s justifications. If the government can prove that warrantless search of American communications keeps Americans safe, why does Wray rely on hypotheticals?

If you care about ending the backdoor search loophole, call your representatives today.

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Posted by The Associated Press

CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a shooting in Lake County, California (all times local):

6 p.m.

Investigators believe a gunman arrested for a series of Northern California shootings that killed two people started a fire as he tried to flee.

Sixty-one-year-old Alan Ashmore of Clearlake Oaks was arrested about 30 minutes after the first shooting was reported Monday.

Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin says he’s suspected of setting a fire in a remote area as he ran from law enforcement. The blaze was small and did no damage.

Ashmore is suspected of shooting at several homes in his hometown, killing two men and wounding a third. He also allegedly fired at a gas station and shot a California Highway Patrol officer, whose body armor protected him from serious injury.

There’s still no word on what prompted the attacks.

___

3:45 p.m.

Authorities say two people were killed in a series of shootings by one suspect that also injured three people in the Northern California community of Clearlake Oaks.

Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said it’s unclear what prompted the shootings Monday morning or whether the gunman knew any of the victims. A California Highway Patrol officer was among those injured.

Martin identified the shooter as 61-year-old Alan Ashmore of Clearlake Oaks. He was arrested about 30 minutes after the first shooting report.

Martin says two men died in separate shootings at homes, and another shooting took place at a gas station that was near a post office. Authorities are also investigating a report that Ashmore opened fire at a winery.

The CHP officer was treated and released from a hospital after he was hit in his body armor.

___

1:50 p.m.

Authorities say three people have been shot, including a California Highway Patrol officer, in the Northern California community of Clearlake Oaks.

CHP Officer Kory Reynolds says the injured officer responded to a report of a shooting near the post office and was following a suspect Monday morning when the person fired at him. Reynolds says the shooter was later taken into custody.

Police say the CHP officer was wounded in the leg and is expected to recover.

Reynolds did not have information about the condition of the two others who were shot.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department lifted a shelter-in-place order around the Clearlake Oaks post office Monday afternoon.

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Posted by The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Cambridge University put Stephen Hawking’s doctoral thesis online, triggering such interest that it crashed the university’s website.

Completed in 1966 when Hawking was 24, “Properties of Expanding Universes” explores ideas about the origins of the universe that have resonated through the scientist’s career.

The university says the thesis was already the most-requested item in its online repository. It was free to download Monday to mark Open Access Week. The website was intermittently inaccessible during the day as it struggled to handle to the interest.

Hawking said he hoped making his thesis available to all would “inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos.”

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Posted by Annalee Newitz

Enlarge / Ash Tyler is so brave, so hunky, and so nice... but is he actually [redacted in the name of spoilers]? (credit: CBS)

Star Trek: Discovery has been getting tighter with each episode, but in last night's "Lethe," the show turned a corner into addictively good storytelling. There were a couple of standout moments, plus an evolving conspiracy theory involving Klingon spies. But the best part was that we finally saw one of the show's key arcs, which is how the Federation emerged out of planetary separatism.

Spoilers ahead! Go watch the episode and come back!

Logic extremism and hope

In previous episodes, we've already sensed that this Star Trek series would be more darkly psychological than its predecessors. Our main characters are complex and conflicted, much like the fledgling Federation itself. In "Lethe," we saw how this aspect of the story could take us to truly interesting places.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Posted by Linda Zavoral

P.F. Chang’s knows you adore its signature dish, those Chicken Lettuce Wraps. But maybe you customers haven’t been giving enough love to the sushi side of the menu.

This Thursday, Oct. 26, the chain of 212 restaurants will give away a free Spicy Tuna Roll or California Roll to every customer who requests one on this, its second annual Free Sushi Day. Last year, more than 98,600 customers enjoyed free rolls.

No purchase is necessary to take advantage of the one-per-person, dine-in deal.

And catch this: Because it’s one free roll per person, P.F. Chang’s says on its website that you can “fill your table with co-workers, friends and family. Everyone at the table can enjoy free sushi.”

According to the menu, the Spicy Tuna Roll is filled with ahi, cucumber and spicy sriracha. But as at so many restaurants, the California Roll is made with “krab mix,” and you know what it means when they spell crab with a K.

Nevertheless, free is free. You can take advantage of this offer at the Bay Area P.F. Chang’s in Sunnyvale, Fremont, Palo Alto, Pleasanton, San Jose, Walnut Creek, Emeryville, as well as Monterey.

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Posted by Judy Peterson

The Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation of Los Gatos is holding an open house Thursday, Oct. 26, 3-8 p.m., to get community input on the proposed design for a veterans’ memorial at the civic center at 110 E. Main St. The memorial will be built in the redwood grove area of the civic center’s front lawn, near the Music in the Park stage.

Thursday’s open house is meant for all community members and will be held at the adult recreation center, 208 E. Main St.

Preliminary plans call for a 10-foot-tall sculpture in the shape of an open flame, with a life-sized bronze sculpture of a Soldier’s Cross sitting inside the flame. A Soldier’s Cross is a simple cross with a helmet sitting on top of it.

The flame was inspired by the Statue of Liberty’s flame.

As proposed, the sculpture would sit on top of a round, concrete platform, with two walls behind it. The walls are designed to screen the memorial from the adjacent town buildings and a loading dock.

A sidewalk would also be constructed from Pageant Way to the memorial.

The idea behind the design is to provide a quiet, contemplative place for memorial visitors.

Visit losgatosca.gov for more information.

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Posted by Cyrus Farivar

Enlarge / Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray participates in a question-and-answer session while arguing for the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act at the Heritage Foundation October 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

FBI Director Christopher Wray told a conference of law enforcement officials on Sunday that he and his colleagues have been unable to open nearly 7,000 digital devices in the first 11 months of the 2017 fiscal year.

“To put it mildly, this is a huge, huge problem,” Wray said at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia, according to the Associated Press. “It impacts investigations across the board—narcotics, human trafficking, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, gangs, organized crime, child exploitation.”

Wray’s remarks come less than two weeks after another top law enforcement official, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, called for “responsible encryption”—a seemingly magical method by which only law enforcement would be able to defeat the encryption on a digitally-locked device.

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Posted by Bill McBride

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Holding Recent Highs to Begin Week
Mortgage rates were generally unchanged today despite slight improvements in underlying bond markets.  As of last Friday, the average lender was quoting rates at or near the highest levels in more than 2 months, meaning today earns the same dubious distinction.  The saving grace is that in relative terms, the past 2-3 months have been historically less volatile than normal, and conventional 30yr fixed rates at 4% (or just under) are still widely available for top tier scenarios.
emphasis added
Tuesday:
• At 10:00 AM ET, 10:00 AM: Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for October.
[syndicated profile] sjmerc_tv_feed

Posted by Martha Ross

Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, which has included the general criticism that some powerful men in Hollywood can be all-around dogs and creeps, it probably wasn’t easy for Ewan McGregor fans to see this headline about their favorite movie idol in the U.K. Sun:

“OBI-TONGUE KENOBI: Married Star Wars star Ewan McGregor snogs TV lover Mary Elizabeth Winstead in London cafe”

The story was accompanied by a photo of the passionate kiss that McGregor, 46, exchanged with Winstead, 32, in a fashionable London cafe over the weekend. The story chronicled how the “Fargo” co-stars were seen by fellow diners to be deep in conversation for an hour before they kissed.

On social media, some of McGregor fans expressed disappointment, saying they thought that the “Trainspotting” actor, married to Eve Mavrakis for 22 years, was “one of the good ones.”

As in, they assumed that the star, who had played the noble Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi,  valued marriage, family and loyalty. They figured he wasn’t like other popular male movie stars who let their fame go to their heads and always seem to be chasing after pretty young things.

Then came a report in People that McGregor and Mavrakis, 51, had split, apparently so he could be with Winstead, who is nearly 20 years Mavrakis’ junior.

But tempering people’s reactions was a clarification in the People story: McGregor and Mavrakis had been separated since May. Coincidentally or not, Winstead announced her split from husband Riley Stears in May.

The Sun added that McGregor and Mavrakis, who have four daughters, ages 6 to 21, had been photographed in recent months not wearing their wedding rings.

So, it became questionable whether McGregor had actually cheated with Winstead, who played his lover on the FX series.

To these fans, McGregor was at most guilty of conforming to the cliché of the man suffering from a mid-life crisis and thinking that a young, pretty new partner is the answer.

In the end, a number of people defended McGregor because it didn’t look to them like he had actually been cheating.

They also said, snogging outside wedlock or not, McGregor is a good person, the incident is being blown out of proportion and his romantic life is nobody’s business.

Still, tweets defending McGregor’s kind, humble nature faced some pushback:

 

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Posted by Jackie Burrell

We’re always enamored with Conde Nast Traveler’s readers choice awards, which compile hundreds of thousands of reader surveys into curated best-of-lists in a wide array of travel categories. This year, so many people voted, the magazine ended up splitting its “favorite U.S. cities” category in two, so smaller cities, with a population under 1 million, could shine as brightly as their major metropolitan cousins.

We’re not surprised to see that California accounts for so many spots on the list. We love them, too.

Readers singled out Laguna Beach for its beachside charms, which include the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Crystal Cove State Park. Romantic Carmel-by-the-Sea earned the No. 8 spot on the list — and Monterey came in at No. 13. And Santa Barbara’s beaches, wineries and celebrity sightings put it at No. 10.

Here’s just a taste. Find the rest of this list, as well as the magazine’s other readers choice awards, which range from top hotels in Europe to top cruise lines, airlines and more, at www.cntraveler.com/rca.

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Aspen, Colorado
  3. Greenville, South Carolina
  4. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  5. Laguna Beach
  6. Savannah, Georgia
  7. Telluride, Colorado
  8. Carmel-by-the-Sea
  9. Park City, Utah
  10. Santa Barbara
[syndicated profile] papergreat_feed

Posted by Chris Otto


Did anyone ever do this and send their two dollars???

This tiny comic-book advertisement is buried at the bottom of Page 8 of Luke Cage, Power Man No. 46, which was published by Marvel in August 1977. It is headlined "OWN A REAL TEXAS RANCH" and promises that, for $2, you will receive a legal deed to a one-inch-square Mini-Ranch in Texas. Perfect for hanging on your wall, the ad copy states. (Also, can we discuss why the rancher is toting a pair of pistols?)

Two dollars doesn't sound like much, and I know it partially covers postage and handling, but let's just say that this Texas land was very overpriced. Math is your friend, in this regard. One acre of land contains about 6.2 million square inches, so you are paying at the exorbitant rate of about $12.4 million per acre. For land with, presumably, no structures or utilities. The average Texas ranch covers about 500 acres, so if you paid for one at the per-square-inch rate offered in this advertisement, you'd be paying $6.2 billion. Not even the Ewing family had that kind of money in the late 1970s.

(To further up the crazy, a $6.2 billion ranch of 500 acres in 1977 would cost about $25 billion today. So, a similar advertisement in a 2017 issue of, say, Ms. Marvel would ask you to send at least $8 for your one-square-inch ranch in Texas. Bananas!)

Here's what some others have written (briefly) about this silly advertisement:


Here's a link to a Flickr page that appears to show one of the deeds you would have received for your $2. It indicates the land is in Potter County, Texas.

Final note: Your Mini-Ranch would be SMALLER than this advertisement, which measures 1⅞ inches wide by 1¼ inches tall.
[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Harry Harris

FREMONT — A woman and two men were identified Monday as suspects in the fatal shooting of a man at a hotel Saturday night.

They were identified as Leticia Hermosillo, 31, of Fremont, Robert Bettencourt, 30, of Fremont and Luis McLaughlin, 34, of Newark.

They were all arrested Sunday in Hayward.

Police said they are suspected in the fatal shooting of a 48-year-old Fremont man who was found outside the lobby area of Extended Stay America, 5375 Farwell Place, about 11:35 p.m. Saturday.

The man’s name has not been released. There was evidence the shooting may have happened in a room.

Police have not given a motive yet for the killing and have not said if the suspects knew the victim or if any of the suspects were related.

All three suspects are being held without bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Check back for updates.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_ca_feed

Posted by Rex Crum

Top of the Order:  

Pick a Town, Any Town: If you live in a city or town in the U.S., don’t be surprised if your civic leaders sent a package of proposals attempting to lure Amazon to your locale. The Seattle-based business giant — a leader in everything from e-commerce to streaming TV programming, cloud-based web services and even grocery shopping, since it owns Whole Foods Market — has said it wants to set up a second corporate headquarters somewhere in North America. The company says it will cost $5 billion to build, and it will create up to 50,000 new jobs.

With those numbers dancing in the heads of many mayors and business leaders, the thought of having Amazon set up shop in their burgs is too good for many to pass up. And 238 communities have found that tantalizing possibility something they would like to become a reality.

Amazon, which closed the first round of proposal submissions last week, said Monday that it received 238 bids for the HQ2 facilities, as Amazon has taken to calling its next headquarters. Amazon didn’t disclose which cities and towns put in their offers, but did say it received bids from 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as from locations in Canada and Mexico.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

So, now what happens?

Well, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos & Co. will be busy evaluating all those packages sitting on their desks, and probably making a list of who is offering what in terms of tax breaks and incentives. Location will be a factor, sure, but like parents who get a feeling of joy every time they write off one of their kids as a tax deduction on their 1040 form, Amazon wants to pay as few taxes as possible. Things like New Jersey offering Amazon $7 billion in tax breaks will go a long way to making up Bezos’ mind about where Amazon will eventually do the ceremonial first shovel of dirt and start pouring concrete.

That amount may be too much for Amazon to pass up. I mean, California has a lot going for it, but Gov. Jerry Brown has offered a relatively minuscule $300 million in state incentives to lure Amazon. That hasn’t stopped individual cities from putting together their own incentive packages, however. Chula Vista, near San Diego, is said to have offered $400 million worth of incentives of its own to try to get Amazon to build HQ2 down near the end of I-5.

Yes, the thought of 50,000 Amazon jobs has to be on the Christmas lists of every one of those 238 communities that sent an offer up to Seattle. But, they shouldn’t expect to find something under the tree this December. Amazon has said it will make a decision on HQ2 next year.

Middle Innings:

Back To Court, Again: Apple and Samsung just can’t get enough of each other. In fact, the two tech giants are about to spend even more time together, thanks to a design-infringement case involving Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. The case involves the Supreme Court overturning a $399 million award to Apple last year, which sent the case back to a lower court in order to hash out the final financial details of the matter. And the two companies are now headed back to that court in an effort resolve their dispute.

Bottom of the Lineup:

Fowler Speaks: It can be argued that it was the blog post by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, which detailed charges of sexual harassment, that eventually led to the downfall and departure of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, as well as a multitude of other executives at the ride-sharing giant over the past eight months. Until this past weekend, Fowler had remained mostly mum about her whistleblowing efforts. But in an interview with the New York Times, Fowler said she chose to speak out in order to give a voice to everyone who was involved in what she called “an extremely demoralizing environment” at Uber.

Quote of the Day: “If you have to build schools and you also have to add more transportation and senior centers for older adults, where does the money come from?” — Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Gleckman was speaking about the issue of how the cost of health and other services for senior citizens is impacting the budgets of local governments and their tax bases.

Sign up for the 60-Second Business Break newsletter at www.siliconvalley.com.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_ca_feed

Posted by Harry Harris

FREMONT — A woman and two men were identified Monday as suspects in the fatal shooting of a man at a hotel Saturday night.

They were identified as Leticia Hermosillo, 31, of Fremont, Robert Bettencourt, 30, of Fremont and Luis McLaughlin, 34, of Newark.

They were all arrested Sunday in Hayward.

Police said they are suspected in the fatal shooting of a 48-year-old Fremont man who was found outside the lobby area of Extended Stay America, 5375 Farwell Place, about 11:35 p.m. Saturday.

The man’s name has not been released. There was evidence the shooting may have happened in a room.

Police have not given a motive yet for the killing and have not said if the suspects knew the victim or if any of the suspects were related.

All three suspects are being held without bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Check back for updates.

[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by jyoti.panday

Increased smartphone usage and availability of wireless broadband has propelled the use of Internet based platforms and services that often compete with similar services based on older technologies. For example services like Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp that offer voice or video calls over the Internet compete with traditional SMS and voice calls over telecom networks. Such platforms have gained in popularity particularly in developing countries because calling over the Internet is far cheaper than making calls on telecom networks. Online video streaming and TV services like Netflix and online similarly compete with traditional broadcasters and network providers.

These online applications and services are transforming traditional sectors and changing the economic landscape of the markets. The increasing popularity of such apps and services, often referred to by telecommunications regulators as "Over-the-top" or OTT services, brings new regulatory challenges for governments. Historically, most of these services have not required a licence or been required to pay any licensing fee. As the use of such services picks up in developing countries, governments are rushing to create rules that would subject OTT providers to local taxation, security, and content regulation obligations—often under pressure from telco incumbents who are seeking protection from change and competition.

Taxing Online Platforms

In August 2017, the Indonesian government via the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (MCI) unveiled a liability framework for OTT providers [doc]. The sweeping regulations cover a whole slew of companies including SMS and voice calls and email services, chatting and instant messaging platforms, financial and commercial transaction service providers, search engines, social network and online media delivery networks, and companies that store and mine online data. The regulation, which is currently under review, makes it mandatory for offshore businesses to establish a "permanent establishment" either through fixed local premises or by employing locals in their operations in Indonesia. Transnational companies are also required to have an agreement with an Indonesian network provider, and use local IP numbers and national payment gateways for their services.

Considering current trade negotiations aimed at outlawing data localization, these operational obligations for OTTs cement the view that the Indonesian government is attempting to create a local territorial nexus for online transactions and activities, allowing them to be taxed and controlled. The draft MCI regulations also require online platforms to create a "censor mechanism" [sic] to filter and block "negative" content including terrorism, pornography and radical propaganda. While e-commerce and marketplace platforms enjoy immunity from content related obligations in Indonesia, the new regulation effectively dismantles this safe harbor framework.

Worryingly, the regulation outlines a system of sanctions where the government can order telecommunication operators in Indonesia to use bandwidth management measures to take action against companies that violate the rules. Bandwidth management refers to the process by which the telecommunication operators manage traffic on their network, and can include traffic engineering measures such as limiting or throttling service traffic or the provision of priority access for certain services within certain periods. Such regulations would therefore likely violate net neutrality, and it is also unclear how this bandwidth management would be implemented. For example, the Ministry has not clarified safeguards to limit telecommunications providers from voluntarily conducting bandwidth management without a formal notice if it determines non-compliance with the law.

Soft-Peddling Censorship

Similar efforts to regulate online platforms are underway in Thailand. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has committed to create a "level playing field" between OTT service providers and traditional broadcasting and telecommunications industries. In April 2017, it suggested introducing bandwidth fees for online content providers, and has also proposed bringing OTT service providers under an operating licence framework, taxing them for transactions by local merchants and making them liable for illegal content. In July 2017, the Thai government issued an ultimatum to OTT services to register with the national telecom regulator or face getting slapped with sanctions such as bans on advertising that would threaten revenue growth.

The Thai regulator is exploring a "complaints-based" framework of regulation and has set up a control list of the top 100 content creating companies that are required to establish local offices and be registered as entities in Thailand. Allegedly, the efforts to regulate OTT providers are driven by the dramatic rise in the revenues being generated by them. A study conducted by the NBTC found that free OTT services had earned combined advertising revenue of 2.16 billion Thai baht in 2016, 70% of which stemmed from YouTube. Accordingly, the general policy recipe outlined by the regulator is aimed at increasing taxes collected from online platforms.

Efforts to create a "level playing field" could also be interpreted as measures to empower the regulator to more easily monitor and censor content that the government is finding difficult to regulate. The Thai government has been unsuccessfully trying to pressure to online intermediaries to remove allegedly illegal speech including proposing shutting down sites for non-compliance with takedown requests. The proposals to regulate OTTs can be seen as a backhanded move to give the regulator the authority to demand the removal of content the military-run government considers illegal without waiting for a court order. Parallel to the efforts of regulating OTTs, the National Reform Steering Assembly has introduced an 84-page social media censorship proposal. If approved the rules would require fingerprint and facial scanning just to top-up a prepaid plan, in addition to existing mandatory SIM card registration and linking mobiles to national identities. Commentators say the proposed rules are similar to those in use in China and Iran.

In India, regulators are considering proposals to require OTT providers to be placed under a telecom licensing-style regulatory framework. The telecom regulator has been organizing consultations on the issue since March 2015, however its stance on the matter is not clear. Reports suggest that regulating OTT may be a non-issue for the regulator in view of the future possibility of carriers to offer voice services through apps. However, telecom and network providers that stand to benefit from OTT regulation are pushing for interconnection agreements. The Department of Telecom (DoT) is reported to be working on a regulatory framework for services like WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and WeChat that would subject them to obligations similar to those outlined for telecom service providers.

The phenomenon of regulating OTTs is not limited to Asia. In Latin America, several countries including Uruguay, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are considering legislative changes to enable the taxing of OTT players. In Argentina, the government has issued a set of principles for telecommunications regulation that create obligations for registration of Internet intermediaries. Ahead of the Presidential elections in 2018 and with mounting opposition to his regime, the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has created a Cyber Security, Threat Detection, and Mitigation Ministry to reign in threats emanating from social media. The government is also pressing ahead with a Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill, a comprehensive legislation that would allow the police to intercept data, seize electronic equipment and arrest people on loosely defined charges of “insurgency” and “terrorism.”

Under increasing pressure to rein in the use of online platforms the regime has taken several measures to curtail the ability of activists and opposition to organize themselves, including raising prices on cellphone data and cutting off access to the Internet. Earlier this month, the Cybersecurity Ministry issued an order that requires all WhatsApp groups to be registered and administrator of the group to have government level clearance. The rules also make membership of groups that do not have necessary clearance or licensed administrator a criminal offence. As the order clarifies members belonging to unqualified groups will be "jointly and severally liable" for belonging to a group not registered with the cyber security ministry.

The move to regulate WhatsApp is especially significant given that the messaging service is the default window to the Internet for most Zimbabweans. In 2010, fewer than 5 percent of Zimbabweans had access to the internet, by early 2016, nearly 50 percent did, with most people connecting to the internet through their cell phones. A report by Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulatory body shows that the number of people using WhatsApp for voice calls has been on the rise. The government's tough stance on the messaging platform has got digital rights activists worried that the regulation will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

Towards An International Framework for Regulating OTTs?

So-called OTT applications and services are the most visible part of the Internet for ordinary users. The rules and liability that are created for these applications and services impact freedom of expression, net neutrality, consumer rights and innovation. Therefore, discussions and rules on OTT regulation is at its core a debate about how the Internet should be regulated. Recognizing the global nature of online platforms, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has stepped in to explore global multilateral framework for OTT services and applications.

The telecom arm of the ITU whose primary function is to develop and coordinate voluntary international standards, known as ITU-T Recommendations, has established a study group public policy issues related to the Internet. The technical study group includes a mandate to weigh in on several Internet-related technical and economic issues including "charging and accounting/settlement mechanisms" and "relevant aspects of IP peering". Last year, the study group adopted text encouraging governments to develop measures to strike an "effective balance" between OTT communications services and traditional communications services, in order to ensure a "level playing field" e.g., with respect to licensing, pricing and charging, universal service, quality of service, security and data protection, interconnection and interoperability, legal interception, taxation, and consumer protection.

In May 2017, ITU Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet) launched an open online and physical consultation on OTTs. The working group will evaluate opportunities and implications associated with OTT including policy and regulatory matters. It considers regulatory approaches for OTTs that ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer and will work towards developing model partnership agreements for cooperation at the local and international level.

The physical consultation took place in September and received inputs from a wide range of stakeholders. During the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC)—the main conference of the ITU’s Development sector, ITU-D—which took place in Argentina during October 2017, several governments have sought to expand the ITU Internet public policy mandate. As we approach the ITU’s 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference, or “Plenipot" we can expect conversations on regulatory frameworks to escalate in the ITU. However developing rules in a multilateral framework of the ITU may not be the most appropriate way forward.

As Public Knowledge notes, the structure of the ITU renders itself vulnerable to harmful types of politicization, as states and regional coalitions seek to leverage this forum to grab greater control over Internet policy and standards development. Unlike the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), or the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the ITU isn’t a multistakeholder community. The only relevant actors at the ITU are Member States and although private industry and civil society may contribute to technical work, they can only participate as nonvoting sector members. With its structural lack of transparency and openness there is plenty opportunity for ITU public policy processes to be co-opted by member states to validate problematic policy or standards proposals.

In an increasingly digital world where transnational global corporations shape content and speech, governments are at an inflection point in their policy choices for regulating online platforms. In seeking to create a "level playing field" between OTT providers, and legacy media and network providers, governments may end up introducing rigid frameworks that stymie innovation and competition or cause irreversible consumer harms. There may be various valid public interest reasons to regulate OTTs such as to ensure their compliance with privacy standards and net neutrality rules. But such regulations should be made on a targeted basis. Imposing a strict and unyielding regulatory framework based on telecommunications regulation and licensing goes further than this, and risks becoming a vehicle to protect legacy telcos and to enact content censorship.

 

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Rex Crum

Top of the Order:  

Pick a Town, Any Town: If you live in a city or town in the U.S., don’t be surprised if your civic leaders sent a package of proposals attempting to lure Amazon to your locale. The Seattle-based business giant — a leader in everything from e-commerce to streaming TV programming, cloud-based web services and even grocery shopping, since it owns Whole Foods Market — has said it wants to set up a second corporate headquarters somewhere in North America. The company says it will cost $5 billion to build, and it will create up to 50,000 new jobs.

With those numbers dancing in the heads of many mayors and business leaders, the thought of having Amazon set up shop in their burgs is too good for many to pass up. And 238 communities have found that tantalizing possibility something they would like to become a reality.

Amazon, which closed the first round of proposal submissions last week, said Monday that it received 238 bids for the HQ2 facilities, as Amazon has taken to calling its next headquarters. Amazon didn’t disclose which cities and towns put in their offers, but did say it received bids from 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as from locations in Canada and Mexico.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

So, now what happens?

Well, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos & Co. will be busy evaluating all those packages sitting on their desks, and probably making a list of who is offering what in terms of tax breaks and incentives. Location will be a factor, sure, but like parents who get a feeling of joy every time they write off one of their kids as a tax deduction on their 1040 form, Amazon wants to pay as few taxes as possible. Things like New Jersey offering Amazon $7 billion in tax breaks will go a long way to making up Bezos’ mind about where Amazon will eventually do the ceremonial first shovel of dirt and start pouring concrete.

That amount may be too much for Amazon to pass up. I mean, California has a lot going for it, but Gov. Jerry Brown has offered a relatively minuscule $300 million in state incentives to lure Amazon. That hasn’t stopped individual cities from putting together their own incentive packages, however. Chula Vista, near San Diego, is said to have offered $400 million worth of incentives of its own to try to get Amazon to build HQ2 down near the end of I-5.

Yes, the thought of 50,000 Amazon jobs has to be on the Christmas lists of every one of those 238 communities that sent an offer up to Seattle. But, they shouldn’t expect to find something under the tree this December. Amazon has said it will make a decision on HQ2 next year.

Middle Innings:

Back To Court, Again: Apple and Samsung just can’t get enough of each other. In fact, the two tech giants are about to spend even more time together, thanks to a design-infringement case involving Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. The case involves the Supreme Court overturning a $399 million award to Apple last year, which sent the case back to a lower court in order to hash out the final financial details of the matter. And the two companies are now headed back to that court in an effort resolve their dispute.

Bottom of the Lineup:

Fowler Speaks: It can be argued that it was the blog post by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, which detailed charges of sexual harassment, that eventually led to the downfall and departure of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, as well as a multitude of other executives at the ride-sharing giant over the past eight months. Until this past weekend, Fowler had remained mostly mum about her whistleblowing efforts. But in an interview with the New York Times, Fowler said she chose to speak out in order to give a voice to everyone who was involved in what she called “an extremely demoralizing environment” at Uber.

Quote of the Day: “If you have to build schools and you also have to add more transportation and senior centers for older adults, where does the money come from?” — Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Gleckman was speaking about the issue of how the cost of health and other services for senior citizens is impacting the budgets of local governments and their tax bases.

Sign up for the 60-Second Business Break newsletter at www.siliconvalley.com.

[syndicated profile] torrentfreak_feed

Posted by Ernesto

More than half a decade has passed since Megaupload was shut down and it’s still unclear how the criminal proceedings will unfold.

Aside from Andrus Nomm’s plea deal, progress in the criminal proceedings has been slow.

Earlier this year there was some movement when the New Zealand High Court ruled that Kim Dotcom and his former colleagues can be extradited to the US. This extradition would not be on copyright grounds, but for conspiracy to defraud.

Following the ruling, Dotcom and his former colleagues quickly announced they would take the matter to the Court of Appeal. This process is still pending and may take several more months to complete.

While all parties await the outcome, the criminal case in the United States remains pending. The same goes for the civil cases launched by the MPAA and RIAA in 2014.

Since the civil cases may influence the criminal proceedings, Megaupload’s legal team previously managed to put these cases on hold, and last week they requested another extension.

This is not the first time that such a request had been made. There have been several extensions already.

At the time of the last request, there were concerns that the long delays could result in the destruction of evidence, as some of Megaupload’s hard drives were starting to fail. However, after the parties agreed on a solution to back-up and restore the files, this is no longer an issue.

“With the preservation order in place, and there being no other objection, Defendant Megaupload hereby moves the Court to enter the attached proposed order, continuing the stay in this case for an additional six months,” Megaupload’s legal team informed the court this week.

Without any objections from the MPAA and RIAA, U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady swiftly granted Megaupload’s request to stay both lawsuits until April next year.

To be continued.

Order to stay

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_ca_feed

Posted by George Avalos

SAN JOSE — Construction of Google’s massive urban village in downtown San Jose is likely to begin about eight years from now, after BART and high-speed rail connections to Diridon Station are completed.

The time frame, outlined in a city memo, is the first public indication of how long it could be before construction starts on the tech giant’s expansion, which would bring up to 20,000 employees to downtown if the plan to reshape the core of San Jose moves forward.

Major construction and the “ultimate transformation” of the Diridon Station area is expected to occur from 2025-2027, according to the memo, written for San Jose’s City Council by Kim Walesh, San Jose’s director of economic development.

Meanwhile, Google’s development partner Trammell Crow continues to collect properties on the western edges of downtown, most recently with the Oct. 18 acquisition of a small parcel on West San Carlos Street near the train station.

Google and Trammell Crow-controlled affiliate TC Agoge are buying buildings and vacant parcels near Diridon Station and the SAP Center entertainment complex. They have already bought 20 parcels in the Diridon Station area, paying $146 million.

The $1.2 million purchase of the property at 695 W. San Carlos St. — a lot between South Montgomery Street and Los Gatos Creek that contains a small structure — demonstrates Google’s ongoing interest in pursuing the transit-village project.

Walesh’s memo suggests that Google’s negotiations to buy 16 government-owned properties at the heart of the proposed campus have encountered some delays, given the complexity of having multiple parties at the bargaining table.

GoogleSJLegend@3x

“We have always represented that the development of the Diridon Station area was a long-term play,” Walesh said Monday. “What you are seeing now is an understanding that the area near the train station that Google is most interested in is going to be the construction and lay-down area for the BART station and an area of use and activity for the high-speed rail line. It’s very complex, and all of this needs to be tightly coordinated.”

The property-sale negotiations involve Google, city officials and representatives of Santa Clara County. Of the 16 parcels, seven are owned by the city of San Jose and nine are owned by the government entity linked to San Jose’s now defunct redevelopment agency.

“The complexities of determining the sale price with multiple agency owners and appraisers” means that the approval process for sale and development of the government properties is still in the early stages, the city memo states.

2017-10-google-village-property-purchase-san jose-downtown-transit-02
A property recently bought by TC Agoge, a Google development ally purchasing sites near Diridon train station. George Avalos / Bay Area News Group

The delays have pushed back two key elements of the city’s efforts.

First, the city’s plan to engage and involve interested community groups, which was scheduled to get underway on Oct. 20, has been pushed back to just before Christmas.

In addition, the projected time frame to complete negotiations with Google for key elements such as agreed-upon sales prices for the government-owned properties also has been pushed back 60 days — until the end of May or early June 2018.

Despite the changes, all signs still suggest Google’s project is moving ahead, said Bob Staedler, a veteran observer of South Bay development and of downtown San Jose’s progress.

“This is the future, and it’s the transit-oriented development that companies need to have, with the current traffic situation in the Bay Area,” said Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a realty and land-use planning consultancy. “This is a legacy project for the city of San Jose. It’s going to happen.”

[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by ernesto

Across the country, state lawmakers are fighting to restore the Internet privacy rights of their constituents that Congress and the President misguidedly repealed earlier this year. The facts and public opinion are on their side, but the recent battle to pass California’s broadband privacy bill, A.B. 375, suggests that they will face a massive misinformation campaign launched by the telecom lobby and, sadly, joined by major tech companies.

The tech industry lent their support to a host of misleading scare tactics.

Big Telco’s opposition was hardly surprising. It was, after all, their lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. that repealed the privacy obligations they had to their customers. But it’s disappointing that after mostly staying out of the debate, Google and Facebook joined in opposing the restoration of broadband privacy for Californians despite the bill doing nothing about their core business models (the bill was explicitly about restoring ISP privacy rules). Through their proxy the Internet Association, which also represents companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Etsy, Expedia, LinkedIn, Netflix, Twitter, Yelp, and Zynga, among others—Google and Facebook locked arms with AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to oppose this critical legislation.  What is worse, they didn’t just oppose the bill, but lent their support to a host of misleading scare tactics.

How do we know? Because we were on the ground in Sacramento in September to witness every last-minute dirty trick to stop A.B. 375 from moving forward. But there is one positive outcome: ISP and Silicon Valley lobbyists have played their hand. When these tactics are deployed at the last minute by an army of lobbyists, false information is extremely hard to counter by citizens and consumer groups who lack special access to legislators. But over time legislators (and their constituents) learn the truth – and we’ll make sure they will remember it when this legislation comes back around in 2018.

People have not forgotten they had privacy rights that were repealed this year. It is in fact one of the most unpopular moves by this Congress and opposed by voters regardless of political party affiliation. Undoubtedly, the companies and their proxies will recycle what worked in California to other states as legislatures move closer to passing their own bills. To inoculate against misinformation, here is a breakdown of the three most pervasive myths we saw at the final hours.

Let's not let our lawmakers get fooled again.

Read the Bill: the Definitions Are Rooted in Longstanding Telecom Law

Lobbyists often calculate that some lawmakers are not going to closely read a bill and that these policymakers will instead rely on the word of “industry experts” without checking their claims.

In California, the opposition lobby used this tactic and began claiming that the definition of “Broadband Internet Access Service” (the technical term for an ISP that sells broadband service) was inadequately defined and could burden all kinds of companies that are not ISPs. Technology giants like Google and Facebook, using the Internet Association as their proxy, echoed the false claim, providing the air of legitimacy that added to the intended confusion.

In reality, there was nothing vague or unclear about this definition in A.B. 375. The language in the California bill was copied almost verbatim from the long-standing definition under Federal Communications Commission rules.

You can see for yourself in this side-by-side comparison.

And the bill’s author, Assemblymember Ed Chau, went one step further to explicitly state which entities would not be covered by the bill:

“Broadband Internet access service provider” does not include a premises operator, including a coffee shop, bookstore, airline, private end-user network, or other business that acquires BIAS from a BIAS provider to enable patrons to access the Internet from its respective establishment.

The language couldn’t be clearer. But repeat a false claim enough times from enough paid lobbyists and legislators start to question themselves.

No, Broadband Privacy Protections Don’t Help Terrorists and Nazis

One of the most offensive aspects of the misinformation campaign was the claim that pretending to restore our privacy rights, which have been on the books for communications providers for years, would help extremism.

Here is the excerpt from an anonymous and fact-free document the industry put directly into the hands of state senators to stall the bill:

The bill would bar ISPs from sharing potentially identifiable information with law enforcement in many circumstances. For example, a threat to conduct a terror attack could not be shared (unless it was to protect the ISP, its users, or other ISPs from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of the ISP's service). AND the bill instructs that all such exceptions are to be construed narrowly.

In addition to national security scaremongering, the industry put out a second document that attempted to play off fears emerging from the recent Charlottesville attack by white supremacists:

This would mean that ISPs who inadvertently learned of a rightwing extremist or other violent threat to the public at large could not share that information with law enforcement without customer approval. Even IP address of bad actor [sic] could not be shared.

There is absolutely nothing true about this statement. A.B. 375 specifically said that an ISP can disclose information without customer approval for any “fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of the service.” More importantly, it also included what is often referred to as a “catchall provision” by allowing ISPs to disclose information “as otherwise required or authorized by law.”

The catchall provision is key, since there are already laws on the books allowing services to provide information to the police in emergency situations. For example, the Stored Communications Act spells out the rules under which ISPs are, and are not, allowed to disclose content to law enforcement. The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), passed in 2015, allows ISPs to disclose information to law enforcement as long as it doesn’t run afoul of state or federal law and allows law enforcement to obtain this information without a warrant in specific emergency situations. Facebook and Google presumably know this, because they supported CalECPA when it was in the legislature. Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon know it too.

The Great, Fake Pop-up Scare

In materials like this advertisement, the opposition lobby claimed that A.B. 375 would result in a deluge of pop-ups that consumers would have to click through, and that in turn this inundation would create a sort of privacy fatigue. Consumers would stop caring, and cybersecurity would suffer.

We’ve debunked most of this tale in a separate post , but let’s address the issue of pop-ups. The bill did require ISPs get your permission (also known as opt-in consent) before monetizing your information that includes the following:

(1) Financial information.

(2) Health information.

(3) Information pertaining to children.

(4) Social security numbers.

(5) Precise geolocation information.

(6) Content of communications.

(7) (A) Internet Web site browsing history, application usage history, and the functional equivalents of either.

But it did not mandate that people have to constantly receive pop ups to obtain that consent. In fact, once you said no, they couldn’t keep asking you over and over again without violating this law and likely laws that regulate fraud and deceptive acts by businesses. However, if the ISP changed the terms of your agreement, they would have to ask your permission again.

Think of it like renting an apartment. If your landlord was going to change your lease agreement, you’d want to know and you’d want to make sure you agreed to any amendments. Being notified of these changes isn’t annoying, it is expected. The only thing that would be annoying is if your landlord kept pestering you to agree to changes you don’t want and did not take no for an answer.

The same applies to ISPs: people are a lot more concerned about ISPs trying to sneak through new invasions of privacy than the alerts they get about those changes.

Internet Users Will Need to Mobilize to Regain our Privacy Rights in 2018

It’s easy to see how lawmakers could be duped in the sleepless, high-speed, waning hours of the legislative session, especially when the information comes from sources that have historically been credible.

In 2018, we plan to make sure that every legislator who was bamboozled by companies like Google, Facebook, Comcast, and AT&T is given the facts. We are confident that lawmakers in states around the nation will continue to push for consumer privacy, filling the gaps created by the Federal Communications Commission as it rolls back network neutrality and privacy protections and AT&T’s efforts in the courts to eliminate the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to oversee telephone companies.

EFF will continue to support state efforts to respond, including dispelling the myths spread by privacy opponents. And we’ll need your help to make sure our legislatures respond to the demands of a vast majority of the public and side with Internet users—not the companies that seek to exploit them.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_science_feed

Posted by The Associated Press

By Frank Eltman | Associated Press

NEW YORK — Within the next three decades, floods that used to strike the New York City area only once every 500 years could occur every five years, according to a new scientific study released just days before the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

The study, performed by researchers at several universities and published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, primarily blames the predicted change on sea-level rise caused by global warming.

“This is kind of a warning,” said Andra Garner, a Rutgers University scientist and study co-author. “How are we going to protect our coastal infrastructure?”

The researchers based their analysis on multiple models that factored in predictions for sea level rise and possible changes in the path of future hurricanes.

Many of the models had a dose of good news for the nation’s largest city: Climate changes may mean that storms are more violent, but are also likely to swing further off-shore, meaning storm surge heights aren’t likely to increase substantially through 2300.

However, rising sea levels could mean that floods of 7.4 feet or more that struck the New York city area roughly once every 500 years before 1800, and which occur roughly every 25 years now, could happen once every five years between 2030 and 2045.

Researchers made no recommendations on what public officials or others should do to prepare.

“The idea is this kind of study we hope will provide information that people making those kinds of decisions can use,” Garner said. “We know that when Sandy hit in 2012, of course, subways, tunnels flooded, power was knocked out, parts of the city were just really devastated so studies like this provide some warning.”

Other researchers included scientists from Penn State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The researchers said there is scientific consensus that global sea level will rise in the coming centuries, although it is not certain how high. They cautioned that sea-level rise at New York City could exceed 8 feet by the end of the century if, in a high-emissions future, the West Antarctic ice sheet rapidly melts.

The study expects about 5 inches to 11 inches of sea-level rise likely in New York City between 2000 and 2030.

The study examined sea level rise through the year 2300.

“I think the study is valid, but year 2300 is a long way off,” said Billy Sweet, an oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who was not involved in it. “What is more certain is the amount of sea level rise likely to occur in the next 50 to 100 years or so and that storm surges from nor’easters and hurricanes will continue to pose a risk for New York City.”

Hurricane Sandy merged with two other weather systems into an unusual storm that devastated the oceanfront coastline and caused catastrophic flooding in New York and cities in New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012. It was blamed for at least 182 deaths and $65 billion in damage in the U.S.

State and city officials in New York say they are planning numerous projects to guard against future flooding, including fortifying utilities and transit facilities, and note other projects are still in the design stage.

This story has been corrected to reflect estimated sea level rise of 5 inches to 11 inches is between 2000 and 2030, not 2000 and 2300.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Anne D'Innocenzio, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Target says customers want it to pause the “Christmas creep.” It says it wants to be more in tune with customers’ mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving.

The retailer’s holiday plans also include a new e-gift service, adding kiosks that focus on impulse presents mainly under $15, and launching a wallet feature to its app. It’s also offering more weekend deals since shoppers do more holiday buying then.

While all retailers need to worry about online growth and the expansion of Amazon, Target is spending $7 billion over three years to remodel old stores, open small ones in cities and college towns and offer faster delivery for online orders. It’s also been refreshing its store brands and trying to be more convenient to shoppers. Eight of Target’s new brands will be available for the first time this holiday season.

The company is expanding its marketing focus and increasing its holiday marketing budget compared to a year ago.

For November, Target will keep Thanksgiving signs and displays at the entrances and its marketing will play up Thanksgiving meal preparation and entertaining for shoppers. “They want us to pause, and be really intentional and recognize Thanksgiving,” said Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer. “What they don’t want us to do is go right into Christmas. So, we are going to respect that.”

As it eases into the later holidays, the company isn’t repeating the “Ten Days of Deals” strategy, which it had for two seasons in a row. Instead, it’s increasing weekend deals starting Nov. 11. Gomez says customers are shopping on the weekend twice as much as they are during weekdays.

Target’s also focusing on convenience. A new service on Target’s website lets people click on a GiftNow button for products to send an e-gift. That lets the recipient know, and the person can change the color or size or choose something entirely different — all before anything is shipped. In its stores, Target is adding kiosks that cater to different kinds of shoppers. They include items like fluffy slippers or beauty products.

As it works to play catch-up in some online services. Target is now shipping online orders from 1,400 stores, up from 1,000 a year ago. Fifty percent of orders shipped from stores arrive to customers’ homes in two days, the company said.

It’s also offering curbside pickup for online customers at 50 stores in the Minneapolis area. The items include not only groceries but also other products like toys and electronics. Competitor Walmart, meanwhile, has 1,000 stores that offer curbside pickup for online shoppers buying groceries as well as certain seasonal items. It plans to double that figure next year.

 

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by George Avalos

SAN JOSE — Construction of Google’s massive urban village in downtown San Jose is likely to begin about eight years from now, after BART and high-speed rail connections to Diridon Station are completed.

The time frame, outlined in a city memo, is the first public indication of how long it could be before construction starts on the tech giant’s expansion, which would bring up to 20,000 employees to downtown if the plan to reshape the core of San Jose moves forward.

Major construction and the “ultimate transformation” of the Diridon Station area is expected to occur from 2025-2027, according to the memo, written for San Jose’s City Council by Kim Walesh, San Jose’s director of economic development.

Meanwhile, Google’s development partner Trammell Crow continues to collect properties on the western edges of downtown, most recently with the Oct. 18 acquisition of a small parcel on West San Carlos Street near the train station.

Google and Trammell Crow-controlled affiliate TC Agoge are buying buildings and vacant parcels near Diridon Station and the SAP Center entertainment complex. They have already bought 20 parcels in the Diridon Station area, paying $146 million.

The $1.2 million purchase of the property at 695 W. San Carlos St. — a lot between South Montgomery Street and Los Gatos Creek that contains a small structure — demonstrates Google’s ongoing interest in pursuing the transit-village project.

Walesh’s memo suggests that Google’s negotiations to buy 16 government-owned properties at the heart of the proposed campus have encountered some delays, given the complexity of having multiple parties at the bargaining table.

“We have always represented that the development of the Diridon Station area was a long-term play,” Walesh said Monday. “What you are seeing now is an understanding that the area near the train station that Google is most interested in is going to be the construction and lay-down area for the BART station and an area of use and activity for the high-speed rail line. It’s very complex, and all of this needs to be tightly coordinated.”

The property-sale negotiations involve Google, city officials and representatives of Santa Clara County. Of the 16 parcels, seven are owned by the city of San Jose and nine are owned by the government entity linked to San Jose’s now defunct redevelopment agency.

“The complexities of determining the sale price with multiple agency owners and appraisers” means that the approval process for sale and development of the government properties is still in the early stages, the city memo states.

2017-10-google-village-property-purchase-san jose-downtown-transit-02
A property recently bought by TC Agoge, a Google development ally purchasing sites near Diridon train station. George Avalos / Bay Area News Group

The delays have pushed back two key elements of the city’s efforts.

First, the city’s plan to engage and involve interested community groups, which was scheduled to get underway on Oct. 20, has been pushed back to just before Christmas.

In addition, the projected time frame to complete negotiations with Google for key elements such as agreed-upon sales prices for the government-owned properties also has been pushed back 60 days — until the end of May or early June 2018.

Despite the changes, all signs still suggest Google’s project is moving ahead, said Bob Staedler, a veteran observer of South Bay development and of downtown San Jose’s progress.

“This is the future, and it’s the transit-oriented development that companies need to have, with the current traffic situation in the Bay Area,” said Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a realty and land-use planning consultancy. “This is a legacy project for the city of San Jose. It’s going to happen.”

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Marley Jay, Associated Press

By MARLEY JAY

NEW YORK — Industrial and technology companies and retailers all stumbled Monday as U.S. stocks began the week with losses. General Electric suffered its worst one-day loss in six years following downgrades from analysts.

After a mixed start, stocks turned lower in afternoon trading. GE’s struggles weighed on industrial companies, while big technology companies liked Facebook and Alphabet sank. Toy companies Hasbro and Mattel tumbled after Hasbro’s sales forecast disappointed Wall Street and familiar consumer companies like Amazon and McDonald’s also slumped. Investors did far more selling than buying as a seven-day winning streak ended. It was the worst day for stocks in about seven weeks, but it was still a fairly small decline, as almost nothing has seriously rattled investors this year.

“We have never seen the level of calm and the level of strength combined that we’ve seen,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide Investment Management. “Investors are kind of willing to just trust it.”

Hackett said it’s very unusual that stocks have continued to rise without any big sell-offs, but he doesn’t see it as a problem. That’s because major economies like the U.S., Europe and China have all been growing for more than a year, which isn’t likely to end soon.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 10.23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,564.98. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 54.67 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,273.96. The Nasdaq composite dropped 42.23 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,586.83. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 11.75 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,497.49.

General Electric took its biggest single-day loss since August 2011 after analysts at UBS and Morgan Stanley lowered their ratings on its stock. GE stock has been slumping all year, but it had edged higher Friday as investors reacted positively to the conglomerate’s third-quarter results. Analysts were less optimistic Monday, as Christopher Belfiore of UBS cut his 2018 and 2019 profit estimates for GE and said it’s likely to reduce its dividend payments.

The stock fell $1.51, or 6.3 percent, to $22.32. It’s down 29 percent this year.

Other industrial firms also took losses. Equipment rental company United Rentals lost $2.92, or 2 percent, to $141.48. Arconic, which makes aluminum parts for the aerospace and other industries, fell $2.52, or 9.2 percent, to $24.65 after it disclosed a smaller-than-expected profit and named former GE executive Charles Blankenship as its next CEO.

Hasbro tumbled after its sales forecast fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company said the recent bankruptcy of Toys R Us hurt its business. Its stock gave up $8.44, or 8.6 percent, to $89.75 and competitor Mattel fell 51 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $15.46.

Other consumer-focused companies also declined. Under Armour fell 63 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $16.85 after the Wall Street Journal reported that co-founder Kip Fulks’ plans to take a sabbatical from the company, and that Under Armour may exit its camping and hiking apparel business. Amazon slipped $16.63, or 1.7 percent, to $966.30.

The S&P closed at an all-time high every day last week. According to S&P Dow Jones indices, that hadn’t happened since March 1998. Hackett, of Nationwide Investments, said the steady rally over last year has been similar to the market’s rally in 1994-95, when the U.S. was recovering from the early ’90s recession and pro-business Republicans took control of Congress. He noted that that calm stretch did not end in a market crash.

Several companies struck deals over the weekend. Communications software maker BroadSoft agreed to be bought by Cisco Systems for $55 a share, or $1.9 billion. The stock added 90 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $54.80. It has climbed 27 percent since Aug. 29, when reports said BroadSoft was considering a sale. Cisco rose 10 cents to $34.35.

Aetna will sell its U.S. group life and disability insurance businesses to Hartford Financial Services for $1.45 billion. Hartford, which also reported its third-quarter results on Monday, fell $2.43, or 4.3 percent, to $54.06. Aetna gained 63 cents to $161.47.

Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slid to 2.37 percent from 2.38 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 6 cents to $51.90 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 38 cents to $57.37 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline stayed at $1.68 a gallon. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.79 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 8 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold inched up 40 cents to $1,280.90 an ounce. Silver remained at $17.08 an ounce. Copper rose 2 cents to $3.19 a pound.

The dollar rose to 113.73 yen from 113.50 yen. The euro fell to $1.173 from $1.1780.

The CAC 40 in France rose 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 was little changed.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.1 percent after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party scored a win in the nationwide parliamentary election Sunday. The South Korean Kospi finished little changed and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent.

 

Almaden/Cambrian sports briefs

Oct. 23rd, 2017 09:14 pm
[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Phil Jensen

Cross Country

There were many fine performances by local runners at the Santa Clara County Middle School Championships on Oct. 17 at Montgomery Hill Park’s 2.1-mile course.

Bret Harte’s Sami Shafi placed seventh in the 8th Grade Boys race with a time of 13:14.9. Julia Lloyd of Bret Harte was eighth in the 8th Grade Girls race in 15:46.2.

In the 7th Grade Girls race, Fiora Beratahani placed second with a time of 15:13.6. Matthew Eisenman of Quicksilver Running Club was third in the 6th Grade Boys race (13:57.5), with Massimo Meneses of Bret Harte fifth in 14:05.1, Logan Buckman of Quicksilver RC sixth in 14:05.6 and Andrew Hamamoto of Quicksilver seventh in 14:10.1.

Madison Fujii of John Muir placed fifth in the 6th Grade Girls race (16:57.4). Other local top-10 individual finishers in that race were Emma Murphy of Bret Harte (sixth, 17:25.0) and Riley Shigemoto of Castillero (ninth, 17:46.0).

Bret Harte won the 6th Grade Girls team title with a score of 15. Besides Murphy, its scorers were Amber Lu (11th, 17:53.5), Breanna Lu (14th, 17:55.3), Nikita Parakala (20th, 18:57.0) and Carina Cefalu (21st, 19:07.8).

Basketball

The City of Sunnyvale is looking for volunteer basketball coaches for the Sunnyvale Youth Basketball League 2018 season which starts in January. The league is a recreational, non-competitive league for kindergarteners through eighth graders. Volunteer coaches should have some knowledge of basketball and can commit to two hours per week over the eight-week duration of the season and be over 18 years old. They must be able to run a one-hour practice each week on weekday evenings and coach a one-hour game on Saturdays. The season runs from January through mid-March. For more information, contact Jesus Raygoza at 408-730-7398 or jraygoza@sunnyvale.ca.gov

Hoopstarz basketball

Hoopstarz Basketball will hold fall classes for players ages 5-14. Sessions include co-ed camps for ages 8-14, Hoopgirlz camps (girls only) ages 5-14 and mini camps for ages 5-7. The camps will run through Dec. 3. Please visit HoopStarzBasketball.com to enroll. You can also contact Coach Adam Dallas at 408-384-8570 for questions and details about classes.

 

Orozco leads Pioneer past Westmont

Oct. 23rd, 2017 08:51 pm
[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Phil Jensen

Behind a monster game from Eddie Orozco, the Pioneer High School football team defeated Westmont 36-21 on Oct. 20 and kept itself in the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mt. Hamilton Division race.

Orozco, a senior, rushed for 277 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. Two of his touchdowns went for 59 and 50 yards respectively.

“When he busts off big runs like he did Friday night, we feed off it,” Pioneer coach Eric Perry said.

The win lodged Pioneer (3-4, 2-2 BVAL Mt. Hamilton Division) in a four-way tie for third place in the division with Piedmont Hills, Lincoln and Westmont. Co-leaders Live Oak and Oak Grove are one game ahead.

Orozco scored the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter on a 15-yard run. It was set up by a 30-yard pass from Ryan Wallace to Enrique Sanchez.

In the second quarter, Orozco reached the end zone on his 59-yard run, and a 26-yard field goal by Eduardo Fregoso helped give the Mustangs a 17-7 halftime lead over Westmont (5-2, 2-2).

Orozco had touchdown runs of 50 and 19 yards in the second half. Wallace also rushed for 95 yards on four attempts in the game, including a 79-yard touchdown run in the second half.

Defensively, the Pioneers’ Edgar Valencia had a fumble recovery and a sack on a late defensive stand. The Mustangs defense kept Westmont out of the end zone when two turnovers gave the Warriors excellent field position deep in Pioneer territory.

Mustangs linebacker Chris Custer led the team in tackles with nine. Sanchez had six tackles and batted down two balls.

Pioneer will host Santa Teresa (2-5, 1-3) on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

Leland 42, San Jose 8

The host Chargers (7-0, 4-0 Blossom Valley Athletic League Santa Teresa Division) easily defeated the Bulldogs on Oct. 20 to remain undefeated this season.

Leland (7-0, 4-0 Blossom Valley Athletic League Santa Teresa Division) scored first on a Kyle Anderson 5-yard run in the first quarter. Anderson rushed for a team-high 63 yards in the victory.

Carson Yates connected with Anthony Gonzales for a 12-yard touchdown pass, and a Justin Kuhns point-after-touchdown kick made the score 14-0 with 10 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first half.

Then Cannon Yates reached the end zone on an interception return. Carson Yates and Gonzales teamed up again for another touchdown, on a 59-yard pass from Yates to Gonzales.

The Chargers then achieved their second interception return for a touchdown, this one from Mitch Whitlock. A PAT kick from Kuhns, who was 6 for 6 in PAT kicks for the game, made the score 35-0. Bobby Jabbari scored the final Chargers touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run.

Carson Yates completed nine of his 14 pass attempts for 157 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Gonzales had six catches for 110 yards and the two touchdowns.

Defensively, Garrett Swanson led Leland with eight total tackles, including six solo. He also had a sack, as did teammates Logan Thomas and Parker Petersen.

Leland will travel to face Willow Glen (5-2, 3-1), one of three teams tied for second in the Santa Teresa Division, on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

Branham 33, Silver Creek 20

The Bruins (5-2, 3-1 BVAL Santa Teresa Division) received 251 yards rushing on 24 carries and two touchdowns from Nolan Gallagher in its win over the host Raiders (3-4, 0-4) on Oct. 20.

Branham first touchdown occurred on a 3-yard pass from Tanner Scattini to Kyle Loeffler in the first quarter. The PAT kick attempt was blocked.

Gallagher then scored on a 3-yard run in the second quarter, and Troy Pesavento’s PAT kick was good. Scattini also threw his second touchdown pass of the first half, this one for 28 yards to Jason Gant.

In the third quarter, Scattini scored on a 1-yard run and Gallagher scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter. Both of John Puma’s PAT kicks were good.

Branham will host Gunderson (2-5, 0-4) on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

Piedmont Hills 64, Leigh 48

The Longhorns’ Eric Elizondo rushed for 321 yards on 31 carries, including two touchdowns, in this offense-dominated game on Oct. 20.

There was a total of 42 points scored in the first quarter, as Piedmont Hills (5-2, 2-2 BVAL Mt. Hamilton) took a 29-13 lead over Leigh (4-3, 1-3).

Piedmont Hills led 36-20 at halftime and 50-27 at the end of the third quarter before Leigh outscored the Pirates 21-14 in the final quarter.

There was a total of 1,257 all-purpose yards in the game – 668 by Piedmont Hills and 589 by Leigh.

Leigh’s Kyle Albert completed 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 181 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 21 yards and a touchdown.

The Longhorns’ Nick Alexander caught nine passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Leigh’s Mason Peterson had three catches for 38 yards, including a touchdown, and Ian Conway grabbed two passes for 22 yards and a score.

Leigh will host Westmont on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_ca_feed

Posted by Marley Jay, Associated Press

By MARLEY JAY

NEW YORK — Industrial and technology companies and retailers all stumbled Monday as U.S. stocks began the week with losses. General Electric suffered its worst one-day loss in six years following downgrades from analysts.

After a mixed start, stocks turned lower in afternoon trading. GE’s struggles weighed on industrial companies, while big technology companies liked Facebook and Alphabet sank. Toy companies Hasbro and Mattel tumbled after Hasbro’s sales forecast disappointed Wall Street and familiar consumer companies like Amazon and McDonald’s also slumped. Investors did far more selling than buying as a seven-day winning streak ended. It was the worst day for stocks in about seven weeks, but it was still a fairly small decline, as almost nothing has seriously rattled investors this year.

“We have never seen the level of calm and the level of strength combined that we’ve seen,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide Investment Management. “Investors are kind of willing to just trust it.”

Hackett said it’s very unusual that stocks have continued to rise without any big sell-offs, but he doesn’t see it as a problem. That’s because major economies like the U.S., Europe and China have all been growing for more than a year, which isn’t likely to end soon.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 10.23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,564.98. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 54.67 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,273.96. The Nasdaq composite dropped 42.23 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,586.83. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 11.75 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,497.49.

General Electric took its biggest single-day loss since August 2011 after analysts at UBS and Morgan Stanley lowered their ratings on its stock. GE stock has been slumping all year, but it had edged higher Friday as investors reacted positively to the conglomerate’s third-quarter results. Analysts were less optimistic Monday, as Christopher Belfiore of UBS cut his 2018 and 2019 profit estimates for GE and said it’s likely to reduce its dividend payments.

The stock fell $1.51, or 6.3 percent, to $22.32. It’s down 29 percent this year.

Other industrial firms also took losses. Equipment rental company United Rentals lost $2.92, or 2 percent, to $141.48. Arconic, which makes aluminum parts for the aerospace and other industries, fell $2.52, or 9.2 percent, to $24.65 after it disclosed a smaller-than-expected profit and named former GE executive Charles Blankenship as its next CEO.

Hasbro tumbled after its sales forecast fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company said the recent bankruptcy of Toys R Us hurt its business. Its stock gave up $8.44, or 8.6 percent, to $89.75 and competitor Mattel fell 51 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $15.46.

Other consumer-focused companies also declined. Under Armour fell 63 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $16.85 after the Wall Street Journal reported that co-founder Kip Fulks’ plans to take a sabbatical from the company, and that Under Armour may exit its camping and hiking apparel business. Amazon slipped $16.63, or 1.7 percent, to $966.30.

The S&P closed at an all-time high every day last week. According to S&P Dow Jones indices, that hadn’t happened since March 1998. Hackett, of Nationwide Investments, said the steady rally over last year has been similar to the market’s rally in 1994-95, when the U.S. was recovering from the early ’90s recession and pro-business Republicans took control of Congress. He noted that that calm stretch did not end in a market crash.

Several companies struck deals over the weekend. Communications software maker BroadSoft agreed to be bought by Cisco Systems for $55 a share, or $1.9 billion. The stock added 90 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $54.80. It has climbed 27 percent since Aug. 29, when reports said BroadSoft was considering a sale. Cisco rose 10 cents to $34.35.

Aetna will sell its U.S. group life and disability insurance businesses to Hartford Financial Services for $1.45 billion. Hartford, which also reported its third-quarter results on Monday, fell $2.43, or 4.3 percent, to $54.06. Aetna gained 63 cents to $161.47.

Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slid to 2.37 percent from 2.38 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 6 cents to $51.90 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 38 cents to $57.37 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline stayed at $1.68 a gallon. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.79 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 8 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold inched up 40 cents to $1,280.90 an ounce. Silver remained at $17.08 an ounce. Copper rose 2 cents to $3.19 a pound.

The dollar rose to 113.73 yen from 113.50 yen. The euro fell to $1.173 from $1.1780.

The CAC 40 in France rose 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 was little changed.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.1 percent after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party scored a win in the nationwide parliamentary election Sunday. The South Korean Kospi finished little changed and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent.

 

Grey Gardens Is Under Contract

Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:30 pm
[syndicated profile] apt_therapy_ny_feed

Update: Grey Gardens has found a buyer, according to the Washington Post. Owner, journalist Sally Quinn, hasn't disclosed who is purchasing the property or the selling price (it was reduced to $17,995,000 in April), but mentioned that "she's 'happy' with the contract and the new owner 'really understands the house' and plans to preserve it."

READ MORE »

[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Shyloh Hadley on Vitals, shared by Beth Skwarecki to Lifehacker

When I ran my first obstacle course race, I envisioned crossing the finish line triumphantly, a big smile on my face, glowing with the joy of achievement. In reality, it was a sweaty and humid unseasonably warm day, but in my race photos I look great. My secret? I ran in a full face of makeup.

Read more...

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