Politics

August 15, 2018

FBI investigating cyberattacks against Democratic rival of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Over the past year, FBI agents have been investigating a series of cyberattacks against a Democratic rival of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), one of the most ardent supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Republican Party. The cyberattacks, first reported by Rolling Stone, were targeted against Dr. Hans Keirstead, who fell just 125 votes short […]
August 15, 2018

You just lived through the hottest May-June-July in U.S. history

If you found yourself thinking it was scorching hot in recent weeks, well, you were right. For the three-month period of May to July, the entire contiguous United States (CONUS) “ranked hottest on record,” as the National Weather Service in Los Angeles, California tweeted out Wednesday, adding that “records go back to 1895.” No need to […]
August 15, 2018

Area white supremacist, 34, embarrassed about still living with his parents

At some point, you have to start to admire white nationalist Jason Kessler’s seemingly natural ability to consistently own himself. Kessler was already the laughing stock of the internet after his much-hyped “Unite the Right 2” rally in Washington, D.C. drew barely two dozen demonstrators but over a thousand counter-protesters. Kessler spent most of the […]
August 15, 2018

Texas conservatives are absurdly still fighting marriage equality in court

More than three years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, a conservative group is still arguing in Texas state court that the state’s ban on recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages is enforceable. And they’re willing to throw different-sex couples under the bus to win. The Conservative Republicans of Texas (CRT), which the Southern Poverty […]
August 15, 2018

With a reported 30K ISIS fighters in the Levant, it seems Trump has not yet defeated ISIS

Having already declared that the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) has been defeated in Syria and Iraq, President Donald Trump might have been surprised to learn that according to two new reports, there are roughly 30,000 ISIS fighters remaining in Iraq and Syria — on par with the group’s presence at its peak. The Pentagon just […]
August 15, 2018

Sarah Sanders was asked how many Black people work in the White House. She couldn’t name one.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declined to answer questions about the number of black staffers working in the White House on Wednesday, saying only that the administration “value[d] diversity.” The comments follow a heated back and forth between President Trump and former public liaison director Omarosa Manigault Newman, who was fired from the administration in […]

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August 15, 2018

Male-Friendly Flower Webshops – ‘Real Men Buy Flowers’ Simplifies the Flower-Buying Process for Men (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) To address the fact that billions of dollars worth of flowers are sold every year yet men make up only a small percentage of consumers who do the buying, ‘Real Men Buy Flowers' has...
August 15, 2018

Pop-Up Memorabilia Museums – A Disney Pop-Up Showcases Disney Park’s Amazing Artistry and History (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Many people hold Disney in a cherished place in their hearts and a new Disneyland pop-up is hoping to play on that nostalgia with its presentation of beloved Disney memorabilia. Launched as a...
August 15, 2018

Charitable Climbing Initiatives – The North Face & Khumbu Climbing Center Joined for a New Campaign (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The North Face introduced a Canada-wide charitable initiative that aims to raise funds to increase safety margins for high altitude workers and Nepali climbers by supporting the Khumbu Climbing...
August 15, 2018

Online Encyclopedia-Inspired Apparel – The Wikipedia Collection by Advisory Board Crystals is Chic (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The physicality of the Wikipedia collection is tied to a single long-sleeve shirt that strongly references the popular online encyclopedia. The launch of the not-for-profit platform's apparel...
August 15, 2018

Bubbling Paper Face Masks – YES TO’s Single-Use Face Masks Help to Hydrate, Soothe and More (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Single-use face masks undoubtedly help consumers to feel as if they are indulging in a beneficial self-care ritual, but many products leave consumers wondering whether or not a treatment is truly...
August 15, 2018

Artist-Inspired Casual Tees – Uniqlo Debuts Another Drop of Its Creativity-Forward SPRZN NY Project (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Japanese streetwear retailer Uniqlo launches another set of artist-inspired casual tees. The bold graphic apparel is part of the label's “fashion-meets-art SPRZN NY project.” The...
August 15, 2018

Entrepreneurial Concept Shops – eBay’s ‘The New Stand’ Store Spotlights Innovative Small Businesses (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) eBay recently launched a new retail concept store dubbed ‘The New Stand' that gives innovative products from small businesses the chance to shine in New York City. Earlier in the year,...
August 15, 2018

Women’s Cannabis Platforms – Latitude Was Created to Share Real Stories of Women’s Cannabis Use (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) 48North Cannabis Corp., a leading health and wellness brand that's dedicated to cannabis education and cultivation, has expanded its vision with the introduction of Latitude, an online...
August 15, 2018

Location-Influenced High-Performance Apparel – Arnar Mar Jonsson’s Line Takes Cues from Iceland (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Emerging Icelandic designer Arnar Mar Jonsson launches his Spring/Summer 2019 collection which is characterized by fashion-forward high-performance apparel. For the construction of the silhouettes,...

Latest from the World

August 16, 2018

Study shows kids can be swayed by peer pressure from robots, because this is the future we deserve

Robots are coming to take our jobs -- and trick our gullible children. The conventional wisdom has long been afraid of the first half of that sentence, and now a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics speaks to the second half. The study paired a group of kids with cute, humanoid robots who constantly gave an incorrect answer to a simple test, which the led the kids to quite often -- well, follow the robots' incorrect lead. According to an abstract of the study, "People are known to change their behavior and decisions to conform to others, even for obviously incorrect facts. Because of recent developments in artificial intelligence and robotics, robots are increasingly found in human environments, and there, they form a novel social presence. It is as yet unclear whether and to what extent these social robots are able to exert pressure similar to human peers." The testers, however, used a group of children ages 7 to 9 and found that they generally conform to the robots in the study. "This raises opportunities as well as concerns for the use of social robots with young and vulnerable cross-sections of society; although conforming can be beneficial, the potential for misuse and the potential impact of erroneous performance cannot be ignored." To be sure, you can argue about how much value to ascribe to this, since kids of a certain age will to a degree go along with anyone who's older than them. Maybe that same thought holds true when it comes to kids and our robot overlords. Here's how the study arrived at its conclusion. Three small, cute robots sat in front of two screens. On one of those screens was a single line, and on the other were three lines of different lengths. The task was to match whichever of the three lines was the same length as the single line on the other screen. The robots went first and were programmed to give the wrong answer most of the time. The adults, of course, weren't bothered. Which is interesting in and of itself, since studies have shown humans will conform -- even in error -- to other humans, but that doesn't apparently extend to machines. The children participating in the study, meanwhile, followed the robots' lead 75 percent of the time. According to Bielefeld University's Anna-Lisa Vollmer, lead author on the study, as reported by The Verge, "We know something similar is going on with robots: Rather than seeing a robot as a machine consisting of electronics and plastic, they see a social character," she says. "This might explain why they succumb to peer pressure by the robots." It's good insight to have and to keep in mind as robots become more ubiquitous in society. Since, after all, we're kind of already starting to acclimate kids to them. What if that trend only continues to the point where we're bringing robotic teaching assistants or some kind of recreational robot into the home for kids to play with? The folks over at Futurism continue that thought: "Researchers have already created a number of social robots designed specifically to interact with children, from ones that help children with autism develop social skills to ones that interact with children in hospitals. "While these robots are highly unlikely to encourage children to do anything that might cause them harm on their own, robots are machines, and people can hack machines. It’s not inconceivable that someone could use a social robot in the future to lure a child into a dangerous situation. Now that we know how susceptible children are to robot peer pressure, we know that it’s extra important to teach them to think for themselves."
August 16, 2018

The Giants-Dodgers Brawl, From Andrew McCutchen’s Perspective

Yasiel Puig and the Giants brawled again on Tuesday. This time, it wasn’t Madison Bumgarner, but Nick Hundley who took offense to an unconscionably insignificant Puig “transgression.” Yasiel yelled “fuck” after fouling off a ball:Read more...
August 16, 2018

The Giants-Dodgers Brawl, From Andrew McCutchen’s Perspective

Yasiel Puig and the Giants brawled again on Tuesday. This time, it wasn’t Madison Bumgarner, but Nick Hundley who took offense to an unconscionably insignificant Puig “transgression.” Yasiel yelled “fuck” after fouling off a ball:Read more...
August 16, 2018

‘I’m Out Of Here’: Is Bria Really Leaving Are You The One?

Bria declared she wanted to go home during tonight's 'Are You the One?' season premiere. Find out why!
August 16, 2018

Google reportedly working on health and fitness assistant called Google Coach

Back in 2014, Google and Apple launched health and fitness platforms for their respective mobile operating systems. While Apple's HealthKit API and Health app took off, eventually becoming key to the success of the Apple Watch, the Google Fit app failed to make as big of an impact, and faded into relative obscurity. Unsurprisingly, Google isn't satisfied with that result, which is why the company is now reportedly working on a new health and fitness AI assistant called Google Coach. According to Android Police, Google Coach is more than just an exercise tracker, urging you to stay active throughout the day. Using the data that Google collects about your health, the assistant will recommend workouts, track your progress and give you ideas about what to do next. In addition to providing workout recommendations and tracking your activity at the gym, Google Coach will also help you monitor your diet and will even provide healthy meal suggestions. If you're out and about, Google Coach might point you in the direction of a restaurant with healthy choices. If you're at home, Google Coach could offer up a meal plan and even send a shopping list to your email so you can gather the necessary items. As Android Police points out, this sounds like a worrisome amount of notifications, but Google is supposedly working on a system of "conversational notifications" that would group several alerts into one: drink a glass of water, get your steps in for the day, and don't forget to take your medication. Android Police's source says that Google will focus on Wear OS for the initial rollout of Google Coach, but that there will be support for Android phones as well. As always, Google could end up changing its plans down the road or scrap Google Coach altogether, but it's clear that Google needs to update its health and fitness strategy.
August 16, 2018

Keith Hernandez Has Some Takes On Jose Ureña Beaning Red Hot Ronald Acuña

The Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. has been raking as of late, hitting .471/.514/1.235 (!) over his last eight games, with eight homers over that time frame. He’s also led off with a homer in each of his last three games against the Marlins. In some players’...
August 16, 2018

Keith Hernandez Has Some Takes On Jose Ureña Beaning Red Hot Ronald Acuña

The Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. has been raking as of late, hitting .471/.514/1.235 (!) over his last eight games, with eight homers over that time frame. He’s also led off with a homer in each of his last three games against the Marlins. In some players’...
August 16, 2018

Lana Condor, Sorcha Groundsell And Percelle Ascott Preview New Netflix Projects On ‘TRL’

Lana Condor of 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' and Sorcha Groundsell And Percelle Ascott of 'The Innocents' came to 'TRL' with host Sway Calloway to talk about their new Netflix film and tv series.
August 16, 2018

Video games are nice, but Amazon badly wants Twitch to be the next YouTube

This could get interesting. Twitch has reportedly been approaching big stars like Will Smith about streaming live, and it's likewise been quietly making overtures to a variety of top YouTube talent. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear in a recent staff meeting said he wants to hit $1 billion in ad sales, which would double the current sales figure. And the company is talking to creators like Rafi Fine, who with his brother runs high-profile YouTube channels through their Fine Brothers Entertainment, about making original shows for Twitch. All of that, because Amazon-owned Twitch badly wants to go way beyond video game livestreams, which the service is currently known for. Because the service is gearing up to make a run directly at YouTube -- indeed, to be the next large video service aimed at a mass audience. Since it's Amazon that owns the deep pockets behind this, this is not an insignificant threat looming in YouTube's shadow. We reported just Monday, in fact, that YouTube is trying to keep creators happy by flat-out paying some of them, while trying to make its community of creators as a whole more aware of YouTube's new monetization tools. Now comes a Bloomberg report today noting that Amazon and Twitch are aggressively signing up livestreaming deals with "dozens" of big media figures and companies currently on YouTube. Some of those deals, said to be worth a few million dollars a year, have already successfully closed. "Twitch is offering minimum guarantees of as much as a few million dollars a year, as well as a share of future advertising sales and subscription revenue, according to several people who’ve been contacted by Twitch," Bloomberg reports. "The company has approached everyone from lifestyle influencer Gigi Gorgeous to actor Will Smith about streaming live. While some talent has resisted a few of Amazon’s terms, such as a minimum number of hours of livestreaming per week, a few deals have closed." The piece goes on to remind readers of how far the service has come from when Amazon paid almost $1 billion for it in 2014, at a time when Twitch didn't let users post videos that weren't related to gaming. The company in 2015 then introduced Twitch Creative, geared toward livestreams from non-gamers like artists, and it's also broadcast everything from live sports to old Saturday Night Live episodes. YouTube, to be sure, has also brought some of this on itself. Proving once again the wisdom of that old saying about how money talks and the other stuff walks, many creators have been looking for a new place to take their work after YouTube in May tested out a non-chronological video order in subscriber feeds and moved to aggressively de-monetize videos with problematic content.
August 16, 2018

Change of Heart: Derek Was Bummed Out — But Then Overjoyed — When He Finally Met His Catfish

A young man was shocked when he met his 'Catfish' -- but then realized it wasn't a bad deal after all.
August 16, 2018

Elon Musk’s plan to take Tesla private could face another obstacle: Trump

There is nothing remotely normal about Elon Musk's bid, revealed last week on Twitter, to take Tesla private. He's already being sued by investors and reportedly investigated by the SEC thanks to the highly weird ways that information about this merger have trickled out, and his supposed funding from the Saudi government seems far from "secured" at the moment. But as Bloomberg points out, even if everything else plays out per Musk's plan, there's going to be another sticking point: the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, a government panel that reviews takeovers of American companies by foreign entities through a national security lens. The Trump administration already torpedoed one big takeover of a US tech company in the last year, and there's everything to suggest that the Saudi government taking over a major US tech company would raise some eyebrows too. Bloomberg explains just how much a Saudi-led privatization -- even if that didn't involve the Saudi government acquiring a majority stake in Tesla -- would fall under CFIUS's purview:
While the structure of any investment is unknown, CFIUS has authority in some circumstances to examine foreign investments in U.S. companies even when the buyer isn’t acquiring a majority stake. The new law enacted by Trump Monday broadens the panel’s jurisdiction to examine a wider universe of investments. The law also establishes mandatory reviews of deals involving "critical technology" when a foreign government has a "substantial interest" in the investor making the acquisition. That provision, which was seen largely directed at China, doesn’t take immediate effect, according to lawyers.
The Trump administration has already signaled that it views the strength of the auto industry as a matter of national security. Regardless of what you think of Tesla, it's certainly the only American automaker that has shown signs of a breakout in the last few years. With Tesla already investing in an overseas factory in partnership with China, it's easy to see the administration intervening to keep Tesla in American hands -- no matter how skeptical those hands might be.
August 16, 2018

Only Art Modell Can Save The Columbus Crew From Relocating Now

Columbus Crew SC, in conjunction with MLS czar Don Garber, has crossed one of the final checkpoints in their plan to move the team to Austin as early as next season. The Austin City Council passed a vote on Wednesday, seven to four, to pave the way for...
August 16, 2018

Only Art Modell Can Save The Columbus Crew From Relocating Now

Columbus Crew SC, in conjunction with MLS czar Don Garber, has crossed one of the final checkpoints in their plan to move the team to Austin as early as next season. The Austin City Council passed a vote on Wednesday, seven to four, to pave the way for...
August 16, 2018

Investors are tired of Uber losing money on self-driving cars

Uber's self-driving car has been touted as the thing that's going to eventually take the ride-sharing company out of the red and into the cheap, ubiquitous mass-transit future that it's been promising. Unfortunately, Uber's self-driving car program has also been the subject of a high-profile court case, been kicked out of San Francisco, and killed a pedestrian in Arizona thanks to something that sure looks like corporate negligance. Investors, probably tired of the bad PR but certainly tired of the $125 million the self-driving program loses every quarter, have now suggested to Uber that it should divest the self-driving car division before things get worse. The Information reports that losses at the self-driving division are worse than most outside observers initially imagined. The company spent "between $125 million and $200 million a quarter on its self-driving car unit over the past 18 months.” If we average that out, it means that Uber spent around $1 billion on self-driving cars in the last year and a half. That tallies with the other data point The Information quotes, which says “Uber has invested least $2 billion in [its self-driving] unit over the past three years.” Unfortunately for Uber, it doesn't have that kind of money to burn any more. The company has spend $10.7 billion in the last nine years on building out its platform, and often on subsidizing rides. It's very slowly clawing its way towards profitability, but it still lost around $600 million in the last quarter. With a public offering still on the books sometime in the future, investors need Uber's balance sheet to at least show some aspirations of profitability. But selling off the self-driving unit would mean truly giving up on any kind of leadership in autonomous vehicles, which has always been a key part of Uber's plan for world domination profitability. The idea has always been that once self-driving cars become feasible, Uber will transition its vast customer base away from Uber's "contractors" and their self-owned cars, and towards a fleet of autonomous vehicles owned and operated by Uber. Not needing to pay drivers, Uber would be able to keep all of the revenue for itself, and finally it would be profitable. That idea has always been questionable, especially given the lead that other self-driving companies like Waymo have over Uber's technology. But once the self-driving unit is sold, Uber is going to have to come to terms with the fact that its current business model just isn't working.