Politics

April 24, 2019

A day after Mexico affirms commitment to immigration enforcement, Trump says he’ll close the border

President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened Mexican officials, saying he intends to close a section of the southern border if Mexico does not do more to curb migration to the United States. “A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico,” Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning. “It has been reduced in […]
April 24, 2019

Justice Ginsburg schools her Republican colleagues on the meaning of the word ‘consent’

The Supreme Court — or, at least, its Republican majority — has an unhealthy obsession with forced arbitration. And, in a decision handed down on Wednesday, the court fed that obsession at the expense of workers throughout the country. Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion in the case in question, Lamps Plus v. Varela, relies on […]
April 24, 2019

Big automakers grudgingly buy into EVs. Oil majors still lag behind.

By Jeremy Deaton In just three years, many electric cars will sport the same sticker price as their gas-powered counterparts, according to a recent analysis. Electrification, as well as other advances like ride-sharing and driverless cars, will radically overhaul the transportation sector. The next decade will see sweeping changes to the way we get around, and […]
April 24, 2019

‘Somebody should do something’: Oklahomans try to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot in 2020

Kelly Smalley lost her health insurance over a year ago when her son turned 19 years old. In order to qualify for Medicaid in Oklahoma, people need to be a parent or guardian to someone no older than 18, have a government-recognized disability, or be over 65 years old in addition to earning below the […]
April 24, 2019

Trump thinks the Supreme Court is his personal goon squad. Blame Chief Justice Roberts.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday in a case that should have been a slam dunk against the Trump administration. Secretary Wilbur Ross wants to modify the 2020 census form in a way that will depress responses from immigrant communities — effectively shifting congressional representation away from Latinos and towards white voters who […]
April 24, 2019

U.N. waters down language on sexual violence resolution at request of U.S.

The United States successfully used the threat of its veto power to weaken language on a U.N. resolution against the use of rape as a weapon of war. The resolution was only adopted Tuesday after cutting a reference on the need to provide “sexual and reproductive health” assistance to survivors of sexual violence in conflicts. […]

Trends

April 18, 2019

K-Pop Star-Designed Streetwear – PEACEMINUSONE Joins fragment Design on a Collaborative Range (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Big Bang's G-Dragon has his own streetwear imprint based in South Korea entitled PEACEMINUSONE and it recently joins forces with fragment design for a collaborative collection. The pieces were...
April 16, 2019

Artist-Created Doll Clothing – The Barbie X Keith Harring Line is Fashionable and Artistic (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Art and popular culture collide with the new Barbie X Keith Harring collaboration, which puts the artist's famous designs on the clothing of the iconic doll. The Barbie brand is no stranger...
April 16, 2019

Dark Beer-Inspired Sneakers – New Balance’s 990v3 Sneakers Boast a Makeover Entitled Dark Ale (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) New Balance and Todd Snyder join forces once again to present a new version of the signature 990v3 sneaker model and it is entitled ‘Dark Ale.' It boasts a colorway that resembles the...
April 15, 2019

Pet-Matching Pajamas – MeUndies Created Accessories for Matching Dog and Owner (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The BuddyBands collection offers an effortless way to create a style for a matching dog and owner. With its new collection of bandana neckties of pets, MeUndies now offers a fun way for pet owners...
April 15, 2019

Sweat Stain-Free Garments – Uniqlo and Alexander Wang’s AIRism Collection Boasts Cooling Desings (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Uniwlo works in collaboration with designer Alexander Wang once again on the impressive AIRism collection full of summer-ready goods. The duo's previous work prepared for the colder seasons...
April 13, 2019

Eco Aluminum-Saving Cider Cans – The New Thatchers Cider Cans Have a Reduced Weight (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The new Thatchers Cider cans have been announced by the brand as a way to help the company save aluminum and reduce emissions created through shipping traditional aluminum packaging varieties. The...
April 13, 2019

Gross-Out Booger Board Games – Gooey Louie is a Gross-Out Board Game Designed for Family Fun (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Gooey Louie is a hilarious gross-out board game that is sure to reinvent the standard family game night. The game features a “Gooey Louie” head, into which players set up 12 “gooeys&...
April 13, 2019

Technical Fabric Oversized Streetwear – WWWM Introduces Its SS19 Capsule Full of Largely Cut Shapes (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Seoul-based fashion label WWWM introduces its latest collection for the Spring/Summer 2019 season and it is full of technical fabric materials. The structures deliver oversized shapes in the form of...
April 12, 2019

25 High-Tech Bedroom Essentials – From Intelligent Bed Climate Controllers to Coaching AI Beds (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) As the era of rapid innovation is expanding and the demand for smart home optimization is rising, the high-tech bedroom moves from a futuristic ideal to more of a reality. Companies are beginning to...

Latest from the World

April 25, 2019

Disney+ release may prompt a wave of Netflix cancellations, new survey reveals

Earlier this month, Disney officially took the wraps off of Disney+, its highly anticipated streaming service designed to compete with the likes of Netflix and HBO. With streaming being all the rage these days, and with Disney already boasting an absolute treasure trove of content, getting into the streaming game certainly makes a whole lot of sense. From what we can gather so far, Disney's streaming strategy appears to be incredibly well thought out. In addition to a vast library of compelling content -- which will include all 30 seasons of The Simpsons -- the company signaled a willingness to offer Disney+ at a discount should users opt to bundle it with services like ESPN+ and Hulu. And speaking of price, the $6.99 price point Disney revealed last week is remarkably cheap and does a solid job of undercutting Netflix. With Disney+ slated to roll out this coming November, it stands to reason that the nascent streaming service will quickly amass an impressive number of subscribers. What remains to be seen, though, is if consumers will view Disney+ as an "add-on" service to be enjoyed alongside Netflix or if Disney+ is so compelling that it might actually prompt some Netflix subscribers to cancel their subscriptions altogether. Tackling this very issue, Streaming Observer recently conducted a survey of 602 Netflix subscribers in order to assess the impact Disney+ might have on Netflix. Somewhat surprisingly, 12.3% of respondents indicated that they "might cancel Netflix and get Disney+" while 2.2% of respondents indicated that they are planning to cancel Netflix no matter what. The report adds:
With just under 14.5% of subscribers indicating they might leave the service, that represents nearly 9 million customers. That represents $116.9 million a month of potential lost revenue for Netflix. This echoes the anger many subscribers expressed in 2017 when learning Netflix would be losing Disney content. Of course, the reality is many people who threaten to cancel won’t actually follow through and do so. However, even if it’s just the 2.2% of subscribers who indicate they will definitely cancel that end up doing so, that still represents 1.3 million domestic customers at a time when Netflix’s growth in the US is stalling.
I certainly agree with the sentiment here, which is to say that many people may talk a big game when it comes to cancelling Netflix but not many people actually follow through. Further, with Netflix continuing to pump out fresh content at a breakneck pace, it's hard to envision a large group of users -- except for, perhaps, die-hard Disney fans -- opting for Disney+ over Netflix. As for Netflix subscribers keen on trying Disney+, 37.5% of respondents indicated a plan to take the new streaming service for a test run. There's plenty more information to be gleaned from the survey, which can be viewed in its entirety over here. My personal take is that Disney+ is incredibly compelling -- especially at the $6.99 price point -- but it's truly hard to imagine any one service really giving Netflix a run for its money at this point.
April 24, 2019

Archibald Leitch: The man who survived disaster to build football

He fought back from disaster to reinvent the football terrace and build more stadiums than anyone since.
April 24, 2019

Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc said Trump rallies were like a ‘new found drug’

The man who mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democratic figures, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, wrote in a letter to the judge presiding over his case that attending a Trump rally “became like a new found drug.” Cesar Sayoc, 57, pleaded guilty in March to mailing 16 crude explosive devices to Democrats who criticized […]
April 24, 2019

Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc said Trump rallies were like a ‘new found drug’

The man who mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democratic figures, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, wrote in a letter to the judge presiding over his case that attending a Trump rally “became like a new found drug.” Cesar Sayoc, 57, pleaded guilty in March to mailing 16 crude explosive devices to Democrats who criticized […]
April 24, 2019

The NSA now thinks the phone surveillance program it once defended isn’t worth it anymore

The National Security Agency appears to have done a complete about-face over the controversial electronic spying program that whistleblower Edward Snowden brought to light almost six years ago now, involving the bulk collection of metadata related to Americans' phone calls and text messages. The NSA once defended the program -- which was secretly launched during the George W. Bush administration without court approval -- as vital to US national security interests. The nation was still reeling from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and officials later said tools like this program help the nation's espionage professionals deal with the new realities of terrorism. Now? The "logistical and legal burdens of keeping it outweigh its intelligence benefits," a new Wall Street Journal report quotes unnamed officials as saying about the controversial phone surveillance. "The National Security Agency has recommended that the White House abandon a U.S. surveillance program that collects information about Americans’ phone calls and text messages," the Journal reports. It continues: "The latest view is rooted in a growing belief among senior intelligence officials that the spying program provides limited value to national security and has become a logistical headache." The report goes on to note that the messy thicket of legal and compliance issues are the reason the agency actually decided to stop relying on the program earlier this year. Its legal authority only extends through December unless Congress decides to re-up it, which is what the agency is recommending here is not needed anymore. https://twitter.com/trevortimm/status/1121156633369829380 Naturally, privacy advocates have greeted this news with, shall we say, a bit of incredulity. That's partly because of how staunchly the agency once defended the program and described it as an indispensable part of the country's defense against terrorism and terrorist networks. In fact, Obama's former NSA director, Gov. Keith B. Alexander, once told The New York Times in an interview that "he saw no effective alternative to the NSA's bulk collection of telephone and other electronic metadata from Americans." According to today's report, it will be up to the Trump White House and not the spy agency itself to decide whether to call on Congress to renew the surveillance program. And at least at the moment, the administration doesn't appear to have yet made a decision whether it will do so.
April 24, 2019

Newspaper headlines: Scrap ‘pensioner perks’ and launch inquiry over leaks

A Lords committee report calling for an end to free TV licences for over-75s is among the stories that lead the newspapers.
April 24, 2019

Netflix was testing a cheaper, mobile-only plan, but it might already be dead

While Netflix is about to increase prices for some users, it’s also conducting several price-related tests in other markets which include cheaper pricing options. One such test was just halted in Korea, as the company apparently decided against rolling out cheaper, mobile-only subscription options to customers. The move doesn't necessarily mean that other markets won’t get cheaper access to Netflix, but it might indicate that well-developed countries such as South Korea aren’t going to get mobile-only subscriptions any time soon. “The tests have concluded,” Netflix told The Korea Herald. “These tests we conduct may not get rolled out as member plans. Netflix will continue its efforts to provide the best entertainment experience for its members.” “We are constantly looking for ways including testing to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible for our members,” Netflix added. The company had been testing monthly subscriptions of just 6,500 won ($5.70), but the caveat was that you’d only get to use the service on mobile devices. The cheapest regular Netflix subscription costs 3,000 won ($2.60) more in the region. Netflix had been testing a plan that costs just 1,625 won ($1.41) per week. South Korea isn’t the only Asian country where Netflix has tried cheaper, mobile-only plans. It did the same thing in India last month, asking for 250 rupees ($3.63) per month for service -- half that of the regular 500 rupee monthly price. The company tested a similar price in Malaysia last November, the Herald notes. Netflix toyed with other pricing structures in Europe as well recently, although it hasn’t made any official changes to the regular subscriptions.
April 24, 2019

The teachers live streaming bedtime stories

A school in Essex is using Facebook Live to get pupils engaged with reading through bedtime stories.
April 24, 2019

Girls ‘carry weapons for boyfriends’

Girls in gangs are being overlooked and failed by the authorities, it's claimed.
April 24, 2019

AT&T CEO confirms that 5G subscription plans won’t come cheap

In a mobile world where carriers are seemingly obsessed with squeezing every spare cent they can from subscribers, it was a pleasant surprise to see T-Mobile CTO Neville a few weeks back promise that T-Mobile's 5G data plans won't be more expensive than the company's existing 4G plans. Unfortunately, it looks as if the same can't be said for AT&T. During AT&T's earnings conference call today, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson relayed that 5G pricing could very well be tiered and that users keen on enjoying the maximum data speeds afforded by 5G will have to pay a little bit extra for the privilege. "I will be very surprised if as we move into wireless, the pricing regime in wireless doesn’t look something like the pricing regime you see in fixed line," Stephenson explained. "If you can offer a gig speed, there are some customers that are willing to pay a premium for 500 meg to a gig speed, and so forth. So I expect that to be the case. We’re 2-3 years away from seeing that play out." Truth be told, pricing surrounding 5G data plans is something of a moot point given how early we are into the 5G roll out. AT&T, for example, began rolling out its 5G network in late 2018 across 12 U.S. cities. Since then, the number of cities with support for AT&T's 5G network has grown to 19. While seemingly encouraging, it's not anything consumers can enjoy just yet given that there are no 5G capable smartphones for AT&T at the moment. Interestingly, the various carrier approaches we've seen with respect to 5G vary wildly. With T-Mobile promising not to charge extra for 5G and AT&T hinting that it may employ a tiered pricing matrix, Verizon has opted for a $10 add-on for consumers wanting to take advantage of 5G.
April 24, 2019

Facebook could be fined up to $5 billion by the FTC due to privacy violations

Facebook has been dealing with one privacy-related scandal after another for more than a year now, a reality that's about to present the social networking company with a seriously heavy financial penalty. The company shared its first quarter results for 2019 Wednesday afternoon, and as part of that disclosure came Facebook's acknowledgement that it expects a multibillion-dollar fine to come down from the US Federal Trade Commission. Facebook is anticipating anywhere from a $3 billion to $5 billion fine, which will certainly be a record-setting penalty for the company. The fact that such a punishment appears set to be announced soon isn't a surprise. The FTC hasn't confirmed the existence of an investigation into Facebook that it reportedly launched after the company's Cambridge Analytica scandal, though The Washington Post reported earlier this year that the agency was considering a “record-setting fine” against the company for not adequately protecting user data. "In the first quarter of 2019, we reasonably estimated a probable loss and recorded an accrual of $3.0 billion in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices," the company added as part of its earnings announcement today. "We estimate that the range of loss in this matter is $3.0 billion to $5.0 billion. The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome." It's a huge black eye for a company that can't seem to get its privacy issues under control, but also worth noting is the fact that the FTC's is by no means the only major investigation under way into the social networking giant. As CNBC reported today, Facebook is also "currently thought to be under investigation by several domestic and foreign agencies that could wager fines against the company for its privacy practices." Likewise, the Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint against Facebook in recent weeks, "seeking damages for any person harmed by Facebook’s targeted advertising practices for housing, which it alleged were discriminatory."
April 24, 2019

Mo Farah & Haile Gebrselassie in dispute over alleged theft

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie accuse each other over a version of events regarding an alleged theft at a hotel.
April 24, 2019

Implant turns brain signals into synthesized speech

People with neurological conditions who lose the ability to speak can still send the brain signals used for speech (such as the lips, jaw and larynx), and UCSF researchers might just use that knowledge to bring voices back. They've crafted a brain ma...
April 24, 2019

Taylor Swift Dropped “7” Clues All Over Her Instagram & You Never Noticed

Someone call Taylor Swift to reboot National Treasure, because the countdown to her April 26 surprise may be riddled with some insanely cryptic clues. Earlier this month, Swift teased something brand new. First, the artist revamped her Instagram with ...