Blog Archive


US smartphone shipments drifted lower by 5% in 2Q2020: Canalys

The US smartphone market saw a 5% year-on-year decline in shipments for the second quarter of 2020, the technology analyst firm Canalys says, adding that 31.9 million units were shipped in toto.

The figure represented an 11% quarter-on-quarter rise, with shipments have been sharply hit in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And, in an ironical twist, at a time when US criticism of all things Chinese was increasingly on the rise, the percentage of devices made in China shipped to the US during that quarter rose to 70% from 60% in the corresponding quarter a year ago, the company noted.

Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke commented: “Tensions between the US and China have escalated in recent years, creating a perpetual state of uncertainty for all smartphone vendors except Samsung and LG.

“The worsening relationship has resulted in extreme instability that has global onlookers eagerly awaiting November’s presidential election.

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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Lands September Debut in China

Chinese moviegoers are set for a Christopher Nolan bonanza on the big screen: the director’s sci-fi epic “Tenet” will launch in Chinese theaters on Sept. 4, a week after an Aug. 28 re-release of his 2010 film “Inception.”

“Tenet,” starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, is expected to be the first China release for a major new Hollywood title — that the rest of the world has not already had access to for months — since the country shut theaters in January.

More from Variety

“Tenet” will not have a traditional global day-and-date release. Since theaters in the U.S. haven’t opened to a significant degree, Warner Bros. opted to begin rolling out the film in international markets starting on Aug. 26. It will open in select U.S. cities over Labor Day weekend on Sept. 3. However, theaters in major domestic markets like Los Angeles and New York are still

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A ‘war room’ that arms Black and Latino voters against disinformation

Umarah Mughnee, from left, Ashley Bryant and Aja Campbell of Win Black/Pa'Lante. <span class="copyright">(KIrk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Umarah Mughnee, from left, Ashley Bryant and Aja Campbell of Win Black/Pa’Lante. (KIrk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

As the internet lit up last month with prominent Latinos vowing to boycott Goya pinto beans, Adobe seasoning and other products after the company’s CEO lavishly praised President Trump, a backlash quickly developed on social media.

Accounts identified as belonging to Latino social media users voiced outrage about politically correct “mob” bullying and exploiting people of color.

In an online virtual war room run by a group called Win Black/Pa’Lante, activists immediately grew suspicious.

Close inspection revealed that thousands of the posts were not coming from disaffected Latinos at all, but bots.

The Win Black/Pa’Lante activists cooked up a counteroffensive, including a mock Goya foods label that exposed “recipes” for disinformation and distorting facts.

The ads and a corresponding educational campaign aimed at arming Black and Latino voters with tools to detect

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Ava DuVernay Launches Array Drive-In With Free Screenings of ‘Selena,’ ‘Purple Rain’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Though many theaters across the U.S. are still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ava DuVernay is making sure Angelenos can take a safe (and free) trip to the movies.

For a special two-night pop-up event, DuVernay’s non-profit cinema and social justice organization Array Alliance will present “Selena” and “Purple Rain” on a 40-foot screen in Downtown Los Angeles.

More from Variety

“Selena,” which celebrates the life and tragic death of singer Selena Quintanilla and earned Jennifer Lopez a Golden Globe nomination, will screen on Friday, Aug. 14. “Purple Rain,” which marked Prince’s big-screen debut before going on to win an Oscar for best original score, is featured on Saturday, Aug. 15.

The event will be held at Los Angeles Center Studios in L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown/Westlake neighborhood. Tickets are free with advance registration online at ARRAY Drive-In and will be issued one per car, with admittance on a first-come, first-served

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Trump wants to deliver GOP nomination speech at White House. Is that legal?

President Trump is now mulling the White House as a locale for his Republican National Convention acceptance speech. He has already canceled plans to host festivities in Jacksonville, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Well we are thinking about it. It would be easiest from the standpoint of security,” he told “Fox and Friends” Wednesday. “We are thinking about doing it from the White House because there’s no movement. It’s easy, and I think it’s a beautiful setting and we are thinking about that. It’s certainly one of the alternatives. It’s the easiest alternative.” The president later added that while some speeches will be virtual, others will be live at different locations in Washington, D.C. “I’m going to do mine on Thursday night and that will be live.”

But his suggestion has raised legal and ethical questions about hosting campaign activity on the federal government grounds.

The Hatch Act forbids the

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Missing movie theaters in COVID-19 quarantine? Fill up the car and head to these drive-ins

The country is starting to open up after months of lockdown, yet social distancing and sanitary precautions are still important as ever. And although theater chains like AMC are gearing up to return in August, taking in a drive-in movie may sound appealing, especially for families.

Drive-in movie theaters have the advantages of in-person viewing while staying in the comfort, privacy and safety of your own vehicle. Social distancing is built-in, as cars are often parked six or more feet away from each other, and proper COVID-19 protocols make it easier to have fun yet stay safe.

We’ve put together a list of old and newly converted drive-ins across the country for you to check out. Scroll through to see if there’s one near you:

A user’s guide to drive-in movie theaters:  Staying safe and having fun

East Coast

Fingerlakes Drive-In, Auburn, New York

Fingerlakes Drive-In in Auburn, New York, promotes hand hygiene right at the entrance.
Fingerlakes Drive-In in Auburn, New York,
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This chart shows how a Microsoft acquisition of TikTok for $50 billion would stack up against tech’s largest deals ever

A logo for the popular video app TikTok, which is owned and operated by the Chinese company ByteDance.
A logo for the popular video app TikTok, which is owned and operated by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Reuters File Photo

Microsoft is in talks to buy wildly popular video sharing platform TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance, and the deal could go as high as $50 billion — the latest valuation given to TikTok by its investors, according to a recent Reuters report.

That would make it the second-highest tech acquisition price of all time, well above the prices paid in dozens of major acquisitions.

Here’s a look at the history of tech’s most expensive acquisitions, from Apple’s measly $3 billion purchase of Beats all the way to Dell’s notoriously expensive acquisition of EMC Corporation for a whopping $67 billion:

27. Apple bought Beats in 2014 for $3 billion.

From left to right: Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Beats cofounder Dr. Dre, and Apple senior VP Eddy Cue.
From left to right: Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Beats cofounder Dr. Dre, and Apple senior VP Eddy
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University of Maryland students struggle to cancel housing leases

When South Campus Commons at the University of Maryland, College Park, canceled its apartment leases in March, Julia Kane called it “the right thing to do” during the pandemic.

By June, the university also gave students the option to cancel their fall housing agreements without penalty. But then South Campus Commons and The Courtyards, the public-private apartments owned by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, told students they were legally bound to their leases.

Capstone On-Campus Management, the entity hired to manage the apartments, told 3,000 students with leases their only options were to re-lease to another student, to pay and live on-campus, or to pay and live at home, Kane said. Kane, a senior studying marketing and operations management and business analytics, managed to cancel her lease cost-free, but it only happened after days of pressure from her father, who is an attorney.

“When I signed this lease back in

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Dyckman Farmhouse Gets Grant To Help With Virtual Programming

INWOOD, NY — The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum is getting appreciated aid in its fight against the financial hardships that have come along with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Humanities New York (HNY) organization, which commits itself to strengthening civil society and the bonds of community, recently announced that the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum is receiving $2,500 in the form of a grant from HNY’s CARES program.

The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum is located on 4881 Broadway at West 204 Street. It is the oldest remaining farmhouse in Manhattan and opened as a museum in 1916.

The museum is planning to use the Humanities New York grant to help create a free virtual summer camp program, as well as a virtual lecture series called “Talking About Race Matters: Join the Conversation.”

The program will take place on Wednesday evenings throughout the month of August, and will feature experts in the field, according to Meredith

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Why artificial intelligence models are often biased, according to the Google exec who heads Alphabet’s internal tech incubator Jigsaw

Yasmin Green is the director of research and development for Jigsaw (Google).
Yasmin Green is the director of research and development for Jigsaw (Google).

Tory Burch Foundation

  • In early March, The Tory Burch Foundation hosted its Embrace Action 2020 Summit, which saw leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world gather to talk about gender parity and inclusion in the workforce. 

  • At the Summit, Bank of America COO Thomas Montag spoke with former AOL CEO Steve Case, Goldman Sachs Partner Dina Powell, and Tory Burch about how their companies aimed to create a more inclusive industry. 

  • Diane von Furstenberg also spoke at the conference, as did Gloria Steinem, former co-CEO of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson, and activist-model Halima Aden.

  • Yasmin Green, director of research and development for Jigsaw, an internal tech incubator within Google parent company Alphabet, spoke about the role human bias plays when programming artificial intelligence. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Tory Burch Foundation Summit in early March

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