Dumb Men caught on Camera

CELEB Movies

X-Men film undergoing reshoots

The X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie will be undergoing reshoots, though the additional photography is not as extensive as was reported originally, according to Collider.

A report in Montreal’s LaPresse that the film would require three months of reshoots — sparking speculation that large portions of the film’s story would be changed — has turned out to be untrue. Instead, the film will require only two and a half weeks of additional work.

The film was scheduled to be released in November 2018, and the date was pushed to February 2019 instead. Thanks to the busy schedules of the show’s cast, which includes Jessica Chastain, Sophie Turner, and James McAvoy, the short reshoots were delayed for several months.

According to Collider, small blocks of reshoots like this are common with blockbuster films. It will involve some additional action for the third act, some new scenes, and extra shots for additional scenes, pointing to standard updates rather than a major reworking of the plot.

Details about the film are sparse, and it is unclear which actors will be involved in the reshoots. Fans also know that the film will take place in the 1990s, 1o years after X-Men: Apocalypse, and follow the Dark Phoenix comics arc, which places Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey in the center of the story. Jessica Chastain will play a new, pivotal role as well. Simon Kinberg, who wrote and produced several other X-Men films, will direct.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is now scheduled for a release date of February 14, 2019.



Supreme Court upholds Ohio’s controversial ‘voter purge’

In a 5-4 decision on Monday, the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s “use it or lose it” policy, The Hill reports.

Under the state policy, voters who have not voted in two years are flagged and sent a confirmation notice. Those who fail to respond to the notice and don’t vote within the next two years are removed from the rolls.

Critics claimed the policy violates a federal law that bars states from removing people from the voter rolls for failing to vote, according to The Hill. However, a majority of the high court rejected that argument.

The process is one of two methods state officials use to identify voters who are no longer eligible to vote due to a change of residence, according to defense attornies.

Demos and the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of Ohio resident Larry Harmon and two other groups, argued the policy specifically targets minority and low-income people, two groups that traditionally have lower voter turnout.

The court’s five conservative justices, led by Justice Samuel Alito, voted in the majority, with the court’s four liberals, led by Justice Stephen Breyer, dissenting.

Six other states — Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — use similar methods that target voters for removal from the rolls for not voting.

“Today’s decision is a victory for election integrity, and a defeat for those who use the federal court system to make election law across the country,” said Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) in a statement.


Kate Spade New York pledges to donate $1 million for mental health

Kate Spade New York announced that it would donate more than $1 million to organizations supporting mental health awareness and suicide prevention, Cosmopolitan reported.

The announcement comes weeks after designer Kate Spade, who sold all of her shares in her namesake company in 2006, died by suicide after a dealing with serious mental health issues, according to her sister.

The company is donating $250,000 to Crisis Text Line, a not-for-profit group that provides support for people in crisis via text message. People who contact the free service are anonymously connected with a trained crisis counselor who works to help the texter through active listening and collaborative problem solving.

The Kate Spade New York Foundation will also match donations up to $100,000 made to Crisis Text Line until June 29.

The foundation plans to announce the recipients of the additional $750,000 at a later date.

In the wake of Kate Spade’s death, family, friends, celebrities, and fans streamed onto social media to honor the designer. Many young women remembered what it meant to them to purchase their first Kate Spade purse, as the brand has often been associated with a grown-up but still attainable elegance for many.

Business Mobile TECH TECH_Technology

Skype receives call recording feature in newest 8.0 release

Skype Communications released an updated version of Skype (version 8.0) for desktop that will replace Skype version 7.0 (also known as Skype classic)/

New features include free HD video and screensharing calls,
more productive messaging, chat media gallery improvements, clickable chat history searches, and file sharing with up to 300MB involving photos and videos.

Features such as quoted messages, personalized themes, chat list, @mentions, and more are now available on the Skype for iPad experience.

Skype has also integrated an advanced call recording feature with the new version. “Take call snapshots to the next level with call recording. Capture a special Skype calls with loved ones or record important meetings with colleagues. Call recording is completely cloud-based, and as soon as you start recording, everyone in the call is notified that the call is being recorded—so there are no surprises. Call recordings combine everyone’s video as well as any screens shared during the call,” the company explains.

As reported on the company’s official website on July 16, the telecommunications application software product suggests all users should upgrade immediately to avoid any inconvenience as only Skype version 8.0 will work after September 1, 2018.

“As we roll out improvements, there comes a time when we must shut down older services and application versions,” Skype reports. ” This is done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience and that there are no quality or reliability issues resulting from old technology and new technology interoperating. We know change can be hard, so we’re working to make the update as simple as possible.”

Skype refers users to the support site for assistance with the upgrade, as opposed to external pages and affiliates.

Business TECH TECH_Social TECH_Technology TSC_Congress

Facebook reveals data-sharing VIPs

Facebook has revealed business and organization names in which special rights to access users’ data was yielded, according to a publishing by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

The list exposure and publicized content transpire as a continued response to US congressional inquiries involving the social media company’s practices.

Reportedly, 61 companies were provided with a temporary exemption from a block on apps accessing details about users’ friends, while identifying 52 additional authorizations to tap data in an effort to “recreate Facebook-like experiences”.

Following a critical review of the practice by the Irish data protection commissioner, Facebook announced that access would be blocked from April 2015.

Presently, Facebook explains how a San Francisco-based company specializing in software for visually impaired users, named Serotek, was given an extra eight months access.

60 additional companies had been given shorter extensions to the deadline.

As part of a separate scheme, Facebook allowed certain hardware and software companies to access its members’ personal details in order to build their own “versions of Facebook or Facebook features”, according to Wall Street Journal reports.

Numerous “partnerships” remain active despite claims that they might breach privacy commitments made by Facebook to US watchdogs and the public.

In an earlier statement, Facebook reported its partnerships and engineering teams had reviewed and approved all the data-sharing agreements and had found no evidence of abuse.

The technology company also provided an update on its efforts to identify other Cambridge-Analytica-like situations, in which data about its users had been obtained “through improper means”.

While suspending nearly 200 apps to date, relating to five developers, Facebook confirmed various apps involved were described as “tests”, and never released to the public.


Federal Reserve raises interest rates and signals more increases this year

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday and hinted that it will raise rates two more times this year in a shift driven by officials’ insistently rosy assessment of the economy, according to The New York Times.

A statement released towards the end of the Fed’s two-day meeting took several steps to show officials no longer view the United States economy as needing a boost from the Great Recession 10 years go, and are instead beginning to worry more about the threat of inflation.

“The economy is doing very well. Most people who want to find jobs are finding them,” Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell said on Wednesday at a news conference. “Ongoing job gains are boosting wages and confidence.”

The Times reported that officials noted that economic activity has been rising “at a solid rate” — a change from their statement just last month when they called the rate “moderate.” Quarterly economic projections released at the meeting showed Fed officials expect the economy to grow at a 2.8 percent rate this year, up from a 2.7 percent forecast in March. Officials also now predict the unemployment rate to dip to 3.6 percent by year’s end, down from a forecast of 3.8 percent in March.

Wednesday’s rate increase was the second this year and the seventh since the end of the Great Recession. It was widely expected and brought the Fed’s benchmark rate to a range of 1.75 to 2 percent, according to the Times.

Business TECH TECH_Technology

Chrome 68 registers ‘not secure’ markers on unencrypted pages

Google officially announced version 68 of the Chrome browser today, formalizing initiatives to fulfill a previous commitment to mark all unencrypted (non-HTTPS) pages as “not secure.”

Previous updates demonstrate how the browser had already begun to mark critical HTTP pages as “not secure.” However, moving towards the company’s plans for security on its browser, Chrome announced today that it will begin removing the “Secure” marker on HTTPS sites this September.

In October, Google will mark all unencrypted sites with a red “Not secure”

According to Chrome, the number of HTTP sites across the internet was too high to feasibly mark all of the encrypted sites in this way, but with the increase of secured sites in the last several years, this feat has become more reasonable.

The browser’s traffic from Android and ChromeOS have both seen increases in encryption rates (up to 76 percent protected from 42 percent for Android traffic and 85 percent protected up from 67 percent for ChromeOS), according to a Chrome Transparency Report that tracks encryption used on the browser between 2014 and 2018.

The report also states that since 2014, when only 37 of the web’s top 100 sites on the browser used HTTPS as default, the number of protected top 100 sites in 2018 has risen to 83, as noted by Tech Crunch.

“While these security updates from Chrome don’t appear to be a direct reaction to the security hacks in recent months, they are timely. Security, especially online, has become a particularly barbed topic following a number of bank, healthcare and election hacking incidents around the world.”, Tech Crunch reports.

“Secure” sites can’t ensure that your information is impenetrable, but Chrome says it plans to make continuing efforts in this space to ensure that its users have the most secure browsing experience possible.

Business TECH TECH_Technology

Google Docs’ new AI-based tool fixes grammar errors

Google has confirmed the launching of a new “grammar suggestions” feature in Docs that will catch and suggest corrections for numerous language mishaps, including article errors (“a” versus “an”) and more complicated concepts, such dangling subordinate clauses.

Google reports that the AI-based tool will use real-time machine translation to discover mistakes and confirms how the service will achieve advancements over time as its system learns from users.

The service is similar to the product of startup Grammarly, which has raised $110 million, or Microsoft Word’s “Editor pane.” Microsoft’s Word program has had some form of grammar checking built-in since the early 1990s.

When the feature first launches, it will only be available to GSuite business users, but will eventually roll out to anyone who uses Docs, according to a CNBC news report.

TechCrunch noted that David Thacker, Google’s VP for G Suite product management, explained that the tool uses a machine translation-based approach to sort your writing, “In language translation, you take a language like French and translate it into English. Our approach to grammar is similar. We take improper English and use our technology to correct or translated it into proper English.”

Along with the announcement of grammar suggestions, Google says that the company will be bringing the “Smart Reply” feature, which automatically suggests simple artificial intelligence-powered responses, to its Hangouts chat app for business customers. Its more robust artificial-intelligence powered system, Smart Compose, which launched in Gmail in May and can write or finish full sentences, will also now be available to business users.

The service will roll out to GSuite business customers first and be available for regular Docs users within the near future.

CELEB HOUNDS_Entertainment Movies

Scarlett Johansson denies Tom Cruise date rumors

Scarlett Johansson says that she never auditioned to date Tom Cruise, USA Today reported.

Former Scientologist Brendan Tighe told Megyn Kelly on her show that several women, including Johansson, auditioned to date Cruise after he broke up with Nicole Kidman.

“The very idea of any person auditioning to be in a relationship is so demeaning,” Johansson told The Hollywood Reporter. “I refuse for anyone to spread the idea that I lack the integrity to choose my own relationships.”

Tighe appeared on Kelly’s show to talk about his experiences with Scientology and says that he heard about Johansson’s audition accidentally. According to Tighe, Johansson was not interested in Cruise, who began dating Katie Holmes soon after.

Tighe said that reports about Cruise’s relationship interviews were accidentally coming to his printer while he worked on Cruise’s security team, and that the reports included information about Johansson and the interview, which reportedly did not go well.

“Another actress, Erika Christensen, had to disconnect from Scarlett Johansson because it didn’t go well. That was in that report,” Tighe said.

The Church of Scientology also rebuked Tighe’s claims. Karin Powe, a representative for the church, said that Tighe was a security guard and night watchman from 2002 to 2009 with little real access to Cruise. According to Power, Tighe was removed from that job for dereliction of duty.