Monthly Archives : June 2018

Wednesday was a rough night for Stephen Colbert, after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement earlier in the day.

The “Late Show” host made it known that he did not want to be alone before breaking the news to the audience. “Listen, if you’re on a low-carb diet, you’re in luck ’cause ain’t no way to sugarcoat this,” he began.

Then he made a plea with Kennedy: “I never thought I’d say this, but you’re only 81!”

Kennedy said he would retire on July 31, which allows President Donald Trump to nominate a second justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed by the Senate in April 2017 by a vote of 54-45.
Wednesday was a rough night for Stephen Colbert, after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement earlier in the day.

The “Late Show” host made it known that he did not want to be alone before breaking the news to the audience. “Listen, if you’re on a low-carb diet, you’re in luck ’cause ain’t no way to sugarcoat this,” he began.

Then he made a plea with Kennedy: “I never thought I’d say this, but you’re only 81!”

Kennedy said he would retire on July 31, which allows President Donald Trump to nominate a second justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed by the Senate in April 2017 by a vote of 54-45.

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Even as Brazil comfortably completed the first part of its summer to-do list, easing effortlessly in the round of 16, its biggest star continued to be a lightning rod for attention and criticism. Neymar is one of soccer’s handful of true global icons, a colorful, creative and mostly-charming forward with boundless ability and enthusiasm for life.

Yet his personality is such that is occasionally has the ability to overshadow both his teammates and the goal of bringing Brazil its sixth World Cup title. With the second round approaching, he has a target on his back. “They still have their little problem child Neymar,” former Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, now an analyst for Russian television channel RT, said. “He’s still trying to impress everybody with his skills, and still nothing is really happening.

“His current standard and his current level – it might not be a bad idea to give him a bit of a break.”Dropping Neymar for Brazil’s impending clash with Mexico would be about the most drastic and dramatic move that head coach Tite could make, and there is little chance of him doing so. Neymar has the kind of near-mythical status that the soccer-mad nation of Brazil reserves for its most treasured stars, a cultural phenomenon as much as a soccer one.

But the truth is that his most meaningful contributions in the tournament so far have been to provide a series of absurd, meme-worthy moments by dramatically feigning foul of injury.After being tackled on the sideline against Serbia on Wednesday night, the 26-year-old managed to theatrically roll on the turf, completing four-and-a-half rotations, perhaps a new world record.In Brazil’s second game against Costa Rica, a penalty appeal was overturned when video replay showed that Neymar had leaped backwards to the ground after the kind of touch from an opponent that would tickle rather than cause discomfort.

Furthermore, Brazil fans are swiftly coming to the opinion that instead of Neymar, it is midfielder Philippe Coutinho who is truly making the team tick, a theory backed up by Coutinho’s magnificent pass to set up the opening goal against Serbia.

Neymar was defended by Tite, the coach perhaps hoping that easing the mental burden on his most famous player will reinvigorate him and spawn the kind of levels he showed in the 2014 World Cup, before succumbing to a back injury in the quarterfinal.“There is an excessive responsibility on Neymar in terms of success and that is not the way to go,” Tite told reporters. “We should not place it all on his shoulders.”Yet that is the burden of notoriety and stardom, and it is Neymar’s to carry regardless. Whether he is truly the problem child or not, the eyes of Brazil, and of the World Cup, are upon him.

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SAMSUNG has the lead over Apple when it comes to mobile download speeds, according to new research.Latest figures suggest that for data speeds, the Samsung Galaxy S9 performs consistently better than Apple’s new iPhone X, reports The Sun.The speed your phone downloads information at varies based on a whole host of factors.Your location, the network you’re using, and even the weather can all make a difference to your download speeds.But your phone — and the radio technology inside of it — makes a big difference too.And according to PCMag, Samsung has edged out over Apple by a decent margin because of this.The website used Ookla’s Speedtest data from March to May 2018 to examine how various Samsung and Apple smartphones perform in terms of data download speeds.Based on stats from across the USA, the Samsung Galaxy S9 downloaded data at an average speed of 41.80Mbps.Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone X recorded a more paltry 31.18Mbps average, which is unfortunate. Part of the problem is that high-end Samsung phones typically use newer modems — they’re the bits that let your phone connect to the internet.Samsung’s Galaxy S9 uses the Snapdragon 845 processor, which comes fitted with Qualcomm’s powerful X16 modem.Some of Apple’s iPhone X handsets use that same modem too, but a selection of them use slightly less impressive Intel modems.The iPhone X also misses out on a technology called 4×4 MIMO, which lets the handset make more efficient use of mobile networks — boosting your speeds.It also doesn’t have four-way carrier aggregation, which lets the phone group together multiple “bands” of mobile network frequency together — again, boosting your download speeds.

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To many in the world of women’s basketball, Anne Donovan was a giant. And not just because she stood 6-foot-8.She won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach in her storied career.The 56-year-old Hall of Famer died Wednesday of heart failure, her family said in a statement.”One of the greater basketball players in her time slot,” Las Vegas Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said. “She stood out for her height, but also her playing ability and continued that throughout her whole life, coaching, her ambassadorship. You name it, she did it.”Donovan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, was part of the inaugural class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and was inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015.”Anne was a giant in every sense of the word, and I know the women’s basketball community is saddened beyond words by this tragic news,” said Val Ackerman, who was the WNBA’s first president. “She was a pioneer and icon in the women’s game and made a profound and lasting impact at all levels as a player, coach, colleague and friend.”Donovan was just in Knoxville, Tennessee, last weekend at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies where her high school coach Rose Marie Battaglia was inducted in the 2018 class.”People are going to remember her for what she did in basketball,” Seattle guard Sue Bird said. “But she also was just such a great person.”Donovan led the Storm to the WNBA championship in 2004, becoming the first female coach and the youngest person (42) to win a title in the league.

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A RUSSIAN company affiliated with the Russian space agency Roscosmos claims that it is working on developing a laser that could eliminate space debris.The report, first written about in RT, a Russian media company funded by the Russian government, said researchers at the Scientific and Industrial Corporation ‘Precision Instrument Systems’ (NPK SPP) are working on a new technology that would allow them to effectively vaporise the space debris using lasers.The company confirmed the document existed to Sputnik News, but did not elaborate any further.The article cited a report that was sent to the Russian Academy of Sciences, but a look at the recent publications from the Academy of Sciences on ResearchGate, does not show the report. The last report from the Academy of Sciences was in December 2017 on the topic of “Thermodynamic-kinetic Modelling of Chemical Weathering of Basaltic Tephra on Hawaii.”ResearchGate is a database that compiles all scientific research that has been reviewed, regardless of origin.An email to the Russian embassy was not immediately returned.The proposal, which has reportedly been seen by RIA Novosti, says the laser will be powered by a solid-base generator and will use a process known as “laser ablation” to get rid of the space junk.In 2005, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley defined laser ablation as “mass removal by coupling laser energy to a target material,” but noted that it was “still largely unexplored at the fundamental level.”Nonetheless, space debris is a big issue. NASA has said previously there are more than 500,000 pieces (as of 2013) and they have the potential to do some serious damage to space equipment, including satellites or even spacecraft. “They all travel at speeds up to 17,28,0000km/h, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft,” NASA says on its website.

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The Yankees and Mets open a three-game Subway Series at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom has been stellar for the Mets, but New York hasn’t been so great in return. DeGrom has a 0.99 ERA over his past nine starts, and yet the Mets are 2-7 in those games. The Yankees, meanwhile, have won seven of eight and are a half-game back of Boston in the AL East with Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.79) set to start.

The Chicago Cubs are still seeking clarity on rules regarding catchers blocking home plate, even after a potentially prickly call went their way. Anthony Rizzo was credited with a sacrifice fly Thursday after a video review determined Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp had illegally blocked the plate with his left leg as Albert Almora Jr. tried to score from third. Almora beat Dylan Cozen’s strong throw from left field, but was unable to touch the plate with Knapp in the way. Almora initially was called out before the play was overruled.

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We’ve seen smartphone cases that add style, extra battery life or even a taser. This new case from Los Angeles-based Royal Holdings looks to add a different type of feature: The ability to detect bombs, knives and guns.Called ‘Sword,’ the case works with either Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus or Google’s Pixel 2 XL, and features an array of 18 radio frequency (RF) antennas that, when combined with the company’s mobile app, can scan people and bags to ensure that there are no hidden weapons. If there is a weapon, the app will tell you what kind it is by matching the weapon’s signature to a database Royal Holdings has. Since it is using radio waves, there is no radiation like you would have with an x-ray machine, according to Royal Holdings. While it needs a clear line of sight to operate, the device can scan people and bags from up to 40 feet away. The app can also utilize facial recognition.  “RF imaging and radio wave-based technology has been around for many, many years… we just found a different application for it,” Barry Oberholzer, Royal Holdings’ co-founder and CEO. The case is also FCC approved. With a background in intelligence, Oberholzer was inspired to create Sword after last year’s terrorist attack during Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, England.

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You can hear a pin drop in the CBD after 10pm but head west this month and you’ll discover crowds of up to 30,000 joining in a festive celebration of vibrant night life and sumptuous street food cranking out of grills until the early hours. While a cold blustery Saturday night would usually mean takeaway and Netflix for inner-city professionals D’Arcy Roche and Simun Soljo, the pair instead were among the well-fed masses at the Night Market at Lakemba last weekend.

Mr Roche, 23, from Camperdown, who went to his first Night Market last year, returned this time with Mr Soljo, 37, from Potts Point, who ­enjoyed the sahlab — a creamy drink made of cornstarch, rosewater and cinnamon — as much as the festival vibes.  “It’s great for people to be taking over the street and having a good time,” Mr Soljo said.

On weeknights, around 10,000 people turn up to Lakemba’s Haldon St to devour buttery roti, chargrilled chicken tikka skewers, garlicky shawarma and syrupy knafeh desserts. On Saturdays, when the main road is closed off to traffic, the numbers swell to 30,000 as frenzied foodies converge.The markets began as a gathering for iftar, the feast that ends the day’s Ramadan fast. Food is served from sunset around 5pm until 4am, and you don’t have to be a practising Muslim to enjoy it.

 

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There are so many things Siri can’t do, but if you ask Apple’s personal digital assistant to play you the latest Ed Sheeran album on the HomePod speaker, tell you when it was released and give you a little information about the top-selling musical performer, Siri is surprisingly chatty.And it doesn’t even once say, “Here’s what I found on the Web,” to make you read the information on websites.But is it really smarter when it comes to responding to our music-related commands than its rivals Amazon Echo and Google Home, which dominate the smart speaker market? We decided to find out, posing 40 music questions to all three, and then played a bonus round with 10 requests to play a song based on sample lyrics from the tune. That last challenge proved to be the tie breaker. Music is a big deal for Apple’s push to sell the HomePod. A year ago at its Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple pitched the higher-priced smart speaker — $349 vs. $50-$75 for mid-level Amazon and Google speakers and $200 for Sonos, which works with all the major voice assistants — with an emphasis on sound quality and ability to answer our music questions. “We never wanted to lose the focus that (HomePod is) first about making a speaker that plays back music in a surprising really great way,” Apple executive Phil Schiller told journalistsearlier this year, as the speaker was about to hit store shelves. So far Apple has yet to create an iPhone/iPad sized hit. Market research firm Strategy Analytics says Apple sold 600,000 HomePod speakers — which first went on sale in February — during the first quarter, representing 6% market share of the smart speaker market vs. 43% for Amazon and 27% for Google.But its focus on music as opposed to skills like calling an Uber or checking your bank account could resonate with future buyers. For owners of smart speakers, music is the No. 1 activity, according to eMarketer. Before asking our music questions, we set up the speakers with the premium music services that makes each most responsive to specific queries, subscribing to Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play Music (generally $9.99 monthly each).Siri on Apple HomePod will only respond to voice-commanded music requests if you have a monthly subscription to Apple Music and/or the iTunes Match service, which makes your purchased music available on multiple devices.

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