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05-29-2017 Politics
Trump considers major changes amid escalating Russia crisis

President Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a “war room” within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

Following Trump’s return to Washington on Saturday night from a nine-day foreign trip that provided a respite from the controversy back home, the White House plans to far more aggressively combat the cascading revelations about contacts between Trump associates — including Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser — and Russia.

White House officials also are trying to find ways to revive Trump’s stalled policy agenda in Congress and to more broadly overhaul the way the White House communicates with the public.

That includes proposals for more travel and campaign-style rallies nationwide so that Trump can speak directly to his supporters, as well as changes in the pace and nature of news briefings, probably including a diminished role for embattled White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Although much remained fluid Saturday, the beefed-up operation could include the return of some of Trump’s more combative campaign aides, including Corey Lewandowski, who was fired as campaign manager nearly a year ago, and David N. Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager and made his name in politics by investigating Bill and Hillary Clinton for two decades. Both men have been part of ongoing discussions about how to build a war room that have been led in part by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

Other Trump players who have drifted from his orbit in recent months, such as Sam Nunberg, are also being courted to play more active roles, either officially joining the White House or in an outside capacity, working through confidants of the president.

“Go to the mattresses,” a line from the film “The Godfather” about turning to tough mercenaries during troubled times, has circulated among Trump’s friends, said two people close to the war room discussions.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, has been involved in related talks, including with prominent Trump backers outside Washington and on Capitol Hill, and has contacted people from Trump’s campaign network, asking them to be more involved in supporting the president, said three GOP consultants working with the White House.

Meanwhile, White House counsel Donald McGahn is considering expanding his office, and an outside legal team led by Marc E. Kasowitz is preparing to meet with Trump and guide him, including on whether he should continue to comment on the Russia investigations on Twitter. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Washington Post

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05-29-2017 Cars
Tesla Wants You to Know Its Model 3 Isn’t as Good as the Model S

Tesla this week unveiled a new “Compare” page that lines up features of the forthcoming Model 3 sedan, including precise trunk size and battery range, with its flagship Model S. The Model 3 comes up short in most departments – and that, it seems, is the point.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has talked several times in recent months about the challenge of convincing customers that the modestly-priced Model 3 isn’t the next big thing from Tesla. Musk has said the company is now “anti-selling” its newest car by reminding customers how much better the Model X SUV and Model S luxury sedan are, if they’re willing to pay a lot more.

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The new comparison page continues that strategy, spelling out in blunt detail all the ways the Model 3 isn’t as good as the Model S. “Although it will be our newest vehicle,” the page explains, “Model 3 is not ‘Version 3’ or the most advanced Tesla.”

Among the shortcomings of the Model 3 that Tesla wants to make sure you’re aware of: it accelerates more slowly than the Model S. It gets 215 miles to a charge instead of between 249 and 335. You have to pay to charge it on Tesla’s Supercharger network. It seats fewer people than the Model S (or at least, fewer children). It has a smaller trunk. It has one display instead of two. And it doesn’t have nice options like glass roofs or bioweapon-grade air filters. Oh, and it’s shorter.

The message is clear – Tesla would much rather you buy a Model S than a Model 3.

That’s not at all surprising, since the Model S starts at $68,000 compared to the Model 3’s $35,000 base price. But this new anti-sell does come on the heels of a recent estimate that Tesla could wind up losing money on each Model 3 sold, and could feed speculation that the Model 3 was a bad bet for the carmaker.

But the reality is probably more mundane. Tesla has around 400,000 Model 3 pre-orders on the books, enough to keep the factory busy for a full year or more after it spins up in September. That means Tesla has little motivation to sell more of them right now. And those preorders are non-binding, giving Tesla even more reason to upsell the curious to something they can deliver immediately. But no matter what Tesla tells you, remember that its new entry-level model is no slouch. Its 215 mile range blows away the 107 miles per charge you’ll get from a Nissan Leaf. And while it’s true it’ll never match the acceleration of a $1.15 million McLaren P1 the way a souped-up Model S can, it’s still just as quick as a Ford Mustang V6.

Read Original Article     ON:   Fortune

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05-29-2017 Politics
After summits with Trump, Merkel says Europe must take fate into own hands

Europe can no longer completely rely on its allies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, pointing to bruising meetings of G7 wealthy nations and NATO last week.

Merkel did not mention by name U.S. President Donald Trump, who criticized major NATO allies and refused to endorse a global climate change accord, but she told a packed beer tent in Munich that the days when Europe could completely count on others were "over to a certain extent".

"I have experienced this in the last few days," she said. "And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands - of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia."

"But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans," Merkel said.

The two-day G7 summit in Italy pitted Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they had hoped were long settled.

The American tycoon-turned-president backed a pledge to fight protectionism at the end of the G7 summit on Saturday, but refused to endorse the climate pact, saying he needed more time to decide.

But EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Sunday he was more optimistic now than after the U.S. election last November after EU leaders held talks with Trump in Brussels. "What I am absolutely sure after this meeting is that despite some extraordinary ... expressions, behaviors, etc, etc, our partners in the G7 are much more responsible than the first impression after the election in the United States," Tusk said in the Slovak capital.

At the NATO summit on Thursday, Trump intensified his accusations that allies were not spending enough on defense and warned of more attacks such as this week's Manchester bombing unless the alliance did more to stop militants.

Turning to France, Merkel said she wished President Emmanuel Macron success, adding to applause: "Where Germany can help, Germany will help, because Germany can only do well if Europe is doing well."

France is Germany's second-biggest trading partner and the presidential election victory of the pro-European centrist reformer Macron over far-right protectionist rival Marine Le Pen in early May has sparked hopes that Berlin will ally with Paris in spearheading a broad-based economic revival in Europe.

Read Original Article     ON:   Reuters

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05-29-2017 Entertainment
Pokemon GO News Update: Niantic confirm NEW anti-hack measure as Promo Code event ends

Pokemon GO developers have confirmed (via Reddit) that they have released a new anti-hack/anti-bot tool within the game to further prevent those players cheating within the game.

"We’re committed to maintaining the state of Pokémon GO and our community of Trainers," confirmed Niantic's Reddit Community representative 'NianticGeorge'.

"People who violate the Pokémon GO Terms of Service (including by using third party software and other cheats) may have their gameplay affected and may not be able to see all the Pokémon around them.

"While we cannot discuss the systems implemented, we can confirm that we are constantly refining new ways to ensure the integrity of the game in order to keep it fun and fair for all Trainers.”

The new anti-hacking measure works by effectively "Blinding" accounts used by third party trackers and prevents them from seeing rare Pokemon spawns in the scanned area.

However, while it's great to see that Niantic is actively fighting against bots and cheating players who ruin the game for the majority of trainers, Pokemon Go Hub also noted that this is merely a "bandaid fix" for the time being.

This is a band-aid fix and it targets only accounts that were previously detected and flagged as malicious. Several trackers have already defeated the new security measure by creating fresh new accounts.

We can hope though that this is merely the start of several measures along with the Pokemon GO Gym rework which will put an end to bot accounts and in game hacks.

Not that we anticipate most readers are using bot accounts, but if you're interested, the Pokemon Go Hub and multiple other sources have verified a list of common and rare Pokemon that are affected by this latest anti-hacking change:

Can be seen by banned accounts:

Pidgey, Rattata, Ekans, Sandshrew, Nidoran, Zubat, Oddish, Paras, Meowth, Psyduck, Poliwag, Bellsprout, Tentacool, Geodude, Magnemite, Krabby, Goldeen, Staryu, Magikarp, Sentret, Ledyba, Spinarak, Natu, Marill, Hoppip, Sunkern, Wooper, Murkrow, Snubbull, Slugma

Cannot be seen by banned accounts:

Evolved Pokemon, Starters, Caterpie, Weedle, Spearow, Clefairy, Vulpix, Jigglypuff, Venonat, Mankey, Growlithe, Abra, Slowpoke, Gastly, Onix, Drowzee, Voltorb, Koffing, Chansey, Tangela, Horsea, Scyther, Lapras, Eevee, Porygon, Omanyte, Kabuto, Aerodactyl, Snorlax, Dratini, Hoothoot, Chinchou, Mareep, Sudowoodo, Aipom, Unown, Girafarig, Shuckle, Sneasel, Teddiursa, Remoraid, Stantler, Larvitar

Unsure (probably cannot be seen):

Regionals, Diglett, Doduo, Seel, Grimer, Shellder, Exeggcute, Cubone, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Lickitung, Jynx, Electabuzz, Magmar, Pinsir, Yanma, Wobbuffet, Pineco, Dunsparce, Swinub, Mantine, Skarmory, Houndour, Phanpy, Hitmontop, Miltank ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Daily Star

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05-29-2017 Security
Manchester bomber's network potentially still at large

British police said on Sunday they had arrested a 14th person in connection with the Manchester suicide bombing, and were searching a property in the south of the city.

The 25-year-old man was arrested in the southwest of Manchester "on suspicion of offences contrary to the terrorism act," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement on Twitter.

A total of 14 people have been arrested in connection with the attack, in which 22 people died. Two have been released without charge, while 12 men remain in custody for questioning.

Members of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi's network are still potentially at large, British interior minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday, after the terrorism threat level was lowered due to significant progress in the investigation.

Police have said they have arrested a large part of the network behind the bombing, which killed 22 people at a concert hall, and two more men were arrested on Saturday as police continued to close in on the group.

Police release photo, more information about Manchester bomber

Asked during an interview on BBC television whether some of the group were still at large, Rudd said: "Potentially. It is an ongoing operation. There are 11 people in custody, the operation is still really at full tilt in a way."

Prime Minister Theresa May said developments in the investigation into the bombing meant intelligence experts had decided to lower the threat level from its highest rating "critical," meaning an attack could be imminent, to "severe."

Police have issued a photograph of Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton born to Libyan parents, taken on Monday night before he blew himself up and said they believed he had assembled his bomb in an apartment in the city centre.

British officials have confirmed he had recently returned from Libya and the officers said police needed information about his movements from May 18 when he returned to Britain.

Abdedi was known to British security services before the bombing, the government has said, but Rudd declined to comment on exactly what had been known about him.

Concertgoers mourned as more Manchester victims ID'd

Manchester United brings some joy to grieving city

Day 6 | ?The Manchester bombing and the resilience of teenage girls

Media have reported that people who knew Abedi had raised concerns about him and his views as long ago as five years before he carried out Monday's attack.

"The intelligence services are still collecting information about him but I wouldn't rush to conclusions, as you seem to be, that they have somehow missed something," Rudd said.

Read Original Article     ON:   CBCNews

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05-29-2017 Environment
Trump tells 'confidants' US will quit Paris climate deal - reports

US President Donald Trump has reportedly told 'confidants,' including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, that he plans to leave a landmark international agreement on climate change.

The Axios news outlet cited three sources with direct knowledge in its report.

That is despite US defence secretary James Mattis saying in an interview to air on Sunday that the president was now "wide open" on the issue.

On Saturday, Mr Trump said in a Twitter post he would make a decision on whether to support the Paris climate deal next week.

The President has previously threatened to pull out of the agreement.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A source who has been in contact with people involved in the decision told Reuters a couple of meetings were planned with chief executives of energy companies and big corporations and others about the climate agreement ahead of Mr Trump's expected announcement later in the week.

It was unclear whether those meetings would still take place.

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" he tweeted on the final day of a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy at which he refused to bow to pressure from allies to back the landmark 2015 agreement.

The summit of G7 wealthy nations pitted Mr Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they had hoped were long settled.

Mr Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, came under concerted pressure from the other leaders to honour the 2015 Paris Agreement on curbing carbon emissions.

Although he tweeted that he would make a decision next week, his apparent reluctance to embrace the first legally binding global climate deal that was signed by 195 countries clearly annoyed German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying," she told reporters.

"There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not."

What is the Paris accord?

The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement, set out in 2015, with the aim of keeping the global average rise in temperatures below 2C.

In order to do that, countries pledged to reduce their carbon emissions.

But it came into force only after being ratified by 55 countries, which between them produce 55 percent of global carbon emissions.

Barack Obama signed the US up in September 2016, and members of the G7 are keen for the US to continue to back it, not least because the country is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses after China.

Read Original Article     ON:   RNZ

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05-29-2017 Science&Technology
OnePlus 5 'LEAKS' ahead of its release date, and it's missing THIS awesome feature

ONEPLUS 5 has purportedly leaked online ahead of its release date, unmasking the final design of this hotly-anticipated smartphone. And it's missing one of our favourite features from the best-selling phone range.

OnePlus 5 has been unmasked ahead of its release date.

New photographs of the hotly-anticipated smartphone have been shared across social media.

The latest leaks appear to confirm that OnePlus 5 will ship with a dual camera set-up similar to those one of the LG G6, Huawei P10 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Elsewhere, the physical Home Button – and presumably, the accompanying fingerprint scanner that was included in previous OnePlus smartphones – look set to make a return, too.

However the Alert Slider, a physical switch on the side of the phone that lets OnePlus owners quickly toggle between Silent, Priority and All Notifications without unlocking the device, appears to have been ditched.

The leaked promotional photographs appear to show two vertically-stacked camera lens, believed to be 16-megapixel sensors.

OnePlus appears to have located the LED flash beneath the dual lens.

Meanwhile, the volume rocker and power button appear to be located on the right hand-side of the OnePlus 5.

Its predecessor – OnePlus 3T – had the volume keys on the left edge alongside the physical alert switcher.

If the latter has been dropped from the next-generation OnePlus smartphone, that's a little disappointing.

The ability to quickly silence your notifications with the flick of a button (rather than having to unlock the phone and navigate the Android settings menu) was something we praised in our OnePlus 3T review.

These new latest leaked shots arrive courtesy of Chinese social media site Weibo.

Regardless of the veracity of these new images, it's clear that photography is going to be a headline feature in the OnePlus 5.

The Chinese smartphone startup has already confirmed that it is working with DxO to enhance the functionality in its next flagship.

It posted on its official blog, "We’re happy to announce that we have teamed up with DxO to enhance your photography experience with our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5.

"DxO is perhaps most well-known for creating the defining photography benchmark, the DxOMark.

"They’ve got years of imaging experience and expertise, both for professional cameras and for smartphones.

"Working alongside DxO, we’re confident the OnePlus 5 will be capable of capturing some of the clearest photos around."

OnePlus 5 is rumoured to have a dramatic new industrial design, reminiscent of the Galaxy S8, thanks to its edge-to-edge display.

Some reports have pointed to a ceramic body for the OnePlus 5. However, these might not necessarily all be available at launch. ... <

Read Original Article     ON:   Sunday Express

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05-29-2017 Science&Technology
How to Abandon iOS and Switch to Android

Having guided you through the not-all-that-straightforward process of switching from Android to iOS, we’re back to tell you how to go in the opposite direction. (Make your mind up will you?) Going from Apple-powered devices to Google’s platform is either ridiculously easy or rather taxing, depending on your current setup.

Do you Google?

Good news if you’re already heavily invested in the Google ecosystem on your iPhone. You can switch to Android in an hour or two and keep your evening free for seeing friends or browsing Netflix. Otherwise, better cancel those evening plans.

Those of you who spend all your time in Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Maps for iOS can simply install those apps on your brand new Android device, sign in using your Google account credentials, and pick up where you left off. The same applies for Google Photos and Google Drive.

Unlike Apple, Google doesn’t have a dedicated app to help you defect to its mobile OS, but it does have a website with a lot of the information you’re going to need: essentially you’re instructed to use Google Drive to copy over contacts, photos, videos and calendar entries, which we’ll cover in more detail below.

If you’re thinking about switching from iOS to Android in the future, or like to swap mobile OSes on a regular basis, then Google’s cloud-centric services make the task much easier—so your best off keeping all your data there. By contrast, the only official Apple app you can get on Android at the moment is Apple Music.

Messages and emails

Extricating yourself from iMessage is perhaps the biggest challenge facing those jumping ship to Android. iMessage doesn’t work on Google’s platform, and there’s no way to export all your message history into a comparable Android app. You’re going to have to say goodbye to iMessage, but you can at least ensure a clean break. As soon as you know you’re making the move go into your iOS and navigate to Messages in Settings and turn iMessage off, then go to FaceTime in Settings and turn that off too. Apple’s full instructions are here.

If you have some precious iMessages or plain old SMSes you can’t leave behind, you’ll need to rely on third-party software and some rather convoluted processes to back it all up. iSMS2droid promises to import messages from an unencrypted backup you made in iTunes on your computer into Android. If you don’t need the backup on your phone, then PhoneView (macOS) and CopyTrans (Windows) are two of many tools that will let you browse your old missives to your heart’s content. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Gizmodo

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05-27-2017 Politics

President Donald Trump's approval rating fell sharply this week as some of the folks who voted for him in droves have begun to back away from the leader who has been plagued by controversy during his brief but rocky tenure in the White House, according to a new poll this week. The survey from Fox News found just 40 percent of voters approved of Trump's job performance, a 5 percentage point slide from where it stood in the same poll last month. Disapproval also rose 5 percentage points to 53 percent.

"Some of the drop in approval comes from Republicans," noted Fox News in its write-up of the survey. In their poll, Trump's support among GOP voters had hovered between 84 percent and 87 percent during his tenure in the White House, but in the new survey that fell to 81 percent. Fifty-three percent of white voters without a college degree approved of the job Trump has done, a decrease of 9 percentage points in just one month.

White voters overall were split on Trump, with 48 percent approving of his job performance and 48 percent disapproving, according to the Fox News poll. In the election, 66 percent of whites without college degree and 57 percent of whites overall voted for Trump, according to CNN's exit polls.

A few potential issues white working class voters might have with the Trump presidency: 44 percent don't support the Republican health care bill backed by the former reality TV star and 50 percent thought he wouldn't actually get a wall built along the southern border of the U.S., one of his key promises during the campaign.

According to the Fox News poll, voters overall were skeptical of Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey. By a margin of 60 percent to 29 percent, voters believed the president got rid of Comey for self-serving reasons—namely the FBI's investigation into his administration's potential ties with Russia—versus firing him for harming the bureau.

The Fox News poll interviewed 1,011 registered voters through telephone calls from May 21 through May 23. It had a margin of error of 3 percentage points for the full sample.

The latest poll isn't the first to find white working class voters and Republicans have begun to jump off the Trump train just four months into its planned four-year trip. A Reuters/Ipsos poll last week found disapproval of Trump among Republicans jumped 7 percentage points to 23 percent. A Quinnipiac University survey this month found support among whites without a college degree had dropped 10 percentage points in just one month to 47 percent.

Read Original Article     ON:   Newsweek

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05-27-2017 Science&Technology
TSMC Sources Claim 'iPhone 8' Will Have Touch ID Integrated into Display

Apple has successfully finalized a solution to integrate Touch ID fingerprint recognition directly into the display of its upcoming "iPhone 8", according to a new report on Friday.

Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) said it spoke to sources from Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), who apparently confirmed Apple's achievement during a technology convention held in Taipei on Thursday.

Among several design changes TSMC reportedly discussed at the TSMC 2017 NA Technology Symposium was the lack of a home button on the redesigned OLED iPhone, owing to Apple's use of "an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly on the screen" in the absence of a physical Home button.

In addition to the fingerprint recognition, the sources claimed the new iPhones will also come with "invisible infrared image sensors to enhance the functionality of the high-pixel camera" and to enable augmented reality functions.

If true, news of Apple's on-screen fingerprint recognition solution will come as a relief to watchers tracking the development of Apple's "tenth anniversary" edition iPhone. Reports that the company has been researching ways to integrate fingerprint sensors directly into screens go as far back as June 2015, but more recent sources have claimed Apple has struggled to find a solution that overcomes the production challenges involved.

Specifically, Apple was said to be facing low yield issues of its in-house fingerprint sensor solution, which may have been forcing it to consider three possible alternatives: remove Touch ID from the 5.8-inch iPhone entirely and rely on other forms of biometric authentication instead, place the sensor on the back of the device (similar to the one on the Samsung Galaxy S8), or delay production of the phone.

The security of existing face and iris recognition technology has already come into question, while the idea of a rear-mounted Touch ID fingerprint sensor has received a largely negative response from current iPhone users. Suggestions that Apple could announce the OLED iPhone in September alongside typical "S" cycle iPhones but delay its availability have also been met with skepticism.

Additionally, today's news also lines up with previous rumors claiming Apple has been aiming to finalize its fingerprint sensor specification in May all along, in time for mass production in late July, which would fall in line with the company's usual annual iPhone production timeframe. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   MacRumors

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05-27-2017 Cars
BMW Concept 8 Series Officially Revealed At Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

BMW revealed its Concept 8 Series at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy. The concept car teases enthusiasts with the design of the upcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe.

The BMW 8 Series is all set to arrive in 2018 and is "part of the biggest model offensive" in the luxury carmaker's history.

The BMW Concept 8 Series Vehicle

The BMW Concept 8 Series vehicle has an elegant and stylish design. Thin laser headlights can be seen on the front kidney grille. The flowing roofline, long hood line, and big rear fender flares highlight the vehicle's classy and elegant design. The kidney grilles are housed very low and are spread widely as well. The two sides of the grilles are brought together with a frame, which gives it an unbroken look.

On the rear side of the vehicle, one can spot the L-shaped lights which extend to the quarter panels. A diffuser made out of carbon fiber also brings out the vehicle's style. The concept vehicle sports a Barcelona Grey Liquid color and run on the 21-inch multispoke design light-alloy wheels.

"The design of the BMW Concept 8 Series provides a fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues," BMW's Senior Vice President Adrian Van Hooydonk, remarked. "A handful of crisp lines mark out clear surfaces, and the car's volumes are powerfully sculpted. Together, these elements make a forceful statement and create a model brimming with character. In short, this is a driver's car."

Inside The Cabin Of The BMW Concept 8 Series

The Concept 8 Series' interiors scream luxury and sophistication. The car's plush inside benefits from the addition of carbon-fiber shell sport seats. The cabin also has a carbon fiber and polished aluminum trim, as well as contrasting brown and white leather. Swarovski glass is used for the Concept 8 Series' shifter and iDrive controller to add a luxurious touch and premium feel.

Moreover, the BMW Concept 8 Series' seats have been modified to impart a sporty feel. The seats are relatively thin and have a carbon-fiber shell. The seat use the finest quality leather to offer a premium and plush feel. The steering wheel's hand-polished aluminum spokes and the red-colored anodized shift paddles add to the sporty look and feel of the interiors.

"Merino leather in Dark Brown and Fjord White lends the interior a high-quality ambience. Accent surfaces in carbon fibre and hand-polished aluminium create deliberate contrasts and radiate a sporty and technical feel," the company notes.

The upcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will likely try to fill the void left by the company's 6 Series Coupe. If the Concept 8 Series model is any indication, then BMW fans have plenty to look forward to.

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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05-27-2017 Security
'Judy' could be the largest malware campaign ever found on Google Play Store

Security experts have uncovered a massive malware campaign spreading through Google Play, the marketplace used to download applications to phones and tablets. Dubbed "Judy", the malicious software is a form of "auto-clicking adware" downloaded millions of times.

Researchers from Check Point, a cybersecurity firm, claimed this week (25 May) it could be "possibly the largest" malware campaign found on Google Play. The suspicious code was observed in more than 40 applications, most allegedly developed by a Korean company called Kiniwini.

Once downloaded by a victim, the malware stealthily connects to a command and control (C&C) server which then sends it a slew of URLs defined by the developers.

It opens the website domains in a hidden webpage and proceeds to automatically click on advertising banners to make money via Google Ads.

One application singled out by Check Point, called Chef Judy: Picnic Lunch Maker, was updated on 10 April 2017. The total amount of downloads in total from all affected apps in the campaign reached between 8.5 and 36.5 million, the experts claimed.

The "Judy" campaign also displays a large amount of advertisements on selected apps which leaves the user with no option other than clicking. It remains unknown how much money the developers have made from the malware attacks, but Check Point said it would be a "large revenue."

The experts said there was two distinct campaigns potentially using shared malicious code.

All updated within the last few months, other apps titles included Fashion Judy: Snow Queen Style, Fashion Judy: Vampire style, Chef Judy: Character Lunch and Fashion Judy: Frozen Princess. Each boasted downloads ranging from 10,000 to a million, the researchers found.

"Some of the apps we discovered resided on Google Play for several years, but all were recently updated. It is unclear how long the malicious code existed inside the apps, hence the actual spread of the malware remains unknown," the team said in a blog post.

It continued: "We also found several apps containing the malware, which were developed by other developers on Google Play. The connection between the two campaigns remains unclear, and it is possible that one borrowed code from the other, knowingly or unknowingly.

"After Check Point notified Google about this threat, the apps were swiftly removed."

Kiniwini, registered on Google Play as EniStudio, develops smartphone apps for both Android and Apple iOS. On its website (translated via Google) the company published a statement informing users the app was removed but claimed new software will be released within two months.

It said: "Our game apps have been blocked on Google Play and the service has been stopped. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   International Business Times

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05-23-2017 Society
Facebook’s Zuckerberg is working on a way to connect you to people you ‘should’ know

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO who is totally not a future presidential candidate, shared some of what he learned from his early trips around the country. (ICYMI: The not-White House hopeful wanted to visit every state he hadn’t spent a lot of time in this year.)

The actual crux of the post comes later when Zuckerberg writes why he’s taking on this new challenge. Basically: He’s not running for office, he wants to find ways to strengthen Facebook’s “community.” He explains: "I also think this is an area where Facebook can make a difference. Some of you have asked if this challenge means I'm running for public office. I'm not. I'm doing it to get a broader perspective to make sure we're best serving our community of almost 2 billion people at Facebook and doing the best work to promote equal opportunity at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. In many ways, relationships are the most important things in our lives -- whether we're trying to form healthy habits, stay out of trouble, or find better opportunities. And yet, research shows the average American has fewer than three close friends we can turn to for support." To make that difference Zuckerberg is talking about, he said that Facebook is helping people find people they already know but is also working on a way to connect you with people that you should know like mentors. "There are a number of models for how this might work. The Peace Corps creates service opportunities where people exchange culture and build new relationships. Perhaps we could build a new digital peace corps. Another model is Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, where people who have struggled with these challenges and overcome them go on to become mentors for others, with the hope of training them to one day become mentors themselves. This is something I've only recently started studying and working with our teams at Facebook to build.” So, what has Zuckerberg learned from his travels so far? It turns out relationships are important. “My biggest takeaway so far is that our relationships shape us more than we think — how we consider opportunities, how we process information, and how we form habits,” he wrote. “There is a lot of discussion about inequality, but one under-looked dimension of inequality is in the makeup of our social networks.” That kernel of wisdom is what Zuckerberg picked up after stopping in places like Ohio, Indiana and Detroit. According to Zuckerberg the notion that people would make better decisions if they had better information is largely wrong and that it’s the people they surround themselves with that impact their decisions more. ...

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05-23-2017 Business
Bitcoin prices are soaring under Trump

Digital currency bitcoin is more popular than ever. Prices surged to a record high above $2,000 over the weekend and were trading above $2,100 on Monday.

Just in 2017, bitcoin prices have soared 125%. And traders can probably thank President Trump for at least part of the big spike. Last week, markets were rocked after reports about former FBI director James Comey's memo about being asked by Trump to stop an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russia. Stocks plunged due to rising levels of uncertainty about Trump's ability to get anything meaningful accomplished as he deals with this crisis. And the US dollar weakened too. But bitcoin (XBT) is a beneficiary of this turmoil. So is gold. One of the reasons digital currencies like bitcoin and lesser known ones such as Ethereum and Ripple have soared this year is because they, like gold, are not backed by governments. Bitcoins are tracked in a public online record known as the blockchain. There are a finite number of bitcoins that can be "mined" -- that is, made available after a complex math problem is solved. And even though the record of transactions is public, there is a level of anonymity about who is making the transactions. Bitcoin prices have tended to pop over the past few years at times of geopolitical uncertainty -- and especially when there were significant questions or concerns about the health of a major country's paper currency. Trump has already talked about wanting the dollar to be weaker to help make the products of big US multinationals more competitive overseas. So that may be helping to lift the price of bitcoin. The president also has some known bitcoin bulls in his administration as well. His budget director, former US House member Mick Mulvaney, had been dubbed the "Bitcoin Congressman" by some of the currency's backers. And vice president Mike Pence's chief economist Mark Calabria has given speeches in support of bitcoin as well. Calabria was formerly the director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute before joining the administration. Many experts also think President Trump's fiscal spending plans could be highly inflationary. That could further weaken the dollar and fuel the rise in bitcoin and gold prices. But concerns about just what Trump will actually be able to accomplish in the wake of the Comey allegations are another big reason for the dollar's recent slide and accompanying rise in bitcoin. There is even some speculation about whether or not Trump's presidency could end prematurely due to him resigning, being impeached, or removed via the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution. Add it all up and it appears that bitcoin prices could continue to climb higher. But some are worried that the party could end soon. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   CNN Money

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05-22-2017 Politics
How to cripple a presidency in 10 days

The stock market had closed for the day, nine-to-five jobs had let out about 40 minutes earlier, and the evening commute was heating up. It was, as far as could be said in these odd times, a normal Tuesday.

Then, boom.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer made the announcement to reporters, in person and through an email statement: President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump's former bodyguard, now an Oval Office aide, delivered the message to FBI headquarters less than an hour earlier. Comey, who was out of town, would find out like most Americans, from a television.

The decision, Spicer explained, was "based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions." Their memos were soon made public.

Rosenstein's was cutting. Over a little more than two pages, he established a damning catalog of Comey's missteps in handling the Hillary Clinton email investigation. "As a result," he concluded, "the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them." ...

Wednesday: The blowback
The initial narrative, that Trump acted in response to his DOJ's points, began to crumble just hours after the dismissal was announced. ...

Thursday: The reversal
When Trump sat down for a previously scheduled interview on Thursday, May 11, with "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt, the White House explanation finally imploded. ...

Friday: The threat
On the morning of Friday, May 12, Trump awoke to defend the many staff and allies he'd allowed to go public with a bogus telling of the Comey saga. ...

The weekend: The silence...
As it became increasingly clear that the Comey decision would not pass lightly, the White House mostly went quiet.

Monday: The chatter
Once again, word came after the bankers had called it quits. ...

Tuesday: The memo
In any event, Trump would undermine his team, again, the next morning with another round of tweets. ...

Wednesday: The special prosecutor
If Comey's firing had unnerved the capital, and reports on Trump's remarks to the Russians confirmed bipartisan worries about his ability to handle the awesome power in his grasp, the revelation of the memos provoked what many, even days earlier, dismissed as folly or a partisan Democratic pipe dream.

Thursday and Friday: The future?
But by Thursday morning, irregular order had been restored. ...

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05-22-2017 Cars
Google will integrate Assistant directly into next-gen cars

Tesla cars get a lot of attention for their futuristic design, and not all of that is because of the company’s larger-than-life energy initiatives.

The Model S, Model X and upcoming Model 3 all incorporate levels of driver-focused technology previously unseen on nearly any car, even luxury models. That’s about to change, though.

Drivers today are asking why they can’t expect the same level of technology from their infotainment systems as they get from devices like their smartphones.

Apple and Google parent company Alphabet have answered the call with CarPlay and Android Auto, but now the great minds at Android are taking things a step further — they’re promising complete Android integration with your car, including adding Google Assistant.

What’s more, a new software update will make all 2016 Ford vehicles compatible with Android Auto and CarPlay.

Android pairs with Audi and Volvo
You won’t have to wait long to see this integration in newer model vehicles, either. Audi and Volvo are both featuring native integrations of Android Auto in models that could be available as soon as 2018.

Both automakers have shown consistent devotion to forward-thinking in interior design. Audi’s new virtual cockpit is a visually stunning high-definition TFT display that brings all aspect of the car’s onboard systems front-and-center. It will make an excellent companion to Android Auto’s expanded functionality.

Google I/O has already made concept images available showing the Android-integrated interiors for both the Audi Q8 Sport and Volvo XC60 — in 2018 guise, of course. Delivering a command is every bit as simple as it was on your Android phone — just utter the key phrase, “OK Google,” and the Assistant springs to life to help with whatever’s on your mind.

Updated for the new model-year
This isn’t just the same old Android Assistant that currently ships with phones, though. This new version of the tool is updated and designed to make life behind the wheel of your luxury automobile worry-free. Specifically, the new system can provide 3-D mapping and satellite images — won’t that look good on your Audi’s pretty screen?

Of course, you can still use all of the features that have made virtual assistants a hit, many of which are convenient because of their hands-free nature. These include:

  • Making a phone call
  • Sending a text message
  • Locating a nearby business or home and providing directions
  • Playing music

As with the latest versions of Siri and Amazon’s Alexa assistant, one of the most exciting new features of Amazon Auto is scalability, thanks to integration with apps. ...

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Top 150 World Newspapers (*)

No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 China Daily / China
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The Telegraph / United Kingdom 7 The Wall Street Journal / United States 8 USA Today / United States
9 The Times of India / India 10 The Independent / United Kingdom 11 Los Angeles Times / United States 12 El País / Spain
13 Financial Times / United Kingdom 14 The People's Daily / China 15 United Daily News / China 16 The Economic Daily / China
17 Le Monde / France 18 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 19 El Mundo / Spain 20 Daily News / United States
21 La Repubblica / Italy 22 Bild / Germany 23 Le Figaro / France 24 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia
25 Houston Chronicle / United States 26 Hürriyet / Turkey 27 Chicago Tribune / United States 28 The Examiner / United States
29 New York Post / United States 30 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 31 Corriere della Sera / Italy 32 The Economic Times / India
33 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 34 Marca / Spain 35 Liberty Times / Taiwan 36 Die Welt / Germany
37 The Globe and Mail / Canada 38 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 39 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 40 Sabah / Turkey
41 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 42 Daily Express / United Kingdom 43 Kompas / Indonesia 44 The Indian Express / India
45 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 46 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 47 The Hindu / India 48 The Toronto Star / Canada
49 The Sun / United Kingdom 50 The Age / Australia 51 The Boston Globe / United States 52 Philippine Daily Inquirer / Philippines
53 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 54 The Washington Times / United States 55 Clarín / Argentina 56 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
57 Die Zeit / Germany 58 The Onion / United States 59 Metro / United Kingdom 60 ABC / Spain
61 The Seattle Times / United States 62 The Times / United Kingdom 63 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 64 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany
65 The Hill / United States 66 Dainik Bhaskar / India 67 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 68 The Oregonian / United States
69 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea 70 La Nación / Argentina 71 The Hindustan Times / India 72 San Jose Mercury News / United States
73 The Dallas Morning News / United States 74 AS / Spain 75 The Australian / Australia 76 Star Tribune / United States
77 Qingdao News / China 78 The Jerusalem Post / Israel 79 The Plain Dealer / United States 80 L'Equipe / France
81 Komsomolskaya Pravda / Russia 82 The Denver Post / United States 83 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 84 Libération / France
85 O Globo / Brazil 86 Aftonbladet / Sweden 87 The Japan Times / Japan 88 Business Standard / India
89 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 90 Kommersant / Russia 91 Le Parisien / France 92 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand
93 Detroit Free Press / United States 94 Newsday / United States 95 The Baltimore Sun / United States 96 National Post / Canada
97 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 98 The Miami Herald / United States 99 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 100 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States
101 The Irish Independent / Ireland 102 South China Morning Post / Hong Kong SAR 103 The Irish Times / Ireland 104 The Star Online / Malaysia
105 De Telegraaf / Netherlands 106 Dawn / Pakistan 107 Der Standaard / Austria 108 The Sacramento Bee / United States
109 20 Minutos / Spain 110 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan 111 Rossiyskaya Gazeta / Russia 112 Apple Daily / Taiwan
113 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India 114 La Stampa / Italy 115 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / United States 116 20 Minutes / France
117 La Vanguardia / Spain 118 Evening Standard / United Kingdom 119 China Times / Taiwan 120 The Straits Times / Singapore
121 Orlando Sentinel / United States 122 Der Tagesspiegel / Germany 123 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 124 Verdens Gang / Norway
125 Argumenti i Fakti / Russia 126 Boston Herald / United States 127 Infobae / Argentina 128 Dagbladet / Norway
129 Independent Online / South Africa 130 The New York Observer / United States 131 Yeni Safak / Turkey 132 Seattle Post-Intelligencer / United States
133 The Kansas City Star / United States 134 Al-Ahram / Egypt 135 The Scotsman / United Kingdom 136 Nikkan Sports / Japan
137 Deseret News / United States 138 Herald Sun / Australia 139 The Vancouver Sun / Canada 140 Yang Cheng Wan Bao / China
141 Les Échos / France 142 Gulf News / United Arab Emirates 143 Yedioth Aharonot / Israel 144 Sports Nippon / Japan
145 The Orange County Register / United States 146 Expressen / Sweden 147 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 148 / Russia
149 Handelsblatt / Germany 150 The Daily Telegraph / Australia

(*) Selected by 4International Media & Newspapers

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