Pages

Friday, August 15, 2014

How an iPhone With a Sapphire Screen Could Save You Money

How an iPhone With a Sapphire Screen Could Save You Money


How an iPhone With a Sapphire Screen Could Save You Money

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 10:33 AM PDT

The Apple rumor mill is buzzing about the prospect of a sapphire crystal display in the next iPhone, to be announced on Sept. 9. But what exactly is a sapphire display? And why would you want it?

According to GT advanced technologies, an Apple-backed sapphire manufacturing company, the crystal is a synthetic sapphire material. The material is used in LEDs, airplane windows, certain iPhone camera lenses and fingerprint readers.

The benefit of having a sapphire crystal display is that it would be much harder to break, making it much less likely that you’ll have to deal with a cracked iPhone screen every time you drop your phone.

Watch Jennifer Lawrence and Alison Brie in a Ridiculous, Failed TV Pilot

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 10:19 AM PDT

Remember that time when Comedy Central made a TV version of Not Another Teen Movie? No? You don’t? That’s because it was a total flop — but they did manage to shoot a pilot.

It stars Alison Brie as a character called Muffy the Vampire Slayer (prepare for lots of vagina jokes) and Jennifer Lawrence as a generic hot teenager who a creepy janitor (who just got stabbed) refers to as “Sweet Tits.”

It’s genuinely shocking that this masterpiece — actually titled Not Another High School Show — was never picked up. Watch a few minutes up top.

[via Vulture]

Dow Drops 100 Points on News of Ukraine Violence

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 10:07 AM PDT

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 100 points Friday on reports that the Ukrainian military destroyed Russian military vehicles that entered into Ukraine. Investors are concerned about further escalation.

Russian military vehicles carrying aid entered Ukraine over night following a days-long standoff over whether the more than 200 vehicles could enter the country, CNBC reports. The Ukrainian military destroyed the vehicles as they crossed, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s told British Prime Minister David Cameron by phone.

“The President informed that the given information was trustworthy and confirmed because the majority of that machines had been eliminated by the Ukrainian artillery at night,” read a statement on Poroshenko’s website.

The decline around noon Eastern time erased earlier Friday morning gains on news that Coca-Cola had bought a $2 billion stake in Monster. Markets around the world declined similarly.

[CNBC]

#AskTIME Subscriber Q and A: Elizabeth Dias

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Welcome to TIME subscriber Q&A, with correspondent Elizabeth Dias.

We will start posting questions and responses at 1 p.m. EST. We have been gathering reader questions all week but will also take questions in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #askTIME.

If you are not a subscriber yet, it is not too late to sign up.

Sue_N asks: Elizabeth, as a liberal Catholic, I wonder if Pope Francis and his emphasis on poverty, unemployment and all aspects of social justice will have any effect on moving the U.S. bishops toward a more vocal role on issues other than abortion. I remember in the '80s, when the bishops were very vocal (some to the point of getting arrested) about disarmament, economic justice, labor issues, war and peace issues, and so on. Now, unless the issue is gay rights or abortion, the bishops remain if not mum, at least very quiet. […] Do you think Francis will be able to move them? To give them the courage to speak up again?

How Lauren Bacall Got to Dine with President Clinton at a TIME Gala

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 10:00 AM PDT

I’m at least 84% sure this story is accurate. Eighty-four percent because I was in the room at the time, the other 16% because I didn’t see what happened but only heard about it. Even if the anecdote is not red-check true, it provides tantalizing support to the domineering social legend that was Lauren Bacall, who died Tuesday at 89.

On March 3, 1998, TIME threw an amazing party for its 75th anniversary at Radio City Music Hall, across the street from the Time-Life Building. Tiers of tables, a hundred or so set on floorboards in the gigantic auditorium, held a glittering constellation of politicians, authors, scientists, athletes and artists, with each table of eight or 10 anchored by a TIME staffer. At table 38, which I hosted, the guests included Norman Mailer and his wife Norris Church, Tina Brown and Harold Evans, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Val Kilmer and a female agent from the Secret Service, ready to protect President Bill Clinton if necessary. Clinton, barely a month after the Lewinsky scandal had become public, was seated at table 1 with Toni Morrison, James L. Brooks, TIME Managing Editor Walter Isaacson and other luminaries. And at some table between Walter’s and mine sat Bacall.

But not for long. Clinton had come to Bacall’s table to speak with Barry Goldwater. When Bacall saw where Clinton was sitting, she strode down to table 1 and ordered a waiter to put another chair and place setting in that cramped circle. Voilà! She was sitting with the President.

(SEE: Barry, Bill and Bacall)

I relate this not to suggest that Bacall was a bully — though I know people who cringed and were singed by her hauteur — but because it illuminates the will power she thought she needed to demonstrate in the half-century after her early Hollywood stardom. In her 1978 autobiography, she paints an unflattering portrait of herself at 15: "tall, ungainly (I didn’t know I was ‘colt-like’ until a critic said I was), with big feet, flat-chested,… too inexperienced, shy, frightened to know what to do with a boy when I did have a date." Yet by 18 the Brooklyn-born Betty Joan Perske had been a Harper's Bazaar cover girl. At 19, she starred in her first film, To Have and Have Not. And at 20 she wed her 45-year-old leading man. Bogie and Betty, Humphrey Bogart and (her movie name) Lauren Bacall: a love affair for the ages.

Actually, their marriage lasted just 11½ years, ending with Bogart's death from cancer in 1957. By then she was 32, and good starring roles eluded her. She moved back to New York, married actor Jason Robards Jr. — they divorced after eight years, in 1969 — and became the young doyenne of Broadway. The plays Goodbye, Charlie and Cactus Flower became movies, but with Debbie Reynolds and Ingrid Bergman, not Bacall. In 1970 she turned herself into a musical star and a Tony winner as Margo Channing in Applause, based on the movie All About Eve; and 11 years later won another Tony in Woman of the Year, a musical redo of the first film to pair Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. She continued to grace movies and TV dramas (usually supporting roles) and plays (as a star). But the Bacall that the world loved and lusted for was the teenager who taught Bogart the wolf whistle in her first film role.

Nancy “Slim” Hawks showed the Bacall Harper’s Bazaar cover to her husband Howard, director of such Hollywood classics as Scarface, His Girl Friday, Ball of Fire, Red River and Rio Bravo. Pleased with his reputation in discovering and nurturing female stars, from Carole Lombard to Rita Hayworth, Hawks imported Bacall to Hollywood and signed her to a personal contract. His studio, Warner Bros., wanted her teeth fixed and her hairline raised; Hawks refused. He liked her as she was, except for her already low voice, whose register dropped even further when she followed Hawks’ orders to shout out passages from a book (The Robe) into the canyons under Mulholland Drive. By the end she possessed that throaty voice that Tom Wolfe later called “the New York Social Baritone.” Smoking helped, too.

Bogart, in his third marriage (to Mayo Methot), paid little attention to Bacall at the start of the To Have and Have Not shoot, but he soon fell hard. In the movie’s famous early scene, Bacall stands at Bogart’s door and sultry-whispers, "You know you don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow." She leaves and Bogart whistles appreciatively. That scene could be a documentary film of the middle-aged star realizing he loved his leading lady. Bacall was still a virginal “nice Jewish girl,” and she had adopted her eyes-up, chin-down tilt — what would come to be known as The Look — because she was a nervous ingénue with a case of the shakes. See how she projected herself into Bogart’s and the moviegoers’ erotic dreams? Acting!

Bacall had only one stage credit, an ensemble role in the short-lived Broadway play Johnny 2 x 4. But she had It. She arrived on screen grown-up. No other young actress could project her feline seductiveness — part lynx, part minx. Those qualities served her well in the three other films Bogart and Bacall made together. Hawks’ The Big Sleep, from the Raymond Chandler novel (and co-scripted, like To Have and Have Not, by William Faulkner), Delmer Daves’ Dark Passage and John Huston’s Key Largo were taut melodramas that sizzled from the combustion of Bogie’s weary machismo and Betty’s precocious allure. By her early twenties she was Hollywood glamour on ice. Her lips suggested she knew her impact on the opposite sex and found it less empowering than amusing; her eyes lasered through a man's ego and into his id.

She chafed at the enduring connection to the love of her life — that fans and the press alike couldn’t think of Bacall without Bogart. (Everybody could think of Bacall without Robards.) The title of her autobiography, By Myself , asserts that she wanted to be known for herself, not just as Bogie’s Baby. Yet he was her costar in her four best films of the ’40s; the one she made with a different leading man, Charles Boyer in Confidential Agent, was a critical and financial failure and for her a humiliating experience. After Key Largo in 1948, and still in her mid-twenties, she was often cast as the older “other woman”: the brittle sophisticate to Doris Day’s ingenue in Young Man With a Horn, or Patricia Neal’s in Bright Leaf. In the 1953 How to Marry a Millionaire, Bacall was the third-billed brunet between two sexy blonds, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.

She was felicitously paired with Rock Hudson in Written on the Wind, stood up to John Wayne in Blood Alley and took some of the starch out of Gregory Peck in Designing Woman. That romantic comedy opened in 1957, the year of Bogart’s death, and effectively ended her movie-star career. In the ’60s, like other Warners stars of the ’40s — Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Olivia de Havilland — Bacall went gothic in Shock Treatment, a tale of a lunatic taking over the asylum. She was the crazy one. A decade later, between Applause and Woman of the Year, was one of a dozen stars in Murder on the Orient Express. Her savoriest late role was as Barbra Streisand's haughty mother in the 1996 The Mirror Has Two Faces. In a telling scene shared by two generations of Jewish movie queens — the ’40s cover girl Bacall and the '60s “ugly duckling" Streisand — Barbra asks the still-resplendent Betty, "How did it feel to be beautiful?" And Bacall's face softens into a glow: "It was — wonderful!"

Maybe it wasn’t entirely wonderful, being Mrs. Humphrey Bogart forever. Maybe that need to be her own woman not only spurred her through a long, versatile, accomplished post-Bogie career, but also gave her the gumption to move down to Bill Clinton’s table at the TIME gala. Still, 70 years after it began, she couldn't control her legacy. She remained half of a smart, sassy, poignant love affair on-screen and off. Their warmth and electricity was the stuff of romantic legend; it outlived him, and now her, because it seemed the perfect, sexual and intellectual match. As Bernie Higgins sang in his 1980 ballad “Key Largo”: “We had it all / Just like Bogie and Bacall.”

Here’s a Radical Way to End Vacation Email Overload

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 09:47 AM PDT

Picture your dream vacation. It probably doesn’t include desperately searching for an available wi-fi signal so you can check your work emails, does it? Yet these days, going away on vacation doesn’t usually mean leaving the office behind. Many people often find themselves tapping away on their smartphones, either in an attempt to field urgent questions, or to avoid the dreaded scenario of going back to work to hundreds of unread emails. Either way, many of us end up working when we’re supposed to be getting away from it all.

This is no longer a problem for employees at the German company Daimler. The car and truck maker has implemented a new program that allows employees to set their email software to automatically delete incoming emails while they are on vacation. When an email is sent, the program, which is called “Mail on Holiday,” issues a reply to the sender that the person is out of the office and that the email will be deleted, while also offering the contact information of another employee for pressing matters.

“The idea behind it is to give people break and let them rest,” says Daimler spokesman Oliver Wihofszki. “Then they can come back to work with a fresh spirit.” Not to mention, an empty inbox.

Unsurprisingly, the program — which is optional — has gone down well with the company’s German employees, about 100,000 of which have company email addresses, according to Wihofszki. He says that although the company hasn’t done any polling as to whether the service is popular, anecdotal feedback has been positive. “A colleague used it a few weeks ago and she loved it.”

Though it might seem radical, Daimler’s program fits into a wider phenomenon that’s spreading across Germany and other parts of Europe. Volkswagen and Deutsche Telekom, for example, have made efforts to stop emailing their staff during the evenings. Germany’s Labor Ministry has started encouraging managers to stop emailing or contacting employees outside of working hours by implementing a practice within its own ministry so that no one “who is reachable through mobile access and a mobile phone is obliged to use these outside of individual working hours.”

And then there’s France, which earlier this year was the source of many incredulous news headlines for its stance on post-6 pm work emails. No, despite what the headlines said, France didn’t “ban” work emails after hours. But a federation of employers and two unions of workers did form an agreement to allow employees the right to completely disconnect from their work for a set number of hours a day.

It might be easy to dismiss German and French companies embracing limits on work email as a typical European view of work, along with shorter work weeks and longer stretches of paid vacation time. But it’s not as if worker productivity in either country is pitiable. In fact, according to figures from the OECD, German and French productivity is among some of the highest in Europe and not all that far behind productivity in the U.S.

But while this sounds all well and good and oh so European for French and German workers, is a limit on out of the office work email something that U.S. businesses should try to adopt?

After all, Americans definitely deal with their share of work email. A poll conducted by Right Management, more than half of the respondents said that they’d been sent work emails by their managers or bosses in the evenings, weekends or while on vacation.

"The boundaries of the workplace are expanding and now reach deeper into employees' lives, especially now that mobile technology is taken for granted," said Monika Morrow, the senior vice president of career management at Right Management. "Many find they can no longer just leave the office at the office, and instead will get emails or calls while commuting or shopping, or even sitting down to dinner.” Morrow also asks, “this a convenience or an imposition?"

Whether people view after hours work emails an imposition or not, many do report that spending a lot of time checking emails does impact their stress levels. From a recent Gallup poll:

U.S. workers who email for work and who spend more hours working remotely outside of normal working hours are more likely to experience a substantial amount of stress on any given day than workers who do not exhibit these behaviors. Nearly half of workers who “frequently” email for work outside of normal working hours report experiencing stress “a lot of the day yesterday,” compared with the 36% experiencing stress who never email for work.

Yet, despite the polls and examples set by the Europeans, there doesn’t seem to be much groundswell support for implementing limits on after hours work email in the U.S. So, sadly, it doesn’t look like Americans are going to be getting any reprieve from the late-night emails or Sunday afternoon memos. Let’s hope, however, that some people can take some inspiration from the Germans and maybe, just maybe, stop checking their inbox while on vacation.

Why Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is a Waste of Taxpayer Money

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 09:44 AM PDT

The tired image of the welfare queen with six kids, driving around in a Cadillac, watching soap operas on an expensive television and eating junk food on the couch has had its day.

It is 2014, years into the Great Recession, and millions have been helped by hundreds of social services put in place by the government to stabilize families in this time of need. Yet the states insist upon making the lines between the rich and poor ever darker, ever harder to cross. Maine lines up as the latest in a host of states beginning to enforce drug-testing legislation for welfare recipients.

The testing is meant to assure taxpayers their money isn't being "wasted" on the less desirable, those who would somehow manage to buy drugs with the assistance. But in Tennessee, where drug testing was enacted for welfare recipients last month, only one person in the 800 who applied for help tested positive. In Florida, during the four months the state tested for drug use, only 2.6% of applicants tested positive. Meanwhile, Florida has an illegal drug use rate of 8%, meaning far fewer people on services are using drugs than their better-off counterparts. The drug testing cost taxpayers more money than it saved, and was ruled unconstitutional last year.

People tend to forget that those using the programs are most likely also taxpayers, or were at some point. In 2010, nearly half of poor or near poor mothers on welfare were working at least part time. My husband and I, for instance, worked a combined 45 years, paying taxes, before he lost his job two weeks before I had premature twins, and had to apply for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. During the time we were on aid, I held a fulltime job, meaning I was paying in to the system from which I was simultaneously benefiting.

Our family is not alone. Denise Calder, a middle school teacher in Broward County, Florida, has a Bachelors of Science from Tufts University and has worked steadily since 1994. "Now I’m 42 years old, divorced, a single mother of four," she told me. She makes $41,300 year. "Every penny goes to food, rent, gas, medical bills," she says. "Since 2009, I have had to apply for and accept Medicaid & SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] twice to provide for my children when I took maternity leave in 2009 and 2013."

When I signed up for WIC services in 2008, I was a television producer in Boston, creating a news show seen by millions of people a night. I was making $40,000 a year and my husband had just been laid off. During my three months of maternity leave, my salary was $25,000, but our family qualified for the WIC program on my full income. We used it for 18 months. And we needed it.

WIC is an income-based program. Women must make no more than 185% of the Federal poverty line guidelines, and in some states, they must actually be living at or below the poverty line. Statistics from the Food and Nutrition Service department show that 73% of people on WIC are making less than the federal poverty line. The income cut-off for a family of four is $44,123 a year.

It's also not just a phone call and done. Women applying must be pregnant or up to six months post-partum. Children can receive services up to their fifth birthday, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services. Once you've called, you have to provide proof of income for everyone in the household, proof of identity, proof of residence, proof of participation in any other program—including Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or General Assistance—immunization records for your children, pregnancy confirmation (official note from your doctor), recent height and weight measurements and a blood test for hemoglobin levels, and a WIC Referral Form from your doctor. You also have to provide documentation of any child support payments, unemployment benefits, or short-term disability money received. These requirements vary slightly from state to state, but for the most part they are consistent.

Once you've gone through all that, you have to wait to be processed and either accepted or rejected. After the whole process, you may still hear that you aren't poor enough (for instance, if you are receiving child support or if you can’t provide certain paperwork). Bree Casson, a divorced former army wife who works part-time at McDonald’s, was turned away from the WIC office last week because she didn’t have her family's Medicaid cards, despite multiple phone and mail requests to the Department of Health and Human Services.

"I dragged my three kids out, with all our paperwork, including our Medicaid numbers," she said, "and they insisted they needed the physical cards to prove our income eligibility. I've been trying to get those cards for two years with no luck. All this for some milk and cheese and vegetables."

Applying and being accepted for aid is a mentally grueling process that can stretch on for months. Add to that the humiliation of having to pee in a cup just because you can't afford to eat. There's already a huge stigma about having to receive services, a spiral of shame and embarrassment that permeates the use of the system. Instead of wasting taxpayer money to weed out a small percent of those in need, demonizing an entire sect of people in favor of misleading stereotypes, maybe it's time we put our funds into helping them find their way out of the system and onto their own two feet.

Darlena Cunha is a mother of twins and a freelance writer for The Washington Post, Gainesville Sun and Gainesville and Ocala magazines. You can reach her @parentwin on Twitter.

Michael Brown Shooting in Ferguson Inspires Vigils Across The Nation

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Demonstrators gathered in peaceful gatherings in cities across the United States this week to protest the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent police reaction.

“The number of people, specifically young black men, that are being killed without a cause is rising every day,” said a protester in New York City after dozens of police officers broke up a peaceful demonstration. “It’s not ok. They need to stop doing this.”

After a week of outrage, TIME presents photos from across the country.

Execution Drug Cost Quadruples for Texas Prisons

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 09:37 AM PDT

(HOUSTON) — Texas is paying four times more for its execution drugs from a new supplier, putting it in line with a local consumer rate but well below the cost in at least one other death penalty state.

The prison agency in the nation’s busiest death penalty state paid $13,500 for its most recent batch of pentobarbital at a cost of $1,500 per vial, compared to $350 per dose spent last year, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press under an open records request.

The extra cost — a minuscule part of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s $3 billion annual budget — comes after the state’s previous supplier refused to provide more of the powerful sedative last year, claiming it had become a target of execution opponents. Prison officials have since found a new compound pharmacy for pentobarbital, and have waged a successful legal battle to keep the business’ name secret.

Backlash from capital punishment adversaries has curtailed the number of mainstream drug companies willing to provide lethal chemical doses to states. But it’s not clear whether the increased cost is tied to that. Industry groups and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say they do not track prices for the drug and could not speculate on what factors might have driven the cost up for Texas.

Several other state prison agencies have refused to release details on their drug purchases and Texas officials also have declined to comment on details.

“We’re confident we’re complying with all state and federal laws,” Clark said.

The agency’s higher cost does not appear extraordinary. A survey of nearly two dozen pharmacies in the Houston area shows Nembutal, the brand name for pentobarbital, sells for about $1,500.

The cost is a bargain compared to Missouri, which also uses pentobarbital for executions. Records earlier this year showed state officials paid as much as $8,000 per dose.

At least 10 inmates have execution dates in the coming months, including two in September, which means Texas’ latest batch of pentobarbital is set to run out by the end of the year. The agency has confirmed it will attempt to purchase more drugs, but prison spokesman Jason Clark would not address whether the agency expects costs to rise further or whether it will use the same supplier.

The latest drug purchase, in mid-March, was made by the warden at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit, where executions are carried out. It also included an additional $425 for tests to ensure the drugs’ potency.

Texas and many other death penalty states confronted with execution-drug shortages have turned to compounding pharmacies, which custom-make medications that the FDA considers unapproved and does not verify their safety or effectiveness. But Texas’ one-drug protocol has avoided the problems found in Ohio, Arizona and Oklahoma, which all use midazolam as part of a two- or three-drug mixture and had executions go awry in the last year.

The records provided to the AP are redacted to conceal references to Texas’ new supplier.

Just a few years ago, it cost $83.55 in Texas for its former three-drug combination of sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride administered to condemned prisoners. But Hospira Inc., the sole U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental, stopped production in 2010 and dropped plans to produce it in Italy because the government there asked for guarantees it never would be used in executions.

Texas responded by switching to pentobarbital, but Denmark-based Lundbeck Inc., the drug’s only U.S.-licensed maker, bowed to pressure from death penalty opponents and announced its medication was off-limits for capital punishment.

The Texas prison agency then opted to purchase pentobarbital from The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy until the Houston-area company refused to provide more drugs in October. The owner wrote a letter to the agency accusing state officials of placing him “in the middle of a firestorm” of hate mail and potential litigation when his company’s name became public.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has supported the prison agency’s refusal to publicly name its new supplier, citing a “threat assessment” signed by Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw that says pharmacies selling execution drugs face “a substantial threat of physical harm.”

J. Cole Responds to Michael Brown Shooting With an Emotional New Song

Posted: 15 Aug 2014 09:31 AM PDT

Rapper J. Cole released a new track with a somber tone today, sharing his reactions to the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

“That coulda been me, easily. It could have been my best friend,” he wrote in a blog post. “I’m tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don't give a f–k if it's by police or peers. This s–t is not normal.”

Cole’s sentiment comes through on his new tribute to Brown, titled “Be Free.” He sounds like he’s on the verge of tears as he sings over a simple, grave piano loop. “And now I’m in denial,” the song begins. “And it don’t take no X-ray to see through my smile.” Later in the track, he repeats the following lyrics: “All we wanna do is break the chains off / All we wanna do is be free.”

It’s one of Cole’s rawest, most emotional recordings to date. Listen here:

 

0 comments:

Post a Comment