Did you hear that collective rustling of pillows and sheets last night? That was the sound of fanboys and fangirls tossing and turning in anticipation of Steve Jobs’s speech at Apple’s fall event this afternoon. Between all the new launches (hello again, Apple TV!), upgrades (the iPod Shuffle is now small enough to choke on), and plans for total tech domination (you want social networks, Apple’s got ‘em), the overall effect was not unlike one of those Fred Armisen–as–Steve Jobs bits on “Weekend Update.” You know you sound a little ridiculous when Coldplay feels comfortable mocking you.
The new and improved iPod!
The new iPod Shuffle is roughly twice the size of Steve Jobs’s thumbnail. Our little brother will definitely buy us this for Christmas so he can steal it. We hope it doesn’t fall through the cracks of the packaging.
The new and improved iPhone!
Apple will release an upgrade to iOS, the mobile operating system that powers all its devices, in November. Says Jobs, “We’ve fixed a lot of bugs, proximity, Bluetooth, iPhone 3G.” Elsewhere, a Mexican wireless carrier blabbed that Apple will release an iPhone 4 with a redesigned antenna by the end of September. Does this mean the iPhone 4 will now let us make phone calls??? Sweet lord, what next?
The new and improved App Store!
6.5 billion apps have been downloaded in the app store. 200 apps every second. Okay, that’s just impressive.
The new and improved Apple TV!
Apple TV, a digital media receiver that first came out in 2007 — loved by nerds, but hated for its tendency to malfunction — lets you stream video from iTunes, YouTube, and most computers directly to your TV. The new model: (1) lets you stream videos from Netflix and push videos and photos from your iPad onto your TV, (2) is one-fourth the size of the previous model, and (3) will cost $99 (down from $299). We will think long and hard about how awesome Apple TV is as we continue to watch videos on our laptop like regular people.
The new and improved iPad!
With iOS 4.2, you can stream music and video from iTunes to your iPad and also print wirelessly. Oh my goodness, so many new things to do with another device we will probably not buy for two more years!!!
Steve Jobs thought you could use another social network!
It’s called Ping! (Rhymes with Ning, a service that lets you create your own social network — is your head spinning yet?) With Ping you can follow or be followed by your friends and see what they’re listening to — just like you already could on Facebook and Twitter.
At the end, Coldplay played a couple of songs and pretended like it was 2008. Afterward, Chris Martin quipped, “This is a new song we’re doing, it’s called Coldplay 2.6. It features seven chords. None of our competitors have it. Jony Ive designed it. It’s in the key of iMinor.” Says Engadget, “The audience was in hysterics.” Yeah, clearly no one at the event slept last night.
Watch Fred Armisen out-Jobs Jobs.
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A gruesome discovery which will fuel the anti-abortion movement
More than 2,000 medically preserved fetal remains were found at a deceased abortion provider’s Illinois home Thursday by his family as they sorted through his belongings, authorities said.
A lawyer for Ulrich “George” Klopfer’s family called the Will County Coroner’s Office that afternoon to report that the family had found what appeared to be fetal remains, the county sheriff said in a statement. Klopfer, who died Sept. 3, worked for decades at the Women’s Pavilion clinic in South Bend, Ind., and at clinics in Gary and Fort Wayne.
Investigators arrived at Klopfer’s home and found 2,246 fetal remains, according to the sheriff’s office. The coroner’s office took possession of them. No evidence indicates that medical procedures were performed at Klopfer’s home, and his family is cooperating with the investigation, the sheriff’s office said. No other information was immediately available.
Klopfer is considered Indiana’s “most prolific” abortion doctor, with tens of thousands of procedures performed, the South Bend Tribune reported. The state suspended his medical license in 2016 for failing to exercise reasonable care and for violating notice and documentation requirements, the Tribune reported. The Women’s Pavilion shut down the same year.
More corroboration for one of the sexual misconduct claims against Justice Kavanaugh (and evidence he perjured himself during his Senate testimony)
While we found Dr. Ford’s allegations credible during a 10-month investigation, [Deborah] Ramirez’s story could be more fully corroborated. During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.
At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.
We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)
Another potential misdeed
The nation’s top intelligence official is illegally withholding a whistleblower complaint, possibly to protect President Donald Trump or senior White House officials, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff alleged Friday.
Schiff issued a subpoena for the complaint, accusing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire of taking extraordinary steps to withhold the complaint from Congress, even after the intel community’s inspector general characterized the complaint as credible and of “urgent concern.”
“A Director of National Intelligence has never prevented a properly submitted whistleblower complaint that the [inspector general] determined to be credible and urgent from being provided to the congressional intelligence committees. Never,” Schiff said in a statement. “This raises serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct.”
Schiff indicated that he learned the matter involved “potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community,” raising the specter that it is “being withheld to protect the President or other Administration officials.”
Off to the fundraising races
Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination are sprinting from coast to coast in search of campaign donations over the next 18 days, moving urgently to stockpile cash for their big fall push — and to avoid a death spiral that a weak third-quarter fundraising tally might prompt. …
Still, Democratic donors have expressed nervousness in recent weeks that some presidential hopefuls could post disappointing totals, compounding the candidates’ broader struggles. July and August tend to be slow for fundraising, with many people on vacation and tuned out of politics. The large and unpredictably fluid field also has made it difficult for donors to commit to a candidate.
“The third quarter number, from a finance standpoint, will define the narrative throughout the course of the fall, when these questions about viability for so many of the candidates are so real, especially in the second and third tiers,” said Rufus Gifford, the finance director for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and a donor to at least three candidates so far this year.
The Epstein fallout continues
While MIT engages in damage control following revelations the university’s Media Lab accepted millions of dollars in funding from Jeffrey Epstein, a renowned computer scientist at the university has fanned the flames by apparently going out of his way to defend the accused sex trafficker—and child pornography in general.
Richard Stallman has been hailed as one of the most influential computer scientists around today and honored with a slew of awards and honorary doctorates, but his eminence in the academic computer science community came into question Friday afternoon when purportedly leaked email excerpts showed him suggesting one of Epstein’s alleged victims was “entirely willing.”
An MIT engineering alumna, Selam Jie Gano, published a blog post calling for Stallman’s removal from the university in light of his comments, along with excerpts from the email in which Stallman appeared to defend both Epstein and Marvin Minsky, a lauded cognitive scientist and founder of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab who was accused of assaulting Virginia Giuffre.
Ed Markey, facing a primary from a Kennedy, gets a major endorsement
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young liberal icon from New York, has endorsed Senator Ed Markey’s reelection bid next year, as Representative Joe Kennedy III considers challenging Markey for what promises to be the nation’s most competitive congressional primary.
Ocasio-Cortez and Markey have worked together as the primary sponsors of the Green New Deal, the signature legislative issue for both lawmakers.
In a video posted on Markey’s campaign YouTube account, Ocasio-Cortez calls Markey “a proud and strong progressive champion for working families. Not just in Massachusetts, but across the country.”
People are still into the Democratic debates
ABC’s coverage of the 10-candidate forum draws the largest preliminary ratings for any debate so far this cycle.
ABC and Univision scored strong ratings Thursday with their coverage of the third Democratic presidential primary debate.
The debate, featuring 10 candidates and current frontrunners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren sharing the stage for the first time, drew a 10.0 household rating in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets. That’s 23 percent higher than the 8.1 NBC got for part two of the first debate on June 27, but about 25 percent lower than combined metered-market average for NBC and MSNBC. That telecast ended up with 18.1 million viewers across NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.
What a jokester!
Child care, a key issue for many Americans, is getting little attention at the debates
Millions of Americans struggle to find decent, affordable child care every year. But when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tried to bring up the subject during Thursday’s Democratic debate, in response to a question about education, a moderator cut her off.
“Start with our babies by providing universal child care for every baby age 0 to 5, universal pre-K for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old in this country,” Warren said, just getting on a roll when ABC moderator Linsey Davis interrupted. “Thank you, senator,” Davis said.
Davis was just following the rules: Warren’s time for the response had lapsed. But the moment was a perfect metaphor for the attention child care and other work-family issues have gotten in these debates ― or, more accurately, the attention they have not gotten in these debates.
Texas state rep. with history of inflammatory remarks tweets threat at Beto O’Rourke
A Texas state representative had a menacing response to Beto O’Rourke’s statement in Thursday’s debate that “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.”
“My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Republican Representative Briscoe Cain tweeted about O’Rourke, using the presidential candidate’s legal first and middle name.
Cain’s tweet was heavily ratioed on Twitter, meaning it received more outraged comments than likes or retweets. Within three hours, 3,400 people had commented on the post, and 89 people retweeted it.