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The Obama s Striking Deal With Netflix


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Netflix is in talks with former President Barack Obama for a new series.

 The New York Times reports that the deal would have Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, provide content that would only be available on Netflix. Sources close to the deal indicate that the series might focus on inspirational stories or feature moderated discussions of the topics that were highlights of the Obamas’ time in the White House.

The report indicates that some episodes could feature conversations on health care or voting rights moderated by Barack Obama, while Michelle Obama might moderate a show focusing on nutrition, for example. Other potential show ideas rumored for the deal include documentaries or other projects endorsed by and possibly introduced by the Obamas.

Executives from Apple and Amazon have also reportedly been in talks with the former president and first lady.

Terms of the Netflix deal are unknown at this point.


Toddler In China ‘Disables/Locks iPhone For 47 Years

 A mother in China is furious after her toddler managed to lock her iPhone for 47 years. The two-year-old boy in Shanghai disabled his mother’s iPhone for the equivalent of 47 years after playing with it and repeatedly entering the wrong passcode, according to a Chinese media report. The phone was given to the child to watch educational videos online. The mother returned home one day and when she checked the phone found it had been disabled for 25 million minutes, equivalent to 47 years. 

Apple store technician in Shanghai was quoted as saying that the woman could either wait years to try to input her passcode again or wipe the contents of the handset clean and then reinstall files. The woman decided to erase all the phone data and do a factory reset. The woman has been waiting for two months and the problem has not been rectified.

The report sparked a debate online in China. Some parents said the mother should never have allowed her child to play with the phone alone. Others said she should have backed up the data stored on her phone elsewhere so that if something went wrong she could easily retrieve it.


Higher Priced Smartphones Mean Lower Purchases

This year and last, Samsung, Apple, and, recently, Google set the bar higher for smartphones pushing their price bar higher than ever before. It was somewhat necessary to recoup the costs of R&D, production, marketing, and the like. It also helped inflate the smartphones’ status as premium products to die for. It appears that they may be digging their own graves in the long run.

High-end components, of course, are more expensive than more common ones, but the rate of price increase doesn’t seem proportional to the build costs. The gap seems to grow even more for each new generation of smartphones.

Business considerations aside, this rise in prices has a double-edged effect on consumers. On the one hand, they paint the picture of a product that only a few can afford, which has the ironic effect of making it even more desirable. Apple has been doing it for years.

On the other hand, it is actually and factually something very few people can afford. That ultimately meant that fewer people actually bought the new phones, which may have contributed to last month’s decline in smartphone shipments last quarter, when the most expensive non-luxury phones shipped for the first time. 

The lower sales numbers become an even bigger problem in the context of the current practice of releasing flagship smartphones every year. Some, like Samsung, even release twice a year. Others release multiple ones at the same time or spread them over the months. Long story short, there are dozens of new phones every year.

The smartphone market is changing and so is user habits. Smartphone vendors aren’t, although some, like LG and HTC, may have noticed, even though they already had lower prices. Samsung may have seen clues, but it isn’t one to change directions so quickly. Apple is one that’s unlikely to change at all. High-end smartphones are becoming luxury items that very few can afford. And whatever few can afford, very few will buy. And that may spell trouble for the companies that rely on them to survive.

Special Headset Created To Help You lose Weight

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Modius, sends low-power electrical impulses to your vestibular nerve, to activate your hypothalamus.

President Trump Plans To Meet With The Game Industry

President Trump plans to meet with members of the video game industry next week “to see what they can do” on the issue of gun violence.

Details on specific timing and attendance for the meeting weren’t immediately available, but Sanders cast the meeting as of a piece with multiple others that have already taken place between the president and “a number of stakeholders” in the gun violence debate. “This is going to be an ongoing process and something that we don’t expect to happen overnight, but something we’re going to continue to be engaged in and continue to look for the best ways possible to protect schools across the country,” Sanders said.


After costs Uber & Lyfte Drivers Average 4$ An Hour


A research paper from MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research compared a survey of over 1,100 drivers for Uber and Lyft with “detailed vehicle cost information” and found that 30 percent of the workforce is actually paying to work after vehicle expenses are taken into account. Overall, their findings reveal a bleak picture: The median profit for drivers came out to just $3.37 per hour before taxes.

 The researchers used data from Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, and the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the cost of insurance, maintenance, gas, and depreciation for various vehicle models. Cross-referenced with drivers’ self-reported revenue, mileage, and vehicle models, that information revealed discouraging results. Stephen Zoepf, a co-author of the paper, said “it’s quite possible that drivers don’t realize quite how much they are spending.” He said that many drivers are effectively borrowing money against the value of their cars and subsidizing the ridesharing companies by working for low wages. When you combine that subsidy with the billions of dollars in venture capital that these companies are losing each year, Zoepf concludes that “this business model is not currently sustainable.”

According to the working paper, 74 percent of drivers are earning less than the minimum wage in their states once these costs are included, with the average driver only pulling in $661 of profit per month. For those who are considering working for ride-hailing service, this data should make them cautious.

Those who already doing it should pay close attention to the paper’s finding that the median profit is 29 cents per mile. The researchers say that drivers could possibly take advantage of the standard mileage deduction that tops out at 54 cents per mile and declare a loss on their taxes. So while ride share services are losing billions of dollars, billions more dollars of driver income may be mistakenly getting taxed. Meanwhile, other recent studies have found these companies are just making traffic worse.

Uber responded to the Guardian with the following statement:

While the paper is certainly attention grabbing, its methodology and findings are deeply flawed. We’ve reached out to the paper’s authors to share our concerns and suggest ways we might work together to refine their approach.


It’s worth noting that other studies have reported higher hourly income using different methodologies.

A spokesperson for Lyft responded and said: “Drivers are an integral part of Lyft’s success. An ever-growing number of individuals around the country are using Lyft as a flexible way to earn income, and we will continue to engage with our driver community to help them succeed. We have not yet reviewed this study in detail, but an initial review shows some questionable assumptions.”

Last year, Uber settled claims by the Federal Trade Commission that it misled drivers about the potential income they would make. Gizmodo obtained a letter sent by Uber’s lawyers to the FTC where they argued that drivers were only earning less than the advertised rates because they chose not to drive enough.

Former Google Engineer Says Bro-Culture Led To Repeated Sexual Harassment



 A  software engineer who worked at Google for seven years and fired in February 2016, is suing Google for sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. The engineer says in her lawsuit that the company’s “bro-culture” led to continuous harassment and that Google did nothing to intervene. 

Throughout her time at Google, she was routinely sexually harassed, according to her lawsuit. She stated male coworkers spiked her drinks with alcohol and shot nerf guns at her regularly, and she says one male co-worker messaged her to ask for a “horizontal hug.” At a holiday party, Lee’s lawsuit says, a male co-worker slapped her across the face while he was intoxicated.

In one particularly disturbing incident detailed in the lawsuit,  a male coworker hiding under her desk when she returned after a short break. He refused to say what he was doing, the lawsuit says. “The incident with the co-worker under her desk really shocked her and had her nervous. The Plaintiff had never spoken to that co-worker before. She was frightened by his comment and believed he may have installed some type of camera or similar device under her desk,” the lawsuit says. Google’s human resources department pressured Lee during a series of meetings to make a formal complaint about the incident. However, her claims were found to be “unsubstantiated,” emboldening her coworkers to continue the harassment after she complained whereby, co-workers retaliated making it difficult for her to perform. She was subsequently terminated. 

This lawsuit is reminiscent of those raised last year by the engineer who blew the whistle about systemic sexual harassment at Uber. 

The treatment of women has put Google on the hot seat in recent months. It’s being sued by women who allege Google pays them less than men and investigated by the Labor Department into what it says is “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.” Google says its own analysis of employee compensation shows no gender pay gap. 

At the same time, Google has encountered resistance from within its own ranks to diversity efforts to hire more women and people of color. 

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