PopMuse: Technology Trends http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2019 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The Pete Buttigieg Experience https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-pete-buttigieg-experience-11574104327 https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-pete-buttigieg-experience-11574104327 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 19:45:00 UTC RSSOpinion The mayor isn’t the only one who wants to leave South Bend. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ HBO's Watchmen series works because it is deeply, unflinchingly American https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/watchmen-hbo-works-because-it-is-deeply-american https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/watchmen-hbo-works-because-it-is-deeply-american Mon, 18 Nov 2019 19:10:00 UTC Ani Bundel at SYFY WIRE 1p>The new Watchmen’s success isn’t in adapting what is considered by most to be an “unfilmable” story, but in how much it sidesteps the source material. HBO's adaptation takes what it needs and leaves the rest. In place of the original story, which was a deconstruction of the comics genre, Damon Lindelof is doing a different sort of deconstruction, turning author Alan Moore’s work into a show that explores the history of America, religion, and race. The Watchmen comic was considered groundbreaking when it arrived in 1986. It created — or at least popularized — the concept of the graphic novel with the now-ubiquitous proto-grimdark atmosphere, political commentary, and sex and violence. But it was a peculiar success. For all that it was a superhero story set in New York City, it was neither about superheroes nor all that American. Both Moore and illustrator David Gibbons were British, and Moore’s themes were railing against British politics, the rise of Thatcherism and fascism, and Cold War-induced terror. It may be hard to remember now, but before Mikhail Gorbachev took power of the Soviet Union in March 1985 and began making overtures that eased the Cold War in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, nuclear war felt imminent. The twin elections of Thatcher and Reagan, both viewed as war hawks, upped the ante, with the so-called “Doomsday Clock” positioned at three minutes to midnight in 1984. Thatcher’s attempts at dismantling the social safety nets in the U.K. created a sense of impending collapse — and a sense that the needs of the people were losing out in favor of what the state claimed was “the greater good.” When viewed through this lens, the original Watchmen’s obsession with clocks, how many “minutes to midnight” it is, and Ozymandias’ choice to kill millions to save billions (and the willingness of his fellow superheroes to cover it up) snaps into focus. (photo credit: HBO) But in 2019, much of that has faded from public view. The Doomsday Clock is worse now than it was then, but it’s based on environmental disasters, not nuclear war. The 2020 election is bringing about discussions of expanding the safety net, and Trump’s efforts to retract it, at least Obamacare,�failed spectacularly. Given the current political climate, one cannot pick the original Watchmen story up and transfer it wholesale to any screen and have it still feel relevant. (Sorry, Zack Snyder.) Faced with this reality, Lindelof created what he referred to as “a very expensive piece of fanfiction” when the first episode premiered at New York Comic-Con. The heart of Watchmen’s conceit remains: Superheroes coming into the real world would change history, and not for the better. But to change history, one must first understand it. And to understand American history is to dive into the complicated and often ugly racist episodes our society would rather forget happened. New York may seem like the heart of America from across the pond, but those who live here know how “the Midwest” is fetishized as “real America.” To that end, Lindelof transfers all the action to Tulsa, Oklahoma, a state that sits in the center of the country, just south of Kansas. It didn’t become a state until 1907, skipping the Civil War, so it cannot be pigeonholed as a slave state or “the Confederacy,” giving it a supposed pass on historical racism. When Rogers & Hammerstein wanted to write a musical glorifying our Manifest Destiny, they picked Oklahoma. And yet, this state’s history of racism is filled with blood, from the Native Americans tribes slaughtered to take the land, to the African Americans butchered in the Tulsa massacre, as recreated in the series' cold open. (The premiere also notably uses the Oklahoma musical as one of its recurring motifs.) It is a perfect place to explore how reparations would work (as well as how they’d go over in white America) and a new vision of the KKK, the 7th Kalvary. The Greenwood Cultural Center, which is a real African American history museum, is refashioned into a place to collect reparations, as well as the site where our heroine, Sister Night, returns to learn of her hidden history. But it’s Episode 5, “Little Fear of Lightning,” where all the threads of the American experience come together. Sister Night’s coworker Wade Tillman, known as “Looking Glass,” is revealed to have grown up in a deeply religious, evangelical community, the type that goes to “the big city” to try to “save souls” who don’t live in “real America.” But his mission trip to Hoboken, New Jersey, as a teenager occurred on “11/2,” the day the squidlike “alien monster” fell on New York City with a resulting psychic blast that killed millions in the tri-state area. (The way the show talks about “11/2” in the same way we talk about “9/11,” another American event, is apparent as well.) He is one of the only survivors, saved by being inside a funhouse of mirrors. The events on “11/2” shattered Tillman’s faith, but it also makes him the perfect target for the 7th Kalvary to aim for in bringing in a new member. Reveal the hoax that took people like him and murdered them for “the greater good,” and see how fast he’ll turn. Tillman may spend his time scanning for racists, but even he knows the score. He is, in his own words, “a white man in Oklahoma.” But the 7th Kalvary fails in their mission. Tillman chooses to hold on to the rituals he knows, rescuing his “extra-dimensional alarm system” from the garbage, rather than throw out his whole life just because the Squid was “fake news.” In that, Watchmen’s 2019 America is no different than this one. Lindelof’s series is HBO’s biggest hit since 2016’s Westworld, an extraordinarily unlikely outcome for what is sometimes an inscrutable adaptation for those who never read the comics. But in grounding this new story in America’s historical truths, it puts a fascinating spin on the familiar themes. By making this Watchmen distinctly American, the alternate reality feels far more grounded in the "what could be" than a straight adaptation would have managed. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBCUniversal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Just a Couple of Arselings: The Last Kingdom Podcast - Season 3, Episode 5 https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/just-a-couple-of-arselings-the-last-kingdom-podcast-season-3-episode-5 https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/just-a-couple-of-arselings-the-last-kingdom-podcast-season-3-episode-5 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 19:00:21 UTC Jessica Toomer at SYFY WIRE 1p>Hosts Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer welcome a new member to the Uhtred Ragnarson fan club in the fifth episode of The Last Kingdom's third season. The aetheling Edward may have made a pretty poor first impression but he's making up for all that whining and whoring earlier in the season by getting patched in as an official member of the Uhtred Ragnarson stan club. He's hanging posters on his wall, he's holding secret meetings without his father's permission, he's trying to grow the same dirtbag undercut. It's truly a beautiful time in the young boy's life. While Edward's promising men and aid to Uhtred, who has plans to take out Haesten if Alfred would just get over himself, Brida is mourning the loss of Ragnar and blaming everyone —�including her ex-lover —�for his death. We'll have to wait a bit longer to get #JusticeForRagnar though,�because Uhtred's intent on retrieving Skade and he's trash-talking Haesten, drawing him out for a poorly-matched battle to do it. Will Edward and Alfred arrive in time? Who the hell knows. Join FANGRRLS Jessica Lynn Toomer and Alyssa Fikse as they take you back in time and through every episode of Netflix's The Last Kingdom. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Ford’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E is available for preorder, and you have some decisions to make https://www.popsci.com/story/technology/ford-mustang-mach-e-electric-vehicle/ https://www.popsci.com/story/technology/ford-mustang-mach-e-electric-vehicle/ Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:56:01 UTC Stan Horaczek at Popular Science | RSS It can go up to 300 miles on a charge or do 0-60 mph in under four seconds. But, there are lots of options from which to choose. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Supreme Court's Warrant Requirement For Cell Site Location Info Apparently Killed Another Domestic Surveillance Program http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/techdirt/feed/~3/gY9x0SyX5I0/supreme-courts-warrant-requirement-cell-site-location-info-apparently-killed-another-domestic-surveillance-program.shtml http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/techdirt/feed/~3/gY9x0SyX5I0/supreme-courts-warrant-requirement-cell-site-location-info-apparently-killed-another-domestic-surveillance-program.shtml Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:49:18 UTC Tim Cushing at Techdirt. Oh, guess what? The NSA has ended another third party data collection -- one it hopefully ended right after the Supreme Court's Carpenter decision was released. Spencer Ackerman fills in the details at the Daily Beast. U.S. intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cell-phone location data without a warrant on people inside the United States, the office of the director of national intelligence has affirmed. Sounds good. Sounds like the NSA probably doesn't have a legal way to continue this warrantless collection now that the Supreme Court has ruled historical cell site location info is covered by the Fourth Amendment. It's been nearly 18 months since this decision was released. The letter sent to Ron Wyden by the ODNI indicates the Intelligence Community abandoned its harvesting of CSLI shortly after that ruling. But, as Ron Wyden points out, the ODNI isn't willing to state publicly that the Supreme Court's decision was a contributing factor to its mothballing of the CSLI collection. “The Intelligence Community has now publicly revealed that, since the Supreme Court decision more than a year ago, it hasn’t used Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to track Americans,” Wyden said in a statement provided to The Daily Beast. “At the same time, the government is hedging its bets by not formally acknowledging that the Supreme Court case applies to intelligence surveillance…" This is another of the NSA's Section 215 collections. The most famous collection under Section 215 was the one exposed by the first Snowden leak: phone call metadata. This collection was retooled by the USA Freedom Act, which forced the IC to approach telcos with targeted orders supported by reasonable suspicion. The NSA was apparently so used to just collecting it all, it couldn't manage to find a way to obtain this data without violating the law. It was abandoned and the NSA recommended to have it shut down forever. The FBI doesn't like that idea, though, and wants Congress to give the phone metadata collection -- along with everything else harvested under Section 215 -- a permanent reauthorization. At least that's not going to happen. It looks like the phone metadata collection will now become the only thing that's truly forever: dead. A forthcoming bill from the House judiciary and intelligence committees will reauthorize three other surveillance measures set to expire, but will not permit the Call Detail Records program to survive. With expiration set for Dec. 15, whatever the Senate does the Call Detail Records program, barring some eleventh-hour legislative chicanery, looks like the rarest of birds: a post-9/11 surveillance activity on course for extinction. You can draw a straight line from the Snowden leaks to the death of this collection. The Patriot Act gave the NSA a handy way to spy on Americans. 14 years later, the USA Freedom Act scaled back that power, altering the program enough that the NSA couldn't seem to find a way to collect these records without violating the law. Five years after this minor surveillance reform effort, the program will be put out of its misery. But the NSA has plenty of other collection authorities that will remain unchanged and mostly unexamined. Even this Section 215 collection -- which seemingly violates Supreme Court precedent -- hasn't received much public discussion. It seems clear warrantless collection of cell site location info is now illegal, but until more details head Wyden's way, we probably should assume the Office of Legal Counsel is trying to assemble a rationale that allows the Intelligence Community to route around the Carpenter roadblock. But, if nothing else, the phone metadata collection is dead. Forever. And that's worth celebrating. Permalink | Comments | Email This Story http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ WIRE Buzz: Sam Worthington & David Hyde Pierce board horror project; The Boys Season 2 wraps https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/georgetown-project-the-boys-fast-and-furious https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/georgetown-project-the-boys-fast-and-furious Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:48:55 UTC Josh Weiss at SYFY WIRE 1p>They're ready for their next Project.�Sam Worthington (Avatar)�and David Hyde Pierce (Hellboy) have joined Russell Crowe (The Mummy)�in Miramax's supernatural horror-thriller�The Georgetown Project, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.� Chloe Bailey (A Wrinkle in Time) and�Ryan Simpkins (Revolutionary Road) are also part of the�cast. Co-directed by Joshua John Miller (an actor known for his roles in Near Dark and The Final Girls), the film follows�Anthony Miller (Crowe), an actor who slowly begins to lose his mind while shooting a horror movie of his own. Simpkins�is playing Miller's estranged daughter. The characters portrayed by Worthington, Pierce, and Bailey are currently undisclosed. Miller co-wrote the screenplay with M.A. Fortin (Queen of the South). Fortin is also credited as a director. � Via two�posts on Twitter, Eric Kripke announced that Season 2 of Amazon's�The Boys�has now finished principal photography. To help tide us over�until new episodes arrive next summer,�the series showrunner included a short film about a young Homelander. The biggest thing fans are looking forward to in Season 2�is how Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) is going to react to the fact that his wife, Becca (Shantel VanSanten),�has been alive this entire time and raising the super-powered son she had with Homelander (Antony Starr). Aside from that, there's also the fact that Hughie (Jack Quaid), Frenchie (Tomer Capon), Mother's Milk (Laz Alonso), and the Female (Karen Fukuhara)�are on the run from Vought and its murderous heroes.� You can also expect more guest stars such as Patton Oswalt. � Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf, Truth or Dare)�and Vin Diesel's daughter, Similce Diesel,�are voicing major characters in the upcoming Fast & Furious animated series on Netflix, reports Entertainment Weekly. Co-produced by Vin Diesel, Fast & Furious: Spy Racers follows Dominic�Toretto’s cousin, Tony (Posey) , as he infiltrates a�racing group that serves as a front for the organization's devious stab at world domination. You can get a first glimpse of the show below: Camille Ramsey (American Vandal),�Luke Youngblood (Harry Potter),�Jorge Diaz (Jane the Virgin),�Manish Dayal (The Resident),�Ren�e Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton),�and Eric Bauza (The Adventures of Puss in Boots), among others, lend their voices to the show as well. Spy Racers debuts on Netflix on Dec. 26 and will help bridge the gap between 2017's�The Fate of the Furious and Fast & Furious 9, which zooms into theaters on May 22, 2020. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Daily Deal: TR9 True Wireless Headphones with Charging Case http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/techdirt/feed/~3/tnhoDjxu1fE/daily-deal-tr9-true-wireless-headphones-with-charging-case.shtml http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/techdirt/feed/~3/tnhoDjxu1fE/daily-deal-tr9-true-wireless-headphones-with-charging-case.shtml Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:44:18 UTC Daily Deal at Techdirt. Tailored to adjust to your busy daily life, 1Voice brings you the TR9 True Wireless Headphones. These earphones use Bluetooth technology paired with quality, precision craftsmanship to create some of the smallest and most lightweight earphones possible. They are ergonomically designed to sit comfortably in and around your ear so you can go for a jog, hit the gym, or do your daily commute without having to worry about them falling out. Each earphone has its own speaker, Bluetooth chip, battery, and mic so that they can work independently or when paired together. They're on sale for $35 and if you use the code BFSAVE15 you'll save an additional 15%. Note: The Techdirt Deals Store is powered and curated by StackCommerce. A portion of all sales from Techdirt Deals helps support Techdirt. The products featured do not reflect endorsements by our editorial team. Permalink | Comments | Email This Story http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Marvel's Runaways to end after upcoming third season on Hulu https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/marvels-runaways-ending-after-season-3 https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/marvels-runaways-ending-after-season-3 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:38:23 UTC Josh Weiss at SYFY WIRE 1p>Marvel's Runaways will end for good after its upcoming third season on�Hulu, SYFY WIRE has confirmed. Per�Variety, an insider close to the project says "the creative team felt that the third season provided a natural ending point for the show." Season 3's�"Big Bad" will be the evil sorceress�Morgan Le Fay, portrayed by Elizabeth Hurley. "I liked the fact that she's almost always portrayed as a megalomaniac. And she always, whenever she crops up somewhere, she usually wants to take over the world. So what's not to love? That seemed to tick every box I wanted," Hurley told us about the character in October. Based on the comic of the same name by�Brian K. Vaughan and�Adrian Alphona, the original streaming series was one of numerous live-action Marvel shows overseen by Marvel Television president, Jeph Loeb. As we reported a few weeks ago, Loeb is already planning his exit from that position as Kevin Feige, recently promoted to the company's Chief Creative Officer,�takes more control of Marvel properties across all mediums, including television. Loeb is still overseeing Hulu's�four animated Marvel shows —�Howard the Duck,�MODOK,�Hit-Monkey,�and Tigra and Dazzler�— all of which will�eventually crossover into The Offenders miniseries. In addition, the streaming platform (now owned by Disney) is developing a live-action Helstrom�series (another one of Loeb's babies), which is still moving forward unlike the previously-announced Ghost Rider program that would've seen Gabriel Luna returning as Robbie Reyes. Runaways is about a group of six teenagers who discover that they are the children of a murderous crime syndicate known as "The Pride." Unable to see their parents as good people any longer, the kids run away from home and�become heroes with some help from alien abilities, futuristic technology,�a genius intellect, and�a custom-made velociraptor by the name of Old Lace. Season 3 of Marvel's Runaways�premieres on Hulu Friday, Dec. 13. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Instagam 'stalker' app Ghosty drops off Google Play Store https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50461681 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50461681 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:33:20 UTC BBC News - Technology The app's removal followed claims by Instagram that it violated the photo-sharing platform's rules. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ WTF Moments: That time James Bond got really sadistic when killing a dude https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/wtf-moments-james-bond-world-not-enough https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/wtf-moments-james-bond-world-not-enough Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:15:00 UTC James Grebey at SYFY WIRE 1p>James Bond taking an almost sadistic thrill in murdering one of his foes seems like a beat one would expect to find in Daniel Craig's more recent run of gritty and violent 007 movies. But it was actually�Pierce Brosnan’s Bond that beat Craig’s to this punch 20 years ago this week, in 1999’s noble misfire The World Is Not Enough. Director Michael Apted’s first (and only) Bond movie is an uneven, slowly paced shoulder shrug of a movie,�which makes this�scene extra memorable as one of the few moments the story feels like it has a pulse, with some edge to it. Where you feel like “oh, this is new/interesting” — especially coming from Brosnan’s era of exploding pens and (rolls eyes) invisible cars. As welcome as this scene is, it is also exceptionally messed up to watch our suave hero, soaking wet and quaking with adrenaline, grin as his enemy dies impaled upon a nuclear submarine’s reactor rod. Wait. Let’s back up. That sentence... it’s a lot. Brosnan’s Bond gets to a very redrum place after struggling to hunt down and stop Renard (Robert Carlyle), a terrorist with a bullet in his head that cuts off his ability to feel pain. Bond’s first encounter with the baddie’s handiwork resulted in our super-spy suffering a shoulder injury in the field — one that surprisingly impairs him for most of the run time — as he uncovers that Renard is working with Bond’s love interest, the duplicitous Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), to hatch a revenge plot on Judi Dench’s M that involves oil and that nuclear submersible. (The idea of an event in M’s past sparking a vendetta that haunts her future serves here as almost a testing ground, ironically, for a similar narrative arc in 2012’s Skyfall, which was co-written by TWINE screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. They also recycled the injured Bond trope.) With the help of (rolls eyes audibly) Denise Richards’ nuclear scientist, Dr. Christmas Jones, Bond eventually kills Elektra — angering her lover, Renard — and corners the villain aboard the sinking sub’s reactor room that’s flooding. After some violent close-quarter combat, Bond releases a pressure valve, and, well — watch for yourself: Holy sh**, 20 years later, that’s still unnerving coming from Brosnan — who the late critic Gene Siskel once described as looking like “Bond’s valet” in his review for the actor’s first Bond mission, 1995’s GoldenEye. The glint in Bond’s eye, following his “She’s waiting for you” kill quip — one of the few non-pre murder-death-kill puns in the series — make the trembling post-murder smile extra chilling. (Even the director thought so; Apted calls out Brosnan’s choice on the Blu-ray’s audio commentary). Brosnan’s was the super suave Bond, a male model-looking guy who happens to have a silenced pistol and license to kill on his person at all times. To watch the actor add some necessary (but, at the time, really dark) shading 20 years before audiences would really demand that from the character is both ahead of its time and jarring. This scene marks one of the few times in the series (before Craig, at least) that Bond felt actually dangerous. Like someone you should be scared of. That’s the Bond of the novels, for sure. Someone you can trust, but would never cross. It’s unfortunate that TWINE is such a letdown — the third movie in the tenure of whoever plays Bond is traditionally their best (see Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Skyfall). As WTF of a moment as this is, it is an interesting (if small) moment in the super spy’s growth as a character. I mean, it’s weird and creepy to watch this brand of Bond preside over his prey like the killer in a slasher movie. But it also serves as a reminder that Bond can and should go to some dark places. This time, he was just two decades too early. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/