Look at this nauseating chart from the Wall Street Journal:
Rightful scrutiny has been placed on the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger. Decades of effort have been put into breaking up monopolies and competition-stifling practices only to see even bigger corporations emerged. From the illustration above, it seems like the two companies have been on a collision course. Since the Comcast-NBC/Universal merger was approved, it is difficult to see this one not get similar approval. If this deal goes through, expect a cascade media consolidation in the coming years as the marketplace reshuffle in response. For what it’s worth, Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine and Donald Trump are all aligned in opposition against this deal. Hillary Clinton has yet to chime in.
Marques Brownlee pits Siri against Google Assistant, on the latest respective phones from Apple (iPhone 7 Plus) and Google (the Pixel XL). My thoughts from this little test are: A) Siri isn’t as bad as people like to think, B) Google Assistant isn’t as good as people like think, and C) the A.I. wars are well underway. Facebook and Amazon (Alexa)–not to mention Microsoft (Cortana) and IBM (Watson)–are already in advance stages of their own artificial intelligence projects. As William Gibson said, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”
Tonight, the Trump campaign debut a news show that will air on Donald Trump’s Facebook page nightly at 6:30 pm ET via Facebook Live. Is this the testing of the waters for Trump TV? There’s been rumblings that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been meeting with media executives about a possible TV venture. It’s been said from political insiders that the moves from Trump’s campaign makes little sense from a political point of view. But if you look through a media/entrepreneurial lens, the pieces come in focus. Trump has been very consistent in decrying the rigged and bias media-politico machinery. He has whipped up a frenzy among his base on this point. He could be banking on this magnitude of viewership after he loses the election. If he gets that kind of loyalty for Trump TV, then he’s onto something. And when he loses, he could actually be winning.
The Walking Dead returns for season 7 tonight. Presumably we will find out who Negan bludgeoned to death with Lucille. To bring everyone up to speed, a very helpful John Cleese summarizes the first 6 seasons here:
A massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack targeted domain name system (DNS) service provider Dyn disrupted internet traffic throughout Friday. The outage affected mostly the United States and parts of Europe. Sites such as Twitter, Amazon, Spotify, CNN and the New York Times were some of the more prominent websites that were down.
Although the perpetrators are still unknown (or just not yet revealed by the authorities), investigators have determined that the hackers used Internet of Things (IoT) devices as the method of entry and infection. IoT devices are normal household appliances that have the capability to connect to the Internet. In essence, the hackers were able to turn things like webcams, DVDs, routers, thermostats, etc. into a botnet army driving malicious traffic to overwhelmed and shut down Dyn’s servers. We’ve seen this movie before:
Which is more painful, losing 5-0 or by just one run? The Chicago Cubs dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 6 on the NLCS to win the best of seven games series 4-2. Chicago is on its way to the World Series. LA’s patchwork lineup and bullpen dependency caught up to them at the wrong time. In a long series against a good team weaknesses get exposed, as it almost always does. As disappointing as it is now, the Dodgers did some good things this year. Of course, expectations are high and anything less than the World Series is considered a bust. Next year!
Hamilton the musical does not arrive at the Pantages in Los Angeles until November 2017. When that happens, it would not include the original cast. In the meantime, it’s unlikely I will get to see it on Broadway. Tonight’s premiere of Hamilton’s America on PBS made me feel both dejected by what I’ve missed out on and excited for when I do get to see it next year. The 90-minute documentary is worth every second. It gives glimpses of the musical’s genesis, its process, and its accolades. Footage of the performances and music mixed in with layers of history and the connection and relevance to present day show that the musical is worthy of all the hype. (Plus, eleven Tony Awards.) It’s also making me want to read Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. One of the best snippets in the documentary, from George W. Bush, spoken with a playful smirk: “That’s the way that history works. Sometimes it takes a while for people to give you credit.”
“People seem to forget when they talk about these theoretical post-24 week abortions for personal reasons that a pregnant person would need $15,000 or more in cash. So, considering the cost of abortions, the fact that fewer than 0.3 percent occur at or after 21 weeks for non-genetic reasons, that most abortions will be before 24 weeks, and the expense of the procedure, it is simply ludicrous to insinuate that this happens regularly — never mind at all. And a “nine-month abortion” of an otherwise healthy fetus? That is just untrue.”