Republican anxiety grows as Democratic Senate challengers outraise incumbents
- In South Carolina, Democrat Jaime Harrison announced on Tuesday that his campaign raised nearly $14 million in the second quarter, building on the $7.3 million he raised in the first quarter.
- While fundraising numbers from Harrison and Bullock are striking, the most concerning, Republicans said, are the those sizable hauls in places like Maine and North Carolina, two states where Republican incumbents keeping their seats will be central to the party holding the Senate.
- His Republican opponent, Sen. Thom Tillis, has not yet released second quarter fundraising totals, but he raised about $2.1 in the first three months of the year.
- In Georgia, Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff announced he raised $3.5 million in the second quarter, including nearly $2.4 million more has come in since he won his primary on June 10.
Amazon adds 'hands-free' Alexa to its Alexa mobile app
- The company announced today it’s making it possible to use Alexa “hands free” from within its Alexa mobile app for iOS and Android, meaning customers will be able to use Alexa to make lists, play music, control their smart home devices and more, without having to touch their phone.
- Customers can first command their phone’s digital assistant, like Siri or Google Assistant, to launch the Alexa app to get started with the hands-free experience.
- In the latter, it rolled out a hands-free Alexa option back in 2018, allowing users to control playback or ask for music without having to tap.
- But the Alexa app has remained a tap-to-talk experience until now, which doesn’t quite mesh with how Alexa works on most other devices, like Amazon Echo speakers and screens, for example.
- After updating the app, customers will be presented with the option to enable the hands-free detection and can then begin to use the feature.
Sega’s next retro hardware is a 1/6th-scale multi-game arcade cabinet
- Further ReadingSega’s tiny Game Gear Micro is 92% smaller than the originalAfter the release of the Genesis Mini and the recent announcement of the Game Gear Mini, Sega doesn't show any signs of slowing down its plans for miniature retro hardware releases.
- The company's next entry in the space is the newly announced Astro City Mini, a tiny arcade cabinet set to sport 36 Sega arcade titles.
- Japanese site Game Watch was the first to post details about the cabinet overnight, but its story came down quickly (perhaps due to a timing miscommunication with Sega?).
- According to those reports, the Astro City Mini will launch by the end of 2020 in Japan for an asking price of ¥12,800 (about $119).
- Attachable USB control pads (sold separately) will allow up to three people to play on the same mini-cabinet.
Tesla left salespeople fearing for jobs after string of haphazard announcements
- According to Business Insider, which spoke with 27 Tesla dealership employees, the company made a series of slapdash announcements in February last year, which said that the company would be “winding down many of [its] stores.” Despite the gravity of the initial announcement, it mentioned casually in a blog post about a new upcoming Model 3 variant.
- Again, the announcement came without informing dealership management first, and according to another employee failed to acknowledge the stress unnecessarily inflicted on dealers.
- It’s hard to compare Tesla‘s approach to vehicle sales as it doesn’t follow a conventional model.
- For most vehicle makers, sales outlets and stores are operated by other dealer groups, Tesla however, owns all of its stores.
- It can also lead to unfair closure of dealerships that don’t sell comparable volumes of vehicles to bigger more successful outlets.
Harvard announces all course instruction will be taught online next year
- After careful deliberation and informed by extensive input from our community, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced plans to bring up to 40% of our undergraduates to campus, including all first-year students, for the fall semester.
- Under this plan, first years would return home and learn remotely in the spring.
- We also will invite back to campus those students who may not be able to learn successfully in their current home learning environment.Some of the attributes that we most value about our campus are exactly the things that make adaptation to pandemic conditions particularly challenging.
- Our bustling urban environment, the ease of grabbing the T into Boston, our intergenerational residential communities that house 98% of our undergraduates, our global research community of students, faculty, staff, postdocs and visitors from around the world – Harvard was built for connection, not isolation.
How to make sure Google automatically deletes your data on a regular basis
- With the newly announced changes, Google is trying to make it easier to enjoy the best of both worlds, both private and personalized, by making auto-delete the default setting for web and app activity, location history, and YouTube history.
- Also, that default auto-delete time still gives Google a big chunk of your history: 18 months for web and app activity and location history, and 36 months — three years!
- Given how relatively few accounts will have this default auto-delete feature and the large amount of data that is retained even with it, it’s hard to say how much of a difference Google’s updates will really make in user privacy.
How to turn off political ads in your Facebook News Feed
- Facebook recently announced that it is now letting users turn off political ads on both their Facebook and Instagram feeds.
- The new move seems to be a compromise to critics who think Facebook shouldn’t let politicians lie in ads (Facebook largely allows this, arguing that moderating politicians’ speech would amount to censorship).
- Facebook has faced sustained criticism since the 2016 US presidential election that the company isn’t doing enough to limit political misinformation on its platform and, as a result, is hurting democracy.
- Facebook said it will be giving users more control over seeing political ads as part of a larger announcement defending how it handles politicians’ controversial posts and its initiative to launch a Voting Information Center that aims to register 4 million users to vote ahead of the 2020 US presidential election.
- Facebook’s new policy to let you ignore political ads is opt-in.
Fortnite to host We The People program focused on conversations about race in America
- Fortnite’s Party Royale will air an in-game showing of We The People on Saturday, part of a series of conversations around race in America, the company announced Friday.
- The program, hosted by Van Jones of CNN, will include journalists Elaine Welteroth and Jemele Hill, and musicians Killer Mike and Lil Baby.
- To watch We The People, launch Fortnite on Saturday morning, and select Battle Royale game mode.
- Enter the Party Royale playlist and go to the Island’s Big Screen.
- The event will get underway at 9:46AM ET, and will re-air several times throughout the day Saturday.
- Last month Fortnite’s Party Royale theater hosted showings of several Christopher Nolan movies, including Inception, Batman Begins, and The Prestige.
- Nolan dropped the trailer for his upcoming film, Tenet inside of the game back in May. According to Epic, as of May, Fortnite has more than 350 million players.
Indiana priest suspended after calling Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters 'maggots,' 'parasites' and 'serpents in the garden'
- The suspension of Father Theodore Rothrock was announced Wednesday by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, which represents 24 Indiana counties.
- Rothrock was the pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Carmel.
- CNN was not able to find a phone number for Rothrock on Thursday to seek comment.
- On the same day he was suspended, Rothrock issued an apology in which he expressed surprise to the negative reaction his bulletin garnered.
- Both the bulletin and Rothrock's apology have since been removed from St. Elizabeth Seton Parish's website.
- In its statement announcing Rothrock's suspension, the diocese said Rothrock will be reassigned.
Amazon Prime Video launches Windows 10 desktop app
- Amazon Prime Video’s dedicated app for Windows 10 is now live in the Microsoft Store, the company announced Thursday.
- While it’s always been possible to stream Prime Video content through a browser like Chrome, there was no way to download videos on a Windows device to view offline until now.
- The Windows 10 app is free, but a subscription to Amazon Prime Video is $8.99 per month.
- An initial test by The Verge found the Windows 10 app wouldn’t stream higher than HD (720p) resolution, similar to the limits on the iPad version of the app, even though it’s possible to stream at 1080p HD through a web browser.
- According to the company, the app can stream and download up to 1080p HD, “but may vary per content.” In testing, we weren’t able to get better than 720p across a number of titles, even though they are listed as “4K UHD” in the app itself.