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Apple TV+’s ‘Wolfwalkers’ earns 10 Annie Award nominations; Billie Eilish doc sets new viewer record

9to5Mac - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:43

Apple TV+ continues to grow. The Golden Globe-nominated Wolfwalkers animation has earned 10 Annie Award nominations, including Best Animated Feature. Stillwater, another Apple TV+ series, also landed a nomination for Best Preschool Series. Apple has also detailed some viewership numbers for its recent Billie Eilish documentary.


The post Apple TV+’s ‘Wolfwalkers’ earns 10 Annie Award nominations; Billie Eilish doc sets new viewer record appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

iOS version of What3Words app now uses Apple Maps

9to5Mac - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:41

If you’re not familiar with the What3Words app, it’s a clever idea designed to make it easier to tell people exactly where you are. Every three-meter square in the world has a unique three-word code, and the iOS app now uses Apple Maps instead of Google Maps for its displays and directions …


The post iOS version of What3Words app now uses Apple Maps appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

SpaceX Launches 60 New Starlink Satellites

Slashdot - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:40
SpaceX has launched another batch of its Starlink satellites -- the usual complement of 60 of the low Earth orbit spacecraft, which will join the more than 1,000 already making up the existing constellation. This is the fifth launch of Starlink satellites for SpaceX this year, and the 20th overall. From a report: Earlier this year, SpaceX opened up Starlink access to anyone in a current or planned service area via a pre-order reservation system with a refundable up-front deposit. The company aims to continue launches like this one apace throughout 2021 in order to get the constellation to the point where it can serve customers over a much larger portion of the globe. SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell has previously said that the company expects it should have coverage over much of the globe at a constellation size of around 1,200 satellites, but the company has plans to launch more than 30,000 to fully build out its network capacity and speed. While SpaceX is making good progress on Starlink with its Falcon 9 launcher, it's also looking ahead to Starship as a key driver of the constellation's growth. Starship, SpaceX's next-generation launch vehicle currently under development in South Texas, will be able to deliver 400 Starlink satellites at a time to orbit, and it's also being designed with full reusability and fast turnaround in mind.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Launch HN: Alinea (YC W21) – Invest in stocks you believe in

Hacker News - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:38

Anam, Eve, and Nikhil here, co-founders of Alinea ( Alinea is an investing app for those who want to understand the companies they are investing in. We explain how each company makes money, how they treat their stakeholders, and their environmental impact on the world so customers can buy stock in companies they believe in.

Despite our different backgrounds, the three of us struggled with the same problem. We knew we had to invest our money to build wealth, but when we tried, we felt intimidated and lost. We had so many questions - What kind of stocks do we invest in? Where do we find accurate information? And quickly realized we’re not alone, our friends and other people were also experiencing the same problem.

So in early 2020 we started working on a new approach to investing. We wanted to build an experience without the hassle and complexity of charts and financial jargon. We also wanted to move away from a gamified experience which tends to cause stress and anxiety around investing - so we’ve gone as far as removing red and green from the app entirely.

There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion around how to start investing in stocks so we guide our users through the process. First, we match you to stocks based on your interests so you can better understand a company. Second, we simplify hard to find research into bite-sized formats, so you can evaluate if it's a good investment. Lastly, we show you the impact of your investment on our environment, society, and workplace. We do the homework, so you can make an informed decision.

Underneath the hood, we’re using Drivewealth for stock prices and executing trades and extract data from ISS reports to offer visibility on a companies’ environmental, social and workplace impact scores. We sort through SEC filings and earnings reports to consolidate and synthesize information. We’ve custom built UI in native swift in“swipeable cards” so the information is easy and quick to digest.

In the past months, we’ve seen the power of retail investors who want more choices than just putting their money in ETFs, we provide the tools for them to make informed stock investments. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on what we’re building!

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Categories: Geek

Foreign Policy For The Middle Class

Balloon Juice - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:32

President Joe Biden has said it. Antony Blinken has said it. Jake Sullivan has said it. “Foreign policy for the middle class.” I think I’ve heard Kamala Harris say it too. It comes from a report that Sullivan and others wrote while he was at the Carnegie Endowment.

Yesterday (March 3) Secretary Blinken gave a speech, “A Foreign Policy for the American People.” It looks like that speech is an upgraded version of the report. What I take from the report and the speech is that the Biden administration is bringing a new approach to foreign policy, and, more importantly, that they can change. I’ll work through the speech in a later post, but here’s the report.

 “Foreign policy for the middle class” combines two concepts not usually combined, but the two interact in many ways. The report highlights these interactions and attempts to provide ways to make those interactions more favorable. International trade is an obvious point of contact, but others are addressed in the report as well.

The report has eleven authors, about evenly divided between foreign policy and economic experts, some expert in both. The team is bipartisan, with a tilt towards Democrats. Part of the study was a survey of people in Colorado, Nebraska, and Ohio to determine how they saw the connection between their economic prospects and foreign policy. The three states were chosen to represent different aspects of the American economy: Colorado, resource extraction; Nebraska, farming; and Ohio, industrial. Of course, there is overlap among the categories. The surveys were published separately but are not referenced in the report.

The report defines “foreign policy” and “middle class” on page 9.

“Foreign policy” in this study serves as shorthand for foreign, defense, development, international economic, trade, and other internationally oriented policies perceived by those interviewed for the project as impactful to their economic well-being.

The report takes its definition of “middle class” from the Pew Research Center: a middle-income range for a family of three of $48,505–145,516. That range was adjusted for the cost of living in the three states.

Those interviewed for the project often described a “middle-class standard of living” as the ability to secure a job with adequate pay and benefits to meet their monthly expenses, tend to their families’ medical needs, buy a car, own a home, help their kids pursue decent postsecondary school education, take an annual vacation, save for retirement, and not be saddled with crippling debt.

The preface notes why it’s important to link the middle class and foreign policy. Despite the conflation of racial antagonism with economic issues by Donald Trump and others, the United States faces real economic issues, particularly the expanding income gap and uneven opportunities for participating in the economy. It is the interplay of foreign policy with those issues that the report attempts to address.

A 68-page report by 11 authors cannot work through that interplay and provide detailed recommendations for action. The authors lean toward recommendations; some justification is offered, but the organization of the report is unclear in its purpose and uneven in its treatment. Exploring the links between domestic politics and international relations is important. Too many Americans believe that 10% of the national budget or more goes outside the country, when the total Department of State and aid budgets are more like 1% of the whole. Globalization isn’t going away, so we need better ways to deal with it and get the public behind the policies relating to it.

Unfortunately, this report can’t be used in this way. I’ve puzzled over it for several weeks now and can’t distill a message beyond “Foreign policy for the middle class.” Which I’m hearing less frequently. It’s significant that the administration isn’t distributing thousands of copies of the report.

Let me throw up my hands and list the main ideas. If you are interested in polls, the material from Colorado, Nebraska, and Ohio may be worth perusing if it is released. By and large, according to the report, the people polled in Colorado, Nebraska, and Ohio see interconnection with the world as a good thing but have reservations. In a later post, I may make suggestions on how the report might have been better.

Their overall conclusions:

  • First, the prime directive of everyone in the foreign policy community— not just those responsible for international economics and trade—should include developing and advancing a wide range of policies abroad that contribute to economic and societal renewal at home.
  • Second, foreign and domestic policymakers need to collectively redress the country’s growing distributional challenges. The broad middle class and those struggling to join it do not benefit enough from the fruits of global economic growth and market access. And they also bear too much of the burden of global shocks and dislocations and of the trade-offs that come with foreign policy–related decisions made in Washington.
  • Third, the policy community needs to adopt a more collaborative, integrated approach to domestic and foreign policy making and to embrace more policy innovation.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates many of these issues, but it also provides impetus to make the recovery match the goals of a foreign policy for the middle class.

Pages 6 through 33 deal with why previous approaches are found wanting and explaining the approach. To summarize those 27 pages, I’ll assume that yes, we need a new approach.

  • The global pandemic provides an opportunity for changing policies. Much of this discussion is consistent with the American Rescue Plan now in Congress. Much needs to be done at home.
  • How to expand international trade so that it benefits all sectors of the economy. The report recognizes this as a hard problem. Trade agreements like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) should be reviewed for their effects on various economic sectors in deciding whether similar agreements should be sought. Public hearings could be held throughout the country as major U.S. trade policy decisions are being formulated and finalized.
  • US trade laws should be modernized to improve responses to unfair trade practices such as state subsidies that lead to overcapacity. Trade enforcement authorities are spread across the government, which makes it harder to provide a clear and decisive response. Likewise, conflict resolution in international trade needs to be improved.
  • Close gaps in national tax and regulatory frameworks and in labor and environmental protections. These gaps allow practices that undermine the middle class. Large multinationals can reduce their tax liabilities and erode tax bases at home. Gaps in regulatory frameworks allow large, dominant firms to engage in anticompetitive practices. Gaps in labor and environmental practices give firms leverage against US labor and allow them to avoid the cost of polluting. (p. 40)

Of course we must have a National Competitiveness Strategy (NCS), which, the report says, will drive policy innovation (p. 42). The record of such things, particularly when focused on an abstraction, is not encouraging.

  • The NCS would drive both public and private investment in industry. The bulk of the investment would be private, and more creative policies are needed to stimulate that investment. Suggestions are given, like competition among communities for government grants that would stimulate private investment (p. 45).

The report focuses correctly on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as centers of job creation. They need to be helped to compete globally. US Export Assistance Centers need to be beefed up. Export promotion needs stronger internal coordination within the federal government (p. 47).

Chapter 4 begins with the idea of foreign policy protecting the middle class from “the worst happening.” That last is not explicitly defined. Seven points to protect the middle class (p. 49):

  1. Bolster U.S. diplomatic leadership to mobilize effective global action and better advance middle-class interests.
  2. Manage strategic competition with China to mitigate risk of destabilizing conflict and counter its efforts toward economic and technological hegemony (Summary on p. 53).
  3. Anticipate risks in a digital future and improve international policy coordination to reduce the threat of a digital crisis and promote an open and healthy digital ecosystem.
  4. Boost strategic warning systems and intelligence support to better head off costly shocks and build up protective systems at home.
  5. Shift some defense spending toward R&D and technological workforce development to protect our innovative edge and enhance long-term readiness.
  6. Strengthen economic adjustment programs to improve the ability of middleclass communities to adjust to inevitable changes in the pattern of economic activity.
  7. Safeguard critical supply chains to bolster economic security.

The international affairs budget must be preserved, but so must the defense budget. “Major defense cuts are unwise.” A defense of continuing the defense budget at current levels is on p. 58. The report does not come to terms with the great disparity in the two. Production of essential goods must be brought back to the US. Increased R&D funding in the national laboratories and elsewhere is a response to technological competition.

The recommendations are fairly standard for a report of this type. Many of the recommendations are good. The report is something that might be used to urge Congress to support legislation. It can also serve as a checklist for the public to watch the direction of the administration.

The recommendations change little in any fundamental way. Whether the public can be engaged is an open question, although it will take more than this report to do it. The framing of the report and the use of the slogan by top Biden officials indicate a willingness to change.

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner

The post Foreign Policy For The Middle Class appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Laura Ingraham's Racist Rant: Dems Want To 'Repopulate America'

Crooks and Liars - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:19

During an unhinged rant Tuesday evening, Fox News host and all around racist Laura Ingraham flailed at the immigration bill the Biden administration sent to Congress.

She began by hitting Biden for reopening immigration centers which had been previously closed before moving on to her real point.

"Democrats need to keep this crisis under wraps for as long as possible, because they know if the real truth gets out about this situation, their amnesty bill is sunk," she explained.

She continued, "What's happening is a purposeful repopulation of America and the exploitation of migrants for cheap labor." Oh Laura. Projection much?

"As for ordinary citizens of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and colors just trying to make a decent life for themselves, and maybe make a decent living, well you are out of luck," she went on, as if she actually cared about anyone other than those white folks who anxiously tune in to hear about how awful it is to share with others.

You know who talked about "repopulating Detroit" with Syrian immigrants? Yeah, that was Republican 2016 hopeful Jeb Bush. And boy howdy, did National Review rip him for it, too. And here is noted neo-Nazi Richard Spencer suggesting that Manhattan should be "repopulated" with Black people.

read more

Categories: Politics

Quality and narrow networks

Balloon Juice - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:05

Dan Polsky and Bingxiao Wu have a new article in the journal, Health Services Research, that looked at the trade-off between network size (both hospital and physicians), hospital quality and premiums on the ACA individual market.  They are looking at the 2016 individual market.

We find the following statistically significant results: a one standard deviation increase in physician network breadth was linked to a premium increase of 2.8 percent or $101 per year; a one standard deviation increase in hospital network breadth was linked to a premium increase of 2.4 percent or $86 per year. There was no significant association between premiums and hospital network quality, as measured by hospital star ratings and the inclusion of teaching hospitals or the top‐20 hospitals nationwide.

The simpler version is that bigger networks are associated with higher premiums by $7 or $8 per month. We know that the ACA insurance markets are extremely price sensitive, as the marginal buyer is buying almost exclusively on premium. We know that broad networks are modestly valued by consumers and adversely selected.

The interesting to me finding is that big, broad hospital networks are not correlated with hospital network quality.

This was slightly surprising to me.

I would have thought that narrow networks that were primarily trying to compete on price would also be trying to leverage a narrow network to screen out individuals whose net of risk adjustment residual costs were above revenue. At least in 2016, this was not happening on a systemic basis.

Instead the take-away is that narrow networks can drive down premiums without effecting one measure of quality.

This is interesting!

The post Quality and narrow networks appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Square To Buy Jay-Z's Music Service Tidal

Slashdot - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 09:00
Square has agreed to buy a majority stake in Tidal, the streaming music service led by rapper Jay-Z, as part of an effort to expand the company's suite of financial tools to musicians and emerging artists. From a report: Square will pay $297 million in a mix of cash and stock to become Tidal's "significant majority" owner, though Jay-Z and Tidal's other existing artist-shareholders will retain some ownership in the company. Tidal will operate independently within Square, according to a company release, and Jay-Z will join Square's board of directors. "New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there's a compelling one between music and the economy," Square Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said in a prepared statement. Bloomberg News previously reported that Dorsey and Jay-Z, who are friends, had discussed a potential deal. It's not immediately clear how Square will help Tidal build its business, but there is a lot of overlap between the music industry and Square's existing market, which includes payments and commerce, says Jesse Dorogusker, the Square executive who will serve as interim leader of Tidal inside its new parent company.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

US high-speed broadband definition is wildly outdated, say senators

9to5Mac - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:57

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is being called on to update the official US high-speed broadband definition to reflect today’s needs …


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Categories: Geek

A new “Apple for Kids” section is now available on the Apple Support website

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:56

A screenshot showing the “Apple for Kids” portal on the Apple Support website.

It includes links to resources explaining how to set up Family Sharing, Apple Cash Family, Find My, Apple Pay and more, as well as prevent unwanted purchases, take advantage of parental controls and set limits with Screen Time.
Categories: Geek

‘Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!’ launches on iPhone and iPad later this month

9to5Mac - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:54

If you are a Crash Bandicoot fan, you’re in luck. A new game called Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is coming to the iPhone and iPad later this month. This was announced by the developer King, who is also the creator of Candy Crush Saga.


The post ‘Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!’ launches on iPhone and iPad later this month appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

9to5Mac Daily: March 04, 2021 – Apple Card, foldable iPhone rumors

9to5Mac - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:53

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Enjoy the podcast?: Shop Apple at Amazon to support 9to5Mac Daily!


The post 9to5Mac Daily: March 04, 2021 – Apple Card, foldable iPhone rumors appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

For anyone who thought Mike Pence might emerge from Jan. 6 a better person … think again

Daily Kos - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:49

On Jan. 6, a mob of Trump supporters not only stood around the Capitol chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” they erected a gallows to show how eager they were to put his pale neck in a noose. Then those same Trump supporters smashed their way into the Capitol and went hunting for Pence, missing him by only feet thanks to the quick thinking of a Black police officer. All of this came minutes after Donald Trump stood outside and centered the crowd’s anger at Pence for not “doing the right thing” by refusing to recognize the results of the 2020 election. Among the many facts that became clear during the Senate trial, one that was underlined again and again was that Donald Trump tried to murder Mike Pence

At the same time this was going on, Trump locked Pence’s chief of staff out of the White House and when it came to sending in the National Guard, it was actually Pence that gave that go ahead, after Trump failed to act. Again and again, before Jan. 6, at the rally before the assault, during the insurrection, and in the long hours in which no help came to beleaguered Capitol Police, Trump displayed his absolute disdain for the partner he never wanted in the first place. 

With the insurrectionists out of the Capitol, and Trump packed off to Mar-a-Lago, Pence might have become a voice offering an alternative. Instead he’s cementing himself as the very model of a modern Republican—with an op-ed endorsing how his party can only survive by vote suppression.

Categories: Politics

Square to acquire majority stake in Tidal for $297M, looking to translate fintech success to music streaming

9to5Mac - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:43

We heard a surprising report back in December that Square was in talks with music streaming service Tidal about a possible acquisition. Now it’s surfaced that the fintech company is slated to buy a majority stake in the niche music streaming service for $297 million. The new partnership is aiming to translate the success of Square in the fintech space to Tidal’s artist-owned and led approach to music streaming.


The post Square to acquire majority stake in Tidal for $297M, looking to translate fintech success to music streaming appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Apple launches ‘Apple for Kids’ website to help parents set up devices for kids

9to5Mac - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:27

Apple launched today a new support page on its website. With “Apple for Kids,” parents and guardians can learn everything they need to know about how to manage a family group, set up a child’s device, and more.


The post Apple launches ‘Apple for Kids’ website to help parents set up devices for kids appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Enchant upgrades notification aesthetics on jailbroken iPhones

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:00

Looking for a refreshing aesthetic for missed notifications? If you’re jailbroken, then a new tweak called Enchant has you covered.
Categories: Geek

Morning Digest: 17 districts flipped from Trump to Biden in 2020, while only two went the other way

Daily Kos - Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:00

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

House: Thanks to the recent completion of Daily Kos Elections' effort to calculate the 2020 presidential election results by congressional district, we now know that Joe Biden won 224 districts to Donald Trump's 211, a net increase of 15 seats for Democrats compared to the 2016 results under the same district lines. In a new story, Stephen Wolf has created maps and a chart showing the geography and electoral stats of the 19 districts that changed parties at the presidential level in 2020. Of those districts, 17 flipped from backing Trump in 2016 to Biden last year, while two districts switched from supporting Hillary Clinton four years ago to voting for Trump in 2020.

Categories: Politics