Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Apple Rolls Out iOS 10 Update, Faces Issues at Launch

Screenshot of how one panel
of the homescreen appears
in iOS 10
As Apple works to recover from major setbacks (such as a fatal manufacturing defect in certain iPhones) and controversies (i.e. removing the headphone jack from iPhone 7), the technology behemoth launched its newest iteration of its mobile operating system on Tuesday.

iOS 10 removes support for devices running Apple's A5 processor, preventing devices such as the iPad 2, first generation iPad Mini, and all iPod Touches except the latest generation, from receiving the update.

The newest version version of iOS allows users, among other things, developers the ability to integrate Siri, Apple's personal assistant software, into their application, and to adjust the appearance of message bubbles in Apple's iMessage app.

The rollout on the first day, however, was not all smooth. Users reported difficulties downloading the update, and some devices were "bricked," as the user had to connect their device to a computer to reinstall the device's firmware for the device to be usable again.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Brazilian Senate Removes President from Office

The Brazilian Senate voted Wednesday 61-20 to remove Dilma Rousseff as president of the country. Rousseff was suspended from office in May, after opposition to her time in office grew stronger amid waves of protests.

Rousseff, who was the first female president of Brazil, is a member of the left wing populist Workers Party. Rousseff's fall is the downfall of another leftist government in South America, which had grown strong amid the "Pink Tide," which swept many leftist leaders and parties into power.

The movement to remove Rousseff was primarily fueled by the country's weakened economic state and financial budgeting scandals. The vote Wendesday was over whether to convict Rousseff of manipulating the budget to create the illusion of a more favorable economic situation and to shield her government from popular backlash.

Rousseff has decried the impeachment as a "coup," saying there was no constitutional justification for the proceedings.

More Clinton Emails Revealed Involving Benghazi Attack

Additional emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal email server were announced by the State Department Tuesday, bringing the issue about her handling of classified information back to the forefront of this election season.

In addition, thirty of those emails contained information regarding the 2012 terrorist attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, eliciting speculation as to those emails’ content.

The State Department has said it will take until the end of September to review those emails for classified information before they are released for public review.

Clinton’s Republican opponent Donald Trump has seized upon the new revelations, saying that the “[thirty] additional emails about Benghazi were discovered on Hillary Clinton's private server raises additional questions about the more than 30,000 emails she deleted.”

Clinton has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in relation to her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, and FBI Director James Comey declined to announce any criminal charges.


Trump Pivots From Earlier Hardline Stance on Deportations

UPDATE 8:58 PM CDT 8/31/16: Donald Trump says in his immigration speech in Arizona that US government can choose which immigrants “we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us.”

       
Trump told Sean Hannity in an interview in Austin, Texas
Tuesday, August 23, in which he suggested a pivot towards
a more lenient policy towards illegal immigrants
already residing in the country.
Credit: Fox News
         Donald Trump, racing to raise his struggling campaign, has moved in recent weeks to pivot away from his earlier stance on illegal immigration, which, among other things, called for the deportation of all people residing in the United States illegally. While this stance energized a large segment of the Republican primary base, Trump’s recent move to a less stringent position aims to improve his standing among other Republicans and some independents.

                 Trump is now calling for allowing some illegal immigrants to remain in the country, with those staying not given the opportunity to receive citizenship. Certain people who could be eligible would include those who have been in the country for a number of years and those who have "contributed to society." Trump cites people on the campaign trail that have told him to adopt this position. In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Trump said, “There could certainly be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people.”

Trump’s recent changes in his immigration position likely indicate his effort to reshape his campaign, which has been struggling in recent weeks. Since the Democratic National Convention last month, Trump has lost ground to Clinton; in the polls he was leading, some had shown him trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits. Newer polls show him still trailing, though by a smaller margin.

Some analysts have speculated that Trump’s immigration reversal could
cost him some of his supporter’s votes, while others have said that his new immigration position will not affect his existing support but will indeed increase his support among other Republicans.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What the Democrats Should Do Now

By Bruce L. Brager

The Democrats, particularly the Hillary Clinton camp, have to remember a few things. In 1988, Doug Williams, quarterback for the Washington Redskins, was asked what it feels like to be the first Black quarterback to start a Superbowl. He said he was more concerned with not being the first Black quarterback to lose a Superbowl. His team won the Superbowl, by concentrating on the basics of scoring more points rather than worrying about glass ceilings. There is a lesson here, of focusing on the substantive job one has to do – first win the election, then govern well. Making history with the vice presidential pick, or even the Presidential pick, is really not a major part of the equation.

 For Democrats, the Republican presidential campaign has been fun to watch. But there is one thing we have to remember before Democrats take too much pleasure. “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake” is a quote famously attributed to Napoleon. Logic holds that when the enemy can do himself damage – let the enemy do your work for you. An outside menace can focus the enemy’s attention, and unite feuding, if not actually fighting, factions. So let your enemy do the job for you.

Also . . . A victory over your opponent based on his errors is a victory, but it may not last as long as a victory based on your skill. Another often misunderstood reality, also from military history, is that when your enemy stays together they can surrender en masse, not break up into small groups that need to be hunted down at great cost. Democratic best case results this November do not include being able to govern without Republicans at all. They need reasonable Republican leadership, and individual Republicans open to the core element of politics and government, compromise.

And remember, also from football, “on any given Sunday” any given team can beat any other team on the same level. Beating Trump is by no means a certainty.

The Democrats cannot just wait for Donald Trump to do his thing—I think the term I heard is get all Trumpy—and hand the election to Hillary. The Democrats need to come up with good ideas, not just ways to spend more money. They need to be less lobbyists for every interest group, no matter how justified the interest, and more lobbyists for the national interest. For example, they need to find better use for local tax dollars than moving Confederate statues. Perhaps the money for a little much needed history education, to give people some needed historical perspective, on the Civil War, slavery, the dumb disloyalty of secession, and on the period when most of the statues were built – decades later, as it happens.

The Democrats need to remember the brilliance of the Founding Fathers in writing the First Amendment. Maybe James Madison needs his own musical. Expression and distribution of ideas can lead to discussion and debate. A few good radical ideas, such as ending slavery—the antebellum South tried to suppress even discussion of ending slavery—and giving women the vote, can come to pass to the great benefit of the country. Particularly dumb ideas say a lot about the expresser. Trying to curb the public statement of these ideas, so as to not hurt people’s feelings, is all too likely to make idiots martyrs to the First Amendment.

The Democrats need to figure out why so many people seem to like Trump. What is lacking in current political leadership that they look to such an unlikely outsider. They need to do this soon, in the next few weeks, before the party will have to update its “what went wrong” election postmortem.

Fundamentally, after the immediate problem of The Donald, the Democrats need to find ways to convince the country to move away from the current Tea Party, that social Darwinian font of bad at best, dangerous at worst, ideas, totally out of keeping with the American spirit, to the spirit of the first Tea Party, to “mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”


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