Ford v Ferrari review motor-racing drama gets stuck in first gear

Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in a handsome-looking but dull account of the rivalry between the US and Italian car-makers Ford v Ferrari is a great-looking, handsomely produced but tiringly acted and inert sports drama about two good ol boys from the self-admiring world of motor racing which a character here wryly calls turning left for four hours. This picture goes straight ahead for two and a half. Based on a true story, it is crammed with unearned emotional moments and factory-built male characters whose dedication to their sport we are expected to find adorable and heroic by turns. This is a standard-issue, middleweight biopic-type film, which comes complete with the now mandatory three factual sentences over the closing …

Ads for ultra-violent satire The Hunt pulled in wake of US mass shootings

Promotion for movie, in which humans are hunted for sport, is stalled after El Paso and Dayton killings and studio reported to be rethinking strategy TV ads for The Hunt, an ultraviolent political satire in which elites stalk and kill deplorables, have been pulled in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings. A poster for the The Hunt. Photograph: Universal Pictures Original Article : HERE ;

Now Even Funerals Are Livestreamedand Families Are Grateful

The call came on January 2. It was early enough in the morning that Natalie Levy probably shouldn’t have been awake—she had recently left a high-stress job at a private-equity firm in San Francisco, and was determined to relax a bit—but her dog had woken her up. It was her sister on the line. “When’s the last time you spoke to mom?” Levy remembers her asking. The worry in her voice was palpable. Levy’s sister was supposed to meet her mother that day in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where both lived, but the mother didn’t show. Levy felt the panic rising. “Within probably an hour and a half, I was calling the Ann Arbor police, crying on the phone,” Levy recalled. …

Amazon’s Revolutionary Retail Strategy? Recycling Old Ideas

I sometimes think that if you could look in the safe behind Jeff Bezos’ desk, instead of the sports almanac from Back to the Future you’d find an Encyclopedia of Retail, written in maybe 1985. There would be Post-It notes on every page, and every one of those notes would have been turned into a team and maybe a product. Amazon is so new, and so dramatic in its speed and scale and aggression, that we can easily forget how many of the things it’s doing are actually very old. And we can forget how many of the slightly dusty incumbent retailers we all grew up with were also once considered radical, daring, piratical new businesses that made people angry …

The FTC Wants More Privacy, Less Zuckerberg, at Facebook

MARK ZUCKERBERG’S NAME doesn’t appear anywhere in the 50-page complaint brought against Facebook by the US government Wednesday as it settled charges the company deceived millions of Americans over how it used and shared their personal information. But make no mistake: The Federal Trade Commission is not happy with how Zuckerberg has been running his company. As part of the settlement order, Facebook has agreed not just to pay a record $5 billion civil penalty, as previously reported, but also to make substantial changes to the company’s structure and how it handles privacy issues. The order doesn’t hold any executives personally liable, as some commissioners had sought, but Zuckerberg will need to personally certify each year that Facebook remains compliant …

No More Deals: San Francisco Considers Raising Taxes on Tech

At a recent postmortem for the so-called Twitter tax break, the divisive San Francisco policy that drew tech companies to a beleaguered stretch of downtown, the tone at City Hall was chilly. Tech offices—the likes of Twitter, Zendesk, and Uber—had indeed arrived as promised, but residents of the city’s Mid-Market neighborhood told officials that little uplift came with the logos. “I’ve seen the number of people who are sleeping on the street increase. We’ve seen a lot of displacement … affordable restaurants close,” said Sam Dennison, a local resident who served on a citizen advisory board for the tax break. “We felt like we were going to be annihilated, and in a lot of ways we weren’t wrong.” In the …

Whole Foods workers say conditions declined after Amazon takeover

Employees described increasing pressure to push Amazon Prime deals and memberships, understaffing and increased workloads Since being bought by Amazon two years ago, employees at Whole Foods say their working conditions have declined markedly amid pressure to push Amazon Prime deals and memberships, plus widespread understaffing, increased workloads and buy Whole Foods. In interviews with 24 Whole Foods employees across the US, workers described an increasingly pressured environment and the erosion of Whole Foods corporate culture. Workers interviewed were reluctant to speak on the record for fear of retaliation. Amazon has mass email sent to Whole Foods employees by over a dozen current and former workers with Whole Worker on 21 June, the group characterized Whole Foods relationship with Amazon …

Twitter’s Disinformation Data Dumps Are Helpfulto a Point

In October 2017, Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett faced difficult questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee about foreign interference in the 2016 election. Flanked by representatives from Facebook and Google, Edgett explained how Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) had systematically spread fake news and stoked partisan sentiment through a carefully coordinated, years-long social media campaign. A year later, Twitter released an archive of more than 10 million tweets, from 3,841 accounts it said were affiliated with the IRA, hoping to encourage “open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics.” The company has followed with additional data dumps, most recently last month when it released details of accounts linked to Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and the Catalan independence movement …

The rise of the CEO as social justice warrior | Jill Priluck

Corporations are stepping into the moral vacuum left by Republican officials. But their motives arent exactly altruistic On the heels of JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, which both no longer finance the operations of prisons and detention centers. While the bank has cited political disagreement as the reason for the divestment, its decision to sever ties comes after a Miami Herald article revealed that Bank of America had provided a $380m loan and a $75m credit line to Caliburn, operator of a facility that houses separated migrant children. Bank of America claimed the decision was down to the prison industrys lack of needed criminal justice and immigration reforms, though it didnt elaborate. But its obvious bad PR was a factor. …

Bridging the Internet’s Digital Language Divide

Around half the world’s population still lacks access to the internet. Companies like Facebook, SpaceX, and Amazon want to change that by launching constellations of satellites into the sky, which will beam internet back down to Earth. But even if these projects succeed, tech giants may face a more fundamental problem in bridging the digital divide: language. There are thousands of different tongues spoken around the world, but most of the content on the web is only available in a select few, primarily English. More than 10 percent of Wikipedia is written in English, for example, and almost half the site’s articles are in European dialects. Getting one billion more people online is often held up as the next major …

What to know about Robert F. Smith, the man paying off Morehouse grads’ student loans

(CNN)Robert F. Smith lifted a huge burden off the graduating class of Morehouse College when he announced during his commencement speech that he would pay off the student loan debt of more than 300 students. Smith is the richest black person in the United States, with a net worth of $5 billion, according to Forbes. Yes, he’s richer than Oprah. He’s the founder of the investment firm Vista Equity, which boasts capital commitments of $46 billion, according to its website. In 2019, Smith was #355 on the Forbes Billionaires List. Smith is the son of educators who started his career as a chemical engineer for Goodyear and Kraft. He attended business school at Columbia University and went on to make …

Nearing the endgame: is Hollywood’s lust for sequels destroying cinema?

Franchises thrill fans and enrich studios. But in a fast-changing world, familiar comforts may be more harmful than we think Coming not so shortly: a new helping of either Star Wars or Avatar for every Christmas between 2021 and 2027. Disneys and even Rambo. Never before have film sequels been so many and so varied. They are nothing new, of course. The first specimen, followed the infamous 1915 Avengers: Endgame, was $220m for fastest ever film to make $2bn, and has outstripped the lifetime take of the series original by more than $six are now sequels all released in the last four years. New movies, old parts Toy Story. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar More important than the scale of these earnings …

We Launched a Paywall. It Worked! Mostly.

A little over a year ago, we introduced a paywall at WIRED. The idea, as I wrote back then, was largely about us. To start, we wanted to give ourselves stronger structural incentives to do great reporting. When your business depends on subscriptions, your economic success depends on publishing stuff your readers love—not just stuff they click. It’s good to align one’s economic and editorial imperatives! And by so doing, we knew we’d be guaranteeing writers, editors, and designers that no one would be asked to create clickbait crap of the kind all digital reporters dread. (Though, admittedly, we do publish some of that still.) But the idea was also broader. At WIRED we genuinely believe that journalism as a …

Feds Rule That One Companys Gig Workers Are Contractors

It's a question that cuts to the heart of the way tech giants like Uber and Lyft do business: Are gig-economy workers really just contractors, or should they be classified and compensated as employees? On Monday, the US Department of Labor hinted at an answer, writing in a letter to one gig-economy company that its workers are, in fact, independent contractors. The letter came in response to an inquiry by a single, unnamed company that sought the department's advice on whether its workers could fairly be considered contractors under the law. In 2015, the Obama administration issued broad guidance on this issue, suggesting that workers who are economically dependent on a business should be considered employees. But the Trump administration …

Facebook Wants to Connect You With Your ‘Secret Crush’

Facebook is channeling its earliest days as a hot-or-not website for college students with a new feature called Secret Crush. To be announced today at the social network’s annual F8 developer conference, Secret Crush will allow Facebook Dating users to select up to nine friends they want to express interest in. Think of it like matching on Tinder or Bumble, except you get to hand-pick the specific friends you want to date ahead of time, instead of hoping their profiles show up in the queue. What could go wrong? Here’s how it’s supposed to work. If someone adds you to their Secret Crush list, Facebook will send you a notification saying “A friend added you as a secret crush.” If …

Ending the Iranian sanctions waiver could be own goal for Trump

Preventing Irans oil from reaching the market will raise oil prices and US business costs The past two and a bit years have shown that it is naive to expect Donald Trumps strategic and economic policies to demonstrate coherence. Even so, the lack of joined-up thinking in the decision to end the those responsible for the attack also dealt a heavy blow to a Sri Lankan economy that is highly vulnerable to a collapse in the number of overseas visitors. Since the end of the civil war a decade ago, the number of people attracted by Sri Lankas mix of beaches, culture and wildlife has increased sixfold. Tourism accounts for a hefty 11% of national output. The number of visitors …