Saturday Apr 19, 2014

National Geographic launches widesweeping series on food

National Geographic magazine has launched the first of an ambitious eight-month-long series that will examine the future of food.Though publications like Time and The New York Times Magazine will dedicate single issues to food, it’s not often that a magazine will dedicate most of its...
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TV

National Geographic launches widesweeping series on food
Saturday Apr 19, 2014
National Geographic launches widesweeping series on food

National Geographic magazine has launched the first of an ambitious eight-month-long series that will examine the future of food.Though publications like Time and The New York Times Magazine will dedicate single issues to food, it’s not often that a magazine will dedicate most of its editorial calendar to one subject. But for the next eight months, both the magazine and an online portal, Natgeofood.com, will examine issues like food security, climate change, farming and food waste. "We believe the future of food is a vital subject to explore with our audiences," said Dennis Dimick, executive editor for the environment at National Geographic. "The new UN climate report shows that crop yields already are being adversely affected by a changing climate, and how we respond globally in creating a more resilient food system is very important now. But we also recognize that food is central to our culture and is a source of great pleasure and comfort to people. We want to ensure we tackle all aspects of food -- from the celebratory and fun to serious policy questions." Chef José Andrés, science blogger Maryn McKenna, food policy analyst Mary Beth Albright and food historian Rebecca Rupp will bring different perspectives to the conversation in weekly contributions to the online blog The Plate. Kicking off the series is the May cover story “Eat: The New Food Revolution” by Jonathan Foley, an article that looks at five ways the world can meet the food needs of 9 billion people in 2050. Next month, National Geographic will also host the first of several Google Hangout with experts on how to consume seafood sustainably. Coverage will also extend to books, a mini-series on the magazine's TV channel and an exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC in the fall. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Most popular videos: 'Orange is the New Black,' 'The Rover' and Sonic the Hedgehog
Saturday Apr 19, 2014
Most popular videos: 'Orange is the New Black,' 'The Rover' and Sonic the Hedgehog

The trailer for the second season of "Orange is the New Black" is released, Robert Pattinson sheds his Hollywood hearthtrob image for gritty new Australian thriller "The Rover," and viewers learn 10 things they never knew about Sonic the Hedgehog.YouTube's top five Most Popular videos as recorded on Friday, April 18 at 3:05pm GMT: Orange is the New Black - Season 2 - Official TrailerFirst published: April 17Total views: 1.9 million Netflix's attitude-filled behind-bars series is back for a new season with the fearless inmates of Litchfield Prison. Starring Taylor Schilling and Jason Biggs, it is set to hit screens on June 6. http://youtu.be/e99SkdcB2UU Why Do We Dye Easter Eggs? - Thought Glass #2First published: April 17Total views: 330,005 When did humans start eating cheese? Are carrots really good for your eyes? Why do we dye Easter eggs? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this short trivia clip.http://youtu.be/NdzkqG26JoE Kicked in the Head by a TrainFirst published: April 15Total views: 12.7 millionCanadian tourist Jared Michael's Peruvian selfie didn't exactly go according to plan, as he found himself kicked by an engineer on a passing train in the middle of his shot. Despite cries of a hoax, Michael has insisted that the footage was both real and unplanned. http://youtu.be/Dy8Yt-P614w The Rover - Official Full Trailer HDFirst published: April 17Total views: 197,663 Robert Pattinson sheds his Hollywood heartthrob image to star in this gritty Australian thriller as a member of a roaming gang alongside Guy Pearce. Set for release June 13 in New York and LA.http://youtu.be/ChM2icbWo9w 10 Little-Known Facts About Sonic the HedgehogFirst published: April 17Total views: 217,000 Ten fun facts you didn't know about Sonic the Hedgehog, including the fact that his boots were based on Michael Jackson's from the "Bad" video and the fact that his attitude was inspired by Bill Clinton. http://youtu.be/dl8Ae0j2uaU Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Touched by an Angel' producer back in series TV
Friday Apr 18, 2014
'Touched by an Angel' producer back in series TV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In the decade that "Touched by an Angel" executive producer Martha Williamson has been away from series TV, much has changed. A new golden age has brought more daring shows, from "Mad Men" to "House of Cards" to "Breaking Bad," and more ways to see them. But Williamson says her Hallmark Channel series, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," will be just as comfortable a fit for viewers as "Angel" was during its 1994-2003 run. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," debuting 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, stars Eric Mabius ("Ugly Betty") as Oliver, the straight-laced, good-natured supervisor of an offbeat group of U.S. Postal Service employees who become sleuths to get mail to its proper place. While mail carriers refuse to surrender to the weather, Oliver's crew is undeterred by a missing name or indecipherable address. In the first episode, a boy's urgent letter to an anonymous Grandmom leads them into unexpected territory. Kristin Booth, Crystal Lowe and Geoff Gustafson co-star as the unlikely Sherlocks. Valerie Harper is a visiting manager in the first two episodes, with Carol Burnett, Valerie Bertinelli, Marilu Henner and former "Angel" star Della Reese also set to guest star. The series is "a remarkably executed gem of a series, one that we hope returns the Sunday night tradition of families watching television together," said Michelle Vicary, the channel's executive vice president for programming. "Touched by an Angel," a hit for CBS, kept within the boundaries of decorous storytelling. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" does the same, with charms as old-school as the Post Office appears in an increasingly digital world. There's gentle humor as well, which Williamson traces back to her TV roots writing for variety shows and sitcoms including "The Facts of Life." On the flip side, Williamson said she hopes her new series will grow to encompass more complex and sensitive issues, such as "Touched by an Angel" did with domestic violence, human rights violations and more. Episode two of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" about a PTSD-afflicted veteran, heads in that direction. No matter the topic, the Hallmark Channel series will remain a "safe place" for families who still want and deserve less-edgy programming, she said. "The television landscape has changed. But people don't change," Williamson said. She recalls seeing moms perusing the DVD shelves at her local store, "looking desperately for something they could watch comfortably with their families." It was her own brood that kept Williamson away from TV: After "Angel" ended, she concentrated on raising her two daughters, now 14 and 12, with her husband in the Los Angeles area. Inspiration for her return to series TV came in the form of a rediscovered box of "Touched by an Angel" fan letters that had gone unread. In a sense, she said, "they arrived right on time, just when I wanted to read them." She was struck anew by the power of scribbled words and what they add to life and history: President Barack Obama's emails won't provide the insights that can be gleaned from a handwritten missive from 20th-century leaders like John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, she said. Besides, Williamson suggests, in these days of hackers and snoops, "the most private thing you can do is send a letter." ___ Online: http://www.hallmarkchannel.com Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tech agenda: Flurry's Source14
Friday Apr 18, 2014
Tech agenda: Flurry's Source14

Mobile trends will be the subject of Flurry's one-day Souce14 conference on Tuesday in San Francisco. The city will then host the Smart Fabrics and Wearable Technology conference from April 23-25.Source14: Living Mobile by FlurryApril 22San Francisco, California, USA No one understands better than Flurry the impact of the smartphone and the tablet over the past five years, or how companies and individuals can best take advantage of the growing mobile trends that they are driving. As well as insights, the fast-paced, one-day summit will include speakers from Samsung, Pinterest, Walmart, Pebble, Evernote, Yahoo, Glow, Waze, Skype and Whisper.http://www.flurrysource14.com Smart Fabrics and Wearable Technology 2014 April 23-25San Francisco, California, USA Topics up for discussion will include interactive fashion, the future of nanotechnology and even the use of smart fabrics in baby diapers.http://www.smartfabricsconference.com/home.aspx Infosecurity EuropeApril 29-May 1London, UK The biggest, free-to-attend event in Europe focused on the growing issue of online safety and security. This year’s show is expected to attract over 13,000 people.http://www.infosec.co.uk Facebook F8April 30San Francisco, California, USA The world's leading social network is resurrecting its flagship developer conference that has been on hiatus since 2011. Expect hackathons, displays, discussions and debates all focused purely on mobile.https://fbf8.com/ CeBIT AustraliaMay 5-7Sydney, Australia The Antipodean version of the trade show is split into a tech expo and a series of focused conferences, seminars and workshops for aspiring business leaders and innovators.http://www.cebit.com.au/ IoT Dev ConMay 7-8Santa Clara, California, USA An event that aims to help attendees overcome the obstacles to connecting with the Internet of Things, it promises a mix of technical sessions, expert panels and a focus on helping those with an idea bring it to business fruition.http://iot-devcon.com/ Crowds 2.0: New Frontiers in Crowdfunding + CrowdsourcingMay 9New York, USA Hosted by the NYU Stern Center for Business Analytics, the conference will examine the current trends in the phenomenon and try to pinpoint where crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are heading next and will feature speakers from the Carlson School of Management, CrowdFlower, CrowdWatch, GiveForward, Harvard Business School, Indiegogo and Kickstarter among others.http://www.crowdsnyustern.com/ Microsoft TechEd North AmericaMay 12–15Houston, Texas, USA The Windows maker’s premier technology conference in the US and a must for anyone within the industry keen to enhance their skills, test the next big thing hands-on and get a taste of some of the things that Microsoft has up its sleeve for the future.http://northamerica.msteched.com/#fbid=RSAAVKP05Bb BITSMay 13-15Porto Alegre, Brazil Now in its fourth year, this Latin version of CeBIT promises over 600 exhibitors and a wealth of conferences and networking opportunities to help South American tech innovators find the right investors or partners. http://www.bitsouthamerica.com.br/_en/index.php Japan IT WeekMay 14 - 16Tokyo, Japan Billed as Japan's largest IT show, its organizers claim it is the meeting place for all tech executives on the continent and a leading showcase of new innovations, systems and technologies. http://www.japan-it.jp/en/haru/ Open Mobile SummitMay 19- 20London, UK A show that will attempt to define what's next for mobile ecosystems and what the next mobile opportunities will be. As well as smartphones, there will be a focus on wearable technology devices.http://www.openmobilemedia.com/london/ Augmented World ExpoMay 27-29Santa Clara, California, USA Thanks to the growing interest in wearable technology, immersive gaming and everything from Google Glass to the Oculus Rift, this event is getting bigger and bigger and more and more important with every passing year. Expect most of the Fortune 500 to attend and expect augmented reality, digital eyewear and gesture control to be high on the agenda. http://augmentedworldexpo.com/ The Code Conference May 27-29Rancho Palos Verdes, California, USA The first headline event from Re/Code, a new online publication born from the ashes of All Things D, the event promises the same all-star names and heavy hitters that the All Things D conferences of old attracted, including appearances by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, BlackBerry CEO John Chen, and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to name but a few.http://recode.net/events/the-code-conference/ Apple's WWDCJune 2-6San Francisco, California, USA Apple's annual developers conference will see the company demonstrate its latest software innovations and the improvements it has planned for its desktop and smartphone operating systems. However there's a chance that it could also use the event to launch a phablet or even a smartwatch. https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/ Computex TaipeiJune 3-7Taipei, Taiwan One of the standout tech events of 2013, when a host of the world’s leading PC and mobile device manufacturers chose Taipei as the venue for unveiling their latest designs, technologies and features. Will 2014 bring a similar slew of new products?http://www.computextaipei.com.tw CES Unveiled WARSAWJune 5Warsaw, Poland A chance for European tech companies to showcase their wares ahead of the 2015 International CES which, as usual, will kick off in Las Vegas next January. As well as Warsaw, the Consumer Electronics Association is bringing the CES Unveiled roadshow to China and Brazil this year in addition to its established shows in New York and Paris.http://www.cesweb.org/Events-Awards/Events/2015-CES-Unveiled Mobile Asia Expo 2014June 11 - 13Shanghai, China Almost as big as its sister event, the Mobile World Congress, this is a showcase of the newest technologies and most innovative products available in the mobile industry.http://www.mobileasiaexpo.com/ Interop JapanJune 12-14Tokyo, Japan A host of keynote speakers, showcases, workshops and educational sessions all focused on trying to define the future of information communication technology.http://www.interop.jp/2013/ InfoComm14June 14-20Las Vegas, Nevada, USAPromising to wow attendees with the coolness of the technology on display, InfoComm is one of the leading events for anyone with even a passing interest in audio and video. The show combines tech showcases with training sessions, workshops and keynote addresses and over 35,000 people are expected from over 100 countries this year.http://www.infocommshow.org/indexAtt.asp Tech Connect WorldJune 15-19Washington DC, USA A summit and innovation showcase that aims to take revolutionary ideas and concepts across all sectors out of labs and into an increasingly global marketplace. Little wonder that its sponsors range from NASA and the US Army to IBM, Bosch and Boeing.http://www.techconnectworld.com/World2014/ Future Insights Live June 16 - 20, 2014 Las Vegas, Nevada A space for designers, developers, and product people to come together to analyze and understand how to launch their next big thing. The event promises inspiration, education and of course a chance to network.http://futureinsightslive.com/las-vegas-2014/ The Connected Conference June 18-19Paris, France Marketed as the first event dedicated to the connected hardware industry, it is hosted by Rude Media, and will cover everything from the internet of things to 3D printing.http://connectedconference.co/ CE Week June 23-27New York, USA Presented by the same Consumer Electronics Association that brings us the International CES every year, CE Week is a showcase of all that's happening in the world of consumer electronics, from connected cars to television technology and digital consumer healthcare.http://www.ceweekny.com/ Google I/OJune 25-26San Francisco, California, USA The company's annual developer conference will be using a lottery to hand out tickets, so overwhelming was the demand last year. Rumors are already rife that this is where Google will finally take the wraps off a consumer-ready retail version of its much-hyped Google Glass headset. https://developers.google.com/events/io/ Wearable Tech ExpoJuly 23-24New York, USA Topics will include augmented reality, smart appliances and clothes and trying to identify use cases for some of the more challenging wearable technology devices that are in the pipeline.http://www.wearabletechworld.com/conference/newyork-2014/ GrowthBeat August 5-6San Francisco, California, USA A new event from tech publication ventureBeat, GrowthBeat is focused on the data, apps, and science of successful marketing and has attracted a host of top-tier sponsors including Adobe and IBM.http://venturebeat.com/events/growthbeat2014/ Bluetooth Asia 2014August 19-20Shanghai, China One of a series of events organized this year analyzing the role that Bluetooth wireless technology is set to play in smart homes and as the Internet of Things becomes a reality. http://bluetoothworldevent.com/ Social Mobile EngagementSeptember 4-5Tampa, Florida, USA A conference and a coding challenge, the event is all about how to engage with connected customers and how to make the most of emerging social media trends to draw customers to your brand and offerings. http://www.socialmobileengagement.com/ IFA 2014September 5 - 10Berlin, Germany Fast becoming one of the key consumer technology events and starting to rival CeBIT in terms of its size and importance in Europe, expect a host of new products and devices to make their debut at this year's show. http://b2b.ifa-berlin.com/en/ 4G WorldSeptember 9-11Las Vegas, Nevada, USABilled as the world's largest "unbiased" mobile industry event, the three-day exhibition, marketplace and conference will see broadband, hardware and software companies coming together to examine the current state of the global wireless communication ecosystem. http://www.4gworld.com/lasvegas/ CTIA 2014September 9 -11Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Promising a "super mobility week" this CITA show promises to be the largest in the US dedicated to mobile innovations that enhance the connected life across business, home, health and even cars.http://www.ctia.org/ctia-shows CES Unveiled SAO PAULO 2014September 23,Sao Paulo, Brazil The Consumer Electronics Association is bringing its travelling showcase to South America and with it an opportunity to see the innovations and gadgets that could steal the show in 2015 that originate from or are funded by Brazilian businesses. http://www.cesweb.org/Events-Awards/Events/2015-CES-Unveiled Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'GMA' promotes Lara Spencer to co-host billing
Friday Apr 18, 2014
'GMA' promotes Lara Spencer to co-host billing

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC says it has promoted Lara Spencer to co-host status on "Good Morning America." Spencer, the lifestyle anchor since returning to the show in 2011, now has billing parity with Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. She was the show's national correspondent from 1999 to 2004. Then, for seven years, she was a host of "The Insider." Her promotion comes as "GMA" continues to beat NBC's "Today" show in the ratings, but after it recently lost two members of its team: Sam Champion and Josh Elliott. The other current members of the "GMA" family are Amy Robach and Ginger Zee. This week, "GMA" welcomed Michael Strahan, a co-host of the daily "Live with Kelly and Michael," as a contributor. ___ Online: http://abcnews.go.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Most popular videos: 'Orange is the New Black,' 'The Rover' and Sonic the Hedgehog
Saturday Apr 19, 2014
Most popular videos: 'Orange is the New Black,' 'The Rover' and Sonic the Hedgehog

The trailer for the second season of "Orange is the New Black" is released, Robert Pattinson sheds his Hollywood hearthtrob image for gritty new Australian thriller "The Rover," and viewers learn 10 things they never knew about Sonic the Hedgehog.YouTube's top five Most Popular videos as recorded on Friday, April 18 at 3:05pm GMT: Orange is the New Black - Season 2 - Official TrailerFirst published: April 17Total views: 1.9 million Netflix's attitude-filled behind-bars series is back for a new season with the fearless inmates of Litchfield Prison. Starring Taylor Schilling and Jason Biggs, it is set to hit screens on June 6. http://youtu.be/e99SkdcB2UU Why Do We Dye Easter Eggs? - Thought Glass #2First published: April 17Total views: 330,005 When did humans start eating cheese? Are carrots really good for your eyes? Why do we dye Easter eggs? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this short trivia clip.http://youtu.be/NdzkqG26JoE Kicked in the Head by a TrainFirst published: April 15Total views: 12.7 millionCanadian tourist Jared Michael's Peruvian selfie didn't exactly go according to plan, as he found himself kicked by an engineer on a passing train in the middle of his shot. Despite cries of a hoax, Michael has insisted that the footage was both real and unplanned. http://youtu.be/Dy8Yt-P614w The Rover - Official Full Trailer HDFirst published: April 17Total views: 197,663 Robert Pattinson sheds his Hollywood heartthrob image to star in this gritty Australian thriller as a member of a roaming gang alongside Guy Pearce. Set for release June 13 in New York and LA.http://youtu.be/ChM2icbWo9w 10 Little-Known Facts About Sonic the HedgehogFirst published: April 17Total views: 217,000 Ten fun facts you didn't know about Sonic the Hedgehog, including the fact that his boots were based on Michael Jackson's from the "Bad" video and the fact that his attitude was inspired by Bill Clinton. http://youtu.be/dl8Ae0j2uaU Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Capt. America' tops box office for third week
Friday Apr 18, 2014
'Capt. America' tops box office for third week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Captain America continues to vanquish box office foes, triumphing in ticket sales for the third consecutive week and dominating over megastar Johnny Depp's new movie. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" added another $26 million to its coffers, according to studio estimates Sunday, while Depp's sci-fi thriller, "Transcendence," opened in fourth place with $11 million. Directed by longtime Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister, the Warner Bros. film is Depp's third consecutive box office disappointment. He played Tonto in last summer's "The Lone Ranger" — one of the biggest flops of 2013 — and starred in 2012's comedy-horror dud, "Dark Shadows." "As we approach the summer movie season, box-office drawing power becomes more about the concept of the movie rather than its star," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "It may not have been so much (about) Johnny Depp, but audiences right now like brands that they know." That doesn't bode well for original ideas, such as "Transcendence," penned by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen. Dergarabedian notes that 12 sequels are expected this summer alone. Another new movie, the religious-themed "Heaven Is for Real," debuted in third place over Easter weekend, while another sequel, "Rio 2," held on to the second spot. Faith-based films are performing well, Dergarabedian said, with four releases in the domestic top 20. "The Winter Soldier" set a box-office record as the biggest April release ever when it opened with more than $96 million domestically. Starring Chris Evans as comic book hero Capt. America and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, the Disney release has earned more than $200 million to date in North America — the 12th Marvel film to do so. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday: 1. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," $26.6 million ($35.3 million international). 2. "Rio 2," $22.5 million ($48 million international). 3. "Heaven is for Real," $21.5 million. 4. "Transcendence," $11.2 million ($17.4 million international). 5. "A Haunted House 2," $9.1 million. 6. "Draft Day," $5.9 million. 7. "Divergent," $5.75 million ($18.1 million international). 8. "Oculus," $5.2 million. 9. "Noah," $5 million ($21.6 million international). 10. "God's Not Dead," $4.8 million. ___ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak: 1. "Rio 2," $48 million. 2. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," $47 million. 3. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," $35.3 million. 4. "Noah," $21.6 million. 5. "Divergent," $18.1 million. 6. "Transcendence," $17.4 million. 7. (tie) "Frozen," $7.6 million. 1. (tie) "The Lego Movie," $7.6 million. 1. "The Grand Budapest Hotel," $6 million. 2. "The Other Woman," $5.3 million. 3. "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," $2.2 million. ___ Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Review: 'Transcendence' like a clunky TED talk
Friday Apr 18, 2014
Review: 'Transcendence' like a clunky TED talk

HAL has come a long way. First, we had Scarlett Johansson as a human-like operating system. Now, Johnny Depp has been uploaded. If the singularity — when artificial intelligence surpasses human smarts — is indeed coming, at least it has decent taste in movie star avatars. First-time director Wally Pfister's "Transcendence" isn't so much the "Him" to Spike Jonze's "Her" as it's a more dystopian vision of the meeting of human consciousness and computer intelligence. It turns out that when computers get sophisticated, worse things can happen than Joaquin Phoenix getting his feelings hurt. But whereas "Her" was playful and personal about familiar futuristic concepts, "Transcendence" is clunky and lifeless. It's like the movie version of a paranoid TED talk. In the early scenes of "Transcendence," Dr. Will Caster (a disappointingly sleepy Depp) is a TED-style master of the universe, speaking confidently in front of large video screens to eager listeners about neurology and artificial intelligence. But there are also protesters to his potentially all-powerful invention: the Physically Independent Neural Network (PINN), an early artificial intelligence propelled by a room full of computers that Caster believes could, among other things, cure cancer. An assassination attempt with a radiation-laced bullet leaves Caster with weeks to live. Desperate to keep his mind alive, his loyal, sycophantic wife and fellow researcher Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) uploads Caster's brain to a PC with PINN hardware. Helping her is their good friend and colleague Max (Paul Bettany, serving as narrator). But as anyone with an iPhone knows, software updates can be tragic. The transfer is finished just as Caster dies. Soon enough, the screen flickers to life, first with a few typed words and then seemingly Caster's full personality, in voice and pixel form. Alert to their plan, anti-tech activists (led by Kate Mara) are simultaneously descending. In the chaos, Max begins to realize they've created a high-speed Frankenstein — an epiphany lost on the mourning Evelyn, who flees after uploading Caster to the Internet. He immediately spreads across the Web (he calls Evelyn on her phone) and begins seeking more computing power. It takes a long time for "Transcendence" to build to this moment, when perhaps it should have begun here in the first place. But it feels like a suddenly intriguing crossroads. Where will this terrifyingly digital Depp go? If you answered: to a desert town to build an underground data center for development of radical tissue regeneration techniques, guarded by a creepy army of network-connected, superhuman zombies — then your algorithms are more advanced than mine. Yet the urgency and intelligence of "Transcendence" isn't artificial. It feels sincerely animated by the frightful questions it poses about computing power and interconnectedness. Pfister, making his directorial debut after years as a cinematographer often teamed with director Christopher Nolan (a "Transcendence" producer), doesn't exhibit a sure hand with dialogue or a feel for the rhythm of his narrative. Neither does the film have the distinctive form of his prior photography work, most notably "The Dark Knight." (In imagery, "Transcendence" pales in comparison to the sumptuous sci-fi of the recent "Under the Skin.") But, as in Nolan's "Inception," Pfister, working from a script by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen, shows an instinct to drive the genre elements toward a more personal story. "Transcendence" ultimately hinges on the relationship of Caster and Evelyn. The excellent Hall, looking a bit confused by what she's gotten herself into, does her best to emotionally ground Pfister's increasingly unfocused and heavy-handed story. Just as in science, noble intentions can lead talented artistic minds astray, too. "Transcendence," a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality." Running time: 119 minutes. Two stars out of four. ___ MPAA rating definition for PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Ghostbusters' art receives 30th anniversary tour
Friday Apr 18, 2014
'Ghostbusters' art receives 30th anniversary tour

Original artwork and limited edition prints relating to the first "Ghostbusters" film are to go on tour, following rumors about a third entry to the franchise.Backed by the Los Angeles pop culture exhibition space Gallery 1988 in conjunction with Sony Pictures, the show will make its first stop in New York, not far from the Manhattan firehouse that was a crucial part of the film's goings on. More than 70 artists have created original paintings, sculptures, prints and apparel in homage to the 1984 box office smash, with a limited number being made available online but the bulk reserved for show-floor sales. Running from April 19 to April 26 in New York, the collection then moves to Los Angeles from May 17 to June 1, and onto Chicago for June 20-22. Its final scheduled stop is at the San Diego Comic-Con, July 24-27, for an expo that has become an increasingly popular destination for film studios keen to announce new tie-in projects. Could we be hearing about a 30th anniversary re-release in San Diego, or does Sony Pictures have more in store for fans of madcap supernatural comedies? "Ghostbusters 3" has become viewed as increasingly likely to get the go-ahead this year, with scope to become a handover movie that sees a new, younger team of ghoul-chasers rise up, with cameos from surviving cast members of the series starter. Official website: www.ghostbusters30th.comGallery 1988 blog with preview content: g1988.tumblr.com Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

In '1971,' an analog precursor to NSA, Snowden
Friday Apr 18, 2014
In '1971,' an analog precursor to NSA, Snowden

NEW YORK (AP) — A trove of government documents reveals widespread domestic surveillance of Americans. Leaked revelations hit the front pages of newspapers. A powerful governmental agency is brought under scrutiny. Sound familiar? It's the story of the documentary "1971," premiering Friday at the Tribeca Film Festival, a film about a little-known but hugely important break-in on March 8, 1971. A group of eight calling themselves the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI broke into a laxly guarded satellite FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia. They found files that proved the extensive spying that J. Edgar Hoover's FBI was conducting on dissident groups, civil rights leaders and anti-Vietnam War activists. It was the initial revelation of Hoover's covert Cointelpro (counterintelligence) program. If "1971" was a blockbuster, it would be called a prequel. In many ways, the story is an early echo of the National Security Agency and the Edward Snowden affair, only in a less technologically sophisticated time. (The manhunt for the burglars focused partly on tracing the photocopy machine they used.) "My concern all along prior to Snowden was that people would view it as this quaint bit of history," says director Johanna Hamilton, who began working on the film four years ago. "Now, that's much less easy to do. I've always sort of laughed that they're the analog version." The connection between "1971" and the NSA revelations isn't just historical metaphor. Laura Poitras, the journalist and documentarian, is a producer on the film. Snowden, an NSA contractor, initially contacted Poitras about leaking thousands of documents that revealed the NSA's collecting of Americans' phone and email records. On Monday, she shared in the Pulitzer Prize for public service given to The Washington Post and The Guardian for the NSA revelations. In an exclusive interview, Poitras and Hamilton reflected on the connections between the two eras, both times of privacy intrusions revealed by government document theft. Though "1971" never explicitly refers to the NSA or Snowden, its thick contemporary relevance is hard to miss. "You would have to be living in a cave not to pick up on it," says Poitras. The burglars of Media, who anonymously mailed copies of the stolen documents to three newspapers, were never caught. "1971" was made in tandem with a book by Betty Medsger, "The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI," published earlier this year. (Medsger was the Washington Post reporter who broke the story in 1971.) At the publication of the book, five of the eight revealed their identities and they're featured on camera in the film. (They likely can no longer be tried for the break-in.) Led by then-Haverford College physics professor Bill Davidon (who died last year), they're a collection of regular citizens, including a cab driver and a social worker. Two of them, Bonnie and John Raines, had three kids at the time. With family photos and old video, "1971" presents the burglars not as political firebrands, but as typical Americans. "They're ordinary Americans who decided to take a stand," says Hamilton, a producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Pray the Devil Back to Hell." To Poitras, the Citizens' Commission is similar to Snowden in that they took great risk for a cause they believed in. "It's obviously an act of conscience," she says. "They didn't want to leave such a world to their kids. The sacrifice is extraordinary and obviously parallels with the sacrifice that Snowden has also made. A young man who really puts his life on the line to reveal to the public what the government is doing is exactly the choice that they made." But to Poitras, much has changed, as well. The publication of the NSA material was far more labored. (Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, who would publish the Pentagon Papers just months later, published within a day of receiving the stolen FBI documents.) She has been chilled by the legal pursuit of whistle-blowers and journalists, citing New York Times journalist James Risen. He risks jail for refusing to testify in a case revolving around the leaking of CIA information. Snowden has been charged with espionage and other offenses in the U.S. and could get 30 years in prison if convicted. He has received asylum in Russia. President Barack Obama has assigned two panels to conduct reviews of the NSA surveillance programs. Poitras has been working on a documentary of her own on post-9/11 surveillance. (It was what led Snowden, who had seen a short film by Poitras on NSA whistle-blower William Binney, to contact her.) She has been editing it in Berlin because, she says, she doesn't feel she can protect her source material inside the U.S. Last week, she and Glenn Greenwald cautiously returned to the U.S. for the first time since publication. They traveled with a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union. "It feels good to be home," says Poitras, who fears she'll be subpoenaed to reveal sources or turn over evidence. "That risk is substantial because I'm not going to participate in a grand jury." Poitras and Greenwald returned, she says, "partly to make a statement that we weren't going to be intimidated." Hamilton is seeking distribution for the film at Tribeca. Her early worry that "1971" might not be considered relevant now seems laughable. "People say the documentary gods are smiling," she says. "It's thanks to Laura here, frankly, that we're engaged in this national conversation again." ___ Online: http://www.1971film.com ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at age 43
Sunday Apr 20, 2014
Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at age 43

FAIR OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Sharp, a country music singer who recorded multiple chart-topping songs and survived a well-publicized battle with cancer, has died. He was 43. His sister Mary Huston said Sharp died at his mother's Fair Oaks, Calif., home, at 10:49 p.m. Saturday of complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues. "He had a strong heart, that's what kept him alive, (but) I'm so happy for him, that there's no more suffering," Huston said through tears and exhaustion. She had cared for her brother since his return home to Northern California last Friday after 10 weeks in the hospital. Sharp gained fame with the release of "Nobody Knows," a single on his 1996 debut album, "Measure of a Man." He released two other albums, "Love Is" in 1998 and "Make A Wish" in 2005. Born in 1970 in Redding, Calif., Sharp was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, as a high school senior. He overcame it after two years of chemotherapy and radiation. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Sharp's wish to meet Grammy Award-winning music producer David Foster, who gave him tips to help jump-start his career. Sharp also became a motivational speaker, a spokesman for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and wrote "Tragedy's Gift," a 2004 book about fighting cancer. For the last several years, Sharp had struggled from past stomach surgery and residual issues from his aggressive cancer treatment. "His dream came true through music, and he touched thousands of lives, and he helped heal the soul of people dealing with cancer," Huston said. Sharp is survived by five brothers, two sisters and his mother. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Prizefighter Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76
Sunday Apr 20, 2014
Prizefighter Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter never surrendered hope of regaining his freedom, not even after he was convicted of a triple murder, then convicted again and abandoned by many prominent supporters. For 19 long years, the prizefighter was locked in a prison cell far away from the spotlight and the adulation of the boxing ring. But when he at last won his biggest fight — for exoneration — he betrayed little bitterness. Instead, Carter dedicated much of his remaining life to helping other prisoners and exposing other injustices. The middleweight title contender, whose murder convictions became an international symbol of racial injustice and inspired a Bob Dylan song and a Hollywood film, died Sunday. He was 76. The New Jersey native, who had suffered from prostate cancer, died in his sleep at his home in Toronto, said John Artis, his former co-defendant and longtime friend and caregiver. Carter "didn't have any bitterness or anger — he kind of got above it all. That was his great strength," said Thom Kidrin, who became friends with Carter after visiting him several times in prison. The boxer, a former petty criminal, became an undersized 160-pound contender and earned his nickname largely on his ferocity and punching power. Although never a world champion, Carter went 27-12-1 with 19 knockouts, memorably stopping two-division champ Emile Griffith in the first round in 1963. He also fought for a middleweight title in 1964, losing a unanimous decision to Joey Giardello. But his boxing career came to an abrupt end when he was imprisoned for three 1966 murders committed at a tavern in Paterson, N.J. He was convicted in 1967 and again in 1976 before being freed in 1985, when his convictions were thrown out after years of appeals. He then became a prominent public advocate for the wrongfully convicted from his new home in Canada. His ordeal and its racial overtones were publicized in Dylan's 1975 song "Hurricane," several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal. In a statement issued Sunday, Washington praised Carter's "tireless fight to ensure justice for all." Carter and Artis had been driving around Carter's hometown on the night that three white people were shot by two black men at the Lafayette Bar and Grill. They were convicted by an all-white jury largely on the testimony of two thieves who later recanted their stories. Carter was granted a new trial and briefly freed in 1976, but he was sent back for nine more years after being convicted in a second trial. "I wouldn't give up," Carter said in an interview in 2011 on PBS. "No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn't give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people ... found me guilty did not make me guilty. And because I was not guilty, I refused to act like a guilty person." Dylan, a boxing aficionado, became aware of Carter's plight after reading the fighter's autobiography. He met Carter and co-wrote "Hurricane," which he performed on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975. The song concludes: "That's the story of the Hurricane/But it won't be over till they clear his name/And give him back the time he's done/Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been/The champion of the world." Muhammad Ali and Coretta Scott King spoke out on Carter's behalf. Other celebrities also worked toward his release, joined by a network of friends and volunteers. Carter eventually won his freedom from U.S. District Judge H. Lee Sarokin, who wrote that the boxer's prosecution had been "predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure." Born on May 6, 1937, into a family of seven children, Carter struggled with a hereditary speech impediment and was sent to a juvenile reform center at 12 after an assault. He escaped and joined the Army in 1954 and learned to box while in West Germany. After returning home, he committed a series of muggings and spent four years in various state prisons. Upon his release, he began his pro boxing career, winning 20 of his first 24 fights mostly by knockout. At 5-foot-8, Carter was fairly short for a middleweight, but he was aggressive and threw waves of punches. His shaved head and menacing glower gave him an imposing ring presence but also contributed to a forbidding aura outside the ring. He was quoted as joking about killing police officers in a 1964 story in the Saturday Evening Post, which was later cited by Carter as a cause of his troubles with law enforcement. Carter boxed regularly on television at Madison Square Garden and overseas in London, Paris and Johannesburg. Although his career appeared to be on a downswing before he was implicated in the murders, the 29-year-old fighter was hoping for a second middleweight title shot. Carter defied his prison guards from the first day of his incarceration and spent time in solitary confinement because of it. "When I walked into prison, I refused to wear their stripes," Carter said. "I refused to eat their food. I refused to work their jobs, and I would have refused to breathe the prison's air if I could have done so." Carter eventually wrote and spoke eloquently about his plight, publishing his autobiography, "The Sixteenth Round," in 1974. Benefit concerts were held for his legal defense featuring Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Roberta Flack. Although many of his celebrity friends abandoned the cause after his second conviction and an allegation of assault during his brief release, other advocates worked tirelessly on his behalf, culminating in Sarokin's ruling and two subsequent failed prosecutorial appeals to have the convictions reinstated. Each year on the anniversary Sarokin's decision, Carter called the judge to thank him. After his release, Carter moved to Toronto, where he served as the executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted from 1993 to 2005. He received two honorary doctorates for his work. Canadian director Norman Jewison made Carter's story into a biographical film. Washington worked closely with Carter to capture the boxer's transformation and redemption. "He's all love," Washington said while onstage with Carter at the 2000 ceremony where he won a Golden Globe. "He lost about 7,300 days of his life, and he's love." The makers of "The Hurricane," however, were widely criticized for factual inaccuracies and glossing over other parts of Carter's story, including his criminal past and a reputation for a violent temper. Giardello sued the film's producers for its depiction of a racist fix in his victory over Carter, who had long acknowledged that Giardello deserved the win. Artis said Carter will be cremated and didn't want a funeral or any memorial. Artis has been taking care of him since 2011. "He was a champion of the underdog," he said. "He was like the David against the Goliath of the justice system." Kidrin spoke with Carter on Wednesday. "He said, 'You know, look, death's coming. I'm ready for it. But it's really going to have to take me because I'm positive to the end.'" ___ AP Sports Writer Rick Freeman and AP Drama Writer Mark Kennedy in New York and Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tech agenda: Flurry's Source14
Friday Apr 18, 2014
Tech agenda: Flurry's Source14

Mobile trends will be the subject of Flurry's one-day Souce14 conference on Tuesday in San Francisco. The city will then host the Smart Fabrics and Wearable Technology conference from April 23-25.Source14: Living Mobile by FlurryApril 22San Francisco, California, USA No one understands better than Flurry the impact of the smartphone and the tablet over the past five years, or how companies and individuals can best take advantage of the growing mobile trends that they are driving. As well as insights, the fast-paced, one-day summit will include speakers from Samsung, Pinterest, Walmart, Pebble, Evernote, Yahoo, Glow, Waze, Skype and Whisper.http://www.flurrysource14.com Smart Fabrics and Wearable Technology 2014 April 23-25San Francisco, California, USA Topics up for discussion will include interactive fashion, the future of nanotechnology and even the use of smart fabrics in baby diapers.http://www.smartfabricsconference.com/home.aspx Infosecurity EuropeApril 29-May 1London, UK The biggest, free-to-attend event in Europe focused on the growing issue of online safety and security. This year’s show is expected to attract over 13,000 people.http://www.infosec.co.uk Facebook F8April 30San Francisco, California, USA The world's leading social network is resurrecting its flagship developer conference that has been on hiatus since 2011. Expect hackathons, displays, discussions and debates all focused purely on mobile.https://fbf8.com/ CeBIT AustraliaMay 5-7Sydney, Australia The Antipodean version of the trade show is split into a tech expo and a series of focused conferences, seminars and workshops for aspiring business leaders and innovators.http://www.cebit.com.au/ IoT Dev ConMay 7-8Santa Clara, California, USA An event that aims to help attendees overcome the obstacles to connecting with the Internet of Things, it promises a mix of technical sessions, expert panels and a focus on helping those with an idea bring it to business fruition.http://iot-devcon.com/ Crowds 2.0: New Frontiers in Crowdfunding + CrowdsourcingMay 9New York, USA Hosted by the NYU Stern Center for Business Analytics, the conference will examine the current trends in the phenomenon and try to pinpoint where crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are heading next and will feature speakers from the Carlson School of Management, CrowdFlower, CrowdWatch, GiveForward, Harvard Business School, Indiegogo and Kickstarter among others.http://www.crowdsnyustern.com/ Microsoft TechEd North AmericaMay 12–15Houston, Texas, USA The Windows maker’s premier technology conference in the US and a must for anyone within the industry keen to enhance their skills, test the next big thing hands-on and get a taste of some of the things that Microsoft has up its sleeve for the future.http://northamerica.msteched.com/#fbid=RSAAVKP05Bb BITSMay 13-15Porto Alegre, Brazil Now in its fourth year, this Latin version of CeBIT promises over 600 exhibitors and a wealth of conferences and networking opportunities to help South American tech innovators find the right investors or partners. http://www.bitsouthamerica.com.br/_en/index.php Japan IT WeekMay 14 - 16Tokyo, Japan Billed as Japan's largest IT show, its organizers claim it is the meeting place for all tech executives on the continent and a leading showcase of new innovations, systems and technologies. http://www.japan-it.jp/en/haru/ Open Mobile SummitMay 19- 20London, UK A show that will attempt to define what's next for mobile ecosystems and what the next mobile opportunities will be. As well as smartphones, there will be a focus on wearable technology devices.http://www.openmobilemedia.com/london/ Augmented World ExpoMay 27-29Santa Clara, California, USA Thanks to the growing interest in wearable technology, immersive gaming and everything from Google Glass to the Oculus Rift, this event is getting bigger and bigger and more and more important with every passing year. Expect most of the Fortune 500 to attend and expect augmented reality, digital eyewear and gesture control to be high on the agenda. http://augmentedworldexpo.com/ The Code Conference May 27-29Rancho Palos Verdes, California, USA The first headline event from Re/Code, a new online publication born from the ashes of All Things D, the event promises the same all-star names and heavy hitters that the All Things D conferences of old attracted, including appearances by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, BlackBerry CEO John Chen, and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to name but a few.http://recode.net/events/the-code-conference/ Apple's WWDCJune 2-6San Francisco, California, USA Apple's annual developers conference will see the company demonstrate its latest software innovations and the improvements it has planned for its desktop and smartphone operating systems. However there's a chance that it could also use the event to launch a phablet or even a smartwatch. https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/ Computex TaipeiJune 3-7Taipei, Taiwan One of the standout tech events of 2013, when a host of the world’s leading PC and mobile device manufacturers chose Taipei as the venue for unveiling their latest designs, technologies and features. Will 2014 bring a similar slew of new products?http://www.computextaipei.com.tw CES Unveiled WARSAWJune 5Warsaw, Poland A chance for European tech companies to showcase their wares ahead of the 2015 International CES which, as usual, will kick off in Las Vegas next January. As well as Warsaw, the Consumer Electronics Association is bringing the CES Unveiled roadshow to China and Brazil this year in addition to its established shows in New York and Paris.http://www.cesweb.org/Events-Awards/Events/2015-CES-Unveiled Mobile Asia Expo 2014June 11 - 13Shanghai, China Almost as big as its sister event, the Mobile World Congress, this is a showcase of the newest technologies and most innovative products available in the mobile industry.http://www.mobileasiaexpo.com/ Interop JapanJune 12-14Tokyo, Japan A host of keynote speakers, showcases, workshops and educational sessions all focused on trying to define the future of information communication technology.http://www.interop.jp/2013/ InfoComm14June 14-20Las Vegas, Nevada, USAPromising to wow attendees with the coolness of the technology on display, InfoComm is one of the leading events for anyone with even a passing interest in audio and video. The show combines tech showcases with training sessions, workshops and keynote addresses and over 35,000 people are expected from over 100 countries this year.http://www.infocommshow.org/indexAtt.asp Tech Connect WorldJune 15-19Washington DC, USA A summit and innovation showcase that aims to take revolutionary ideas and concepts across all sectors out of labs and into an increasingly global marketplace. Little wonder that its sponsors range from NASA and the US Army to IBM, Bosch and Boeing.http://www.techconnectworld.com/World2014/ Future Insights Live June 16 - 20, 2014 Las Vegas, Nevada A space for designers, developers, and product people to come together to analyze and understand how to launch their next big thing. The event promises inspiration, education and of course a chance to network.http://futureinsightslive.com/las-vegas-2014/ The Connected Conference June 18-19Paris, France Marketed as the first event dedicated to the connected hardware industry, it is hosted by Rude Media, and will cover everything from the internet of things to 3D printing.http://connectedconference.co/ CE Week June 23-27New York, USA Presented by the same Consumer Electronics Association that brings us the International CES every year, CE Week is a showcase of all that's happening in the world of consumer electronics, from connected cars to television technology and digital consumer healthcare.http://www.ceweekny.com/ Google I/OJune 25-26San Francisco, California, USA The company's annual developer conference will be using a lottery to hand out tickets, so overwhelming was the demand last year. Rumors are already rife that this is where Google will finally take the wraps off a consumer-ready retail version of its much-hyped Google Glass headset. https://developers.google.com/events/io/ Wearable Tech ExpoJuly 23-24New York, USA Topics will include augmented reality, smart appliances and clothes and trying to identify use cases for some of the more challenging wearable technology devices that are in the pipeline.http://www.wearabletechworld.com/conference/newyork-2014/ GrowthBeat August 5-6San Francisco, California, USA A new event from tech publication ventureBeat, GrowthBeat is focused on the data, apps, and science of successful marketing and has attracted a host of top-tier sponsors including Adobe and IBM.http://venturebeat.com/events/growthbeat2014/ Bluetooth Asia 2014August 19-20Shanghai, China One of a series of events organized this year analyzing the role that Bluetooth wireless technology is set to play in smart homes and as the Internet of Things becomes a reality. http://bluetoothworldevent.com/ Social Mobile EngagementSeptember 4-5Tampa, Florida, USA A conference and a coding challenge, the event is all about how to engage with connected customers and how to make the most of emerging social media trends to draw customers to your brand and offerings. http://www.socialmobileengagement.com/ IFA 2014September 5 - 10Berlin, Germany Fast becoming one of the key consumer technology events and starting to rival CeBIT in terms of its size and importance in Europe, expect a host of new products and devices to make their debut at this year's show. http://b2b.ifa-berlin.com/en/ 4G WorldSeptember 9-11Las Vegas, Nevada, USABilled as the world's largest "unbiased" mobile industry event, the three-day exhibition, marketplace and conference will see broadband, hardware and software companies coming together to examine the current state of the global wireless communication ecosystem. http://www.4gworld.com/lasvegas/ CTIA 2014September 9 -11Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Promising a "super mobility week" this CITA show promises to be the largest in the US dedicated to mobile innovations that enhance the connected life across business, home, health and even cars.http://www.ctia.org/ctia-shows CES Unveiled SAO PAULO 2014September 23,Sao Paulo, Brazil The Consumer Electronics Association is bringing its travelling showcase to South America and with it an opportunity to see the innovations and gadgets that could steal the show in 2015 that originate from or are funded by Brazilian businesses. http://www.cesweb.org/Events-Awards/Events/2015-CES-Unveiled Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Sutton Foster and Jeanine Tesori bond backstage
Friday Apr 18, 2014
Sutton Foster and Jeanine Tesori bond backstage

NEW YORK (AP) — There were two visitors to Sutton Foster's Broadway dressing room the other day. One was a new friend, the other an old one. One makes beautiful music. One just barks. Foster was entertaining composer Jeanine Tesori, who has written the music for Foster's latest show, and Mabel, her new fluffy pup rescued from a Texas animal shelter and just spayed. "She'll just lick you to death," Foster warns about the terrier-and-dachshund mix. The mood is decidedly mellow backstage at the American Airlines Theatre, where Foster and Tesori are putting the final touches on "Violet," a musical that marks their third Broadway collaboration. "Is this our third?" asks Tesori. "It feels like more because I've seen you so much in concert. And I always feel like I write everything for Sutton." Foster agrees: "It sort of feels like family." They first met in 2000, when Foster was the understudy during a regional test run of "Thoroughly Modern Millie," for which Tesori contributed new music. Foster would eventually take the main Millie role to Broadway and win the first of her two Tony Awards. The pair also worked on 2008's "Shrek the Musical." They reconnected last summer when Tesori called to ask Foster if she might star in a concert version of her first show, "Violet," about a disfigured young woman in search of healing in 1964. The story follows a North Carolina woman whose father accidentally hits her face with an ax as a teen, scarring her face and soul. Years later, she goes on a cross-country bus trip hoping to be healed by a televangelist and falls for a womanizing soldier. Tesori's score is rooted in Appalachian melodies with emphasis on gospel, bluegrass, blues and country. Foster was aware of some of the music, but that didn't really matter. "Whenever she calls and says anything, I'm like, 'Yes. Where? When? How?'" says Foster. "I have a handful of people I would follow anywhere, and Jeanine is one of them." Tesori felt "Violet" had another chapter. It had premiered off-Broadway in 1997 and became a cult favorite. The composer had gone on to write music to such hits as "Caroline, or Change" and "Fun Home," but "Violet," based on a short story by Doris Betts, still itched. "I think that there are works that you think about as stepping stones and there are works that you want to bring back. This one was unclear," says Tesori. It got much clearer after Foster led a stirring one-night-only concert version that was hailed by critics. It was stripped-down — no costume changes, no fancy sets — which added to its charm, and that vision will follow onto Broadway. "The spectacle of our show is the unspectacle of it," says Foster. "I think that's really unexpected and beautiful, especially in this day and age. I think it's a gift. It's a gift as an actor to just be able to stand onstage and sing and act and relate and not have to worry about something flying in or whatever." That even translates to Foster's preparation. Unlike the glitzy "Shrek," Foster has minimal makeup this time, not even a scar. "I think Sutton has to take makeup off to go onstage," says Tesori, laughing. "I feel like peoples' imaginations are better than anything we could ever paint," says Foster. The singer and actress, whose Los Angeles-based TV show "Bunheads" has been canceled, has now found herself back in New York, with her fiance and a dog and once again on Broadway, where she had triumphed in the bubbly "Anything Goes" two years ago. Now she is Violet. "She wears a coat of spikes to face the world, and she's got a nasty tongue, and she truly believes she's ugly inside and out," says Foster. "It's fun to play a character with such grit and snark and bite and hunger and rage and fury and passion." ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits ___ Online: http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/Shows-Events/violet.aspx Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
Friday Apr 18, 2014
Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist

Oscar-winning actress, comedienne and talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg sang the praises of marijuana inhaled through a pocket vaporizer on Thursday as she made her debut as an online pot columnist."The vape pen has changed my life. No, I'm not exaggerating. In fact, her name is Sippy." wrote Goldberg, 58, about her pocket vaporizer on "The Cannabist," a pot-friendly website run by the Denver Post newspaper in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain state was the second in the United States, after Washington in the Pacific Northwest, to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But Goldberg opted to focus on how pot, inhaled through Sippy, has helped her cope with massive headaches induced by glaucoma, an eye disorder suffered by more than three million Americans that can potentially lead to blindness. "It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said. "The high is different, too. It feels like a gentle, warm breeze at the beach. It's like someone undoing a vise grip, very slowly. It's not overpowering - and I'm certainly not looking for that high high. I'm looking for relief." But in a country where, at the federal level, marijuana is classified as an illegal drug on a par with heroin, Goldberg said Sippy's compact proportions helps maintain discretion. "I'm respectful when I'm in a city that may not understand what I have, so I don't flaunt her.... She's easy and discreet to use, and for folks like myself who use marijuana medicinally, it's ideal," she said. The sale, possession and consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes -- though not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration -- is legal in 21 states. Maryland on Monday was the latest to join the growing list. Goldberg, who took the Academy Award in 1991 for best supporting actress in "Ghost," co-hosts the ABC syndicated daytime talk show "The View," which featured Denver Post weed editor Ricardo Baca as a guest in January. Three years ago, video emerged of Goldberg at a 1992 recording session, recalling with her characteristic sense of humor how she inhaled some of her own homegrown marijuana before going up on stage to collect her Oscar. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.