Stanford spent years cataloging items such as photos of a barefoot Mr. Jobs at work, advertising campaigns and an Apple II computer. That material can be reviewed by students and researchers interested in learning more about the company.

Silicon Valley leaders have a tradition of leaving their material with Stanford, which has collections of letters, slides and notes from William Hewlett, who founded Hewlett-Packard, and Andy Grove, the former chief executive of Intel.

Mr. Lowood said that he uses the Silicon Valley archives to teach students about the value of discovery. “Unlike a book, which is the gospel and all true, a mix of materials in a box introduces uncertainty,” he said.

After Mr. Jobs’ death in 2011, Mr. Isaacson, the author, published a biography of Mr. Jobs. Some at Apple complained that the book, a best seller, misrepresented Mr. Jobs and commercialized his death.

Mr. Isaacson declined to comment about those complaints.

Four years later, the book became the basis for a film. The 2015 movie, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Michael Fassbender, focused on Mr. Jobs being ousted from Apple and denying paternity of his eldest daughter.

according to emails made public after a hack of Sony Pictures, which held rights to the film. She and others who were close to Mr. Jobs thought any movie based on the book would be inaccurate.

“I was outraged, and he was my friend,” said Mike Slade, a marketing executive who worked as an adviser to Mr. Jobs from 1998 to 2004. “I can’t imagine how outraged Laurene was.”

In November 2015, a month after the movie’s release, Ms. Powell Jobs had representatives register the Steve Jobs Archive as a limited liability company in Delaware and California. She later hired the documentary filmmaker, Davis Guggenheim, to gather oral histories about Mr. Jobs from former colleagues and friends. She also hired Ms. Berlin, who was Stanford’s project historian for its Apple archives, to be the Jobs Archive’s executive director.

Mr. Guggenheim gathered material about Mr. Jobs while also working on a Netflix documentary about Bill Gates, “Inside Bill’s Brain.” Mr. Slade, who worked for both Mr. Jobs and Mr. Gates, said he sat for an interview about one executive, stopped to change shirts and returned to discuss the other one.

Ms. Berlin assisted Ms. Powell Jobs in gathering material. They collected items such as audio of interviews done by reporters and early company records, including a 1976 document that Mr. Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, called their declaration of independence. It outlined what the company would stand for, said Regis McKenna, who unearthed the document in his personal collection gathered during his decades as a pioneer of Silicon Valley marketing and adviser to Mr. Jobs.

Ms. Powell Jobs also assembled a group of advisers to inform what the archive would be, including Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive; Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer; and Bob Iger, the former chief executive of Walt Disney and a former Apple board member.

Mr. Cook, Mr. Ive and Mr. Iger declined to comment.

Apple, which has its own corporate archive and archivist, is a contributor to the Jobs effort, said Ms. Berlin, who declined to say how she works with the company to gain access to material left by Mr. Jobs.

The archive’s resulting website opens with an email that Mr. Jobs sent himself at Apple. It reads like a journal entry, outlining all the things that he depends on others to provide, from the food he eats to the music he enjoys.

“I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well being,” he wrote.

The email is followed by a previously undisclosed audio clip from a 1984 interview that Mr. Jobs did with Michael Moritz, the journalist turned venture capitalist at Sequoia. During it, Mr. Jobs says that refinement comes from mistakes, a platitude that captures how Apple used trial and error to develop devices.

“It was just lying in the drawer gathering dust,” Mr. Moritz said of the recording.

It’s clear to those who have contributed material that the archive is about safeguarding Mr. Jobs’s legacy. It’s a goal that many of them support.

“There’s so much distortion about who Steve was,” Mr. McKenna said. “There needed to be something more factual.”

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Mystery Solved: ‘Dateline’ Finds Path From TV to Podcast Stardom

Of course, true crime and podcasts go hand in hand. The Hulu comedy “Only Murders in the Building” is explicitly a parody of the ubiquitousness of the genre. And there are plenty of other podcasts on the charts that center on bloody mysteries, with titles like “Morbid,” “Crime Junkie” and “My Favorite Murder.”

Still, the “Dateline” podcasts are helping the genre reach a new audience. The median age of viewers of the Friday night edition of “Dateline” is 63, according to Nielsen. On Spotify, the median age of a “Dateline” podcast listener is 41, according to data from Chartable, which was supplied by NBC News.

The network declined to disclose revenue figures for the podcasts, but they appear to be helping the company’s bottom line. The “Dateline” series command an advertising rate on a par with the podcast version of the popular public radio show “Fresh Air,” according to Standard Media Index, which collects advertising data.

It has been quite a turn of events for a 30-year-old television show.

The show, which premiered in 1992 with Stone Phillips and Jane Pauley as co-anchors, began as a traditional TV newsmagazine — with three to five segments that typically included interviews, features and investigations.

In the 1990s, during network television’s newsmagazine craze, “Dateline” could occupy as much as five hours of NBC’s prime-time schedule each week. Over the past 20 years, the show has remained a mainstay of the NBC schedule, filling in gaps whenever called upon in addition to holding its usual Friday night slot.

“Those of us within the hallways of NBC News have always understood the value of ‘Dateline,’” said Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News. “Historically, to many regimes past, whenever a fall entertainment lineup would start to wobble, we would always get the call to fill those open slots with additional ‘Dateline’ hours on the broadcast network.”

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Tesla is sued by drivers over alleged false Autopilot, Full Self-Driving claims

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The logo of car manufacturer Tesla is seen at a dealership in London, Britain, May 14, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

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Sept 14 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) was sued on Wednesday in a proposed class action accusing Elon Musk’s electric car company of misleading the public by falsely advertising its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features.

The complaint accused Tesla and Musk of having since 2016 deceptively advertised the technology as fully functioning or “just around the corner” despite knowing that the technology did not work or was nonexistent, and made vehicles unsafe.

Briggs Matsko, the named plaintiff, said Tesla did this to “generate excitement” about its vehicles, attract investments, boost sales, avoid bankruptcy, drive up its stock price and become a “dominant player” in electric vehicles.

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“Tesla has yet to produce anything even remotely approaching a fully self-driving car,” Matsko said.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco seeks unspecified damages for people who since 2016 bought or leased Tesla vehicles with Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features.

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It disbanded its media relations department in 2020.

The lawsuit followed complaints filed on July 28 by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles accusing Tesla of overstating how well its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) worked. read more

Remedies there could include suspending Tesla’s license in California, and requiring restitution to drivers.

Tesla has said Autopilot enables vehicles to steer, accelerate and brake within their lanes, while Full Self-Driving lets vehicles obey traffic signals and change lanes.

It has also said both technologies “require active driver supervision,” with a “fully attentive” driver whose hands are on the wheel, “and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

Matsko, of Rancho Murieta, California, said he paid a $5,000 premium for his 2018 Tesla Model X to obtain Enhanced Autopilot.

He also said Tesla drivers who receive software updates “effectively act as untrained test engineers” and have found “myriad problems,” including that vehicles steer into oncoming traffic, run red lights, and fail to make routine turns.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has since 2016 opened 38 special investigations of Tesla crashes believed to involve ADAS. Nineteen deaths were reported in those crashes.

The case is Matsko v Tesla Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-05240.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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TikTok, Other Social Companies Address Data Privacy Before Congress

TikTok’s chief operating officer and other social media executives commented on national security concerns in a Wednesday Congressional hearing.

Executives from Twitter, Meta, TikTok and YouTube met with Congress on Wednesday to address concerns that content on their platforms could be harmful to homeland security. Specifically, senators wanted to know what the companies are doing to mitigate extremism and foreign influence campaigns. Much of the conversation landed on TikTok.

Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan asked why it took so long for these platforms to take QAnon seriously. The movement spread widely with the help of social media. He noted that it took these companies years to ban QAnon content and referenced a Public Religion Research Institute report that found 16% of the American population think the conspiracy is real.

“We’re fundamentally an advertising platform,” said Neal Mohan, YouTube chief product officer. “I have firsthand experience myself over the years when they feel that sort of content is on our platform, that they walk away. And so we have not just a moral imperative — that’s my top priority, living up to our responsibility — but it aligns with our business goals.”

A large chunk of the conversation was focused on whether a direct relationship exists between TikTok’s parent company, based out of China, and the Chinese government. There are concerns that the government may ask the company to turn over data on U.S. users. Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio repeatedly pressed TikTok’s chief operating officer on whether the company would cut off data access to the country and Chinese TikTok employees.

“What I can commit to is that our final agreement with the U.S. government will satisfy all national security concerns,” said Vanessa Pappas, TikTok Chief Operating Officer. “We are working with the U.S. government on a resolve through the CFIUS process in which we will continue to minimize that data.”

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley also inquired about the relationship between TikTok and the Chinese government.

“Would it surprise you to learn that Forbes magazine recently reported that at least 300 current TikTok or ByteDance employees were members of Chinese state media and affiliated with the Chinese communist party?” Sen. Hawley asked.

“We don’t look at the political affiliations or can’t speak to individuals, but what I can tell you is we’re protecting the data in the United States,” Pappas said.

Source: newsy.com

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The Supply Chain Broke. Robots Are Supposed to Help Fix It.

The people running companies that deliver all manner of products gathered in Philadelphia last week to sift through the lessons of the mayhem besieging the global supply chain. At the center of many proposed solutions: robots and other forms of automation.

On the showroom floor, robot manufacturers demonstrated their latest models, offering them as efficiency-enhancing augments to warehouse workers. Driverless trucks and drones commanded display space, advertising an unfolding era in which machinery will occupy a central place in bringing products to our homes.

The companies depicted their technology as a way to save money on workers and optimize scheduling, while breaking down resistance to a future centered on evolving forms of automation.

persistent economic shocks have intensified traditional conflicts between employers and employees around the globe. Higher prices for energy, food and other goods — in part the result of enduring supply chain tangles — have prompted workers to demand higher wages, along with the right to continue working from home. Employers cite elevated costs for parts, raw materials and transportation in holding the line on pay, yielding a wave of strikes in countries like Britain.

The stakes are especially high for companies engaged in transporting goods. Their executives contend that the Great Supply Chain Disruption is largely the result of labor shortages. Ports are overwhelmed and retail shelves are short of goods because the supply chain has run out of people willing to drive trucks and move goods through warehouses, the argument goes.

Some labor experts challenge such claims, while reframing worker shortages as an unwillingness by employers to pay enough to attract the needed numbers of people.

“This shortage narrative is industry-lobbying rhetoric,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream.” “There is no shortage of truck drivers. These are just really bad jobs.”

A day spent wandering the Home Delivery World trade show inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center revealed how supply chain companies are pursuing automation and flexible staffing as antidotes to rising wages. They are eager to embrace robots as an alternative to human workers. Robots never get sick, not even in a pandemic. They never stay home to attend to their children.

A large truck painted purple and white occupied a prime position on the showroom floor. It was a driverless delivery vehicle produced by Gatik, a Silicon Valley company that is running 30 of them between distribution centers and Walmart stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Here was the fix to the difficulties of trucking firms in attracting and retaining drivers, said Richard Steiner, Gatik’s head of policy and communications.

“It’s not quite as appealing a profession as it once was,” he said. “We’re able to offer a solution to that trouble.”

Nearby, an Israeli start-up company, SafeMode, touted a means to limit the notoriously high turnover plaguing the trucking industry. The company has developed an app that monitors the actions of drivers — their speed, the abruptness of their braking, their fuel efficiency — while rewarding those who perform better than their peers.

The company’s founder and chief executive, Ido Levy, displayed data captured the previous day from a driver in Houston. The driver’s steady hand at the wheel had earned him an extra $8 — a cash bonus on top of the $250 he typically earns in a day.

“We really convey a success feeling every day,” Mr. Levy, 31, said. “That really encourages retention. We’re trying to make them feel that they are part of something.”

Mr. Levy conceived of the company with a professor at the M.I.T. Media Lab who tapped research on behavioral psychology and gamification (using elements of game playing to encourage participation).

So far, the SafeMode system has yielded savings of 4 percent on fuel while increasing retention by one-quarter, Mr. Levy said.

Another company, V-Track, based in Charlotte, N.C., employs a technology that is similar to SafeMode’s, also in an effort to dissuade truck drivers from switching jobs. The company places cameras in truck cabs to monitor drivers, alerting them when they are looking at their phones, driving too fast or not wearing their seatbelt.

Jim Becker, the company’s product manager, said many drivers hade come to value the cameras as a means of protecting themselves against unwarranted accusations of malfeasance.

But what is the impact on retention if drivers chafe at being surveilled?

“Frustrations about increased surveillance, especially around in-cab cameras,” are a significant source of driver lament, said Max Farrell, co-founder and chief executive of WorkHound, which gathers real-time feedback.

Several companies on the show floor catered to trucking companies facing difficulties in hiring people to staff their dispatch centers. Their solution was moving such functions to countries where wages are lower.

Lean Solutions, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., sets up call centers in Colombia and Guatemala — a response to “the labor challenge in the U.S.,” said Hunter Bell, a company sales agent.

A Kentucky start-up, NS Talent Solutions, establishes dispatch operations in Mexico, at a saving of up to 40 percent compared with the United States.

“The pandemic has helped,” said Michael Bartlett, director of sales. “The world is now comfortable with remote staffing.”

Scores of businesses promoted services that recruit and vet part-time and temporary workers, offering a way for companies to ramp up as needed without having to commit to full-time employees.

Pruuvn, a start-up in Atlanta, sells a service that allows companies to eliminate employees who recruit and conduct background checks.

“It allows you to get rid of or replace multiple individuals,” the company’s chief executive, Bryan Hobbs, said during a presentation.

Another staffing firm, Veryable of Dallas, offered a platform to pair workers such as retirees and students seeking part-time, temporary stints with supply chain companies.

Jonathan Katz, the company’s regional partnerships manager for the Southeast, described temporary staffing as the way for smaller warehouses and distribution operations that lack the money to install robots to enhance their ability to adjust to swings in demand.

A drone company, Zipline, showed video of its equipment taking off behind a Walmart in Pea Ridge, Ark., dropping items like mayonnaise and even a birthday cake into the backyards of customers’ homes. Another company, DroneUp, trumpeted plans to set up similar services at 30 Walmart stores in Arkansas, Texas and Florida by the end of the year.

But the largest companies are the most focused on deploying robots.

Locus, the manufacturer, has already outfitted 200 warehouses globally with its robots, recently expanding into Europe and Australia.

Locus says its machines are meant not to replace workers but to complement them — a way to squeeze more productivity out of the same warehouse by relieving the humans of the need to push the carts.

But the company also presents its robots as the solution to worker shortages. Unlike workers, robots can be easily scaled up and cut back, eliminating the need to hire and train temporary employees, Melissa Valentine, director of retail global accounts at Locus, said during a panel discussion.

Locus even rents out its robots, allowing customers to add them and eliminate them as needed. Locus handles the maintenance.

Robots can “solve labor issues,” said Nathan Ray, director of distribution center operations at Albertsons, the grocery chain, who previously held executive roles at Amazon and Target. “You can find a solution that’s right for your budget. There’s just so many options out there.”

As Mr. Ray acknowledged, a key impediment to the more rapid deployment of automation is fear among workers that robots are a threat to their jobs. Once they realize that the robots are there not to replace them but merely to relieve them of physically taxing jobs like pushing carts, “it gets really fun,” Mr. Ray said. “They realize it’s kind of cool.”

Workers even give robots cute nicknames, he added.

But another panelist, Bruce Dzinski, director of transportation at Party City, a chain of party supply stores, presented robots as an alternative to higher pay.

“You couldn’t get labor, so you raised your wages to try to get people,” he said. “And then everybody else raised wages.”

Robots never demand a raise.

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Juul To Pay Nearly $440M To Settle States’ Teen Vaping Probe

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced the deal Tuesday on behalf of the states plus Puerto Rico.

Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs has agreed to pay nearly $440 million to settle a two-year investigation by 33 states into the marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products, which have long been blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced the deal Tuesday on behalf of the states plus Puerto Rico, which joined together in 2020 to probe Juul’s early promotions and claims about the benefits of its technology as a smoking alternative.

The settlement, which includes numerous restrictions on how Juul can market its products, resolves one of the biggest legal threats facing the beleaguered company, which still faces nine separate lawsuits from other states. Additionally, Juul faces hundreds of personal lawsuits brought on behalf of teenagers and others who say they became addicted to the company’s vaping products.

The states’ investigation found that Juul marketed its e-cigarettes to underage teens with launch parties, product giveaways and ads and social media posts using youthful models, according to a statement.

Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs has agreed to pay nearly $440 million to settle a two-year investigation by 33 states into the marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products, which have long been blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced the deal Tuesday on behalf of the states plus Puerto Rico, which joined together in 2020 to probe Juul’s early promotions and claims about the benefits of its technology as a smoking alternative.

The settlement, which includes numerous restrictions on how Juul can market its products, resolves one of the biggest legal threats facing the beleaguered company, which still faces nine separate lawsuits from other states. Additionally, Juul faces hundreds of personal lawsuits brought on behalf of teenagers and others who say they became addicted to the company’s vaping products.

The states’ investigation found that Juul marketed its e-cigarettes to underage teens with launch parties, product giveaways and ads and social media posts using youthful models, according to a statement.

“We think that this will go a long way in stemming the flow of youth vaping,” Tong said at a news conference at his Hartford office.

“I’m under no illusions and cannot claim that it will stop youth vaping,” he said. “It continues to be an epidemic. It continues to be a huge problem. But we have essentially taken a big chunk out of what was once a market leader, and by their conduct, a major offender.”

The $438.5 million will be paid out over a period of six to 10 years. Tong said Connecticut’s payment of at least $16 million will go toward vaping prevention and education efforts. Juul previously settled lawsuits in Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina and Washington.

The settlement total amounts to about 25% of Juul’s U.S. sales of $1.9 billion last year. Tong said it was an “agreement in principle,” meaning the states will be finalizing the settlement documents over the next several weeks.

Most of the limits imposed by Tuesday’s settlement won’t immediately affect Juul, which halted use of parties, giveaways and other promotions after coming under scrutiny several several years ago.

Teen use of e-cigarettes skyrocketed after Juul’s launch in 2015, leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to declare an “epidemic” of underage vaping among teenagers. Health experts said the unprecedented increase risked hooking a generation of young people on nicotine.

But since 2019 Juul has mostly been in retreat, dropping all U.S. advertising and pulling its fruit and candy flavors from store shelves.

The biggest blow came earlier this summer when the FDA moved to ban all Juul e-cigarettes from the market. Juul challenged that ruling in court, and the FDA has since reopened its scientific review of the company’s technology.

The FDA review is part of a sweeping effort by regulators to bring scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping industry after years of delays. The agency has authorized a handful of e-cigarettes from Juul’s competitors for adult smokers looking for a less harmful alternative.

While Juul’s early marketing focused on young, urban consumers, the company has since shifted to pitching its product as an alternative nicotine source for older smokers.

“We remain focused on our future as we fulfill our mission to transition adult smokers away from cigarettes – the number one cause of preventable death – while combating underage use,” the company said in a statement.

Juul has agreed to refrain from a host of marketing practices as part of the settlement. They include not using cartoons, paying social media influencers, depicting people under 35, advertising on billboards and public transportation and placing ads in any outlets unless 85% of their audience are adults.The deal also includes restrictions on where Juul products may be placed in stores, age verification on all sales and limits to online and retail sales.

“These are some of the toughest mandates at any point on any industry,” Tong said, “which is incredibly important because at the end of the day this is about protecting our kids and protecting all of us from a very significant public health risk.”

Juul initially sold its high-nicotine pods in flavors like mango, mint and creme. The products became a scourge in U.S. high schools, with students vaping in bathrooms and hallways between classes.

But recent federal survey data shows that teens have been shifting away from the company. Most teens now prefer disposable e-cigarettes, some of which continue to be sold in sweet, fruity flavors.

Overall, the survey showed a drop of nearly 40% in the teen vaping rate as many kids were forced to learn from home during the pandemic. Still, federal officials cautioned about interpreting the results given they were collected online for the first time, instead of in classrooms.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Trump Moves To General Election Mode With Pennsylvania Rally

The stakes are particularly high for Trump as he lays the groundwork for an expected 2024 presidential run amid a series of legal challenges.

Larry Mitko voted for Donald Trump in 2016. But the Republican from Beaver County in western Pennsylvania says he has no plans to back his party’s nominee for Senate, Dr. Mehmet Oz — “no way, no how.”

Mitko doesn’t feel like he knows the celebrity heart surgeon, who only narrowly won his May primary with Trump’s backing. Instead, Mitko plans to vote for Oz’s Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a name he’s been familiar with since Fetterman’s days as mayor of nearby Braddock.

“Dr. Oz hasn’t showed me one thing to get me to vote for him,” he said. “I won’t vote for someone I don’t know.”

Mitko’s thinking underscores the political challenges facing Trump and the rest of the Republican Party as the former president was shifting to general election mode with a rally Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the first of the fall campaign.

While Trump’s endorsed picks won many Republican primaries this summer, many of the candidates he backed were inexperienced and polarizing figures now struggling in their November races. That’s putting Senate control — once assumed to be a lock for Republicans — on the line.

Among those candidates are Oz in Pennsylvania, author JD Vance in Ohio, venture capitalist Blake Masters in Arizona and former football star Herschel Walker in Georgia.

“Republicans have now nominated a number of candidates who’ve never run for office before for very high-profile Senate races,” said veteran Republican pollster Whit Ayres. While he isn’t writing his party’s chances off just yet, he said, “It’s a much more difficult endeavor than a candidate who had won several difficult political races before.”

The stakes are particularly high for Trump as he lays the groundwork for an expected 2024 presidential run amid a series of escalating legal challenges, including the FBI’s recent seizure of classified documents from his Florida home. Investigators also continue to probe his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

This past week, President Joe Biden gave a prime-time speech in Philadelphia warning that Trump and other “MAGA” Republicans — the acronym for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan — posed a threat to U.S. democracy. President Biden has tried to frame the upcoming vote, as he did the 2020 election, as a battle for the “soul of the nation.” President Biden’s Labor Day visit to Pittsburgh will be his third to the state within a week, a sign of Pennsylvania’s election-year importance.

While Republicans were once seen as having a good chance of gaining control of both chambers of Congress in November amid soaring inflation, high gas prices and President Biden’s slumping approval ratings, Republicans have found themselves on defense since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion rights.

Some candidates, like Doug Mastriano, the GOP’s hard-line nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, are sticking with their primary campaign playbooks, hoping they can win by turning out Trump’s loyal base even if they alienate more moderate voters.

Mastriano, who wants to outlaw abortion even when pregnancies are the result of rape or incest or endanger the life of the mother, played a leading role in Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election and was seen outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as pro-Trump rioters stormed the building.

But others have been trying to broaden their appeal, scrubbing from their websites references to anti-abortion messaging that is out of step with the political mainstream. Masters, for instance, removed language from a policy section of his website that labeled him “100% pro-life,” as well as language saying, “if we had had a free and fair election, President Trump would be sitting in the Oval Office today.” Others have played down Trump endorsements that were once featured prominently.

The shifting climate has prompted rounds of finger-pointing in the party, including from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who last month cited “candidate quality” as he lowered expectations that Republicans would recapture control of the Senate in November.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who leads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said those who complain about the party’s nominees have “contempt” for the voters who chose them.

“It’s an amazing act of cowardice, and ultimately, it’s treasonous to the conservative cause,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner.

Trump, too, fired back, calling McConnell a “disgrace” as he defended the party’s candidate roster.

“There’s some very good people,” he said in a radio interview. “You know, takes a lot of courage to run and they spend their wealth on it and they put their reputations on the line.”

Democrats have also piled on.

“Senate campaigns are candidate versus candidate battles and Republicans have put forward a roster of deeply flawed recruits,” said David Bergstein, the Senate Democratic campaign committee’s communication director. He credited Trump with deterring experienced Republicans from running, elevating flawed candidates and forcing them to take positions that are out of step with the general electorate.

“All those factors have contributed to the weakness of the slate of Republican candidates they’ve been left with,” he said. A Trump spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

In Pennsylvania, Republicans are hoping Oz’s shortcomings as a candidate will be overshadowed by concerns about Fetterman, who suffered a stroke just days before the primary and has been sidelined for much of the summer. He continues to keep a light public schedule and visibly struggled to speak at a recent event.

Republicans acknowledge that Oz struggles to come off as authentic and was slow to punch back as Fetterman spent the summer trolling him on social media and portraying him as an out-of-touch carpetbagger from New Jersey.

While Fetterman, whom Republicans deride as “Bernie Sanders in gym shorts,” leads Oz in polls and fundraising, Republicans say they expect the money gap to narrow and are pleased to see Oz within striking distance after getting hammered by $20 million in negative advertising during the primaries.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is helping finance a new round of Oz’s television ads, and the Senate Leadership Fund, a McConnell-aligned super political action committee, says it added $9.5 million to its TV buy — boosting its overall commitment to $34.1 million by Election Day.

“Regardless of what people may have heard in the primary, they’re going to realize that Oz is the best choice for Pennsylvania,” said Pennsylvania Republican National Committeeman Andy Reilly.

A super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says it has made $32 million in television ad reservations in the state.

Oz has won over some once-skeptical voters, like Glen Rubendall, who didn’t vote for the TV doctor in his seven-way primary — a victory so narrow it went to a statewide recount — but said he’s come around.

“I’ve been listening to him speak, and I have a pro-Oz view now,” said Rubendall, a retired state corrections officer.

Traci Martin, a registered independent, also plans to vote for Oz because she opposes abortion, despite ads that aired during the primary featuring past Oz statements that seemed supportive of abortion rights.

“I hope he is (anti-abortion),” Martin said, “but the sad part is we live in an age when we see politicians say one thing and do another.”

 Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Streaming Is Changing How Companies Make Money, For Better Or Worse

By Newsy Staff
September 1, 2022

Streaming companies are prioritizing how to get and keep subscribers, but the risk in producing new or buying old shows is much higher.

Over the summer, Nielsen reported that streaming viewership surpassed cable usage for the first time in the U.S. It’s worth noting Nielsen only records on TVs and internet-connected TVs; it’s not even measuring mobile or desktop, which means their share of the market is probably even higher.

This new landscape is changing the ways streamers are trying to make money, for better or worse.

As more and more people are signing up for streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max or Disney+, companies are starting to roll out new ad-supported models.

In the past, one of Netflix’s co-chief executives repeatedly stated how there was “no advertising coming onto Netflix — period.” But after a huge loss of subscribers and a difficult quarter, that same executive told investors Netflix is looking into ad models “over the next year or two.”

Netflix’s woes aren’t exactly good news for its competitors that raced to make streaming platforms of their own. The news highlights a wider conversation about how these massive platforms are actually making money and how stable the new streaming model really is.

That model first includes original content.

Big blockbuster hits like “Stranger Things” on Netflix or “Wandavision” on Disney+ can definitely draw new subscribers, but it seems the threshold for a new show to survive is pretty high. Even popular shows like “The OA,” “Sense8” or “The Baby-Sitters Club” can get canceled after only a season or two. Netflix is particularly notorious for this.

Unlike with cable, streaming services are prioritizing how many new subscribers a show can bring in, not just how popular a show is within the existing subscribers. Netflix has also stated it focused on the first 28 days of release to see how many viewers began the show and how many finished a season within a month. 

Compare that to a show like “The Office.” Today, it’s one of the most popular modern sitcoms, but it was at risk of cancellation due to poor ratings on NBC for its first two seasons.

There’s a reason the risk of hoping a show will grow and build an audience is much higher for streaming than it used to be for cable. Part of that is because platforms now pay production companies all production fees up front, in exchange for more control over distributing the show. So, there are much bigger losses if a show doesn’t take off. Unfortunately, as it’s been widely reported, shows with diverse stars and casts seem to be on the chopping block more often.

But while streaming services churn out original shows hoping for a breakout hit, the real competition is actually in the battle over old shows and movies that already come with fanbases.

Sky Moore, an entertainment lawyer, explained why.

“Streamers: the winner is whoever has the most content,” Moore said. “So what is happening is consolidation. Everybody is attempting to be the last man standing. There’s only probably going to be four players when the party is over in a couple of years, and whoever has the most content wins.”

This explains the jaw-dropping amounts some platforms have paid for old sitcoms like “Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “The Office,” or for intellectual property like Amazon’s record-breaking purchase of rights to “Lord of the Rings” source material.

When networks used to buy syndication rights to a show, the number was based on available ad and viewership data for that network. In the subscriber model, it’s actually unclear what these numbers are really based on.

All that is clear is that these huge purchases and mergers show how important it is to consolidate big libraries. Companies are betting massive libraries stocked with old favorites are what will keep subscribers around, and it’s part of the reason why even more mergers and buyouts between big entertainment companies are likely.

“If you look on a broad scale of entertainment, which is really who they’re competing against, it’s no longer, for example, the studios,” Moore said. “It’s studios against streamers, and broadly, it’s studios and streamers against Facebook and against YouTube and against Instagram. It’s a much broader universe of entertainment than it used to be, so they’ve got to consolidate.”

Source: newsy.com

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Jury: Democratic PAC Defamed Roy Moore, Awards Him $8.2M

By Associated Press
August 13, 2022

A jury found the Senate Majority PAC made false, defamatory statements against Moore in an ad highlighting sexual misconduct accusations against him.

A federal jury awarded Republican Roy Moore $8.2 million in damages Friday after finding a Democratic-aligned super PAC defamed him in a TV ad recounting sexual misconduct accusations during his failed 2017 U.S. Senate bid in Alabama.

Jurors found the Senate Majority PAC made false and defamatory statements against Moore in one ad that attempted to highlight the accusations against Moore. The verdict, returned by a jury after a brief trial in Anniston, Alabama, was a victory for Moore, who has lost other defamation lawsuits, including one against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

“We’re very thankful to God for an opportunity to help restore my reputation which was severely damaged by the 2017 election,” Moore said in a telephone interview.

Ben Stafford, an attorney representing Senate Majority PAC, said in an emailed statement that they believe the ruling would be overturned on appeal.

Moore, a former Republican judge known for his hardline stances opposing same-sex marriage and supporting the public display of Ten Commandments, lost the 2017 Senate race after his campaign was rocked by misconduct allegations against him. Leigh Corfman told The Washington Post and said Moore sexually touched her in 1979 when she was 14 and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. Moore denied the accusation. Other women said Moore dated them, or asked them out on dates, when they were older teens.

The accusations against Moore contributed to his loss to Democrat Doug Jones, the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate in a quarter-century. The seat returned to Republican control with the 2020 election of Tommy Tuberville, a former college football coach.

Senate Majority PAC funded a group called Highway 31 that ran a $4 million advertising blitz against Moore.

The lawsuit centered on one TV commercial that recounted accusations against Moore. Moore’s attorneys argued the ad, through the juxtaposition of statements, falsely claimed he solicited sex from young girls at a shopping mall, including another 14-year-old who was working as a Santa’s helper, and that resulted in him being banned from the mall.

The advertisement began with: “What do people who know Roy Moore say?” It followed with the statements “Moore was actually banned from the Gadsden mall … for soliciting sex from young girls” and “One he approached was 14 and working as Santa’s helper.”

Wendy Miller has previously testified that she met Moore when she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the local mall. She testified Moore told her she was pretty, asked her where she went to high school and offered to buy her a soda. He asked her asked her out two years later, but her mother told her she could not go.

Moore’s attorneys argued the juxtaposition of statements in the ad painted Moore in a false light and falsely made it look like he was soliciting sex from girls at the mall.

“In their ad they strung quotes together to make a single statement. That’s what the jury found offensive. They got up and lied and said they didn’t intend that,” Jeffrey Scott Wittenbrink, an attorney for Moore, said.

The Senate Majority PAC had argued the ad was substantially true and that there were widespread reports about Moore’s inappropriate behavior at the mall. An attorney said they planned to appeal.

According to a Thursday court filing from Senate Majority, a Gadsden police officer who worked as security at the Gadsden Mall in the late 1970s — J.D. Thomas — testified that he told Moore not to return to the mall after receiving complaints from store managers that Moore was asking out teen employees or making them uncomfortable. Moore maintained he was never banned from the mall.

“No amount of deflection or distraction from Roy Moore will change the fact that multiple individuals testified under oath to corroborate credible accusations against him. Many others have come forward to make their allegations public, at serious personal cost. We do not think this verdict is the right decision, but we believe the facts are clear and this ruling will be overturned on appeal,” Stafford, an attorney representing Senate Majority PAC, said in an emailed statement.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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J&J To End Sales Of Baby Powder With Talc Globally Next Year

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
August 12, 2022

J&J faced thousands of lawsuits alleging its talcum powder caused users to develop ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson is pulling baby powder containing talc worldwide next year after it did the same in the U.S. and Canada amid thousands of lawsuits claiming it caused cancer.

Talc will be replaced by cornstarch, the company said.

The company has faced litigation alleging its talcum powder caused users to develop ovarian cancer, through use for feminine hygiene, or mesothelioma, a cancer that strikes the lungs and other organs.

J&J insists, and the overwhelming majority of medical research on talc indicates, that the talc baby powder is safe and doesn’t cause cancer.

However, demand for the company’s baby powder fell off, and J&J removed the talc-based product in most of North America in 2020.

The company did so after it saw demand drop due to “misleading talc litigation advertising that caused global confusion and unfounded concern,” about product safety a company spokeswoman said.

J&J said the change announced late Thursday will simplify its product selection and meet evolving global trends.

Last October, J&J said a separate subsidiary it created to manage talc litigation claims had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

J&J said then that it funded the subsidiary, named LTL Management, and established a $2 billion trust to pay claims the bankruptcy court determines that it owes.

The health care giant also said last fall that it will turn its consumer health business — which sells the baby powder, Band-Aids and other products — into a separate publicly traded company. The part of the company selling prescription drugs and medical devices will keep the J&J name.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, rose slightly before the opening bell Friday. The stock has performed better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which J&J is a member, for most of the year.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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