Brie Larson Cried A Lot At The Gym While Training For ‘Captain Marvel’

Superheroes, they’re just like us! According to Brie Larson, she cried at the gym many times preparing for her role in ‘Captain Marvel.’

House panel had ‘productive’ interview with Trump ex-lawyer Cohen

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen was “fully cooperative” in his day-long testimony before the panel and responded to all its questions.

Trump’s ex-lawyer Cohen testifies again, this time behind closed doors

President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen returned to Capitol Hill on Thursday to speak behind closed doors with a congressional panel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, capping a week of testimony in which he leveled new allegations of wrongdoing at his former boss.

Flooded California towns still mostly cut off despite receding waters

Low-lying communities along the swollen Russian River in Northern California wine country remained largely cut off by flooding on Thursday, even as waters began receding and sun peeked through after days of non-stop rain.

What It’s Like Using an iPhone SE in 2019

Apple discontinued the iPhone SE in September when iPhone XS and XR models were released, but in January, Apple started selling off its remaining stock via its clearance site for $249.

Every time Apple restocks the clearance site, available iPhone SE models go quick, suggesting there’s still quite a lot of interest in the 4-inch device. We recently picked up an iPhone SE to see just what it’s like using one in 2019.

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The iPhone SE was Apple’s last 4-inch iPhone, and compared to a 5.8-inch iPhone X, a 6.1-inch iPhone XR, or a 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max, it’s tiny. Coming from one of these phones to the iPhone SE almost makes the iPhone SE feel like a toy.

On the plus side, it’s so small and light that it’s easy to use one handed, something you can’t necessarily do with Apple’s biggest iPhones. With its aluminum backing, the iPhone SE is more durable than Apple’s new all-glass smartphones.

The iPhone SE pre-dates Face ID, of course, so it’s using a Touch ID Home button, which is great for those who continue to prefer fingerprint sensors to facial recognition.

There’s also a headphone jack, which has been eliminated from all current iPhones (and the most recent iPad Pro models), and it has separate volume up and down buttons along with a power button at the top of the device instead of a side button.

Apple released the iPhone SE in 2016, so it’s using three-year-old hardware. It has an A9 processor, which was also used in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus back in 2015, along with 2GB RAM (vs. 3 in the XR and 4 in the XS).



You might think it’d be noticeably slower than newer iPhones, but, surprisingly, for built-in apps it’s speedy. When using Mail, Messages, Calendar, FaceTime, and other similar built-in apps, the iPhone SE is as speedy as 2018 iPhones.

It’s not, however, able to hold up when using apps built for newer iPhones with more modern processors, nor does it have the same augmented reality capabilities. The camera is fine and is the same camera in the iPhone 6s, but it’s lacking the improvements made over the last three years.

If you don’t care about camera quality, prefer a smaller screen, and don’t need to use processor-intensive apps and games, the iPhone SE is a compact, easy-to-hold smartphone that still holds up even in 2019.

Apple’s clearance site continues to have iPhone SE models in stock that are unlocked, but ship with Verizon and T-Mobile SIMs. The iPhone SE with 32GB of storage is priced at $249, while the iPhone SE with 128GB of storage is available for $299.

Ahead of when the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR were released, there were some rumors suggesting Apple was working on a second-generation version of the iPhone SE 2.

Some of that information was conflated with iPhone XR rumors, though, and since the 2018 devices launched, we’ve heard no more about another 4-inch iPhone except for some chatter suggesting Apple has nixed all plans for a new iPhone SE.

At this point in time, it looks like the iPhone SE will continue to be the last 4-inch device available from Apple.

This article, "What It's Like Using an iPhone SE in 2019" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 has arrived — but it comes with a price

The long-awaited $35,000 Tesla Model 3 has finally arrived, three years after CEO Elon Musk promised to bring the electric vehicle to market at that price point. But that cheaper Model 3 comes with a dramatic shift for Tesla.

Tesla said that to achieve this lower price it will shift all sales globally to online only, meaning the company will be closing many of its stores over the next few months. The stores that remain, in high-traffic locations, will be turned into information centers, Musk said on a call with reporters. There will be some layoffs as a result. Musk later said they would be hiring more service technicians.

“Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected,” the company wrote in a post.

Tesla announced Thursday that the $35,000 version will have a 220 miles of range and be able to reach a top speed of 130 miles per hour. 

The company also said it’s introducing a Model 3 Standard Range Plus version, which offers 240 miles of range, a top speed of 140 mph, and 0-60mph acceleration of 5.3 seconds as well as most premium interior features at $37,000 before incentives.

“I’m excited to finally meet this goal, which has been insanely difficult,” Musk said on a call with reporters.

Tesla will continue to offer its mid range, long range all-wheel drive, and Model 3 Performance vehicles in the U.S. The company is also bringing back its original Model 3 long range rear-wheel drive vehicle in the U.S. All Model 3 come standard with a tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection, auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirror, and driver profiles via the center screen.

Just hours before the announcement, the “order” webpages for the Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicle redirected to show message that read “The wait is almost over.” Below the main message, it read “Great things are launching at 2 pm.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Feb. 27 “Some Tesla news,” followed by equally vague tweets “2 pm” and “California.”

The tweets had led to widespread speculation of what Musk would announce. Others argued that the teasing tweets were merely a tactic to distract investors and the media from his recent scuffle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission .

The SEC asked a judge Feb. 25 to hold Musk in contempt for violating the settlement agreement reached with the agency last year. The SEC argued that a tweet sent by Musk on February 19 violated their agreement. Musk is supposed to get approval from Tesla’s board before communicating potentially material information to investors.

A U.S. judge issued an order Feb. 26 that gives Musk until March 11 to explain why he should not be held in contempt for violating a settlement agreement with the SEC.

This is a developing story.

Skyrim mod drama gets ugly with allegations of stolen code and misappropriated donations

The people who volunteer their time modifying and updating old games are among the most generous of developers. So when drama erupts there’s not just irritation and testy emails but a sense of a community being betrayed or taken advantage of. A recent conflict over work on the perennially renewed classic Skyrim may seem small, but for those involved, it’s a huge upset.

I don’t mean to make a bigger deal out of this niche issue than it is; I feel though that sometimes it’s important to elevate things not because they are highly important in and of themselves, but because they represent a class of small injustices or conflicts that are rife on the modern web.

The example today comes from the Skyrim modding community, which creates all kinds of improvements for the classic fantasy adventure, from new items and better maps to complete overhauls. It’s one of the most active out there, as Bethesda not only is highly tolerant of modders but tends to ship games, if we’re honest, in pretty poor shape. Modders have taken to filling in the gaps left by Bethesda and making the original game far better than how it shipped.

One of the more useful of these mods, for developers but indirectly for players, is the Skyrim Script Extender, or SKSE. It basically allows for more complex behaviors for objects, locations and NPCs. How do you have a character seek shelter from the rain if there’s no weather-based behaviors in their original AI? That sort of thing (though that’s an invented example). SKSE goes back a long way and the creators provide much of the code for others to use under a free license, while declining donations themselves.

Another project is Skyrim Together (ST), a small team that since 2013 has (among others) been working on adding multiplayer functionality to the game — their Patreon account, in contrast, is pulling in more than $30,000 a month. The main dev there allegedly independently distributed a modified version of SKSE several years ago against the terms of the license, and was henceforth specifically banned from using SKSE code in the future.

Guess what SKSE’s lead found in a bit of code inspection the other day?

Yes, unfortunately, it seems that SKSE code is in the ST app, not only in violation of the license as far as not giving credit, but in that the dev himself has been barred from using it, and furthermore that — although there is some debate here — the ST team is essentially charging for access to a “closed beta.” Some say that it’s just a donation they ask for, but requiring a donation is really indistinguishable from charging for something.

A response from the devs downplayed the issue; they say it’s just a bit of old junk in the codebase:

There might be some leftover code from them in there that was overlooked when we removed it, it isn’t as simple as just deleting a folder, mainly our fault because we rushed some parts of the code. Anyway we are going to make sure to remove what might have slipped through the cracks for the next patch.

Instead of SKSE, one developer said, they had substituted other code, for instance from the project libSkyrim. But as others quickly pointed out, libSkyrim is based on SKSE and there’s no way they could be ignorant of that fact. So the assertion that they weren’t using the forbidden code doesn’t really hold water. Not only that, but ST doesn’t even credit libSkyrim at all, a standard practice when you reuse code.

This wouldn’t really be as big of a problem if ST was not only making quite a bit of scratch off their project via donations, but required donations for access to the code. That arguably makes it a commercial project, putting it even further outside the bounds of code reuse.

Now, taking the hard work of open and semi-open source developers and using it in other projects is encouraged — in fact, it’s kind of the point. But it’s meant to be a collaboration, and the rules are there to make sure credit goes where it’s due.

I don’t think the ST people are villains; they’re working on something many players are interested in using — and paying for, if the Patreon is any indication. That’s great, and it’s what the mod community is all about. But as in any group of developers, respectful and mutual acknowledgement is expected and valued.

Honesty is important here because it’s not always possible to audit someone else’s code. And honesty is also important because users want to be able to trust developers for a variety of reasons — not least of which that they are donating to a project working in good faith. That trust was shaken here.

As I said at the beginning, I don’t mean to make this a huge deal. No one is getting rich (though even split 10 ways, $33,000 a month is nothing to sniff at), and no one is getting hurt. But I imagine there’s hardly an open-source project out there that hasn’t had to police others’ use of their code or live in fear of someone cashing in on something they’ve donated their time to for years.

Here’s hoping this particular tempest in a teapot resolves happily; but don’t forget, there are a lot more teapots where this one came from.