W Paatii OfosuAmaah Dies at 65

first_imgWilliam Jacob Paatii Ofosu-Amaah was born in Accra, Ghana on July 13, 1950 to Lawrence and Bernice Ofosu-Amaah. As the last born child in a large family, he always received a lot of attention from many family members.He was a precocious boy and was seen in the barber’s shop mingling with much older people. He took pride in the fact that he played for the neighborhood soccer team.  With accelerated promotion, he completed the first 4 years of primary school in 2 years.  As a result, throughout his education, he was always the youngest in the class.He attended Adisadel College in Cape Coast, where he made many friends with whom he kept in touch throughout his life.  He was a bright young man and received a degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana at age 20.  He continued his legal education in the United States and received a degree from Harvard Law School in 1972.He met the love of his life when he was 18 in Accra.  After a long distance romance when they were both students, he and Waafas were married in London in 1976.  The newlyweds spent the first few years of marriage in Rome where Paatii drove his Alpha Romeo, developed an affinity for fine clothing, and they both enjoyed spaghetti alle vongole, which they later cooked often for their children. They had a long and happy marriage and almost 40 years later, they still debated the date of their Anniversary.Paatii began his legal career as an Associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York from 1973 to 1975, then as a Legal Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN in Rome from 1975 to 1978.  This was followed by an illustrious 30-year career at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.Paatii cared deeply about the legal dimensions of international development.  He contributed greatly to the World Bank’s operations, overseeing legal aspects of over 500 project financings in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East. He also pioneered, with colleagues, various legal and judicial reform projects.Appointed in 2003 as the institution’s Vice President and Corporate Secretary, he worked closely with three World Bank Presidents. Paatii also published and contributed to several books, articles and papers on World Bank policies and operations, including, legal and judicial reform, combating corruption, project and infrastructure finance, post-conflict reconstruction, and governance and capacity building in Africa. He lectured at various institutions around the world, including the International  Development Law Institute in Rome, the International Law Institute in Washington, D.C., and as a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College (London University).After retiring from the World Bank at the end of 2007, he devoted his time to serving Africa more directly. He was the Special Advisor to the President of the African Development Bank from 2008 to 2015.  Most recently, he was a member of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel, facilitating negotiations between the Republics of Sudan and South Sudan. He served on the Boards of the African University of Science and Technology, the Nelson Mandela Institution, and the International Law Institute – African Centre for Legal Excellence.Paatii will be remembered most for his commitment to Africa and love for Ghana, loyalty to his friends and colleagues, zest for life, quirky sense of humor and humility.  He believed strongly in the notion that the law can be used as an instrument for change in international development.Paatii was a proud African with a passionate and unwavering belief in the advancement of the continent. He was a mentor to many, was generous with his time, and he treated everyone he came across, regardless of status or position, with warmth and kindness.  He was strong but gentle, and he used his charm as an asset to resolve complex problems during negotiations.  Always well-dressed and with an infectious smile and laugh, Paatii could  bring levity to any situation.  While his mission was African’s development, his professional journey was made special by the relationships with the people he met from all over the world. He paved the way for many more Africans in his field.Paatii’s self-proclaimed most important, and perhaps, most successful job was that of “family man.” His true joy in life was attending his children’s events; he attended games and performances, even if he had to return to the office afterwards.  He danced to any and all music, but loved Ghanaian Highlife and the great songs by Bob Marley.  He was a connoisseur of African cuisine, though his favorite food was  plantains. At the Ofosu-Amaah dinner table, the plate full of plantains always somehow stayed within arm’s reach of Paatii.  He compiled an impressive collection of West African art.He enjoyed shopping, music festivals, watching sports, and “bonding” as he called it, with his children and many nieces and nephews, who were always welcome at the house. Ghana was more than a homeland for Paatii; it was his “paradise.”  He spent as much time as he possibly could in Ghana. He was excited about permanently retiring there to enjoy his new house, spend time with family and dear wife, reconnect with old friends, and become an Accra Boy again.Paatii’s passing was sudden and unexpected, but we are comforted that he lived his life to the fullest and knew how much he was loved.  He experienced every corner of the world, genuinely pursued his passions, was proud of his homeland, and was unabashedly himself.  In his personal and professional life, we know that he always embodied the aspiration to “do what you can with what you have to leave a place better than you inherited it,” and for that, we are deeply proud.  Paatii is survived by his wife, Waafas; son, Nii Amaah and his wife Sara; daughter, Naabia; siblings Samuel and his wife Virginia Ofosu-Amaah, George K.A. Ofosu-Amaah and his wife Elizabeth Ohene, May and her husband Oko Nartey, Vincent Ofosu-Amaan and his wife Naa Lamiley Amoah; and countless cousins, nieces and nephews.  He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.last_img read more

DC Residents Contemplate New Figures for Famed Bens Chili Bowl Mural

first_imgOn Jan. 26, Ben’s Chili Bowl announced on its website that it painted over the mural that had long graced the side of the building, which featured Majic 102.3 radio host Donnie Simpson, comedian Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, and Go-go musician Chuck Brown.Ben’s Chili Bowl erases its famous mural to start a new year. (Courtesy Photo)“Now, after five years of braving the elements, it’s time to refresh and repaint the mural and we want your input!” the website reads.Ben’s Chili Bowl erases its famous mural to start a new year. (Courtesy Photo)Virginia Ali, who runs the business with her children, said the decision to paint over these famous men wasn’t personal. “It was looking bad,” she told the Washington Post, “and we figured it’s a new year, so why not get started.”The Ali’s are now taking suggestions from customers on who should be among the faces to grace the new wall. On its website, customers can vote from a list of people whom they would like to see on the next mural.“I am sad to see the old one go, but the new wall offers a great opportunity get some Black women on it. I always felt like Radio Raheem in Do the Right Thing – like, when can we get a sister up here on the wall,” Ward 6 resident Charles Medina told the AFRO. “It would be beautiful to get our mayor for life Marion Barry – and our first lady for life, Michelle Obama on the wall.”Ben’s Chili Bowl erases its famous mural to start a new year. (Courtesy Photo)Other suggestions from Ben’s customers as surveyed by the AFRO, include Oprah Winfrey, Dick Gregory and Shirley Chisolm. “We have got to turn this into our own local Mount Rushmore and it should include our local, homegrown heroes,” Ward 8 resident Michelle “Red” Bailey told the AFRO. “I want Dick Gregory on this wall because without him, our understanding of race, politics, and life, would be so much less than it is now. We need to honor him.”Ben’s Chili Bowl was established in 1958 and became a local landmark after the 1968 riots that followed the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While much of the famed U Street corridor was destroyed in the aftermath of the riots, Ben’s was spared. In 2009, Mayor Adrian Fenty took then-President-elect Barack Obama to the restaurant, where he had a chili half-smoke and sweet tea.last_img read more

Where are DCs Missing Girls

first_imgAn Instagram post describing how 14 Black girls went missing during a 24 hour period in the District of Columbia went viral, drawing national attention. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department Aquita Brown told the AFRO on March 27 that there is not a spike in missing person cases, just an increase in publicity. She said the department has been using social media to publicize missing person cases since last year.District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) students march in D.C. March 28 to use their first amendment right to call for the White House and the Justice Department to do more in reference to the city’s missing Black and Latino girls. (Photos by Rob Roberts)Even though, “the departments have always used social media to announce these cases,” Brown said. “The increase of press releases and social media gradually occurred when new leadership took over the unit in December.”Though the report was false, the attention shed light on a District issue and sparked a flurry of response.As of March 28, there have been 828 missing person cases, with nearly 65 percent of those cases involving juveniles, according to data from the department. D.C. police share fliers on social media of missing person cases. The fliers include the name, age, photo, and where the person was last seen.Most missing persons appear to be people of color. There are currently 29 unfound people in D.C. and all those people are either Black or Hispanic, according to police reports.In response to the uproar, the Congressional Black Caucus called on federal authorities to help find the city’s missing girls on March 21. In a letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, the CBC asked for an investigation into the disappearances. “It is essential that the Department of Justice and the FBI use all of the tools at their disposal to help local officials investigate these events, and return these children to their parents as quickly as possible,” the letter said.CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) signed off on the letter together, stating that authorities often assume missing children of color are runaways and not victims of abduction.Brown said that the missing individuals are runaways who leave home voluntarily, “We have no indication that these individuals are being kidnapped or snatched off the street,” she said. “Our concern is to find them as soon as possible, and ensure their safety.” Most missing persons are located within 24 to 48 hours, Brown added.Norton also introduced legislation on March 24 to require the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to collect and publish national demographic data on missing youngsters. Norton’s office did not respond for comment on her legislation in time for publication.Also, in response to the news of the District’s missing teenagers, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched six initiatives on March 24 to help solve missing children cases and address the issues that are causing youth to leave their homes.“We are doubling down and enforcing policies that better publicize when our youth go missing, invests more resources to address why youth go missing, and provides more police to help investigate cases of missing youth,” Kevin Harris, a spokesperson for the mayor, told the AFRO March 27.The initiatives include a boost in officer staffing within the Children and Family Services Division, broadening the information provided on police social accounts and webpages for missing persons, and providing grant funding to community non profits to assist runaway youth and their parents.Harris said the number of missing children reports is declining and the department has a case closure rate of 95 percent, but there is still progress to be made. “If we want to make more significant headway in lowering the numbers of children reported missing, we have to deal with the underlying causes for why they left home in the first place, he said. “These initiatives will help us to focus our energies not just on quickly locating our missing youth, but hopefully ensuring they don’t go missing again.”last_img read more

Winter Mitzvah Day

first_imgOn Dec. 25, sign up to work a two-hour shift or to deliver hot meals. All ages are welcome!Make it Happen: Make someone’s day! The Temple Rodef Shalom,2100 Westmoreland Street, is scheduled to make and donate care kits for homeless living on the streets in the cold. Volunteers will sort and deliver clothing as well. Donations are needed.We will contact you with more details as the date gets closer. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Nikki Koch, nrk1002@gmail.com, 703.969.3664. Register for the event on eventbrite.com.last_img

ATT CEO Compares HBO to Tiffany Netflix to Walmart

first_imgNetflix is like the Walmart of subscription video — while HBO is Tiffany & Co., according to Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO.Stephenson also said AT&T is looking to launch a new direct-to-consumer model for WarnerMedia (the former Time Warner), built around the Warner Bros. content library and including content from HBO and Turner Sports. The company plans to reveal more details of the new direct-to-consumer streaming plans in the fourth quarter of 2018, he said, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York City.The new direct-to-consumer business initiative for WarnerMedia, led by CEO John Stankey, will “bring all the assets AT&T to bear,” said Stephenson.The AT&T boss suggested that HBO is the crown jewel in the WarnerMedia portfolio — literally, likening the premium programmer to the Tiffany luxury jewelry and goods retailer. “HBO is a very unique brand,” Stephenson said. “I mean what I said, it is the Tiffany’s of media and entertainment.” While AT&T’s entertainment group, which includes DirecTV and broadband, has been in decline because of satellite-TV subscriber losses, the company’s newly launched WatchTV over-the-top business is profitable, according to Stephenson. In July, AT&T raised the price of DirecTV Now streaming plans by $5 per month, and so far in Q3 “we’ve not seen the deterioration of subscribers we thought we would,” Stephenson said.In 2019, WarnerMedia’s revenue is projected to grow along with AT&T’s wireless business, Stephenson said. If the AT&T entertainment group is at least flat, he said that even at that “low watermark” the company will have comfortable cash-flow levels to pay down debt it amassed through the Time Warner deal.AT&T continues to expect its net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA ratio to be in the 2.5X range by the end of 2019, according to Stephenson. For full-year 2018, the company expects to hit more than $21 billion in free cash flow and begin 2019 with a baseline of $25 billion in free cash flow.Stephenson said there are still substantial overhead costs at WarnerMedia that the company can eliminate. Those are functions that can be integrated across HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. in areas including procurement, finance and accounting, the AT&T CEO said. AT&T has said it expects to see $1.5 billion in cost synergies and $1 billion in revenue synergies from the Time Warner acquisition within the next three years.“We’ve told Stankey, you take that and redeploy that in media and entertainment content,” Stephenson said. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Observers immediately pointed out that Walmart, with $486 billion in revenue last year, is 100 times more massive than the high-end Tiffany & Co., which reported $4.2 billion in sales for 2017. Meanwhile, Walmart itself is working up plans to launch a subscription VOD service.Of course, Stephenson meant to imply that HBO is the creme de la creme of original programming, not necessarily that it’s a far smaller business than Netflix, even if that’s what his analogy explicitly connoted. The exec’s Netflix-Walmart/HBO-Tiffany comparison also rings hollow given that Netflix outscored HBO on this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards nominations for the first time —  with 112 for Netflix and 108 for HBO.Stephenson said AT&T will “step up” the investment in content at HBO, which spends around $2 billion annually on content. However, he added, “We’re not talking about Netflix-like investments.”WarnerMedia CEO Stankey and HBO chief Richard Plepler have been tasked with growing HBO’s content output “to make sure we have a more robust cycle of content coming throughout the year – and throughout the week,” Stephenson said.HBO needs a “more fulsome lineup and schedule,” according to Stephenson. For example, he said, subscribers sign up for HBO to watch “Game of Thrones” and then leave when the latest season ends. The new content strategy for HBO is “more about filling out the schedule,” Stephenson said.Asked about the Justice Department’s appeal of the ruling in the antitrust case that gave the go-ahead to AT&T to proceed with the Time Warner takeover, Stephenson noted that the burden of proof is on the DOJ to demonstrate that the judge got it wrong,“We feel very good where we stand on appeal. The deal is closed. The integration is going quite well,” Stephenson said. “The teams are spending zero effort thinking about the appeal,” he added, though he did say the Justice Department litigation has been a distraction. The AT&T chief said he expects the DOJ appeal in the case to wrap up in January or February 2019.last_img read more

GameFly launches Steam competitor with free games for members

first_imgGames-by-mail rental service GameFly has launched an open beta of its own digital distribution service for PC games that features a roster of free downloads for members of the service.The service is at its core a game download store where players can digitally acquire new releases. GameFly acquired digital distributor Direct2Drive in 2011, and this is effectively the relaunch of that service. Top releases like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim can each be had for $59.99, while GameFly members get a 10% discount.Unlimited PC Play is a feature exclusive to GameFly customers with subscription plans and for now offers free downloads of some 200 titles from PC gaming’s backbench including older Ubisoft releases, unknown children’s titles, and short-lived episodic games. Right now, the library generally reflects that of the defunct subscription service GameTap circa 2007 or 2008, but is expected to grow as more publishers sign on.Mac games are a planned feature, but for now the open beta only covers PC games. Access to the retail purchases via a Steam-like client download are free, while Unlimited PC Play begins at $15.95 per month with a standard GameFly subscription.GameFly has gradually expanded upon its core rental business since 2008 when it entered the Web business by acquiring game news blog Shacknews. When considering that GameFly loses money on postal shipping, the digital distribution business may be seen as a gradual, Netflix-esque move away from rentals by mail and toward a cloud-based business. At one point, it even tried a Redbox-like physical kiosk, but that appears to not have panned out. Meanwhile, Redbox has moved into the gaming space to great success.Download the client at Gameflylast_img read more

SDCC Announcement Stranger Things New Trailer and Casting News

first_img A Tale of Two Wonder WomenSDCC Announcement: IDW Games Brings 90s Nick to Life The breakout hit Stranger Things is coming back to Netflix, and I wish it would hurry already.We got our first look at the teaser trailer for Stranger Things 2 this year at the Superbowl, but we’ve finally been given the gift of the first full trailer for the new season.The new trailer carries many details, but we still have so many questions! The biggest question coming into this new season is with the troubling mental, and physical state of Will after his experiences in the upside down? The boys are back, their friendship looking as solid as ever, but how long will it last? We have a sneak peek of the new cast including Max played by Sadie Sink. It looks like Nancy and Steve are on the rocks, but Jonathan and Nancy are doing just fine. Joyce is worried about her son, but we just hope everyone gets out of this alive!The biggest things, however, are the return of Eleven, who survived both the Upside Down and Demogorgon and she’s reaching back into our world and the brand new threat that very well may be the dreaded Thessalhydra.The feel of the 80s is still within Stranger Things as we see references to Reagan/Bush, Dragon’s Lair and Michael Jackson’s Thriller playing along with the trailer. This season is already turning out to be an epic one, and we’ve only just seen what it will do.Stranger Things Season 2 is set to premiere on October 27. Catch the first season of Stranger Things on Netflix now.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more

Legends of Tomorrows Music Moment Falls Flat

first_img DC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC NewsOur Favorite TV Superheroes Ranked Stay on target Legends of Tomorrow has been consistently great this season. While I’m generally happy about that, it does have a downside. It makes the occasional lackluster episode stand out all the more. Even though last night’s episode did plenty right, it wasn’t enough to make up for every opportunity it missed. We start in a guitar shop in the 1950s where a young musician wants to buy his first guitar. The one he picks happens to have been owned by Robert Johnson, the man who, according to legend, sold his soul to the devil for guitar skills. The boy is drawn to the guitar, and the lights go all crazy as he plays it. The terrified proprietor gives the young man the guitar and asks his name. It’s Elvis Presley.This week’s anachronism involves The King and a cursed guitar, and its effects on the Waverider are hilarious. We immediately know that something happened to make Elvis not a thing, and that has a ripple effect all throughout history. Instead of Guitar Hero, Zari plays Trombone Hero. Rory’s rat’s name is Josh Groban. Nate’s pomade never caught on, so he doesn’t have any. It’s fun watching them grow more confused about what happened. They finally figure it out, and head back in time to Elvis’s uncle’s church. I have to say the actor who plays the young King is really good at it. He has that attitude, the sneer and the all-important hip-shake that makes sure all the girls in town get the front pews at church.Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West (Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW)It also makes Zari’s totem start carrying her into the air, inspiring a satanic panic in the small church. That’s all the evidence the Legends need to piece together that the lost totem is in the guitar. They start to hatch a plan to get the guitar away from Elvis, but Wally grabs it immediately. Having a speedster on the team is going to take the other legends some getting used to. Wally just wants so badly to help; he doesn’t realize that he’s kind of disrupting everyone’s flow. But hey, he gets results. You can’t argue with that.Unfortunately, losing the guitar shakes Elvis’s confidence. They replace it with a non-totem replica, but he can feel it’s not the same. He bombs a live show, and explains that his old guitar lets him feel like his brother, who died in the womb, was playing with him. As the Legends on the ship find out, that’s because the guitar is actually haunted. The totem embedded in it is the Death Totem. And it’s capable of leveling a whole city, which is what caused the anachronism in the first place. But a record needs to be made, so Nate convinces the Legends to let Elvis record one song with the cursed guitar. After that, they can take it back and hopefully Elvis will have the confidence to make Rock and Roll history without a haunted instrument.Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave, Maisie Richardson- Sellers as Amaya Jiwe/Vixe, Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary, Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West and Tala Ashe as Zari (Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)And hey, the young King makes one hell of a record. His uncle fears that might be literal. He seizes the record and has the sheriff throw Elvis, Nate and Amaya in the jailhouse for the night. That means it’s Zari and Wally’s time to shine. Wally wants to handle things his usual speedster way, but Zari lets him in on why they do things the way they do them. It was a nice, natural way for Wally to be added to the team, while not letting the addition of a speedster become a cheat code for every situation. Some situations, Zari explains, require a more delicate touch. Wally and Zari have an honest discussion with Elvis’ preacher uncle, and he ends up giving the music a chance. That’s when the real trouble starts.The totem reacts with the music as it plays on the radio and a swarm of ghosts attack the church. It’s not the flashiest, or most exciting battle, but it’s fun watching Zari and Wally work together to ward off the ghosts. They’re bonding over their Pac Man skills, and it’s cute. I only wish the episode had spent more time focusing on their story. Instead, the focus shifts to Elvis Presley, whose dulcet tones are needed to put the spirits to rest. This is where the episode’s shortcomings become too obvious to ignore. Elvis’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” not only soothes the ghosts, but it also gives Nate and Amaya their music moment. It’s the one part of rock and roll that she likes. They start dancing and the rest of the church joins in.Tala Ashe as Zari and Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West (Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)It’s all too cheesy, and it grinds the episode to a halt for nothing. The episode began with the promise of a town being nearly destroyed because of magic rock and roll. And this is all we get. Some cheap ghost effects, and a dull rendition of “Amazing Grace.” No matter how good this kid’s Elvis impersonation is, it can’t save this scene. It’s not helped by the fact that he’s obviously not playing the guitar.This episode is also the point where Legends of Tomorrow’s ignoring of racism in history starts feeling super lame. It’s never been the show to really engage with those issues. It’s not the kind of story this show wants to tell. That’s usually OK, until we come to an era that, in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t all that long ago. We still have a clear picture of what the world was like back then. Outside of a brief shot where the Legends get some sneers when they attend church, the racial tensions of the era are never brought up again. I don’t expect everyone in 1950s Memphis to be screaming racists, but Nate and Amaya dancing and kissing in the middle of a church in that era would get a few stares at the very least. Issues of race are given lip-service and then handwaved away, and that sucks.Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel and Maisie Richardson- Sellers as Amaya Jiwe/Vixe (Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW)What’s even worse is the importance placed on Elvis above all other artists. Nate has one sentence where he mentions the black musicians that… inspired Elvis, to put it charitably. After that, the actual creators of rock and roll get about as much recognition from the Legends as they got from Elvis in real life. To build an episode around Elvis makes sense. He was an important figure in the development of popular music, and there’s a lot of fun to be had with his life and personality. To pretend that he was the sole arbiter of rock and roll, that without Elvis it wouldn’t exist, borders on being offensive. I know Legends of Tomorrow likes to focus on big historical icons, but just this once, I wish they explored more of what was going on in the Memphis music scene at the time. There are a ton of stories there that are way more interesting than Elvis’.It’s too bad because a trip to 1950s Memphis, even with Elvis as the focus could have been so much better. The show just didn’t do much with the period or with Elvis. The jokes about what would happen if Elvis never made rock and roll mainstream were funny, but we’ve come to expect more from Legends of Tomorrow. There is so much opportunity for playing around with history in this era, and most of it’s left on the table. This is an episode where they find out what the missing totem is, and get their hands on it. That should be a big deal, but it isn’t. They see a thing; they want it, they get it. It’s not exciting. You know an episode has problems when you’re wishing the Darhks had shown up to cause some trouble. But maybe they’ll make good on all this next week. The episode ended with the totem shaking ominously in its box. That could lead to something more meaningful. I hope.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Java malware sets its sights on your Minecraft passwords

first_imgThe fine folks at Intego have spotted one of the most vile pieces of Java malware ever discovered: an app that masquerades as a Minecraft hack tool that is actually designed to steal your precious login credentials.It’s pretty similar to the the fake Runescape gold cheat app that landed a Canadian youth in hot water with police last month. This time, however, the shifty bugger behind the malicious code has built it using Java — making it a cross-platform threat. Because Minecraft requires Java to run, there’s no question that the cheat tool will fire up on a victim’s computer, too.The tool baits users with buttons that claim to perform god-like actions on servers, from granting OP permissions to banning other users. In the background, however, the real action is taking place. The username and password for the account that last logged in are swiped and securely emailed to a Hotmail inbox.This piece of malware is quite a bit more sophisticated, too. It’s made of multiple Java applets that are hidden after being dropped onto a compromised system. The tool is also capable of updating and deleting its components (presumably after receiving remote commands), so additional malicious activities could be carried out down the road. That could mean everything from more widespread password stealing to browser hijacking.For the love of Steve, people, keep Minecraft pure. Keep playing honestly, and avoid the urge to exact vengeance upon your griefers by downloading anything that claims to give you godlike abilities on a server. You’re just asking for trouble.Consider this warning the “Ssssssss…” before the boom.last_img read more

40 adapter lets the iPhone 7 charge and output audio at the

first_imgThe newly announced iPhone 7 doesn’t have a headphone jack, which has annoyed many fans of iDevices. The iPhone 7 will output audio over the Lightning port in addition to using Bluetooth. One of the chief complaints with this situation is the inability to both charge and listen to wired audio at the same time.You can fix this problem for $40 thanks to Belkin. Yep, $40 to do what your current phone already does now. Oh, and you have to carry around this giant honkin’ adapter. What a time to be alive.Apple spent a good chunk of the iPhone keynote talking about its “courageous” decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from its new phone. Apple will make headphones that connect to the Lightning adapter, and there will be an adapter for standard headphones. There’s still just the one port, though. Belkin’s “Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar” adapter was developed in close partnership with Apple, and turns that single Lightning port into two ports. However, they’re both Lightning ports.So, with this $40 dongle you can plug in a power cable and a lightning audio cable. That can be either Lightning-connector headphones or the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter. Honestly, it’s a little insane Belkin went to the trouble of making this adapter without a regular headphone jack in it. This is only slightly more useful than the one port on the phone. It probably speaks to how much control Apple has over the Lightning connector that the “double-dongle” still forces you to abandon the 3.5mm jack.The Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar will go on sale October 10th It supports charging up to 12W and 48kHz 24-bit audio. You’ll be able to get it from Belkin’s site and the Apple online store.last_img read more

Identity of the two mysterious guys from Street Fighter II intro revealed

first_imgNow, why is Capcom doing this all of a sudden? Considering each of these pictures has the Street Fighter V logo on them, it’s safe to say that Max and Scott will appear in the game. Whether they’ll be fully playable characters or just make an appearance in SFV’s upcoming story mode update is currently unclear. Still, Capcom is definitely planning something with these guys, and I suspect we’ll find out in June when the story mode expansion is released. For over 25 years, fans of Street Fighter II have wondered who the two guys in the game’s original intro were. A lot of theories have been tossed around, but it was all speculation at best. After all of this time, Capcom has at last revealed the identity of the two fighters. To make things even better, it’s all but certain that we’ll see these two included in Street Fighter V.On a post over on the Street Fighter subreddit, Capcom revealed that the two fighters are named Max (shirtless) and Scott (maybe a little cold so he wore a shirt). Those are pretty generic names, but it’s nice to finally know anything about these guys. Below, you can see them in action:Even more interesting, Capcom posted bios for the two characters. The information is all in Japanese, but as you can see, each of the combatants received updates to their designs. Scott is virtually unchanged, but Max has completely shaved his head and is now rocking a pair of spiffy looking sunglasses. He also found a shirt (sort of).last_img read more

Lightsabers vs Laser Pointers Which is Cooler

first_imgStay on target Mattel Unveils Fashionable ‘Star Wars’ x Barbie Dolls‘Star Wars: Resistance’ Finale Sets Up ‘The Rise of Sk… Since it’s now official that Star Wars is never going away, we’ll be seeing lightsabers, those elegant weapons for Force users, even more frequently. And you know what? That’s okay. Overexposure may have made lightsabers slightly less cool than they used to be, but the dream of whipping out a little laser sword and going to town is still extremely awesome. What could be cooler than that?How about shooting your own personal laser beam? Most folks only use laser pointers to point at images in corporate slideshows, but there’s so much more to the technology. You just have to be willing to fall down the fascinating rabbit hole that is the online laser pointer community, which I did back during college.Lightsabers. Laser pointers. Technology that’s very different but at the same time pretty similar. However, there can only one winner. So which is cooler? Let’s put them to the test.ColorWe all know the different colors lightsabers come in. Green and blue for good guys, red for bad guys, and purple for Sam Jackson. But aside from reflecting the wielder’s allegiance, a lightsaber’s color doesn’t really matter all that much. It’s just aesthetics. Yeah, there was the recent revelation that a red lightsaber is caused by the crystal “bleeding” due to Dark Side corruption, but that’s lame.A laser pointer’s color is much more significant. Laser pointers come in all colors of the spectrum, and the color reflects how powerful a laser pointer can be. Basic laser pointers come in red. Green lasers are stronger and are a good choice for folks looking to get more serious about lasers. That’s what I have. Finally, the most powerful lasers are fluorescent blue-violet. This is also how Blu-ray discs pack more visual information than DVDs. They are meant for blue lasers, not red ones.Winner: laser pointersPowerDepending on the color of your laser pointer, and the strength of the battery, you can do some real damage with a laser pointer. You can pop balloons, set wood on fire, and even blind pilots (which is extremely illegal). The strongest laser pointers really are like pseudo-lightsabers. That makes this match-up closer than you’d expect.Still, lightsabers can hack off limbs and instantly cauterize the wounds, deflect laser bolts and lightning blasts, and do all kinds of other space fantasy nonsense.Winner: lightsabersCommunityLightsabers are either used by chaste, uppity space monks who accidentally let the galaxy fall into fascism under their watch or the goth maniacs who spread that fascism in the first place. Jedi. Sith. They both leave a lot to be desired.The laser pointer community is a thriving group of DIY go-getters sharing knowledge about how to make frickin’ laser beams out of devices no bigger than pens. When I first started getting into laser pointers, I knew literally nothing. But educating yourself is so easy and thanks to these people I was popping balloons in no time.Winner: laser pointersName“Laser pointer” is a perfectly descriptive name. It’s a laser you use for pointing at things. Plus, the word “laser” is pretty nifty in and of itself.However, “lightsaber” is a way better name. I think we’ve forgotten because of how ubiquitous the word has become, but it’s a saber made of light. That’s an incredibly cool sci-fi term, almost as incredible as George Lucas continuing to call them “laser swords” in interviews.Winner: lightsabersActual ExistenceLaser pointers are real, and working lightsabers are not.Winner: laser pointersWinnerWe had two worthy contestants, and it was a close match. But with a final score of 3-2, we can now announce that laser pointers are objectively cooler than lightsabers.Buy some today!last_img read more

SpaceX Successfully Launches TopSecret Spy Satellite

first_img Hubble Space Telescope Captures Star’s Eerie Gaseous GlowMoon Glows Brighter Than Sun in NASA Fermi’s Vibrant Images SpaceX on Monday successfully launched a top-secret spy satellite into orbit and landed its first-stage booster.But don’t expect any details about the national security payload—a contract with the Department of Defense’s National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).“Thanks to the SpaceX team for the great ride, and for the terrific teamwork and commitment they demonstrated throughout,” Betty Sapp, director of the National Reconnaissance Office, said in a statement. “They were an integral part of our government/industry team for this mission, and proved themselves to be a great partner.”Following a literal last-minute cancellation on Sunday—an issue with a rocket sensor forced officials to call off the mission 52 seconds before liftoff—Elon Musk’s private aerospace firm yesterday launched NROL-76 at 7:15 a.m. ET from the Kennedy Space Center.NROL-76 launch (via SpaceX)The second try, however, nearly didn’t happen: According to a tweet from Musk, the wind shear was “at 98.6% of the theoretical load limit.”Luckily for SpaceX and the NRO, the launch went off without a hitch, and the Falcon 9 performed another successful landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.The contents of the NROL-76—the second of five launches slated for the organization this year—remain unknown. NRO’s next launch is scheduled for Aug. 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.Tasked with designing, building, launching, and maintaining intelligence satellites, the National Reconnaissance Office, opened in 1961, describes itself as the country’s “eyes and ears in critical places where no human can reach—be it over the most rugged terrain or through the most hostile territory.”Watch the full webcast of the launch below; fast forward to the 11-minute-50-second mark to see the real action.Musk, meanwhile, recently sat down with TED head curator Chris Anderson to talk Boring, Gigafactory, Hyperloop, SpaceX, and Tesla, suggesting that we’re only two years away from completely autonomous vehicles. You know, the kind that let drivers get some extra shuteye during the commute to work.“I want to be clear,” the entrepreneur told Anderson. “I’m not trying to be anyone’s savior. … I’m just trying to think about the future and not be sad.” Stay on targetlast_img read more

Cat Quest is a Fine Feline RPG

first_img Controller Patent Teases SNES Games on SwitchPlay These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield&… Stay on target If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.Cat Quest is a role-playing game where instead of playing as some generic Dungeons and Dragons character you take on the furry role of an adorable cartoon cat. The developers (the perfectly named “The Gentlebros”) really could’ve just stopped right there. That premise alone would’ve gotten them all the profitable cat love the internet could provide. And in truth, there’s not much more to the game than that. But Cat Quest adds just enough extra polish and craft to give its cute gag some staying power.A cat-based RPG could’ve taken many forms, but oddly enough Cat Quest’s biggest source of inspiration seems to be Skyrim of all things. No, it’s not an epic first-person 3D adventure dripping with production value only Bethesda can pull off. But it does give players a fairly expansive open world to explore and fight through in real time. Plus, the plot revolves you trying to rescue your sister using your special dragon powers, which is totally a parody of Skyrim’s Dragonborn business.AdChoices广告Instead of switching between a map screen and the action, all of Cat Quest’s action takes place on the top-down map screen. However, it’s not a static and flat piece of paper. On the ground you’ll see routes and names of buildings and villages in classy cartography font. But the inhabitants mill about on top as if this was an actual vibrant living world. The way the 2D characters are separated by deep planes stretching into the distance gives the game an appealing immersive storybook look, almost like upcoming Switch game Octopath Traveler. The style helps art that might have otherwise seemed plain despite the cuteness stand out more. The jaunty “epic” quest music adds a lot, too.Once you start playing Cat Quest for an extended period of time, though, all the charming cat puns in the world (Catpital City being my favorite) can’t hide that this is a pretty basic RPG. Take on quests as you travel around town, catnapping to regain strength. There are monsters in the overworld but the challenge really lies in caves spread across the map. In general the game gets more difficult the more north you go, an elegant idea. But gameplay-wise things are very straightforward regardless of difficulty.The real-time combat has you swinging your weapon and rolling away from attacks. Enemies telegraph the range of their hits, giving you a chance to dodge and manage crowds of enemies. It’s pretty fun and tactical. You can also equip different spells like healing and lightning to different triggers.But overall fights are basic in a way that makes sense considering the game’s casual mobile roots. The combat doesn’t get much deeper even as you’re forced to keep engaging with it to grind enough experience for higher-level challenges. I was also hoping for some more creative gear to find and equip. A cat in a wizard’s hat is pretty great but the sky could’ve been the limit when it comes to feline dress-up.Cat Quest’s competent RPG mechanics and charming look keep it entertaining for longer than I would’ve expected. But it eventually still began to bore me. Still, it’s a good entry point for RPG fans who may be too overwhelmed by Skyrim or Zelda. It’s perfect for kittens.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!Super Mario OdysseyThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesView as: One Page Slides1/51. Cat Quest is an RPG where you play as a dang cat.2. Fight monsters with your sword, acrobatics, and magic.3. The 2D world is brought to life with an immersive storybook look.4. However, adorable aesthetics and playable pussy cats can’t make up for how basic and boring Cat Quest can be over time.5. Still, Cat Quest may be a good option for folks too overwhelmed by more complex RPGs.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Facebook CoFounder Wants to Break Up Facebook

first_img Fifteen years ago, Chris Hughes helped co-found globally popular social networking service Facebook.Now he wants to dismantle it.In a scathing—and lengthy—op-ed published by The New York Times, Hughes call for the government to break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable.AdChoices广告Mark Zuckerberg in 2002 recruited Hughes, then a freshman at Harvard, to build an online social directory and networking site.And while he hasn’t worked at the company in a decade, the former Facebook spokesman has a few ideas about how to stop it gaining world domination.“From our earliest days, Mark used the word ‘domination’ to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility,” Hughes wrote.Zuckerberg’s influence, according to Hughes, is “staggering”—”far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government.” Stay on target Chris Hughes is right. Today’s big tech companies have too much power—over our economy, our society, & our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private info for profit, hurt small businesses & stifled innovation. It’s time to #BreakUpBigTech. https://t.co/rZMftEwlkN— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 9, 2019“Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered,” the commentary said.“He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive,” Hughes continued. “And he can choose to shut down a company by acquiring, blocking, or copying it.”Case in point: Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus Rift, Vine.Such dominance leaves Internet users with few alternatives; without the threat of competition, Facebook faces little to no accountability for privacy scandals and data exposure.“This means that every time Facebook messes up, we repeat an exhausting pattern: first outrage, then disappointment, and, finally, resignation,” Hughes argued.So what’s a powerful, first-world nation to do?“The government must hold Mark accountable,” instead of marveling at Facebook’s astounding growth and overlooking dangerous cracks in the world’s anti-competition foundation, according to Hughes.First, he explained, the corporation should be separated into multiple companies; the Federal Trade Commission should undo the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions and spin them off as separate businesses.But that’s not enough: We also need a new Congressional agency to regulate tech companies.Its first mandate, Hughes said, should be protecting privacy—in the same way Europe’s recently enacted General Data Protection Regulation guarantees users a minimal level of security. (And, annoyingly, blocks me from shopping on Modcloth.)The agency would also create guidelines for acceptable speech on social media—subject, of course, to review of the courts.Facebook, however, is not on board with these changes.Nick Clegg, former UK deputy prime minister and current head of Facebook global affairs, this week issued a Trump-esque defense to Hughes’ editorial.“Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability,” he wrote in a statement tweeted by CNN’s Hadas Gold. “But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company. ‘Storm Loch Ness’ Joke Facebook Event Aims to Spot Folklore ‘Monster’Nearly 300K Alien Fans Sign Up to ‘Raid Area 51’ for Joke Facebook Event NEW: Facebook statement from Nick Clegg re: Chris Hughes oped pic.twitter.com/VAZpQturMs— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) May 9, 2019“Accountability of tech companies can only be achieved through the painstaking introduction of new rules for the Internet,” Clegg continued. “That is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has called for.”Zuck himself has remained mum about Hughes’ call for action.At 35, Hughes—a co-chair of the Economic Security Project and author of “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn”—is not naive. He understands that efforts to break up and tightly regulate the world’s largest social network may not be plausible—at least not at first.“Simply pushing for them will bring more oversight,” he said. “An aggressive case against Facebook would persuade other behemoths like Google and Amazon to think twice about stifling competition in their own sectors, out of fear that they could be next.”Calls to dissolve big tech have been gaining steam: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, in March called for the government to break up monopolies and promote competitive markets.“If we don’t have public servants shaping these policies, corporations will,” Hughes warned.More on Geek.com:The Dead Will One Day Outweigh the Living on FacebookFacebook Wants to Connect You With Your ‘Secret Crush’Facebook’s Virtual Assistant to Challenge Alexa, Sirilast_img read more