Monday, July 06, 2020

 

QPORIT XR DAILY NEWS


QPORIT XR DAILY NEWS

QPORIT XRN

EXTENDED REALITY: TECHNOLOGY, CULTURE, WORLD
Quick Previews ORandom Interesting Things in XR News




***

COMING: 2020-07-08 (WED JULY 8, 2020)

MEETUP


eXtended Reality
And the Future of US All

Status, Challenges and Opportunities for
Content, Issues, Economics, and Technology
THE CRITICAL NEXT NINE MONTHS

at the (virtual, of course) joint StoryForward and NYXR Meetup on Wed July 8, 5:30 – 7:30.  It’s free!

To attend and receive the Zoom link, please RSVP at


or


***

2020-07-03/04 (JULY 4, 2020)

NATIONAL HOLIDAY


THE INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND!
***

2020-06-28 (SUN JUNE 28, 2020)


MUSIC




THE ISRAELI PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA (IPO) GALA
  • is now live at
    • https://www.facebook.com/medicitv/videos/268555111041140/

  • Note: The live webcast does not seem to be working (at least for me) at Medici.tv or the IPO page.
    • UPDATE: This may have been the result of a hacking attack on an Israeli Server.
  • It's quite a terrific concert. (And, the sound is very good at FB!)

***

2020-06-27 (SAT JUNE 27, 2020)


***





WORLD



COVID-19 
  • reached two grim milestones
    • more than 10 Million cases worldwide
    • more than 500,000 deaths.
  • With uncompromising leadership, the US leads the world in cases and deaths.
  • With inexcusable incompetence by the President, repeated by Republican southern Governors, the US, led by Florida and Texas, has returned to a sharp growth in cases and hospitalizations.
  • Opening too fast on Memorial Day, ignoring social distancing, not wearing masks, and having no tracing program in place, the number of active cases in the US has risen every day since June 3.
  • The US now has a record number of active cases, almost 1.4 Million.
  • The historical record is clear, over many infectious pandemics: The more stringently a community follows social distancing and related measures, the sooner it recovers medically, the less sickness it experiences, and the sooner and stronger it recovers economically.
  • The US federal government is doing and recommending the opposite, and the results agree with the historical record.
  • The health, lives, and economic future of the people of the United States depends on reversing course and following medical guidelines and recommendations.
***

2020-06-22 (MON JUNE 22, 2020)



TECHNOLOGY 



APPLE'S ANNUAL: WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) 
  • began today, entirely online.
  • The most important announcement was that Apple is bringing its chip-making in-house.
  • It hopes to 
    • unify the hardware architecture of its entire product line, including
      • iPhone, iPad, iWatch, and Mac
    • create the industry's most powerful and efficient chip-set
    • and insure that the hardware and software work exceptionally well  together.
  • In addition Apple announced a large number of incremental design changes, and software additions and improvements for products including SIRI, Maps, Widgets, Messages and Pencil.
  • Apple is also in the process of unifying the software on its entire line of products.
  • The keynote, and a large number of technical videos are now online:
***

2020-06-21 (SUN JUNE 21, 2020)



HOLIDAY 



FATHERS' DAY

  • Happy Fathers' Day to all current and future fathers out there!



***

2020-06-20 (SAT JUNE 20, 2020)


WORLD - XR
TECHNOLOGY, AI
ISSUES




THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION 

***



US



WITH A CALLOUS DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE,

  • the political rally in Oklahoma appears to be on, against the advice of public health officials, who expect the rally to incite a new rise in coronavirus cases and deaths, not only among the participants, but also among others, as newly infected attendees return to their homes and local areas, to infect others.
    • ELM Every Life Matters. 
    • Too often ALM (All Lives Matter) is an excuse for FBAU (Fageddaboudit Business as Usual) .  
    • But Respect for Every Life is the core of the foundation for a healthy, equal, democratic future. 
    • Disrespect for life is the foundation of tyranny.
***

2020-06-19 (FRI JUNE 19, 2020)


US - HOLIDAY 



JUNETEENTH

  • Remembering June 19, 1865: THE DAY SLAVERY ENDED in the US, as the last of the (actually former) slaves were released from bondage, about 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery in the US.
***

2020-06-18 (THU JUNE 18, 2020)


XR - CULTURE, MUSIC, TECH 



THE THURNAUER SCHOOL OF MUSIC

  • presents their annual end-of-year/graduation/Founder's Day concert TONIGHT at 6:30 LIVE on Facebook:
  • The Thurnauer Music School is one of the finest music schools in the world.
    • There are no prerequisites: they accept all students interested in music, carefully assigning them to faculty and classes according to their level.
    • There are no age or other requirements.
    • Scholarships are available.
    • There are no geographical requirements, now that they are online.
  • There will be a summer session
    • In addition to one-on-one instrument study, composition and theory classes, there are choral, chamber music and other ensemble classes.
    • Also, this summer, Rob Kapilow, a noted lecturer, author, and composer (in residence at Thurnauer leading a project and creating an opera inspired by Faith Ringgold's Children's Book We Came To America) will be giving a special class on Musical Theater!
  • The school, (currently operating online!), now over 30 years old  inspired by Dr. Sandra O Gold, and still under the leadership of the founding Director, Dorothy Roffman, has over 400 students, an award winning chorus, an orchestra, and many faculty, Guest, and student concerts.
    • Each year the school has several Master Classes, which have included Violin, Guitar, Piano, Flute, Cello, and other instruments, led by noted performers, which have included Itzhak Perlman in Violin and Sharon Isbin in Guitar.
    • Each year the school has a "Gift of Music" concert to benefit the scholarship fund. Noted artists have included Joshua Bell; the Conductor, concertmaster and leading players of the New York Philharmonic; Wynton Marsalis; the Juilliard String Quartet, and many more.
      • Each year the GOM artists participate with the students in personal interactions which have included chances to talk and ask questions with the artists, rehearsing and playing music together, and even basketball during an afternoon break, giving students a unique opportunity to meet some of the world's most famous performers in an informal setting in which they make music together.
  • LINKS:
  • The LIVE concert today (Thu 6/18/20) at 6:30
  • The home page for the Thurnauer School of Music
  • Registration for summer classes
  • The We Came To America Project
  • Rob Kapilow's What Makes It Great
    • Inside the Great American Songbook
    • Great American Composers, Broadway Theater, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim. 
    • https://www.jccotp.org/the-great-american-songbook



***

2020-06-18 (THU JUNE 18, 2020)


US 



SCOTUS (Supreme Court Of The United States)




***


2020-06-17 (WED JUNE 17, 2020)


US 



SCOTUS

***

2020-06-16 (TUE JUNE 16, 2020)


TECHNOLOGY 



COMING SOON ONLINE:

  • VOICE GLOBAL SUMMIT: June 17-18
    • Many talks on speech recognition apps, some on text to speech, and others on voice technology and the state of the industry. 
    • Google and Amazon, and many small companies are making featured presentations:
    • https://www.voicesummit.ai/global


***

2020-06-15 (MON JUNE 15, 2020)


TECHNOLOGY 



HTC VIVE XR SUITE

  • is a bold attempt to 
    • consolidate existing VR apps (consumer and business facing), including the learning app Engage, and the make-rooms-to-socialize-in app VRChat, 
    • simplify the friction by creating a multi-platform single entry process, and 
    • amplify the marketing through wide distribution and partnerships.
  • It will launch in China later this year, but is available now in beta, and in the existing apps.
  • More about this to come!
***

2020-06-08 (MON JUNE 8, 2020)


TECHNOLOGY 



REAL TIME CONFERENCE - NOW & TOMORROW!



***



2020-05-27 (WED MAY 27, 2020)



US & NEAR SPACE


  • UPDATE (5/31/2019)
    • The launch on Saturday was successful.
    •  The astronauts have docked and joined their colleagues on the International Space  Station!
  • UPDATE (17 MIN BEFORE SCHEDULED LAUNCH): Launch is scrubbed because of bad weather. (Strength of electrical field in atmosphere.)
    • Next try: Sat about 1:30


NASA & SPACEX

  • will launch the first US astronauts into space today from the US since the Space Shuttle was scuttled several years ago.
    • This is also the first time that the US has used a private company to launch astronauts.
      • Liftoff is scheduled for 4:33 PM EDT.
    • Here is the NASA launch page: 

    ***

    2020-05-26 (TUE MAY 26, 2020)

    US 



    COVID-19

    • has killed more than 100,000 humans in the United States.
      • This number continues to grow at a high rate every week.
    • Under pressure, states are relaxing stay-at-home provisions.
    • Many people, at work, in stores, in recreational and other activities are not wearing masks, practicing distancing, or taking other safety measures to protect themselves and others.
    • While hot weather may reduce the lethal effects of the virus temporarily during the summer, unless we are prepared for next fall and winter, the second wave could be a tsunami of devastation.
      • Reports suggest that the second wave of Spanish Flu was worse than the first, and cities that practiced more careful isolation did better economically than cities that relaxed their public health measures.

    ***

    For Memorial Day:
    2020-05-25 (MON MAY 25, 2020)




    UPDATE
    Let us remember all the victims of racial and intolerant violence.

    Let us honor all the soldiers in the cause of unity and peace.



    Memorial Day was started to honor America's veterans. 
    Now, as we confront World War III (COVID vs THE WORLD), we are all soldiers.
    Let us honor the front-line medical workers, the first-responders,
    the supply-chain workers, the victims,
    and all who serve by sheltering themselves
    so the virus can not replicate from person to person.

    WAR: US vs COVID-19



     With US: Distancing, Tests, Masks, 
    Safe Shelter in Place, 
    Workers in Health Care & the Home Supply Chain & First Responders; 
    TRUTH!
     With the enemy: Crowds,  Denial of facts and science, Lies.

    Every human life is precious in the war against COVID-19.


    No man is an island
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent
    A part of the main.

    If a clod be washed away by the sea
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.

    As well as if a manner of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.

    Each man's death diminishes me
    For I am involved in mankind.

    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls...
    It tolls for thee.



    John Donne, 1624








    ***

    2020-05-18 (MON MAY 18, 2020)



    TECHNOLOGY - XR



    OCULUS 


    TECHNOLOGY - XR




    ALERT: MICROSOFT W10 UPDATE KB4556799
    • (~May 16-18 2020) is reported by some users to be causing audio problems, missing files and other issues.
    • If you suspect you have a problem, contact an IT specialist or seek online advice to prevent temporary problems from becoming permanent!
    • (Check settings/update-history to see if that was installed.)
    ***

    2020-05-16 (SAT MAY 16, 2020)



    WORLD - XR - FILM



    SXSW & CANNES 


    ***

    2020-05-13 (WED MAY 13, 2020)



    WORLD - MUSIC - KIDS - GAMES



    SHARON ROFFMAN 
    • violinist, leader of the Royal National Scottish Orchestra (RSNO) and also musical director of the Thurnauer Chamber Music ensemble, has posted
    • The RSNO Challenge #8, a musical listening & moving game for kids:
      • (or adults...)
    • Listen and move, jump, skip, and touch your nose to follow the music:



    ***


    2020-05-12 (TUE MAY 12, 2020)


    THEATER

    IMPORTANT UPDATE
    (2020-06-01 JUNE 1)
    THE PUBLIC THEATER GALA HAS BEEN POSTPONED:

    "In this time of national trauma, when the Covid crisis has so disproportionately impacted the Black community, when the injustices of our way of life have been made so clear, it just feels wrong for us to sail ahead with our event."




    THE PUBLIC THEATER VIRTUAL GALA (JUNE 1, 2020) 
    • will honor Sam Waterston, and feature a spectacular collection of great actors, including
      • Antonio Banderas, Laura Benanti, Kim Blanck, Ally Bonino, Danielle Brooks, Glenn Close, Jenn Colella, Elvis Costello, Claire Danes, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Holly Gould, Danai Gurira, Anne Hathaway, Stephanie Hsu, Oscar Isaac, Nikki M. James, John Leguizamo, Audra McDonald, Grace McLean, Sandra Oh, Mia Pak, David Hyde Pierce, Philippa Soo, Trudie Styler & Sting, Will Swenson, Shaina Taub, Kuhoo Verma, Ada Westfall, Kate Wetherhead, and more
    • The event, "WE ARE ONE PUBLIC", is FREE online, available on the Public's website, Facebook, and YouTube pages.
    • The Public Theater is one of New York's great theatrical institutions, with great programming all year round, and Free Shakespeare in the Park in the summer.
    • Sam Waterston is a terrific actor and teacher, and a very nice person!  I studied with him in an exceptional class at HB Studio.
    • The Public has a several interesting initiatives online right now, including a series of artistic "challenges" for everyone.
    • For more information about the gala and more:

      ***



      WORLD



      JERRY STILLER, 


        ***


        FILM



        58TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL (NYFF 2020) 

        • will have a slightly revised structure and a new programming committee. 

        ***

        2020-05-06 (WED MAY 6, 2020)


        TECHNOLOGY


        MICROSOFT BUILD CONFERENCE - MAY 19-20

        ***

        2020-05-05 (TUE MAY 5, 2020)


        WORLD 


        COVID-19

        • has begun to mutate, with a new strain, more contagious than the strain which appeared in China, appearing to dominate in European infections, and in infections in the Eastern part of the US
        • Because this information is new, it must be taken as preliminary, and must be carefully reviewed.
          • However, this could help account for the fact that the infections in China, South Korea, and Japan, though early, were contained (apparently with some success) by vigorous controls; while infections in Europe and the Eastern US (together with apparently less timely and less vigorous containment controls) have been, and continue to be, devastating, with many times the illnesses and deaths seen in the first wave of infections.
          • Additionally, and very worrisome, is the possibility that a rapidly mutating virus would be able to re-infect people who survived an earlier infection with a different mutation; or who had been vaccinated against a different mutation. 


        ***

        2020-05-04 (MON MAY 4, 2020)


        US 


        SCOTUS (THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES)

        ***

        2020-05-01 (FRI MAY 1, 2020)




        TECHNOLOGY - EXTENDED REALITY 


        MAGIC LEAP


        2020-04-28 (TUE APR 28, 2020)


        THEATER, HEALTH, ECONOMY

        THE AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER (A. R. T.)

        ***

        2020-04-24 (FRI APR 24, 2020)

        ONLINE EVENTS



        THEATER



        • For more videos, including some with Angela Lansberry, subscribe to the newsletter from

        • FROM RED BULL THEATER
          • alot of online offerings including:
            • a cast reading of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
              • Only online 'til this evening
            • a podcast (Monday, April 27) about the speech: "Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war", from Julius Caesar, with Elizabeth Marvel
            • a live reading (Monday, May 4) of The Witch of Edmonton
          • for more information:
          • https://www.redbulltheater.com/live
        ***

        2020-04-23 (THU APR 23, 2020)


        TECHNOLOGY

        ZUCKERBERG

        • is giving an update on Facebook & COVID live 
        • Facebook is beefing up its video offerings with 
          • 360 backgrounds in Messenger, 
          • 8 person live group calls in What'sApp;
          • "Messenger Rooms"; 
            • invite people, they do not need to belong to FB; 
            • a place to hang-out and drop in for a video connection. and
          • Live Video 
            • to desktops, 
            • with event planning, 
            • and possibility of paid events
          ***

          2020-04-23 (THU APR 23, 2020)


          THEATER

          ***


          2020-04-20 (MON APR 20, 2020)

          THEATER

          THE PUBLIC THEATER

          • has created a really terrific project.
          • They have posted on YouTube three interpretations of a brilliant scene from Romeo and Juliet.
          • And YOU are invited to post your own interpretations and tag the Public theater with @PublicTheaterNY on Twitter and Instagram, and use the hashtag #BraveNewShakespeare to share your contribution with the group.
          • The three versions the Public shared are: [#1] in English; [#2] in Spanish & [#3] in American Sign Language!
          • You are invited to present your own version in any language, and any art form... dance; Ukranian; English; PigLatin; photography; music... anything you wish to share...  relevant to the scene.
          • The whole script for the scene (Romeo & Juliet Act 2 Scene 2, by Shakespeare) is provided on the site in both English and Spanish:
          • For more about activities at the Public:
          • Sign up (at the site above) for their newsletter...
          • There is a weekly challenge, check back with them each week (or follow the newsletter) and join in!

          ***


          2020-04-19 (SUN APR 19, 2020)

          FILM

          MONTCLAIR FILM

          • has created an online film discussion group.
          • Each day they recommend an interesting film streaming on one of the major streaming services.
            • Beginning at noon they provide an introduction to the film, and after, the group is open to comments and discussion.
            • The discussion takes place in a Facebook group open to members of Montclair Film.
            • Montclair Film is a very active local film organization, with services to schools, and sponsor of the Montclair Film Festival.
            • Membership in Montclair film is not expensive, and supports their activities and your participation in Montclair Film's "Discover Together" group.
            • https://montclairfilm.org/
            • https://www.facebook.com/groups/mfdiscovertogether 



          ***

          2020-04-18 (SAT APR 18, 2020)


          US

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • There is increasing pressure to "open" the economy.
          • The President is irresponsibly praising people protesting against the distancing measures that will save lives.
          • There is currently:
            • No vaccine.
            • No treatment.
            • Insufficient tests available, and barely 1% of the country tested.
            • No infrastructure to research the contacts of people "shedding" the virus.
            • No infrastructure to protect the health of people in nursing homes.
            • A poorly functioning infrastructure to support people at home, including relief checks that are too little, too late in coming, and not available to many that need it most.
              • And... No infrastructure to protect the health of people in the supply chain necessary to support people at home.
            • A poorly functioning infrastructure to support small business, including relief checks that are too little, too late in coming, and not available to many that need it most.
          • Open the country in two weeks? Insane. Suicidal?
          • Instead:
            • Improve, strengthen, invent, and support the stay-at-home economy!!!
              • Keep people distancing safely and comfortably!
              • Fix the dangerous conditions at nursing homes.
              • Fix dangerous conditions for other groups, such as prisoners, the homeless, and infirm people living alone.
              • Fix the supply chains for safe and ample food and paper and cleaning supplies to the homes.
              • Provide safety gear and safe working conditions for all essential workers
                • Especially health care providers & supply chain workers & first-responders
            • Keep the internet working well.

          2020-04-17 (FRI APR 17, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • Total US cases: More than 700,000 people
          • Cases this week: More than 200,000 people
          • Total US deaths: More than 36,900 people
          • Deaths this week: More than 15,000 people
          • Ratio deaths to confirmed cases: More than 5%
          • Deaths in nursing homes (reported): More than 5,600 people
          • More than 15% of deaths occurred in nursing homes.
            • This is a tragedy and a national disgrace!
          ***

          XR TECHNOLOGY

          QUEST SOFTWARE UPDATE v16

          • will have the ability, on opening, to launch certain content from Facebook that was marked OPEN IN VR and clicked..
          • From Build 16.0 Release notes:
          • https://forums.oculusvr.com/community/discussion/88388/quest-go-build-16-0-release-notes
          • "Guardian
            • You can now set up your roomscale Guardian boundaries without controllers by using hand tracking instead.
            • The Passthrough view can now be selected as your Home Environment. Navigate to Settings > Virtual Environment to check it out!
            Social
            • When browsing the Facebook app on your phone, you may see an option to “Open in VR” for certain content. Clicking this button will launch that web content on your headset when you put it on."
          ***



          2020-04-15 (WED APR 15, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • Today >2,500 US deaths. Most ever.
          • Total > 28,000 US deaths.
          • Total > 600,000 US cases.
          • More than 30,000 US new cases every day.
          • More than 500,000 active cases.
          • One single state has more cases than any (other) country in the world.
          • No vaccine.
          • No treatment.
          • Barely 1% of country tested.
          • Open the country in two weeks? Insane. Suicidal?
          • Instead:
            • Keep people distancing safely and comfortably!
            • Fix the supply chains for safe and ample food and paper and cleaning supplies to the homes.
            • Provide safety gear and safe working conditions for all essential workers
              • Especially health care providers & supply chain workers & first responders
            • Keep the internet working well.
          ***


          2020-04-14 (TUE APR 14, 2020)

          US

          THE COVID ECONOMY

          • Many sectors have collapsed, basically 
            • anything related to travel, or to 
            • customers gathering together.
          • Some sectors are bustling, but are in grave danger from COVID-19, particularly
            • health care workers, and
            • workers in the supply chain for home services (food, sanitary items, paper goods, etc).
          • Some sectors are doing well, notably
            • suppliers for home services (like Amazon)
            • remote suppliers for home services (like Zoom)
            • streaming services
            • network suppliers
          • The most urgent needs, where the economy should be given a major boost, are primarily:
            • SUPPORT TO INSULATE HEALTH CARE, FIRST RESPONDERS, AND SUPPLY CHAIN WORKERS FROM COVID-19
              • Boosting the manufacture of protective equipment
              • Boosting the equipment of health care equipment
              • Boosting the development of tests, vaccines, and treatments.
              • Additional personnel devoted to maintaining a safe work environment for all essential personnel
            • Law enforcement personnel to deter 
              • hacking and stealing IP (that is more vulnerable due to remote meetings)
              • fraud, such as promoting false "cures" and "treatments"
              • theft, such as stealing delivered packages
              • financial crimes such as diverting emergency funds
              • domestic or foreign provocations causing disruptions and disturbances.
          • Less critical, but very important, are measures designed to preserve and improve the "remote" economy
            • Prevent internet failures
            • Improve bandwidth for everyone
            • Improve the quality of online services.
          • IN ADDITION, WORK NEEDS TO BEGIN NOW TO ASSURE A FAIR AND FREE NATIONAL ELECTION WITH NO DELIBERATE OR INADVERTANT VOTER SUPPRESSION!!! 
          DO NOT FORGET TO SEND YOUR
          CENSUS INFO!!!




          ***

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • President Trump plans to defund the World Health Organization (WHO).
            • He argues that WHO should have responded more aggressively to the COVID-19 threat.
          • WHO made available, from China, early in January, information sufficient to begin preparing a vaccine, other treatments, and public health measures, like physical distancing, to combat COVID-19.
          • The Trump administration did not respond aggressively to the warnings.
          • WHO is a scapegoat.
          • House Speaker Pelosi has said earlier that Trump "projects", ascribing to others his own faults.
          • We need WHO now, more than ever.
          ***

          TODAY: 2020-04-13 (MON APR 13, 2020)

          XR TECHNOLOGY

          NEXTVR 
          • a company that has pioneered live streaming of events in Virtual Reality is being purchased by Apple, according to 9to5mac.
          • Apple's interest, according to the article, stems in part from NextVR's portfolio of live streaming video technology patents, and in part from their technologists.
          • Apple has been widely reported as very interested in Augmented Reality.
            • They developed ARkit, but so far have not announced any headset.
          • The article from 9to5mac:
          • ARkit:
          ***



          TV

          SNL 
          • was live(ish) from the homes of cast members.
          • The sketches were mixed in quality.
          • The Zoom call was hilarious:

          ***


          2020-04-12 (SUN APR 12, 2020)

          HOLIDAY

          EASTER!

          ***


          2020-04-11 (SAT APR 11, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • As we approach EASTER, the USA is FIRST!
          • We have the most cases in the world (529,401)!
            • More than twice as many cases as Spain (#2).
          • We have the most fatalities in the world (20,468)!
          • There is a hint that spatial distancing is starting to work
            • Where it has been applied in the US, deaths and cases are rising linearly, not exponentially, but still at a rate that is doubling the total impact in about two weeks.
              • In the USA new cases are running 29,000 to 36,000 per day and deaths about 1,900 a day (a more than 5% rate of deaths to confirmed-cases).
                • If those rates do not diminish, there would be more than 75,000 deaths in a month.
              • In New York, the most severely impacted state, there are 8,000 to 10,500 new cases and about 785 deaths every day (more than 20,000 deaths in a month).
              • In Europe, as well as in Asia, spatial distancing also seems to be cutting the rate of increase of cases and fatalities.
          • Testing in the US is improving, with more than 2 million tests, but that is less than 1% of the population.
          • Staying inside is critical! (It is starting - just starting - to work.)
            • Congregations that hold religious services now are endangering everyone.
            • States that do not isolate its citizens may experience exponential growth, with cases and deaths doubling possibly as much as twice each week.
          • New York State has more cases (180,458) than any country in the world (except, of course, US).



          ***

           2020-04-10 (FRI APR 10, 2020)

          FILM

          RENDEZ-VOUS with FRENCH CINEMA 2020 & FLC 
          ONLINE THEATER

          ORPHANS, with ALEC BALDWIN 
          ***

          HOLIDAY

          TODAY IS GOOD FRIDAY 
          ***

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • The total number of cases in the US may have stopped rising exponentially, but it is still rising at a rate of more than 30,000 a day with more than 2,000 deaths daily.
            • Staying inside is critical! (It is starting - just starting - to work.)
            • Congregations that hold religious services now are endangering everyone.
            • States that do not isolate its citizens may continue to experience exponential growth, with cases and deaths doubling possibly as much as twice each week.
          • New York State has more cases than any country in the world (except, of course, US).
          • In Italy there seems to be a slowing of growth. 
            • Italy still has the largest number of deaths in the world. 
          ***

          2020-04-09 (THU APR 9, 2020)

          XR TECHNOLOGY

          OCULUS QUEST PROTOYPE SUPPORT FOR OPEN XR 



          ***

          2020-04-08 (WED APR 8, 2020)

          HOLIDAY

          PASSOVER 
          • begins this evening.
          ***

          2020-04-07 (TUE APR 7, 2020)

          EXTENDED REALITY

          REALTIME CONFERENCE (TODAY!)
          • UPDATE 9 PM
          • The conference was excellent, with a level that bridged technical, up-to-the-minute information without being too jargon-filled or excessively detailed.
            • It was understandable, information-rich, timely, and interesting.
          • There is an interesting sounding, free, online (on Zoom) conference today
            • beginning at 8AM ET with talks on the digital automobile
            • continuing in the afternoon with talks on digital humans and XR content creation
          • It appears to be a stellar lineup of presenters.
          • The program, with a link to free registration is at:




          ***


          2020-04-06 (MON APR 6, 2020)

          CONTENT

          CONTENT
          • is an important element of eXtended Reality (along with technology and issues).
          • We will begin to try to report systematically on the offerings of content as the methods of creation and distribution evolve dramatically during (and after!) the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak.
          • This event collection is just beginning and will be updated as often as possible with the most interesting offerings. 
          • Please subscribe here to get the latest news, and send us a notice of the offerings you wish to announce to the world!
          ***
          THEATER

          THE LABYRINTH THEATER 

          • has a new "Survival Guide to Self-Isolation".
          • It contains an inspirational message (click on the screen with the logo)
          • and many ideas and performances from members of the company.
          • I participated in a LAByrinth Theater Master Class some years ago. It was terrific: the underlying spirit behind this company is the conviction that every artist can be an active creator of content -- writing, producing, performing, and everything else. 
            • As they say in the video: "Never wait, create!"
          • Here is the contact:
          HB STUDIO


          STREAMING VIDEO

          QUIBI


          • launched today.
          • QUIBI (QUIck BItes) -- provides curated short videos specially formatted for smartphones.
          • It is available on Google Play and the App Store.
          • Trial subscriptions are free for 90 days.
          • For more information:
          ***

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has reportedly tested positive for the Corona virus.
            • This obviously raises the alarming possibility that animals, including pets, rodents, and wildlife can acquire the disease and transmit it.
            • So far, this has not been reported, to my knowledge, except for the possibility of bats and whatever started the pandemic.

          • Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of England, has the Corona virus, and has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).



          ***

          2020-04-02 (THU APR 2, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS

          • More than 1 million cases world-wide.
          • China and South Korea are relatively stable.
            • In most other countries rates are doubling in less than a week. Every week.
          • NY has more cases (92,381) than China (81,589).
          • Cases and deaths in the US are doubling just about everywhere in less than 5 day periods
            • If that is not mitigated, in 50 days (10 doubling periods) the numbers will increase by a factor of 1,000.
          • The President is still not organizing a massive Federal effort to
            • support "stay-at-home"
            • organize, manufacture and deliver critically needed healthcare equipment and supplies
            • secure the safety and efficiency of the supply chain for food and supplies for the people at home. 
          ***


          WORLD

          CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

          • are beginning to deal with the shift from in-person events to online.
            • SEE BELOW - Some early examples are discussed in the entry for MARCH 18 (hard to believe that was only two weeks ago).

          THE WORLD CHAMPION CHESS CANDIDATES MATCH

          • one of the last major events to cancel, has postponed the second round of play after (unwisely) allowing the first round of play to complete in Russia.
          • Currently, French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is in first place. 



          ***

          2020-04-01 (WED APR 1, 2020)

          US

          APRIL FOOLS DAY 

          • Appropriate.  Considering the mess this country is in:
            • More than 200,000 COVID-19 cases
            • More than 9,500 critically ill or already dead.
            • More than 4,000 deaths.
            • All the numbers doubling in less than 5 days
            • Shortages of critical medical devices and protective clothing and tests
              • That causes a high death rate.
          • It could have been substantially better:
            • No tests ready
            • No early planning
            • Late stay-at-home-order
            • No Federal organizing and distributing of medical supplies, devices, and tests
            • LIES: When tweets lie, Americans die.
          • Sickness and death matters, ratings do not.
          • It's not a joke.
          ***

          2020-03-31 (TUE MAR 31, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS 

          • Grim news: More people have died in the US from COVID-19 (3,186) than died on 9/11 (2,996). Another 3,535 people are currently critically ill from COVID-19, and there are more than 150,000 people currently sick.
          ***


          2020-03-27 (FRI MAR 27, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS 

          • A relief bill has passed and been signed.
          • COVID-19 cases in US are now 100,514, doubling in less than 4 days. Deaths are 1,546, doubling even faster, with 2,463 patients in critical condition.
          • Without an effective national lockdown, increasing the doubling period, there will be more than 1,000,000 (Million!) cases by Easter,  20K deaths (and still growing). 
          • This event, if it is not stopped, will be worse than 9/11.
            • With US cases of COVID now over 100,000 and growing exponentially, doubling in less than 4 days, deaths over 1,500 and doubling even faster, here is how the cases and deaths would grow if doubling every four days were to continue.
          CASES DEATHS
          DAY #
          0 27-Mar FRI 100,000 1,500
          1 28-Mar SAT
          2 29-Mar SUN
          3 30-Mar MO
          4 31-Mar TUE 200,000 3,000
          5 1-Apr WED
          6 2-Apr THU
          7 3-Apr  FRI
          8 4-Apr SAT 400,000 6,000
          9 5-Apr SUN
          10 6-Apr MO
          11 7-Apr TUE
          12 8-Apr WED 800,000 12,000
          13 9-Apr THU
          14 10-Apr  FRI
          15 11-Apr SAT
          16 12-Apr SUN 1,600,000 24,000  EASTER

          ***

          TODAY: 2020-03-26 (THU MAR 26, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS 


          • A COVID relief bill passed the Senate unanimously!
          • An analysis of COVID data reveals a very, very serious situation:
            • This analysis is based on the mathematics of exponential growth, and charting the daily statistics from here:
            • The US has the largest number of cases in the world: 81,996.
              • Note: "cases" means reported, confirmed cases.
            • This is more cases than China: 81,285.
                • The hopeful news is that, with a rigorous quarantine, China has (at least for now), stopped the exponential growth of infections with a constant (not growing) roughly 40-80 new cases a day now.
            • The REALLY SCARY NEWS is that the number of cases, and deaths, is growing exponentially in the US, doubling twice in about a week.
              • If that continues there will be more than a million cases (and growing) by Easter
              • There have been 1,177 deaths and there are currently 2,112 people in serious or critical condition, as well as tens of thousands of active cases.
              • IF the rate of doubling continues, there could be more than 50 thousand deaths and serious ill people by Easter, and more than a million by the end of April, with the numbers still growing.
              • The numbers of new cases and deaths reported on TV are often described as a "spike". They are not: A spike rises and falls; these numbers reflect the quite steady exponential growth of the actual numbers over the last weeks. The exponential growth of cases, due to continued infection and discovery (finally testing to discover cases that were already there), will almost certainly continue unless testing and separation is national and sufficiently rigorous and complete enough to slow the spread. But it is likely to take at least 2 weeks of every state imposing strict separation before the rate of new cases and deaths will begin to diminish.
              • At the moment, New York, followed by New Jersey, are the states with the most cases.
              • Just because a state does not have many cases now, does not prevent the number from increasing exponentially.
                • New York had just 2,499 cases and 20 deaths 8 days ago. Now there are 37,738 cases (a factor of 15 or almost 4 doublings - 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16) and 385 deaths (a factor of 19, or more than 4 doublings). 
              • That is why the President, and the Governors of states with few cases, should begin to act immediately, to enforce separation, before the numbers rise.




          ***

          TODAY: 2020-03-25 (WED MAR 25, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS 


          • A Senate version of the COVID release bill has been tentatively agreed on.
          • The Dow was up again and may be stabilizing.
            • But watch for the big test: when the monthly GDP, corporate quarterly reports and monthly unemployment reports come in.
          • Prince Charles reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
          • Esteemed playwright Terrance McNally died.
          • The official statement (excerpt) from the IOC & Japan:
            • In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
          ***
          2020-03-24 (TUE MAR 24, 2020)

          US

          THE DOW STOCK MARKET AVERAGE

          • had one of its best days ever.

          ***

          2020-03-23 (MON MAR 23, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS 



          ***

          2020-03-20 (FRI MAR 20, 2020)

          US

          COVID-19 NEWS 


          • The Dow stock market average closed down -913 points to 19,174
            • Ending the week lower than the value when Trump took office.
            • On inauguration day in 2017, the Dow was 19,732.
            • The entire stock market run-up of the Trump presidency has now been wiped out.
          • President Trump, at the Press Briefing, responded to a softball question
            •   -- which gave him the opportunity to say something that was both honest, yet encouraging -- 
            • by unleashing a completely disgraceful attack on the media.
          • New York State is going on a complete lockdown, 
            • except for essential services
          • Many companies and organizations are supporting their workers through March 31. 
            • But some plan to stop paying many employees beginning April 1.
            • This could be the beginning of unwinding the short period of full employment,
            • And threatens major unemployment.
              • Emergency financial rescue plans must be carefully targeted to the people and industries that need and can benefit from assistance, so that people do not become poor (and others do not become rich.)
              • Emergency planning must also assure that supply chains, especially for food and basic supplies, stay healthy and maintain essential anti-Covid standards.
              • Emergency planning must also assure that the Internet, the electric grid, the water systems, the sanitation (garbage removal) systems and other essential systems stay healthy and maintain essential anti-Covid standards.

          ***

          2020-03-19 (THU MAR 19, 2020)

          TECHNOLOGY

          FACEBOOK 


          ***

          2020-03-18 (WED MAR 18, 2020)

          FILM THEATER MUSIC ONLINE

          CULTURE AND THE ARTS ARE GOING ONLINE 

          • While in-person events are being cancelled, many arts organizations are experimenting with and expanding their programming online.
            • Some organizations are figuring it out for the first time; 
            • others are presenting online videos of productions they'd never have allowed online before; 
            • others are promoting online events they've been doing for a while.
          • Here are some of the major platforms being used:
            • Facebook, YouTube and organization websites are the main targets for streaming archived videos of productions.
            • Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, are places where individuals can contribute content.
            • Facetime and Google Duo are prime places for 1 to 1 interaction, including online lessons.
            • Zoom is being used for organization meetings, as well as a way of creating content with distributed performers.
            • Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and other new and old movie and TV streaming sites are replacing movie theaters.
          • Here are some of the activities that have already started:
          ***

          US

          THE DOW STOCK MARKET AVERAGE 

          • is down -1,661 points to 19,577 at 1:09 PM.
          • This is lower than the value when Trump took office.
          • On inauguration day in 2017, the Dow was 19,732.
          • The entire stock market run-up of the Trump presidency has now been wiped out.

          ***

          2020-03-17 (TUE MAR 17, 2020)

          TECHNOLOGY

          MAGIC LEAP 
          ***

          2020-03-16 (MON MAR 16, 2020)

          US

          THE STOCK MARKET 

          • was sharply down:
          • DOW:    -2,997 (-13%) to 20,189
          • S&P:        -365 (-12%) to   2,386
          • NASDAQ: -970  (12%) TO   6,905.
          ***

          2020-03-15 (SUN MAR 15, 2020)


          WORLD

          COVID 19

          • now counts more reported, confirmed cases and more deaths outside of China than in China,
          • according to tracking site:
          • https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
          •  Note that these numbers are "reported" and "confirmed". There may be more or less cases than are reported (probably more) and many more cases of the disease than are confirmed, especially cases without symptoms, and cases in areas with poor testing.
          • Location - total cases - deaths:
          • World -169,232 - 6,494
          • China - 80,849 - 3,199
          • Not-China - 88,383 - 3,295
          • Italy - 24,747 - 1,809
          • S Korea - 8,162 - 75
          • France - 5,423 - 127
          • US - 3,621 - 59
          • Notes:
            • In the US, cases have doubled in 3 days, and deaths in 4 days.
              • Cases in US will increase fast because of ramped up testing.
                • These are not all "new" cases; some are previously unconfirmed cases.
            • France, Italy, and some other countries are also seeing cases and deaths doubling in less than a week.
            • The relatively low number of deaths in S Korea relative to cases may be due to the greater number of less serious cases that are "confirmed". (Or there could be a medical reason.)
            • 13 countries have more than 1,000 confirmed cases.
            • Spain and Germany have large numbers of cases. Iran has a large number of cases and deaths.
            • The number of cases reported in Russia (63) seems very low. There are no cases reported from North Korea.
          • Mathematical /medical note: A quantity which doubles in a week increases by a factor of 1,000 in less than 3 months. China, South Korea and Japan instituted drastic measures to curb the exponential spread of the disease, and the results slowed down the rate at which cases and deaths were doubling.




          ***
          US

          THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES



          THE FEDERAL RESERVE


          AIRPORTS

          • were unprepared for the influx of Americans returning from Europe, and for the time required to process and check them for possible COVID-19 illness.
          • The result was hours of standing in tightly packed lines for many passengers, possibly increasing the risk of transmission substantially, as well as being awful for anybody suffering through an extra ordeal after completing a transatlantic flight.
          • The administration called for patience; they probably created patients.
          • Abysmal planning and execution.
          • Inexcusable incompetence.
          ***

          2020-03-14 (SAT MAR 14, 2020)


          TECHNOLOGY - WORLD

          TODAY IS PI-DAY: 3/14 = MARCH 14 = π-DAY or PI-DAY

          ***

          • π = Pi = 3.14159265.... is the ratio of the circumference (C) of a circle to its diameter (D): π = C / D.


          Note: interestingly, Pi is an "irrational" number, which means

          it cannot be expressed as a fraction of two integers: 

          There are NO two integers N1 and N2, 

          so that Pi is exactly equal to N1/N2.

          For example:

           35/11 = 3.181818.....

           or 69/22 = 3.136...

          (close, but not quite equal to Pi).


          • π is a Greek letter, and is pronounced "Pi".
          • Pi occurs in many, many places in mathematics and science.
          • Because Pi is so important, and 3.14 is a good approximation, 3/14 = March 14 is celebrated worldwide as Pi-Day.
          • The celebration involves reminding ourselves of the fundamental place in our lives of truth and mathematics and knowledge and science.
          • If we were not currently fighting the spread of COVID-19, there would be meetings around the world with talks, games, and activities related to science, math, truth and knowledge.
            • But we can all, each of us, celebrate ourselves, with books, thinking, and looking online for information, and remembering the importance, the central role of truth.
              • Science and the dissemination of knowledge depends on truth.
          Truth sometimes hurts. Lies can kill.

          ***


          2020-03-13 (FRI MAR 13, 2020)



          US

          PRESIDENT TRUMP

          • declared a National Emergency.

          ***


          NYC


          CURRENTLY IN NEW YORK CITY


          • theaters are closed.
          • Schools are still open and the subways and buses are running.


          ***



          2020-03-12 (THU MAR 12, 2020)



          US


          JOE BIDEN

          • introduced a plan for dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak in the US and around the world.
          • Here is a detailed description of his plan, from his website:
          • https://joebiden.com/covid19/.

          BERNIE SANDERS

          • also described a clear and long list of steps that should be taken immediately in a speech today.

          ***


          THE DOW STOCK MARKET AVERAGE

          • fell about −2,353 points (about - 10%) to 21,201. 
          • Worst point drop ever. 
          • Now lower than its 2018 low of 22,445. 
          • Now at levels of Jun 2017.

          ***




          THEATER



          BROADWAY THEATERS ARE CLOSED

          ***


          2020-03-11 (WED MAR 11, 2020)



          WORLD



          THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

          ***


          TECHNOLOGY



          E3, 


          ***



          SPORTS




          MARCH MADNESS, 


          • the basketball tournament, will go on, but without live spectators
          • It can be watched live-streamed at the link below.
          • Until the games are live, there's an explanation of "March Madness" at this linked site:
          • https://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live/watch


          ***


          2020-03-10 (TUE MAR 10, 2020)


          US

          JOE BIDEN

          • did very well in today's primaries.
          • He now leads Sanders by more than 150 pledged delegates.
          • 1991 delegate votes needed for the nomination.
          •   809 - Biden
          •   654 - Sanders
          •   165 - Other candidates
          • (source: AP, at about 11:30 PM)


          ***


          2020-03-09 (MON MAR 09, 2020)



          WORLD CINEMA

          REVIEW:  "ALICE AND THE MAYOR" with CESAR BEST ACTRESS WINNER ANAIS DEMOUSTIER: 

          ***


          2020-03-08 (SUN MAR 08, 2020)


          WORLD CINEMA

          MAX VON SYDOW,

          • one of the greatest international actors of our age,
          • the star of many of Ingmar Bergman's most celebrated films (such as The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Virgin Spring) died at the age of 90. 
          • The Seventh Seal is a film set in the time of the black plague, and features Max von Sydow playing chess with the Angel of Death. I've been thinking about this film these last weeks as COVID-19 advances toward a possible pandemic.
          • I interviewed Max von Sydow in the mid 70's. He was charming, friendly, and nothing like the austere characters he usually played; his ambition was to do comedy.
          • RIP

          ***


          2020-03-07 (SAT MAR 07, 2020)


          US

          GOVERNOR CUOMO OF NY STATE

          • issued a Declaration of Emergency.
          • A Declaration of Emergency allows temporary modification of procedures that would hinder taking action; it includes the following:
          • "...by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to temporarily suspend or modify any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster emergency or if necessary to assist or aid in coping with such disaster, I hereby temporarily suspend or modify, for the period from the date of this Executive Order through April 6, 2020 the following:"
          • Here is the full text of the Executive Order:
          • https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-202-declaring-disaster-emergency-state-new-york

          • Previously...
          • the World Health Organization designated the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern;
          • United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the entire United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to COVID-19;
          • the Governors of Washington, California, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are among those who have made "Declarations" to make dealing with COVID-19 as efficient as possible.

          • Statistics, according to...
          • https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

          • There are, as of 10:55 GMT, today:
          • Worldwide - 105,936 cases & 3,569 deaths
          • US - 395 cases & 19 deaths

          • some other countries:
          • China - 80,996 cases & 2,764 deaths
          • Italy - 5,833 cases & 233 deaths
          • France - 949 cases & 16 deaths

          • Notes:
          • These are "confirmed!" cases (serious enough to be tested);
          • As testing improves, the number of confirmed cases will rise sharply, but this represents the improvement in testing, not just the rise in actual cases;
          • currently confirmed cases are the most serious; as more cases are tested, it will include less serious cases.
          • The "mortality rate (MR)" depends on the population you are evaluating:
            • serious, confirmed cases, in most countries have an overall MR of about 3.4%;
            • however, the MR among males over 60 with circulation issues who have a case of COVID-19 serious enough  to be tested is very, VERY much higher; the rate among healthy, 20-30 year olds is lower than 3.4%.
            • As less serious cases are "confirmed" with expanded testing, the overall MR will decline: that does not change the deadliness of the disease, only the definition of MR.
          • French and Italian cases seem to be rising rapidly.
          • Worldwide, the number of deaths may be rising at a rate equivalent to doubling about every 30+ days (that's a factor of 1,000 in a year if nothing changes: hopefully, like the flu, the hope is that cases will decrease in the summer, and unlike the flu, the virus will not mutate, so it will be possible to develop an effective vaccine quickly).

          ***




          2020-03-06 (FRI MAR 06, 2020)


          US - TECHNOLOGY

          SXSW

          • has been cancelled.
          • https://www.sxsw.com/

          ***


          2020-03-05 (THU MAR 05, 2020)


          US

          ELIZABETH WARREN

          • has ended her Presidential campaign 
          • (according to multiple reports).

          ***


          2020-03-05 (THU MAR 05, 2020)


          FILM

          RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA

          UPDATE!!!
          "UniFrance has suspended international travel for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival guests due to health concerns related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The festival’s screenings will continue as planned, but unfortunately, most in-person appearances will be canceled."

          For more information, please see:

          ***


          2020-03-04 (WED MAR 04, 2020)


          US

          JOE BIDEN

          • is the big winner on Super-Tuesday.
          • California delegates are not yet allocated, but Sanders seems likely to win most of these.
          • "Pundits" (who a week ago were arguing about whether Biden would pull out after Sander's "win" on Super-Tuesday) should be taken with an overdose of salt when discussing the results of future races.

          ***


          2020-03-03 (TUE MAR 03, 2020)


          US - TECHNOLOGY

          NASA

          • is now accepting applications for Astronaut Candidates!

          • Note: From the application (yes, really!):
          • LOCATION: Houston, Tx.
          • TELEWORK ELIGIBLE: No.

          ***



          US - FINANCIAL

          THE FEDERAL RESERVE

          • lowered the federal-funds rate by 50 basis points (1/2 %).
          • This "emergency rate cut" was motivated by "uncertainty" concerning the economic impact of COVID-19.
          • On Monday, the Dow and other stock averages rose sharply, partly in anticipation of the rate cut.
          • Today, the Dow after initially rising, closed down about 786 points.
          • Wikipedia on "the federal-funds rate":
          • "In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight on an uncollateralized basis." Link:
          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_funds_rate

          ***


          2020-03-02 (MON MAR 02, 2020)


          US

          AMY KLOBUCHAR

          • suspended her Presidential campaign.
          • Both Klobuchar and Buttegieg endorsed Joe Biden.
          • Tomorrow is "super-Tuesday" when many states will be having primaries.

          • The Democratic Party national convention (DNCC) will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Monday July 13 to July 16, 2020.
          • PRIMARY DATES:
          • 2020-03-02 - "Super Tuesday" - Tue Mar 3, 2020
            • Democratic delegates to be selected, by state:
            • Alabama - 52
            • Arkansas - 6
            • California - 415
            • Colorado - 67
            • Maine - 24
            • Massachusetts - 91
            • Minnesota - 75
            • North Carolina - 110
            • Oklahoma - 37
            • Tennessee - 64
            • Texas - 228
            • Utah - 29
            • Vermont - 16
            • Virginia - 99
          • 2020-04-28 - New York - Tue Apr 28, 2020
          • 2020-06-02 - New Jersey - Tue Jun 2, 2020.

          ***


          TODAY: 2020-03-01 (SUN MAR 01, 2020)


          TECHNOLOGY

          QUALCOMM

          ***


          US

          PETE BUTTIGIEG 

          • suspended his Presidential campaign.



          ***


          2020-02-29 (SAT FEB 29, 2020)


          TECHNOLOGY

          THE GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE (GDC)

          • has officially postponed their March event. (See 2/27 for companies that had cancelled their participation.)
          •  https://www.gdconf.com/

          ***


          2020-02-28 (FRI FEB 28, 2020)


          US

          FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN 

          • won the South Carolina primary.

          ***


          AN AMERICAN DIED FROM COVID-19; 

          • this is the first American to die from the Coronavirus. 


          ***


          2020-02-28 (FRI FEB 28, 2020)


          WORLD & TECHNOLOGY

          FREEMAN DYSON, 

          • a brilliant scientist, mathematician, and all-around brilliant person and family man, died today at the age of 96.
          • He was most renowned for uniting the work of Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga on quantum electrodynamics (QED), creating a useful theory that would pave the way for quantum chromodynamics and the "standard model" of modern physics.
          • In addition to the fundamental importance of Dyson's work on quantum electrodynamics, his brilliant work in many disparate areas results in his name routinely coming up in discussions of progress in an amazingly diverse number of fields.
          • He worked on nuclear power generation, space travel, invented the "Dyson Sphere" (hypothesizing that an advanced civilization could build a sphere around its star(s) to trap the energy), studied basic questions of stability, was interested in life (real and artificial), investigated number theory, and many other things as well.
          • In assessing new ideas, he was always hopeful but never reckless.
          • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/02/freeman-dyson-12151923-02282020.html

          ***


          2020-02-27 (THU FEB 27, 2020)


          TECHNOLOGY

          FACEBOOK 

          THE GAME DEVELOPER'S CONFERENCE (GDC)

          • is (as of now) still scheduled for March 16, but Microsoft, Epic Games (including Unreal Engine), UNITY, SONY, and others have cancelled plans to attend.
          • UPDATE (2/29): GDC HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

          ***


          2020-02-26 (WED FEB 26, 2020)


          TECHNOLOGY

          10 BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGIES

          ***


          2020-02-25 (TUE FEB 25, 2020)


          US

          DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES DEBATE


          • tonight on CBS, starting at 8:00 PM.

          • The candidates debating are: 
            • Former Vice President Joe Biden
            • Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
            • Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
            • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
            • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
            • Businessman Tom Steyer
            • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
          • Here's my advice to the candidates:
          • EVERYONE:
            • inspire! America
              • in your ability to lead the US -- the entire country -- over the next four years: the next term will feature tremendous opportunities due to the continued EXPONENTIAL growth in power of digital technology (eXtended Reality);
            • inspire confidence in your ability to handle the challenges of the next term:
              • the possibility of pandemics;
              • the possibility of economic decline after 12 years of growth (remember there was an inversion of the yield curve, plus there's the threat of COVID-19, and booms have never lasted indefinitely);
              • the need for infrastructure;
              • the inequitable wealth distribution curve;
              • the need for health care for everyone, especially in view of the possibility of a coming pandemic;
              • the need for equality across race, gender & geography;
              • the need for improved and affordable education everywhere in the US;
              • the threat of climate change;
              • the need to repair our foreign alliances;
            • inspire the base of Democratic and Independent voters
              • on their ability to win
                • the Presidential election
                • the Senate & the House
                • governorships and state governments across the country (especially with a coming census and subsequent reallocation of voting districts!)
            • demand a fair and accurate election, without foreign interference, voter suppression, or anything else that is anti-democratic!
            • attack Trump for trying to cheat in the 2016 election (Mueller Report) and the 2020 election (Impeachment);
            • attack Trump for promiscuous lying;
            • attack Trump for removing safeguards by meddling in the DOJ, the FBI, the State Department and security agencies;
            • attack Trump for deregulation and for giving billiions and billions away from tax revenues, which:
              • skew the wealth to the richest (and perhaps himself);
              • let companies engage in risky behaviors;
              • allow the stock market to rise to risky levels;
              • prevent necessary infrastructure projects to proceed, for lack of funds;
              • disassembled some of the institutions which were created and designed to fight possible pandemics;
            • attack the GOP for its moral failure to support a full and fair Impeachment trial;
            • attack Trump and the GOP for stacking the Judiciary;
            • attack the GOP for failing to pass almost anything except tax relief for millionaires, billionaires, and million-dollar, billion-dollar, and trillion-dollar companies;
            • praise Obama for 
              • reversing the big recession under GOP president Bush, and beginning a long economic boom;
              • establishing a revival of domestic power production, lessening our dependence on Mideast and other oil producers;
              • creating the first major improvement in national health care since Medicare;
            • praise Pelosi and the House for their work on Impeachment, improving the trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and passing numerous bills that the GOP Senate has not worked on.
          • Bloomberg
            • needs to show that he can debate strongly:
              • inspire!
              • defend against challenges;
              • attack other Democratic candidates effectively, but respectfully;
              • attack Trump and the GOP effectively and powerfully;
              • state his own objectives and initiatives and qualifications convincingly.
          • Sanders
            • needs to show that he is a leader of all America;
            • and engaged with all the issues. 
          • Warren 
            • needs to show that she is a leader, not just in economic policies and family areas, but in foreign affairs, in administering a government, and in creating a national spirit.
          • Biden 
            • needs to inspire!
            • needs to be Presidential, not Vice Presidential;
            • needs to take the lead on all things American, and go beyond the need to replace Trump and Trumpism as the one singular reason to nominate him.
          • Klobuchar, Mayor Pete, and Steyer
            • need to be Presidential and show they are leaders in all things Presidential.

          ***


          SOME REMAINING PRIMARY DATES

          • The Democratic Party national convention (DNCC) will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Monday July 13 to July 16, 2020.
          • PRIMARY DATES:
          • 2020-02-29 - South Carolina - Sat Feb 29, 2020
          • 2020-03-02 - "Super Tuesday" - Tue Mar 3, 2020
            • Democratic delegates to be selected, by state:
            • Alabama - 52
            • Arkansas - 6
            • California - 415
            • Colorado - 67
            • Maine - 24
            • Massachusetts - 91
            • Minnesota - 75
            • North Carolina - 110
            • Oklahoma - 37
            • Tennessee - 64
            • Texas - 228
            • Utah - 29
            • Vermont - 16
            • Virginia - 99
          • 2020-04-28 - New York - Tue Apr 28, 2020
          • 2020-06-02 - New Jersey - Tue Jun 2, 2020.

          ***

          2020-02-24 (MON FEB 24, 2020)


          US

          HARVEY WEINSTEIN

          • was convicted of two counts of serious sexual crimes.
          • He has been detained and will be held at a medical facility.
          • Weinstein becomes the second major entertainment figure convicted of sex crimes, following the conviction of Bill Cosby.
          • Weinstein was acquitted of the two most serious charges. 
          • He still faces a trial in California on additional charges.
          • It is likely the conviction of Weinstein will be appealed.

          ***

          US & THE WORLD

          THE US STOCK MARKET

          • fell sharply, the "Dow" declining more than 1,000 points (about 3.5%) at times during the day.
          • The drop follows reports of the CORONAVIRUS (officially named COVID-19) appearing in Italy.
          • Any prolonged continuation and spread of the virus is likely to disrupt transportation, tourism, luxury goods, manufacturing, supply chains for consumer and technical goods, consumer spending, the availability of medical supplies, and many other aspects of business, commerce and life.
          • It will also disrupt the spread of technical knowledge and business communications and marketing, as major technical conferences around the world get cancelled.
          • Key factors in assessing the threat are the rate at which cases multiply, and the ability  -- or failure -- of governments and medical services to prevent clusters of cases from escaping quarantine, and even infecting new countries.



          ***

          2020-02-23 (SUN FEB 23, 2020)



          US

          BERNIE SANDERS 

          • comes out on top in Nevada.

          ***

          2020-02-22 (SAT FEB 22, 2020)



          THEATER

          COMMERCIAL THEATER INSTITUTE (CTI) 

          • holds its Three Day Intensive from Friday March 6 thru Sunday March 8.
          • The Three Day Intensive is one of the best introductions to the realities of commercial theater that exists anywhere. 
          • It is not just for producers, it is for anyone interested in understanding current theater.
          • It is also an introduction (and rite of passage!) for anyone thinking about theatrical producing.
          • I've done it twice! and it is terrific!
          • https://www.commercialtheaterinstitute.com/product/three-day-intensive/

          ***

          2020-02-21 (FRI FEB 21, 2020)



          THEATER

          WEST SIDE STORY 


          ***

          PLAZA SUITE,

          • the classic comedy by Neil Simon
          • comes to New York in a new revival with Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker.
          • Beginning March 13, 2020.
          • Advance word from the pre-Broadway road trip is that it is well done and very funny.
          • https://plazasuitebroadway.com/

          ***





          2020-02-20 (THU FEB 20, 2020)



          WHIMSY

          (It's not quite a palindrome like Feb 2, 2020:

          2020-02-02 or 20200202 or if you prefer 02022020

          A palindrome is the same backwards or forwards.)


          But I still like today's

          20200220

          ***


          THEATER

          WEST SIDE STORY 

          ***


          US

          THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE'S DEBATE 

          • showed that:
            • SANDERS is a passionate advocate for universal health care and the working class;
            • WARREN is a brilliant expert and advocate for financial reform and families;
            • BUTTIGIEG is an eloquent advocate for sensible policies;
            • BIDEN has a wealth of experience;
            • KLOBUCHAR has broad appeal for moderate voters of any party;
            • BLOOMBERG has an impressive breath of experience and expertise in government and management;
            • EVERYONE on stage believes that Trump ranks somewhere between the worst President in modern times, and the worst President ever.
          • Comment: Several important issues were not seriously raised by the questions posed or the answers given, including:
            • the possible threat to democracy and the rule of law posed by (a) Trump's challenges to the FBI and the intelligence agencies, and (b) his challenge to transparency and truth in government;
            • the desperate need for infrastructure improvements, especially in view of climate changes and changing weather patterns;
            • the issues to be faced in the next Presidential term due to 
              • (a) the challenge posed by the possible end of the financial boom that began with the Obama turnaround after the Bush crash, and has now lasted a very long time for booms; and
              • (b) the challenge, and more exciting, the opportunities enabled by the incredible advances that are likely in the next few years due to the exponentially increasing power of digital technology: the many facets of eXtended Reality (XR): 
          • There is a tremendous opportunity now for the democratic candidates: to erupt beyond the current issues and create an inspiring vision of future possibilities.


          ***

          2020-02-19 (WED FEB 19, 2020)



          FILM

          EUGENE HERNANDEZ 

          • has been named the Director of the New York Film Festival.

          ***



          US

          MICHAEL BLOOMBERG 

          • will be appearing in tonight's Presidential Primary Candidate's Debate for the first time.
          • Hosted by NBC News and MSNBC at 9 PM ET from Nevada.

          ***

          2020-02-18 (TUE FEB 18, 2020)



          US

          PRESIDENT TRUMP 

          • granted full pardons to seven people, and commuted the sentences of 4 more.
          • Most had been convicted of financial crimes.
          • Some, in addition, had been government officials who used their offices for personal gain.

          ***



          2020-02-17 (MON FEB 17, 2020)


          US & HOLIDAY

          TODAY IS

          PRESIDENTS DAY

          A FEDERAL HOLIDAY
          CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAYS OF

          ABRAHAM LINCOLN & 
          GEORGE WASHINGTONx



          CELEBRATE 

          • by looking up the US President's, and the history of the Presidency;
          • (for example, check out the biographies by Doris Kearn's Goodwin;)
          • and see the story below (Sun Feb 15), including the three part miniseries on George Washington on the History Channel.
          • WIKIPEDIA : Presidents of the United States:
          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_presidents_of_the_United_States

          ***



          2020-02-16 (SUN FEB 16, 2020)



          US & TV

          GEORGE WASHINGTON 

          • is the subject of a three part mini-series that begins tonight on The History Channel at 8 PM.
          • The program is executive produced by Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and narrated by Jeff Daniels.
          • George Washington was born on Feb 22, 1732. (On July 4, 1776, he was 44 years old.)
          • Tomorrow is President's Day, celebrating the birth of Washington and of Lincoln (born Feb 12 1809).
          • Here's a story about the show:
          • https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/02/16/kearns-goodwin-george-washington/

          ***



          2020-02-15 (SAT FEB 15, 2020)



          WORLD

          ANGELA MERKEL

          • in Germany, is having trouble executing her "succession plan".
          • Her first choice as a successor has pulled back.
          • Her party, the Christian Democratic party, is finding difficulty navigating between more liberal parties, and increasing pressure from right and far right parties.

          ***

          2020-02-14 (FRI FEB 14, 2020)



          THE UNIVERSE (OF LOVE)



          Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

          For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over, and gone.

          The flowers appear on the earth;

          The time of the singing of birds is come,

           and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

          The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,

          and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

          Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

          Song of Solomon: 2: 11-17


          HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!


          ***



          2020-02-13 (THU FEB 13, 2020)



          TECHNOLOGY

          JEDI PROJECT UPDATE: IN A SEALED RULING

          • Federal Claims Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith has issued a  temporary injunction preventing the project from starting.
          • Microsoft was recently awarded the $10B contract over Amazon.
          • Amazon sued, and is seeking to depose President Trump, Defense Secretary Esper, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
          • See below (2020-02-10 - MON FEB 10, 2020) for more!

          ***


          FILM

          CESAR AWARDS


          ***



          2020-02-12 (WED FEB 12, 2020)



          TECHNOLOGY

          NASA

          ***



          2020-02-11 (TUE FEB 11, 2020)



          TECHNOLOGY

          THE GAME DEVELOPER'S CONFERENCE (GDC) 2020

          ***

          USA

          THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

          • was narrowly won by Sanders at 26% with Buttigieg close behind at 24% and Klobuchar next at 20%.  
          • All the rest in single digits.

          THE IOWA CAUCUS

          • results appear to have Buttigieg slightly edging out Sanders in the second round following the redistribution of votes, after Sanders won the first round.
          • Klobuchar was third, with others further behind.
          • However the results are subject to recounting.

          ***


          2020-02-10 (MON FEB 10, 2020)



          TECHNOLOGY

          AMAZON AWS

          • has supplemented their legal action challenging the awarding of the $10B JEDI contract to Microsoft on the grounds that the decision was influenced improperly by actions of President Trump, by seeking depositions from President Trump, Defense Secretary Esper, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
          • This pits the richest man in the world (Bezos) against, arguably, the most powerful man in the world (Trump).
          • The charge - that Trump influenced the disposition of government funds to benefit himself personally -- echos the charges in Trump's Impeachment and trial. However, in this case the proceeding should follow explicitly legal procedures rather than the explicitly political procedures of an impeachment.
          • Microsoft reportedly is fighting this suit and the supplementary filing.
          • Comment: While it makes sense for Microsoft to oppose the action on the grounds that they have a better case -- with their extensive and comprehensive software development experience -- to complete the JEDI project successfully (cloud facility is only one part of a development project), they should let the deposition process proceed so they can be clear that they can win the contract on its merits, not on improper political/personal meddling.
          • The current filing is currently sealed, but here is the (redacted) original filing:
          • https://federalnewsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/120919_redacted_aws_complaint.pdf

          ***


          FILM

          PARASITE

          • a Korean language film, was the first foreign language film to ever win the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards, which, with that one exceptional exception, went as expected.
          • The rest of the show was pleasant enough, with occasional pairs of comedians as presenters providing the comedy that used to be supplied by a host (missing from the show again this year).
          • My one complaint -- which applies not only to this but most other awards shows as well -- is that there was no clearly visible title to identify the names of presenters, or to identify the actors, films, or source in each segment of a montage sequence.
          • Full results:
          • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/academy-awards-2020.html

          ***



          2020-02-09 (SUN FEB 9, 2020)


          MUSIC

          THE THURNAUER SCHOOL OF MUSIC's

          • GIFT OF MUSIC GALA BENEFIT, raising scholarship funds,
          • featuring

           guitar virtuoso, multi-Grammy Award winner,

          • SHARON ISBIN
          • and honoring DIANNE FLAGELLO
          • long-time director of the pre-college division of 
          • THE MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC will be
          • SUNDAY, FEB 9, 2020 at 4:00 in Hackensack, NJ
          • TICKET and other INFORMATION at:
          • https://wizevents.com/register/landing.php?id=7056
          • The GOM is an annual event that, FOR 30 YEARS!, in addition to raising money for scholarships, provides an invaluable inspiration to Thurnauer music students, as they play with, rehearse with, and meet some of the world's most distinguished musicians. 
          • In addition to Sharon Isbin, other GOM events have featured:
            • Alan Gilbert, Conductor and Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (+ other members of the orchestra)!
            • Joshua Bell, Violin!
            • Steven Isserlis, Cello!
            • Melvin Chen, Professor in the Practice of Piano & Deputy Director of the Yale School of Music, Piano!
            • The Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jazz!
            • Sharon Roffman, Leader of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Violin!
            • Paula Robison, Flute!
            • David Krakauer, Clarinet! 
            • Richard Goode, Piano!
            • The Juilliard String Quartet!
            • and many more!!!
          • https://www.jccotp.org/JCC/Thurnauer_School_of_Music/JCC/Thurnauer/Thurnauer_School_of_Music.aspx

            ***



            2020-02-08 (SAT FEB 8, 2020)



            FILM

            THE ACADEMY AWARDS

            • will be presented tomorrow, Sunday Feb 9, at 8 PM on ABC.
            • There will be no host this year.
            • The biggest question is whether favorite ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, dark horse 1917, or surprise candidate, foreign film, THE PARASITE will win.
            • The other major categories have been pretty consistent in most of the earlier award shows; any difference would be a major upset:
              • Joaquin Phoenix - Actor, for JOKER
              • Renee Zellweger - Actress, for JUDY
              • Brad Pitt - Supporting Actor, for ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
              • Laura Dern - Supporting Actress, for THE MARRIAGE STORY.
            • Here's the whole list of nominees:
            • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/academy-awards-2020.html

            THE***



            2020-02-07(FRI FEB 7, 2020)



            TECHNOLOGY

            THE OCULUS QUEST

            • is currently sold out on the Oculus store. The page actually reads...
            Oculus Quest Logo

            All-In-One VR

            No PC. No wires. No limits.
            Not Available*

            • The current shortage began around the holiday season, but now seems compounded by the coronavirus.
            • Reportedly, the QUEST sold very well while it was available.
            • Meanwhile...
              • New software updates allow QUEST users to connect to a PC to play RIFT titles, and to use hand tracking.

            ***


            FILM

            RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA,

            ***



            2020-02-06 (THU FEB 6, 2020)



            TECHNOLOGY

            THE FCC

            • is one of the most important and hard to follow agencies in the US government.
            • It defines rules and procedures for all kinds of communication services, like broadcasting, broadband, and the internet.
            • It is important because it chooses between companies, industries, and communities in its most significant decisions.
            • It is hard to follow because the issues it deals with are complex technically, politically, legally, and commercially, and its website is seriously opaque.
            • Currently, major issues being decided include:
              • How to increase broadband access in underserved areas
              • How to improve the allocation of the electromagnetic spectrum to be available for 5G, while fairly compensating the companies that now use those frequencies.
            • https://www.fcc.gov/

            ***

            TECHNOLOGY

            BRAIN MULTIPHYSICS



            ***



            2020-02-05 (WED FEB 5, 2020)



            USA

            THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

            • Article I, Section 3, Paragraph 6:
            • The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present
            • On the first Article of Impeachment, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States, Abuse of Power, 45 Democrats, 2 Independents, and One Republican (Mitt Romney) voted Guilty, 52 Republicans voted Not Guilty. 
            • Failing to obtain 2/3 of the vote, the President was not convicted.
            • On the second Article of Impeachment, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States, Obstruction of Congress, 45 Democrats, and 2 Independents voted Guilty, 53 Republicans voted Not Guilty. 
            • Failing to obtain 2/3 of the vote, the President was not convicted.

            ***



            2020-02-04 (TUE FEB 4, 2020)



            USA

            STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

            • is tonight.

            ***

            IOWA CAUCUS RESULTS

            • are delayed due to a failure of the app intended to improve the compilation and release of caucus results.



            ***

            2020-02-03 (MON FEB 3, 2020)



            THEATER

            THE PUBLIC THEATER


            THE PUBLIC THEATER


            ***


            TECHNOLOGY


            Was Google's superbowl ad a little creepy? Should Google know and collect people's intimate feelings throughout their life? It's great as long as it remains confidential and useful; potentially dangerous if hacked, or misused in any way at all.


            ***



            TODAY : 2020-02-02 (SUN FEB 2, 2020)



            FILM

            THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

            • top prizewinning films (Grand Jury Prizes) this year are: 
              • Minari (U.S. Dramatic), 
              • Boys State (U.S. Documentary), 
              • Epicentro (World Cinema Documentary) and 
              • Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (World Cinema Dramatic).
            • John Cooper is stepping down as Festival Director. The new Festival Director is Tabitha Jackson. 
            • Here are the complete results:
            • https://www.sundance.org/blogs/news/2020-sundance-film-festival-awards-announced



            ***

            SPORTS

            BIG WEEKEND FOR SPORTS!

            KANSAS CITY CHIEFS WIN SUPERBOWL LIV (54) 31-20

            • over the San Francisco 49ers.
            • Jennifer Lopez and Shakira lead an excellent halftime show.

            ***


            AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

            • Young American, Sofia Kenin, becomes the newest tennis star, winning the Women's Final at the Australian Open.
            • Novak Djokovic defeats Dominic Thiem in 5 sets in the Men's Final.

            ***

            WHIMSY

            For the first time in a while we have a special date: 

            2020-02-02 or 20200202 or if you prefer 02022020

            It's a palindrome day, the same backwards or forwards.


            ***


            2020-02-01 (SAT FEB 1, 2020)



            SPORTS

            BIG WEEKEND FOR SPORTS!

            SUPERBOWL LIV (54) SUNDAY (2/2) 6:30 PM EST

            • matches the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs.
            • Jennifer Lopez and Shakira head the halftime show.
            • Lot's of snacks (get them early before the store runs out) lead the menu.
            • Watch on FOX.

            ***

            AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

            • Young American, Sofia Kenin, becomes the newest tennis star, winning the Women's Final at the Australian Open.
            • Novak Djokovic faces Dominic Thiem in the Men's Final.
            • The Men's Final can be watched on ESPN or ESPN+ at 2:30 ET --VERY early morning Sunday (2/2).

            ***

            2020-01-31 (FRI JAN 31, 2020)



            INTERNATIONAL

            BRITAIN

            • has separated from Europe. BrExit is done.

            ***



            2020-01-30 (THU JAN 30, 2020)

            INTERNATIONAL

            CORONAVIRUS

            • was declared a WORLD HEALTH EMERGENCY by the World Health Organization (WHO).
            • UPDATE 1/31/2020: The Dow Jones Industrial average lost well over 650 points on Friday; the decline was ascribed mostly to the potential effects on the economy of the coronavirus.

            ***



            2020-01-29 (WED JAN 29, 2020)



            TECHNOLOGY

            VR WORLD,

            • a new, large (12,000 sq feet; 3 levels), location based gaming site, allowing people to experience VR has opened in New York.
            • https://vrworldnyc.com/

            ***

            SUNDAR PINCHAI ON AI

            • at the World Economic Forum in Davos:


            ***

            2020-01-28 (TUE JAN 28, 2020)



            THE WORLD

            A PEACE PLAN FOR THE ISRAELI & PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

            • has been proposed by the White House.
            • The Palestinians did not participate in its development and seem to have so far rejected it.
            • News accounts and analysis in the US have generally suggested it is favorable to Israel; and even more, that it is in part intended to support Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is his next election.
            • Here is the full text of the proposal:
            • https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Peace-to-Prosperity-0120.pdf

            ***



            2020-01-27 (MON JAN 27, 2020)



            TECHNOLOGY

            TIM COOK, FROM APPLE,

            ***

            US

            The FCC
            If you ever receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Help Center: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov #FCCtips #ProtectingConsumers


            ***


            WORLD
            Adam Schiff
            On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the six million Jews and other victims of Nazism. We honor their memories by speaking out against anti-Semitism, injustice, and hatred in all forms. Never Again.

            WORLD

            CDC UPDATE ON THE CORONAVIRUS,

            • 5 confirmed cases in US.
            • 110 cases under investigation.
            • No evidence virus is spreading in the uS; cases are isolated.
            • 16 countries have cases.
            • Avoid travel to Hubei province (where cases began in Wuhan).
            • Be careful about travel anywhere in China.
            • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
            • Other sources estimate: about 3000 cases worldwide, 80+ deaths.
            • Side note: The spread of coronavirus is "blamed" for a stock selloff in Europe and the US.



            ***


            2020-01-26 (SUN JAN 26, 2020)



            THEATER & FILM

            THE NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE (2020-01-26)


            ***



            2020-01-25 (SAT JAN 25, 2020)



            THEATER

            THEATER RESOURCES UNLIMITED (TRU)

            • one of the country's leading organizations dedicating to developing theater professionals has announced an impressive collection of events coming in the next few months, including: 
              • a panel on Festivals: Working Hard to Give Your Show A Chance;
              • a Speeddate --the Art of the Pitch -- for writers and producers, giving writers a chance to practice their pitch to a room full of working, investing producers;
              •  a three part workshop on Writing a Musical That Works
              • with other resources available from their site:
            • https://truonline.org/

            ***



            2020-01-24 (FRI JAN 24, 2020)



            THEATER & FILM

            OPEN SUBMISSIONS TO SCRIPT COMPETITIONS IN THEATER AND FILM

            ***



            2020-01-23 (THU JAN 23, 2020)



            WORLD

            CHINA

            • has responded to the new Coronavirus scare and pandemic threat vigorously by quickly alerting the world, and enabling a quick sequencing of the virus,
            • and by halting transportation to and from -- essentially quarantining -- cities (and even parts of cities) where the illness is prevalent.
            • The US has responded by screening passengers on flights from areas where the virus has been detected. 
            • At least one person has been confirmed with the virus in the US.

            ***



            TODAY: 2020-01-22 (WED JAN 22, 2020)



            TECHNOLOGY

            YAHOO HIJACKED MY SEARCH (?!*??)

            • Google has been my search engine. It works well.
            • Suddenly all my searches were conducted by Yahoo (now belonging to Verizon).
            • Earlier, while I was trying to add my "brand" channel to YouTubeVR, for some reason I seemed to have had to register for some other things first. This seems to have hijacked the search engine.
            • Here's how I fixed it: 
            • By going to the three vertical dots at the top right of Chrome, I scrolled to Settings, then to Search engine, and disabled Yahoo search and the program that was controlling the choice of search. This fixed the problem.
            • I have found Google Search to be the best search. I set this as the default. 
            • There may be other ways that Yahoo (or some other search engine) can hijack the search, but this method is likely to work in many cases.

            ***



            2020-01-21 (TUE JAN 21, 2020)



            USA

            THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF DONALD JOHN TRUMP

            • begins today.

            ***


            VR VIDEO

            QPORIT XR

            ***


            2020-01-20 (MON JAN 20, 2020)



            USA

            Today is a holiday: Martin Luther King Jr Day



            ***

            FILM & TV


            SAG AWARDS (& MORE)

            • The SAG awards were pretty similar to the awards from GG (Golden Globes) and CC (Critics Circle) wherever they overlapped.
            • For the Oscars, now, the only categories in which there is major suspense are Best Picture (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood or Parasite or The Irishman  or 1917) and Best Director (Respectively Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho, Martin Scorcese, and Sam Mendes)

            • Here are these awards, so far:
            • The Producer's Guild went with 1917.
            • SAG with Parasite (cast)
            • GG with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (comedy  & screenplay) & 1917 (drama & director)
            • CC with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Picture) &
            • 1917 & Parasite (Director - tied!)

            • The SAG Awards went to:
            • Robert De Niro - Lifetime Achievement (Passionate political talk!)
            • “Parasite” - Cast
            • Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” - Actor in a Film (good talk!), 
            • Renée Zellweger, “Judy” - Actress in a Film, 
            • Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood”- Supporting Actor in a Film (funny!), 
            • Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” - Supporting Actress in a Film, 
            • “The Crown” - Ensemble in a TV Drama Series, 
            • Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” - Actor in a TV Drama Series, 
            • Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show” - Actress in a TV Drama Series,
            • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” - Ensemble in a TV Comedy Series
            • Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” - Actor in a TV Comedy Series, 
            • Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag” - Actress in a TV Comedy Series,
            • Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon” - Actor in a TV Mini-series, 
            • Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon” - Actress in a TV Mini-series,. 
            • Presenters & nominees diverse
            • Winners all white, mostly British when possible.

            • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/sag-awards-2020.html
            To see what films and which actors have been celebrated in other awards this year... AND in the last five years, please see:



            2020-01-19 (SUN JAN 19, 2020)



            INTERNATIONAL & TV


            FAREED ZAKARIA 




            ***


            FILM & TV

            SAG AWARDS (& MORE)




            To see what films and which actors have been celebrated in other awards this year... AND in the last five years, please see:

            ***



            2020-01-18 (SAT JAN 18, 2020)



            THEATER


            PUNCHDRUNK




            • the British Theater company that developed the (fantastic!) Sleep No More has developed a resource guide for immersive theater.
            • Immersive theater is a sibling to immersive video.
            • http://www.punchdrunk.org.uk/resources/

            ***



            2020-01-17 (FRI JAN 17, 2020)


            XR CLUB NEWS



            TECHNOLOGY & $$$

            THE $TRILLION CLUB

            • has a new member, as Alphabet/Google, joins Apple and Microsoft with a market capitalization of more than a trillion $$$dollars.


            WORLD

            THE IMPEACHED PRESIDENTS CLUB

            • has a new member, as Donald J Trump joins Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson as the only Presidents to face an impeachment trial.
            • Clinton and Johnson were not convicted.
            • Richard Nixon avoided impeachment by resigning.


            FILM & VIDEO

            THE 2020 MAJOR FILM AND VIDEO AWARDS CLUB

            • will have a new member on Sunday with the SAG Awards.
            • The SAG awards are voted on by actors, and may have a different take from the Golden Globes and Critics Circle awards, which are both critics' rather than performers' choices.
            • Sunday, Jan 19, 2020
            • Red Carpet: TNT 5:30 PM ET
            • Awards Ceremony: TNT & TBS 8:00 ET 



            VIDEO & TECHNOLOGY


            THE STREAMING VIDEO CLUB
            • will have a new member as the plans for NBCU Peacock are announced.
            • Content for Peacock with include both movies and NBC shows.
            • Peacock will have 3 tiers:
              • Free with ads (>7,500 hours of content)
              • Premium $5 with ads (>15,000 hours of contents & sports)
              • Premium $10 with no ads.
            • https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/16/nbc-peacock-price-launch-date-and-shows.html
            • Some features of Peacock will launch on April 15,; more on July 15, 2020
            • Peacock joins other current and future streaming services including...
              • Netflix
              • Apple TV+
              • Disney+
              • Quibi (original, short, phone-targeted content - see below 2020-01-08)
              • HBO Max

            ***



            2020-01-16 (THU JAN 16, 2020)



            TECHNOLOGY

            MULTI-USER AR AND VR WITH AWS SUMERIAN

            ***

            USA

            ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

            • "Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors",
            • have been read at the Senate.
            • The Chief Justice and the Senators have been sworn in for the impeachment trial.
            • In related news, the GAO has released an opinion that the delay of funds for the Ukraine was illegal.

            ***



            2020-01-15 (WED JAN 15, 2020)


            USA

            ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

            • "Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors",
            • are scheduled to be transmitted to the Senate about 5:00 PM EST today.

            ***


            USA & THE WORLD

            A "PHASE ONE" AGREEMENT BETWEEN CHINA AND THE USA


            ***



            2020-01-14 (TUE JAN 14, 2020)


            USA

            DEMOCRATIC DEBATE

            • Tonight: The last Democratic debate before the Iowa Caucuses (Feb 3, 2020), at which  49 delegates to the Democratic Convention (July 13-16 2020) will be chosen.  
            • There will be a national total of 4,750 delegates.
            • Participants in the debate are:
              • Former VP Joe Biden
              • Senator Elizabeth Warren
              • Senator Bernie Sanders
              • Senator Amy Klobuchar
              • Mayor Pete Buttegeig
              • Businessman Tom Steyer
            • Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is also competing for the Democratic nomination is not in this debate.

            ***



            2020-01-13 (MON JAN 13, 2020)


            FILM

            ACADEMY AWARDS 2020

            • The nominations for the Academy Awards are similar to those for the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice. BEST in each category is likely to be a reflection of the slightly different sensibilities of the members of these groups. GG voters are foreign critics; CC voters are North American critics; and AA voters are in the film industry, making the films.
            • Joker had the highest number of nominations, 11.
            • The films at the top of the list seem to be:
            • 1917 (10)
            • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (10)
            • Parasite (6)
            • The Irishman (10)
            • Joker (11)
            • Little Women
            • Marriage Story 
            • Missing Link
            • Toy Story 4
            • Here's the list of all the nominees:
            • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/academy-awards-2020.html

            CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS 2020

            • The Critics Choice Awards winners included:

              • Best picture: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,
              • Best Foreign Language Picture: Parasite,
              • Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix,
              • Best Actress: Renee Zellweger
              • Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,
              • Best Director: Bong Joon-ho & Sam Mendes (tie)
            • For all the results, including TV, please see:
            • https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/critics-choice-awards-2020.html

            ***



            2020-01-12 (SUN JAN 12, 2020)


            FILM

            CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS 2020

            ***



            2020-01-11 (SAT JAN 11, 2020)


            THEATER

            THE WOMAN IN BLACK  - A GHOST PLAY IN A PUB

            • is being presented (in a "strictly limited" engagement -- with many dates already sold out) at "the McKittrick Hotel", home of Sleep No More.
            • Everything I've ever attended there has been exceptionally fine.
            • This is the adaptation of Susan Hill's novel by Stephen Mallatratt, directed by Robin Herford, that was a huge success in London. 
            • https://mckittrickhotel.com/events/womaninblack/

            ***



            2020-01-10 (FRI JAN 10, 2020)


            IDEAS

            A NIGHT OF PHILOSOPHY AND IDEAS

            • co-sponsored by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
            • will be held this year in Brooklyn.
            • Saturday Feb 1, 2020 7 PM to Sunday Feb 2, 2020 7 AM.
            • https://nightofphilosophyandideas.com/

            ***



            2020-01-09 (THU JAN 9, 2020)


            THEATER

            HB STUDIO,

            • one of the oldest, best, and least expensive acting studios in NY (or anywhere else) is starting a new term.
            • HB has classes for everyone from beginner to professional; both a la carte and complete programs; and a wide variety of courses and workshops and performing opportunities.
            • HB Studio is especially friendly as a destination for visiting students from other countries.
            • Among the special offerings this winter are "studio practice" with Mercedes Ruehl, concentration in Ibsen with Austin Pendleton, and courses in acting in Spanish (Actuar en espagnol) and in the Russian language:
            • ACTING IN RUSSIAN: METHOD OF ETUDES
            • ТЕХНИКА АКТЕРА НА РУССКОМ: МЕТОД ЭТЮДОВ
            • Snezhana Chernova - СНЕЖАНА ЧЕРНОВА
            • www.hbstudio.org


              ***



              2020-01-08 (WED JAN 8, 2020)


              TECHNOLOGY

              CES - QUIBI

              • CES - THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW
                • JAN 7-10, 2020

                • https://www.ces.tech/
                • QUIBI (QUIck BItes) is a new content streaming service, created by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, which aims to bring A-level content from A-level talent to smartphones... by designing the content visually to be optimized for the phone-sized screen, and by cutting the content into bite-sized segments (quick bites), so it can easily be watched on the go, on the phone.
                • It will launch on April 6, and will cost $4.99/mo with ads, or $7.99 without ads.
                • According to the WSJ, QUIBI had already sold $150M worth of ads as of October 21, 2019.
                • By the way, as of today, they have 28 open positions on their site.
                • www.quibi.com

              ***



              2020-01-07 (TUE JAN 7, 2020)


              TECHNOLOGY

              CES

              • CES - THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW

              ***

              ELON MUSK

                • SpaceX successfully launched a rocket and returned Stage 1 successfully back to Earth.
                • SpaceX is now the largest operator of Satellites.
                • Tesla successfully delivered cars to Chinese customers from its new Chinese factory.
                • Tesla stocks and valuation reached a new high, with a capitalization of over $84.5B.

                ***


                2020-01-06 (MON JAN 6, 2020)

                TECHNOLOGY

                CES - SAMSUNG

                • CES - THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW
                • Here is the Samsung Keynote - first the full video version, then the highlights with a short synopsis video 
                • https://youtu.be/KL1B_sxgILQ
                • Highlights:
                  • Ballie - a ball shaped robot/personal assistant
                  • GEMS - a software and AR enhanced exoskeleton
                  • Smart kitchen, including an enclosed home growing station
                  • 5G & AI applications
                  • https://youtu.be/4t66KO0uE7Y

                ***


                FILM & TV

                GOLDEN GLOBES

                • Here are the Feature Films with the most wins at last night's Golden Globes:

                • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 5 Nominations, 3 wins
                  • Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
                  • Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Brad Pitt
                  • Best Screenplay
                • 1917 - 3 Nominations, 2 wins
                  • Best Dramatic Feature
                  • Best Director - Sam Mendes
                • Rocketman - 3 Nominations, 2 wins
                  • Best Actor - Musical or Comedy - Taron Egerton
                  • Best Song - "I'm Gonna Love Me Again"
                • Joker - 4 Nominations, 2 wins
                  • Best Actor - Drama - Joaquin Phoenix
                  • Best Original Score
                • Missing Link - Best Animated Feature
                • Parasite - Best Foreign Language Film
                • Judy - Best Actress - Renee Zellweger
                • The Farewell - Best Actress, Musical or Comedy - Awkwafina
                • Marriage Story - 6 Nominations - Best Supporting Actress, Laura Dern

                ***


                2020-01-05 (SUN JAN 5, 2020)


                FILM & TV

                GOLDEN GLOBES

                • Tonight, NBC 8-11 PM (EST), hosted by Ricky Gervais.
                • Here are the Feature Films with the most nominations:


                • 6 Marriage Story
                  5 The Irishman
                  5 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
                  4 Joker
                  4 The Two Popes
                  3 Knives Out
                  3 1917
                  3 Rocketman
                  3 Parasite
                  2 Dolemite is my name
                  2 Jojo Rabbit
                  2 Frozen 2
                  2 Lion King
                  2 The Farewell
                  2 Harriet

                Here is the full list of nominees:

                https://qporit.blogspot.com/2020/01/golden-globes-2020-nbc-jan-5-2020-8-11.html


                ***

                2020-01-03 (FRI JAN 3, 2020)


                WORLD

                Tensions are increasing in the Middle East and around the world, following an Iranian attack on the US Embassy in Iraq, and a US drone strike on an important Iranian General.

                ***


                2020-01-02 (THU JAN 2, 2020)


                USA

                Calendar for 2020!


                JAN 01 WED NEW YEAR'S DAY

                FEB 02 SUN Groundhog Day

                FEB 17 MON PRESIDENT'S DAY

                MAR 08 SUN Daylight Saving Time Starts


                APR 08 WED Passover Seder (eve)

                APR 15 WED TAX DAY

                MAY 10 SUN Mother's Day

                MAY 25 MON MEMORIAL DAY

                JUN 14 SUN Flag Day

                JUN 21 SUN Father's Day

                JUL 03 FRI INDEPENDENCE DAY - OBSERVED

                JUL 04 SAT INDEPENDENCE DAY

                SEP 07 MON LABOR DAY

                SEP 18 FRI Rosh Hashanah (eve)
                SEP 27 SUN Yom Kippur (eve)

                OCT 12 MON COLUMBUS DAY


                NOV 01 SUN Daylight Saving Time Ends

                NOV 03 TUE ELECTION DAY
                NOV 11 WED VETERANS DAY
                NOV 26 THU THANKSGIVING

                DEC 10 THU Hanukkah eve)

                DEC 25 FRI CHRISTMAS DAY
                DEC 31 THU New Year's Eve


                ***


                2020-01-01 (WED JAN 1, 2020)


                HELLO 2020!

                Be good to us! Please!

                We wish everyone on Earth
                A Great New Year!

                MUCH TO COME!

                ***




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