Pacific Piano Performance Posts

Kristine Ming


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  • Iron Man 4′ Release Updates: Fate of the Clamored-For Movie Still Uncertain

    Facebook/Iron ManDespite the clamor of the fans, “Iron Man 4″ is still up in the air.

    While there are rumors claiming that the highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War” will feature the death of some Marvel superheroes including Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), many are still hoping that a fourth solo “Iron Man” movie will be made. However, with Marvel Studios mum on the status of the clamored-for movie, it goes without saying that the fate of “Iron Man 4″ is still very much up in the air.

    Talks about “Iron Man 4″ have been around for years now, but neither Marvel Studios nor Downey Jr. has given a concrete statement to confirm if it is, indeed, happening. To recall, Downey said during his guesting on “Ellen” in 2014 that there was going to be one, only to sing a different tune in a separate interview last year while promoting the then-upcoming “Captain America: Civil War.”

    “I don’t think that’s in the cards. In a way it’s ‘Cap 3′ but for me it’s like my little ‘Iron Man 4′ and then it’s back to the thing we all recognize. Everything pulls over to the side of the road when the thunder of an Avengers thing comes through because that’s how it is until it changes. If it changes,” Downey told USA Today in March last year.

    However, according to recent reports, there is still a possibility for “Iron Man 4″ to happen after all. As the comic book counterpart of the Marvel superhero character features Tony Stark passing the baton to Riri Williams as the new iron-clad superhero, the fourth solo “Iron Man” movie may be Downey Jr.’s swan song as Tony Stark and Iron Man.

    On the other hand, some suspect that Tony Stark’s passing of the baton to Riri Williams may not necessarily happen in “Iron Man 4.” After all, among t many characters suspected to die in “Avengers: Infinity War,” rumors claim that Iron Man is the likeliest. This means that there may be no more chance for Tony Stark to officially pass the legacy of his alter ego in another solo “Iron Man” movie.

    Will Tony Stark really die in “Avengers: Infinity War?” Is there still a chance for “Iron Man 4″ starring Downey for the last time?

    Fans can only speculate for now.

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  • Gatorade settles over ‘misleading’ Usain Bolt water game

    Gatorade drinksImage copyright
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    Sports drink Gatorade has agreed to pay $300,000 (£220,000) to the state of California over an app called Bolt! which featured a character based on Olympic medallist Usain Bolt.

    In the game Bolt had to drink Gatorade to enhance his performance while water slowed him down.

    Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the game made “misleading statements” about water.

    The app was released in 2012 and is no longer available to download.

    It was only available on Apple’s operating system and was downloaded 2.3 million times from 2012 to 2013.

    It was briefly made available again in 2017.

    Players were told to “keep your performance high by avoiding water” in a tutorial that accompanied the game, the Attorney General’s office said.

    In a statement Gatorade’s parent company PepsiCo said the game was designed to “highlight the unique role and benefits of sports drinks in supporting athletic performance”.

    “We recognise the role water plays in overall health and wellness,” it said, adding that it also markets bottled water brands.

    Youth audience

    Bolt! had an audience of mainly young people aged 13 to 24, the state added.

    “Making misleading statements is a violation of California law. But making misleading statements aimed at our children is beyond unlawful, it’s morally wrong and a betrayal of trust.

    “It’s what causes consumers to lose faith in the products they buy,” said Mr Becerra.

    Almost half the settlement ($120,000) will be used to fund research and education into water consumption and nutrition in young people.

    PepsiCo said in a 2014 statement that it does not advertise in spaces where children aged under 12 make up more than 35% of the audience.

    Analyst Jack Kent, from IHS Markit, told the BBC the app store market had moved away from “branded entertainment” and games connected to a particular ad campaign.

    “Mobile is a primary channel for reaching a youth audience, and the rise of branded apps highlighted that, but now there is more focus on reaching users through existing mobile social, entertainment and media platforms rather than just through dedicated apps,” he said.

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  • China disrupts WhatsApp ahead of Communist Party meeting

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    The messaging service WhatsApp has been disrupted in China as the government steps up security ahead of a Communist Party meeting next month.

    Users have faced problems with the app for more than a week with services dropping in and out.

    At times, it has been completely blocked and only accessible via virtual private networks (VPNs) which circumvent China’s internet firewall.

    WhatsApp is Facebook’s only product allowed to operate in mainland China.

    Facebook’s main social media service and its Instagram image sharing app are not available on the mainland.

    Services disrupted

    The BBC’s China based correspondents said the WhatsApp messaging service started going offline more than a week ago.

    A test of its services on Tuesday showed users in China could not send video messages or photographs to people outside China.

    The disruption follows restrictions on WhatsApp video chats and photographs in July, which were later lifted.

    The tightening of online censorship comes as China steps up security ahead of the Communist Party’s national congress which is held every five years.

    “The run-up period to a gathering is normally a time of greater restrictions of all kinds to assure that the critical Party Congress is held under ideal social conditions and is not disrupted”, Robert Lawrence Kuhn, long-time advisor to China’s leaders and multinational corporations told the BBC.

    However, he said it is not yet clear whether the restrictions will be relaxed as has happened after previous party congresses, adding that many analysts do not believe they will be.

    WhatsApp has declined to comment on the latest clampdown.

    Image copyright
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    Image caption

    WeChat is the most popular messaging service in China

    Analysis – Stephen McDonell, BBC China correspondent, Beijing

    Last week word started spreading around other platforms… “Is WhatsApp blocked?”

    The replies would come in: “You need to use a VPN”. Then the VPNs were being blocked.

    Welcome to online China in the run-up to the Communist Party Congress.

    Taking out WhatsApp has no impact on most Chinese people. They don’t use it. The unrivalled king of cyberspace in this country is WeChat (or, in Chinese, Weixin 微信)

    You would really struggle to find somebody here not using WeChat to send messages, share photos, swap locations, flirt, read news and pay for pretty much everything. This all-encompassing app at the centre of people’s lives is available for the Communist Party to spy on the entire population.

    WhatsApp is not – at least not to the same extent.

    So, during this sensitive time leading up to the once-in-five-years Party Congress, those with responsibility for censoring social media are nervous.

    They worry that somebody may use an app beyond their complete control to, for example, organise a protest or post a funny photo of President Xi Jinping and for this to somehow go under their radar.

    Tech crackdown

    WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption which ensures only the sender and recipient can view the content of messages.

    It also prevents Facebook from knowing what is said in any text, voice and video conversation being communicated on WhatsApp.

    “China has shown little tolerance to encryption especially on platforms that can be used to share materials or potential propaganda,” Bill Taylor-Mountford, Asia Pacific vice president for LogRhythm told the BBC.

    The latest disruption to WhatsApp appears to be part of a broader crackdown on the internet and online content in China.

    On Monday, China’s cyber watchdog handed down maximum penalties to some of the country’s top technology firms including Tencent, Baidu and Weibo for failing to properly censor online content.

    The penalties were imposed for failing to remove fake news and pornography, as well as content that authorities said “incites ethic tension” and “threatens social order”.

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  • Deloitte hit by data breach

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    Corporate finance giant Deloitte suffered a cyber-attack that compromised confidential data, including the private emails of some of its clients, the company has confirmed.

    Its system had been accessed via an email platform and “very few” clients had been affected, Deloitte said.

    The Guardian reported the attack had been discovered in March but could have happened months earlier.

    Deloitte said it had contacted those whose data had been accessed.

    It did not confirm exactly how many people had been affected or how much information had been compromised.

    Deloitte carries out auditing, consultancy, tax and financial advice services for clients worldwide.

    For the year ending on 31 May, it reported revenues of of $38.8bn (£29bn).

    Email addresses

    Prof Alan Woodward, cyber-security expert at Surrey University, told the BBC that private email addresses alone were valuable data for hackers.

    “Many people expect their email address to be in the public domain,” he said.

    “But what most people have done when dealing with confidential matters is they have a second address – and it looks like it is that one that may have been let out here.

    “Is it immediately going to be mean people’s data will be breached? Not really – but the secondary, more confidential email addresses mean phishing can become much more sophisticated.”

    Phishing is an attempt by criminals to get valuable information, such as banking login details, by pretending to be emailing from an official source.

    It is more likely to succeed if it is sent to an address that regularly receives correspondence from the real organisation.

    Media captionTechnology explained: What is phishing?

    Deloitte said it had reviewed the email platform accessed and had determined there had been “no disruption” to the work of its clients.

    However, Tony Pepper, chief executive of data security company Egress, said that compromised email servers could be full of sensitive information.

    “This is why multi-factor access control such as two-factor authentication is important, especially for administrators,” he said.

    “It makes it much harder to gain illicit access in the first place, and provides a warning if someone is trying to log in without your knowledge.”

    Two-factor authentication involves providing extra information before logging in – for example, an access code sent by text message.

    Mr Pepper added that individual emails should also be encrypted.

    In a statement, Deloitte said it had informed government authorities and regulators of the breach.

    “Deloitte remains deeply committed to ensuring that its cyber-security defences are best in class, to investing heavily in protecting confidential information and to continually reviewing and enhancing cyber-security,” it said.

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  • The Joker’ Plot, Release Date News: First Draft of Script Almost Finished; Production May Begin Next Year

    Facebook/Suicide SquadShown is a scene from last year’s “Suicide Squad” featuring Jared Leto as Joker.

    Since “The Joker” origin movie was announced, details about its production have been few and far between. However, a new update surfaced recently and claimed that the script for this movie would soon be “turned in” so that filming may finally get underway in 2018.

    A collaborative project between Warner Bros. and DC, “The Joker’s” script is reportedly nearing completion. The update was reported by Variety’s Justin Kroll, who said on Twitter that he had learned that the script for the upcoming movie would be submitted to the producers this week. The report also noted that the script’s development was “super fast,” considering that it had only been less than a month since the movie was confirmed.

    Kroll’s intel came as a surprise for fans, especially because when the project was first announced, everything sounded fluid. If it is true that the first draft of the script is already about to be finished, then fans might understandably think that Warner Bros. had actually started developing the movie long before its official announcement last month.

    As of now, the only thing known about the project is that it will be directed by “The Hangover” and “War Dogs” director Todd Phillips and produced by veteran director Martin Scorsese.

    According to reports, the upcoming movie will explore the origins of the Clown Prince of Crime as a child, where some say he might have been the target of bullying but managed to keep a positive perspective in life. This was very far from the Joker that fans know of today, hence, the movie will offer fans a glimpse of how and when the once optimistic young lad turned to the dark side.

    As for its cast, it was previously confirmed that “Suicide Squad’s” Joker portrayer Jared Leto would not play Joker in the movie. There have been rumors instead that Warner Bros. is eyeing Leonardo DiCaprio to star in the film, but the studio has yet to confirm that.

    “The Joker” does not have a release date yet.

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  • Dragon Ball Super’ Spoilers: Goku To Face An Opponent Even More Powerful Than A God Of Destruction

    If there’s one thing that sets apart “Dragon Ball Super” from other iterations of Akira Toriyama’s massively popular creation, it’s that it shows fans what real power is like.

    For decades, fans were left in awe as Goku faces villain after villain each more powerful than the last and every time as if by miracle, defeats them. The latest iteration of the beloved anime throws all of that out the window with the gang facing literal Gods. If the spoilers are to be believed, Goku is about to come face to face with that power.

    Episode 108 showcased the power of the Omni-Kings when Frost, a warrior from Universe 6, was simply erased from the multiverse to keep order. Sure the Omni-Kings have destroyed entire universes such as Universe 9 in the series, but this is the first time that they specifically targeted an individual.

    While not as powerful as said Omni-Kings, a God of Destruction is also a force to be reckoned something Beerus showed fans during his time as the main antagonist in the “Dragon Ball Super”. But now Goku must face an opponent even more powerful than a God of Destruction.

    Back in episode 106, Beerus grew anxious after Grand Priest Daishinkan updated the Omni-Kings on the latest standings of each participating universe in the Tournament of Power. It was later revealed that two fighters are missing from the standing and one of them is believed to be the powerful mortal who defeated Quitela, the God of Destruction of Universe 4.

    This could very well be the reason why Goku was unable to beat Jinren. After all, it is possible that the people behind the series are reserving the most powerful mortal as the final opponent that Goku, Gohan, or even, Vegeta must face in the Tournament of Power.

    With the warriors of the universes slowly being whittled down to just a few powerful warriors, Dragon Ball Super is definitely gearing up for the biggest fight of the franchise yet.

    Be sure to catch each episode every Sunday 9:15 p.m. ET on Crunchyroll.

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  • Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals Live Stream Free (ESPN TV): Watch NFL Monday Night Football 2017 Online (MNF Preview)

    NFL Monday Night Football 2017 tonight will feature a big game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. The game has a scheduled start time of 8.30 p.m. ET and takes place from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game can be watched on TV on the ESPN network, or online through live stream (details below).

    Both teams come into this Week 3 clash on 1-1, meaning one team will end September in a reasonably satisfying position and a positive start to the season. However, for the loser of tonight’s contest, they will drop to 1-2 and the season will already start to take the shape of an uphill battle to get to the postseason.

    These two teams have met 87 times before in the regular season, with the Cowboys claiming 55 wins compared to the Cardinals 31 (there has been one tied game between the paid).

    Reuters/Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY SportsDallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, Dec. 1, 2016.

    However, even though Dallas has had the lion’s share of wins through the all time series, it is the Cardinals that have had more success in this fixture in recent history. Arizona have claimed the past four straight games against the Cowboys, and they will be looking to extend that run of victories here tonight.

    The Cowboys enter today’s game hot on the heels of last week’s chastising experience at the hands of the Denver Broncos. That 42-17 defeat for the Cowboys was a humbling experience, and will have shown the team just how much further they have to come if they are to get back to competing at the upper echelons of the NFL.

    The Cardinals will have noted that the Broncos kept the Cowboys to just 268 yards last week, and they will be dissecting that Denver performance and hoping to replicate that success in tonight’s Monday Night Football.

    Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott will have an important part to play here tonight. Last week he threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns. So far he has had just nine career road games, and in them he has thrown 14 touchdowns, and suffered five interceptions.

    Cardinals’ OLB Chandler Jones will be pivotal for Arizona, and he will be looking to ramp up the heat on Prescott. Jones has three sacks from his opening two games of the season, and he will be hoping to make it a miserable night for the Cowboys’ quarterback.

    This week, coach Bruce Arians has heaped ample praise on Jones’ abilities, calling him one of the top five pass rushers in the NFL today. The Cowboys must keep him away from Prescott, or it could end up being a long evening for them.

    Tonight’s NFL Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals has a scheduled start time of 8.30 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the ESPN network, or online through live stream by clicking here.

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  • Days of Our Lives’ Spoilers: On Sami’s Return and Tyler Christopher’s Role

    Facebook/daysofourlivesA promotional photo of NBC’s daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

    “Days of Our Lives” spoilers for the week of Sept. 25 reveal that there are a few things in store for the people of Salem. Sami (Alison Sweeney) is set to return in the city, and this will help Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) in more ways than one. Meanwhile, rumors are also speculating that Tyler Christopher’s character may be part of Salem’s influential family, the DiMeras.

    Bonnie (Judi Evans) has been wreaking havoc during the past few weeks. Posing as Adrienne, she has already broken Lucas’ heart. Spoilers reveal that Sami’s return is the perfect time to help Lucas make a comeback. She’s going to find out that Will (Chandler Massey) could be alive, and she will be determined to find out the truth. Considering that Lucas is his father, he will be by her side throughout the debacle that they are going to face in their mission to find Will.

    Furthermore, Sonny (Freddie Smith) and Paul (Christopher Sean) will help Sami and Lucas any way they can, while also trying to keep their relationship intact. During the search, Justin (Wally Kurth) and the real Adrienne will go down to Memphis, where the search part will begin. This means that Bonnie’s charade is almost up. Although Lucas might feel relieved that Adrienne did not really break his heart, he will have a hallucination of Will telling him to get back together with Sami.

    In the meantime, further spoilers of “Days of Our Lives” reveal that Christopher’s role is someone named Stefani. Although the showrunners have remained tight-lipped thus far, fans believe that he is going to part of the DiMera family. Personality-wise, Christopher’s character is expected to be funny. Details on his role are scarce, but fans are expecting to see him on “Days of Our Lives” by next year.

    “Days of Our Lives” airs weekdays on NBC at 1 p.m. EDT.

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