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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: RB Nick Holley Needs to Show He’s Not Made of Glass

Kent State graduate Nick Holley (Toledo, Ohio) recently signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Rams. After proving his ability to play multiple positions with the Golden Flashes, the Rams currently have Holley listed as a running back.

In 10 career starts at quarterback, Holley had six 100-yard rushing performances and 11 rushing touchdowns. Following the first four games of the 2016 season, Holley was the top wide receiver for the Flashes, before making the transition to quarterback.

From 2014 through the beginning of the 2015 season, Holley found success as a running back with 649 rushing yards and six total touchdowns over 14 games.

Thank you for that marvelous introduction Kent State Sports!

Read more at Turf Show Times  →


Apple Is Rebuilding Maps from the Ground Up

Matthew Panzarino reporting for TechCrunch:

Apple has a team of cartographers on staff that work on more cultural, regional and artistic levels to ensure that its Maps are readable, recognizable and useful.

These teams have goals that are at once concrete and a bit out there — in the best traditions of Apple pursuits that intersect the technical with the artistic.

The maps need to be usable, but they also need to fulfill cognitive goals on cultural levels that go beyond what any given user might know they need. For instance, in the US, it is very common to have maps that have a relatively low level of detail even at a medium zoom. In Japan, however, the maps are absolutely packed with details at the same zoom, because that increased information density is what is expected by users.

This is the department of details. They’ve reconstructed replicas of hundreds of actual road signs to make sure that the shield on your navigation screen matches the one you’re seeing on the highway road sign. When it comes to public transport, Apple licensed all of the type faces that you see on your favorite subway systems, like Helvetica for NYC. And the line numbers are in the exact same order that you’re going to see them on the platform signs.

These are the kind of details that I expect Apple to care about. Don’t be fooled though, the new Apple Maps is more that just some visual design tweaks and eye candy, there’s some serious rebuilding going on under the hood. This whole piece is a fascinating look into the project that’s going to see Apple attempt to build a whole stack Mapping solution that’ll rival Google’s.


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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: CB Taurean Nixon needs to grab the bull by the horns

Taken by the Denver Broncos with the 251st overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, Los Angeles Rams CB Taurean Nixon didn’t initially win a spot on Denver’s active roster. He landed on the Broncos’ practice squad but was promoted to the active roster prior the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots in January of 2016 but didn’t see any snaps for Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ No-Fly Zone with CB Aqib Talib . While still a part of the roster for the Super Bowl 50 win over the Carolina Panthers, Nixon was one of the inactives for the game.

Bouncing around the roster and practice squad for 2016 before being waived in the summer of 2017, he played in two games and was credited with a single tackle.

Read more at Turf Show Times  →


Turning Apple Reminders Into a True Task Manager

Bradley Chambers writing for 9to5Mac:

Overall, Reminders is a solid application. It works great on iOS, macOS, and on Apple Watch. With some additional features, it can be one of the best task managers for Apple users.

It’s been so long that at this point trying to get Apple to improve reminders to the point of usability for all but the basic tasks seems like trying to make “fetch” happen.

Donald Trump: Eagles Uninvited to White House over Disagreement on Anthem Policy

Joseph Zucker writing for Bleacher Report:

President Donald Trump rescinded an invitation to the Philadelphia Eagles to commemorate their Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots at the White House on Tuesday.

I’m sure the Eagles are heart broken.

Sony Removed Spider-Man Spinoff Silver & Black From Its Schedule

Andrew Liptak reporting for The Verge:

Word broke last year that Sony was developing the superhero spinoff based on the Spider-Man-adjacent characters Black Cat and Silver Sable, and Sony announced that the film would hit theaters in February 2019, just months after its other Spider-Man spinoff film, Venom, would hit theaters. Now, Deadline reports that the film is off the schedule completely, and is headed back into development.

This is for the best. Sony should ditch the “Spider-Man-adjacent” idea. They should sign a contract for all these “Spider-Man-adjacent” with Marvel and just cash in on the royalty checks every time Marvel brings out the money printer with new Spider-Man MCU movies.


Joining the Team at The Turf Show Times

I’m excited to announce that as of Tuesday of last week, I’m officially a contributor to Turf Show Times. I’m looking forward to adding my skills to that already talented group. Hopefully, I can put out some sweet, sweet content the rest of LA Rams community will be excited to read.

Horns Up!


N.F.L.ʼs Alternate ʻCheerleadersʼ Donʼt Cheer or Dance

Juliet Macur reporting for The New York Times:

Several N.F.L. teams determined cheerleading programs had a scarcity problem on game days. If cheerleaders were on the sideline dancing, none were available to serve as scantily clad hostesses who could mingle with fans high up in the cheap seats or in the luxury suites, where teams catered to big-money customers.

I don’t see this going well.

In interviews with a dozen women who have worked for N.F.L. teams as noncheering cheerleaders and six others who had direct knowledge of the noncheering squads, they described minimum-wage jobs in which harassment and groping were common, particularly because the women were required to be on the front lines of partying fans.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

One of the worst parts of the day was the morning inspection.

Dennis Greene was head of business operations for the Redskins from 2007 until recently. He was ultimately in charge of the ambassador program, and his job was to sell suites and keep the suiteholders happy. He would have the ambassadors line up so he could examine them and choose two to accompany him to suites during the game.

“He would look each of us up and down and say, I want that one and that one, and everyone hates when you got selected for that,” a former ambassador said of the lineups that occurred just a few years ago. “It was humiliating, like we were cattle.”

This is disgusting, but this is only the latest in a few reports of harassment and abuse against cheerleaders in the NFL. It’s time for the NFL to scrap the cheerleader program which is designed to treat women as nothing more than sexual objects for its predominantly male audience. Will they do it? Probably not, because, you know, kneeling during the national anthem is a bigger issue than making sure women are treated with basic human decency. The NFL has their priorities in order for sure.

Halide: One Year Later

Ben Sandofsky writing at the official Halide blog:

We set out to build Halide after trying every major camera app and being left unsatisfied. We wanted an app for thoughtful, deliberate photography, not selfies. We wanted a tactile experience that felt like a high-end physical camera. We wanted the professional tools you’d end on a DSLR.

We hoped others shared our experience. We hoped critics understood what we were going for, and would forgive a few missing features. We hoped the app economy wasn’t dead, and you could still make a few bucks. […]

One year later we can say Halide has exceeded our wildest expectations.

Halide is my camera app of choice. I know it’s built with professionals in mind, and there is definitely a lot of power packed into it, but even if you want a little more control than what the native app gives you, you could use automatic settings for what you don’t want to fiddle with. I’ve been blown away by how good it is and how much I’ve been able to learn by experimenting with different settings. Happy first year to Halide, and I hope it’s around for many more.

Border Patrol Agent Detains American Citizens After He Heard Them Speaking Spanish

Amy B. Wang, reporting for The Washington Post:

Suda said she felt uncomfortable and began recording the encounter with her cellphone after they had moved into the parking lot. In the video Suda recorded, she asks the agent why he is detaining them, and he says it is specifically because he heard them speaking Spanish.

Suda, 37, was born in El Paso and raised across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, but has spent much of her adult life moving around the United States with her husband and young daughter. Hernandez is originally from central California, Suda said.

Despite explaining this to the agent and showing him their IDs, Suda said, he kept them in the parking lot for 35 to 40 minutes.

I honestly can’t tell you if the uptick in these types of incidents, like those involving black men and the police, or the recent slew of school shootings, is an actual increase in the raw number, or if the increased attention to them due to our current political climate is causing them to be reported on more often. But either way, this is reprehensible. The ACLU has already issued a statement on this incident, and I wholeheartedly agree, speaking Spanish, or any language that is not English should NOT be grounds for suspicion.

Teen Phone Monitoring App Leaked Thousands of User Passwords

Zack Whittaker, reporting for ZDNet:

The mobile app, TeenSafe, bills itself as a “secure” monitoring app for iOS and Android, which lets parents view their child’s text messages and location, monitor who they’re calling and when, access their web browsing history, and find out which apps they have installed.[…]

But the Los Angeles, Calif.-based company left its servers, hosted on Amazon’s cloud, unprotected and accessible by anyone without a password. […]

The database stores the parent’s email address associated with TeenSafe, as well as their corresponding child’s Apple ID email address. It also includes the child’s device name — which is often just their name — and their device’s unique identifier. The data contains the plaintext passwords for the child’s Apple ID. Because the app requires that two-factor authentication is turned off, a malicious actor viewing this data only needs to use the credentials to break into the child’s account to access their personal content data.

As was noted by John Gruber over at Daring Fireball, it seems like the app extracts it’s data from a device’s iCloud backups, which is why they require two-factor authentication turned off. Setting aside the discussion about whether an application / service like this is actually useful / necessary, if a company is going to ask you to trust them with your child’s personal information, I would hope they’d do better than storing the information in plaintext on a server without a password.

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Cancels His CES Appearance Days Before Show

Jon Brodkin writing for Ars Technica:

Ajit Pai was scheduled to appear at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on January 9 to speak and answer questions in a “candid conversation” about Federal Communications Commission policy-making. But Pai canceled his appearance, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which runs the CES conference.

“Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018,” CTA CEO Gary Shapiro said in an announcement emailed to journalists attending CES yesterday.

If I were the head of the organization who decided they were going to take away Net Neutrality and whose reasons for doing so were shown to be false by their own report, I wouldn’t want to avail myself for questioning by people who strongly disagree with that decision either. As I’ve said before, no one likes being called out on their bullshit.

rams.com Is Exactly What You Think It Is … a Site About Rams

Alden Gonzalez writing for ESPN:

The Los Angeles Rams are finally good and exciting again. And the guess here is that a lot of you have probably typed “rams.com” in your search bar for the first time in recent weeks, which means you were probably surprised by what came up — a site about rams.

Not the Rams. Rams. The male sheep — the bighorn sheep, specifically — with those distinctive curved horns. And it is a pretty thorough website, too. There’s a helpful “About The RAMS” section (they recently migrated 1,800 miles west) and others that explored ram threats (probably Falcons, Panthers and Seahawks), ram behavior (suddenly assertive after years of acquiescence) and ram types, with surprisingly no mention of Todd Gurley or Aaron Donald or Jared Goff.

This guy has jokes. And I have in fact ended up at this website by mistake. Almost every time I want to go the therams.com I inevitably forget “the” and end up with a eye full of Rams.

Advanced Truedepth Camera, Face ID “Major Drivers” of iPhone X User Satisfaction

Daniel Dilger writing for Apple Insider:

A consumer sentiment report of early iPhone X adopters indicates that its TrueDepth camera is a “major driver among positive ratings,” and that the features it enables—including [Face ID] and Animoji—are key market differentiators driving interest in the high end phone

Face ID is the killer feature for me on the iPhone X. It makes so many interactions more natural when the authentication just happens rather than having to actively do something to make it happen. Touch ID is still great, but Face ID is definitely better.

Corker on Media: ‘I Had a Newfound Empathy’ for Trump

Louis Nelson writing for Politico:

Sen. Bob Corker, among Donald Trump’s most frequent Republican critics, said Thursday that he has developed a new empathy for the president’s “fake news” crusade against the media after reports swirled about a “Corker kickback” that some allege prompted the senator to change his vote on the White House-backed tax reform bill

No one likes being called out on their bullshit.