US Business News

Carole Baskin Sues Netflix for Including Footage of Her in Tiger King 2

Source: Netflix

Carol Baskin filed a lawsuit against streaming giant Netflix for using footage of her in the platform’s upcoming series Tiger King 2, a documentary on big cat breeding and the unusual practices that are tied to it. Baskin is an American big cat rights activist who is also the CEO of Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit animal sanctuary located in Tampa, Florida. 

Baskin filed the lawsuit on Monday in Tampa, Florida, against Netflix and the production company Royal Goode Productions. Based on the information cited in the lawsuit, Baskin claims that the production company breached the contract by continuing to use her footage for the second part of the docuseries. According to her, she and her husband only signed appearance release forms for the first Tiger King. 

“Understanding that the Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions’ use of the footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue to the single, initial documentary motion picture, the Baskins believed that any sequel—though odious—would not include any of their footage” the legal document stated.

The Baskins were shocked to find out that footage of them was still part of Tiger King 2. “The Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions’ right to use film footage of the Baskins to ‘a documentary motion picture.’ Throughout the Appearance Releases, there is only reference to and mention of ‘the Picture.’ No mention is made of granting Royal Goode Production sequel rights, rights to create derivative works from ‘the Picture’ or additional seasons or episodes,” the lawsuit reads. “By utilizing the film footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue secured by Royal Goode Productions under the Appearance Releases in ‘sizzle reels’ and promotional trailers for the sequel entitled Tiger King 2, the Defendants are in breach of the terms of the Appearance Releases.”

The lawsuit also reflects Baskin’s disapproval and hesitations about the docuseries. She alleges that the project was originally supposed to be an exposé similar to the Blackfish, a documentary film that exposed the controversy surrounding killer whales in captivity. 

Tiger King 1 was particularly harsh and unfair in its depiction of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue. The ‘Tiger King 1’ series wrongly attempted to suggest that Big Cat Rescue abused its animals by keeping them in very small cages while not making clear that the animals actually reside in expansive enclosures,” the lawsuit further stated. “Also, Tiger King 1 incorrectly suggests an equivalency between Big Cat Rescue and Joe Exotic’s roadside zoo, and more broadly that there is no difference between roadside zoos that exploit and mistreat animals and accredited sanctuaries that rescue and provide excellent lifetime care to the animals. Perhaps most pernicious is the overarching implication in Tiger King 1 that Carole Baskin was involved in the disappearance of her first husband in 1997.”

Up to this day, Baskin maintains that she had no hand in the disappearance of her former husband. Netflix is set to release Tiger King 2 this coming November 17. The streaming giant remained mum about the lawsuit and refused to give any comment at the moment. 

Google Home and Amazon Echo Can Record Your Voice and This Information Can be Used Against You

Image commercially licensed from: Unsplash

In the 1999 Disney original, smart house, a teenage boy wins a futuristic home for him and his family and this house was fully equipped with an AI system that served as their assistant/butler. It prepares coffee for them before they wake up in the morning, cleans, and plays with the family dog and plays music specific to the mood at the time.

Fast forward 18 years, and what is science fiction in the 90s is now a reality today. Of course, this reality is excluding the ability of the smart house to become self-aware and try to hold the household hostage. However, the general trends of technology are going towards the AI-powered smart homes that continually learn what your preferences are over time. Welcome to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

It will surprise you what these devices can do and perhaps even more surprising is the laws surrounding its use and what can be done with the information it collects. Recently a judge ordered Amazon to turn over the recordings that an amazon echo device made in a double homicide case in New Hampshire where two women were stabbed fatally in January of 2017. Prosecutors submitted that the smart home assistants may have recorded the incident and will be able to shed more light on the murder. Amazon refused to release any information until a valid legal demand was served.

There was another case popular in 2015 where amazon echo data was needed in yet another murder investigation where prosecutors believed that the device must have recorded the events leading up to the discovery of the body in a hot tub. The defendant voluntarily turned in the data and the charges were dropped as there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.

This begs the question that if smart home devices are always listening, why the data from the 2015 case couldn’t offer any clarity to the investigation. This is a common misconception with the smart devices. They aren’t actively listening to you at all times as many would suggest but rater they are always in a passive listening mode where they only activate at the mention of specific keywords known as wake words. Words such as Alexa, okay google, etc.  All other words that they hear before this wake word is constantly discarded and not uploaded to the cloud.

If you are not so comfortable with the device being able to store information about you, you can request for the option where it listens to you but it permanently deletes all recordings that might have been made. If you’re area Google home user, for instance, you can click on your google account and beneath your profile, click on manage google activity, then go to my activity. You can delete all activity and all stored queries by selecting “Delete activity by” and then select “all time”. This deletes all of the information it has collected over a period of time.

The Birth and Evolution of Technology and Software Titan Apple Inc.

Image commercially licensed from: Unsplash

No company has made a more significant impact on electronics in the modern era than Apple Inc. Easily recognizable by the logo itself, the company surged in popularity and has remained on top for more than a decade as their computer software, servers, phones, and gadgets have become the go-to brand for several companies and people’s preferences.

Apple Inc. started from humble beginnings, originating in the ’70s with a trio consisting of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Jobs and Wozniak shared an affinity for technology, establishing a partnership that would result in one of the most famous companies in the world today.

The foundations for the famous mobile phones today were built when Jobs started selling “blue boxes” that allowed users to make phone calls from long distances without spending a dime. Woz, in turn, shared his intrigue in computers by sharing his work with Jobs. He presented a computer with a typewriter-like keyboard connecting to a regular television acting as the screen. Jobs saw the potential it held as a commercial product.

The duo collaborated with Ronald Wayne, who played the instrumental role of settling their agreement, outlining their responsibilities and creating the original logo. Wayne joined their project to prove them with “adult supervision” and oversaw the mechanical engineering and documentation.

Steve Wozniak attempted to sell his idea to HP but was met with rejection five times. It was Jobs who convinced Wozniak that they go into business together. Faithful in Woz’s works, Jobs sold his Volkswagen minibus and HP calculator, which cost more back then, to help fund the production. Initially, Wozniak created the Apple I to make a statement and showcase his ability to create with little resources. The computer would later be dubbed as the Apple I, serving as the archetype to the modern-day computer.

Steve Jobs came up with the name for the brand after returning from a farm in Oregon. The name’s origin resonated with Jobs as he thought it carried an aura that emulated “fun, spirited, and not intimidating.”

The duo then arranged to showcase their final product to a chain store, impressing the owner who ordered fifty on the condition that they arrive fully assembled. Pleased with the arrangement, Jobs ordered the remainder of the parts he needed and worked tirelessly to complete their task. Once the orders arrived punctually, Apple was rewarded for the 200 units they sold, and Wozniak earned a reputation as a master designer.

Tasting success, Jobs sought new investors, with many of them showing interest but also reluctance. Eventually, Mike Markkula made a heavy investment in Apple, which rewarded him with 1/3rd of Apple’s shares.

Over the years, Apple Inc.’s computers underwent several innovations. The Apple I was followed by the II and III models before introducing the Macintosh, which generated sales on its release before declining as the software felt lacking. With more people on board, Jobs and Wozniak left the company following creative differences and frustrations with the company’s direction, respectively.

As the 21st century arrived, Apple started opening up retail stores and producing portable music players. It gradually expanded, innovating the computer and mobile phone industry. Steve Jobs’ return ushered in changes that rocked the world. Although he is gone today, Jobs’ legacy has been cemented as Apple Inc. continues to reign as one of the most sought-after brands.


2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Releases Inductees for the Year

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For its 37th year, the annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has proudly announced its most diverse set of inductees by far. The iconic induction ceremony is set to take place on October 31st at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.

As is customary, the inductees were chosen by an international voting body of over 1,200 individuals such as artists, current living inductees, historians, and other vital music industry members. This year, there are a total of six inductees who have made it into the Hall of Fame. In addition, five other remarkable individuals will be awarded in the event.

“What’s Love Got to Do with It” singer and beloved Queen of Rock’ n’ Roll Tina Turner is among the six impressive music acts who have made the cut. Joining her is Carole King, who is hailed as the most celebrated and iconic singer-songwriter of all time.

Hip-hop icon Shawn Carter, popularly known as Jay-Z, American multi-instrumentalist Todd Rundgren, rock bands The Go-Go’s, and Foo Fighters will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Three notable acts will be given the Early Influence Award as recognition for their groundbreaking and innovative contributions to the music industry. The first one is the German band Kraftwerk, which is considered as the pioneers of electronic music. The Father of the Delta Blues Charley Patton will also be posthumously awarded alongside the late musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron.

Grammy Award-winning rapper LL Cool J, R&B singer Billy Preston, and heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads will all receive the Musical Excellence Award.

Finally, music executive and film producer Clarence Avant has been chosen as the recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is given to non-performing professionals who have made significant contributions to the industry.

The upcoming induction ceremony is creating a buzz as it returns to its live format this year. In addition, it is expected to be a star-studded event that will be attended by A-list celebrities, including the biggest names in the music industry.

Legendary artists such as Paul McCartney, Lionel Richie, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and actors Drew Barrymore and Angela Bassett will be part of the ceremony as presenters. In addition, Christina Aguilera, Mickey Guyton, H.E.R., and Bryan Adams will also appear on the show, performing the hits of newly inducted Hall of Famer Tina Turner.

People both from outside and within the music scene have lauded this year’s inductees as well as praised the selection committee. At the same time, many are hopeful that this year’s inductees will set a precedent for a more inclusive and diverse future in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, John Sykes, confidently echoed the same sentiments and said, “This diverse class of talented Inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture. It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”

Chris Pratt Is Set to Voice Garfield in a New Animated Film

Source: Variety

Chris Pratt has been on a roll lately, booking gigs to voice the world’s most iconic characters in recently announced animated films. In a recent Nintendo Direct, the Guardians Of The Galaxy actor was cast in an upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film, alongside  Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, and many more.

Pratt will play the iconic video game plumber alongside Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach. The film also features Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. 

This time around, Chris Pratt has officially been cast as the titular lasagna-loving, Monday-hating cat in a new film from Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson’s Alcon Entertainment. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the script for Garfield is being written by David Reynolds, famous for writing Finding Nemo. The film will also be directed by Mark Dindal, who directed Chicken Little. The pair previously worked together on Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. Garfield creator Jim Davis will also serve as an executive producer, which means this upcoming film is in good hands.

The last time Garfield appeared on the silver screen was back in 2006 in the film Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, the sequel to the 2004 film simply entitled Garfield. In both movies, Bill Murray voiced the titular character to great audience reception. As the announcement was officially made, Pratt also shared an image of Garfield on Instagram captioned, “Well, this Monday doesn’t suck.”

Fortunately, Chris Pratt is no stranger to voice roles in animated films. In the last few years, he has starred in Pixar’s Onward voicing Barley Lightfoot, the brother and  deuteragonist to Tom Holland’s Ian Lightfoot.

Pratt also voiced Emmet in The Lego Movie films, which also gained him critical and audience acclaim for his witty voice work. 

Whatever the film’s story is, it will be brought to life by DNEG Animation, the studio behind Ron’s Gone Wrong. In the meantime, Pratt has been keeping busy with leading live-action roles in The Tomorrow War and Jurassic World: Dominion

Garfield fans have taken to their various social media accounts to display their widely polarized opinions regarding Pratt’s casting, as with the recent Super Mario Bros. casting that was announced.  Pratt himself, however, has said that “it’s a dream come true” to be playing the part of Mario in the upcoming 2022 film, remembering his childhood years spent playing the original Super Mario Bros game on an arcade machine.

As for the role of Garfield, it’s clear to see that he’s also a big fan of the lazy orange cat, and it’s looking like he’s going to do a mighty fine job in the role. He has shown some promise and talent in the field of voice acting, and it’s looking like casting directors are placing a lot of faith in him and his track record.

There is no release date set for Alcon Entertainment and Sony Pictures’ Garfield yet, so make sure to stay tuned for updates as they come in. 

6 Things You Should Always Do on a Monday

Monday – From creating a new health plan to investing in the stock market, it is in your best interest to tackle certain activities on the first day of the week.

1. Start a diet

No matter how tired you are on Monday mornings, you have to admit: the first day of the week offers a refreshing opportunity to start over. This feeling is especially helpful when it comes to starting a healthy diet, according to a report from the University of Pennsylvania. “Some days, called time marks, you have a different view of yourself,” Jason Riis, co-author of the report, told the show TODAY. “You are becoming more forward-looking.” The trick is not to tire your new plan on Wednesday. And if you fall off the wagon, don’t wait until the following Monday to start over. Come back the next morning.

2. Communicate with your colleagues

Monday blues are real, and scientists believe one of the obvious reasons we get them could be traced back to our primitive days. “Humans are social animals, and to feel happy and belongingness, we need to feel comfortable in our place in a ‘tribe,’ so to speak,” writes Mental Floss. “Even after only two days of absence, according to scientists, we have to make sure that our place in our working environment is safe. Gossiping with your coworkers is an integral part of preparing for the workweek, and if you don’t, you may not feel well. “It’s an exciting idea, and at the very least, you’ll appreciate the recovery time. (If that’s not enough, these fun cartoons should get you through the week.)

3. Invest in the stock market

If you’ve invested in the stock market, you already know the key is to buy low and sell high. And it turns out that due to many market factors, stocks tend to fall on Mondays. That’s bad if you’re planning to sell, but if you’re in the market to add to your portfolio, you’re probably running a bargain.

It would be best if you also avoided those financial mistakes that cost you thousands of dollars.

4. Wash your hands

For some reason – and we’re not starting to speculate – Monday is the most common day of the week to call in sick. In fact, according to a British study, more than a third of all sick days occur on the first day of the week. It’s hard to say whether that’s because Monday is the day you’re most likely to get sick, or because an astonishing number of people want a three-day weekend. Whatever it is, we leave you this advice: on Mondays and every day wash your hands.

Make sure to avoid these common handwashing mistakes!

5. Make you sweat

For similar reasons, Monday is a great day to start a new diet, but it’s also the perfect time to reach your fitness goals. A report from Jawbone found Monday to be the most popular day of the week for gym members (in pre-pandemic times, when all gyms were open, that is). Even though your favourite fitness centre is currently banned, you can still increase your heart rate by running or even taking a brisk walk.

Do you need the motivation to start? Here’s what happens when you start walking 10,000 steps a day.

6. Make a feasible and productive to-do list

When it comes to goal setting, what better day of the week for explaining things than Monday? Research published in Psychological Science suggests that we are more likely to accomplish our career goals if we start on a Monday instead of a Thursday. And while there are tons of ways to create the perfect to-do list of your tasks, and we love this goal-setting idea from Peter Gasca. “I make a point of setting myself an aggressive new personal goal for the week, such as trying out a new exercise, reading a book or learning a new song on the guitar,” she writes on Inc. “The goal is to motivate you during your busy week to pursue an interest you enjoy outside of work.”