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06.25.16 | 11:19 pm

Good night, Bill Cunningham: Celebrating the life of the most gracious man in fashion

Tonight, that evening breeze you felt crossing 5th Avenue was more likely the sighing of thousands of fashionistas, journalists and assorted New Yorkers who had just heard about the death of Bill Cunningham. The photographer who chronicled the social scene for the New York Times passed away on  Saturday at 87 after being hospitalized recently for a stroke. Bill was a legend who touched the hearts of everyone he met with his grace, courteousness and smile. 

I'll never forget him. To an insecure and easily-intimidated young gossip reporter rushing from movie premieres in midtown to restaurant openings in Harlem,  it was always a pleasure to arrive at an event and run into Bill. Sitting astride his bicycle, he'd greet you with a grin and tell you all about who had just arrived and what they were wearing, but never with an attitude and always as if he'd just happened to have ridden by. Good night, Bill.

[Photo: courtesy of Bill Hutchinson]

10.21.16 | 3 hours ago

Twitter is down . . . now how will people share their trauma over Twitter being down? 

Twitter has been down for at least the last half hour—but what are we supposed to do to share our grief, go on Facebook to complain? According to's map, the outage appears to be limited to the U.S. Northeast and parts of the Middle East.

10.21.16 | 4 hours ago

Even President Obama is making fun of Samsung for the exploding Galaxy Note 7

You know you've become a popular cultural meme when even the president can make a joke about your biggest scandal—and everyone in the audience chuckles along with him. Yesterday in Miami, President Obama was defending his signature achievement, Obamacare, and at one point compared it to smartphones. "When one of these companies comes out with a new smartphone and it has a few bugs, what do they do? They fix it. They upgrade. Unless, of course, it catches fire." 

The audience laughed and Obama continued: "And then they pull it off the market. But you don't go back to using a rotary phone. You don't say, 'Well, we're repealing smartphones. We're just gonna do the dial-up thing.' That's not what you do."

10.21.16 | 6:55 am

Facebook under fire for removing a cancer awareness video featuring cartoon breasts

Once again, Facebook is being criticized for censoring content that doesn't deserve to be taken down. Just over a month after coming under fire for removing the iconic "napalm girl" Vietnam War photo, Facebook this week removed a video produced by Cancerfonden, a Swedish cancer charity. The video's offending content: It features a pair of cartoon breasts to emphasize the need for women to regularly check for lumps. Facebook told the organization: "Your ad can not market sex products or services nor adults products or services," reports the Guardian

When Cancerfonden protested, Facebook apologized in a statement: "We're very sorry, our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ads." 

[Image: Cancerfonden]

10.20.16 | 9:21 pm

Donald Trump gets booed at Al Smith dinner after mean-spirited shots at Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump showed he was incapable of self-deprecating humor tonight as he spoke at the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner. The Catholic charity event is known for being a light-hearted affair in which the most vicious of political opponents set their differences aside and trade playful barbs with each other. But Trump's shots at Hillary Clinton didn't feel that way, particularly when he hit her on the Haiti scandal surrounding her foundation.  

"Everyone knows, of course, Hillary has believed that it takes a village, which only makes sense, after all, in places like Haiti, where she has taken a number of them," Trump said.

The comment attracted boos from the audience, as did the line when Trump said, "Here she is in public pretending not to hate Catholics." 

Clinton strained to keep her smile throughout the speech. As for Trump, he seemed to be reading his "jokes" under protest. At one point, he looked down at his notes and said, "This is corny stuff."

When it was Clinton's turn to speak, some of her jokes didn't go over much better, but at least they didn't feel nasty. One line that fell a little flat was a jab at Trump's coziness with Russia. "Donald really is as healthy as a horse," she said. "You know the one Vladimir Putin rides around on." 

Maybe it was the delivery.  


10.20.16 | 8:27 pm

DJI cops to Mavic Pro delivery delays

Plopped down many hundreds of dollars for one of the hottest drones available this holiday season, but heard nothing about when you'll be able to unfold it (yes, it's a foldable drone) and send it aloft? You're not alone.

DJI has admitted to production issues with the Mavic Pro that have caused delivery delays, Gizmodo reports. So hang on, it'll be there soon.

10.20.16 | 6:37 pm

Evening intel: Guess who’s coming to dinner?  

• In what will probably be the most awkward charity event in history, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both attending the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York tonight. Seriously, they just had a debate. 

• How would you feel if AT&T owned Game of Thrones? It could happen if the telecom giant purchases HBO's parent company, Time Warner Inc. According to Bloomberg, some informal merger talks have been taking place. Winter is coming to Time Warner Center.

Microsoft is partying like it's 1999 after a strong earnings report pushed shares past a record high set at the end of the 20th century. 

• In a speech in Miami today, President Obama conceded that there's room for improvement with his signature health care law.

And finally, if you play video games, be aware that your favorite voice actors may be hitting the picket lines tomorrow. The union that represents them hasn't been able to reach a deal with game-makers.   

10.20.16 | 6:12 pm

Another giant sack of LOL money for BuzzFeed

NBCUniversal is said to be doubling its investment in BuzzFeedRecode reported todaypumping another $200 million into the digital media powerhouse. NBCU, which is owned by Comcast, invested $200 million in BuzzFeed last year in a deal that valued the viral news site at $1.5 billion. At the time, analysts told me the deal made more sense than it might seem given NBCU's huge news interests and hunger to reach a younger demographic. 

Still, digital media has had a tough year, and BuzzFeed gained some bad press in April after a Financial Times report that said it halved its 2016 revenue goals (a report BuzzFeed disputed). More recently, the company has redoubled its focus on video

[Photo: Comcast]

10.20.16 | 6:05 pm

Why Donald Trump shouldn’t be compared to Al Gore

By now, you've surely heard the theory being peddled by some Trump surrogates that his response last night to the question of whether he would accept the election results was tantamount to Al Gore contesting the results of the 2000 election. 

Here's why that isn't a fair comparison: 

• Gore never made proclamations about the election being rigged to save face—or insinuate that he wouldn't accept the results of the election prior to the election even taking place. 

• Gore conceded to George W. Bush and only withdrew his concession upon realizing that Florida had been awarded to Bush prematurely. Gore's request for a manual recount came only after it became clear that it was too close to call (and that poor ballot design had confused voters in Palm Beach county). 

• The race was actually extremely close! In official results, Bush won the presidency with an additional 537 votes in Florida. By contrast, FiveThirtyEight's polls-only election forecast currently gives Hillary Clinton an 86.7% chance of winning. 

Read more over at New York Magazine

10.20.16 | 5:04 pm

Microsoft stock price soars past 1999 record high after strong fiscal Q1 earnings

•The company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of 76 cents a share on revenues of $22.33 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 68 cents a share on revenues of $21.71 billion. 

•Microsoft reported strong margin (49%) on its growing commercial cloud business, growing rapidly from the 42% it reported last quarter. Those facts were probably big reasons the stock rose 6% in after hours trading to its highest level ($59.97) since 1999. 

•Microsoft said the strong earnings are related to strong sales of its cloud-based services. "We are helping to lead a profound digital transformation for customers, infusing intelligence across all of our platforms and experiences," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. 

•Revenues from Microsoft's cloud storage and services offering, Azure, grew 116 percent during the quarter. Microsoft's "intelligent cloud" business accounted for $6.38 billion of total revenues, the company said.

•The LinkedIn acquisition will close in the second fiscal quarter of 2017, the company said. 

•The earnings announcement comes just ahead of an October 26 event where Microsoft is expected to announce some new products and possibly some upcoming enhancements to the Windows 10 OS.

10.20.16 | 4:14 pm

Video game actors are probably going to strike tomorrow

Negotiations between the video game industry and the union that represents actors are apparently not going very well. The deadline for a deal is tonight at midnight. SAG-AFTRA posted this strike bulletin a few days ago with a list of companies its members would be prohibited from working for. Major game studios including Activision, Electronic Arts, and Disney Character Voices are all on the list. 

SAG-AFTRA has been fighting for residual pay for actors and more transparency from the industry, among other concessions. The U.S. video game industry generated $23.5 billion last year. Engadget has more on this

10.20.16 | 3:14 pm

Direct-to-consumer brand Crane & Canopy expands beyond bed linen

Crane & Canopy was founded by a husband-and-wife team who attended Harvard Business School and wanted to make high-quality home products more affordable by cutting out the middleman markup. This week, the brand expanded its product selection to include high-quality Turkish cotton towels. Towels cost $26 and larger bath sheets cost $48. That makes them far cheaper other luxury towels from brands like Sferra or Abyss, which can cost upwards of $100. 

Crane and Canopy is among the growing range of direct-to-consumer home brands, including Brooklinen, Boll and Branch, and Parachute, that sell luxury bedding at more affordable price points and are shaking up the luxury home goods industry. 

10.20.16 | 3:00 pm

Posh Spice goes to Target

Target just announced a new collaboration with Victoria Beckham that will be launching in the spring. The 200-piece collection for women, girls, and baby will be priced between $6 and $70, with most items under $40. Products will hit shelves on April 9, 2017.