“SNL” is back, now in its 46th season. The most recent new episode, which aired on December 12, was hosted by Timothee Chalamet, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as musical guests. The cold open last week saw Kate McKinnon bring out a pretty solid impression of Dr. Fauci as she tried to figure out a way to explain the vaccine in a way that would sound appealing for Americans.Surprisingly, Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey and Maya Rudolph all skipped the cold open sketch the last two weeks. Carrey and Rudolph will certainly be back at some point, but Baldwin’s “SNL” future is in doubt with Trump on the way out.This is the fifth season in which Baldwin has Trump. In season 45 he made eight total appearances across the 18 episodes of the shortened season — including in two of the three quarantine episodes.But we probably shouldn’t expect Baldwin to go away completely just yet — since Trump isn’t actually leaving office until January, and he’s continuing to protest his own election failure in the meantime.Also Read: ‘SNL’: Kate McKinnon as Dr. Fauci Explains the Government’s Vaccine Plan (Video)And the good news for those who have enjoyed Carrey as Biden is, well, it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of him over the next four years.And the same goes for Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris this season. The former “SNL” cast member should be around a lot this year, and I think that’s something just about everybody who watches the sketch show can get behind.This week, on Saturday, Dec. 19, there WILL be a new episode of “SNL.” This episode will be hosted by former “SNL” cast member Kristen Wiig, with Dua Lipa as the musical guest. This is the final episode of the show for 2020.This will be the fourth time that Wiig has hosted the show since exiting as a cast member — her last gig came during one of the “SNL At Home” episodes from this past spring.For Dua Lipa, it’ll be her second time as musical guest. Her last appearance was in 2018.Also Read: ‘SNL’: Adele Can’t Stop Cracking Up at Kate McKinnon Saying ‘Tribesmen’ (Video)You can be pretty sure this season of “SNL” be very political for the full stretch. This is an election year, and an impossibly hectic one at that, so it’s been hard for any of us to think about anything other than politics. And, well, not many folks are really expecting things to calm down all that much even now that we’re past Election Day.The premiere episode came out hard with political commentary, with the debate cold open, a very political monologue from Chris Rock, and a stunned discussion of Trump’s COVID-19 infection from Michael Che on Weekend Update.And “SNL” hasn’t slowed down with its political content, with each cold open in season 46 being about the election. After that debate sketch in the premiere, we got two other debate sketches, one for the VP candidates and one other for the presidential candidates, as well as one about the dueling town halls from when Trump was infected with COVID-19 and refused to submit to safety measures.The show’s writers were certainly pleased with the election results as well — the cold open sketch in the episode after Election Day was certainly celebratory. That sketch also parodied the episode after the 2016 election in which Kate McKinnon took the stage as Hillary Clinton and played piano while singing “Hallelujah” — this time, Baldwin, as Trump, performed a mournful version of “Macho Man.”Also Read: ‘SNL’ Cold Open Gives Alec Baldwin’s Trump Town Hall the Wrestlemania Treatment (Video)“SNL” tried to drift away from that political focus during season 44, but certainly didn’t shy away from politics in season 45 — a season in which the actual Elizabeth Warren popped up to play herself in a sketch.The renewed focus on politics in season 45 was not just about mocking Trump, but also lampooning the circus that was the run up to the Democratic primaries. Not that the sketch show has in any way shied away from mocking Trump. The impeachment has certainly been a common topic for cold open sketches this season.There was the one where Baldwin’s Trump went through his contacts list trying to find a fixer who could make the impeachment stop, ending with a call to Liev Schreiber playing himself — Trump thought his character Ray Donovan, a fixer on the eponymous Showtime series, was actually a real person.There was also that one where “SNL” sent up the impeachment hearings by doing a “Days of Our Lives” parody that starred Jon Hamm.As for the madness with the Democratic primary, we had numerous big cameos in the debate sketches in season 45. The show tried out multiple different Joe Bidens last year, with Woody Harrelson taking up the role a couple times and Jason Sudeikis giving it a shot as well.They also brought in many other celebs to play other candidates in the Dem primary, including Lin-Manuel Miranda as Julian Castro, Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar, Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg, and Will Ferrell as Tom Steyer. Maya Rudolph also played Kamala Harris a few times, and it was only natural that they’d keep her around for season 46.That’s a lot of cameos, and “SNL” actually managed to jam nearly all of those folks into a single sketch — a 12-minute debate parody from a late November episode. Miranda did not appear in that one, but he had previously popped up as Castro in October in a parody of the Democrats’ LGBTQ town hall that was moderated by Billy Porter in character as himself.Read original story Is There a New ‘SNL’ Episode Airing This Week? At TheWrap
Source: – Yahoo Canada Shine On
LG says it might quit the smartphone market – Ars Technica
As usual, things are not looking good for LG’s phone division. As reported by The Korea Herald, LG Electronics CEO Kwon Bong-Seok sent out a staff-wide memo that the company was considering making major changes to its smartphone division, including possibly quitting the smartphone business.
Last week, Korean news outlet TheElec also wrote about this memo in a now-deleted post. The post was deleted because LG brutally debunked the report, calling it “completely false and without merit.” This week, LG is confirming basically the same memo report from the Korea Herald, complete with comments from LG. The Verge also got a thumbs-up from LG about the report.
“Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” an LG official told the Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal, and downsizing of the smartphone business.”
LG’s smartphone business has been suffering for a while. As the report points out, LG’s smartphone division lost about 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) over the past five years. The official earnings count has the division at 22 consecutive money-losing quarters. Today you won’t find LG on a “Global smartphone market share” chart; instead, it will be buried down in the “other” category. In the US, Counterpoint has LG at 13 percent of the market, due mostly to pre-paid sales.
LG Electronics’ CEO only landed the position 13 months ago and has undoubtedly been evaluating LG’s only money-losing division over the past year. In an interview in January 2020, shortly after being appointed CEO, Kwon promised “LG Electronics’ mobile business is going to be profitable by 2021.” It’s still not clear if that’s considered a reasonable goal for the company.
TheElec’s original scoop is backed up and translated here. You should definitely take it with a grain of salt since the outlet deleted the post and isn’t standing behind it, but so far, it seems to be correct. It contains an interesting tidbit that’s not in the other report: that LG will announce a direction for its mobile unit on January 26. TheElec also claimed that LG sent out a directive to “stop all developments except for the i project,” with “i project” being a code name for LG’s flexible-display LG Rollable smartphone. The last bit of the report sounds very plausible in raising the possibility that the LG brand will never truly leave the smartphone market and will instead farm out the logo to various white-label ODM companies.
Why would anyone buy an LG phone?
LG has never had a solid sales pitch for the smartphone wars. At the high end of the market, LG has always seemed to be overshadowed by its bigger Korean rival, Samsung. It shipped high-spec phones with heavy Android skins and a bad update plan, and when Samsung offers the same thing with bigger brand recognition, why would anyone pick LG? At the low end of the market, especially in the US, the company has reliably shoveled cheap, anonymous phones into carrier stores and the pre-paid market. This is something that needs to be done, but again, there’s nothing here that would make LG stand out from the crowd.
If anything, LG has a pretty bad reputation when it comes to building smartphones. The company’s phones are known for dying early and going into “boot looping,” an unusable Android failure state where the phone reboots repeatedly due to bad flash memory. LG was sued over boot loops in 2017, with the lawsuit naming every high-profile LG device released in 2015 and 2016. LG ended up settling. I know I’ve personally laid four LG-made Google Nexus 5Xs to rest over boot loop issues.
When the company wasn’t occupying the same lane as Samsung, it was trotting out ridiculous gimmicks that would be forgotten a year or two later: there was the LG G5 with its modular accessories, like a clip-on camera grip; the inexplicably banana-shaped LG G Flex; and an obsession with various “dual screen” designs like the LG V10’s notification display, the LG V50’s clip-on second screen, and the LG Wing’s “T” shaped design. You can see the company trying to do something different to stand out, but none of these ideas was good, or at least they weren’t a hit with consumers.
Samsung announces Tab Active3 ruggedized Android tablet with removable battery – Notebookcheck.net
Ruggedized smartphones are fairly rare in today’s market, and rugged tablets are rarer still. There are still a few tough tablets out there, including a new device from Samsung.
The Tab Active3 is a new ruggedized Android tablet from Samsung. Featuring a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor (boost up to 2.7 GHz), 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of expandable storage, the 8-inch FHD+ tablet is powerful enough for most work-related tasks. It’s unlikely to win any gaming awards, but the Tab Active3 is designed for frontline workers who are often in difficult environments.
The Tab Active3 runs Android 10 and has a programmable button, S-Pen support, and NFC. The tablet also supports wireless DeX, Samsung’s pseudo-desktop feature that allows users to connect their Samsung device to a monitor and run a desktop version of the company’s One UI.
One of the most intriguing features is its removable 5050 mAh battery. The tablet can continue operation without a battery if it’s plugged into a wall, allowing users to (sort of) hot-swap batteries. Samsung has promised “up to three generations of Android OS upgrades.” Samsung doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to Android upgrades, so time will tell if the company keeps this promise. Samsung also promised up to 5 years of security updates.
The Samsung Tab Active3 starts at US$489.99 for a WiFi-only model (WiFi 6). An LTE model sells for $589.99.
LG might be leaving the smartphone business this year – MobileSyrup
After five years of loss equating to roughly $4.5 billion USD, LG might be ditching its smartphone business in 2021.
The Korea Herald has reported that Kwon Bong-seok has sent out a memo to his staff on Wednesday, indicating a change in direction for its phone business. “Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” says an LG official in a statement to The Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.”
Additionally, LG verified the internal memo reported by The Korea Herald and added, “As of today, nothing has been finalized.”
This memo follows a deleted report from TheElec, a South Korean publication, earlier this month that stated that LG is planning to exit the smartphone business. However, LG’s Head of Global Corporate Communications, Ken Hong, told XDA Developers that the rumour was “untrue.”
Once a smartphone superpower, LG has been losing a lot of ground in the smartphone market. Manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Apple and Vivo now dominate the market.
Even LG’s Velvet and Wing smartphones, two new devices that were very different from the company’s previous releases, weren’t enough to garner attention.
At CES 2021, LG promised a new rollable device, but this might be the last LG smartphone to hit the market; hopefully, the company brings it to Canada.
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