As reported by Telefoon NL, Samsung Netherlands’ home page contains an invitation for an event titled “The First Look 2021”. It’s set to take place on January 6 at 4PM local time (11 AM EST) and details of the event are scarce. The same invitation can also be seen on Samsung’s US home page, but this offers more information as to what the event refers to.
This January 6 “First Look” event appears to have everything to do with Samsung’s CES announcements and nothing to do with smartphones. The event ‘save the date’ was posted on Samsung’s main page and the English version of the invite does mention “CES 2021”. We anticipate this January 6 event will be some teaser as to what Samsung plans to unveil at CES this year. Samsung normally announces home and entertainment consumer products at CES.
Earlier reports have pointed to Samsung’s Unpacked event slated to take place sometime in January and Samsung already has a time slot reserved for a CES keynote this year. It’s worth noting that Samsung hasn’t announced any flagships smartphones at a CES keynote in many years.
It seems that this mystery January 6 event is a teaser into the future of Samsung’s conventional high-end consumer products like refrigerators, TVs, and other home appliances and nothing to do with the upcoming Galaxy S21. Looking on the optimistic side, we may be lucky enough to see a teaser of Samsung’s new Galaxy phone, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Man third in line of presidential succession has been in five 'Batman' movies – CTV News
For as many foes as the superhero fends off, Batman has a formidable team of supporters starting with his sidekick Robin, Gotham City Commissioner James Gordon and his ever-loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
But one of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent supporters lies not in a comic book, but in the U.S. Senate, and he’s known the Bat for more than 80 years.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont and the longest-serving member of the current Senate, is a Batman aficionado who’s turned his fandom into philanthropy. He’s even used the comics to forward his legislative agenda.
Now President pro tempore of the Senate, Leahy is third in the presidential line of succession. Though it’s unlikely he’ll ever have to serve as President, his high-profile position shines a brighter light on his colorful resume — which includes multiple appearances in the “Batman” films.
When he’s not working in the Senate chambers in Washington, Leahy retreats to Gotham, where Batman fights cartoonish villains and mans the Batmobile. It’s a comfort he took up when he was 4 years old.
“If you live in the real world all the time, it can be kind of boring,” the senator told Vermont alt-weekly newspaper Seven Days in 2008.
WHEN LEAHY MET BATMAN
Leahy declined an interview for this story through his spokesman, but his affinity for all things Batman is well-documented. As he wrote in the foreword of “Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman,” he was born just one year after Batman’s first comic published in 1939.
He first discovered Batman at age 4, when he received his first library card. He frequented the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, where he spent many an afternoon poring over comics. While his school friends raved over Superman, Leahy found a “kindred bond” with the Bat.
“Entering Batman’s world through my imagination opened an early door into a lifelong love of reading,” he wrote in his foreword.
He’d continue spending hours at the library each day until adulthood, and even after he moved to Washington, he’d make time to pop in. He’s a vocal advocate for literacy and the preservation of libraries so children can have similarly formative experiences with books.
“Some of my fondest memories as a child were at the library, where everyone fit in and possibilities were limitless,” he writes on his Senate website.
LEAHY’S APPEARANCES FROM PAGE TO SCREEN
Leahy was elected to the Senate in 1974 and until the mid-1990s, his affinity for Batman didn’t have much to do with his duties on Capitol Hill.
That changed in 1996, when Leahy collaborated with DC Comics to create “Batman: Death of Innocents: The Horror of Landmines,” a graphic novel warning of the dangers of landmines. Leahy has long advocated to end the use of landmines, and he told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that he placed copies of the comic on every senator’s desk that year.
Leahy’s first foray into screen acting — something he does strictly when Batman is involved — came in 1995, when he appeared in the critically reviled “Batman Forever.” The same year, he voiced a character billed as “Territorial Governor” in “Batman: The Animated Series.”
Since then, Leahy has appeared in nearly as many “Batman” films as the Caped Crusader himself. He usually appears as a scowling politician (though in “Batman & Robin,” which his son Mark also had a cameo in, he was allowed to enjoy a raucous party). He even met an explosive end as the curiously named Senator Purrington in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
“I explain to everybody that getting blown up was OK ’cause my wife’s a registered nurse,” he joked to Roll Call in 2016. “She put me back together and I never missed a vote.”
His most notable cameo, though, came in 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” when he confronts Heath Ledger’s Joker and famously tells the villain that he’s “not intimidated by thugs.” The Joker, true to form, responds by grabbing Leahy’s character and menacing him with a knife.
Ledger, who died before the film’s release, is Leahy’s favorite Joker.
“He scared the heck out of me, when he came at me with the knife,” he told Roll Call. “I didn’t have to act.”
“I have too many other things going on with Covid, with appropriation bills,” he told the paper in August.
While his film roles have certainly satisfied his inner fanboy, Leahy does it for the library where his love for reading bloomed. He donates every fee from his appearances and royalty checks from residual showings to his beloved Kellogg-Hubbard Library, where he helped finance a children’s wing named for him. From his roles in “The Dark Knight” trilogy alone, Leahy has donated more than US$150,000 back to his hometown library, said Carolyn Brennan, co-director of the library.
In 2012, the library hung a plaque honoring Leahy, who staff called their “super hero.”
WHY LEAHY LOVES BATMAN
Leahy found Batman when he was a boy, but his love for the fictional hero is foundational to who he is and the lawmaker he became. Batman instilled in Leahy a love of reading and promoting literacy and of delivering justice (though as a government servant, not a caped vigilante).
Leahy preferred Batman to other characters because, unlike the god-like Superman or the super-powered Spider-Man, Batman was just a man, albeit an extremely rich one, with “human strengths and human frailties.” The danger Batman faced was different than that of other heroes — his felt real, Leahy wrote in the DC collection foreword.
“The Batman prevailed through superior intellect and detective skills, through the freedoms afforded by great wealth and through sheer will,” Leahy wrote in his foreword. “Not superpowers, but skill, science and rationality.”
Much like Bruce Wayne, Leahy is just a man, albeit one with more power than most and the chance to make real, tangible changes in his own Gotham. Following Batman’s example, he’s vowed to use that power wisely.
Italy consumer association sues Apple for planned iPhone obsolescence – The Journal Pioneer
MILAN (Reuters) – Italian consumer association Altroconsumo said on Monday it had told Apple it has launched a class action against the U.S. tech giant for the practice of planned obsolescence.
In a statement Altroconsumo said it was asking for damages of 60 million euros ($73 million) on behalf of Italian consumers tricked by the practice which had also been recognised by Italian authorities.
Altroconsumo said the lawsuit covers owners of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus, sales of which in Italy totalled some 1 million phones between 2014 and 2020.
Apple said in an email that it had never done anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.
Two similar lawsuits against Apple have been filed in Belgium and Spain for the planned obsolescence of iPhones.
European consumer association Euroconsumers, which is coordinating the three lawsuits, said it was also planning to launch a class action in Portugal in the coming weeks.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, Elvira Pollina, editing by Louise Heavens)
Huawei Technologies in talks to sell premium smartphone brands P and Mate, sources say – The Globe and Mail
China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is in early-stage talks to sell its premium smartphone brands P and Mate, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, a move that could see the company eventually exit from the high-end smartphone-making business.
The talks between the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and a consortium led by Shanghai government-backed investment firms have been going on for months, the people said, declining to be identified as the discussions were confidential.
Huawei started to internally explore the possibility of selling the brands as early as last September, according to one of the sources. The two sources were not privy to the valuation placed on the brands by Huawei.
Shipments of Mate and P Series phones were worth $39.7 billion between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020, according to consultancy IDC.
However, Huawei has yet to make a final decision on the sale and the talks might not conclude successfully, according to the two sources, as the company is still trying to manufacture at home its in-house designed high-end Kirin chips which power its smartphones.
“Huawei has learned there are unsubstantiated rumors circulating regarding the possible sale of our flagship smartphone brands,” a Huawei spokesman said. “There is no merit to these rumors whatsoever. Huawei has no such plan.”
The Shanghai government said it was not aware of the situation and declined to comment further.
The potential sale of Huawei’s premium smartphone lines suggests the company has little hope that the new Biden administration will have a change of heart towards the supply chain restrictions placed on Huawei since May 2019, the two people said.
The Shanghai government-backed investment firms may form a consortium with Huawei’s dealers to take over the P and Mate brands, according to the second person, a similar model to the Honor deal. Huawei is also likely to keep its existing P& Mate management team for the new entity, if the deal goes through, the two people said.
OVERCOMING U.S. CURBS
Huawei, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment vendor and No.2 smartphone maker, last November announced the sale of its budget phone brand Honor to a consortium of 30 dealers led by a company backed by the Shenzhen government.
The second source said the all-cash sale fetched more than 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion). Honor declined to comment.
The Honor sale was aimed at keeping the budget brand alive, as sanctions slapped on Huawei by the United States had hampered the unit’s supply chain and cut off the company’s access to key hardware like chips and software such as Alphabet Inc’s Google Mobile Services.
Huawei may have a similar objective in pursuing the sale of the mobile brands. The two sources said that Huawei’s latest plans for the two high-end brands were motivated by insufficient chip supplies.
Washington says that Huawei is a national security threat, which Huawei has repeatedly denied.
On Friday, Honor indicated that the goal of the spin-off had been reached by announcing it had formed partnerships with chip makers such as Intel and Qualcomm and launched a new phone.
Last year, the company’s Consumer Business Group Chief Executive Richard Yu said U.S. restrictions meant Huawei would soon stop making Kirin chips. Analysts expect its stockpile of the chips to run out this year.
Huawei’s HiSilicon division relies on software from U.S. companies such as Cadence Design Systems Inc or Synopsys Inc to design its chips and it outsources the production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), which uses equipment from U.S. companies.
The P and Mate phone series are among the top players in the higher-end smartphone market in China and compete with Apple’s iPhone, Xiaomi Corp’s Mi and Mix series and OPPO’s Find series.
The two brands contributed nearly 40% to Huawei’s total sales over the third quarter of 2020, according to market research firm Counterpoint.
Analysts have already noted recent insufficient supplies of the flagship P40 and Mate40 series due to a severe components shortage.
“We expect a continuous decline in sales of P and Mate series smartphones through Q1 2021,” said Flora Tang, an analyst at Counterpoint.
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