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The Canadian Press

Iowa governor auctioned off access for pork barons’ charity

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds auctioned off an afternoon of her time to raise money for the namesake charity of a couple who own one of the nation’s largest pork producers and have contributed nearly $300,000 to her campaign. The 2019 auction to benefit the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation provides a striking example of the Republican governor’s close relationship with the state’s pork industry and particularly Iowa Select Farms, owned by the West Des Moines couple. Company staff members run the Hansens’ foundation, which sponsors charitable programs including giveaways of pork products to needy families. Details of the auction surfaced recently in public records the governor’s office released to Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights group that has accused Iowa Select of mistreating hogs. The records show Reynolds has supported policies Iowa Select has sought, made several appearances for the corporation and its charity, and routinely spoken with Jeff Hansen. The day after Reynolds won a four-year term in November 2018, Iowa Select’s public affairs director wrote to an aide in the governor’s office to “request you save the date” on Reynolds’ calendar so that she could attend a Hansen foundation gala scheduled for six months later. The Hansens’ had been her top campaign donors. Reynolds not only attended their May 10, 2019, event but turned her state position into one of the night’s most lucrative auction items. The event at a Des Moines hotel featured auctions for goods ranging from wine to tickets to sporting events, and the crowd included Iowa Select employees and business partners. The time with Reynolds was advertised as an “afternoon with Iowa’s leading lady.” The “one-of-a-kind package” for four would begin with lunch at the state mansion where the governor lives and proceed to the Capitol for discussion and “a personalized tour of the building where all of Iowa’s legislative action happens.” “From the top of the gold dome to the Governor’s office, you’ll be treated to a tour unlike any other!” it said. Influential pork industry executive Gary Lynch, a major GOP campaign donor who owns Lynch Livestock in Waucoma, made the winning bid of $4,250. Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said the event was one of many in which the governor auctioned off meals and tours for charity in 2018 and 2019, before she paused the practice during the pandemic. Others that benefited included educational, civic and medical groups, such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Science Center of Iowa. Reynolds also participated twice in the annual charity auction of grocery store chain Hy-Vee. “All of these are great causes that help people in need,” Garrett said. Lawyers for former Democratic Govs. Chet Culver and Tom Vilsack say their administrations never auctioned off the governors’ time for a donor’s charity, which they said carried the appearance of impropriety. “I’m not aware of a single instance in Gov. Culver’s tenure where we got anywhere close to that kind of use of a governor’s time or resources or public spaces,” said Culver aide Jim Larew. Former Vilsack general counsel Gary Dickey said constituents’ access to the governor should not be up for auction, calling Reynolds’ participation “a colossal error in judgment.” Vilsack served as U.S. agriculture secretary under former President Barack Obama, and President Joe Biden has nominated him to fill that role again. Lynch, who declined comment, has donated more than $100,000 to Reynolds’ campaigns since 2016. Weeks after he won the auction, Reynolds was a keynote speaker at Lynch’s annual charity banquet in Decorah. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board director Mike Marshall said he did not believe the auction violated any campaign finance laws. He said he saw no indication that the governor’s participation in the fundraiser was contingent upon the Hansens’ campaign contributions or that public resources were used for political purposes. The auction wasn’t the only favour for Iowa Select and its owners. Reynolds made a cameo in a cooking video for its employees last summer, spoke at a ribbon-cutting for a new warehouse in Osceola and her staff once flew one of the company’s flags over the Iowa Capitol. “It is AMAZING. She hit on so many talking points in a short period of time,” Crall wrote to the governor’s office about a video Reynolds recorded for the charity in 2018. Before Reynolds participated in its Christmas pork loin giveaway that year, Crall supplied the governor’s office with talking points that included, “What a great example of Iowa farmers giving back.” The access paid dividends when coronavirus disrupted the pork industry. Iowa Select pushed Reynolds’ office to keep meatpacking plants open at full capacity after outbreaks slowed production, for aid programs to benefit producers and to arrange drive-thru COVID-19 testing at its corporate office in West Des Moines. Iowa Select spokeswoman Jen Sorenson said the company feels “an important responsibility” to educate elected officials on Iowa’s multibillion-dollar animal agriculture industry, saying it leads to better policy. Reynolds’ spokesman Garrett said the governor “has a strong relationship with Iowa producers.” Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement policy director Adam Mason said his group, which has opposed Iowa Select’s expansion on environmental grounds, has been unable to get a meeting with Reynolds for years. He said the Hansens’ charity buys good will in communities where their farms pollute the air and water with hog manure. “The general criticism that we have the best government money can buy — this is that actually happening,” Mason said. “She is auctioning off her time to representatives of this industry, and not only that, bending over backward to do it and to make a donor happy. If it’s not illegal, it should be.” Ryan J. Foley, The Associated Press

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OxygenOS for OnePlus 7/7T series brings Widevine L1 fix, June patch – 9to5Google



OxygenOS is now rolling out for the OnePlus 7 and 7T series with a notable fix for Widevine L1 issues plus the June 2021 security patch.

The OxygenOS update was confirmed as rolling out on the OnePlus Forums(1) with this OTA providing quite a few fixes for common issues. With regard to the Widevine L1 problems, some OnePlus 7/7 Pro and 7T/7T Pro owners were unable to view videos in apps like Netflix at resolutions higher than 480p due to this issue. While this patch does resolve the problem, you might actually need to clear your device cache for it to resolve things. It’s annoying, but not quite as annoying as having to watch videos at low resolution.

Also included in the OxygenOS update are fixes for battery and power consumption, better management of device overheating, and blurry viewfinders when launching the camera app in certain conditions. OnePlus has pushed the outdated June 2021 security patch here too, which is a bit disappointing to say the least. You can check out the full changelog below:

  • System
    • Reduced Power consumption
    • Improved overheating control management
    • Fixed the issue of not being able to play high-definition videos on some video platforms
    • Upgraded Android Security Patch to 2021.06
  • File Manager
    • Fixed the crash issue of the application
  • Camera
    • Fixed the issue that the camera is blurred when shooting on fullscreen size
    • Improved the stability
  • Phone
    • Optimized the dialpad UI display effect

The OxygenOS update is rolling out in stages with a small selection of users getting access first before a wider rollout in the coming days. If you are happy to sideload the update ZIP, then it may be worthwhile giving the excellent Oxygen Updater a try.

More on OnePlus:

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Apple iPhone sales jump 50% despite chip shortage ahead of fall iPhone 13 launch – CNET



Not siding with Nvidia on Arm

2:57 p.m. PT

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia’s planned $40 billion acquisition of British chip design firm Arm has been a touchy subject around the tech industry lately. In April, regulators in the UK spoke up against the acquisition on national security grounds.

Apple uses Arm designs to for its iPhone and Mac chips, and it doesn’t have the most friendly history with Nvidia, so it’s no surprise the company may not be wholly supportive of the idea.

“I think that that acquisition has lots of questions that people are asking and I’ll sort of leave that up to everyone else,” Cook said.

Early innings of 5G

2:47 p.m. PT

That law of large numbers thing I mentioned earlier? Yeah, Cook says maybe forget it. 

Despite the iPhone’s success, he believes “we’re in the very early innings of 5G.” He noted that most places around the world don’t have it broadly available, despite being “nine months or so into” the iPhone 12’s launch. 

“We feel really great about the momentum, but at the same time we recognize that the 5G penetration is quite low around the world,” he added. “We’re at the front end of this.”

It’s not just Apple fans

2:39 p.m. PT

A popular trope about Apple is that its fans are rabid and willing to spend endlessly on the company. To counteract that perception, Apple’s highlighted how many new people are coming to its products. Worldwide, for example, the company said that even though the Apple Watch was first released six years ago, 75% of the people who bought one in the three months ended in June were new to buying one.

Apple didn’t offer similar data about its phones, but Cook said it was strong. “We had strong double-digit growth for switchers, and for upgraders, and in fact it was our largest upgrade quarter for Q3 ever,” he said.

Chip shortage isn’t so bad anymore? Or it’s worse?

2:31 p.m. PT

Apple warned in the past that Mac and iPad supply were dictated by how many chips the company could get hold of, setting up the possibility sales could underwhelm in the future. Instead, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the company’s been able to set records despite those troubles. “It is remarkable that the last four quarters for Mac have been its best four quarters ever,” he said. “This exceptional level of sales success has been driven by the very enthusiastic customer response to our new Macs powered by the M1 chip, which we most recently brought to our newly redesigned iMac.”

Despite “significant” supply constraints during the quarter, he added, “we also started shipping our new iPad Pro powered by the M1 chip and customer response has been outstanding.”

He said supply constraints will be “higher” during the September quarter. 

Apple CEO Cook said he’s “paying more for freight than we’d like to pay” but component costs continue, as an aggregate, to decline.

“In terms of supply constraints and how long they will last,” he said. “I don’t want to predict that today. We’re going to take it sort of one quarter at a time and, as you would guess, we’ll do everything we can to mitigate whatever set of circumstances we’re dealt.”

COVID-19 isn’t just going away

2:11 p.m. PT

Apple’s CEO kicked off the company’s conference call talking about how much people have turned to his company’s products. But he also noted that despite a positive spring and summer, things may be getting tougher again.

“As the last 18 months had demonstrated many times before, progress made is not progress guaranteed. And uneven recovery to the pandemic and the delta variant surging in many countries around the world have shown us once again that the road to recovery will be a winding one,” he said. “As we look forward to more in-person interactions in the future, we’re doubling down on innovation and doing all we can to help chart a course to a healthier and more equitable world.”

While Apple’s business appears to be humming, the rest of the world is decidedly less steady. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier Tuesday recommended that vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors again where transmission is “substantial or high,” for fear the coronavirus could spread even further among children who can’t yet receive a vaccine and the people who’ve opted against receiving one so far. 

Even Apple has already told employees it’s delaying return-to-office plans until October at the earliest, mirroring moves from 2020 when companies began shifting schedules in response to worsening conditions.

Analysts and industry watchers will be watching for any signs from Apple about the future.

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Why you need to urgently update all your iPhones, iPads, and Macs – NOW! – ZDNet



If you’ve not yet updated your iPhones, iPads, and Macs with the latest patches from Apple, then you need to take some time out of your day to do it right now, because this is a big one.

Earlier this week, Apple published iOS 14.7.1, iPadOS 14.7.1, and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1. While this update contains bug fixes, the main part of this update is a security fix for a vulnerability that Apple says is “may have been actively exploited.”

In other words, the bad guys are already using it.

Must read: Don’t make this common, fatal iPhone or Android mistake

Here’s how Apple describes the vulnerability in relation to iOS and iPadOS:

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

Impact: An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved memory handling.

CVE-2021-30807: an anonymous researcher

It’s unclear is this is the vulnerability used for jailbreaking iOS devices, or whether it is linked to the NSO Group spyware tool hack used to target journalists, activists, and government figures. 

To update your iPhone and iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update and download and install any available updates. 

For macOS, click on the apple in the top-left corner, go to System Preferences, find Software Update and download and install any updates available.

I recommend carrying out these updates as soon as possible.

To get immediate notifications of updates for the iPhone and iPad, I’ve been using the app iVerify.

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