3 plans in motion to slowly reopen Texas starting today

Today could mean the start of big changes to your lifestyle. Here’s what you can expect this week.

Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to announce phase one of his plan to reopen Texas. He will be addressing what happens when the statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order expires on Thursday, April 30.

TIMELINE: Here are important dates for Texas to reopen

Plus, additional openings and more restrictions are scheduled to be loosened by Abbott.

The governor’s announcement will be at 2:30 p.m. ABC13 will stream it, and you can watch it in the video player above.

Meanwhile, in Harris County, a mandatory mask order will go into effect.

Under the order, residents 10 years old and older will be required to wear a covering. The order will last for 30 days. Coverings can be a mask, scarf, bandanna or handkerchief.

“We have to use every tool in the toolbox,” said Hidalgo. “If we get complacent, people will die. Those are the stakes.”

Hidalgo said the mask order will be enforced by a $1,000 fine.

Finally, in Galveston, public beaches are reopening with restrictions.

The Galveston City Council voted last week to reopen beaches for three hours each morning from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for pedestrian exercise only. Beaches will remain closed during all other hours.

Harvard prof rides 17,000% return in a single stock to become a billionaire

Moderna MRNA, +6.45% went public in late 2018, bursting onto the Wall Street scene as the biggest biotech IPO in history. Timothy Springer, a Harvard medical-school professor, saw his stake in the company fatten his bottom line by a whopping $320 million by the end of the trading day.

After that, he really got rich.

Less than two years later, and the 72-year-old has ridden a 17,000% return in his Moderna shares — which he paid about $5 million for in the company’s early stages — into the billionaire club, according to the latest figures from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Cambridge, Mass., biotech has jumped 162% this year, as of Wednesday’s close, surging on hopes for its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine, one of the first to begin human trials.

The government recently agreed to give Moderna $483 million to develop the vaccine. “The grant … is going to be a big accelerator to the development of mRNA-1273,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in an investor call last Friday.

Springer made his first killing during the bubble of 1999, Bloomberg reported, when he pocketed $100 million by selling his first venture to Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He took $5 million of that and plugged it into pre-IPO Moderna. The rest is history.

Will all that money change him? Not if his comments from 2018 are any indication.

“I have an academic lifestyle. I’m not into ramen noodles, but my friends are academics, so it doesn’t really behoove me to be flashy,” Springer told Bloomberg at the time. “I feel that I’ve had more than enough wealth for myself for some time. I don’t feel I need more.”

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Today’s Country-By-Country Coronavirus Stats: Good News For The US But Grim Numbers For The UK And Russia

Here is the grid for the most-affected countries


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chimac the best korean food in Houston


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chimac the best korean food in Houston


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Google could eliminate VPNs for millions with this new tool

BeyondCorp Remote Access allows remote workers to access their company’s internal web apps securely without a VPN

As the number of remote workers has surged as a result of the global pandemic, Google Cloud has launched a new security tool designed to allow users to access their company networks remotely without using a VPN.

The company’s new cloud-based security solution is called BeyondCorp Remote Access and it is actually based on the zero-trust approach that the search giant has used internally for almost a decade.

With BeyondCorp Remote Access, a business’ employees and extended workforce can access its internal web apps from virtually any device at any time without a traditional remote-access VPN. Over time, Google plans to offer the same capability, control and additional protections for almost any application or resource a user needs to access.

  • Google Cloud wants to help you detect security threats
  • Businesses are replacing VPNs with zero trust network access
  • This is everything you’ll need to work from home

The reason the company has decided to launch its new tool is due to the fact that traditional VPN infrastructure can often be difficult for IT teams to deploy and manage for a large number of new users in a short period of time, as has been the case during our current situation. VPNs can also be complex from the user perspective and this is especially true for those who have not used one before. Things get even more complicated when organizations try to roll out VPN access to their extended workforce of contractors, temporary employees and partners.

BeyondCorp Remote Access

While Google is now rolling out its new tool to users, the company actually begin working on implementing a zero-trust access approach back in 2011. The search giant created BeyondCorp with the goal of enabling its employees and extended workforce to be able to successfully work from untrusted networks on a variety of devices without the need for a client-side VPN.

However, BeyondCorp offers much more than a simpler, more modern VPN replacement. The new tool ensures that only certain users have access to the information they need in the right context. In a blog post announcing BeyondCorp Remote Access, Google Cloud’s Sunil Potti and Sampath Srinivas provided the following examples of some policies that can be enforced, saying:

“My contract HR recruiters working from home on their own laptops can access our web-based document management system (and nothing else), but only if they are using the latest version of the OS, and are using phishing-resistant authentication like security keys.” Or: “My timecard application should be safely available to all hourly employees on any device, anywhere.”

For a large company, rolling out a traditional VPN solution can often take weeks or even months while Google Cloud’s BeyondCorp Remote Access can be set up in just a few days. The new tool has already been “battle-tested” in production by thousands of Google Cloud customers and interested businesses can sign up here to gain access to it.

  • Stay safe online while working from home with our picks for the best VPN services ..

MIT Cuts Ties With a Chinese AI Firm Amid Human Rights Concerns

MIT HAS TERMINATED a research collaboration with iFlytek, a Chinese artificial intelligence company accused of supplying technology for surveilling Muslims in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

The university canceled the relationship in February after reviewing an upcoming project under tightened guidelines governing funding from companies in China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. MIT has not said why it terminated the iFlytek collaboration or disclosed details about the project that prompted the review, but it has faced pushback from some students and staff about the arrangement since it began two years ago.

“We take very seriously concerns about national security and economic security threats from China and other countries, and human rights issues,” says Maria Zuber, vice president of research at MIT.

US companies and universities have built ties with Chinese tech firms in recent years. But the relationships have come under increasing scrutiny as relations between the two countries have soured.

MIT announced what was supposed to be a five-year collaboration with iFlytek with fanfare in June 2018. Since then, iFlytek has helped fund a range of research on subjects including human-computer interaction, new approaches to machine learning, and applied voice recognition. Under the agreement, iFlytek selected existing projects to fund but MIT says the company did not receive special access to the work or receive proprietary data or code. The amount of money involved was not disclosed.

The arrangement became more controversial in October 2019, when the US government banned six Chinese AI companies, including iFlytek, from doing business with American firms for reportedly supplying technology used to oppress minority Uighurs in Xinjiang. In 2017, Human Rights Watch claimed iFlytek supplied police departments in Xinjiang with technology for identifying people using their voiceprints. Press reports paint a grim picture of widespread surveillance in the province, including the detention and disappearance of more than 1 million people.

iFlytek is one of China’s older AI companies, and while it specializes in voice recognition, it also offers tools for analyzing legal documents and medical imagery. Like other growing Chinese AI companies, contracts to supply software for processing video and audio to police departments and local governments are an important source of revenue.

The company said MIT’s decision was disappointing. “We are particularly sorry about this,” says Jiang Tao, a senior VP at iFlytek. “The vision of the cooperation was to build a better world with artificial intelligence together.”

Like other US universities, MIT receives funding from companies and individual donors, but several of its arrangements have proved controversial. In February 2019, the university reexamined funding from Saudi Arabia following the assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The tighter guidelines for working with foreign companies were issued in April 2019 amid scrutiny of MIT’s relationship with two other Chinese companies, Huawei and ZTE. MIT had cut funding relationships with those companies in 2018 as the US government investigated their roles in alleged violations of US sanctions. In January 2020, MIT released the results of an investigation into funding from the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In 2018, MIT received a onetime donation of an undisclosed sum from SenseTime, another Chinese AI company now subject to the US government restrictions. The gift was reviewed by MIT’s Interim Gift Acceptance Committee, and an MIT spokesperson says there are no plans to return it.

US officials are increasingly wary of Chinese companies developing advanced technologies, amid rising trade tensions, accusations of intellectual property theft, and a heightened sense of international competition. Over the past two years, US intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned universities to watch for signs of espionage by Chinese students and professors, and prosecuted both Chinese-born and US academics for stealing intellectual property. In a meeting with senior figures at MIT in November 2019, Michael Kratsios, the US chief technology officer, warned against working with Chinese AI companies, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

New Balance Wins $1.5 Million Court Case Against Chinese Copycat Brand New Barlun


New Balance has won a $1.5 million case against Chinese athletics company New Barlun. Yes,  there is literally another brand out there selling shoes called New Barlun.

Last Thursday, the Pudong New Area People’s Court in Shanghai declared that New Barlun engaged in “unfair competition.” The ruling decided that the “N” logo on New Barlun’s shoes — which may or may not remind you of the familiar 571 silhouette — “could cause customers to be confused” in regards to the source of the sneakers and/or their affiliation with New Balance.

New Balance argued the continued use of the New Barlun logo — which is similar not only in appearance but also its placement on the side of the shoe — was unfair competition, and ultimately had a negative effect upon its reputation and goodwill. New Barlun countered that it had a trademark for its logo — which it (no laughing here) claims is different — and therefore was entitled to use it. Ultimately, the court sided with New Balance, claiming that irrespective of the fact New Barlun’s “N” is a registered trademark, it still violates the basic trademark tenant of “good faith.”


The court went on to declare that the public “would sufficiently associate the products decorated with ‘N’ letters on both sides of the athletic shoes with ‘New Balance,’” thereby entitling the Boston-based company to protection by way of China’s Unfair Competition Law. New Balance first entered the Chinese market in 2003.

As picked up upon by The Fashion Law, trademark law attorney Aaron Wininger surmised the case, writing: “As a competitor in the same industry, New Barlun still uses the similar logo on the same position of the similar goods it produces when it knows that the N letter logo on both sides of the plaintiff’s shoes has a certain influence, which reduces the plaintiff’s goodwill and causes market confusion. This causes consumers to confuse and misidentify the source of the goods, which violates the principles of good faith and recognized business ethics and constitutes unfair competition.”

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This isn’t the first time New Balance has found itself in a legal fight against Chinese companies. Over the years, copycat brands out east — with similar designs, similar names, and even storefronts — have proved a thorn in the side. This came to a head three years ago when it won $1.5 million in damages against three companies, including New Boom and New Bunren in what was described as a landmark case. “If the China marketplace can be thought of as a schoolyard, New Balance wants to make it abundantly clear we are the wrong kid to pick on,” said New Balance’s senior counsel for intellectual property, Daniel McKinnon, at the time.

Of course, New Balance isn’t the only brand to run into these copyright issues out in China — Supreme’s struggle, in particular, is well documented. Following the Michael Jordan vs. Qiaodan case (reported on here last week), Song Xiaoming, head of the Supreme People’s Court’s Intellectual Property Tribunal, spoke of the need for increased trademark protection throughout the country. “We must say ‘no’ for those who rush registration for trademarks with bad intention, as honesty and credibility have always been the principles when we handle trademark cases,” he said.

New Barlun has been ordered to pay $1.5 million in damages and legal fees to New Balance. Not only that, but the Fujian-based company will have to cease its use of the controversial “N” logo, before issuing a “public clarification” about its use of it.

Adam Driver gets SLAMMED on social media for his 9/11 comment;


People call him ‘Islamophobic’ ….

Adam Driver recently caught everybody’s attention on social media after the hashtag #adamdriverisoverparty started trending on Twitter. People tweeted about ‘canceling’ the Star Wars actor reacting to his comment about joining the Marines after 9/11. People flooded Twitter and criticised his remarks calling him Islamophobic. They shared a comment from Adam’s interview with The New Yorker, which took place last year. During the interaction, the 36-year-old actor stated that he joined the Marines after 9/11 because he wanted to fight against the terrorists who attacked the USA.

Reacting to his remarks, a social media user wrote, “Adam Driver was exposed already, we’ve been telling yall he is islamophobic for so long, why are y’all cancelling him just toda.” “Adam Driver’s New Yorker interview revealed who Adam Driver is: Islamophobic,” another tweeted. “Stop telling muslims and arabs that adam driver is not problematic and he’s “good.” we’re allowed to feel negatively about his clearly islamophobic comments and reasoning for joining the military. stop talking over us and acting like it’s no big deal,” another user posted.

On the other hand, Adam’s fans pointed out that in the interview, the actor clarified that his decision to join the military was not against Muslims. “It wasn’t against Muslims. It was: We were attacked. I want to fight for my country against whoever that is,” he had added in the interview. “Adam Driver made a movie exposing the use of torture of the CIA following 9/11. Go watch that instead of bitching on twitter because you’re bored,” a user wrote. “Apparently joining the military after 9/11 to defend your country makes you islamophobic. i quit-  i’m not even an adam driver stan but like stan adam driver,” another fan tweeted.



Hillsboro police storytime for kids during coronavirus quarantine

gets boost from Hollywood actress (video) ….

A Hillsboro police initiative has gotten some extra attention of late — thanks to a popular Hollywood actress.

The agency’s Facebook page is peppered with videos of police employees reading children’s books to kids who are staying home during the coronavirus outbreak.


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The video has racked up over 110,000 views on the Hillsboro Police Department page alone. But a post from Jennifer Garner has put the video in front of many more children.

The actress’s Facebook post has gotten 668,000 views as of Monday afternoon.

When Hollywood Learns The Wrong Lessons

It is a tale as old as time; a bold new film deemed as a gamble by studio execs releases, the film becomes a huge success and Hollywood, as usual, learns the wrong lessons. Now, on some level, it is kinda hard to fault the studios. Hollywood blockbusters cost millions and it is reasonable for them to expect some kind of return. But there’s a reason most studios don’t have a well-oiled formula. A formula that manages to remain fresh each time like Marvel Studios.

To a certain degree, the Marvel films do feel similar, but it is a problem they have largely avoided with Phase 3. And honestly, the phrase “superhero fatigue” barely qualifies as criticism given its superficial nature. Marvel has time and again experimented with styles and genres within their sub-franchises

The Rush To Build Shared Universes (Hollywood)

But few movie studios have managed to truly understand why Marvel’s approach worked so well for them. For one, when Batman v Superman was being trashed left and right, Warner Bros. decided that the movie flopped because it didn’t have humour. As if this wasn’t the same studio that managed to make two gritty Batman films that made over a billion. It’s this reactionary thinking that has doomed these studios.


Deadpool’s release marked a stark change towards R-rated films in Tinseltown. Once considered not-so financially viable, studio execs were now putting a bunch of new films into development with an R-rating in mind. Deadpool was successful because it was true to its character and was engaging from start to finish. That’s not to say that quality films always succeed but it’s a start. Scrambling to build an entire cinematic universe by borrowing successful elements without understanding what makes it successful has rarely ended well

The Monster Universe, The Amazing Spider-Man films, Zack Snyder’s DCEU, Star Wars have all fallen prey to this line of thinking. Marvel took their time to build their universe, made mistakes and later corrected them. If only the other studios understood this, the future of Hollywood blockbusters would be far brighter.


SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer’s Pay Rises to $18.8 Million in 2019

The satellite radio giant is part of Liberty Media, controlled by billionaire mogul John Malone.


Jim Meyer, CEO of satellite radio company SiriusXM Holdings, saw his total compensation for 2019 rise 6.5 percent to $18.78 million, up compared with $17.63 million in 2018, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. He had made $9.66 million in 2017.

Meyer saw his base salary rise slightly to $2 million. The rest of his 2019 compensation came from a $8.75 million bonus, up from $8 million, and stock awards that were nearly unchanged at $7.5 million.

President and chief content officer Scott Greenstein’s 2019 compensation package amounted to $4.56 million, down from $19.29 million in 2018 when he benefited from stock awards related to a new employment agreement.

Meyer recently said that 2019, during which the home of Howard Stern acquired music streaming service Pandora, was “a challenging year” that meant bringing SiriusXM and Pandora together, but he was “really pleased” with the integration and bullish on the future upside of the firm.

This February, SiriusXM followed that up with an investment of $75 million in open audio platform SoundCloud in return for a minority stake of an undisclosed size and two board seats. SoundCloud said it would use the additional investment to “accelerate its product development and enhance the services that fuel its global community of creators and listeners.”

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