3/7/2023: AI Steals Your Voice
PLUS: SBF Wants to DoorDash; Keanumycins; and Khloe Goes Clubbing
Today is Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
It is the 66th day of the year.
299 days remain.
WHAT’S ON TAP
SBF wants to get online and Amazon downsizes its in-person shopping experience. More in HIT LIST.
The First Lady says all the evidence you need of her husband’s mental fitness is laid bare every day. We don’t think she meant that to be hurtful. More in THE SWAMP.
PETE DAVIDSON and CHASE SUI WONDERS get into a wreck in Beverly Hills and CHAKA KHAN apologizes for criticizing Rolling Stone’s “Greatest Singers List.” More in SHOWBIZ.
LIONEL MESSI is working on a new animated series and “The Last Of Us” draws in a record number of viewers. More in CASTING CALL.
Keebler Elf reject ANTHONY FAUCI personally commissioned the study that he cited just weeks later to suggest there’s minimal evidence that Covid-19 originated at a Chinese lab in Wuhan.
The revelations come in new emails subpoenaed by Congress over the pandemic’s origins.
Fauci held a call with the four authors of the paper just days before it was published on a fast track. Then, when he mentioned the paper during a White House briefing, he acted as if he didn’t know who the authors were. [via New York Post]
WORTH ASKING: As evidence continues to mount that covid was leaked from a lab in Wuhan, what was Fauci trying to hide?
While SAM BANKMAN-FRIED awaits trial for fraud and money laundering charges connected to the collapse of FTX, he’s not allowed anywhere near the internet, and certainly not to communicate with potential witnesses.
As a tech nerd, he wants to change that. His attorneys have filed a request that would allow him to access a select list of websites on a specially configured laptop, including Amazon, mainstream news and niche crypto blogs, and even UberEats and DoorDash, plus some sports sites, as well as resources to help him do legal research.
MEANWHILE: Since he’s living with his folks, their computers have also had special software installed, so that the feds can monitor internet activity and access the webcam when their laptops are in use to ensure that SBF isn’t sneaking past his restrictions. [via Decrypt.co]
Amazon is shutting down eight of its 20 “Amazon Go” shops – where shoppers check in using their Amazon accounts and a complex system of cameras and scanners identify when they buy items, so there’s no need to check out before leaving; Amazon just deducts the cost of the haul from the buyer’s account.
The company says this isn’t necessarily a failure of the high tech model and that they intend to open more such stores in the future.
MEANWHILE: Amid massive recessionary layoffs, Amazon also says it is pausing part of the construction of its secondary headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, close to Washington, DC. It is moving forward with some new office space, but is putting the construction of a tall glass building called “The Helix” on hold. [via Geekwire]
MEANWHILE, IN THE NETHERLANDS: Amazon founder JEFF BEZOS’ massive, $500 MILLION sailing yacht has been spotted out on the open water for the first time.
If there’s voluminous recordings of your voice available – say, on a daily radio show or through a podcast – criminals have found a new way to scam your loved ones.
The Washington Post reports on a new fraud where criminals upload audio files of someone’s voice to readily-available artificial intelligence software, and can then make what sounds like that person’s voice say anything. In many cases, they’ll use the technology to call a person’s family member asking to send money to get them out of trouble.
The Federal Trade Commission reported more than 5,000 such phone-related scams last year.
IT GETS WORSE: One analyst tells the Post that today’s technology can synthesize a speaker’s voice based on just a 30 second TikTok video clip – but the more samples the technology can draw from, the more accurate the artificial intelligence rendering will be. [via Washington Post]
A few jurors in Alex Murdaugh’s trial are speaking out now that the disgraced attorney has been convicted of murdering his wife and son.
On the “Today” show on Monday, three jurors said Murdaugh’s testimony backfired, and that his crying came off as insincere.
Analysts have since claimed that Murdaugh was trying to sew enough reasonable doubt with just one juror, but it obviously didn’t do the job; the panel of his peers delivered their guilty verdict last week in just a matter of hours. [via NBC News]
Top 5 Songs on Apple Music:
Morgan Wallen, “Last Night”
Morgan Wallen, “Ain’t That Some”
Morgan Wallen, “Man Made a Bar (ft. Eric Church)”
Morgan Wallen, “Thinkin’ About Me”
Morgan Wallen, “Everything I Love”
Top 5 Songs on Spotify:
Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Die For You - Remix”
KAROL G & Shakira, “TQG”
SZA, “Kill Bill”
PinkPantheress & Ice Spice, “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2”
GARY ROSSINGTON, the last surviving original member of LYNYRD SKYNYRD, has died.
He passed away Sunday. No cause of death was shared.
Rossington was 71.
JENNIFER GATES, 26, and her husband, equestrian NAYEL NASSAR, 31, have welcomed their first child.
The couple announced their daughter’s arrival on Instagram, with a photo of the newborn’s feet.
Gates is the daughter of Microsoft co-founder BILL GATES.
There’s one person who thinks asking President JOE BIDEN to take a competency test is totally unnecessary: his wife, JILL BIDEN.
She tells CNN the mere idea is “ridiculous” and says, “We would never even discuss something like that.”
Without any sense of irony and a total lack of self awareness, she added, “Look what he’s doing. Look what he continues to do each and every day.”
Well, Jill, we’re happy to oblige. WATCH:
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW added 40 points (0.12%) to close at 33,431. The S&P added just 2 points (0.069%) to close at 4,048 while the NASDAQ lost 13 points (0.11%) to close at 11,675.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE clicked up to $80; BRENT CRUDE to $86.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS was $3.40 on Monday.
₿ BITCOIN was mostly flat Monday, trading over $22,400.
🛩 There were more than 3,050 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Monday and more than 94 such cancellations.
💰Tonight’s MEGA MILLIONS drawing will be for a $188 million jackpot or a $95.7 million cash payout.
PETE DAVIDSON and his girlfriend, actress CHASE SUI WONDERS, were involved in a car wreck over the weekend.
The comedian was driving a Mercedes-Benz “at a high rate of speed” when he hit a curb and crashed into a Beverly Hills home on Saturday night, according to TMZ. A fire hydrant was also struck.
While both Davidson and Wonders were uninjured, the vehicle suffered substantial frontend damage and the corner of the house they hit was smashed.
Reps for the couple did not comment on the accident. [via TMZ]
CHAKA KHAN has apologized for criticizing Rolling Stone over her ranking on their list of “Greatest Singers of All Time.”
As previously reported, Khan called the editors “blind bat bitches” and criticized those ranked above her, like ADELE, MARY J. BLIGE and DEBBIE HARRY.
In her apology she explained how she felt “cornered” into answering questions about the list, which she only learned about right before her interview on “The Originals” podcast. [via Daily Mail]
MIRANDA LAMBERT has launched a new animal rescue initiative, called Relief for Rescues Fund.
The country singer, who previously founded the MuttNation Foundation, told People Magazine that the fund is “designed to support rescue animals and shelters during natural disasters and other emergencies.”
Lambert explained that she was inspired to start the fund after spending time in Houston following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. [via People]
KEANU REEVES thinks it is “pretty cool” and “surreal” to have a fungus named after him.
During a recent Q&A session on Reddit, a fan asked the actor how he felt about German scientists naming a deadly fungus-killing compound “keanumycins,” after him.
“They should have called it John Wick…but that’s pretty cool…and surreal for me. But thanks, scientist people! Good luck, and thank you for helping us,” he replied. [via NY Post]
WORTH NOTING: Researcher and study co-author Sebastian Gotze explained that the fungus was named after Reeves because “he, too, is extremely deadly in his roles.” [via Phys.Org]
ANDY COHEN said he is “girding his loins” ahead of the upcoming “Vanderpump Rules” reunion, which is only two weeks.
Speaking on his Sirius XM show Monday, Cohen confirmed that the reunion show is going to be full of drama following the news that cast members TOM SANDOVAL cheated on his longtime girlfriend ARIANA MADIX with fellow co-star RAQUEL LEVISS.
There are still episodes left in the current season that Cohen said fans will “view differently” now knowing the affair was going on behind-the-scenes.
He also confirmed that cameras were rolling after news of the affair broke, catching reactions from the entire cast. [via People]
Actor TIM ROBBINS is doubling down on WOODY HARRELSON’s argument that Hollywood needs to end covid protocols.
Sharing an article featuring Harrelson’s thoughts on the matter on Twitter, Robinson wrote, “Wood is right. Time to end this charade.” [via Variety]
SPEAKING OF COVID PROTOCOLS: Tennis player NOVAK DJOKOVIC has been denied entry into the United States because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. After being denied a vaccine waiver by Homeland Security, Djokovic was forced to pull out of the BNP Paribas Open, which starts Wednesday in California.
WORTH REMEMBERING: The US is ending its COVID-19 emergency declaration on May 11.
CARDI B is not releasing a beauty line, despite multiple outlets reporting she is.
Sources close to the rapper told TMZ on Monday that any rumors stating she is ready to launch a line called Kulture Wave, are “totally false.”
While she doesn’t have anything in the works yet, insiders assured the outlet she will likely have something in the future, as she trademarked “Bardi Beauty” in 2021. [via TMZ]
WORTH NOTING: The name Kulture Wave appears to be nothing more than a made up name based off of her kids’ names.
JACK OSBOURNE pleaded with fans over the weekend to help him find his beloved dog Finn, after he went missing on Saturday.
“If you’re in the Encino area and you see Finn. Please comment. Please repost,” he wrote alongside a photo of the pup on Instagram.
Not long after making the post, Osbourne deleted it and alerted fans that Finn had been found.
“This knucklehead was partying in a pile of manure!,” he wrote alongside another photo. [via Daily Mail]
Argentinian soccer star LIONEL MESSI is working on a new animated series for Sony Music Entertainment.
According to Deadline, the show will feature Messi as a child who confronts obstacles while traveling throughout a video game.
“I’ve always loved animated series and my kids are big fans of animated characters. Being able to participate in an animation project makes me happy, because it fulfills one of my dreams,” Messi told the outlet. [via Deadline]
No word on when or where the show will launch.
Episode 8 of HBO’s “The Last Of Us” drew in 8.1 million viewers on Sunday night -- a record for the show and a 74% increase from the series debut.
The series was also the top title overall on HBO Max for the eighth week in a row, according to Nielsen.
“The Last Of Us” stars PEDRO PASCAL and BELLA RAMSEY, whose characters Joel and Ellie leave an oppressive quarantine zone and begin a brutal journey across a post-apocalyptic US. [via Deadline]
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
KHLOE KARDASHIAN was once “almost smuggled” into a nightclub by PARIS HILTON.
Only a middle-schooler at the time, Khloe wore a long red wig and floppy hat, according to an excerpt from Hilton’s upcoming book, “Pairs: The Memoir.” She was also given an alter ego; “If anyone asks, your name is Betsey Johnson,” Hilton told her.
Despite their valiant effort, the girls were denied entry into the club.
“Paris: The Memoir” is due out on March 14. [via People]
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
KING CHARLES will break a long-standing tradition with his upcoming coronation ceremony.
According to Hello!, he will be the first monarch crowned on a weekend in over 121 years. The last royal to do so was QUEEN VICTORIA’s son, EDWARD VII, who was crowned on August 9, 1902.
Charles’ Coronation is set for Saturday May 6; a date that has several connections to the family.
It is PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE’s son ARCHIE’s fourth birthday and the anniversary of Charles’ aunt PRINCESS MARGARET’s wedding to ANTONY ARMSTONG-JONES. Charles’ great-great-great grandfather, KING EDWARD VII, died on that day in 1910 and Charles’ grandfather, KING GEORGE VI, had his coronation on that date. [via Hello!]
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Flapjack Day
Alexander Graham Bell Day
National Sock Monkey Day
National Sportsmanship Day
National Be Heard Day
National Cereal Day
Plant Power Day
Unique Names Day
National Crown Roast of Pork Day
School Breakfast Day
Return Borrowed Books Weeks
ON THIS DATE
1876 - Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
Bell devised a contraption that used electricity and magnetism to capture sound waves, then process and transmit them across a distance. A few days later he made his famous first call, to his assistant Thomas Watson: “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you.”
Bell submitted his patent just hours before Elisha Gray submitted a similar design, kicking off a years-long legal battle that ended at the Supreme Court in 1888, which ruled Bell earned his legacy as the inventor of the technology.
1923 - Robert Frost's famous poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is first published in The New Republic magazine.
Frost himself was a failed farmer, but his poetry covered rural and agricultural themes.
Though he never graduated from college, he received 44 honorary degrees and lectured at Harvard and Dartmouth, among other schools.
1936 - Hitler marches Nazi troops into the Rhineland, violating historical treaties and making a bold land grab for his empire.
That territory was off-limits to any military following World War I. He spent two years building up Germany's armed forces, and began his invasion of Poland from the Rhineland three years later.
1950 - The Soviet Union denies any connection to Klaus Fuchs, who had recently been convicted of spying on American and British atomic weapon plans.
Fuchs' interrogations helped uncover an extensive network of spies. He even pointed to David Greenglass as an informant, who had given up information to Julius Rosenberg.
The Soviets never admitted to having any connection to Fuchs.
1965 - Alabama state troopers and 600 protestors clash in Selma during “Bloody Sunday.”
One of the injured protestors is civil rights leader and future congressman John Lewis.
2010 - At the 82nd Academy Awards, Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win the best director trophy, for her movie “The Hurt Locker.” The flick told the story of an American bomb squad in Iraq.
She was at the time only the fourth woman ever to be nominated for Best Director.
The film also took home Best Picture and Best Screenplay awards that year.
2016 - Peyton Manning announces his retirement from the NFL after 18 seasons.
2021 - Oprah Winfrey sits down for an interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The royal couple drop multiple bombshells during the chat, including Meghan feeling suicidal after being subject to racist treatment by the Royal Family.
Viewers were torn over whether to sympathize with the couple or the Royal Family.
Amanda Gorman - poet - 25
Haley Lu Richardson - actress, “Ravenswood” & “Five Feet Apart” - 28
Jordan Pickford - soccer player - 29
Mary Earps - soccer player - 30
Brandon T. Jackson - actor, “Tropic Thunder” & “Tooth Fairy” - 39
Laura Prepon - actress, “That ‘70s Show” & “Orange Is the New Black” - 43
Jenna Fischer - actress, “The Office” - 49
Jolie Jenkins - actress, “Body of Proof” & “Liv and Maddie” - 49
Peter Sarsgaard - actor, “Dead Man Walking” & “The Man in the Iron Mask” - 52
Rachel Weisz - actress, ‘The Mummy” & “Constantine” - 53
Wanda Sykes - comedian - 59
Joe Carter - baseball player - 63
Bryan Cranston - actor, “Malcolm in the Middle” & “Breaking Bad” - 67
Daniel J Travanti - actor, “Hill Street Blues” - 83
Born On This Date
Franco Harris - HOF football player, Steelers - 1950 (d. 2022)
John Heard - actor, “Home Alone” & “Big” - 1945 (d. 2017)
Anna Magnani - actress, “The Rose Tattoo” - 1908 (d. 1973)
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