Ensure integrity of the vote; TCU women’s b-ball team faces bias; Improve lunches at FWISD schools; Overlooking Trump’s flaws; Make Trump one and done.

Ensure integrity of the vote The article on registration and voting is very timely with our primary elections in March. (Five things Texans need to know about voting, Jan. 13.) I have concerns about the integrity of the voting machines in Texas and nationally. What is being done, locally and nationally, to ensure that our voting systems are not compromised? It is imperative that time and money be spent to assure the accuracy of each vote counted. President Trump has not assured us of this protection, nor our Congress or Senate. We need positive action to correct this, not denial. TCU women’s b-ball team faces bias With all the talk and revelations of sexual harassment, sometimes women are degraded by much more not so noticeable forms of discrimination. For example, TCU has two basketball teams. On Wednesday night the men’s team traveled to Austin, as did a reporter. That team lost but received a front page article along with a full color picture. The women’s team played at home and defeated the seventh-ranked team in the nation. There was no one present to interview the players and coaches, and no picture of the end-of-game celebration. A short article was written by the Associated Press and included on Page 2B. It may be subtle, but is a clear statement that women are not as important as men. Kris McIntosh, Edgecliff Village Improve lunches at FWISD schools I am a working parent with two kids who have attended school in FWISD for almost eight years. From my first visit to our elementary school’s cafeteria until now, I have been disappointed in the quality of food offered. Although both of my kids were initially interested in the novelty of buying their lunch at school, they now insist on taking their own lunches every day. While our family has chosen to take the time to make healthy lunches each day, I know there are many children who eat in the school cafeteria regularly. I have often thought about how great it would be if simple, high Continue Reading

Grizzlies’ J.B. Bickerstaff: ‘We’re headed in the right direction’

Nearly a month of misery ended for the Grizzlies on Monday night when they snapped an 11-game losing streak.The occasion also effectively allowed the team to navigate in calmer waters after a tumultuous week that began with the Grizzlies firing coach David Fizdale on Nov. 27.Interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff never promised major changes, but minor tweaks were noticeable in his first four games at the helm. The Grizzlies don’t launch 3-pointers ad nauseam, tightened up a defense that Bickerstaff was largely responsible for as an assistant and unlocked the games of a few roles who had struggled.Grizzlies center Marc Gasol said at the time of Fizdale’s firing that players couldn’t look to the bench to dig out of their hole. Gasol pointed to their effort as much as anything for ending the malaise.     “For the last three games (before Monday’s win over Minnesota), let’s say the last 16 quarters including this one, we played really good for 14 quarters effort-wise,” Gasol said. “We really had that mindset of the effort has to be there. That has got to be the consistent thing. And then when that is there, you can now start worrying about, ‘OK, you show here and switch here.’ You know, we can talk about X's and O's, but you can’t really coach effort.” More: Grizzlies 95, Timberwolves 92: 5 things we learned Bickerstaff’s main challenge has been to keep the Grizzlies together and not viewing the season as a lost cause. Their morale hit a season-low Friday when the Grizzlies gave up in the fourth quarter of a loss to San Antonio.But just when it appeared the Grizzlies were ready to quit, they pushed Cleveland the next night during a game decided in the final two minutes. The Grizzlies' effort in a win against Minnesota on Monday clearly displayed professional pride and determination to fight for the season.“It was the grit,” Bickerstaff said. “In tough Continue Reading

iPhone X and freezing weather: Can smartphones die in the bitter cold?

Some of Apple's $1,000-plus iPhone X's didn't work immediately when the temperature dropped. Sounds alarming, right? Apple's promise of a software update to its latest phone, to fix a problem reported by some users that they don't respond when suddenly exposed to frigid weather, raises the question of whether these increasingly sophisticated devices are rugged enough for extreme temperatures. It turns out most major manufacturers, including Apple, suggest their devices work best in the climate our bodies also prefer — and when it gets frigid, to turn the phone off (and head inside). That seems like a tall order for phone owners where it regularly slips to the single digits or worse. So we asked cell-phone repair shops in Canada and Alaska this question: Can it get too cold to run smartphones?It is the “battery, battery, battery,” that is most vulnerable to the elements, says Roger Gurney, owner of Arctic Tech Solutions in Fairbanks, Alaska.Gurney explains that the lithium-ion batteries can stop discharging electricity when it is extremely cold, though once you warm up and charge the battery back indoors you should be fine. Problems would only arise, he maintains, if you repeatedly expose the phone to sub-zero temperatures.Apple recommends operating iOS devices where the ambient temp is between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, but says it’s fine to store the device at much colder temps — all the way down to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. At those lower temperatures you'll want to shut the phone off.Samsung cites a similar operating range for its phones. Of course, try as you might to keep your phone warm in a pocket or a purse, it’s near impossible to avoid Mother Nature’s wrath some of the time.Charlie Harb, the general manager of CPR-Cell Phone Repair in the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, does see a rise in repairs during extreme weather. “I Continue Reading

Don’t like the iPhone X’s notch? There’s an app that can help

In the 10 days since it has gone on sale, Apple's new $999 iPhone X has received plenty of praise for its screen, cameras and new features like Face ID facial recognition. One part of Apple's latest iPhone, however, has been a bit more divisive: The "notch." Otherwise known as the black bar that breaks up the top of the phone's 5.8-inch display, the notch holds the front camera and sensors for the iPhone X's Face ID feature and is a necessity given that Apple has removed the iPhone's traditional bezels that previously housed the phone's front camera components. The design decision has drawn the ire of some users online and even has become the butt of a new Samsung ad that pokes fun at ten years of the iPhone.  More: Samsung pokes fun at putting iPhones in a bowl of rice in latest ad More: I've had an iPhone X all week. Here's what's easier and what's still a struggle More: Follow USA TODAY Money and Tech on Facebook But to paraphrase an Apple ad, there's an app that can help. At least partially. Called "Notch Remover," developer Axiem Systems created a 99 cents app designed to help hide the notch on your iPhone X's home and lock screens by adding a simple black bar atop your wallpapers to better blend the notch and display. The app has already shot up Apple's App Store charts, rising to 14 on the Apple's "Top Paid Apps" list and the top spot amongst utilities. I downloaded the app and it more or less worked as advertised, though for me the notch has never been a problem on the home screen and I usually only notice it when watching videos at full screen, something this app can't change. While some people are downloading the app thinking it will "fix" the notch issue and prevent the iPhone X's black bar from interrupting the display, it is important to note this app only helps with the home and lock screen. It will not remove the notch when watching Continue Reading

Payne: Tesla’s electrifying Model X SUV

The new Tesla gallery in the Somerset Collection mall is next to the Apple Store. Which is appropriate because, just as the iPod, iPhone and iPad re-imagined familiar devices as high-tech luxury objects, so have Tesla products re-thought the automobile.Tesla products are singular vehicles in today’s market.Like Apple, they’ve introduced new terms into the automotive lexicon — Ludicrous acceleration, 17-inch Google map displays — and vaulted an American automaker to the forefront of global luxury. In the 21st century, European makes like Porsche and BMW benchmark to Tesla.Unobtainable to most Americans, $70,000-plus Teslas have nevertheless captured the public’s imagination and whetted its appetite — 450,000 orders and counting — for the more affordable $35,000-$59,000 Model 3. To put that in perspective, BMW’s Model 3 competitor, the 3-series, sold 70,458 units in 2016.The Tesla gallery (don’t call it a “store” because, by Michigan franchise law, Tesla can’t sell directly to consumers) entrance features a bright red Tesla Model S, a car I have driven many times. But overshadowing the Model S at the back of the store is the Model X crossover. Like a male peacock in full tail-fan next to its female mate, the X’s falcon-wing doors wow. This is a show car in the grand tradition of auto show prototypes. Except the X got built.Out of its cage in the wild, the peacock does not disappoint. This paparazzi-magnet is a cross between SUV and sports car.Premium, performance SUVs are all the rage these days — just look at $100,000 Porsche Cayennes and Maserati LeVantes that borrow design cues from their long-hooded, sports car kin but are made on different platforms with different dynamics.Not the Model X. Its fundamentals are the Model S down to its aluminum bones: Same 50-50 weight distribution. Same switchgear. Same 75-100 kWh batteries. My two X testers — a P100D and 100D — were Continue Reading

Japanese fighters conducted air drills with U.S. B-1B bombers on Tuesday

(Story corrects to say B1-B was designed as nuclear bomber in final paragraph) TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan said it had conducted joint air drills with U.S. supersonic bombers in Japanese skies close to the Korean peninsula on Tuesday as tension in the region escalates amid North Korea's continued ballistic missile tests. The exercise around Japan's southern Kyushu island involved two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers and two Japanese F-2 jet fighters, Japan's Air Self Defence Force (ASDF) said in a news release. North Korea said on Wednesday it is considering a strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, hours after President Donald trump said any threat from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury." Andersen Air Force Base on Guam is where the U.S. keeps its B1-B bombers deployed to the Asia Pacific. The U.S. planes, which were designed to carry nuclear bombs and later switched to conventional payloads, followed up the drills with Japan with a separate exercise with South Korean Forces, the ASDF said. (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Kim Coghill) (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Click For Restrictions Continue Reading

South Korea military to conduct joint drill with U.S. B-1B bombers on Tuesday

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's military plans to conduct a joint drill with two U.S. supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers on Tuesday as part of a scheduled exercise, a South Korean air force official said.The official told reporters during a briefing the drill will also involve two South Korean F-15K fighter jets without elaborating on the nature of the drill or when it will be carried out. (Reporting by Ju-min Park; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Michael Perry)(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Click For Restrictions Continue Reading

Miss Piggy remakes Rihanna’s ‘B—h Better Have My Money’

Miss Piggy proved she's a good pig gone bad in her music video rendition of Rihanna's "B---h Better Have My Money." In the video, directed by Spike Gonze, Piggy slaps Kermit the Frog before demanding, "Pay me what you owe me!" The Muppet diva sure gave RiRi a run for her money in the "Vulture Remix" posted online Monday by flaunting various designer duds while making it clear she's the boss. Poor Kermmie was at the brunt of her abuse as she tossed him across the room a couple of times throughout the nearly 2-minute clip. Piggy also squares off with another Muppet diva, looking her up and down before knocking her out and breaking out of a jail cell. Unlike the official music video — which debuted earlier this month and has since garnered nearly 32 million views on Vevo — Piggy acted alone while Rihanna had the help of two associates. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Follow @RiveraZayda on Twitter Continue Reading

Arizona Hispanics flee state in droves before new immigration law S.B. 1070 takes effect in July

Hasta la vista! Reports are swirling that Hispanics in Arizona are fleeing the state before a controversial new immigration law goes into effect July 29.USA Today reported Wednesday.Superintendent Jeffrey Smith of the Balsz Elementary School District, which is 75% Hispanic, said 70 students were pulled out of school following the law's passage April 23 and that parents said it was the reason they were leaving.The Arizona Republic reported last month that another Arizona school district, Alhambra, anticipates losing 200 to 300 students because of the law.David Castillo, co-founder of the Latin Association of Arizona, told USA Today that local businesses serving the Hispanic community have started to report declining profits, an indicator that illegal immigrants are stockpiling their cash to prepare for a move.Department of Homeland Security.Mexico but re-settle in other, friendlier states.Paul Senseman, a spokesman for Republican Governor Jan Brewer who signed the inflammatory law, said he had heard similar reports of Hispanics planning to flee. "If that means that fewer people are breaking the law, that is absolutely an accomplishment," he told USA Today.Amy Rezzonico, spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Education, told Fox News.David Gutierrez, an immigration history professor at the University of California San Diego, said he is hesitant to predict that the law will have a dramatic impact on the numbers of Arizona Hispanics. “I don’t see a historical trend that has been in place for 100 years will be reversed because you’ve got a few hyper-conservative white legislators trying to turn back the clock, turn back the tides of history,” he told the Christian Science Monitor.Chicago, NBC reports, Alderman Danny Solis compared Arizona's law to Hitler's Third Reich. "In the early stages of Nazi Germany, there was a law that identified particular groups of people," Solis said. "This law has identified a particular group of people. This law is Continue Reading

Illegal immigrants fleeing Arizona’s S.B. 1070 law face arrest at border for trying to leave

Illegal immigrants in Arizona are trapped in a new dilemma: stay in the U.S. and risk being arrested, or leave -- and risk the same fate."When illegal immigrants are detected trying to leave the country, they are not just ushered across the line," reports the Arizona Republic.Instead, if undocumented workers attempt to return to Mexico, they face being punished for their immigration status on the way out.Regulations at the border require that individuals leaving must first have their photographs and fingerprints taken, which are stored in a database. Those found to have been living in the U.S. illegally can be arrested and deported.That decision is left up to the sole discretion of the inspector at the border, according to Guadalupe Ramirez, a director at Arizona's Nogales port.But he says the law is not intended to stop illegal immigrants from leaving – it was designed to snare criminals."The whole idea is there are going to be consequences now for people who come into the United States with the sole purpose of doing illegal activity," Ramirez told the Republic. "Our job tells us if we find somebody at a port coming or going that is in violation of our laws, we are going to document it."The protocol at the border has outraged activists, who believe it puts illegal immigrants in an impossible position."Instead of permitting people who want to leave, we punish them in this fashion,” Isabel Garcia, co-chair of Tuscon immigrants-rights group Derechos Humanos, told the Republic. “What purpose does this serve?"Being formally deported for "unauthorized presence" in the U.S. carries serious consequences: those kicked out of the country can be blocked from pursuing legal immigration for 10 years, and a future arrest for trying to enter the country again illegally can be charged as a criminal offense.Though the White House has fought against Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, S.B. 1070, the tighter exit procedures across the border were Continue Reading