Danny Glover waits out a ticking time bomb in Samsung’s new commercial

Danny Glover stars in Samsung’s new ad.
Image: screenshot

What fun is defusing a bomb without an element of nail-biting suspense?

In a display of savvy showmanship, Danny Glover decides to wait 12 hours before shutting down a ticking time bomb in Samsung’s latest commercial.

As he waits, he does what anyone might do if stuck in an air vent with nothing but a phone he plays some games, watches some funny videos and orders a pizza.

Then, with about five seconds to spare, he casually unplugs the weapon.

“Oh my gosh. Bomb,” he reminds himself, as if it had slipped his mind. “That was close.”

The 30-second spot, from Portland-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, is clearly intended to show off the battery life of Samsung’s Galaxy S7.

The Lethal Weapon star appeared in another commercial promoting the smartphone’s battery earlier this year, which also involved a ticking time bomb.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/09/samsung-danny-glover-commercial/

Clever Woman Pours Dirt Into Her Coffee Table To Create A Striking Indoor Garden

Succulents are probably the prettiest and most low-maintenance way to add a little vegetation to your home.

There’s just something about them that makes a space look effortlessly exotic!

Crafters have come up with a way to incorporate the cute little cacti into almost every aspect of their home life.

They can be propped up onto shelves, built into walls, addedinto gardens, and even made into the most beautiful jewelry.

But did you know that there is a way to insert them into your furniture, as well?

Well, there is though you may have to build the furniture yourself like this reddit user did.

Using old recycled pallets, she created a cool coffee table with an even cooler surprise in its center.

Check down below to see her process of turning easily trashable pallets into a pretty table with its own succulent-specific planter in the middle!

[H/T: Imgur]

Using a surprisingly limited amount of supplies, this clever carpenter created a striking coffee table with a surprise succulent-filled center!

She started with several simple pallets that can be found at (or behind) almost any business that has its goods shipped and delivered.

She then began todisassemble the pallets by prying apart their individual planks.

Once she was finished, there was a huge pile of wooden planks to make the table with.

She then began to play around with the table’s design, which would have a little cutout in the middle where plants could be potted.

Then, she created the frame for the little planter, as well as the top side of the table.

Sides were then added to the perimeter of the shelf.

A silicon sealant was added to the planter so that no potting materials could fall through.

Then, more planks were added to the bottom of the table, which will eventually make a top and bottom shelf to store things.

This is what the two different layers looked like. There is the top portion with the planter and the bottom portion.

Then, five little legs were placed on the bottom for extra height.

Once construction was complete on the table, the finishing touches could be added.

She stained the table a pretty walnut brown and put pottingin the middle.

Next, fun succulents of all different shapes, colors, and sizes were purchased for the planter.

The little plants were added in with additional soil and little decorative pellets on the top.

The final product is a stunning, split level piece that you can barely believe was made from a couple of old pallets.

The succulent center is surely ever plant lover’s dream and definitely an eye-catching addition to the living room.

With a little time and a lot of talent, this crafter transformed humble wooden pieces into the most amazing addition to her home.

If youlove clever, handmade furniture,make sure to SHARE with friends and family on Facebook!

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/pallet-indoor-garden-table/

Mom Writes Open Letter To Dog Owners Who Call Themselves Parents

First, let me say this: I am an animal lover.

I dont have any pets at the moment, but I have had them in the past, and it really is just the best. I love slappin paws with the cute pup at the park, and firmly believe that to communicate with, tend to, and to make a family that includes something other is super valuable for kids growing up.

I truly look forward to being able to offer my daughter that very experience.

That being said, “fur babies” are just not a thing. Dogs the animal that inspires the most intense faux parents can switch homes and owners with relative ease as long as they continue to be well loved and cared for. So enough of the dramatic media show during public celebrity splits over who gets the dogs its absurd and minimizes the real trauma that happens when families split, and children get caught in the middle.

Timothy Krause/Flickr

People are the masters of domestic creatures. Lets not forget that animals will generally remain loyal no matter what their owners say or do. The same certainly cant be said for children. The behavior, needs, and expectations of animals are also mostly unchanging. If only thatwere true for children.

Lilstergodman/Flickr

Now, I know most of you pet owners are aware that having an animal under your care is not the same as parenting a child. I have to say though, as someone who is earning her parenting stripes in a very real way, Im totally over even making the comparison. The urge to commiserate with an actual parent of actual children regarding actual parenting responsibilities when you’re simply a pet owner? Well, its misguided at best. If I asked a neighbor to occasionally walk my crate-training toddler once a day while I was at work, protective services would be at my door before I could type neglect.

Pornichet/Flickr

Part of the problem here seems to be rooted in the ever more fluid definition of family. Love has so many shapes and I honor and value all of them, but pet owners who call themselves parents trivialize the very real, ever-changing lifetime commitment that parenting is. Its essentially like taking a CPR class and deciding that it qualifies you as an M.D. I believe if youre gonna have a pet, you should love it unconditionally and offer it the same loyalty it offers you, but I work effin hard to call myself a parent and not even everyone who has kids can actually say that. That means you cant either.

Flickr

Just to hammer the point home (its become necessary), 15 things that are wildly different about being a parent than being a pet owner so we can put this to bed once and for all.

Flickr

1. My daughter ages one damn year at a time, not seven. She’s not gonna be a sweet, deaf old girl by 13.

2. Sure, leashes have been adopted by parents. Now, Im not about that, but I get it. Either way, I certainly cant leave my kid tied to a pole outside of a store until Ive finished my business (although I certainly wish I could sometimes).

3. I cant drop my daughter off somewhere and pay to have someone bathe her, and, even if I could, it would definitely be frowned upon.

Johnny Ortez-Tibbels/Flickr

4. I cant just keep her in the yard either. And I certainly cant just leave her home with a wee-wee pad and a couple of bowls of food and water. Just forget about dropping her off at some kid hotel to be pampered and fed while I skip town for the weekend.

5. I cant write a Facebook post that includes a cuddly photo and a description of all of her positive attributes, and then advertise that she is in need of a new home because she doesnt fit in my new apartment.

6. I cant have her fixed to avoid unwanted early grandmahood.

7. I cant stick her in a small bag under the seat in front of me on an airplane.

8. I cant breed her pretty little self and sell the offspring for a mint!

9. Clothes, shoes, underwear, socks, and so much more its all required when parenting a child, and must be replaced with often alarming frequency.

10. All of that role model stuff and the need to lead by example? Its no joke. The weight of shaping the next Michelle Obama or Mae Jemison is all on me now.

11. Dealing with other parents is nothing like hanging out with friends at the local dog park. Nothing.

12. Puberty. Enough said. Fingers crossed I come through that with at least someof my marbles.

13. That $60,000 plus per year that parents need to come up with to somehow, someway send their kids to college? Try sleeping at night with that weight on your shoulders.

14. I will get to be a grandma. I will get to keep being challenged and held accountable for everything I say, do, and believe. She will make sure of it.

15. Silver lining: It will be my turn to harass her when I get old.

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/dog-owners-are-not-parents/

Coach Pulls Aside Star Player Seconds Before Her Military Dad Walks In Behind Her

Living in a military family isnt easy. I cant imagine what it must be like, growing up in a household where everyone is always a bit on edge, wondering if Mom or Dad or a sibling is going to make is home safe and sound.

Heck, I even get nervous whenever a family members takes a flight for business!

Lanicia Lawrence, though, seems to have handled a childhood with a military dad very well. Shes a key player on her high school basketball team, the Griffons.

Of course she missed her father whenever he was gone for long spans of time, but she couldnt let that stop her from being the best that she could be.

When her coach caught wind that her father wanted to surprise his daughter when he got home from his final tour, he knew that sacrificing one practice was exactly what needed to happen.

Coach knows how much the bond between a father and his child is. He just the year prior lost his son.

Seeing the look on his face, along with all of Lanicia’s teammates, is almost as touching as her reaction in and of itself.

Im so glad that shell never have to be without her dad for such a long time again. Thank goodness he made it home safely after serving our country for so many years.

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/lanicia-lawrence-basketball-reunion/

Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One to reject ITV offer – BBC News

Image copyright EOne

Entertainment One, the film distribution and television production company, is set to reject a takeover bid from ITV.

The Peppa Pig owner was in advanced talks with the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Shares in Entertainment One closed almost 10% higher in London on Tuesday.

However, the Financial Times said the Canadian company would reject the offer.

It was not clear what stake ITV was seeking to buy or how much it had offered.

The spike in Entertainment One shares on Tuesday to 217.5p meant the company was now valued at more than 900m, suggesting ITV would need to pay at least 1bn to win control of the FTSE 250 business.

Both companies are expected to issue statements to the London stock market at 07:00 BST.

Shares in Entertainment One plunged by 20% to about 130p in early December after announcing a refinancing plan that raised monthly interest payments.

The stock had been worth almost 292p in August 2015.

Entertainment One owns more than 40,000 film and television titles, including last year’s Oscar-winning Spotlight and AMC drama Fear the Walking Dead; 4,500 hours of TV programming and 45,000 music tracks. Its library is valued at more than $1bn.

Image copyright Reuters

Shares in ITV have fallen almost 30% this year and it was particularly hard hit following the Brexit vote in June.

The broadcaster has made a series of acquisitions to bolster the ITV Studios division, which last month reported a 31% rise in revenues to 651m.

ITV chief executive Adam Crozier is striving to build “a global production business of scale” in a bid to reduce reliance on advertising revenue.

The company said last month that advertising revenue would fall about 1% for the nine months to September.

ITV Studios makes programmes including Coronation Street, Come Dine With Me, Hell’s Kitchen, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and the Jeremy Kyle Show.

Last year ITV bought Talpa, the production company that makes The Voice. The UK version of the talent show will move from BBC1 to the commercial broadcaster in 2017.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37030269

Fighting the clones: Bristol developer calls time on chain cafes – BBC News

Image caption Better Food, a Bristol business, is the development’s anchor tenant

Why do new shopping centres and waterfront developments always feature the same national chains of cafes and shops?

A new development in Bristol has bucked the trend, favouring local shops and cafes instead.

And if you take a close look at it, you soon find out why the UK’s property market keeps producing what some call “cloned High Streets”.

At first sight, Wapping Wharf looks like another identikit development.

Shiny apartment balconies look over the shimmering harbourside. Beneath them, soy lattes and craft beer are available from dawn till dusk.

On the corner, a small supermarket offers convenience meals and takeaway sandwiches.

And like the rest of Bristol’s post-industrial city centre docks, it has been decades since Wapping Wharf saw any serious cargo unload.

Image caption The coffee shop in Wapping Wharf is another local business

Two cranes standing on the quayside are now heritage sights for tourists, instead of a mainstay of the city’s trade.

But on closer inspection, Wapping Wharf bucks the trend.

There is coffee, but no Starbucks, Costa or Caffe Nero. Instead, a Bath coffee firm called Mokoko has set up shop.

Beer comes not from a national chain, but a small Somerset craft brewer called Wild Beer. And the anchor tenant on the corner is not a multiple supermarket, but a Bristol outfit called Better Food.

The owner has decided to let every shop and cafe to local independent retailers. This is both rare and revealing.

‘Unusual approach’

Stuart Hatton is not a campaigner, but a developer.

As he shows me around the new Bristol development, he is clearly proud of the quirky brewers and committed coffee makers.

But he can afford to back independents because his family property firm is set up differently.

Image caption Stuart Hatton is bucking a nationwide trend

He explains how his industry normally works: “A traditional developer would build it, let it and then sell.

“And obviously they want to get the best sales price that they can.”

Developers with shareholders and financial institutions behind them need to sell fast. And what they are selling is certainty: the assurance that tenants will pay the rent for 10 years or more.

The normal economics favour the multiples, Mr Hatton explains: “It is less risky for an investor to buy a shop with M&S in, for instance, than a shop with a small independent retailer.”

High Street ups and downs

Which independent retailers are growing and which are closing down?

July 2011 July 2016

  • 15.9% up Hairdressers

  • 5.9% up Cafes

  • 5.4% up Convenience

  • 5.3% down Fashion

  • 12.6% down Homewares and household

  • 20.3% down Auto accessories

Thinkstock

You don’t have to go far to see the normal system at work. Across the water, the first phase of Bristol’s harbourside regeneration features Costa, Tesco Metro and Pizza Express.

Mr Hatton’s firm makes its money from renting the shops, so he is not worried about the sale price, or what the property market calls the “covenant value” of a retail unit.

But his approach is unusual, according to Bristol retail agent Will Duckworth, from the property firm JLL.

“This is very rare,” he tells me. “Most developers go the same way, to keep the investors happy.

“They want a quick return on their investment and it’s easier to do that with a national brand that’s got a good history of trading.”

The new shopkeepers and brewers are happy, as you would expect.

But apart from offering a bit of a change to the normal High Street chains, some say independent retailers actually make a city richer.

Rachel Lawrence, an economist who studies how cities work for the New Economics Foundation, came to look at the new development and find out where the retailers are buying from.

Image caption Rachel Lawrence says schemes designed to regenerate deprived areas often backfire

Her research has uncovered a persistent problem in regeneration schemes, designed to bring wealth to deprived areas.

“Often they end up importing new, wealthy residents, and then bringing in expensive shops owned by multinational companies for them to spend their money in.

“There is new economic activity, but very little of it is benefiting the local economy.”

Enriching the local area

At Wapping Wharf, the Bristol-owned supermarket Better Food takes a different approach.

Mike Bailey shows Ms Lawrence around his organic food store, pointing out fresh produce from a community-owned farm just seven miles away in the Chew Valley.

Bread comes from a family bakery in the Cotswolds; pulses, rice, beans and flour from a worker-owned co-op just a mile up the road.

For Rachel Lawrence, this is what makes the difference.

“Locally owned stores like this are much more likely to buy from local supply chains,” she explains.

“If the money is going into local suppliers, much more of the benefit of this development is enriching the local economy, and that is really the holy grail of regeneration schemes like this.”

All this is lovely if the shops stay afloat. But Britain’s retailers have rarely had to fight so hard for a living, competing with online stores, multiple discount chains and customers who spend more frugally.

Now, though, new research reveals that some independent stores are growing, and quite fast.

Image caption Wild Beer is flying the flag for local craft beer at Wapping Wharf

For Matthew Hopkinson, it comes down to a single simple question: “Can you get a coffee or a haircut on the internet?”

Mr Hopkinson runs the Local Data Company, analysing data as shops open and close. And there have been plenty of closures: not just the big names like BHS, but thousands of small independents too.

Since 2011, shops selling homewares have shrunk by 12.6%, while the number of car accessory stores has gone down by 20.3%.

Yet cafes, restaurants and above all hairdressers are on the up. There are 5.9% more cafes across the UK than there were five years ago, and a huge 15.9% increase in hair salons.

Walk around Wapping Wharf, and the data comes to life. Craft beer, two coffee shops already and a third fitting out. There will be pulled pork, barbecued chicken, sourdough pizza, and yes, a barber’s shop.

The final twist in Bristol’s alternative economy comes when you look at the finances behind the independents.

Fitting out a new store in a top-end development is not cheap, and Better Food needed to find 350,000.

The firm turned to its customers, offering a “community bond” through Triodos, an ethical bank based in Bristol.

Zoe Sear, head of marketing at Triodos, has rarely seen such a popular offer: “We raised 350,000 in 11 days, from 64 individual investors. People in Bristol don’t just believe in local independents, they are prepared to back them.”

Image caption Freshly baked bread is another of the local products on offer

It is impressive and unusual. But behind the organic carrots on sale on this new harbourside avenue, there is a unique financial architecture.

Left to the normal rules of property investment and commercial banking, Bristolians would almost certainly be drinking coffee from the same chain cafes you would find in Birmingham or Bradford.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37016841

Lawsuit Targets Extortionist Cities Near Ferguson That Lock Poor People In Cages

ST. LOUIS Civil rights lawyers sued 13 St. Louis-area cities in federal court on Tuesday, alleging they violated the constitutional rights of poor people by locking them in squalid jail cells in connection with minor traffic infractions a practice that contributed to the tension that boiled over in Ferguson two years ago after a police officer shot an 18-year-old to death.

The lawsuit, filed on the two-year anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown, targets the city of St. Ann and 12 smaller municipalities some with just a few hundred residents that use St. Ann’s jail to hold municipal debtors under what the lawsuit calls “inhumane” conditions.

Brown’s death helped bring attention to a rigged municipal courts system in St. Louis County that allowed municipalities to use their courts to pad city coffers rather than administer justice. An in-depth investigation by the Justice Department revealed a policing and court system in Ferguson that treated residents as “potential offenders and sources of revenue” rather than constituents to be protected, resulting in a recent agreement to reform the city’s policing practices. Nearby municipalities have engaged in the very same unconstitutional practices, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, represents a broad challenge the fractured municipal court system in St. Louis County and has the potential to help bring about widespread changes in a region where municipalities have treated their courts as cash generators.

ArchCity Defenders, a civil rights organization in St. Louis that has aggressively challenged the region’s municipal courts, and Arnold & Porter, a Washington-based law firm, filed the suit on behalf of 13 people they say have been “terrorized” by the municipalities.

The municipalities operated a “modern day police state and debtors’ prison scheme that has no place in American society today,” the suit says.

“I’ve never encountered anything like this,” said Robert Weiner, a partner at Arnold & Porter. His remark echoed a comment by the head of the Police Executive Research Forum, who said the “dysfunctional” system in St. Louis County was unlike anything he’d seen

The suit, which also named the cities of Edmundson, Normandy, Cool Valley, Velda City, Beverly Hills, Pagedale, Calverton Park, St. John, Bel Ridge, Wellston, Velda Village Hills, and Bellefontaine Neighbors, alleges:

Defendants have abused the legal system to bestow a patina of legitimacy on what is, in reality, extortion. If private parties had created and implemented this scheme, enforced it by threatening and imposing indefinite incarceration, and milked poor families of millions of dollars, the law would punish them as extortionists, or even racketeers, and the community would take steps to prevent them from exploiting the most vulnerable of its members. These predatory practices are no more legitimate and indeed, are more outrageous when perpetrated under color of law.

The lawsuit accuses the municipalities of operating “de facto debtors prisons” used “as a tool to cow poor people into financing municipal government.” The system places poor defendants into a “Kafkaesque web of indignities and incarceration that plunge the victim ever deeper into poverty,” the suit says.

Inmates incarcerated by St. Ann, the suit alleges, are held under horrific conditions that include overcrowded cells, “reused” blankets, “disgusting and unsanitary” mattresses, and “unhealthy and nearly inedible” food. Inmates were not allowed to shower until they had been held at the jail for a week, the lawsuit says, and trash piles in cells gave off a “very pungent odor.”

One legally blind plaintiff alleges officers refused to allow her to keep her glasses. Another says she was denied her medications, and that guards called her “crazy” and an “African child.” Yet another says she was held in a cell with a schizophrenic inmate announcing she wanted to kill someone.

Blake Strode, a St. Louis native who attended Harvard Law, interned at the Justice Department and now works for ArchCity Defenders, said there’s been a misconception in recent months that the problems in St. Louis County municipal courts have been addressed. In reality, he said, it’s been “business as usual” for many cities in the region.

“This is really a widespread, structural problem in the region, and so we thought we needed a more widespread, systematic attack on that practice,” Strode said in an interview. “Our goal is not to bankrupt every city in St. Louis County, but our clients have suffered serious constitutional violations, and they’re owed something for that. So our priority is to make the case for our clients, to push for the policy changes, and to make sure that they are compensated for the losses they’ve suffered.”

By imprisoning those who can’t afford to pay fines, the municipalities have violated rights of due process and equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit also alleges violations of the Fourth Amendment because the municipalities issued warrants without probable cause, as well as violations for the Sixth Amendment due to failure to provide for effective assistance of counsel.

ArchCity Defenders recently reached a settlement of nearly $5 million with the city of Jennings in a similar lawsuit filed on behalf of an estimated 2,000 people who had been jailed over unpaid debt. Jennings also agreed to significant changes, including an end to the cash bail system. lawsuit against Ferguson is still pending.

A plaintiff in the new class-action case, Donya Pierce, was previously part of a lawsuit against the tiny city of Velda City, which agreed to end its fixed cash bail system in 2015. An organization called Equal Justice Under Law has filed lawsuits against debtors’ prison practices in several other states and had success in stopping unconstitutional bail practices.

Several municipalities named in the lawsuit have imprisoned the lead plaintiff, Quinton Thomas, a 28-year old factory worker, in connection with minor driving-related offenses like running a stop sign, lacking proof of insurance, and improper vehicle registration. Thomas was issued hundreds of dollars in fines in Normandy, a city neighboring Ferguson that shares many of the same issues with using its municipal court to generate revenue. More than 40 percent of Normandy’s revenue came from fines and fees.  

Mariah Stewart / The Huffington Post
Quinton Thomas has spent time in jail in several municipalities in St. Louis County over traffic tickets.

Thomas was fined more than $600 from a traffic stop in Normandy. He said he tried to explain to a judge that he could neither afford to pay the full amount, nor the minimum payment of $100 the city was demanding. When he asked if he could pay $50 toward the fine, the judge said no, he said.

“They told me if I couldn’t do $100, they were going to put a warrant out for me,” Thomas said in an interview.

When Thomas was pulled over in 2013, he was arrested on that outstanding warrant from Normandy, as well as on warrants from other cities. Officers took him to jail in St. Ann, where Thomas said everything the mattresses, the walls, the floors were so dirty he didn’t want to touch anything.

“It was just nasty,” he said. Meals, the lawsuit alleges, consisted of a “bologna sandwich (with greenish meat and hard bread), apple sauce, and black coffee.”

Thomas said he once had to sit in jail for several days just to wait for a direct deposit into his bank account that would allow him to pay the court. He said he lost two jobs because of the time he spent behind bars. He said he was seldom allowed to appear before a judge after being arrested.

“I lost my job and they impounded my vehicle,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t get a job because a lot of jobs be so far out and you need a car.”

Thomas is employed again, but said he fears being pulled over and thrown into a cage every time he gets inside his car. He’s currently paying the city of St. John, which claims Thomas owes more than $500 on what started out as a ticket for less than $100.

His offense? A parking violation.

“I got it down to like $300, but it was all the way up to $560 all for a parking ticket,” he said.

Although the White House and Obama administration have tried to put a spotlight on excessive fines and fees, organizations like ArchCity Defenders and Equal Justice Under Law have been effective in using federal lawsuits to force change. Some advocates have called for the Justice Department to prosecute judges and public officials who have engaged in conspiracies to deprive people of their constitutional rights en masse as part of an effort to raise revenue.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department reminded local courts that some practices that they may consider a “routine administrative matter” like forcing defendants to pre-pay a bond or bail before they can schedule a court date are unconstitutional. Locking up someone simply because they aren’t able to afford paying a fine, without taking their financial circumstances into account, is a blatant constitutional violation, yet continues to happen with regularity. That won’t change, some advocates say, until the feds start locking up municipal judges.

Missouri lawmakers attempted to rein in municipalities that relied heavily upon municipal court revenue last year, passing bipartisan legislation that lowered the percentage of their budgets that cities were allowed to fund through court fines and fees. That percentage was trimmed from 30 percent to 20 percent statewide, and to 12.5 percent in St. Louis County. But several cities in St. Louis County filed suit challenging the limits, and a circuit judge struck down the county cap because it targeted specific municipalities.

St. Ann kept its revenue flowing after a major mall closed by operating a highway speed trap near the St. Louis airport. St. Ann earned 37 percent of its revenue from court fines and fees in 2013, according to a 2014 report from state-appointed research group Better Together.

Black drivers in St. Ann were nearly 10 percent more likely than whites to get arrested in traffic stops, a disparity similar to the other cities named in the lawsuit.

Nicole Hudson, who worked with the Ferguson Commission, said the lawsuit has the potential to force change rather than wait for those in power to move at their own speed.

“Having a lawsuit like this that is swinging for the fences in this way is going to move the needle on what change looks like and what the universe looks like for everybody,” Hudson said.

Bradley Jiles, 24, said he was strip-searched and forced to sit in a restraint chair for 24 hours while in the Hillsdale jail. Jiles has been jailed more than 10 times in five years for municipal ordinance violations.

Meredith Walker, a 47-year-old mother of two, has been jailed at least 10 times and said she paid more than $15,000 in fees over five years even though she said she hasn’t been ticketed for a moving violation in more than 15 years. Walker even changed her appearance, according to the lawsuit, “because she discovered that she was stopped by the Defendant Municipalities’ police officers more often when she had dreadlocks in her hair and appeared more masculine.”

Mariah Stewart / The Huffington Post
Ronnie Tucker is aplaintiff in a lawsuit against 13 municipalities in St. Louis County.

Ronald Tucker, 51, was pulled over in 2014 because his car was smoking. The officer ran his name, discovered old traffic warrants from Cool Valley, and took him into custody.

Cool Valley covers less than 0.5 square mile, with a population of just over 1,000 people. A few years back, it disbanded its 10-person police department in part because it ate up more than half of the city’s entire budget.

Tucker, who said he skipped court dates on the old case after he lost his job and feared a judge would lock him up, was incarcerated in Cool Valley for three days in what he called a “dog cage.” Left unsupervised in a holding cell without a bathroom, he sometimes got desperate.

“I was in a cage with no restroom and had two more females in the cell with me and I had to use the restroom real bad,” Tucker said. “I urinated on the floor. I mean, I wasn’t going to do it on myself. I’m a grown man.”

Tucker said he spent several hours locked to a bench before he was booked, which he said was one of the worst experiences of his life. Later, when he suffered an asthma attack, he said jail attendants refused to allow his girlfriend to bring him an inhaler.

While bail is supposed to be set by a judge who evaluates an individual’s circumstances, there was no judicial involvement in Tucker’s incarceration. Tucker said police officers tried to negotiate with him.

“They said if someone come up with $150 or $175, we’ll let you go,” Tucker told HuffPost. Tucker said he couldn’t reach anyone for money because he only was allowed one five-minute phone call per day.

Tucker spent three days at Cool Valley before being transferred to the St. Louis County Justice Center, where he finally received an inhaler and was bonded out for almost $400. But Tucker’s time served was never applied to his outstanding fines, and a warrant for him remained outstanding in Cool Valley.

“I wouldn’t want to see anybody else be treated like me and those females when we were in that cage,” Tucker said. “I don’t have a problem with the law. They have a right to pull us over and make sure we’re right. But if you going to lock me up, lock me up for something major not just a ticket.”

Jailing a human being places them in danger, and hundreds of people die in U.S. jails each year. A system that confines individuals not because they pose a threat to public safety, but simply because they owe the government money, should not be accepted, said ArchCity’s Strode.

“I think we have a tendency and a sort of instinct to rationalize these systems that we all come to rely on, and to think that they must be operating in a way that is just and fair, or that it makes some sort of rational sense,” said Strode. “On the most basic level, what we have here is a system in which when you receive a traffic ticket, if you have money, there’s one system. If you don’t have money, there’s another. It’s only if you don’t have money that sitting in jail for days on end sometimes weeks on end is on the table. And that is fundamentally unjust.”

Read the lawsuit:

Mariah Stewart reported from St. Louis. Ryan J. Reilly reported from Washington.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lawsuit-extortionist-ferguson-municipal-courts_us_57a8e636e4b06adc11f0f0c9?section=&

No more free TV from Hulu, but Yahoo is here to help

Craig Erwich, SVP and Head of Content at Hulu.
Image: Getty Images

Hulu will be ending its free, ad-supported service and go to an entirely subscription model.

In its place, Yahoo is picking up the slack.

Yahoo on Monday announced the launch of Yahoo View, a new platform that will host free, ad-supported TV episodes as Hulu once did.

It’s the end of an era for Hulu, which had been moving toward a premium service for a while by slowly amassing a respectable amount of exclusive rights as well as developing original series.

Hulu’s free service will go offline in the next few weeks. Going to an entirely paid model puts Hulu directly in line to compete with Netflix and HBO. Hulu recently brought on Time Warner as an investor, adding to previous owners Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Disney.

Hulu is reportedly readying a streaming TV service with live content to compete with Sling TV and Playstation Vue.

Yahoo View will be free to watch (as long as you can handle the ads) and feature the last five episodes of shows from ABC, NBC, FOX and other network sitcoms. Those episodes will be up eight days after first airing.

Yahoo View, which is technically a distribution partnership with Hulu, is also looking to become a social hub for fans of particular shows, featuring behind-the-scenes clips, recaps, GIFs and photos from Tumblr communities.

Yahoo View is available immediately on desktop, with mobile versions coming soon.

Yahoo recently struck a deal to be acquired by Verizon for $4.8 billion. Verizon has its own online video ambitions, most notably the Go90 platform. A Yahoo spokesperson declined to comment on whether TV episodes from Yahoo View could end up on Go90.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/08/hulu-ending-free-service/

How brands are changing the status quo to make a real-world impact

Image: Harsha K R / Flickr

Think brands are only concerned with things like marketing, customer support or the bottom line? Think again. From innovative digital marketing activations to real-time listening on social media, brands in India are creating new touchpoints and making a difference in the process.

While startups often attempt outlandish ways to connect and serve customers, large companies can have a more difficult time thinking outside the box, especially considering their scale and stakeholders.

These brands show that business and social good can go hand in hand. Discover how three companies are trying innovative ways to reach out to their customers, challenge the status quo and have a real impact on their customer experience.

A cab company offered boats for rescuing flood victims

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, online cab aggregator Ola launched a free boat service to rescue stranded residents in the inaccessible areas of Chennai during the devastating floods last year that affected daily life and transport. On the basis of information provided by Tamil Nadus Fire & Rescue Department, Ola boats jumped into action and started operating in the affected areas.

Manned by professional rowers, the boats supplied food and drinking water in areas facing a scarcity of basic supplies. They also ferried passengers who would have been stranded otherwise. While rival cab services failed to help customers in distress, Ola found a groundbreaking way to keep the city moving.

Indias biggest telco is working with customers to improve its network

In 2015, Airtel announced Project Leap, taking the first, brave step in the effort for a complete network transformation. This year, the leading telco announced the countrys first Open Network an open sharing platform that gives customers access to their tower maps, weak spots, strong signal zones, high-speed internet, et al.

The idea wasnt just about adding transparency to the marketing pitch but about partnering with customers to turn Indias first open network into the “best network ever created.” While some of the Airtel towers have been shut down, the company believes that this platform enables scouting for new locations and setting up their towers.

With the help of the unique Open Network initiative, Airtel has transformed their customer support, enabling customers to be a part of the solution and help build a better network. In fact, the first tower as a part of the initiative is already live in Noida, UP and many other leads are under verification processes. This customer had approached Airtel through their open network platform asking the company to host a tower, and after the necessary checks, Airtel went ahead with its promise.

This customer approached Airtel through their open network platform to host a tower, which Airtel then built.

Global software giant preps girls for tech careers

Much has been said about the underrepresentation of women in technology. Major technology corporations have taken several initiatives to right this: Microsoft, for example, is helping young girls the professionals of tomorrow get ready for careers in technology in a big way.

DigiGirlz gives middle and high school girls opportunities to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.

By participating in the Microsoft DigiGirlz Day, young women can explore the variety of opportunities available in the high-tech industry and discover future career paths. DigiGirlz Day provides girls with career planning assistance, information about technology and business roles, thought-provoking exercise, and interesting Microsoft product demonstrations.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/08/brands-making-an-impact/

Here’s why Walmart just spent $3 billion on Jet.com

A Walmart customer exits from the store on February 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It took a big idea and just two years to ink a multi-billion dollar deal.

Walmart has acquired ecommerce startup Jet.com for $3 billion, the companies announced Monday. As both struggled to compete with ecommerce giant Amazon, it’s a move to bolster each of their efforts.

With the deal, Walmart gains more technology and talent including Jet founder and former Amazon employee Marc Lore while Jet.com secures more retail partnerships and cash.

There’s a lot to unpack in Walmart’s 54-year-old history within the retail industry that is worth $23 trillion. Here we breakdown some of the most notable numbers:

$3 Billion

The sale price was $3 billion in cash and $300 million in Walmart shares. That’s a pretty nice deal for a company that was expected to generate $1 billion in retail sales this year, according to Bloomberg.

It’s a quick exit for a two-year-old company and at an impressive price tag.

Josh Elman, a partner at venture capitalist firm Greylock Partners, noted that the deal surpassed Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram in 2012 and $2 billion purchase of Oculus in 2014. Both companies were also two years old at the time of acquisition.

384 Days

Jet.com first went live on July 21, 2015. So the deal was signed just over a year after the site was launched.

Lore founded the company in 2014 and did not keep his intentions quiet. In fact, Jet offered 100,000 stock options to whoever got the most users to sign up prior to the official launch.

In January 2015, Lore landed the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.

$100 Billion

Amazon’s revenue for 2015 surpassed $107 billion, up from $89 billion in 2014. About $100 billion was generated from retail revenues while the rest came from sales of Amazon Web Services.

That places the ecommerce-turned-media company as the third-largest retailer in the world, underneath Walmart and Costco.

Yet, the important distinction here is that while Walmart achieved $482 billion in revenue in 2015, only $14 billion came from ecommerce sales. Growth in ecommerce sales fell from 17 percent to just 7 percent over the last year, The Huffington Post reported.

Hence, Marc Lore and Jet.com’s entry to focus on Walmart’s online business.

260 Million

Walmart has been working to add more products to its ecommerce business. Currently, Walmart’s site stocks 11 million products.

The company said it planned to add 1 million more each month. Even so, the current stock pales in comparison to Amazon’s 260 million.

Over its year in operation, Jet was already hosting 12 million products online.

$25 Million

To make a name for itself, Jet attributed a significant portion of its $800 million in venture capital funding on advertising. The company spent $20 to $25 million per month on advertising, Recode reported.

That included billboards, subway signs and online ads.

Jet initially drew a bunch of traffic to its site. At launch in July 2015, it had 6.8 million visits and climbed to 12.2 million the following month. By January, paid search ads contributed more than 50 percent of Jet.com’s desktop traffic, according to SimilarWeb.

Image: SIMILARWEB

$3.6 Trillion

Ecommerce isn’t due to overcome brick and mortar sales anytime soon, but the number is climbing.

In 2020, ecommerce will account for 12.8 percent of retail sales, or $3.578 trillion, according to eMarketer. That’s up from 7.4 percent in 2015, or $1.671 trillion.

Amazon is predicted to rise to second place in total retail sales, surpassing Kroger, Carrefour and Costco and coming just under Walmart, by 2020. Walmart’s total sales are expected to be $609 billion compared to Amazon’s $177 billion, according to eMarketer.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/08/walmart-jet-numbers/