Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Judge rules Trump can't block users on Twitter | TheHill

Judge rules Trump can't block users on Twitter | TheHill

Best ruling ever.

Good thing the commander in chief isn't causing us to waste time and $$ on silly court cases....

Judge rules Trump can't block users on Twitter


A federal district court judge on Wednesday ruled that President Trump can't block people from viewing his Twitter feed over their political views.

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, said President Trump's Twitter account is a public forum and blocking people who reply to his tweets with differing opinions constitutes viewpoint discrimination, which violates the First Amendment.

The court's ruling is a major win for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of seven people who were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account because of opinions they expressed in reply tweets.

Buchwald, who was appointed by former President Clinton, rejected Trump's argument that the First Amendment does not apply in this case and that the president's personal First Amendment interests supersede those of the plaintiffs. 

She suggested in her 75-page opinion that Trump could have ignored his opponents' reply tweets. 

"No First Amendment harm arises when a government's 'challenged conduct' is simply to ignore the [speaker], as the Supreme Court has affirmed 'that it is free to do,' " she wrote. "Stated otherwise, 'a person's right to speak is not infringed when government simply ignores that person while listening to others,' or when the government 'amplifies' the voice of one speaker over those of others."

Buchwald explained that blocking someone on Twitter goes further than just muting them. 

"Muting preserves the muted account's ability to reply to a tweet sent by the muting account, blocking precludes the blocked user from 'seeing or replying to the blocking user's tweets' entirely," she said.

In addition to Trump, the lawsuit named White House social media director and assistant to the president Daniel Scavino.

But Buchwald did not order Trump or Scavino to unblock the individual plaintiffs in the case or prohibit them from blocking others from the account based on their views as the plaintiffs' had asked.

She said a declaratory judgment should be sufficient.

"Because no government official is above the law and because all government officials are presumed to follow the law once the judiciary has said what the law is, we must assume that the President and Scavino will remedy the blocking we have held to be unconstitutional," Buchwald wrote.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, which the Knight Foundation helped found, tweeted a screen shot of that line from Buchwald's opinion. 

"Clock's ticking @realDonaldTrump & @DanScavino," he wrote.

Josh Geltzer, executive director of Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, said the court's ruling is a critical victory in preserving free speech in the digital age.

"The court's thorough decision recognizes that the President's use of @realDonaldTrump on Twitter makes it the type of public forum in which the government may not, under the First Amendment, silence its critics," he said in a statement.

A Department of Justice spokesperson said the agency respectfully disagrees with the court's decision and is considering its next steps.

Updated at 3:33 p.m.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Maybe??? 'The Expanse' Revived for Season 4 at Amazon | Hollywood Reporter

'The Expanse' Revived for Season 4 at Amazon | Hollywood Reporter

'The Expanse' Revived for Season 4 at Amazon

Amazon Studios is in talks to revive one of CEO Jeff Bezos' favorite properties.

The retailer and streaming outlet is near a deal to revive the space drama The Expanse for a fourth season just 10 days after Syfy canceled the series. Amazon Studios declined comment as sources note the deal is not closed.

Syfy had only first-run linear rights in the U.S. to The Expanse, which was based on James S. A. Corey's best-selling book series of the same name and starred Steven Strait. Amazon Studios had streaming rights to the first three seasons of the show. Sources say Bezos is a big fan of the book and was livid that the TV series went to NBCUniversal-owned Syfy. The move is said to have ignited Bezos' demand that Amazon Studios brass find the company's version of Game of Thrones.

The Expanse was a pricey swing for Syfy and the nature of the deal put additional pressure for the show to perform on its linear network as the cabler did not have either SVOD or international rights to profit from. (Netflix had international rights to the series.) The drama was Syfy's first major push back into the traditional science fiction genre.

Following the cancellation, producers Alcon Television Group — which fully financed and produced the series — planned to shop the space drama to other networks.

Opening to promising reviews and a strong collection of loyal viewers in 2015, The Expanse's first season averaged 581,000 viewers in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and 1.4 million total viewers with three days of DVR. Season two, which returned more than a year later with a significant marketing push and a solid lead-in, was down 24 percent among total viewers and averaged 457,000 total viewers. That compares more readily to similar returns for Syfy's inexpensive co-productions like Dark Matter and Killjoys than to the cabler's original scripted series like The Magicians and Happy.

The Expanse's third season, which bowed in April, tumbled another 5 percent among total viewers and 12 percent in the demo from season two.  

"The Expanse transported us across the solar system for three brilliant seasons of television. Everyone at Syfy is a massive fan of the series, and this was an incredibly difficult decision," said Chris McCumber, president of entertainment networks at NBCU Cable Entertainment. "We want to sincerely thank The Expanse's amazing cast, crew and all the dedicated creatives who helped bring James S. A. Corey's story to life. And to the series' loyal fans, we thank you most of all."

The decision to bring The Expanse to its end comes as Syfy has a packed scripted roster that also includes the upcoming George R.R. Martin drama Nightflyers, The Purge, Deadly Class, KryptonThe Magicians, anthology Channel ZeroVan Helsing, Wynonna Earp and Killjoys, with the latter set to wrap in 2019. The Expanse will be Syfy's second series to conclude this year, joining 12 Monkeys.

Starring Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Dominique Tipper, The Expanse is set in a future where humanity has colonized the solar system. Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men) served as showrunners and executive produced the Alcon TV Group project alongside Naren Shankar.

At Amazon, The Expanse will join a growing roster of genre programming including its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV franchise; Jordan Peele's Nazi hunting drama series; Gillian Flynn's Utopia remake; futuristic drama The Peripheral from Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan; Consider Phlebas; and a reboot of Hannaamong others.

The Expanse move follows a busy week of news on the broadcast side that saw Brooklyn Nine-Nine move to NBC after the comedy's cancellation by Fox, while the latter network revived Last Man Standing. In both cases, the networks' studio counterparts owned the shows, making the jump to their respective home networks considerably easier. In The Expanse's case, Amazon had SVOD rights, making a move to a different outlet more challenging.


'The Expanse' Season 3 Trailer


Monday, May 14, 2018

Deprecating widget settings - Announcements - Twitter Developers

Deprecating widget settings - Announcements - Twitter Developers

Deprecating widget settings

In June 2016 we announced 86 that we would be making it much easier for developers to create embedded timelines on their sites, by no longer requiring the timelines to be registered under widget settings 616. We launched 4.8k to make it much easier to create timeline widgets without requiring you to make changes to your account settings, and to make the embedded timelines more flexible.

Today, we are announcing the conclusion of that process and discontinuation of support for older timeline widgets that rely on widget settings 616.

On May 25, 2018, the widget settings page will no longer allow embedded timeline widgets to be created or edited. From that date, the only (and best) way to create timeline widgets will be to head to 4.8k. All existing timeline widgets that rely on these settings (e.g. the ones that have data-widget-id in the markup) will continue to function until July 27.

On July 27, 2018, timeline widgets that rely on account-specific widget settings will no longer be rendered. From that time, all settings will be in the embed code itself as 'data-*' attributes in the markup. We expect timelines to work as expected for the majority of users. Settings previously customised (for example link color and height), will not be applied. The content of the timelines - the Tweets - will be rendered in the same way. The one notable exception will be search timelines 221, which will no longer be rendered in the same way, and will fall back to a simple link that points to the corresponding search results on 14. We hope that your search timeline can be replaced with a user timeline 180, list timeline 162, collection timeline 195, or likes timeline
which will offer more fine-grained control over what Tweets show up on your webpage. We also continue to offer three tiers of the RESTful Search API 168 which can help you transition from the search timeline if you are open to writing your own display code.

To ensure timeline widgets look the way you want, we recommend clicking on the "Embed" link at the bottom of your timeline, which will direct you to 4.8k. Here, you can grab the equivalent embed code with all the settings in the embed code itself. This is the recommended way to create timeline widgets going forward. This approach will work for all kinds of timelines except search timelines (these are being retired).
We understand that change causes burden to some developers, and we apologize for this. The web-based widget settings are part of an old internal technology stack, and we want to adjust our priorities to give developers the best overall experience. We're continuing to improve the experience for embedded Tweets and timelines, so keep watching for further announcements about new features in the future!