Friday, July 22, 2016

Tronc seeks automatons to work on 'news content harvesting robots'

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 06:23 PM

ILLUSTRATION BY RYAN SMITH
  • Illustration by Ryan Smith

In pursuit of what remains a very fuzzy vision of a journalism future driven by artificial intelligence, Tronc is now seeking to hire a "content specialist" to develop and maintain "news content harvesting robots." 

In a job posting dated July 19 that reads like inept sci-fi, the former Tribune Publishing spews the impenetrable mishmash of techno jargon and digital-media buzzwords that has lately become a company trademark. Innovative content ingestion! Mission-critical data ingestion! Industry-leading news ontology! 

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Thursday was actually a bad day for Trump

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 05:42 PM

Donald Trump during his nomination acceptance speech Thursday at the Republican National Convention. - AP PHOTO/CAROLYN KASTER
  • AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
  • Donald Trump during his nomination acceptance speech Thursday at the Republican National Convention.
I think Donald Trump will now learn a lesson in what really wins and loses elections. It isn't enough to scare the bejeebers out of the electorate and then offer yourself up as their savior. Votes are won and lost by specifics.

Trump had a bad day Thursday, despite officially becoming the Republican Party's presidential nominee. It was less because of what he said in his acceptance speech (though the thuggish way he said it did him no favors) than because of his New York Times interview on NATO and other military treaties.

We already knew he admires Putin; now we know that if Putin threatens the Baltic states or other of our Eastern European allies, Trump might not come to their defense. The same, he says, is true of South Korea and Japan vis a vis North Korea.

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Public grows impatient for IPRA overhaul

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 02:30 PM

Frank Chapman, field organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and fellow advocates gathered at City Hall June 22 to demand civilian oversight of Chicago police. - JACOB WITTICH/SUN-TIMES
  • Jacob Wittich/Sun-Times
  • Frank Chapman, field organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and fellow advocates gathered at City Hall June 22 to demand civilian oversight of Chicago police.

The interruptions at Thursday's aldermanic town hall meeting on the overhaul of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) began immediately.

"Excuse me, is this different from the police accountability proposal put out by the mayor? Is this different than the Department of Justice? Is this centered around dismantling IPRA?" a woman in the packed audience at Malcolm X College demanded, as 45th Ward alderman John Arena delivered introductory remarks.

The meeting was convened by the City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus after activists branded sparsely attended council hearings earlier this month on the long-awaited overhaul of IPRA a "sham". Those meetings had been poorly planned and were inaccessible to working people, the activists said.

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Wicker Park Fest, the Comedy Exposition, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 02:26 PM

Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito premiere their new show Take My Wife at the Comedy Exposition on Sat 7/23. - MEGAN BAKER
  • MEgan Baker
  • Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito premiere their new show Take My Wife at the Comedy Exposition on Sat 7/23.

There's plenty to do this weekend to beat the heat. Here are our recommendations:

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Bassist Peter Brendler gets some help pushing his mainstream postbop off the rails

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 02:00 PM

Peter Brendler - ANNA YATSKEVICH
  • Anna Yatskevich
  • Peter Brendler

New York bassist Peter Brendler has been a rising figure in the city's jazz mainstream for the past decade or so. He recently released Message in Motion (Posi-Tone), his second album as a leader (not counting a 2013 duo recording with guitarist John Abercrombie, The Angle Below). It's another knockout, working solidly within postbop orthodoxy while pushing against its strictures, thanks largely to the strong players with whom the bassist surrounds himself— and none contribute more powerfully than trumpeter Peter Evans. In fact, it's Evans who pretty much transforms the album from a strong postbop session into a recording that's stunned me—when I listen to it, I alternate between laughing at the trumpeter's nonchalant audacity and falling speechless at his ability to work inside the tradition, leaving it a sere husk in his wake.

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Scenes from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 12:50 PM

rnc_2016_-_july_21_2016_1018.jpg

During this week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, photographer Joeff Davis documented the good, the bad, and the ugly (lots of ugly, actually). The result is a fascinating look at the GOP elites (Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich), D-list celebs (Scott Baio, Don King), regular Trump supporters waving signs with slogans like "Hillary for prison," and protesters outside Quicken Loans Arena chanting "Stop Trump!" And then there's the candidate himself in all his fake-tanned and wispy-haired glory, quick on the draw with finger guns, posed next to his VP pick, Mike Pence, his wife Melania, and his gang of slick progeny. With his camera, Davis manages to capture the feverish cocktail of fear, anger, absurdity, and desperation in and around the convention, among Trump delegates and anti-Trump demonstrators alike. Eyes bulge, mouths are agape, sweat beads on foreheads. Uncertainty and violence loom. Donald J. Trump could become president of the United States.

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The Witness revisits a story falsified in search of a higher truth

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 11:00 AM

Kitty Genovese
  • Kitty Genovese
The Witness, opening Friday at Gene Siskel Film Center, tells a story we all think we know: in March 1964, a 28-year-old bar manager named Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death late one night as she returned home to her apartment in Kew Gardens, Queens, her screams unheeded by her neighbors in another apartment building across the street. "For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens," wrote Martin Gansberg in the New York Times two weeks after the crime.

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Dreezy could take tips from Sharkula on dealing with tracks that feel their length

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 07:00 AM

dreezycover.jpg

One of Chicago's biggest hip-hop releases this month comes from rapper-singer Seandrea Sledge, better known as Dreezy, a south-side native who now lives in LA—last Friday, Interscope released her full-length studio debut, No Hard Feelings. In an XXL interview in June, Dreezy said Interscope has helped her develop as an artist: "I think before I got signed I didn't realize how big my sound was or how far I can take it. I still don't. But when I got to the label they would just have me try different stuff." She credits Interscope with her recent slow-burning hit, "Body," featuring Jeremih (the lone Chicago guest on No Hard Feelings).

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Local Donald Trump delegate dumped by Illinois GOP for racist Facebook post, and other news

Posted By on 07.22.16 at 05:00 AM

Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland - AP PHOTO/CAROLYN KASTER
  • AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
  • Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Friday, July 22, 2016. Have a great weekend!

  • Weather: Heat wave continues with potentially dangerous heat index

The heat wave continues Friday, with a high of 92 and a low of 76. The heat index of up to 108 could be dangerous, so make sure you stay hydrated and stay cool. A thunderstorm is possible during the day. [AccuWeather]

  • Illinois Republicans dump north-side Trump delegate for racist Facebook post

The Illinois Republican Party has revoked the Republican National Convention credentials of north-side Donald Trump delegate Lori Gayne for "racist comments and threats of violence" on a social media post, according to the Sun-Times. Gayne was elected as a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention from the Fifth Congressional District. [Sun-Times]

  • Analysis: Public school principals set to lose $140 million in funding

Chicago Public Schools is claiming that there will be no funding cuts for classrooms in the 2016-2017 school year, but a data analysis by DNAinfo Chicago disputes this. Principals will have "$140 million less to spend this year than last year in classrooms across the city," according to the news organization. [DNAinfo Chicago]

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

What does it mean to be a white ally?

Posted By on 07.21.16 at 05:02 PM

Demonstrators protest outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home on December 29, 2015. - SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
  • Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Demonstrators protest outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home on December 29, 2015.

A line of white people snaked around the entrance of Saint Agatha's Catholic Church in North Lawndale Wednesday. Inside the sanctuary the Chicago chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) was convening the first in a series of workshops called "Ally Is a Verb: Finding Your Role in the Movement for Black Liberation."

There had been such immense interest in the event that SURJ had to cap attendance at 200 people and convene a second, simultaneous workshop for another 80 people in Wicker Park.

The Chicago chapter of SURJ is part of a national network that aims to educate and mobilize white people "to act as part of a multiracial majority for justice with passion and accountability"—in other words, to bring white people into conversations about racism and their roles in perpetuating it, and mobilize them to collaborate with nonwhite people working to counteract racial injustice. Founded in response to racist backlash in the wake of Barack Obama's election, many SURJ chapters have transitioned from education- to action-oriented work since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson almost two years ago. This workshop was intended to prompt white people to grapple with their privilege and explore ways they could participate in the movement for racial justice.

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