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A look back at Britney Spears’ conservatorship



Spears has yet to address the court since her court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, filed to suspend her father Jamie Spears as the conservator of her estimated $60 million estate last year. The elder Spears had been the conservator of her estate since 2008, along with attorney Andrew Wallet, following a series of personal issues that played out publicly for the singer. Following Wallet’s resignation in 2019, Spears had been solely responsible for overseeing her finances until Judge Brenda Penny appointed Bessemer Trust in November 2020 to serve as co-conservator.

The highly anticipated hearing has members of the media and supporters of Spears clamoring for a seat in the courtroom. Although Spears is expected to appear virtually, the Los Angeles County Superior Court has already told members of the media they are going to have an overflow courtroom where spectators can listen remotely to the proceedings, because seating will be limited.

Here’s a timeline of the events leading to the hearing.

Spears is taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she undergoes drug and alcohol testing and a psychiatric evaluation after a custody dispute at her home.

Late January, 2008

Spears is hospitalized again, this time at the University of California-Los Angeles Medical Center and is released nearly one week later.

February 1, 2008

Jamie Spears, Britney’s father, files a petition with the Los Angeles County Superior Court to place his daughter under a temporary probate conservatorship in the wake of her hospitalizations.

February 6, 2008

Jamie and Lynne Spears release a statement following their daughter’s release from the hospital. “As parents of an adult child in the throes of a mental health crisis, we were extremely disappointed this morning to learn that over the recommendation of her treating psychiatrist, our daughter Britney was released from the hospital that could best care for her and keep her safe,” the statement read, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

“We are deeply concerned about our daughter’s safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk. There are conservatorship orders in place created to protect our daughter that are being blatantly disregarded. We ask only that the court’s orders be enforced so that a tragedy may be averted.”

October 28, 2008

Britney Spears’ court-ordered conservatorship is made permanent by Judge Reva Goetz. The singer’s father, along with attorney Andrew Wallet are made co-conservators of her estate, with her father being the conservator of her person, overseeing her medical care.

November 2018

Jamie Spears is hospitalized for intestinal issues. He spends 28 days at the Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas before continuing recovery at home.

January 4, 2019

Spears announces she is taking an indefinite work hiatus and is postponing her “Domination” residency in Las Vegas to focus on her family, citing her father’s recent health issues.

March 2019

The singer enters a 30-day voluntary residential treatment facility, according to sources close to her who spoke to CNN. She takes to social media to say that she is taking “me time.” The hashtag #FreeBritney begins circulating on social media around the same time.

Spring 2019

Andrew Wallet resigns as co-conservator of the singer’s estate and Jamie Spears becomes the sole conservator of Britney’s person and estate.

May 6, 2019

Lynne Spears files a legal motion to be kept informed of all matters regarding her daughter’s medical condition, according to court filings in the case obtained by CNN.

May 10, 2019

Spears attends an annual conservatorship court hearing and walks into court holding hands with her mother. At the time, a source with direct knowledge of the hearing told CNN the singer requested to end her conservatorship.

September 9, 2019

Jodi Montgomery is appointed temporary conservator of Spears’ person, to oversee her health and medical decisions.

March 2020

Spears travels to her family home in Kentwood, Louisiana, where she quarantines for two weeks with her parents and sister, Jamie Lynn.

July 23, 2020

Britney’s brother, Bryan Spears does a podcast interview in which he discusses his sister’s conservatorship.

“In general, I think, you know, [Jamie has] done the best he could given the situation he was put in. You know, we’ve had to, like, work together as a family to kind of keep it all going … She’s always wanted to get out of it [the conservatorship].”

August 31, 2020

Britney Spears’ court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, requests Jamie Spears be removed as conservator of the singer’s estate and requests Judge Brenda Penny enlist Bessemer Trust, a wealth and investment management firm, to oversee Britney’s estate.

November 10, 2020

Judge Penny declines to remove Jamie Spears as conservator of Britney’s estate but appoints Bessemer Trust to act as co-conservator.

December 15, 2020

Jamie Spears speaks to CNN, saying he misses his daughter and that he hasn’t spoken to her in months. “I love my daughter and I miss her very much. When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally. I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family.”

February 5, 2021

The New York Times debuts a documentary spotlighting Spears’ conservatorship called, “Framing Britney Spears.” It sparks international interest into the ongoing conservatorship, with many calling on it to end.

February 12, 2021

Justin Timberlake, who dated Spears between 1998 and 2002, apologizes to Spears following the documentary in which his seeming lack of compassion for the troubles she encountered following the couple’s breakup was portrayed in a negative light.

March 2, 2021

Jamie Spears speaks to CNN through his attorney Vivian Thoreen, “[Jamie] would love nothing more than to see Britney not need a conservatorship,” Thoreen tells CNN. “Whether or not there is an end to the conservatorship really depends on Britney. If she wants to end her conservatorship, she can file a petition to end it.”

March 23, 2021

Britney Spears’ attorney petitions the court to permanently replace Jamie Spears with Jodi Montgomery as the conservator of the singer’s person.

March 30, 2021

Spears takes to Instagram to say that the New York Times documentary made her cry for two weeks.

April 27, 2021

Ingham states that “Britney wants to address the court directly.” A hearing is scheduled for June 23 for Spears to speak about her conservatorship.

May 3, 2021

Spears criticizes the documentaries being made about her conservatorship in an Instagram post.

“So many documentaries about me this year with other people’s takes on my life … These documentaries are so hypocritical … they criticize the media and then do the same thing ?????” Spears went on to write: “I don’t know y’all but I’m thrilled to remind you all that although I’ve had some pretty tough times in my life … I’ve had waaaayyyy more amazing times in my life and unfortunately my friends … I think the world is more interested in the negative…”



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Rachel Zegler to play Snow White in Disney live-action film



Zegler, who will make her feature film debut in December in the long-awaited Steven Spielberg-directed “West Side Story,” has been cast to play iconic Disney princess Snow White in an upcoming live-action reimagining of the story, Disney confirmed to CNN.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale,” director Marc Webb said in a statement.

Webb, whose other films include “(500) Days of Summer” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” has been signed on to direct the new take on Snow since May 2019.

Production is anticipated to begin in 2022.



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Pete Davidson has ‘no idea’ if he’ll be back on ‘Saturday Night Live’



Pete Davidson says he doesn’t know if he’ll be returning to “Saturday Night Live” in the fall.
The comedian appeared on “Gold Derby,” where he addressed speculation that he would not be back next season.

“Speaking for myself, I don’t know what the plan is,” he said. “Everything is kind of up in the air right now just depending on scheduling. It is my seventh year, and that’s what the contract is usually for. Right now it’s still, it’s all up in the air. I gotta talk to Lorne [Michaels]. It’s a big cast, there’s a lot of new guys in there, and there’s a lot of great new talent that it’s their time to shine. I have no idea what’s going on right now.”

Davidson talked about growing up on the show and the Season 46 finale of “SNL” amid the pandemic.

“I started there with acne and left with tattoos,” he said. “It was a very crazy, long period of time and I wasn’t ready for the season to end yet because I was really having so much fun. The last show was a full audience for the first time and just hearing that full laugh was so emotional. It made me very emotional to be able to perform in front of a full crowd again.”



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Lorde talks about her new album on ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’



The singer revealed that the new album’s artwork, which Colbert said he was not allowed to show, was shot by a friend.

“My friend just took it,” Lorde said. “It was just me jumping over a friend on the beach. It’s a little hardcore, but it was so joyful to me. It felt innocent and playful and a little bit feral.”

The release of “Solar Power,” will be Lorde’s first new music since releasing “Melodrama” in 2017.

Colbert also asked whether she was looking forward to performing live in front of audiences again.

“I’m really excited, yeah,” she said. “It sort of doesn’t seem real, but I’m super keen. This album is so joyful and big and such a good thing to experience with a bunch of people, so I’m glad the timing worked out that we could do a tour.”

Lorde, who was interviewed from New Zealand, talked about how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled there.

“We’re lucky to have a really calm, steady government,” she said.



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Samsung Galaxy M22 Expected to Support 25W Fast Charging


Samsung Galaxy M22 will come with 25W fast charging support, a listing on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) site has suggested. The unannounced Samsung phone has apparently received the FCC certification with the model number SM-M225FV/DS. Although there aren’t many new details to gather from the US FCC listing, the development suggests the Samsung Galaxy M22 could be Samsung’s most affordable phone with 25W charging support. The South Korean company is rumoured to launch the Galaxy M22 with a 6,000mAh battery.

As initially reported by MySmartPrice, the US FCC site shows that the Samsung phone with the model number SM-225FV/DS supports 9V/ 1.67A (15W) and 9V/ 2.77A (25W) charging capabilities. Since the model number appears to be associated with the Samsung Galaxy M22, the 25W charging could naturally be one of its key highlights.

It is, however, important to note that while the Samsung Galaxy M22 appears to have 25W charging support on the hardware side, it is not likely to deliver a faster charging experience out-of-the-box, as the phone is likely to come bundled with a 15W charger (EP-TA200). This could be a cost-saving move by the company.

Samsung Galaxy M22 specifications (expected)

The US FCC certification site also indicates that the Samsung Galaxy M22 would come with Bluetooth v5.0 (Bluetooth LE), NFC, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity. The phone also appears to have dual-SIM support along with 4G LTE.

If we look at the rumour mill, the Samsung Galaxy M22 could share similarities with the Galaxy A22 that debuted earlier this month alongside the Galaxy A22 5G. However, the upcoming M-series phone is said to have a larger 6,000mAh battery over the 5,000mAh one available on the Galaxy A22.

Other specifications of the Samsung Galaxy M22 may include a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, MediaTek Helio G80 SoC, and a 48-megapixel primary rear camera sensor. The smartphone could also run on Android 11 with the latest One UI on top.

The listing on the US FCC site shows that the Samsung Galaxy M22 received the certification from the regulator just Monday, June 21. It is, thus, safe to assume that Samsung may take some more time to make its new smartphone official.


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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips.
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Google Drops Engineering Residency After Protests Over ‘Systemic Pay Inequities’





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Emmys will now allow winners to remove gender-specific terms from statues



According to the official Emmys website: “No performer category titled ‘Actor’ or ‘Actress’ has ever had a gender requirement for submissions. Now, nominees and (or) winners in any performer category titled ‘Actor’ or ‘Actress’ may request that their nomination certificate and Emmy statuette carry the term “Performer” in place of Actor or Actress.”

The new gender-inclusive option will be incorporated into this year’s event..

In other Emmys news, the rules for eligibility of documentary films have changed, and will keep out films that had also been eligible for Oscar consideration.

The 2021 Emmy Awards will announce nominees on July 13.



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Google Drops Engineering Residency After Protests Over ‘Inequities’


Alphabet’s Google plans to shut down a long-running programme aimed at entry-level engineers from underrepresented backgrounds after participants said it enforced “systemic pay inequities,” according to internal correspondence seen by Reuters.

Google confirmed it was replacing the Engineering Residency with a new initiative, saying it is “always evaluating programmes to ensure they evolve and adapt over time to meet the needs of our employees.”

Google last year pledged to improve retention for underrepresented employee groups.

Critics have long argued that Google and its tech industry peers favour white, Asian and male workers in hiring, promotions and pay. Companies have grown more attuned to concerns about workforce diversity since the Black Lives Matter protests a year ago.

The Google residency, often referred to as “Eng Res,” has since 2014 given graduates from hundreds of schools a chance to work on different teams, receive training and prove themselves for a permanent job over the course of a year. It offered a cohort of peers for bonding, three former residents said.

Residents were Google’s “most diverse pool” of software engineers and came “primarily from underrepresented groups,” according to a June 2020 presentation and an accompanying letter to management that one source said over 500 current and former residents signed.

Compared with other software engineers, residents received the lowest possible pay for their employment level, a smaller year-end bonus and no stock, creating a compensation deficit “in the mid-tens of thousands of dollars,” the presentation said.

Nearly all residents converted to regular employees, according to the presentation. Many alumni years later have continued to feel the “negative effect” of their starting pay on their current salary, it said. Google said it worked to eliminate long-term disparities when hiring residents permanently.

The letter came after Google gave big donations to promote racial justice amid the global outcry over the police murder of George Floyd. Black, Latinx and female staff “deserve more than just ‘the opportunity to be at Google,'” the letter said.

“Google is willing to invest large sums of money in issues of racial inequity outside of the workplace, but still seems unwilling to address or even acknowledge the role that the Eng Res programme plays in enforcing systemic pay inequities,” it said.

Vice President Maggie Johnson emailed alumni on June 2 saying Google would replace the residency with a new programme it was devising for 2022, called Early Career Immersion (ECI). The message, seen by Reuters, did not explain reasons for the switch but said ECI would include mentoring and training.

The company said the program,e would provide permanent employment. Concerns about being offered a job made the engineering residency feel “probationary,” the Google employees’ presentation said.

The old programme tried to provide “a wide range of high potential engineers” a chance to “hone their skills and gain relevant experience as they start their careers,” Google said in a statement. “Our Early Career Immersion onboarding programme will provide a new approach.”

Google continues to run other fixed-term residencies, including 26-month roles working on internal technical systems and an 18-month programme for artificial intelligence researchers. The company said it had no updates on the other residencies.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


It’s Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.



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Google in EU Crosshairs Again With Advertising Antitrust Inquiry


Google was in the EU antitrust spotlight again on Tuesday as regulators opened an investigation into whether its digital advertising business gives the Alphabet unit an unfair advantage over rivals and advertisers.

The European Union competition enforcer’s move marks a new front against Google and follows more than EUR 8 billion (roughly Rs. 70,665.72 crores) in fines over the past decade for blocking rivals in online shopping, Android smartphones and online advertising.

The European Commission said it would investigate whether Google distorts competition by restricting third party access to user data for advertising purposes on websites and apps, while reserving such data for its own use.

“We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Google generated $147 billion (roughly Rs. 10,92,740.31 crores) in revenue from online ads last year, more than any other company in the world, with ads including search, YouTube and Gmail accounting for the bulk of its overall sales and profits.

About 16 percent of its revenue came from the company’s display or network business, in which other media companies use Google technology to sell ads on their website and apps.

“We will also be looking at Google’s policies on user tracking to make sure they are in line with fair competition,” Vestager added.

Google said it would engage constructively with the Commission.

“Thousands of European businesses use our advertising products to reach new customers and fund their websites every single day. They choose them because they’re competitive and effective,” a Google spokesperson said.

The Commission said its investigation would span Google services, including Display & Video 360 (DV360) and Google Ads to buy online display advertisements on YouTube, Google Ad Manager which is used by publishers to auction ad space, and AdX which is one of several marketplaces which can manage auctions.

Google’s plan to remove browser cookies and also to stop tracking Android users via a tool known as an advertising identifier will also be looked at.

Reuters reported exclusively last week that the EU competition enforcer would investigate Google’s digital advertising business before the end of the year.

Google’s adtech business is also under fire in the United States, with the Justice Department, joined by some states, suing last year for abusing its dominance in search ads. A group of states led by Texas in a later lawsuit focused on anti-competitive behaviour on the network side of the house.

A new EU inquiry could end up targeting all of Google’s ad empire. According to market researcher eMarketer, Google could control 27 percent of global online ad spending this year, including 57 percent for search ads and 10 percent of display.

While the figures may not appear to represent a monopoly at first glance, advertisers and rivals contend that Google’s various software play a role in so many facets of the market that the company is impossible to avoid. 

© Thomson Reuters 2021


It’s Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.



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AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution Cross-Platform Upscaling Now Available


AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling feature for games will be available today, starting with seven games and expanding to another 12 in the near future. Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR) is AMD’s alternative to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Supersampling (DLSS) upscaling technology. Both work differently, but are intended to improve gaming performance by allowing games to be rendered at lower-than-native resolutions, reducing the strain on a GPU, and then upscaled to the desired native resolution without severely impacting visual quality. This is especially relevant when using hardware-intensive ray tracing visual effects.

According to AMD, its approach with FSR is based on open standards, and it will run on a wide range of hardware including desktop and laptop GPUs that are many generations old, and also GPUs integrated into CPUs. One interesting aspect of this technology is that it is vendor-agnostic and will run even on rival Nvidia’s current and previous-gen hardware. While DLSS is restricted to Nvidia’s premium GeForce RTX tier of GPUs, FSR is said to run even on older and lower-end GeForce GTX models. This could help extend the useful life of older hardware.

There are four FSR presets – Ultra Quality, Quality, Balanced, and Performance, each of which targets a different input resolution so that the target image is scaled by between 1.3X and 2X. AMD claims a 2.4X increase in frame rates on average at 4K in Performance mode. Game developers may tweak how FSR impacts sharpening in each game. AMD has also said it will continue to update and improve its algorithms.

amd fsr modes amd amd fsr

Native image quality vs claimed compromises in each FSR mode

 

The seven games that will support FSR at launch time are: Godfall, Anno 1800, Terminator: Resistance, Kingshunt, 22 Racing Series, The Riftbreaker, and Evil Genius 2. Upcoming titles and ones that will soon be updated to support FSR include Far Cry 6, DOTA 2, Resident Evil Village, Myst, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Farming Simulator 22. In addition, a huge number of game developers and studios are on board, including EA, Ubisoft, Capcom, Warner Bros Games, Valve, Nixxes, and Crystal Dynamics.

AMD’s platform-agnostic open source push is significant, since the AMD’s RDNA2 GPU architecture powers the current-gen as well as previous-gen Xbox and PlayStation game consoles. It was recently announced that Samsung’s next-gen flagship Exynos SoC will also have an integrated RDNA2 graphics component, and Tesla’s latest in-cabin entertainment system will include an RDNA2-powered gaming platform . It is not known yet whether or how AMD’s hardware customers will implement this new feature.

FSR can be used on Windows and Linux, and supports the DirectX 11 and 12 as well as Vulkan APIs. Unlike DLSS, scaling is completely spatial and not temporal, which means it detects and reconstructs edges and textures but does not need to extrapolate data from previously generated frames. It also does not require per-game neural network training. AMD touts its developer-friendly approach and says they will need only minimal effort to integrate FSR into games.

As of now, FSR is supported on the Radeon RX 6000 and 6000M series; RX 5000 and 5000M series; Radeon VII; Radeon Vega series; RX 600, RX 500, and select RX 400 models; as well as all desktop and mobile Ryzen APUs. On the green side, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 and 20 series as well as the GTX 16 series and GTX 10 series are supported.

AMD’s own performance figures show Godfall running at 59fps average at 4K on a Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU, and that increases to 87fps in Ultra Quality mode or up to 145fps in Performance mode. On a laptop with a Radeon RX 6800M GPU, the same game at 1440p ran at 66fps average without FSR, which jumped to between 84fps and 108fps depending on the FSR mode. As for the still-popular Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, Kingshunt running at 1440p scaled from 71fps average without FSR to between 93fps and 131fps with this feature enabled.



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Billie Eilish apologizes after video surfaces of singer mouthing racial slur



Seven-time Grammy winner Eilish posted a statement on her Instagram Stories Monday addressing the edited compilation of videos, which was widely circulated earlier this month.

In one clip, Eilish mouthed an anti-Asian racist slur and in another video she apparently imitated an accent.

“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” the 19-year-old wrote, adding that she was 13 or 14 at the time.

“This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family.

“Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”

Eilish also addressed the “silly gibberish made up voice,” saying she has used the voice her whole life when talking to pets, friends and family.

“It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent, or culture in the SLIGHTEST,” she wrote.

“Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” added the singer.

“I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality,” wrote Eilish.

“We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you. Thank you for taking the time to read this.”

Eilish recently released a single named “Your Power” and her new album, “Happier Than Ever,” has a July 30 release date.





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