Obama State of the Union met with a thud in Congress

President Obama laid out nearly two dozen proposals, promises, and calls for Congress to act Tuesday night in his fourth State of the Union address. But his speech was met by a brick wall of Republican opposition.President Obama laid out nearly two dozen proposals, promises, and calls for Congress to act Tuesday night in his fourth State of the Union address. But his speech was met by a brick wall of Republican opposition.


Apple Loses iPhone Trademark Exclusivity In Brazil As Regulator Delivers Its Ruling

gradiente-iphone

Apple has officially lost exclusive rights over the use of the iPhone trademark in Brazil, according to the BBC. The news was telegraphed earlier via a leak that said Brazil’s regulatory body was planning to side with IGB Electronics S.A. in the case and revoke Apple’s exclusive ownership of the term “iPhone” as it relates to electronic devices.

The Brazilian Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) explained to the BBC that its decision only applies to handset devices, and that Apple can still sell its own iPhone with that name in Brazil, unless IGB exercises its option of suing for complete, exclusive control over the trademark. Apple wanted full exclusivity, the INPI told the BBC, on the grounds that IGB had not used the trademark until December of 2012. That’s when the Brazilian company released an Android-based handset also called the iPhone.

IGB had registered the name a full seven years before Apple’s device made its first appearance, however. Apple is appealing the ruling, according to the INPI, and for got reason given the growing contribution Brazil makes to Apple’s bottom line. IGB also earlier expressed interest in the idea of selling the trademark to Apple for its exclusive use, but it looks like Apple wants to continue to explore its options through regulatory channels before sitting down at the table with the Brazilian company.

AOptix Lands DoD Contract To Turn Smartphones Into Biometric Data-Gathering Tools

aoptix

Smartphones may be invading pockets and purses across the world, but AOptix may soon bring those mobile devices to some far-flung war zones. The Campbell, Calif.-based company announced earlier today that it (along with government-centric IT partner CACI) nabbed a $3 million research contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to bring its “Smart Mobile Identity” concept to fruition.

The company kept coy about what that actually means in its release, but Wired has the full story — the big goal is o create an accessory of sorts capable of attaching to a commercially-available smartphone that can capture high-quality biometric data— think a subject’s thumb prints, face/eye scans, and voice recordings.

At first glance, it really doesn’t sound like that tall an order — smartphones are substantially more powerful than they were just a few years ago, and that’s the sort of trend that isn’t going to be bucked anytime soon. That continual improvement in terms of horsepower certainly can’t hurt considering how much data the smartphone+sensor combo is going to have to continually collect and transmit, and the company confirmed to Wired that the end product will feature an “intuitive interface” that should ensure that any soldier who’s owned a modern phone should be able to pick it up very quickly.

AOptix hasn’t publicly committed to one mobile platform over another just yet, but building a sensor device to interface with an Android device seems to be likely option at this point. After all, the U.S. Department of Defense is no stranger to Google’s mobile OS — it gave Dell’s rather awful Streak 5 tablet the go-ahead for governmental use back in late 2011. More recent reports have shown that the DoD is has also responded favorably to the notion of iPhones being used around the Pentagon, but I suspect that acquiring a fleet of Android devices for use in the field wouldn’t be quite as expensive as buying iDevices en masse. Couple the cost-argument with the highly open nature of Android development (something that could come in handy when crafting the sort of software necessary to power this whole thing).

If the notion of the DoD moving to embrace consumer tech is a little surprising though, you may just have to get used to it. Deputy CIO Major General Robert Wheeler noted in an address at this year’s CTIA MobileCon that the Defense Department’s mobile strategy involves sourcing innovative, mass-market solutions to existing issues so expect to hear more of these sorts of deals in the months and years to come.

Steve Martin Becomes A First-Time Father At Age 67, Joins Our List Of The 12 Oldest Celebrity Dads

Steve Martin becomes a dad at 77

Whoa daddy! It’s a happy time for Steve Martin, as the comedy god has recently become a father for the first time…at the age of 67! His wife Anne Stringfield apparently gave birth way back in December, and the pair have managed to keep their bundle a secret til now.

“They’ve had a baby, and how they kept it a secret nobody knows,” an insider told the New York Post. “Steve’s very private. They are thrilled. They worked hard to have the baby.” Despite starting to get up there in years, we have no doubt that the wild and crazy guy will be one hell of a wild and crazy dad!

But wait, there’s more! Fellow laugh riot/rival to his SNL hosting record Alec Baldwin also has some baby news. The artist forever known in our hearts as 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy has taken the opposite route as Martin, and made a very public announcement that he and new wife  Hilaria Thomas are expecting their first child as a couple. He went on Extra, where Hilaria is a correspondent, and the pair broke the news together.

“We’ve having a baby. [It] was a surprise, a wonderful surprise,” she gushed. And it really was a surprise. Apparently Baldwin didn’t even know she was taking a pregnancy test until he heard some bathroom yelling. “There’s a scream I heard, which is a scream normally reserved [for] if there’s a spider in the house. It really is the most amazing thing. I’m lucky.”

Alec will be turning 55 in April, be we have no doubt that he and buddy Steve will be some seriously great (and seriously) amazing dads. Just think of the play dates! Although they might be “getting up there,” age really is just a number. Plenty of dudes have done the dad thing late in life. Check out the gallery above as we count down the 12 oldest celebrity dads of all time!

[Photo: Getty Images]

Beyonce Sparkles At The Premiere Of Her New Documentary, Life Is But A Dream

Beyonce Life Is But A Dream Premiere

Beyoncé‘s new HBO documentary, Life Is But A Dream, is set to premiere on HBO this Saturday night. While we have already canceled all of our plans that night in anticipation of spending the evening on the couch soaking in the experience, Bey unveiled the film at New York City’s historic Ziegfield Theater last night for her most fabulous and well-to-do friends, including dapper husband Jay-Z, pantsless sis Solange, and Her Royal Highness, Queen Oprah Winfrey, among others.


We haven’t heard much from Beyonce lately; it’s almost like she’s been living in a cave or something! We kid, we kid, we’ve been reveling in King Bey’s recent re-emergence into the world after spending most of the last year adjusting to motherhood. Speaking of which, little Blue-Ivy Carter was nowhere to be seen (#SADFACE) at either last night’s premiere or after party at the super chic Christie’s, but we’re not hatin’ — after all, what good is having hundreds of millions of dollars if you can’t afford to spring for a babysitter? Bey must’ve gotten the memo that Kate Upton and Katy Perry recently issued about the Return Of Cleavage, as she put plenty of decolletage on display in her sheer and sparkly Elie Saab gown. (As Tierra from The Bachelor would say, “NEVER LET THEM STEAL YOUR SPARKLE!”) She walked the red carpet solo, looking so “Gone With The Wind Fabulous” that no one would dare get her confused with Kenya Moore.

Speaking of the Real Housewives, Kenya wasn’t in attendance last night, but her RHOA castmater and former supermodel Cynthia Bailey did show up sporting a pair of chunky black frames. Queen O blessed the red carpet with her presence — more on that in a few!– as did The-Dream, Tyson Beckford, and the legendary Angela Bassett. Husband Jay-Z skipped the premiere (we’re guessing that HBO got him a screener copy of the movie?), but made sure to show up to the afterparty with besties Russell Simmons and Chris Rock.

Our pals over at VH1 News were on the red carpet last night, and we’ll have some lovely Beyonce anecdotes/praise from the likes of Oprah and The-Dream to share with you momentarily!

[Photo: Getty Images]

‘Newborn’ photos of adopted 13-year-old go viral

Adopted at age 10, Latrell Higgins has no baby photos. He and his mom decided to remedy that with a tongue-in-cheek "newborn" photo shoot featuring the lanky teenager posed in typical cutesy baby poses. His angelic "birth announcement" has gone viral, with thousands of people responding to its message of a parent's love for her child, at any age.Adopted at age 10, Latrell Higgins has no baby photos. He and his mom decided to remedy that with a tongue-in-cheek “newborn” photo shoot featuring the lanky teenager posed in typical cutesy baby poses. His angelic “birth announcement” has gone viral, with thousands of people responding to its message of a parent’s love for her child, at any age.