HBO conducts forensic review to understand scope of hack

HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and, right, Emilia Clarke in a scene from the latest season of 'Game of Thrones.'

Richard Plepler chairman and CEO of Home Box Office Inc. speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 25, 2016.
Mike Blake

HBO’s chief said on Wednesday that the company is conducting a forensic review of its computer systems to better understand the scope of a cyber attack that surfaced over the weekend.

Entertainment Weekly reported on Monday that hackers stole 1.5 terabytes of data and leaked online a script or treatment for an upcoming episode of the network’s popular series “Game of Thrones,” along with yet-to-be-broadcast episodes of the series “Ballers” and “Room 104.”

The hack comes at a sensitive time for HBO, as its parent Time Warner Inc is waiting for regulatory approval to sell itself to AT&T Inc in an $85.4 billion deal announced in October.

An HBO spokesman declined to discuss details of the hack.

Chairman Richard Plepler told employees in a Monday email seen by Reuters that the hackers had stolen “proprietary information,” including some programming.

In his note on Wednesday, he said that some employees had expressed concern about the email system.

“At this time, we do not believe that our email system as a whole has been compromised, but the forensic review is ongoing,” he said.

Plepler’s note said that HBO would hire an outside firm to provide credit monitoring for employees, but did not explain why.

First Fil-Am Internet radio brings a new kind of wave to Southern California

LOS ANGELES—The first thing Charly Pura did when she moved to California from the Philippines at age 15 was to turn on the radio.
She dialed through all the stations and discovered the diversity of music playing on air. However, she was disappointed to find out that, although Spanish and Chinese music were easily accessible, Filipino music was nowhere to be found.

“There are lots of Filipinos in California, and it didn’t make sense that we don’t have our own radio station,” Pura said.

After attending college and working with Southern California stations like KOST 103.5 and Audio8ball.com, she decided to set up Pinoy Frequency.
Launched in April 2013, Pinoy Frequency is the first Filipino American Internet radio destination that showcases Filipino events, culture and music all over the globe.

The non-profit operation based in West Covina aims to give Pinoy independent musicians the exposure and limelight that is usually hard to come by.
The station currently has one show on the air, “Flip Jams with Charly,” a two-hour smorgasboard of Fil-Am independent music.

Pura hosts the show, serves as program director and runs it along with several volunteers and a silent business partner. She and her team prepare for three broadcasts at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in different time zones: the Philippines, UK (GBT), and Los Angeles (PST).
Growing up, her affinity for tuning in to the radio helped develop her diverse taste in music.

“I always had my Walkman with me. I always listened to FM, switching from one station to the next. I make sure also that I have a blank tape in my Walkman so I can record the songs I like on the radio,” Pura said.

“Because of this, my music interest is a bit eclectic because the radio opened me up to different music genres like grunge, dance, pop, rock, rap, electronic and alternative,” she added.
Some of the featured bands on the station are in bicoastal while others are just starting to make their mark in their respective countries.

Bands like New Day in August, Suns of Asylum, and Kuya Kurt have made their world premieres on Pinoy Frequency.
Kitchie Nadal, a singer-songwriter who established herself as a formidable artist in the Philippines, was featured on the show couple weeks ago while she was doing her

U.S. tour with rock band Kamikazee.
Fil-Ams like Spazzkid, an up-and-coming electronic artist, and the indie band Ten to Midnight, who will be performing at this weekend’s Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture, have also been gaining bigger fan bases here in

Dom Martin's vestments: Indigenized robes for worship


MANILA -- A collection of 60 liturgical vestments from 20 ethno-linguistic groups is currently on display at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.
The exhibit, entitled “Vested for Worship, Wrapped in Identity”, showcases the designs of Benedictine monk, Dom Martin Hizon Gomez, OSB from the Abbey of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
Dom Martin studied at the SLIMS Fashion and Arts School from 1967-1968 and had a 22-year career as a fashion designer before entering the monastery.
The Catholic Church has quite recently adopted the concept of “enculturation”, which means that songs -- and now vestments -- can be indigenized. Vestments can make use of fabrics belonging to the cultural identity of each parish.
Amazed by the country’s rich cultural heritage, Dom Martin was prompted to ask, “We have all these beautiful materials. How come we never use them for the Church?”
Dom Martin however had to make certain that fabrics and other ornaments from the various ethno-linguistic groups in the country remain available. “If I am going to promote the use of indigenous materials, I should be assured of the supply. I know they are beautiful but do people still weave them? I might be creating a market but then all of a sudden, there might be no supply,” he said.
Acting as his own researcher and anthropologist, Dom Martin set out on a journey that would take him from his native Mindanao to the northernmost parts of Luzon in search of the best materials that would represent the ethno-linguistic groups of the Philippines.
It was a project that would take him four-and-a-half years to complete. Dom Martin traveled and studied 20 ethno-linguistic groups to make sure they are still weaving and can weave for the Church.
The monk sought the help of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), and the Katutubong Pilipino Foundation, whose chairperson Margie Macasaet encouraged him to create a whole collection in time for the Philippine Centennial Celebrations in 1998.
He also checked with his embroiderers in Parañaque and Las Piñas to see if they were still around and working. They were only too glad to help with his project.
“I was very blessed that all the people I approached believed in what I wanted to do — to enculturate liturgical vestments and make them Filipino,” Dom Martin said.
In the field while doing research, Dom Martin realized how remote and inaccessible some of these indigenous groups were, for instance, the “Itneg” in Abra, which he reached after a long trek that included crossing a hanging bridge over a raging river.
“Two days later when I came home, I talked to my brother and I said, please get me an insurance policy. I did not realize this research was going to entail some danger,” he quipped.
The resulting pieces were nothing short of breathtaking. The vestments were done in a variety of fabrics, including abaca and “pinya”, and incorporated the colors of the Itneg, Gaddang, Ifugaos and many other indigenous peoples.
Each piece is totally rendered by hand. The ornaments and embroidery work are intricate and exquisite, fusing in such liturgical symbols as the cross, vines and branches.
According to Dom Martin, the simplicity of the vestments in the early days signified that the Church closely identified itself with the poor. This explains why he left out symbols on the stole --“stola” in Greek -- which means “towel”.
“You do not put symbols on top of symbols. In the early ages, all of these vestments were ordinary clothing. The stola was just a towel that the men used to wipe their faces and hands,” he explained.
”Later on, they had to put emblems and different symbols for catechetical instruction. It served its purpose in those years but at this point in time, they are not strictly necessary, which is why my stoles do not have any additional symbols.”
We have to take pride in our heritage and culture and bring this pride and culture in our liturgical celebrations, he said.
”Only then can we say that our worship has become truly Filipino. Enculturating vestments is very important because when a priest celebrates the Holy Eucharist wearing a vestment using indigenous materials, he is not only clothed for worship, he is wrapped in the Filipino identity,” Dom Martin.
The exhibit runs at the Ayala Museum until September 5. -- PNA


A PWD reacts to DoT’s ‘Experience the Philippines’ ad

The ad, as we all know by now, features a blind retiree living in the Philippines, and able to, ehem, experience the warmth and wonder of the Philippines.
On GMA News-to-Go Tuesday, anchors Howie Severino and Kara David asked Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre if he thought the Philippines was PWD-friendly, especially to the elderly.
His reply was: “We know how much we care for our elderly. I’d like to see the day that we totally give all the benefits to the disabled.”
When grilled about our facilities and infrastructure, ASec Alegre said it was “something we can bring up to a higher level.”
Which sounded a little funny for persons with disability. “The country has non-existent public infrastructure for PWDs,” Ed Geronia, a writer who has had polio since he was a year old, told GMA News Online.
“Inviting over PWD tourists, especially those who are vision-impaired and who are used to navigating themselves in a first-world country may find the Philippines to be a dangerous and hostile place.”
He then lists a number of things that PWDs need, that are lacking in our country:
· There are mostly no tactile paving on the streets for visually-impaired individuals
· There are no accessible pedestrian signals that give out an audio warning when it’s safe to cross the street
· There are hardly Braille markings on public signs, pedestrian crossings, and elevator buttons.
Some existing accessible structures are just made for minimum compliance and are not constructed in accordance with international standards.
Before we start inviting PWDs—and elderly PWDs for that matter—to experience the Philippines, perhaps we first better make sure they'll be safe in our shores.
'It's retirees we're referring to,' DoT ASec Alegre defends the 'Experience the Philippines' ad—GMA News

Plagiarism aside, many people are questioning the Experience the Philippines ad: Just how PWD-friendly is the Philippines?

I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza concert to wow Los Angeles August 12

Ms. Jessa Zaragoza, the Philippines’ “Phenomenal Diva,” is all set to take Los Angeles by storm when she brings her multi-acclaimed concert dubbed “I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza” to the City of Angels on August 12, 2017 at the Aratani Theatre.

The high production value concert marks Jessa’s 20th year in the music and entertainment industry, a career marked by extraordinary professional success and her significant influence on an entire generation of Filipino music lovers all over the world.

As part of her 2017 world tour which kicked off in Manila and Oahu, Hawaii, Jessa’s I AM ME concert series begins at the Cache Creek Resort and Casino in Sacramento, California and culminates at the Aratani Theatre on August 12. The concert features Jessa’s wide musical repertoire and includes collaborative numbers with the “Original Prince of Pinoy Pop”, Dingdong Avanzado, together with up and coming artist Jayda Avanzado.

The I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza concept show has received very good reviews capped by several nominations during the 29th Aliw Awards: Best Female Performance in a Concert for Jessa Zaragoza; Best New Female Artist for Jayda Avanzado and Best Concert Stage Direction for Dingdong Avanzado. Jessa eventually went on to garner the top award as Best Female Performance in a Concert during Aliw Awards night.

Jessa began her career in show business in 1987 at the age of eight when she joined Little Miss Philippines, a popular beauty pageant for young girls. In the early 1990s, she joined German Moreno’s That’s Entertainment, Philippine TV’s longest running variety show. She also appeared in several TV sitcoms and movies under Viva Films before embarking on her phenomenal musical career.

As a musical artist, Jessa enthralled her audience with her first album entitled Just Can’t Help Feelin’, gaining stellar status when her single Bakit Pa topped the charts and became some sort of “national anthem” for Filipinos all over the world. Jessa’s album turned platinum eight times, making it one of the biggest selling debut albums in Philippine music history. Not content to rest on her laurels, Jessa continued to produce one hit album after another, churning out unforgettable songs such as Di Ba’t Ikaw, Paano Kaya, Baliw na Puso, Siya ba ang Dahilan, Ibigay Mo Na and Hindi na Bale.

Jessa also ventured into films, starring in several motion pictures including Bakit Pa, the movie that launched her career as an actor under Octo-Arts Films.

In December 2012, Jessa was inducted into the Walk of Fame for her contributions to the Philippine entertainment industry. That same year, she released the album Pag Wala Na ang Ulan, from which almost all songs became theme songs or were used as sound track for GMA’s telenovelas and Koreanovelas. Two years later, Jessa won the Star Music Listener’s Choice Award for Bumabalik Ang Nagdaan, a song she interpreted for composer SJ Gandia.

Jessa is married to Certified OPM Hitmaker and “Original Prince of Pinoy Pop” Dingdong Avanzado. They have a daughter, 13-year-old Jayda, a musical artist in her own right and all set to embark on a musical career of her own. In 2006, Jessa and Dingdong set a new record as the very first married couple to release an all-duet OPM album dubbed Laging Ikaw under Universal records. Dingdong himself will hold his first ever solo live concert in Southern California on July 21 and 22 at Josephine’s Bistro and Music Bar in Cerritos.

Produced by Mendrei and Cecile Leelin of Rosy Cheeks Production, the I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza concert features all three musical artists together in one venue as Dingdong and Jayda join Jessa for a tour de force performance that showcases the best in Philippine entertainment. The show promises to be a fun evening filled with several unexpected creative numbers and will likely be the concert that Los Angelenos will not forget.

Tickets are available at Seafood City Supermarkets in Los Angeles County, Leelin Bakery and Café in Cerritos, Eagle Rock, Vermont, West Covina, North Hills and Panorama and Aratani Theatre at 244 S. San Pedro S., Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Bob Dylan accused of plagiarism in Nobel Prize lecture

MANILA – Controversy continues to hound Bob Dylan and his Nobel Prize for Literature, this time, involving allegations of plagiarism in the lecture he delivered for winning the coveted award.
In an article on Slate.com, writer Andrea Pitzer wrote that the singer may have used lines from SparkNotes' Moby-Dick study guide for his award lecture.
Pitzer said she uncovered the similiarites after another writer, Ben Greenman, said that Dylan might have made up a quote from the book.
"Those familiar with Dylan’s music might recall that he winkingly attributed fabricated quotes to Abraham Lincoln in his 'Talkin’ World War III Blues,'" Andrea wrote. "So Dylan making up an imaginary quote is nothing new. However, I soon discovered that the Moby-Dick line Dylan dreamed up last week seems to be cobbled together out of phrases on the website SparkNotes, the online equivalent of CliffsNotes."
Pitzer compared phrases from the SparkNotes study guide on the Herman Melville classic book to Dylan's speech. She noted that from the 78 sentences in Dylan's lecture in reference to Moby-Dick, 20 have similar phrases from SparkNotes.
She also mentioned that some of the terms used did not appear in the novel.
In his speech, Dylan said: "Ahab encounters other whaling vessels, presses the captains for details about Moby." The SparkNotes version said: "...the ship encounters other whaling vessels. Ahab always demands information about Moby Dick from his captains."
Dylan also said in his speech: "Another ship's captain – Captain Boomer – he lost an arm to Moby. But he tolerates that, and he's happy to have survived. He can't accept Ahab's lust for vengeance."
The SparkNotes study guide said: "…a whaling ship whose skipper, Captain Boomer, has lost an arm in an encounter with Moby Dick…. Boomer, happy simply to have survived his encounter, cannot understand Ahab's lust for vengeance."
The breakdown of the texts can be found on Slate.com.
Pitzer said she has reached out to Dylan's recording company, Columbia, to seek clarification from the singer and his management, but has yet to get any feedback.
She also said that it was not the first plagiarism allegation against Dylan. Pitzer cited Dylan's 2001 album "Love and Theft." She said Dylan's use of quotation marks in the title seem "to imply that the album title was itself taken from Eric Lott’s acclaimed history of racial appropriation, Love & Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class."
Dylan was also criticized for his painting exhibit titled "The Asia Series" in 2011, as many pointed out that his works were similar to that of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Léon Busy.
In October 2016, it was announced that Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first songwriter to receive the honor, which drew mixed reactions. But the award was marred with controversy when Dylan did not appear during the ceremony due to pre-existing commitments." 
Dylan formally accepted the award in April. His lecture was recorded on June 4 and posted on the Nobel Prize website on June 5. – Rappler.com
Photo Caption:
PLAGIARISM? Singer Bob Dylan faces accusations of plagiarism in the speech he gave, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America


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