Nest is announcing something big on September 20

nest-invite-sep-20

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

Nest, a division of Alphabet, is famous for its Nest Learning Thermostat… and also sells a pretty good home security camera or two, and a smart smoke detector. They’re consumer-friendly, but they’re generally part of the fabric of your home, not something front and center.

So imagine our surprise when we received the invitation above, for “big announcement” on September 20 that clearly sounds like a product for your living room. Perhaps even one that involves your television. 

Why else would Nest mention “popcorn” and a “comfy couch”? It’s probably not another thermostat: Nest already announced that one today.

Well, there is the possibility that Nest is talking about the announcement itself. Perhaps it hopes you’ll livestream it from your couch; puffed-up, butter-drizzled kernels in hand. But seeing how this invite was sent to reporters who will attend a physical event — not our readers, at least not yet — that theory seems less likely. 

We’ll be there on September 20 to find out. With Apple officially slated to announce its next iPhone(s) on September 12, it’s going to be a busy couple of weeks for us here at CNET.

Nest is announcing something big on September 20

nest-invite-sep-20

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

Nest, a division of Alphabet, is famous for its Nest Learning Thermostat… and also sells a pretty good home security camera or two, and a smart smoke detector. They’re consumer-friendly, but they’re generally part of the fabric of your home, not something front and center.

So imagine our surprise when we received the invitation above, for “big announcement” on September 20 that clearly sounds like a product for your living room. Perhaps even one that involves your television. 

Why else would Nest mention “popcorn” and a “comfy couch”? It’s probably not another thermostat: Nest already announced that one today.

Well, there is the possibility that Nest is talking about the announcement itself. Perhaps it hopes you’ll livestream it from your couch; puffed-up, butter-drizzled kernels in hand. But seeing how this invite was sent to reporters who will attend a physical event — not our readers, at least not yet — that theory seems less likely. 

We’ll be there on September 20 to find out. With Apple officially slated to announce its next iPhone(s) on September 12, it’s going to be a busy couple of weeks for us here at CNET.

Public Enemy’s Chuck D Will Let Flavor Flav Lawsuit Slide, Vows They’ll Perform Together

Chuck D

Flav is Flat Wrong to Sue Me, But

He’s Still Down with P.E.

8/31/2017 4:35 PM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Chuck D and Flavor Flav WILL be on stage together for Public Enemy‘s next live show, even though Flav is accusing Chuck of ripping him off … TMZ has learned.

Chuck D responded to Flav’s lawsuit, telling us … “Flav HAS HIS rights, but took a wrong road on this.” The rap legend says his P.E. bandmate is just pissed about a third party merchandiser and the way the record biz now works.

TMZ broke the story … Flavor Flav sued Chuck and several P.E. producers, claiming they’ve cut him off from royalties, merchandising dough and performance fees.

Still, Chuck made it clear … “We will be [together] on a future stage.” He also thinks Flav “will again be embarrassed admitting on stage about the way it spun out. It’s always this way with him.”

He added he’s ready and willing to address Flav’s concerns in the future, but right now he just hopes his partner “will be woke in rehearsal studio and paying attention to the work we and all the members do worldwide.”

Translation: Chuck’s all good, but it’s up to Flav to show up for the gigs.

Federer struggles past hobbled Youzhny at U.S. Open

NEW YORK (Reuters) – World number three Roger Federer survived his second scare in as many matches but hung on to defeat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-1 6-7(3) 4-6 6-4 6-2 to reach the third round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.

Federer, who also claimed a come-from-behind five-set victory in his first round match against 19-year-old Frances Tiafoe, took advantage of a clearly hobbled Youzhny, who appeared to suffer from muscle cramps midway throughout.

Despite looking at times like he might retire from the match, Youzhny put in his best performance against the Swiss.

But the former top 10 player’s fate was all but sealed when he double faulted to hand the Swiss a 4-2 lead in the fifth set and later saw Federer’s record against him improve to 17-0.

The match marked the first time the 36-year-old third seed had ever started a grand slam tournament with back-to-back five set matches, raising questions about whether he has the stamina necessary to win his 20th career grand slam.

Tennis – US Open – New York, U.S. – August 31, 2017 – Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) celebrates winning his second round match against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia (R).Andrew Kelly

“These five set battles are actually a lot of fun,” Federer said during an on court interview after the match.

“I feel quite warmed up now,” he added with a laugh.

Despite the win Federer looked nothing like the dominant player who won the Australian Open to kick off the year and later cruised through Wimbledon without dropping a set.

He committed 68 unforced errors and the back injury that kept him out of the Cincinnati Masters earlier this month appeared to limit his mobility.

Next up for Federer is Feliciano Lopez, who defeated fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in four sets in their second round match.

Federer has defeated Lopez in all 12 of their previous meetings.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Miranda Lambert Is Helping Rescue Dogs Displaced by Texas Floods

Miranda Lambert is making sure no pups are left behind.

In an effort to help the dogs that have been displaced due to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the country singer’s MuttNation Foundation is stepping in to help.

Lambert, 33, took to Instagram on Wednesday to highlight the hard work the volunteers of her foundation are doing: “Thx to some amazing transportation volunteers, we sent over 70 pups to a shelter in OK today. Rigs now rolling into Houston for another load.”

Lambert has also been hard at work, taking in a family of dogs on Tuesday night, joking they were her new “roommates.”

“My roommates tonight sure are cute! Mama and newborns that were born this morning,” Lambert wrote in the caption. “Im calling her Ashley after @ashleymonroemusic who just had a baby herself. @muttnationfoundation rescued 72 dogs today who are being transported to dry safe shelters across the country. Thanks for yalls support. Stay tuned tomorrow and continue to pray. #muttnationfoundation #hurricaneharvey#texasstrong #elvirathebus#tourbusrescue.”

The Grammy Award winner also shared a photo of multiple trucks working with MuttNation that are headed to Texas. “We’re here for you Texas. ??? #Repost@muttnationfoundation,” she wrote.

MuttNation is currently helping any displaced animals find shelter during the storm. The “Vice” singer has joined the ranks of multiple other Hollywood and music stars who have donated or volunteered their time to relief efforts following the devastation brought in after Hurricane Harvey landed on the Texas coast.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation and Sandra Bullock have donated $1 million, and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has raised $12 million toward relief efforts.

Hellman & Friedman leads race for $5 billion Nets deal: Financial Times

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is the frontrunner in the race to acquire Nets, Scandinavia’s largest payments processor, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the discussions.

The deal is expected to value Nets at more than 31.3 billion Danish crowns ($5.01 billion), the newspaper also reported. on.ft.com/2vNvIVi

Nets is seeing “considerable interest” from potential buyers, Chief Executive Bo Nilsson had said earlier this month.

Nets could be the next big deal in the sector following a flurry of acquisitions, including U.S. credit card payments processor Vantiv finalizing a deal to buy Britain’s biggest payments processor Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10.35 billion) earlier this month.

U.S. payment giants and Mastercard are both seen as suitors for Nets, which has a current market capitalization of 29.16 billion Danish crowns according to Thomson Reuters data.

Hellman & Friedman could not be immediately reached for comment while Nets did not immediately comment on the report.

Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Hellman & Friedman leads race for $5 billion Nets deal: Financial Times

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is the frontrunner in the race to acquire Nets, Scandinavia’s largest payments processor, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the discussions.

The deal is expected to value Nets at more than 31.3 billion Danish crowns ($5.01 billion), the newspaper also reported. on.ft.com/2vNvIVi

Nets is seeing “considerable interest” from potential buyers, Chief Executive Bo Nilsson had said earlier this month.

Nets could be the next big deal in the sector following a flurry of acquisitions, including U.S. credit card payments processor Vantiv finalizing a deal to buy Britain’s biggest payments processor Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10.35 billion) earlier this month.

U.S. payment giants and Mastercard are both seen as suitors for Nets, which has a current market capitalization of 29.16 billion Danish crowns according to Thomson Reuters data.

Hellman & Friedman could not be immediately reached for comment while Nets did not immediately comment on the report.

Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

American retailers, restaurants oppose U.S. negotiators produce proposal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American retail, restaurant and agriculture groups have weighed in against proposals regarding fresh produce put forward by U.S. negotiators as part of an effort to renegotiate NAFTA, according to letters sent to U.S. officials.

Talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement resume this weekend in Mexico, the second round after U.S. President Donald Trump’s renewed threats to withdraw from one of the world’s biggest trade blocs.

In one letter seen by Reuters, sent to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday, retailers argue that the U.S. proposal to allow more complaints about the dumping of perishable produce would have “dangerous implications for U.S. businesses and consumers.”

The retailers and food industry groups argue that American producers could be left open to retaliatory measures if more complaints were to be filed, for instance, against avocados, tomatoes and other produce imported from Mexico.

The letter was signed by large trade groups including the National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

A separate letter was sent on Wednesday by 26 U.S. agriculture groups – addressing Ross, Lighthizer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Gary Cohn, the top White House economic adviser. It too urged American negotiators to abandon the fresh produce proposal because it risks damaging U.S. producers.

“Once seasonal tariffs were put in place for tomatoes, for example, Mexico or Canada may initiate trade cases of their own on any of a wide range of U.S. agricultural products, beginning a tit-for-tat cycle that could broadly limit agricultural trade,” the letter states. “At a time of low commodity prices in much of the United States, US agriculture can hardly afford to see a primary market disrupted.”

The letter was signed by several large agriculture groups, including the U.S. Grains Council, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council of America and Ocean Spray Cranberries.

Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Tom Brown

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Lane Kiffin era begins at Florida Atlantic

THESE YEEZYS, MAN. You need, like, special dispensation from Kanye himself to get your hands on them, and a lot of people are mad at Lane Kiffin for snagging two pairs. The white sneakers conspicuously placed on the coffee table in the football offices at Florida Atlantic University are Yeezy Boost 350 v2s in “cream,” which can easily sell for for close to $600, when you can find them at all. Kiffin’s shoe score has all the hallmarks of a Lane Kiffin yarn, but with a twist. Kiffin himself is nowhere in sight. His legend is being busily burnished by one of his graduate assistants, while Kiffin wraps up a film session next door.

When he does put in an appearance, the new head coach of the Owls is quick to shrug off any celebrity footwear cred that might have been built up in his absence. He consulted with his former players at Alabama, he says, to see what he should be wearing at an Adidas school, then had the school’s rep send over some sneakers.

“I’m not a giant shoe person,” Kiffin says. “I just know kids like ’em, and I’m not supposed to get ’em dirty.”

It’s a tangible shift, seeing a coach famed for youth and immaturity emphasize the generation gap between himself and his players. And it’s a shift Kiffin wants you to notice. After flameout-filled stops as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Volunteers and USC Trojans, followed by a stint in football’s finishing school calling plays for Alabama, he’d very much like for you to think he is, at 42, at last an adult. So would his bosses in Boca Raton, Florida, in the FBS backwater of Conference USA.

The 2017 party line on Kiffin, beginning with Friday’s game against Navy (ESPNU & ESPN App, 8 p.m. ET), is one of metamorphosis. His time in Tuscaloosa, watching Nick Saban pull the puppet strings on Bama’s massive war machine, altered his thinking. Now, stepping out from Saban’s shadow, at a program where there is no Al Davis, Phil Fulmer or Pete Carroll’s way of doing things, we’re about to get our first look at a team fashioned solely by Kiffin. So what’s that look like?

Well, for what it’s worth, Kiffin did fire off a tweet to Kim Kardashian, thanking Kanye for the shoes and inviting her to a game.

At 42, Lane Kiffin takes over at FAU, his fourth head-coaching job. Josh Ritchie for ESPN

FROM THE MOMENT Kiffin burst onto the scene in the college game, he has made such a bratty name for himself that it’s easy to forget he can actually coach. Shortly after being hired at Tennessee in December 2008, he said he looked forward to “singing ‘Rocky Top’ all night long after we beat Florida next year,” then shortly thereafter accused Urban Meyer of cheating at a breakfast with boosters.

That lone season in Knoxville might be remembered more charitably today had he not (A) spent the entire time tweaking his elders and betters in the SEC, (B) invited quite so much NCAA scrutiny, racking up secondary violations and casting a spotlight on the kind of recruiting hostess operation that many power programs would rather you not think too much about, or (C) fled town under literal cover of darkness to take the USC job.

The highlight reel of ignominy he went on to assemble in Los Angeles ranged from the merely associative (a $25,000 fine levied after a student manager deflated footballs during a loss to Oregon) to the unnecessarily petty (denying visiting teams walk-throughs of the Coliseum before games, beginning with the lowly Hawaii Warriors) to the patently disastrous (the variegated debacles of the 2012 Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech, in which, among other things, Kiffin’s offense scored only one TD). Here, too, the ruckus masked the fact that he strung together three straight winning seasons — with a roster nearly half-obliterated by NCAA sanctions — before being fired midseason in 2013.

It took college football’s most notoriously tight-lipped coach to shut college football’s most irrepressible mouth, and even that didn’t take right away. Alabama famously keeps its assistants walled off from the media, but behind the scenes in the country’s highest-pressure program, Kiffin hit wall after wall, charged with the unenviable task of updating an offense not everybody agreed should be altered. He can pinpoint the exact moment during the 2015 season, his second year in Tuscaloosa, when he finally knuckled under: “Coach Saban said something to me, which I really get now: ‘You’re not here to judge the program. You’re here to do what I say.'”

Now at FAU, that irrepressible mouth calls Bama’s media blackout curtain “a blessing.”

IN POINT OF fact, Kiffin claims to have made great strides of progress, leading him to the conclusion that it’s time to give up calling his own plays. It’s a bold move, and not his usual kind of bold: Kiffin’s talents on the offensive side of the ball, particularly with quarterbacks, are the one area where even his legions of critics can agree he has marketable skills. The genesis of this shift, he says, goes all the way back to a postseason player interview at USC that led him to feel like he might be coaching just half a team.

“One of our defensive leaders said, ‘You know, Coach, we don’t really feel you on defense,'” Kiffin says. “‘Offensive players are always on your couch, watching TV, playing video games in your office. You have that relationship with them and not with us.’ I really hadn’t thought about the individual players caring about the head coach’s attention. Now I’m able to sit in meetings on defense. Kids have problems, I can spend more time with them.”

“There’s good and bad,” he says as he chuckles. “Practice is a little bit boring now.”

The most significant aspect of his evolution, Kiffin says, has to do with the development of his own cognitive processes. “Where I’ve changed is, I slow down. At first, at Alabama, I didn’t get it. I was like ‘God, these meetings take forever.’” He recalls a 15-minute meeting before one game dedicated solely to all possible outcomes after the pregame coin toss, but says he later came to understand the advantages of deliberate mental routines.

“Saban’s really just talking through what he’s thinking. So we can hear him, so he can hear himself. And it’s gonna be slow.”

This shift toward a more orbital view of coaching made a lasting impression on FAU president John Kelly, at their first interview last December. “As we left that meeting, as we were going down the escalator, I told our athletic director, ‘If we can get that guy, that’s the top drawer. We’re dealing with somebody who’s really top drawer.'”

Athletic director Pat Chun concurs. “I can assure you, no one puts more pressure on Lane Kiffin than Lane Kiffin. He wants to prove to everyone that he’s grown as a head coach, and from where we sit today, I think we’re all ecstatic with the work he’s done.”

Back in front of live mics, Kiffin has stuck mostly to signal-boosting his own team, though he’ll readily retweet jokes at his expense. “#Feel4U,” he tweeted, after reports surfaced of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus’s unceremonious tarmac firing, a callback to his own airport firing at USC.

He’ll still give his opinion, more freely than many of his peers, on big-picture issues like the inherent unfairness of legislated amateurism, and the nebulous future of football — including, he says, hearing from people whose opinions he trusts that football won’t exist in 15-20 years. He says he has gained a newfound perspective on his own truncated playing career at Fresno State University when discussing the bombshell CTE study, published in July in the Journal of the American Medical Association and subsequently detailed in the New York Times, which revealed that the brains of 110 of 111 deceased NFL players revealed damage from the degenerative disease.

“They say, like, you never know why things happen. Like blessings in disguise. You know what I didn’t realize at the time is a really good blessing, is that I was a really crappy player. In college I was so mad I wasn’t playing. The two guys in front of me were Billy Volek and David Carr, but I just realized that was a blessing in disguise, that I was so bad and I never played, so my brain’s good.”

“Smarter coach, probably.”

IN RELINQUISHING CONTROL of his own offense, Kiffin’s worth as a coach will be judged in wins and losses, but also in administrative steps and missteps. Just shy of a full offseason into his new job, the only substantive decisions we can measure so far are personnel-based. And if you buy into the existence of this newly profound deliberative process of Kiffin’s and apply it to key decisions made since his introduction, it’s easy to be confused.

Two incoming players with disciplinary issues — De’Andre Johnson, recruited by the previous staff after being kicked out of Florida State for punching a woman, and Chris Robison, dismissed from Oklahoma over the summer for an unspecified team rules violation — augment his quarterbacking corps. Kiffin himself referred to the program as “Last Strike U” — a nod to the Netflix series “Last Chance U” about a junior college football program — at an August media day. The hashtag #LastChanceFAU erupts online following the announcement of each new addition, putting to immediate rest any pretense that this program might be rebuilt methodically rather than overclocked for immediate wins.

There’s another personnel move that can’t be casually dismissed: If we’re buying Kiffin’s reformation, we’re also being asked to believe he took several days of careful thought to conclude that Baylor’s Kendal Briles — who told CBSSports.com that he was texted “out of the blue” by Kiffin, who he’d only met on a Baylor staff trip to Alabama two years ago — was the most suitable candidate to bring in as offensive coordinator. Briles is noted for being something of a line-stepper in Big 12 recruiting — he was suspended for a game in September 2015 and admonished by the NCAA for being “more interested in finding loopholes to exploit the rules instead of trying to follow the rules” — and for his strident defense of his father Art, following the latter’s documented enmeshment in a program-shattering web of sexual abuse coverups at Baylor.

The Kendal Briles hire has put FAU on the defensive more than once since the announcement in December. Most recently, the Sun-Sentinel reported that Art had been consulting with his son and Kiffin in their process of constructing the Owls’ offense. Kiffin downplayed the ex-Baylor head coach’s role in follow-up interviews, telling ESPN: “That’s classic ‘Somebody trying to make it a story’ because it’s Art Briles and Lane Kiffin.”

Still: Was this really the time for him to deploy his contrarian streak? At the very least, it’s an institutional headache that has flared up multiple times before the Owls’ offense has played a single series, and it could’ve been avoided by hiring a coordinator off literally any other staff in the country.

Which idea is worse: That Kiffin may not have thought this one all the way through, or the fear that maybe he did?

The closest Kiffin gets to an answer is to say he doesn’t care for your question. “I don’t sit here and say, ‘OK, I’m figuring out whether to do something, what’s the media gonna say?'” Kiffin says of the decision. “And a lot of people think that way. I don’t think that way.”

SUCCESS AT FAU means the ability to leave FAU, and for Kiffin to do that, he needs wins. He also needs, for all his insistence he doesn’t care, to shift his own public perception — but not for the reasons you might think. This transition to a more “mature” style of management is a key component of his rehabilitation not because it’ll make him a better football coach, but because it gives administrators cover to do what they really want to do, which is always — always — to find an excuse to hire the guy who can win.

The thing is, he probably will win. Past a walloping opening one-two slate of a home game against Navy and a road trip to Wisconsin, the schedule sets up pretty nicely for the Owls, with the strongest conference opponents, Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech, conveniently slotted in the back half of the season.

“It’s the nature of our business that success begets success,” Chun says. “The reality, I’ve always said, is if he wins in whatever time he’s with us, and is provided a different type of opportunity, that’s awesome, because that means he’s left FAU in a better place than he found it.”

Kiffin is here because the FAU brass wanted their program to make headlines; whether or not they find those headlines to their liking is something we’ll all get to discover together. But “a better place,” in this case, is quantifiable entirely by the Owls racking up wins before both parties agree to part company. It might not take long. Kiffin’s greatest verifiable sin, to date, is being a heel. The only real question left may be whether Kiffin can stay out of his own way long enough to get back to the bigs. His pattern of behavior in Boca so far suggests that he not only listens to his own worst impulses, but he has learned he doesn’t have to tune them out in order to succeed. Somewhere along the way, Kiffin has even learned to speak in convincingly glowing terms about bringing football success to a community that has never been much of a football community. More than anything, he says the FAU job appealed to his inborn contrarian streak. “I just like to do things that aren’t supposed to be done.”

He tries again.

“I guess I should say I like to do things that people say you can’t do.”

Sam Smith Says New Music Is ‘Coming Very Soon’

The wait is almost over for Sam Smith fans.

The 25-year-old British singer made an exciting announcement Thursday on Instagram: new music is coming soon.

Smith penned a heartfelt note to his followers, first thanking them for their support and patience before revealing that a record is on the way.

“To my beautiful fans, first of all I want to say thank you. Thank you for being so patient and for letting me have the past year to really escape into my mind & write music so freely. I feel so rejuvenated and have so many stories I can’t wait to tell you,” wrote the Grammy-winning artist.

“I have missed you all desperately, and a day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t been looking at all your comments & dreaming of singing with you all again,” he continued.

“The wait is so nearly over. Something is coming very very very soon. I am scared & excited at the same time. I’ve poured my soul and heart into this record,” he added. “Love you all, and see you in the not so distant future.”

WATCH: Sam Smith Can Do it All – Even Sing in the Shower

Smith’s debut album, In the Lonely Hour, was released in the U.S. in June 2014.

In an interview with the Associated Press last year, Smith said of his upcoming new album: “I’m putting my heart even more out on the f—— line.”

“I’m going even deeper,” he added. “I can’t believe I’m even doing it, but I’m going even deeper.”