what happened

What happened to the iPhone 9?

Apple just announced its iPhone X. It’s the new flagship iPhone that will be released in November, weeks after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus go on sale on September 23rd. Apple says you’re supposed to pronounce the iPhone X as “iPhone ten,” and it’s designed to mark 10 years of the iPhone. While the iPhone 8 is an iPhone 7S in all but name, the number jump across all the new iPhone models means we’re now officially missing an iPhone 9.

Apple’s typical S naming is gone for this year at least, which isn’t entirely surprising. Samsung launched its Galaxy S8 earlier this year, and the company’s Note 8 will be available on September 15th (the same day iPhone 8 preorders begin). Going up against the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 with an iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus doesn’t really make as much sense this time around. Instead, Apple appears to be using a great marketing trick for this year’s iPhones.

The iPhone X naming helps position the device above the regular iPhone 8 without explicitly labeling it “iPhone 10,” because most people are simply going to call it the iPhone X and not pronounce it as iPhone ten. Apple knows this, and the company only uses the X logoin its promotional materials. Jony Ive says “iPhone ten” in the company’s keynote video, but I’d be surprised if we hear Apple explicitly call it the iPhone ten on a regular basis.

This subtle difference makes it clear it’s a special edition iPhone, and not an iPhone 10 that’s going to make people think they’re not getting the latest iPhone if they go for the iPhone 8. Let’s face it, the iPhone X is the device people will want, but most will go for the iPhone 8 simply because the X is priced so high.

Microsoft did a similar trick for its Windows 10 naming. The software giant skipped Windows 9 and went straight to Windows 10, but Microsoft did this primarily to encourage Windows 7 users to upgrade. Looking at your PC and seeing Windows 7 when there’s a Windows 10 version out makes it seem all that much older, and it’s a marketing trick that helped promote free upgrades. Apple’s subtle trick does mean that next year’s iPhone names are going to get really interesting. Will we see the iPhone 8S, an iPhone 9, or an iPhone XS? Let the guessing games begin.


What Just Happened in Orlando? Making Sense of the Deadliest Shooting in American History

Twenty-four hours after America’s deadliest mass shooting, details emerging about the murderer and his motives seem to portray yet another angry unstable young man whose obsessions merged with easy access to military-level assault weapons.

The massacre early Sunday at Pulse, a well-known LGBT dance club in Orlando, Florida, that left 50 people dead and 53 hospitalized, was perpetuated by Omar Mateen, 29, of Port St. Lucie. Mateen shot one-third of the people inside the club, including many who escaped onto the street despite being injured or bloodied, the New York Times reported. He was killed by police before dawn several hours after the assault turned into a hostage standoff.

By late evening Sunday, most victims’ names had not been released, according to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, which reported on a massacre that brought near-universal condemnation across the nation and the city, where so many hundreds of residents turned out in solidarity with the slain and injured to donate blood that scores had to be turned away.

Government officials, led by President Obama’s televised address to the nation, called it an anti-LGBTQ hate crime and terror act, and said the FBI would use every resource to investigate what happened and why. In contrast, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump gloated on Twitter, saying, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”

As the day progressed, news organizations, government officials, family and associates of the shooter filled in details about his life and possible motives. It was not at all clear that Mateen was affiliated with any overseas terrorist group or domestic terror cell, even though he called 911 before the massacre and declared his loyalty to the Islamic State, police said.

It remains to be seen if he was much more than another aggrieved loner who lived in his own revulsion-filled world and was able to act out his fantasies and frustrations using firearms. So far, law enforcement officials have not provided any evidence of an IS link beyond his last-minute declaration, various reportshave emphasized.

Mateen was born in America. His father, who immigrated from Afghanistan, was politically active among Afghan immigrants and hosted a U.S.-based TV show that supported the Taliban. Whether his father’s activism was influential will be debated in coming weeks. His father told reporters he had no idea this was coming. He said his son was repulsed by seeing gay men kissing in Miami recently with his young son, offering a possible motive for the assault on a well-known gay nightclub several hours drive from his home.

What’s clear is Mateen was a violent and aggrieved man. He physically abused his ex-wife, she told the press Sunday, saying that she had to be rescued by her family. That incident was reported to police and she believed he was mentally ill, CNN said. Mateen also was a gym rat, working out often, and was trained and worked as a security guard since 2007, including with the use of guns.

One former co-worker said he was prone to using racial, ethnic and sexual slurs, the Times reported, and spoke of killing people. His comments concerning overseas Islamic radicals prompted co-workers to notify the FBI, which tracked and investigated him twice, most recently in 2014. Their inquiries closed for lack of evidence, aljazeera.com reported. Mateen also posted pictures online of himself wearing NYPD clothing.

Despite a history that included domestic abuse, violent threats and two FBI investigations, Mateen obtained state licenses in Florida to buy the firearms used in the massacre, the media reported. Police said he had a handgun and an AR-15 military-style rifle, which can rapidly fire many rounds and hit targets with high accuracy.

The Washington Post reported that similar military-style weaponry was used by shooters in most of the recent mass killings across America: in San Bernardino, CA, in a shooting that killed 14 and wounded 20; in Newtown, CT, which killed 28 and wounded 2; and in Aurora, CO, that killed 12 and wounded 58. According to a database by Mother Jones, in 79 mass shootings since 1982 that it investigated, 63 were committed with legally purchased guns.

Immediately after the shooting, many Islamic-American groups issued statements condemning the massacre and assailant and urged Americans not to fall prey to Islamophobia. As AlterNet’s Sarah Lazare reported, the communities most deeply affected by the shooting—LGBTQ Americans and Islamic Americans—are both minorities targeted by many hate groups.

The Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which works to support and empower LGBTQ Muslims, declared in its Sunday statement, “This tragedy cannot be neatly categorized as a fight between the LGBTQ community and the Muslim community. As LGBTQ Muslims, we know that there are many of us who are living at the intersections of LGBTQ identities and Islam. At moments like this, we are doubly affected.”

“We reject attempts to perpetuate hatred against our LGBTQ communities as well as our Muslim communities,” their statement continued. “We ask all Americans to resist the forces of division and hatred, and to stand against homophobia as well as against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry.”

“So disturbing and horrific. An attack on Pride!” wrote a gay Floridian who lived nearby on his Facebook page. “You know soon media will forget the victims and focus on the assassin. Nothing will stop till weapons stop being sold.”

Here’s What Happened When Black People Tried Armed Occupation

When a small group of radical militiamen linked to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon on Saturday, they vowed to use violence in their fight against the federal government. Claiming the feds have no right to oversee ranch management in the U.S. — a point of contention that led to another armed standoff in 2014 — the group has called on patriots to join them at the wildlife refuge and “free” ranchers from “tyranny.” The gunman have also said they will “kill and be killed if necessary.”

Schools in the area have been shut down, and locals are afraid that people will die. But authorities have made no indication that they plan to use force against the militia — a stark shift from the way people of color perceived as threatening have been treated by law enforcement.

Since the start of the building’s occupation, people on social media have pointed out the racist double standards in the way the militiamen have been treated by police and described by mainstream media. News outlets like the Associated Press have referred to Bundy’s men as peaceful protesters, whereas unarmed Black Lives Matter activists have been called terrorists and a grave threat to police officers by Fox News and CNN analysts. Similarly, Oregon police’s desire for a peaceful resolution has been contrasted to the instantaneous police killings of unarmed black people, including Tamir Rice and Laquan McDonald.

And 30 years ago, a similar standoff between police and a black anti-government group in Philadelphia played out very differently. Armed members of a fringe liberation group called MOVE were bombed and burned alive for directing their weapons at police. The bombing highlighted the stark contrast in the way cops treat black and white radicals.

Members of the liberation group sought a natural lifestyle, free of government control, law enforcement, and technology. They lived together in a barricaded house, protested for animal rights, and ate raw foods. Similar to Bundy’s supporters, they believed the federal government violated their constitutional rights. And with a cache of weapons in their possession, they also advocated armed defense if targeted by the city’s authorities.

On May 13, 1985, officers with warrants and military-grade weapons surrounded their house. Police claimed they were there to evict the group, in response to complaints from locals about MOVE’s use of blow-horns to proselytize late into the night. They pointed deluge guns at the house and yelled at the people inside to evacuate. Tear gas was thrown into the building to smoke them out. But when someone started shooting back, the officers returned the gunfire with 10,000 rounds. Without knowing how many people were inside, they began throwing explosives at the house. And when nobody came out, they dropped a bomb from a helicopter — setting off a fire that spread to 65 homes and that firefighters were ordered not to put out.

In the end, one woman and one child made it out of the house alive. Five children and six adults were killed.

According to survivor Ramona Africa, MOVE residents tried to exit the house but police would not stop shooting at them. “We were met with a barrage of police gunfire. And you could see it hitting all around us, all around the house,” she told Democracy Now. “And it forced us back in to that blazing inferno, several times. And finally, you know, you’re in a position where either you choke to death and burn alive or you possibly are shot to death.” Local journalist Juan Gonzalez verified her account.

Africa also believes the attack on MOVE was aimed at killing its members — not responding to neighbors’ complaints. Years before the bombing, MOVE struck a deal with Philadelphia officials to hand over its weapons and evacuate the house in exchange for the release of some if its detained members. When the city obliged the request, MOVE did not budge. Police subsequently attacked the building with water cannons and battering rams. Some of the radicals opened fire, killing one officer and injuring 16 additional cops and firefighters.

Africa maintains police were trying to settle the score. “It wasn’t about an arrest. Both situations, they keep using this word ‘eviction,’ that they were coming out to evict MOVE. Since when are evictions held, you know, carried out, by hundreds of cops armed for war?”

But the MOVE bombing was not an isolated event, and the treatment of white militiamen in Oregon is not a rarity. There have been some instances where violence against white extremists has been used, in Waco and Ruby Ridge, for example. But in the past and present, black people who use guns in self-defense have been disproportionately penalized. African Americans in Stand Your Ground states are 354 percent less likely to be justified for killing in self-defense. And studies show that police are more likely to use physical force against black people.

This post originally stated the MOVE bombing was 25 years ago. It was in fact 30 years ago. Information about police standoffs at Waco and Ruby Ridge has been added as well.