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Corinne Brinkerhoff says she thinks her new show’s title, American Gothic, is “perfect because the iconic Grant Wood painting is thematically appropriate for our show: at first glance, a benign snapshot of domesticity, upon further inspection…something is awry.” Photo by Noah Webb

Since graduating 12 years ago, Corinne Brinkerhoff has written and produced for several network TV shows, including Boston Legal, The Good Wife, and Jane the Virgin, which won a 2014 Peabody Award. Now the College of Communication alum is heading up her own show as executive producer and creator of the CBS murder mystery American Gothic, which premiered June 22.

BU Today spoke with Brinkerhoff about the show’s development and how it differs from other murder mysteries on TV.

BU Today: Where did you get the idea for American Gothic?

Brinkerhoff: The idea came from Full Fathom Five, American Gothic executive producer James Frey’s company. They gave me the title and a paragraph premise, and it piqued my interest. I was less interested in the gruesome details of serial murder and more in the emotional and psychological fallout on the people close to the killer. It developed into a character-driven murder mystery.

The previous show you wrote for, Jane the Virgin, is a romantic comedy and a drama. What drew you to a darker series?

I’m always interested in putting complicated characters in difficult situations. And the themes that emerged from this situation were intriguing: the limits of family loyalty, nature vs. nurture, perception vs. reality, the power of denial.

How did you come up with the show’s title?

The name came from Full Fathom Five. I felt it was perfect because the iconic Grant Wood painting is thematically appropriate for our show: at first glance, a benign snapshot of domesticity, upon further inspection…something is awry. That off-kilter, unsettling vibe is key to the show.

We decided to run with fine art as a motif. We’ve titled each episode after a famous American painting that thematically fits into that particular chapter of our story, and we also feature a shot within the episode that pays tribute to the famous image. For example, the pilot episode is called “Arrangement in Grey and Black,” which ties in thematically with the moral gray areas and outright darkness on display in the episode. But we also re-create the tableau of the painting (known colloquially as Whistler’s Mother) in the last shot of the episode.

It’s been a fun, creative challenge to identify the right painting and find a way for our story to organically take us to that homage.

Why did you set the show in Boston?

The simple answer is because it’s a place I know and love. I could easily add specificity. We talk about Duck Tours, the Frog Pond, the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. The family’s dog is named Pudge after Carlton Fisk.

Beyond that, our family on the show has blue collar roots, but has rocketed into the one percent after securing a lucrative construction contract in the ’90s. Boston felt right for that, with its history of city-wide construction projects like the Big Dig.

You have the Good Will Hunting version of Boston and the blue-blood Kennedy version, and this family has seen a little of each.

How does American Gothic differ from other murder mysteries on TV, Bloodline and Blue Bloods, for instance?

There’s a healthy dose of quirky, dark comedy in the show that I think distinguishes it tonally. For example, Justin Chatwin plays a recovering drug addict who draws a syndicated cartoon about a nihilist frog working in a market research firm. The Hawthornes try to appear normal, but their world is full of bizarre people and insane circumstances.

The show is a 13-part series—did that appeal to you? Do you think this shorter format versus a more traditional longer run is growing in popularity?

Absolutely. I didn’t want to artificially extend the premise beyond what it was designed to be.

And yes, people seem to like the shorter format, especially in this genre. With a murder mystery, I think audiences want a satisfying and timely payoff to their investment.

You have another show in the works, No Tomorrow. Can you give a hint what it’s about and when we should expect to see it?

It’s a drastically different tone, more in the vein of Jane the Virgin. It’s a joyful, buoyant show about a risk-averse young woman who falls in love with a freewheeling man—only to find out he lives his life that way because he believes the apocalypse is imminent. We think of it as a romantic comedy with the ultimate ticking clock. It premieres on October 4 at 9 p.m. on the CW, right after The Flash.

American Gothic airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. through September on CBS.

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Security Exec Talks About Challenges Facing It

CIOs and their managers are simply being inundated.

They’re being inundated with information about what’s happening on their network. They’re being inundated with a flood of vulnerabilities and the patches needed to fix them. They’re inundated with trying to learn a new language — business speak. And with so much work and stress flooding in, it’s easy for an IT manager to get lost in the technical fog of war.

Here, she talks to eSecurityPlanet about the challenges facing IT managers.

One of the biggest problems right now is that there is so much data. How do you collect that data and look at it and make sense of it? There are firewall logs, system logs, IDS logs. There’s so much data that you need good correlation and reporting mechanisms. It’s really, really important for companies to deal with.

They’re just realizing now that they need to do something about it. A couple years ago if you asked executives if they knew what an IDS was, they wouldn’t have known. Now they know it’s intrusion detection. Now we’re at the point where the technology is there. They just have to figure out how to deal with the data.

Another thing is understanding the different threats on the horizon. It’s all about understanding what threats are out there and what you need to protect your company from them… They don’t know what’s coming. It’s a big problem.

I wouldn’t say they get sidetracked. It helps to raise visibility [about security issues] in the company at a high level. It sometimes helps to create awareness.

There’s a problem with the way people present information to the executive management. It’s not really clear. This technical information is not being simplified. From a systems level, it’s very difficult to uplevel that to an executive. You give them complicated information and too much of it. They’re not going to get it. They don’t have time to think about it, so they end up not understanding the threat.

I wouldn’t want to pin it on IT. The information is complicated. Once it’s simplified at a systems level, it’s easier to communicate at a higher level. It’s not really a skill for a lot of people at an IT level, and especially not at a systems administration level. Companies that really know how to communicate security at a business level and can simplify technical information, they’re the ones who get money for their security efforts — and they have better security.

It’s not a simple solution or everybody would have all the patches installed today. The idea of keeping up with all the vulnerabilities relevant to your company and having the staff to install those patches is pretty overwhelming. You need patch management software that works on a large distributed network. Sometimes it’s a catch-22. There may be patch management software but somebody doesn’t have funding for it. Or they think they can have the systems administrators update the patches because that’s their job. It’s not that simple of a problem to solve.

Business doesn’t wait for security. Technology gets deployed because the business needs to run. Usually what happens is that businesses deploy technology before security is strong enough, and a lot of times that forces the solution… Definitely. I worry about it. I got a call today from somebody running a business that has deployed wireless technology and they don’t have a clue about it. They were already broken into and they don’t even know how it happened. If you deploy wireless without thinking about security, there’s a good chance that’s going to be a problem.

New Photos Show China’s Anti

The Frigate’s New Sonar

The large portal in the 054A Frigate’s rear holds the Variable Depth Sonar, as well as the powered winch used to lower it deep into the Pacific Ocean. With the right seawater density, salinity and temperature, a VDS detect enemy submarines up to hundreds of miles away.

Previous 054A Frigate

Earlier examples of the Type 054A had no VDS and its associated support machinery (which requires a large opening to fit the winch) installed in the frigate’s stern.

New photos available at the Chinese website chúng tôi show another wrinkle to China’s buildup of new antisubmarine warfare capabilities. The Type 054A is a 4,000 ton multi-role frigate armed with 40 anti-ship and air defense missiles; it is also the most ubiquitous warship class in the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The modified stern of this Type 054A Frigate has been upgraded to support dedicated anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonars. Two more openings were cut into the left side of the stern, presumably for a towed array (passive) sonar (TAS) and a variable depth sonar (VDS). TAS is a set of listening devices called hydrophones, placed on a cable that is up to several kilometers long. By deploying at a distance from the ship, TAS has less blind spots than hull mounted sonar and reduced interference from the ship’s own noises. The VDS is lowered from a machine powered winch in the door sized vertical opening of the stern: it can be dropped to different ocean depths in order to more efficiently locate submarines in deep waters (warmer water near the ocean surface reduces the range of active sonar).

Frigate and Corvette

Like the 056 ASW Corvette, the latest 054A Frigate has been equipped with a active Variable Depth Sonar (in the large vertical opening at the rear) for deep water submarine hunting missions.

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New Show And Tell Ideas Mix Technology With Tradition

Show and tell has long been a way for students to share their favorite things and have fun learning what their classmates like to do outside of school. National Show and Tell Day provides a great excuse to bring new life to a long-standing school tradition. Today’s show and tell ideas offer new ways to integrate technology in the classroom.

Why Show and Tell?

Although students may not realize it, show and tell is one of their earliest experiences with doing a presentation in class. They practice speaking to a group and explaining why their favorite toy, for example, is important to them. And when their classmates present their items to the class, they’re practicing active listening.

As students get older, show and tell activities can help them refine their presentation skills without the pressure of an assignment and a grade, which can be crucial for students who are shy about public speaking. As they talk about something they love, they might even forget they’re afraid of getting up in front of the class.

Start With Discussion

If your students haven’t participated in show and tell in a while, remind them of the principles: Each student will pick one item to show to their classmates and explain why it’s important to them. Have students brainstorm a list of their favorite things in their homes, their neighborhoods and their state. Ask them to break into small groups and go over the merits of each item and its relevance to their peers.

Once each student in the group has picked their show and tell item, have them begin discussing the various ways they can use video to demonstrate its value. Should they research background on their item? Do they need to visit a landmark and take stills? Will they need to interview anyone to find out more information?

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Bring in Technology

Once students know what they’ll be sharing with their classmates, they can use educational technology to make it happen. Online research can provide relevant background and contact information for interview subjects. Students can use their classroom tablets to record video and take photos on the go, as well as record their interviews to edit into the final presentation.

If students aren’t sure who to interview, help guide them through a process of discovering what questions their peers might have about the item and who could best answer those questions. For example, if a student is going to do a show and tell presentation about a family pet, the student could interview the breeder, a veterinarian or animal behaviorist, or even the salesperson who sells the family its pet food and supplies. If the presentation is on a beloved toy, the student can ask a parent why they bought the toy and what they remember about the first time the student played with it. For a presentation covering a local landmark, a student can interview a worker who can explain what makes that place special. The key element in this part of the process is for the student to anticipate the questions their video should answer and create a compelling narrative to inform and engage their peers.

Once students have the information they want to share, they can use a video editing tool such as Animoto or WeVideo to create their presentation.

Sit Back and Enjoy the Shows

Now comes the fun part: watching the show and tell videos. As each student presents their video to the class, they should be prepared to answer follow-up questions from their classmates. If you’re grading this assignment, you can assess students on their presentations and how well they listen when others are presenting.

When the assignment is finished, your students will know a lot more about each other through these technology-enhanced show and tell ideas.

Looking for other ways to integrate technology into your lesson plans? Digital tools add an interactive component to history lessons and make historical events come to life for students.

Zane Lowe Talks About The Transformative Experience Of Spatial Audio On Apple Music

Zane Lowe is currently Apple Music’s co-head of Artist Relations, and also one of the service’s most prominent radio hosts. So of course Apple would tap him to try and sell the idea of Spatial Audio for the music streaming service.

Technically speaking, Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos support started rolling out for Apple Music subscribers yesterday. However, Apple Music is calling today an official launch date. So, in an effort to get people hyped up, Apple asked Lowe to talk about his experience with Spatial Audio. It’s safe to say that it sounds like Lowe is sold on the soundscape, but also Lowe works for Apple, so take that for what it’s worth.

Lowe starts with the basis, saying that Spatial Audio is about a more immersive experience. Sound will “move around” the listener in different directions, and notes that the experience is similar to watching a movie in a theater. Which makes sense, because that’s how Apple sold Spatial Audio for video content last year.

I’ll get out of the way and let Lowe explain his first foray into Spatial Audio:

Among the first songs I listened to were Lady Gaga’s ‘Rain on Me’ and Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead.’ It was hard to put into words because I’ve spent my whole life in a two-channel environment; I was born into stereo. It dawned on me that there are a lot of artists in the past and present who would have loved to be able to lean in with this kind of technology — to make their songs come to life, make them bigger, and just take them to levels no one had even thought of yet. But they only had two stereo channels to play with. Now they can go beyond that. So, to be able to hear parts of these songs coming from behind and around me? I was like, ‘I’m all in. I get it.’ TV got HD — now music gets Spatial.

More than anything, while this is a piece that’s supposed to sell Spatial Audio, Lowe is honest about support. It’s up to the artists creating music to actually offer up support for their tracks with Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos. That’s why it’s not all that surprising that artists like The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and others have songs supporting the new feature. It may take some time before other, not-so-giant, artists support the feature. If at all.

Lowe says:

It will come from the artists adopting it. It takes investment from the people who are going to use it and the people who are going to love it. When I started making beats when I was a kid, you had to save up a lot of money to get a sampler. They were not readily available and very few of them existed on the shelf. With Spatial Audio, I can put my AirPods in, press play, and have a Spatial experience; fans and artists have the means to listen to this and make music like this now. That’s when things change, because it can’t help but influence the young person who is sitting there listening going, ‘I want my music to sound that good.’

Here’s a pretty lengthy video with Lowe introducing the new Apple Music feature:

Of course, Lowe also notes that new artists will only know launching their music in Spatial Audio. So it sounds like he believes this will be the new standard moving forward. It will be interesting to see if that’s the case. Unlike other elements, like stereo sound or high definition video for video, Spatial Audio is a very Apple-specific feature. It will take every other company related to music, especially streaming it, to come up with a feature similar to Spatial Audio before it can actually become a new standard.

Are you looking forward to trying out Spatial Audio in Apple Music?

Google Lightning Talks: Https Explained

In the latest Google Lightning Talks video, John Mueller provides an introduction to HTTPS and goes over the basics of site migrations.

Mueller’s presentation includes the following talking points:

How HTTPS works

Why you might want to use HTTPS

How to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS

Common questions about HTTPS

Here’s a quick recap of each section of the video.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is a secure connection between sites and users. It protects websites from unwanted activity.

Why use HTTPS?

When it comes to website security, HTTPS ensures three things:

Authentication: Users can be certain they’re engaging with your website and not an intermediary.

Data integrity: A secure connection prevents data tampering, so users see your content as intended.

Encryption: Information exchanged between a website and its users will be kept safe.

Web Browser Requirement

Another reason to use HTTPS is because modern browsers require it in order to utilize certain features.

HTTPS is required for the following types of features:


Auto-fill for forms


Progressive web apps (PWA)

Push notifications


“Not Secure” Label in Address Bar

There’s no hiding whether or not your site uses HTTPS, as it’s highlighted within the browser address bar.

Non-HTTPS sites are labeled in red as “Not secure,” while sites with HTTPS are labeled “secure” in green.

Related: Google Chrome to Start Warning Users About Insecure Forms

Slight Ranking Boost

Google gives pages that use HTTPS a slight ranking boost in search results.

However, toward the end of the video, Mueller goes on to say the ranking boost is “quite small.”

HTTP pages can still rank over HTTPS pages when the content is more relevant to the query.

Migrating to HTTPS

HTTPS URLs are different than their HTTP counterparts.

That means migrating from one to the other involves redirecting every single HTTP URL to the equivalent HTTPS URL.

Mueller breaks down the migration process into the following steps:

Set up your HTTPS site

Verify ownership in Google Search Console

Test the HTTPS site extensively

Redirect all HTTP URLs to HTTPS URLs

Monitor the migration in Google Search Console

Optional step: Set up HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)

Common Questions About HTTPS

How long do I need to keep the redirects?

Redirects should remain in place forever. There’s never a reason not to redirect from HTTP to HTTPS.

Can I move just a few pages?

Technically it’s possible to move just a few pages to HTTPS. In practice, Mueller says it’s not much more work to move the whole site over, which is what should be done anyway.

Which HTTPS certificate should I use?

Any certificate that’s supported by a modern web browser is fine. Mueller specifically suggests free certificates from the non-profit organization Let’s Encrypt.

How long does a migration take?

Google has a lot of experience with HTTPS migrations, Mueller says, so they can usually be processed within a week.

Will the migration hurt my site’s ranking?

“Usually not,” Mueller says. After all, it’s still the same site. If anything, rankings may benefit from the slight boost mentioned earlier.

Can I revert if needed?

Technically, yes. But it’s not recommended. Instead of moving back, Mueller recommends fixing any issues you have and moving forward.

For more detail on any of the above sections, see the full video below:

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