Anna Faris goes nude for avocados Super Bowl LVII ad

Actress Anna Faris is going au natural and embracing her “Eve” in a Super Bowl LVII ad for Avocados from Mexico.

A teaser for the spot shows Faris, with long, blonde locks covering her mostly nude body, in a Garden of Eden setting. (She tells people she was wearing a thong and bra-like top).

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“There has been one fruit with the ability to change the world. One fruit that can alter history with one small bite,” a narrator says as Faris opens an avocado.

The teaser is not particularly comedic, but with Faris as the star, there will assuredly be more to come on Super Bowl Sunday.

Forbes reports Fox is asking for $6 million and $7 million for a 30-second ad for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. 

Oregon lawmakers secure funds to study moving Mt. Hood Highway 26 rest area

Members of Oregon’s congressional delegation say they have secured $715,000 in federal funds to study moving the Mt. Hood Summit Rest Area on Highway 26 near Government Camp.

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said the money comes from the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP).

The lawmakers say the rest area dates back to the 1950s, but traffic volumes have increased so much that it is unsafe.

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Anyone who stops there — and most people in Central Oregon have at one time or another — know how busy that rest area can get, particularly in the winter as people head up to enjoy the snow. Additionally, making a left turn out of that rest stop onto Highway 26 can be treacherous given all the traffic that comes through in both directions.

“The FLAP funds are a big deal for the many partners and interests that have come together in support of making this change,” said Doug Decker, Oregon Solutions Project Manager said in a statement from the lawmakers. “The grant will enable all of us to roll up our sleeves now and prepare a solution that addresses the overlapping needs that are just not met by the 1950s-era rest area. Figuring this out can be a keystone for so many positive changes for the community, the environment, and highway safety.”

“For years, the people who live, work, and play on Mt Hood have identified this rest stop area as a safety concern. Millions of people visit Mt. Hood each year, and I’m pleased that the federal government is being a constructive partner to help evaluate safer alternatives,” said Blumenauer in a statement.

“Mt. Hood attracts millions of visitors every year, making the safety and accessibility of the Highway 26/Highway 35 corridor crucial,” said Merkley in a statement.  “These federal dollars will support the great work being done by local partners to find transportation and transit solutions around the mountain.”

 

▶️ WATCH: Budweiser, Kevin Bacon team up on ‘6 degrees’ Super Bowl ad

It used to be that one of the highlights of watching the Super Bowl was to see the clever ads. But these days, many advertisers jump the gun and start releasing them days before kickoff.

Forbes reports Fox is asking for $6 million and $7 million for a 30-second ad for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. So it makes sense to get the ads out early to get the most bang for your buck.

This year, Budweiser is one of the first, releasing a 60-second ad on Tuesday.

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Titled “Six Degrees of Budweiser,” the ad is narrated by actor Kevin Bacon — clearly playing on the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game that tries to prove you can connect any celebrity to Kevin Bacon through five other celebrities.

“The spot is Budweiser’s interpretation of the notion that everyone can be traced by just six degrees of separation,” Budweiser parent company Anheuser-Busch said in a press release. “The commercial, narrated by Kevin Bacon, features six passionate, self-made Americans – from a renowned hip-hop artist and producer to a local food truck owner to a construction worker – and their journeys.”

 

Anheuser-Busch says the people in the spot are depicted in their daily profession or natural environment. They include a construction worker, a food truck owner, a basketball player, a producer and hip-hop artist, a singer and rapper and a community organizer.

“The thing about Super Bowl ads is that you have :30s to get people to feel something – to laugh, to cry, to be inspired. I loved bringing back the six degrees concept for this year’s Super Bowl because at its core, the concept has always been about connection. I was especially drawn to the ending, when a Budweiser is handed to the camera and I say “This Bud’s For You.” I think this ad is going to stick with people,” Bacon said in a statement.

ChatGPT maker releases AI detection tool to deter cheating; admits it has flaws

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The maker of ChatGPT is trying to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool that can help teachers detect if a student or artificial intelligence wrote that homework.

The new AI Text Classifier launched Tuesday by OpenAI follows a weeks-long discussion at schools and colleges over fears that ChatGPT’s ability to write just about anything on command could fuel academic dishonesty and hinder learning.

OpenAI cautions that its new tool – like others already available – is not foolproof. The method for detecting AI-written text “is imperfect and it will be wrong sometimes,” said Jan Leike, head of OpenAI’s alignment team tasked to make its systems safer.

“Because of that, it shouldn’t be solely relied upon when making decisions,” Leike said.

Teenagers and college students were among the millions of people who began experimenting with ChatGPT after it launched Nov. 30 as a free application on OpenAI’s website. And while many found ways to use it creatively and harmlessly, the ease with which it could answer take-home test questions and assist with other assignments sparked a panic among some educators.

By the time schools opened for the new year, New York City, Los Angeles and other big public school districts began to block its use in classrooms and on school devices.

The Seattle Public Schools district initially blocked ChatGPT on all school devices in December but then opened access to educators who want to use it as a teaching tool, said Tim Robinson, the district spokesman.

“We can’t afford to ignore it,” Robinson said.

The district is also discussing possibly expanding the use of ChatGPT into classrooms to let teachers use it to train students to be better critical thinkers and to let students use the application as a “personal tutor” or to help generate new ideas when working on an assignment, Robinson said.

School districts around the country say they are seeing the conversation around ChatGPT evolve quickly.

“The initial reaction was ‘OMG, how are we going to stem the tide of all the cheating that will happen with ChatGPT,’” said Devin Page, a technology specialist with the Calvert County Public School District in Maryland. Now there is a growing realization that “this is the future” and blocking it is not the solution, he said.

“I think we would be naïve if we were not aware of the dangers this tool poses, but we also would fail to serve our students if we ban them and us from using it for all its potential power,” said Page, who thinks districts like his own will eventually unblock ChatGPT, especially once the company’s detection service is in place.

OpenAI emphasized the limitations of its detection tool in a blog post Tuesday, but said that in addition to deterring plagiarism, it could help to detect automated disinformation campaigns and other misuse of AI to mimic humans.

The longer a passage of text, the better the tool is at detecting if an AI or human wrote something. Type in any text — a college admissions essay, or a literary analysis of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” — and the tool will label it as either “very unlikely, unlikely, unclear if it is, possibly, or likely” AI-generated.

But much like ChatGPT itself, which was trained on a huge trove of digitized books, newspapers and online writings but often confidently spits out falsehoods or nonsense, it’s not easy to interpret how it came up with a result.

“We don’t fundamentally know what kind of pattern it pays attention to, or how it works internally,” Leike said. “There’s really not much we could say at this point about how the classifier actually works.”

Higher education institutions around the world also have begun debating responsible use of AI technology. Sciences Po, one of France’s most prestigious universities, prohibited its use last week and warned that anyone found surreptitiously using ChatGPT and other AI tools to produce written or oral work could be banned from Sciences Po and other institutions.

In response to the backlash, OpenAI said it has been working for several weeks to craft new guidelines to help educators.

“Like many other technologies, it may be that one district decides that it’s inappropriate for use in their classrooms,” said OpenAI policy researcher Lama Ahmad. “We don’t really push them one way or another. We just want to give them the information that they need to be able to make the right decisions for them.”

It’s an unusually public role for the research-oriented San Francisco startup, now backed by billions of dollars in investment from its partner Microsoft and facing growing interest from the public and governments.

France’s digital economy minister Jean-Noël Barrot recently met in California with OpenAI executives, including CEO Sam Altman, and a week later told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that he was optimistic about the technology. But the government minister — a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the French business school HEC in Paris — said there are also difficult ethical questions that will need to be addressed.

“So if you’re in the law faculty, there is room for concern because obviously ChatGPT, among other tools, will be able to deliver exams that are relatively impressive,” he said. “If you are in the economics faculty, then you’re fine because ChatGPT will have a hard time finding or delivering something that is expected when you are in a graduate-level economics faculty.”

He said it will be increasingly important for users to understand the basics of how these systems work so they know what biases might exist.

In Iowa, potential 2024 GOP Trump challengers quiet for now

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — By this time four years ago, at least a dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls eager to make their case against Donald Trump had either visited Iowa or announced plans to soon visit the leadoff voting state ahead of the 2020 election.

Iowa’s campaign landscape is markedly different this year, with a Republican field seemingly frozen by Trump’s early announcement of a 2024 campaign. So far, only former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has visited this year, and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is making plans to stop by in the next few weeks.

Even Trump, the only declared candidate in the 2024 race right now, has been absent from Iowa, choosing instead to kickstart his campaign last weekend in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two other early voting states.

RELATED: Trump opens 2024 run, says he’s ‘more committed’ than ever

With Iowa’s first-in-the-nation GOP caucuses just a year off, the field of would-be White House candidates has largely been content to steer clear of bone-chilling Iowa — and, perhaps more importantly, avoid being the first candidate to announce a bid against the former president.

“No one wants to be on a limb by themselves against Trump,” said Alan Ostergren, a Republican lawyer in Des Moines who is involved in GOP politics. “They’ll all break at some point. But no one wants to go first.”

For now, the quiet in Iowa gives other contenders weighing campaigns — among them former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, all of whom campaigned in Iowa last year for GOP candidates — time to talk to potential donors, promote their new books and summon the mettle to take on Trump.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a leading GOP presidential prospect coming off a blowout reelection victory, is not expected to make any 2024 moves until the spring, after the Florida Legislature adjourns and he completes a national book tour.

As a warning to other potential competitors, Trump and his team have been lashing out at would-be rivals. The former president has dubbed DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious” and said that a DeSantis challenge for the 2024 GOP nomination would be “a great act of disloyalty.”

Trump’s universal name recognition gives him space to stay away from Iowa for now, GOP operatives say, as his team charts a strategy that’s expected to be more organized than his freewheeling 2016 campaign, which resulted in a second-place finish in the state’s caucuses.

Although he remains deeply popular within a core of the Republican Party, Trump is facing a number of investigations that could complicate his third bid for the White House. Among them are a criminal investigation over top-secret documents found at his Florida estate, a probe in Washington into his efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election, an investigation in Georgia into his efforts to remain in the presidency after losing reelection, and more probes in New York.

“He’s not looked at as someone who should automatically get the nomination. He’s no longer in office, and two years have gone by,” said Steve Scheffler, Iowa’s Republican National committeeman, who has pledged to remain publicly neutral. “Even though the base loves him and his policies, he may have to do more of what others have to do. I definitely think he’s more vulnerable.”

So far, Trump is the lone 2024 Republican with a paid presence in Iowa. Alex Latcham, the former regional political director for the Iowa Republican Party, now works for Trump’s national team but still lives in Iowa. He is helping recruit an Iowa campaign director for Trump.

Unlike four years ago, around the time then-California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and then-South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, among others, were visiting Iowa, Democrats this year are standing to the side with the expectation that President Joe Biden will seek a second term. In any case, the Democratic National Committee is expected to strip Iowa of its leadoff voting status for the 2024 presidential nominating calendar, though Republicans plan to keep Iowa as its first-voting state.

Despite the relative quiet in Iowa so far this year, potential Republican candidates are still finding ways to make inroads with GOP activists in the state without setting foot there.

At the GOP legislative breakfast on Jan. 9, legislators and party officials flipped through a printed program that included full-page ads from Trump, Pompeo and Scott.

That’s in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars that they and others, including Haley and Pence, contributed to Iowa Republican candidates from their political fundraising organizations for their 2022 midterm election campaigns.

Without setting foot in Iowa, DeSantis, too, worked to sow goodwill last year with Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds by inviting her to meet in Florida.

Several would-be presidential candidates are expected to attend an annual spring fundraiser for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, a Christian conservative group, on April 22.

Hutchinson, the only 2024 GOP candidate to visit Iowa this year, made a low-profile visit to Iowa early this month, holding private meetings and speaking to a GOP state legislative breakfast. Scott is scheduled to speak at the Polk County GOP annual fundraising dinner on Feb. 22.

Gloria Mazza, chair of the Polk County Republican Party, said it’s only a matter of time before the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by potential GOP Trump rivals spills out into the open.

“It’s going to pop, but it’s hard to tell when. It’s like a game of chess,” Mazza said. “Who is going to make the first move on him?”

Former Oregon Gov. Kate Brown joins Harvard as Visiting Fellow

Former Oregon Governor Kate Brown is headed back to college. Specifically, she’ll be a Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

Brown just completed her second term as Oregon’s chief executive.

Harvard says the Visiting Fellows Program “brings distinguished veterans of public life for a short yet comprehensive stay at the Institute of Politics. Each fellowship is individually tailored to the background of the visiting fellow, as well as his or her calendar availability.”

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Treasury to increase borrowing amid debt ceiling standoff

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Monday it plans to increase its borrowing during the first three months of 2023, even as the federal government is bumping up against a $31.4 trillion limit on its legal borrowing authority.

The U.S. plans to borrow $932 billion during the January-to-March quarter. That’s $353 billion more than projected last October, due to a lower beginning-of-quarter cash balance and projections of lower-than-expected income tax receipts and higher spending.

The increased borrowing will take place as Democrats and the White House push for Congress to increase the federal debt limit. President Joe Biden wants the cap raised without any preconditions. The new House Republican majority is seeking to secure spending cuts in exchange for a debt limit increase.

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Treasury officials say the debate over the debt ceiling poses a risk to the U.S. financial position.

“Even just the threat that the U.S. government might fail to meet its obligations may cause severe harm to the economy by eroding household and business confidence, injecting volatility into financial markets, and raising the cost of capital — among other negative impacts,” Ben Harris, Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy, said in a statement.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in a letter to congressional leaders earlier this month, said the department had begun resorting to ” extraordinary measures ” to avoid a federal government default. She said it’s “critical that Congress act in a timely manner” to raise or suspend the debt limit.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Yellen said her actions will buy time until Congress can pass legislation that will either raise the nation’s borrowing authority or suspend the limit for a period of time. She said it is unlikely that cash and extraordinary measures will be exhausted before early June.

New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet with Biden at the White House this week to discuss the debt limit.

McCarthy told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday: “I want to sit down together, work out an agreement that we can move forward to put us on a path to balance — and at the same time not put any of our debt in jeopardy at the same time.”

Priscilla Presley disputes trust of late Lisa Marie Presley

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Priscilla Presley has filed legal documents disputing who oversees the estate of her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court last week disputes the validity of a 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie Presley’s living trust that removed Priscilla Presley and a former business manager as trustees and replaced them with Lisa Marie Presley’s two oldest children, Riley Keough and Benjamin Keough, if she died or became incapacitated. Benjamin Keough died in 2020.

A living trust is a form of estate planning that allows a person to control their assets while alive, but have them distributed if they die. It serves the function of a will if a separate will is not filed, as appears to be the case with Lisa Marie Presley.

RELATED: Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley dies at 54

Lisa Marie Presley, a singer and the only child of Elvis Presley, died at a California hospital at age 54 on Jan. 12 after paramedics answered a 911 call reporting a woman in cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County coroner is investigating, and has not yet given a cause of death. She was laid to rest at her family home, Graceland, on Jan. 22.

Priscilla Presley’s court filing says there are several issues that bring the living trust amendment’s authenticity into doubt.

The filing says they include a failure to notify Priscilla Presley of the change as required, a misspelling of Priscilla Presley’s name in a document supposedly signed by her daughter, an atypical signature from Lisa Marie Presley, and a lack of a witness or notarization. It asks a judge to declare the amendment invalid.

The filing says that the business manager, Barry Siegel, intended to resign, which according to the prior terms of the trust would leave Priscilla Presley, 77, and Riley Keough, 33, as co-trustees.

A message seeking comment from representatives of Riley Keough was not immediately returned.

Lisa Marie Presley left three surviving children. In addition to Riley Keough, her daughter with first husband Danny Keough, she had 14-year-old twin daughters with her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood.

Presley was declared divorced from Lockwood in 2021, but the two were still disputing finances in family court when she died.

Priscilla Presley’s filing is among the first of what are likely to be many legal maneuvers surrounding the estate of Lisa Marie Presley, the only heir of Elvis Presley.

It is not clear, however, how much that estate is worth. A lawsuit Lisa Marie Presley filed in 2018 alleging Siegel had mismanaged the trust said it had been worth in excess of $100 million, but most of that had been depleted.

Boeing bids farewell to an icon, delivers last 747 jumbo jet

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It’s delivering its final 747 jumbo jet.

Since its first flight in 1969, the giant yet graceful 747 has served as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, a transport for NASA’s space shuttles, and the Air Force One presidential aircraft. It revolutionized travel, connecting international cities that had never before had direct routes and helping democratize passenger flight.

But over about the past 15 years, Boeing and its European rival Airbus have introduced more profitable and fuel efficient wide-body planes, with only two engines to maintain instead of the 747′s four. The final plane is the 1,574th built by Boeing in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.

A big crowd of current and former Boeing workers is expected for the final send-off. The last one is being delivered to cargo carrier Atlas Air.

“If you love this business, you’ve been dreading this moment,” said longtime aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia. “Nobody wants a four-engine airliner anymore, but that doesn’t erase the tremendous contribution the aircraft made to the development of the industry or its remarkable legacy.”

Boeing set out to build the 747 after losing a contract for a huge military transport, the C-5A. The idea was to take advantage of the new engines developed for the transport — high-bypass turbofan engines, which burned less fuel by passing air around the engine core, enabling a farther flight range — and to use them for a newly imagined civilian aircraft.

It took more than 50,000 Boeing workers less than 16 months to churn out the first 747 — a Herculean effort that earned them the nickname “The Incredibles.” The jumbo jet’s production required the construction of a massive factory in Everett, north of Seattle — the world’s largest building by volume.

The plane’s fuselage was 225 feet (68.5 meters) long and the tail stood as tall as a six-story building. The plane’s design included a second deck extending from the cockpit back over the first third of the plane, giving it a distinctive hump and inspiring a nickname, the Whale. More romantically, the 747 became known as the Queen of the Skies.

Some airlines turned the second deck into a first-class cocktail lounge, while even the lower deck sometimes featured lounges or even a piano bar.

“It was the first big carrier, the first widebody, so it set a new standard for airlines to figure out what to do with it, and how to fill it,” said Guillaume de Syon, a history professor at Pennsylvania’s Albright College who specializes in aviation and mobility. “It became the essence of mass air travel: You couldn’t fill it with people paying full price, so you need to lower prices to get people onboard. It contributed to what happened in the late 1970s with the deregulation of air travel.”

The first 747 entered service in 1970 on Pan Am’s New York-London route, and its timing was terrible, Aboulafia said. It debuted shortly before the oil crisis of 1973, amid a recession that saw Boeing’s employment fall from 100,800 employees in 1967 to a low of 38,690 in April 1971. The “Boeing bust” was infamously marked by a billboard near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport that read, “Will the last person leaving SEATTLE — Turn out the lights.”

An updated model — the 747-400 series — arrived in the late 1980s and had much better timing, coinciding with the Asian economic boom of the early 1990s, Aboulafia said. He recalled taking a Cathay Pacific 747 from Los Angeles to Hong Kong as a twentysomething backpacker in 1991.

“Even people like me could go see Asia,” Aboulafia said. “Before, you had to stop for fuel in Alaska or Hawaii and it cost a lot more. This was a straight shot — and reasonably priced.”

Delta was the last U.S. airline to use the 747 for passenger flights, which ended in 2017, although some other international carriers continue to fly it, including the German airline Lufthansa.

Atlas Air ordered four 747-8 freighters early last year, with the final one leaving the factory Tuesday.

Boeing’s roots are in the Seattle area, and it has assembly plants in Washington state and South Carolina. The company announced in May that it would move its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, putting its executives closer to key federal government officials and the Federal Aviation Administration, which certifies Boeing passenger and cargo planes.

Boeing’s relationship with the FAA has been strained since deadly crashes of its best-selling plane, the 737 Max, in 2018 and 2019. The FAA took nearly two years — far longer than Boeing expected — to approve design changes and allow the plane back in the air.

US probes complaints of parts flying off of Ford Explorers

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints that windshield trim panels can fly off of Ford Explorers while they’re traveling at highway speeds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 164 complaints about the trim pieces detaching on 2011 through 2019 Explorer SUVs. The probe covers about 1.86 million vehicles.

The parts could hit the windshield of following vehicles or even a motorcycle rider, possibly causing loss of control and a crash, the agency said.

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The agency doesn’t have any reports of crashes or injuries, according to a document posted Tuesday.

NHTSA says it will determine how often the problem happens and the safety consequences of the trim pieces flying off the vehicles.

The investigation could lead to a recall, but so far there hasn’t been one.

Ford says it’s working with NHTSA on the investigation.