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UK’s Ofcom probes Amazon, Microsoft and Google over cloud dominance

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Uk'S Ofcom Probes Amazon, Microsoft And Google Over Cloud Dominance
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The probe will focus on so-called “hyperscalers” like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, which allow companies to access computing power and data storage from remote servers.

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UK media regulator Ofcom is investigating Amazon, Microsoft and Google’s tight grip on the cloud computing industry.

In the coming weeks, the watchdog will launch a study to examine the position of companies offering public cloud infrastructure and determine whether they pose barriers to competition.

Its probe, announced Thursday, will focus on so-called “hyperscalers” like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, which allow companies to access computing power and data storage from remote servers, rather than hosting it on their own private infrastructure.

Further action could be taken by the regulator if it finds that companies are harming competition. Selina Chadha, Ofcom’s director of connectivity, said the regulator had yet to determine whether the cloud giants were engaging in anti-competitive behavior. Ofcom said it would conclude its review and issue a final report including all concerns and proposed recommendations within 12 months.

Amazon, Microsoft and Google were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

The review will be part of a wider digital strategy pushed by Ofcom, which regulates the broadcasting and telecommunications industries in the UK

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It also plans to investigate other digital markets, including personal messaging and virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, over the next year. Ofcom has expressed interest in the impact of services such as Meta’s WhatsApp, Apple’s Facetime and Zoom on traditional calling and messaging, as well as the competitive landscape of digital assistants, connected TVs and headphones. smart speakers.

“The way we live, work, play and do business has been transformed by digital services,” Ofcom’s Chadha said in a statement on Thursday. “But as the number of platforms, devices, and networks that deliver content continues to grow, so do the technological and economic issues facing regulators.”

“That’s why we’re launching a program of work to review these digital marketplaces, identify any competition issues and make sure they work well for the people and businesses that depend on them,” she added.

Ofcom has been handpicked to enforce tough new rules on harmful content on the internet. But the legislation, known as the Online Safety Bill, is unlikely to come into force soon after Liz Truss replaces Boris Johnson as prime minister. As Truss’ government grapples with a plethora of issues in the UK – notably the cost of living crisis – online safety regulation is expected to take a back seat to the political priorities of the UK. government.

The move adds to efforts by other regulators to rein in big tech companies over the perceived stranglehold they have on various parts of the digital economy.

The Competition and Markets Authority has several active investigations into Big Tech companies and wants additional powers to ensure a level playing field in digital markets. The European Commission, meanwhile, has fined Google billions of dollars over alleged antitrust breaches, is investigating Apple and Amazon in separate cases, and passed landmark digital laws that could reshape the business models of the giants. the Internet.

cloud competition

Amazon holds a comfortable lead in the cloud infrastructure services market, with its Amazon Web Services division making billions of dollars in profits each year. In 2021, AWS earned $62.2 billion in revenue and over $18.5 billion in operating profit.

Microsoft’s Azure is the first runner-up, while Google is the third runner-up. Other companies, including IBM and China’s Alibaba, also operate their own cloud branches.

Together, Amazon, Microsoft and Google generate around 81% of the UK cloud infrastructure services market’s revenue according to Ofcom, which estimates the market at £15 billion ($16.8 billion).

Microsoft recently announced a number of changes to the terms of its cloud contract, making it easier for customers to use competing cloud platforms as well as Microsoft. The Redmond, Wash.-based company had faced complaints from competitors in Europe that it was limiting choice in the marketplace.


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Minneapolis couple completes canoe and bike trek around perimeter of Minnesota

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A Woman Stands By A Trail Sign.
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Last September, a Minneapolis couple pedaled and paddled through Grand Forks, N.D., on the first leg of a bicycle-and-canoe trek around Minnesota that started Aug. 2, 2021, on the St. Croix River and would take them as far as Rainy Lake before they called it a season in mid-September.

When Tony and Kathy Mommsen traveled by bicycle, Tony would tow their canoe on a makeshift trailer. When paddling, the couple would carry their Trek 520 touring bicycles onboard their 18½-foot Wenonah Odyssey canoe.

The trip took them on an east-to-west route across southern Minnesota and eventually down the Red River to Kittson County in northwest Minnesota and east through such communities as Hallock, Badger, Roseau and Warroad.

They arrived at Rainy Lake on Sept. 14, 2021.

This summer, the Mommsens finished the trek — more or less — but instead of traveling with both canoes and bicycles, they divided the trip into two parts, pedaling from Grand Portage, Minn., to St. Croix Falls, Wis., from July 15 until July 21.

Kathy Mommsen of Minneapolis stands by a sign marking the entrance to the Grand Portage in August 2022 on the home stretch of a canoe-and-bicycle trip that took Kathy and her husband, Tony, around the perimeter of Minnesota. The Mommsens passed through Grand Forks in early September 2021 on the first leg of their trip, which last year took them as far as Rainy Lake. They finished up the trip in July and August this year. (Courtesy of Tony Mommsen)

Then, on July 29, friends gave them a ride to Crane Lake, where they launched their canoes and paddled along the Minnesota-Ontario border, arriving back at Grand Portage on Aug. 10.

“It was great just paddling — without bikes,” Tony Mommsen said. Including last year’s adventure, they spent 35 days canoeing — about 620 miles — and 30 days biking — about 1,100 miles — he says.

A semi-retired graphic artist and web designer, Tony said the inspiration for their around-the-state trek came from a podcast he’d heard about a bike rider who had pedaled around Texas.

Traveling the perimeter of Minnesota seemed like a perfect fit for the couple, who both are avid bicycle and canoe campers. Kathy is a ceramic artist.

Originally, Tony says, they had planned to start this year’s trip in June, picking up where they left off on Rainy Lake. Near-record flooding on Rainy Lake and family issues forced them to delay the trip until July.

“We were pinched for time, so we skipped Rainy Lake and Voyageurs National Park,” Tony said. “We may do that next summer.”

They opted to start in Grand Portage and bike down the North Shore, Tony says, in hopes that the flooding along the Minnesota-Ontario border would subside by the time they launched their canoe.

Plus, they were able to leave a vehicle near Grand Portage, which would then be waiting for them when they completed the canoe portion of their trip.

That simplified the logistics.

“We couldn’t even imagine bringing those bikes down Highway 61 pulling the canoe,” Kathy said of biking down the North Shore. “We had involved so many people with our original shuttles, and we kept changing because the weather kept changing. And it just was like, ‘OK, we have to get this simpler’ — it just got too complicated.”

The second leg of the trip — from Crane Lake and through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to Grand Portage — was a longtime “bucket list” trip of theirs, Tony says, even though it meant crossing 40 portages before reaching their destination.

From Crane Lake, the trip along the border took them through such bodies of water as Loon Lake, Lac La Croix, Basswood Lake, Knife Lake, Saganaga Lake, Gunflint Lake and the Pigeon River before arriving at Grand Portage.

The voyageurs traveled that route because there was minimal portaging until they got closer to Grand Portage, Tony says.

“There’s some big portages farther east but for the most part, it’s just a lot of great paddling and easy portaging, so it’s beautiful,” he said.

The paddling portion of the trip wasn’t without its challenges, though. Because of all the flooding- and weather-related schedule changes, they had to redo their BWCA permits a half-dozen times.

In addition, an aluminum bracket holding the bow seat in place broke near Basswood Lake, and they had to prop the seat up with a log they carried with them for the remainder of the trip, adding to the weight of the gear they carried across portages.

They carried their food, mainly dried goods such as soup mixes, chili and oatmeal, in bear-proof canisters, which now are required for travelers in the BWCA.

They were hoping to repair the seat at Gunflint Lodge, but while that didn’t work out, they were able to drop off a backpack they didn’t need, removing about 30 pounds of unneeded weight for the last five days of the trip. They picked up the pack before heading back to the Twin Cities.

Trip highlights — and there were many — included ancient pictographs on Lac La Croix and an abundance of blueberries, which likely benefited from the wet conditions.

A Canoe Next To A Rock Cliff.
Tony Mommsen of Minneapolis admires a pictograph painting of a moose on Lac La Croix on the Minnesota-Ontario border during the second leg of the canoe and bicycle trip he and his wife, Kathy, made around the perimeter of Minnesota in summer 2022. (Courtesy of Kathy Mommsen)

“We’ve never seen anything like it,” Tony said. “You’d sit down and just pick. You didn’t even have to move. The bears must have loved it.”

Parking their vehicle at Grand Portage National Monument, where it stayed for nearly a month, allowed them to avoid portaging the full 8½ miles of the Grand Portage; 5 miles was far enough, Tony says.

“I didn’t really need the whole experience,” he said.

They did, however, bike the portion they didn’t portage to start the trip, Kathy says.

With their trip around Minnesota complete, the Mommsens say they’d someday like to spend more time in the BWCA and adjacent Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario exploring all of the pictographs, an adventure that could take at least a month.

“They are always on the prettiest parts of the prettiest lakes, so it would be amazing,” Tony said. “And there’s a lot of pictographs we haven’t seen.”

With kids and grandkids both in Atlanta and New Mexico, adventures farther south also are a possibility.

For now, though, that’s in the future.

“We’re just kind of enjoying the trip we just did,” Kathy said.

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Luis Robert’s season is over after the Chicago White Sox place the center fielder on the IL with a wrist injury

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Luis Robert’s Season Is Over After The Chicago White Sox Place The Center Fielder On The Il With A Wrist Injury
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Luis Robert will not return this season after the Chicago White Sox placed the center fielder on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a sprained left wrist.

Before the announcement, Robert had started just six of the team’s 26 games since Aug. 26 because of a bruised left hand, left wrist soreness and a Sept. 2-3 stint on the paternity list.

The IL stint comes with 11 games remaining for the Sox, who entered Saturday eight games back in the American League Central.

“Luis, similar to a handful of other guys out there, deserves a lot of credit for trying to fight through the pain and contribute as much as he could over the past couple of weeks,” general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday.

“Given the fact the discomfort seems to be persisting, I think you’ve all seen it as various at-bats and games have gone on, and the way games have played out the past week, we feel it’s better just to shut him down and get him completely healthy, which is expected to occur with the passage of time.”

Robert exited an Aug. 12 game against the Detroit Tigers with a sprained left wrist after attempting to steal second base in the sixth inning. He returned to the lineup Aug. 20.

Robert swung one-handed during a couple of his at-bats Aug. 25 against the Orioles in Baltimore and didn’t make another start until Sept. 5 against the Mariners in Seattle.

The next night, he got hit while swinging at the first pitch of his second-inning at-bat against the Mariners. He continued the at-bat after being evaluated by the training staff and did not swing again, eventually striking out looking.

He took two strikes and a ball in his fifth-inning at-bat, then swung with one hand and missed to strike out in the fifth. He left with the bruised left hand.

“Unfortunately I think the hit by pitch was a real factor,” Hahn said. “He was making real good progress before then. Given that it was what we were originally dealing with — a sprain and wrist — and repetitive use was going to be a challenge over time while you’re ramping back up.

“So it’s conceivable had he not been hit by a pitch, it would have starting barking at some point, but certainly getting hit accelerated the pain response in that area.”

Robert slashed .284/.319/.426 with 12 homers, 56 RBIs, 54 runs and 11 stolen bases in 97 games. But he was 1-for-28 (.036) since Aug. 25 after slashing .407/.462/.627 in his previous 17 games.

“I’m sure (head trainer) James (Kruk) in the back of his head or the doctors in the back of their heads are concerned about all scenarios, but the highest probability is with time he’ll be fine,” Hahn said. “They’ve done a lot of studies on that.

“And Luis has seen three different specialists just to confirm that everyone is on the same page. At this point, the overwhelming belief is that with the passage of time, the issue will resolve itself and he’ll be fine.”

The Sox recalled outfielder Mark Payton from Triple-A Charlotte, reinstated reliever Joe Kelly from the family medical leave list and optioned pitcher Tanner Banks to Charlotte.


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Aaron Judge stuck on 60 as Anthony Rizzo, 2 others homer as Yankees beat Red Sox 7-5

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Aaron Judge Stuck On 60 As Anthony Rizzo, 2 Others Homer As Yankees Beat Red Sox 7-5
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The Yankees got three home runs Saturday to beat the Red Sox 7-5 at Yankee Stadium, but the sold-out crowd of 47,611 left the ballpark disappointed. For the fourth straight game, the Bombers’ slugger Aaron Judge did not hit a home run, remaining one away from tying the 61 year old American League and franchise record of 61.

With homers from Gleyber Torres, Oswaldo Cabrera and Anthony Rizzo, the Yankees (93-58) won their sixth straight game and closed within three games of clinching the AL East division title.

For the first time since he hit his 60th home run of the season, Judge was challenged by a pitcher. Nick Pivetta went at him with three fastballs in the first inning, striking him out. In the third, Pivetta came with three fastballs, dropped in a knuckle curve and then got him to fly out to center on another fastball. In the fifth, Pivetta was a little more cautious but did challenge him with a 2-1 fastball down the middle which the slugger was late on and fouled off.

They battled to a full count before Judge walked after seven pitches. In the seventh, with the shadows over home plate making it even harder for the hitters to see, John Schreiber used his sinker to set up his slider to battle back from 2-0 to 2-2. Judge fouled off two hanging sliders before John Schreiber got him on a checked swing at a 93-mile-an-hour fastball. That was the first time in this stretch of waiting that Judge showed any emotions. He muttered to himself as he started walking back and waved his hand dismissively at first base umpire Chris Conroy who had called him out on the checked swing.

It has been 18 late appearances since Judge hit No. 60 on Tuesday night.

As careful as Schreiber was with Judge, he gave Rizzo an 88-mile-an-hour changeup to hammer. The 434-foot, two-run shot gave the Yankees a 7-5 lead. Rizzo’s tied his career-high with his 32nd home run of the season, the fourth time he’s reached that number in his career. He also hit 32 home runs in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Torres hit his 24th home run of the season in the first and Cabrera hit his fourth big league homer in the fourth, a two-run shot to right field. He also scored on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s single in the second. Josh Donaldson singled in Kyle Higashioka in the fifth.

Domingo German gave up a two-run home run to Triston Casas and a solo shot to Reese McGuire in the second and that was it. He struck out five and walked one over five innings.

Zack Britton, making his first big league appearance since Aug. 19, 2021, after having Tommy John surgery, looked rusty, walking three, including a walk with the bases loaded to give up a run, and leaving having just recorded one out in the sixth. Lou Trevino came into strand Britton’s runners and get the Yankees out of the sixth having allowed just that one run and preserving the 5-4 lead.

Lucas Luetge gave up an RBI single to Alex Verdugo after Xander Bogaerts’ slow-rolling grounder had Josh Donaldson sliding on the ground to extend the inning.


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Column: Aaron Judge’s ‘clean’ pursuit of the HR mark can’t match the hype of the 1998 Sammy Sosa-Mark McGwire race

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Column: Aaron Judge’s ‘Clean’ Pursuit Of The Hr Mark Can’t Match The Hype Of The 1998 Sammy Sosa-Mark Mcgwire Race
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Before a game at old Busch Stadium in September 1998, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire declined to speak at a news conference about his pursuit of Roger Maris’ home run record, stiffing hundreds of media members.

Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, who then was on McGwire’s heels in the great home run race, happily sat down with a dozen reporters in Pittsburgh the next day and answered question after question about his pursuit of Maris.

Sosa told reporters McGwire should be pardoned for stiffing them, saying he was simply more comfortable dealing with the media than his nemesis.

“I’m a little more Rico Suave,” Sosa said, referring to a 1990 song.

Twenty-four years later, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge didn’t have to worry about handling the media crush as he chased Maris American League record of 61 home runs.

Judge normally doesn’t do pregame interviews, and a Yankees media relations staffer ended the slugger’s postgame session after 2 minutes, 15 seconds following Thursday’s homerless game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

It’s a different world for the media — and for baseball.

While dozens of reporters from around the nation followed McGwire and Sosa around the country in September 1998, only a few national media members have been in New York chronicling Judge’s chase.

Fewer newspapers, tighter budgets and the dwindling of the species commonly known as the “national baseball writer” have made Judge’s life easier as he attempts to make history.

“I haven’t seen many people who aren’t usually here,” New York Times baseball columnist Tyler Kepner told me, pointing to a handful of national reporters on hand for Thursday’s game. “It’s not really an overflow crowd, and I can’t imagine that it wears at all on Judge.”

Like many star players, Judge generally doesn’t make himself available at his locker before games, saving himself the aggravation of talking about the record. He’s very genial when he does speak, but Judge’s postgame sessions at his locker don’t last long because he doesn’t say a lot, in the tradition of Yankees icon Derek Jeter.

Sosa had a lot to say and at the time enjoyed speaking with the media. That would change by 2004, but in September 1998 he was so in demand the TV crews crowded out print reporters who had covered him and the Cubs all season.

After one on-field scrum led to some elbowing between TV cameramen and print reporters, I asked Sosa if he knew who voted for the Most Valuable Player award. Naturally, he had no idea.

“The writers,” I said. “The guys who can’t get close enough to hear you because of the TV cameras.”

Sosa made a deal to hold a separate pregame interview session with the writers after his TV interviews. Everyone was happy — except for some of his teammates who tired of the distraction during a tense wild-card race.

Of course the 1998 home run race later was discredited when McGwire and Sosa were alleged to have used performance-enhancing drugs, which McGwire later admitted to. Neither has made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame despite their historic home run totals. But McGwire’s 70 homers in 1998 remained the record until Barry Bonds broke it with 73 in 2001. There are no asterisks, even as all three have been tarred as cheaters.

Judge still considers Bonds’ mark legit, no matter how it was accomplished.

“Seventy-three is the record,” he told Sports Illustrated reporter Tom Verducci. “In my book. No matter what people want to say about that era of baseball, for me, they went out there and hit 73 homers and (McGwire hit) 70 homers, and that to me is what the record is.

“The AL record is 61, so that is one I can try to go after. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it’s been a fun year so far.”

MLB is hoping Judge’s “clean” pursuit of the hallowed 61 mark can bring back the best parts of the drama of the 1998 race without the baggage of PEDs allegations.

Judge is one of the game’s most popular players for the game’s most iconic franchise and playing in the media center of the world. Throw in the Boston Red Sox as an opponent and it’s Commissioner Rob Manfred’s wildest dream come true.

Thursday’s game, in which Judge hit a long flyout to center, was televised nationally on Fox Sports, while Friday’s game streamed on Apple Plus, which annoyed Yankees fans to no end. Saturday’s game aired nationally on MLB Network, while Sunday’s Yankees-Red Sox game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

The ratings no doubt will pale in comparison with the day McGwire broke Maris record with his 62nd home run on Sept. 8, 1998. Fox preempted the season premiere of “King of the Hill” and a new show called “Costello” to air the Cubs-Cardinals game and was rewarded with 43.1 million viewers, making it the highest-rated regular-season game in 16 years.

Those numbers are unreachable in the current TV stratosphere. The 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros averaged only 11.75 million viewers, with the decisive game Game 6 drawing 14.3 million.

Last year’s Field of Dreams game between the Yankees and Chicago White Sox had nearly six million viewers, which MLB announced was its most watched regular-season game since 1998. Tim Anderson’s walk-off home run into the corn could be seen by more viewers than Judge’s historic moment.

Whoever serves up the 62nd home run will have a place in baseball history, just as former Cubs Steve Trachsel, who served up McGwire’s record-breaking 62nd homer on that memorable night in 1998 and then watched Sosa and his teammates celebrate in a bizarre spectacle.

“There is no joy involved in it for me,” Trachsel said after the 6-3 loss.

Trachsel seemingly stood at his locker forever afterward, answering redundant questions about serving up the biggest home run of all time. Not because he enjoyed it, but because the moment required his input for history’s sake.

It’s a new world now.

Maybe everyone can just tweet a reaction.


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Meet the ‘corn kid,’ the 7-year-old who went viral for loving on his favorite food

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Tiktok Sensation Tariq, 7, Known For Expressing His Love Of Corn During An Interview With Recess Therapy, An Internet Show Which Features Spontaneous Interviews With Children In New York City, At Domino Park In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, On Sept. 16, 2022. After Going Viral This Summer, It'S Back To Business As Usual: Elementary School. (Ok Mccausland/The New York Times)
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NEW YORK — “It’s corn!”

With just two words about his favorite food, Tariq captivated millions.

“For me, I really like corn,” he says in a now-viral video, which has been watched more than 5 million times on YouTube. Tariq describes corn as “a big lump with knobs,” noting, “It has the juice.” “I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing,” he says.

Perhaps you’ve heard the jingle, or know him as “Corn Kid.” Offline, Tariq just started second grade, where his slightly-too-young-for-TikTok classmates have no idea he spent the past few weeks of summer becoming an internet sensation.

He likes recess and also math. (The latter, he rationalized using the uncomplicated wisdom that comes with being 7: “Because, like, I’m good at math,” he explained.) He has three sisters, each counted aloud the fingers of one hand. His favorite color is “all the colors,” his ideal adventure would be a visit to a humongous water park and he is not a fan of flying insects, like the ones buzzing around the beekeeping hives in Domino Park on the Brooklyn waterfront, where he had just settled into a chair to discuss his recent brush with internet fame.

TikTok sensation Tariq, 7, known for expressing his love of corn during an interview with Recess Therapy, an internet show which features spontaneous interviews with children in New York City, at Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sept. 16, 2022. After going viral this summer, it’s back to business as usual: elementary school. (OK McCausland/The New York Times)

Several shrieks from both reporter and subject later, we relocated. “I didn’t actually walk into him, he walked into me,” Tariq, safely away from the bees, said of his star-making chance encounter with Julian Shapiro-Barnum, the host of the internet show “Recess Therapy,” which features Shapiro-Barnum’s spontaneous interviews with children in New York City.

Tariq was with one of his older sisters and his grandmother at Smorgasburg, a weekly food festival in Prospect Park, when Shapiro-Barnum approached him for an interview this summer. On that particular day, Shapiro-Barnum, whom Tariq calls Mr. Julian, was working on an episode about favorite things.

The answer for Tariq was simple and, conveniently, already at hand: an ear of roasted corn.

In the video, Shapiro-Barnum has edited crunching sounds over each time Tariq takes a bite for dramatic effect. “I hope you have a corntastic day,” Tariq says. Beside him, his grandmother is unable to control her giggles. “What? It’s just a pun about corn.” Crunch!

“A pun is like something you make up to make people laugh,” Tariq later explained when asked to define a pun.

A missing front tooth, Tariq said, makes it slightly more difficult to eat his beloved starchy vegetable, but he remains undeterred. The tooth fairy did not come when it fell out, he said. “She ditched me. She thinks I have a horrible family.” Tariq’s mother, Jessica, sitting next to her son, feigned a gasp and laughed.

Tiktok Sensation Tariq, 7, Known For Expressing His Love Of Corn During An Interview With Recess Therapy, An Internet Show Which Features Spontaneous Interviews With Children In New York City, At Domino Park In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, On Sept. 16, 2022. After Going Viral This Summer, It'S Back To Business As Usual: Elementary School. (Ok Mccausland/The New York Times)
TikTok sensation Tariq, 7, known for expressing his love of corn during an interview with Recess Therapy, an internet show which features spontaneous interviews with children in New York City, at Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sept. 16, 2022. After going viral this summer, it’s back to business as usual: elementary school. (OK McCausland/The New York Times)

Tariq’s tooth fairy theories aside, his family actually appears to have done the impossible: maintaining a semblance of normalcy, safety and fun for Tariq while he runs out his fame clock. (Tariq’s family asked that they be identified by only their first names, in an effort to maintain their privacy.)

The Recess Therapy interview had gone international before Jessica, 33, even found out her son was going viral. “I got a message with a video from Europe and they’re like, ‘Isn’t this Tariq?’ ” Jessica said of a message she received from cousins overseas. “They’re like, ‘He’s on TikTok!’ ”

This puzzled Jessica, who, at the time, did not use the app. (She said her daughter had messaged her to make sure it was OK that Tariq spoke with Shapiro-Barnum in the park.) Texts, links and emails started flooding in from friends and strangers from around the world. “And then I realized that, ‘Oh, my God, my son is all over the internet,’ ” she said.

Bookers from television shows started reaching out. The family quickly found a lawyer. Tariq met him once via Zoom, his mother said, but he did not recall the meeting.

He did recall a trip to Los Angeles for the premiere of “Pinocchio.” An interviewer on the red carpet asked if Tariq was excited to meet Tom Hanks. “Who’s Tom Hanks?” Tariq replied. On “The Drew Barrymore Show,” Tariq sampled various corn-based foods: baby corn, corn soda, dessert corn and Quorn, a meat-substitute brand for which Barrymore is chief mom officer.

Tiktok Sensation Tariq, 7, Known For Expressing His Love Of Corn During An Interview With Recess Therapy, An Internet Show Which Features Spontaneous Interviews With Children In New York City, At Domino Park In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, On Sept. 16, 2022. After Going Viral This Summer, It'S Back To Business As Usual: Elementary School. (Ok Mccausland/The New York Times)
TikTok sensation Tariq, 7, known for expressing his love of corn during an interview with Recess Therapy, an internet show which features spontaneous interviews with children in New York City, at Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sept. 16, 2022. After going viral this summer, it’s back to business as usual: elementary school. (OK McCausland/The New York Times)

Online, the “Recess Therapy” video exploded like kernels in a pot of hot oil. It was the perfect recipe for virality: one part cute kid plus one part delicious food, with a healthy sprinkling of catchy sound bites, perfect for interpolating.

That was exactly what Michael Gregory did when he turned Tariq’s interview into a song on TikTok. Gregory is a quarter of the Gregory Brothers, a musical group that has made a name for itself transforming viral videos into catchy tunes. The group’s biggest hit to date may be “Bed Intruder Song,” an Auto-Tuned interview that became YouTube’s most watched video of 2010 and charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sitting at a keyboard, Gregory plunks out a tune with a single finger and sings backup to Tariq. The TikTok video has been viewed 76 million times and the audio has been used by other creators on the app in more than 1 million videos.

The group then reached out to Shapiro-Barnum and Tariq to collaborate on a bigger project, creating a full-length track using footage from a follow-up interview between Shapiro-Barnum and Tariq. The song was released on Spotify and revenue is being split evenly among the three parties. Tariq is credited as both a writer and performer.

Splitting profits with the subjects of the viral videos the brothers turn into music has been part of the group’s business model since their first hit, “Double Rainbow Song,” Gregory said. “We were like, ‘This is a good chance for people that are in a viral moment to actually benefit from said viral moment.” (The group said it was coordinating with Tariq’s lawyer to help him register as a songwriter so he can receive the appropriate royalties.)

Seemingly everyone wanted to get in on Corn Kid’s moment. Actor Kevin Bacon performed an acoustic cover of the song on TikTok, strumming the strings not with a pick or his fingers but with an ear of you know what. United Airlines used the song in a TikTok video about its planes. Dunkin’ posted a Corn Kid meme on Instagram and Chips Ahoy stuffed two ears of corn into the sleeves of a cookie package to make a Twitter meme. “Look Out, Corn Kid, the Future of Your Favorite Crop Is Far From ‘Corntastic,’ ” read a Bloomberg headline from the end of August.

Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota declared Sept. 3 “Official Corn-bassador Tariq Day.” “Whereas, South Dakota is one of the top corn producers in the nation, providing nourishment to people across the globe but especially to Tariq, a 7-year-old boy who recently discovered corn was real,” reads the opening of the executive proclamation. In his capacity as official corn-bassador, Tariq and his family visited the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. The trip was sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Tourism.

“It is the size of an actual castle,” Tariq said. The Corn Palace is not literally made of corn, he noted: “It’s made of metal that looks like corn.”

Tariq also joined Cameo at the end of August, a platform that allows celebrities to record personalized video messages for fans for a fee. Since joining, he has been the most viewed profile on the platform, a representative for Cameo wrote in an email. Tariq’s current rate for a personalized video is $220. Through Cameo, he has also been hired to film brand advertisements, including a video for Chipotle that is now the company’s best-performing TikTok ever.

But with his popularity also came criticism, Jessica said. On Twitter, some users theorized that Tariq was being used by his family to make a quick buck. Others worried he would fall prey to an all too common online pattern in which young Black creators do not receive appropriate compensation and credit for their work.

“I’m not reading the negative comments,” Jessica said. “Before it was really getting to me because people were saying really mean stuff like, ‘He’s being exploited,’ ‘He’s being forced to do these things.’ But anyone that knows Tariq knows he loves the camera. He loves to talk. And this is something he always wanted.”

In fact, Jessica initially tried to keep her son away from social media. It found him anyway.

“I always used to say, ‘No, you’re not getting a YouTube channel,’ ” she said.

Jessica, Tariq and Tariq’s father discuss every opportunity that comes his way. They have been selective about what they greenlight, Jessica said, and the decision is always ultimately Tariq’s. “If he’s in the mood to do it, we give it a go. If he doesn’t really feel like doing it, I’m not going to force it,” she said. Jessica turned off his Cameo requests when school started back up to ensure Tariq could focus on his education. She said she had no plans to turn them back on any time soon.

“People on the internet are saying, ‘Oh, this family is living off of him.’ Listen, he’s well taken care of. Both of his parents work and he lives in a household with lots of love with his siblings and both parents,” Jessica said.

Jessica has taken pains to keep Tariq’s private life private. On his first day of school, she met with her son’s principal to explain his new situation and set some ground rules.

“As soon as I went to the principal, she already knew who he was,” Jessica said. “They are really respecting my wishes when it comes to his privacy. And no pictures, except for one little boo-boo that happened.” An employee at the school had asked Tariq for a selfie. “I said yes,” Tariq said, grinning.

Jessica recently granted her son’s longtime wish to join social media. With his mom’s help, Tariq set up a TikTok account that now has nearly 600,000 followers. He posts under the handle @KornBoyOfficial. Somebody posing as him was already using the name @CornKid.

Tariq hopes eventually people will stop asking him about corn. “I really want to go to the park, but I can’t until I’m done with this,” Tariq said when asked what he would rather discuss instead.

While he climbed a tall metal slide, Jessica spotted several parents who appeared to clock her son as Corn Kid. Tariq had no idea.

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Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley ruled out of Sunday’s game vs. Patriots; OLB Brandon Copeland promoted from practice squad

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Ravens Lt Ronnie Stanley Ruled Out Of Sunday’s Game Vs. Patriots
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Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, delaying his season debut at least another week.

Stanley (ankle) was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report after practicing Wednesday and Thursday as a limited participant. He sat out Friday’s practice with what coach John Harbaugh called a recovery day.

Stanley has yet to fully participate in a practice this season. He played in just one game last season before undergoing his second straight season-ending ankle injury.

Harbaugh said Friday that Stanley is “getting to the point where it’s kind of week-to-week, day-to-day-ish. Again, it comes back to him feeling like he’s going to be playing at his best. That’s really what it boils down to. Very sound. Very strong. He’s in great shape, maybe the best shape that I’ve seen him in some ways since he’s been here. … He’s doing really well that way. So when he feels like he’s ready to go out there and be Ronnie Stanley at his best, then he’ll be out there.”

With Stanley and Week 1 starter Ja’Wuan James (torn Achilles tendon) both unavailable, Patrick Mekari is again expected to start at left tackle.

The Ravens on Saturday also elevated outside linebacker Brandon Copeland (Gilman), whom they signed Wednesday, and wide receiver Raleigh Webb from the practice squad for Sunday’s game. The Ravens have just two full-time outside linebackers on their active roster, Odafe Oweh and Justin Houston, after losing Steven Means to a torn Achilles tendon in Week 2. Free-agent signing Jason Pierre-Paul’s deal has not yet been finalized.


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