Jan. 3 Entertainment Briefs

By: 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Roku to chime in with 

voice-controlled assistant

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Roku plans to add a voice-controlled digital assistant to its streaming TV players in an attempt to catch up with Google, Apple and Amazon.

Roku’s voice capabilities are currently limited to performing search requests and launching apps. The assistant will be able to field broader requests about video, music and other tasks tied to entertainment.

Still, that’s a much narrower scope than the assistants already available from its bigger rivals in the battle to build digital command centers in people’s homes. Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa can perform tasks and control appliances that have nothing do with entertainment.

Roku could fall even further behind before its assistant reaches home. Although it was announced Wednesday, the assistant won’t be released until this fall as part of a software update.

 

Mike Tyson breaks ground on California marijuana ranch

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (AP) — Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is becoming a California marijuana entrepreneur.

TheBlast.com reports that Tyson and partners on Dec. 20 broke ground on a plot for a cannabis resort in California City, a remote Mojave Desert town that’s about a 110-mile (177-kilometer) drive north of Los Angeles.

Partner Robert Hickman tells the website that the undeveloped lands are primed to be cultivated and that Tyson Ranch will be an oasis.

In a video of the event, California City Mayor Jennifer Wood thanks Tyson for his commitment to the community, saying the industry will provide medical marijuana to people in need, revenue, jobs and income for residents.

Calls and emails from The Associated Press to a Tyson representative and the mayor were not immediately returned Tuesday.

 

Los Angeles DA reviewing 2 cases against Harvey Weinstein

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors are reviewing two cases brought by the Beverly Hills Police Department against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

District attorney office spokesman Greg Risling said Tuesday that the cases were presented last month, but he didn’t offer other details.

Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. Those allegations rippled across the entertainment industry, other media businesses, sports and politics and unleashed a flood of sexual misconduct complaints that have upended several careers.

Police in Los Angeles, New York and London are also investigating accusations against Weinstein.

The Beverly Hill cases are being reviewed by a task force District Attorney Jackie Lacey established to handle any criminal complaints arising from the Hollywood scandal.

Representatives for Weinstein have denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.

 

Court won’t rehear defamation case against Bill Cosby

BOSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court won’t rehear a defamation lawsuit filed against Bill Cosby by a woman who said he raped her decades ago.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently denied Kathrine McKee’s request for a full-court hearing. A three-judge panel of the court had ruled against her in October.

The former actress said Cosby defamed her in a letter his lawyer sent to the New York Daily News demanding a retraction of a story about McKee’s allegations. Cosby’s lawyers said the letter was protected by the First Amendment.

McKee was among dozens of women who went public with allegations against Cosby. Cosby has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

A separate defamation lawsuit filed by seven other women is also pending in Massachusetts, where Cosby owns a home.