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Industry Daughter Grace VanderWaal Wins Top Prize On ‘America’s Got Talent’

Twelve-year-old Grace VanderWaal, the sweet-voiced, ukulele-strumming daughter of LG Electronics marketing VP Dave VanderWaal, was pronounced the season 11 winner of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” earlier this month.

Grace nailed the talent contest in the finals Tuesday evening with a third performance of an original tune (“Clay”), and received the jaw-dropping news on the show’s season finale.

Her grand-prize includes a three-night headlining gig at the PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas (Oct. 27-29) — and $1 million. The winnings, she told ET, will go in part toward a music charity donation, and a “sick treehouse” with “zip lines, bridges, everything.” (Not sure how dad Dave feels about that one.)

Treehouses aside, heartfelt congratulations to the amazing Grace and her family.

Facebook Co-Founder Gives $20 million To Fight A Trump Presidency

Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook worth an estimated $10 billion, is donating $20 million to help elect Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidates across the ticket in this fall’s election.

Moskovitz, who went on to found the workplace productivity app Asana, said the money will be split among six different organizations, with $5 billion each to the For Our Future PAC, a grassroots fund founded by labor and environmental leaders, and the environmental activist League of Conservation Voters. Both groups have been supporting Clinton through get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns and media ads.

The other half of Moskovitz’s donation will be split between an amalgam of different efforts to raise funds for Clinton and down-ticket Democratic candidates including: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; MoveOn.Org; the Color of Change PAC; and “several nonpartisan voter registration and GOTV efforts.”

According to a CNN report, Moskovitz, a college roommate of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has not been particularly active in politics.

In a post titled “Compelled To Act” on blogging site Medium, Moskovoitz explained: “The polarization in America today has yielded a race that is about much more than policies and ideas. It has become a referendum on who we want to be — as individuals, as a nation and as a society.”

He continued: “This decision was not easy, particularly because we have reservations about anyone using large amounts of money to influence elections,” Moskovitz wrote. “We hope these efforts make it a little more likely that Secretary Clinton is able to pursue the agenda she’s outlined, and serve as a signal to the Republican Party that by running this kind of campaign — one built on fear and hostility — and supporting this kind of candidate, they compel people to act in response.”

Moskovitz joins a bandwagon of tech leaders to actively combat a President Trump. CTA president Gary Shapiro also posted a blog on Medium against a Trump Presidency, while showing support for the technology planks in the Republican Party’s platform.

‘Crazy Eddie’ Antar Dead At 68

Eddie Antar, the mastermind behind New York’s infamous Crazy Eddie CE chain, died this month at the age of 68.

According to published reports his death was confirmed by a New Jersey funeral chapel although the cause was not disclosed.

Through a combination of fraud, chutzpah and an irritating, decade-long TV pitch, Antar turned a Brooklyn A/V shop into a 43-store, $350 million goldmine during the 1970s and 1980s.

But soon after taking the business public he was charged with fraud and embezzlement; went on the lam with over $100 million; and eventually served seven years in a federal prison.

The chain was liquidated in 1989.

Several attempts to revive the business or leverage its name failed, including a reported bio pic development deal with actor/producer Danny DeVito.

Although it would became a black mark on independent tech dealers, Antar’s Crazy Eddie was a prime component of New York City’s late 20th century zeitgeist and helped make electronics top-of-mind with area consumers.

TWICE And Residential Systems Name CEDIA Best Of Show 2016

NewBay Media’s Residential Systems and TWICE have named their 2016 Best of Show Awards for CEDIA 2016 in Dallas.

These awards honor outstanding products exhibited at the show. Manufacturers submitted products for nomination prior to arriving in Dallas, then a panel of anonymous professional integrator and journalist judges evaluated the entries based on written submissions and visual inspections on CEDIA show floor. A CEDIA exhibiting manufacturer could nominate its product for either Residential Systems or TWICE, or both.

Here are TWICE’s winners:
eero Home Wi-Fi System
Epson Home Cinema 5040UB Projector
GoVision TV
IC Realtime ALLie Home 360-Degree Lifestyle Video Camera
MirageVision Outdoor SUHD TV
Peerless-AV UltraView Outdoor TV
RIVA Audio WAND Series
Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
Sony XBR-Z9D TVs
TiVo BOLT+
Trinnov Audio Altitude32
URC MX HomePro
Zappiti NAS RIP
ZVOX AccuVoice TV Speaker

Residential Systems’ winners can be found on TWICE.com and ResidentialSystems.com. Winning products will be featured in Residential Systems and TWICE print editions, respectively. Every product nominated, whether chosen for an award or not, will be featured in the special Best of Show Program Guide, to be distributed in digital edition form after the convention.

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