Nothing like Autumn in New York City
As many of you are most likely well aware of, New York City has been one of the most vibrant and important epicenters of the graffiti and street art movements since the 1960’s. Having lived in Brooklyn my entire life I've seen countless murals scattered throughout the borough. While reading an excellent article on New York City street art in the New York Times it was brought to my attention that the Dreamland Artist Club 2005 commissioned Os Gêmeos to paint a 60-foot mural in Coney Island. For the uninitiated, Os Gêmeos are graffiti artists (and twin brothers) from São Paulo. They began in 1987 and slowly became a main influence in the São Paulo street art scene, helping to define Brazil's own style. Their work often features yellow-skinned characters but is otherwise diverse and ranges from tags to complicated murals. Their style is influenced by traditional hip hop style and the Brazilian culture. Below are a few photos that I took at the mural earlier. All of the photos were shot using my Samsung Galaxy S4 and retouched in Lightroom.
When Samsung began promoting the Galaxy S4 early this year, one of the most talked about features was the new and improved 13-megapixel camera. Samsung claimed that the camera in the S4 was far superior to the competition (including the iPhone 5). The hardware combined with Touchwiz's new and improved camera software supposedly created the perfect balance between quality and functionality. A quick google search shows that there are plenty of users interested in using Samsung's proprietary camera software on non-touchwiz devices. So how does the S4 perform as a camera? In my four months of using the S4 as my primary camera I have been pleasantly surprised by the results. Photos taken with the S4 are crisp, with good contrast and color reproduction (assuming the lighting is decent). Below is a gallery showcasing a few photos that I took with the S4. These photos have not been cropped or retouched in any way.
North Korea has posted a video depicting a US city resembling New York engulfed in flames after an apparent missile attack. What makes this video more bizzare than your garden variety North Korean propaganda video is that is is set to the tune of "We are the World". This video is as disturbing as it is hilarious.
Regardless of how you feel about Senator McCain (or President Ahmadinejad for that matter), it is hard to fathom why the Senator felt it necessary to make such a statement. What i'm curious is what the ramifications of this will be for Mr. McCain. This is a prime example of how giving high-ranking officials unfettered access to social media can backfire.
I'm not sure whether his response makes the situation better or worse.........
"Breaking the Taboo" is an eye opening documentary that looks at the war and drugs and effect that it has had around the world. Several former world leaders are interviewed (including Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter) many of whom endorse the legalization of drugs. Regardless of where you stand on this issue it is definitely worth watching.
Overview is a stunning, emotionally charged video that describes the a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect. Astronauts describe what is essentially a peak experience when viewing our planet from space. Thanks to The Planetary Collective for putting this video together. In our current political climate it is vital that we remind ourselves how much NASA has benefited humanity and what is at stake if NASA is not properly funded.
As Frank White, author of The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution so eloquently stated:
Earlier today Crunchyroll annnounced that it now has 100,000 payed subscribers to its service. For those of you unfamiliar with the service Crunchyroll provides high quality (up to 1080p for premium members) anime. This announcement is part of a growing trend that has implications far beyond the otaku community.
A little over a year ago Arstechnica published an article on the growing fansub community. In the article Nate Anderson asked a few admitted anime pirates why they pirate anime (including several shows that were available on Hulu at time time). The main reasons given were speed and content. Downloading fansubs allowed users to obtain new episodes quickly and easily and consume that content on the device of their choosing. "Otaku2" (one of the pirates interviewed for the article) stated that
...fan-created subtitles (fansubs) appear much more quickly than the officially subtitled English versions. "In some cases," he said, fansubbers "can get stuff out the next day after it airs, whereas I might have to wait months to get it legally."
A year later Crunchyroll fills that void by simulcasting many popular animes one hour after they air in Japan.
The success of Crunchyroll along with Spotify's 4 million paid subscribers proves that the answer to piracy is not another lawsuit. The most effective way to combat piracy is to build services that offer a wide variety of content for a reasonable price.
Piracy is not the result of an unwillingness to pay for content, it's the failure of an industry to adopt to the needs of its consumers.
Earlier this week Yahoo announced that it has appointed Marissa Mayer as its new Chief Executive Officer. Since that announcement many have been eager to point out that Ms. Mayer has her work cut out for her. By now everyone is aware of the fact that Yahoo is in the middle of what most people would consider a downward spiral. Revenue is flat as social is supplanting many of Yahoo's key services (search, photo sharing, etc.). What most of the critics fail to realize is that Ms. Mayer can and will hopefully bring to Yahoo is something that is crucial to its future: culture.
Similar to many companies in Silicon Valley today Yahoo is struggling to attract engineering talent. Let's face it, very few people dream about working at Yahoo and who can blame them? They aren't doing well to say the least and they lack the singular focus that many of the areas top companies possess (Facebook, Apple). Most people cannot describe what Yahoo is (is it a technology or media company?) or what it's purpose is. Facebook says it wants to connect the world. Google claims that it's goal is to make the world's information accessible for everyone. What Ms. Mayer can do is define what Yahoo's mission statement is. Giving Yahoo a purpose, a new lease on life so to speak can help bring top talent to the company. At Google Ms. Meyer was once of the top Product Managers for the companywith over 1000 product managers reporting to her directly. Her focus on product can help revive some of the untapped potential that exists in Yahoo's most valuable acquisitions (Facebook, intoNow, etc).
Ms. Mayer has the potential to get people excited about Yahoo again and at the end of the day that is far more vital to the future of Yahoo its last quarterly report.