1 week ago
Remember this thing? The Ambient Orb.
I was super inspired by this thing (and the company behind it) back in my NYU days. I feel like I’m still chasing a lot of the core “ambient awareness of social signals” themes with our work at Foursquare. (pic via Flickr)
We had one of these back at Tribe.net and it was awesome. Brian hooked it up to our load balancer so that we always had a visual indicator of how much traffic there was across the service.
1 week ago
Just learned that an old friend flew around the world!
Here’s how he found his co-pilot:
“We just randomly sat next to each other in a room of 60 people,” Schroen says. “The key for me was that he’s the kind of guy you want to grab a beer with after you land, the kind who can really enjoy this trip with.”
2 weeks ago
From Lorde to Macklemore, it’s a sentiment that’s galling for its popularity: white artists need to stop using the wealth signifiers of rap music to gesture at their self-important “anti-consumerism.” What Allen misses as she washes rims in a kitchen decorated only with bottles of champagne is that it’s not anti-consumerism when it only targets one type of consumer.
Rap owns a unique history soundtracking the triumph of financial success in a country that long barred black Americans from that success. It shouldn’t be an opportunity for white artists to wax superior. Beyond poor taste, it’s the myopia of latent racism that’s more anxious about gold chains on a rapper than an Armani tie on a hedge fund analyst.
Similarly, Lily Allen’s response to sexist industry demands for thinness becomes entirely ineffectual when it lashes out against women who succeed despite those demands. Allen is not savily critiquing the world of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Miley Cyrus, she’s resentfully bemoaning not getting to enjoy the same success.
“Hard Out Here” is the opposite of Mileywave. Instead of using black women as props to further her career, Allen blames them for its stagnation. In full-sleeved dresses Allen mocks her inability to twerk amidst women of color in body suits who launch into exaggerated dance moves, licking their hands and then rubbing their crotch. Her older white male manager tries to get to her to mimic them. Meanwhile she sings, “Don’t need to shake my ass for you/‘Cause I’ve got a brain.” Cut to black women shaking their ass, so much for sisterly solidarity.