September 25, 2014
Drones are cool

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Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios have partnered to develop a short film featuring 10 quadcopters in a flying dance performance. The collaboration resulted in a unique, interactive choreography where humans and drones move in sync. Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future.

September 23, 2014


Jan Švankmajer

(via wnycradiolab)

September 23, 2014
On Friends

“There’s an argument,” says the script editor Andrew Ellard, “that unmarried, underemployed twentysomethings who hadn’t sorted their lives out weren’t being seen on TV in the early Nineties. But when Friends arrives, suddenly it’s clear that people like that are in fact the majority. The irony is, that life stage has extended itself far longer than anyone thought it would. Now it’s thirtysomethings who haven’t figured out where their lives are goingand that’s what gets you The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. That’s where the legacy of Friends is handed down.”

5:26pm  |   URL:
Filed under: friends 
September 23, 2014
Brunettes Shoot Blondes

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Filed under: iPad iphone 
September 23, 2014
Is Buzzfeed A Tech Company?

So why on earth is Andreessen Horowitz investing in a media company? Or is Dixon right – is BuzzFeed really a technological company that can use software to succeed in everything from listicles to hard news to now, their own movie production company? What has changed since Andreessen wrote in his post introducing Andreessen Horowitz:

We are almost certainly not an appropriate investor for any of the following domains: “clean”, “green”, energy, transportation, life sciences (biotech, drug design, medical devices), nanotech,movie production companies, consumer retail, electric cars, rocket ships, space elevators. We do not have the first clue about any of these fields.

I suspect what Andreessen and company have come to realize in the five years since that post was written is that because of the Internet media is more like technology than it might first appear, and that what Andreessen Horowitz cares about is not the software but the potential scale.

  • Like software, media has zero marginal cost
  • Multiple new business models have emerged for media, such as attracting massive user bases for free which can then be monetized through advertising or premium services
  • The addressable market for media is the connected population of the world, and content is itself self-selecting when it comes to effective targeting

These are all points that are overlooked by those in the media kvetching about the death of journalism: everything that is hurting traditional media companies – zero marginal costs, “free” expectations, unlimited competition because of global distribution – are opportunities for new media companies unencumbered by traditional thinking.

You should really read more of Stratechery

September 8, 2014
Adidas Falling Behind Under Armour

Adidas AG for the first time has dropped to the No. 3 spot among sportswear brands in the U.S. So far this year, its combined sales of athletic footwear and apparel have fallen 23% from a year earlier to $1.1 billion, according to data from Sterne Agee and SportScanInfo. That trails Under Armour Inc., whose sales are up 20% over the same period to $1.2 billion.

Not surprising when Under Armour does work like the Gisele video with the live tweets in the background.

September 8, 2014
Clive Martin on boring bands getting big

For me, the popularity of these bands – and in particular, Royal Blood – lies in both a backlash, and a longing for predictable continuity in a culture that doesn’t stick around for long. Looking at the guys in RB, you can tell that they aren’t going to start poncing about in Rick Owens any time soon, or do a collaboration with Mykki Blanco. They exist to service their fans, and what their fans are interested in is the sturdy, reliable exchange of loud guitars, sweat, anthems and booze.

The economies these bands are based in don’t rely on syncs, branded content or fashion mag covers, but on solid relationships between band and fan. The very same relationship that’s made millionaires of James Hetfield, Bruce Dickinson, Francis Rossi et al and sent countless hype acts back to their media internships. They want a band you can rely on, and a band as unceasingly uncool and out of time as Royal Blood aren’t going to blow that relationship. They’re built to last, something to believe in, the tepid face of solidity. A Shire horse band, a chubby but bubbly life partner, a Volvo estate in a world of matte black Lamborghinis.

@thugclive on the Hipster-Industrial Complex

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Filed under: royalblood 
September 8, 2014
Facebook Hits 100M Users In Africa, Half The Continent’s Internet-Connected Population

Facebook’s announcement of the 100 million user milestone gives more detail to its typical earnings report user growth breakdowns, which lump Africa into a big “Rest Of World” region that had 411 million active users as of the end of Q2 2014. To put the 50% penetration rate of Facebook amongst Internet-connected Africans, Facebook a 71% penetration rate in the US and Canada region, or 204 million users out of 283.7 million.

The fact that 80% of the Facebook users in Africa are connecting via mobile on mobile suggests the continent has largely leapfrogged laptops and is doing a great deal of its computing on small screens.

From Josh Constantine at Tech Crunch

September 4, 2014
Experience the power of a bookbook™

2:49pm  |   URL:
Filed under: ikea startup books 
September 4, 2014
Why hasn't Twitter already released group chat?


This is 2014. September of 2014. Twitter was founded in March of 2006, so for over eight years the company has been caught up in a destructive love/hate relationship with private (‘direct’) messaging. At one time the company was actually considering the end of private messaging.

However, the rise…

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