With Vigilante Diaries, Did Brian Norgard and Jason Mewes Just Change Everything?

“We just have to do it better. Online is a revolution. The Internet is a revolution and we should be revolutionary when we think about the content we put on it rather than derivative and mimic the shit on TV and make it worse. Let’s say fuck it because the Internet isn’t TV. It’s different. It’s better.” – Shane Smith, founder of VICE

Vigilante Diaries

Today while browsing Mashable I came across an article about a new original show called Vigilante Diaries starring Jason Mewes (Clerks, Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob). The show itself is an interesting concept, shot first person documentary style it is a “fast paced ride into the dark world of vigilante justice” that harkens to first person shooter video games. The show’s story sounds interesting, but what is truly most intriguing about this show is its innovative approach to funding.

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#amidoingthisright: A Guide to Facebook Hashtagging

You may have been told at some point, maybe even by me, that Facebook is not the place for hashtags, they are devices for Twitter and Instagram only. Well funny thing….

Facebook recently announced that the company is going to start integrating hashtags into its network, a move that should come as no surprise to anyone. Ever since Facebook bought Instagram, the hashtag has become far more ubiquitous on the network as typically Instagram photos are posted to Facebook with no altering of phrases like ‘#nofilter’. It wasn’t long before the annoyed ‘#ThisIsNotTwitter’ comments began drying up and the hashtag itself became a part of common vernacular.

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Tablet Takeover, More Than 1 in 3 Americans Own a Tablet Computer

The speed at which a technology can become ubiquitous is sometimes utterly astounding. According to a recent report, over a third of Americans now own tablets, and that number is only going to rise.  Among consumers aged 18 to 34, tablet ownership is even more common, with over half of Americans in this key demographic owning a tablet. What began as an Apple revolution has blossomed with competition furiously keeping pace, as Android-based devices now account for 59% of tablets sold. Even more impressive is according to the report, 68% of US adults plan to purchase a tablet computer at some point in the future.  These increases fall in line with a number of major consumer tech trends; namely the continued mobilization of technology.

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Apple Scores Big with iOS 7, ‘Biggest Change Since the Original iPhone’

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 4.16.32 PM

Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference has become an annual attraction, as it typically is the platform through which Apple announces its biggest and most innovative products. This year’s conference was no different. As with most years the rumors prior to the conference were rampant with most people expecting the announcement of a massively overhauled iOS 7, those who were waiting got what they hoped for.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called iOS 7 the “biggest change to iOS since the debut of the iPhone” and based on what we saw that doesn’t seem like a big stretch. The new iOS is headlined by a completely redesigned UI, featuring a new flat design, grid, 3D layers, and gestures.

As you can see the new UI creates a 3D like effect.

Overall the new UI is undeniably gorgeous and really takes the iPhone to the next level, as aesthetically the old iOS was beginning to look stale against its Android and Windows phone competitors. Perhaps the most elegant element of the new system is its responsiveness. For example, using the phone’s accelerometer iOS 7 is able to adapt the screen in parallax, achieving as designer Jony Ive claims, “new types of depth.”

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The PRISM Separating National Security and Privacy

Every now and again a story comes along that really makes me want to stand up on my soapbox and rant, and the recently breaking government PRISM scandal is one of those types of stories. First a little bit of background on this story for the uninitiated:

According to a Washington Post article the U.S. government has been secretly tracking American’s online activity through an initiative code named PRISM. The name might sound like something out of a Marvel comic but the organization is very real, and what it does could be potentially terrifying to privacy-concerned citizens. According to leaked documents, the PRISM program has been in effect since 2007, gaining strength and capacity steadily since. Originally intended as a program to monitor foreign communications through US servers but in practice it would seem the scope is far greater.

PRISM, which began in 2007, has grown a lot since.

Under the program, the NSA is granted access to a number of familiar major company’s servers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, Youtube, Apple, if you have interacted with any of these companies over the last 6 years (and who hasn’t) your information is susceptible to government surveillance under PRISM. Now, admittedly, they aren’t likely tracking and monitoring every individual’s activity they actually have stringent guidelines for picking who to monitor. Actually, there is only one guideline, and its not stringent whatsoever. According to the report, an NSA analyst has to have only ”51 percent” certitude that the subject is “foreign”. The loopholes in this system are even bigger than the plot holes in an M. Night Shyamalan movie. And at this lies the root as to why the reaction of the American public to this story has varied along a continuum of terrified to furious.

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