Instagram Adds Multi-Account Support For Android, But Not For iOS
Instagram rolled out a new feature for beta testers that lets them easily switch between multiple accounts. For now, the update is available to Android users only. (Photo : Android Police). Instagram is making life a little bit easier for users with …
Instagram tests multiple account support on Android
Update coming to Instagram's Android app to allow multiple accounts
Instagram Finally Offers Multiple Account Functionality
Rapid Growth Of Plankton Caused By Increased Carbon Levels In The Ocean
Forty-five years of data show coccolithophores growth is enhanced with increasing ocean acidification. Scientists linked the rapid increase of planktons to increased carbon dioxide levels in the ocean. (Photo : Margot Vigeant | Flickr). The rapid …
Increased CO2 enhances plankton growth, opposite of what was expected
Plankton Growth Increase In Ocean Could Be Tied To Rising Carbon Dioxide …
Rapid Plankton Growth in Ocean Linked to Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels and …
Microsoft Launches Cortana Beta for iOS
Microsoft has officially started its beta test of a new Cortana app for iOS. And if you're one of the lucky few to be involved in it, consider yourself part of a fairly exclusive club. According to a blog post over at WareNotice, Apple limits …
Microsoft rolls out Cortana for iOS to select beta testers
Microsoft's Cortana iPhone app rolls out to beta testers
Cortana for iOS beta testing gets underway
Hack of toy maker VTech exposes families
VTech, which makes kids toys like the Mobigo, said hackers accessed customer info in its Learning Lodge app store database. Ruaridh Stewart/ZUMA Press/Corbis. VTech, a Chinese company that makes popular electronic toys for kids, had its app store …
VTech Learning Lodge hacked! Your child's identity — and innocence — is at risk
Digital toy maker VTech says customer data stolen in breach
Toymaker VTech says data was stolen from its kiddie app store
Inspired by fashionable businesswomen like Victoria Beckham and Gisele Bundchen, Draya Michele has stepped into her new role as an entrepreneur with full force.
Her swimwear line MintSwim consistently receives rave reviews for its quality, cuts, array of sizes, designs, and editorial and high fashion touch. The former Basketball Wives LA star has now transitioned into full-time CEO of the line, planning to expand it beyond swimwear to include styles for men plus loungewear.
We caught up with Draya to talk more about making swimwear for Black women, her career dreams, her personal growth and more.
Why did you decide to create a swimwear line?
“I wanted to do something others really weren’t doing. Especially for young Black women, no one had tapped into the swimwear industry yet, so I decided to do it. I always loved the beach and I always loved water, so it made sense for me to create my own swimwear. I started to promote it exclusively to people who were following me on social media, and it took off from there.”
Were you expecting it to grow into such a large business?
“Yes! I was very intentional when coming up with the concept for the line. I definitely needed it to work out; it wasn’t a side project or done on a whim. I wanted it to be an exit out of reality television. I wanted to create something meaningful I could continue to grow and pass down to my children. I think that’s so important.”
Your line is known for its sexy cuts and shapes. How can all women feel sexy in their clothing?
“Social media has influenced how women look at themselves in clothing. People try to fit their body into specific styles and sizes, but they should be confident in their own frame. Find things that fit you, instead of you trying to fit clothes. That’s why I made sure to include pieces for plus size women and made them specifically to compliment fuller figures.”
What have you learned about women’s empowerment since being part of reality television?
“Being the owner of a brand gives you a platform to have a voice. But the thing is, once you have that voice you have a big responsibility to the world (and yourself really) to be influential and use that in a positive way. I needed to find a way to use the platform the show gave me to make a positive impact on my life and the life of others. That came through the swim line and I’m really spreading my entrepreneurial wings.”
What’s an affirmation you live by?
“I look at quotes all day every day in order to get a motivational boost. One thing I tell myself often is my job is to like me—it’s not anyone else’s job to like me. I’m the only consistent thing in my life and I have to be me. Once you stop searching for acceptance you can stop stressing, and from there people will respect your confidence and drive.”
What kind of space are you in during this phase of your life?
“I feel excited and I feel anxious. I’m also very curious. I haven’t really expected what’s happened to me this far, from my personal life to my career. I know what I planned and had in-store for myself, but it’s all far exceeding my expectations. It’s crazy. I’m doing what I love, going to the beach and researching trends and planning my next moves. I feel blessed to be in such a fun space doing what I love.
Any advice for those wanting to step outside of themselves and take on a different role?
“Just know that when it’s time, you’ll know it. Get organized and get the behind the scenes stuff done before you make any announcements. ‘Coming soon’ doesn’t translate in the right way to people, and that’s how you get haters and doubters discouraging you before you have time to flesh everything out. Make sure you’re confident in your plans before showing the world, that way other people’s hate and jealousy won’t make you doubt yourself and not follow through.”
With Diamond Mind, the ambitious debut EP of newcomer Pearl Gates, the rapper succeeds in introducing his well-rounded nature as a taste-making musician. He also surrounds himself with the best company, including guest appearances from acts like Masta Ace, Wordsworth and Khrysis of Justus League (9th Wonder).
Hailing from Washington Heights, Gates released his first mixtape A Star In A Broken Sky in 2014, representing hard for New York City and for underground Hip-Hop heroes alike. Shortly following the release, Gates appeared alongside eMC (Masta Ace, Wordsworth and Stricklin) on “Fly Thoughts,” the first single from their album The Tonight Show.
With a balance of forward-thinking experimentation and vocally and gritty boom bap production, the 8-track EP is a strong showcase of variety. Diamond Mind has a “came from nothing” vibe, with Gates sharing his perspectives in an honest way. He’s genuinely invested in his craft and this charm helps capture independent Hip-Hop’s most favorable qualities in one release.
Lyrically, Gates is a wise writer, with smart storytelling and subtle philosophies from his direct experiences etched into each track. His laid back demeanor isn’t one to be interpreted as lazy or passive; as an MC, he tells it like it is, with a confident lean in his posture and a watchful eye on his future. Focusing on the power of thought, Pearl Gates expresses his frustration with economic and contemporary hardships, as well as detailing the ways in which he feels like both an outsider and a leader.
With a careful selection of beats that best display the artist’s lyrical talent, the EP features production from Khrysis of Justus League, Kic Beats, iRobot Scott (for Matrax Productions), Sirplus, Jay Notez and M. Stacks. Featured artists include Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Boldy James and Stricklin. Given the large amount of features, Gates’s role isn’t overshadowed but strengthened.
Diamond Mind is a well-executed first project from a promising artist. Standout tracks include the title track, “Diamond Mind,” “The Ritual” featuring Masta Ace, “Countdown” and “Winning (Whip It).”
J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar over the past few years have gone from underdog favorites to mainstream juggernauts, racking up platinum plaques, Grammy Awards, sold out tours and accolades galore since they released their debuts in 2011 and 2012. They’ve also remained friends during that time–yes, even after “Control”–and have continued to tease the possibility of a joint album, which they’ve been alluding to on and off for the last half-decade. Today will only add fuel to that fire, as the emcees release remixes of the most popular record off each other’s albums: J. Cole took Kendrick’s “Alright” for a ride, and K. Dot shared his rendition of J. Cole’s moshpit inciting “Tale of 2 Citiez.”
Take a listen below. Who wins?
D.A. Pennbaker still remembers the man with the wiry gray hair and the sunglasses, sitting across from him in his office and posing an innocent enough question. “He asked, ‘Would you like to come along on a tour with my client? His name is Bob Dylan.’ It sort of rang a bell.” The 90-year-old filmmaker lets out a raspy chuckle before continuing to speak at his customary rapid clip. “He had one song, ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’,’ that had been playing on the radio and that’s about all I knew. But I’d just done this 15-minute film on a jazz vocalist, Dave Lambert…and at that moment, I’d been sort of making these shorts and then putting them in a box, because there was no market for them. So when Albert [Grossman, Dylan’s manager] brought up this tour, I thought, ‘Oh, another musician. Here’s my chance.’ And maybe that would be the start of something.”
History will confirm that yes, it was most definitely the start of something. Pennebaker would accompany the then–23-year-old singer-songwriter to England for a brief 1965 spring tour, bringing along his customized sync-sound 16mm camera and capturing several Dylan performances — as well as lots of backstage banter, backroom deals, after-party shenanigans, press conferences, put-downs, temper tantrums, rabid fans and one of the most uncomfortable troubadour-vs.-troubadour encounters ever caught on celluloid. The result, released two years later under the title Don’t Look Back, would become the definitive visual portrait of the artist as he prepared to go from folksinging poet/prophet to pop-music gamechanger. It would also create the template for the modern rock documentary and become one of the single most influential movies of all time.
Some 50 years after its creation, Pennebaker’s fly-on-the-wall time capsule still seems remarkably fresh — and courtesy of Criterion’s recent bells-and-whistles release of the movie, Don’t Look Back now sounds, per Pennebaker himself, “better than when I initially recorded and shot it.” A labor of love for producer Kim Hendrickson (who’d been involved with the movie’s inaugural DVD release at another company back in 1999), the new edition includes the earlier edition’s commentary track with the filmmaker and tour manager/Dylan partner-in-crime Bob Neuwirth, and 65 Revisited, Pennebaker’s odds-ends-and-outtakes movie that was part of 2006 box set. But it also includes key early works from the direct-cinema pioneer, including the aforementioned jazz-musician short Lambert & Co. (1964); new testimonials with Patti Smith and writer Greil Marcus; and Snapshots From the Tour, a collection of Back sequences left on the cutting-room floor.
But it’s the audio restoration that genuinely makes the new DVD/Blu-ray stick out, thanks to a painstaking process that would help correct earlier mixes of the movie, which tended to employ a “fake stereo” set-up that panned the mono tracks. (Listen to the “Subterranean Homesick Blues” opening on previous DVD releases, and you can hear the bass line bouncing back and forth between your speakers.) That meant going back to quarter-inch magnetic master tapes in Pennebaker’s vaults — what Criterion audio supervisor Ryan Hullings calls the “holy grail” of Don’t Look Back materials. “D.A. had stored them properly since day one, so they were in excellent physical condition,” he relates via email. “The problem was that those tapes used a special version of Fairchild Sync, which was only used for a very, very brief time in the mid-Sixties…and modern tape heads can’t read it. I looked all over New York for someone who could transfer the audio, so I wouldn’t have to ship these priceless materials out of the state, and no one could play them.”
Salvation came in the form of Peter Oreckinto, a former Kiss roadie living in Los Angeles who had a reputation for being “an analog film-audio guru.” Hullings sent him the masters and crossed his fingers; the West Coast resident then built his own bespoke tape head from scratch that could read the outdated signal. “He sent back an audio sample as a test,” the Criterion employee recalled, “with a note that said ‘I have no idea whether this will sync up, but give it a shot.’ We were floored by how amazing the recordings sounded — and it synced up perfectly with the picture!”
“It actually changes the movie,” Hendrickson says, in regards to the restored sound. “Take the Donovan scene: It has always been read as this big takedown, with Dylan taking the guitar and trying to one-up the singer. But now, you can actually hear Donovan ask Dylan to play ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ for him — it changes the intention of the scene entirely. It’s not nearly as negative! All of us in the office were watching the movie right after we put the sound track in and we suddenly, Wait…did he just request the song?!? And none of us could remember hearing that before.”
“The Donovan scene has always been read as this big takedown. Now, you can actually hear Donovan ask Dylan to play ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ for him — it changes the intention of the scene entirely.”
There’s also a brief snippet in the supplement section that features Dylan in living if faded color, pounding out a raw, raucous “Ballad of a Thin Man” from the legendary 1966 tour he did with The Band — his first time taking the group out on the road after going electric at Newport in July of 1965, just months after he’d filmed Don’t Look Back‘s acoustic gigs overseas. Hendrickson said she specifically included that moment to emphasize Dylan’s subsequent evolution — “We wanted to chart that move from acoustic to electric, from black-and-white to color” is how she puts it. The performance does draw attention, however, to the fact that what would have been a natural addition to the set, Eat the Document, is M.I.A. Though Martin Scorsese used footage from the abandoned project for his 2012 documentary No Direction Home, Pennebaker and Dylan’s notorious, never-officially-released follow-up project remains stuck in bootleg-only limbo.
“Would the world have liked Eat the Document as part of this?” Hendrickson asks rhetorically. “Yes, of course, and we included that Ballad footage to emphasize that the bonds that formed on Don’t Look Back didn’t stop once the ’65 tour was done. These two men clearly saw something in each other; Dylan recognized that D.A. got it, and vice versa. But that other project is something that should be celebrated in its own right, and I imagine that it will get out there eventually.” Pennebaker agrees, claiming that even if he’d been able to include his cut of the ABC Network-commissioned documentary (Dylan would eventually edit his own version as well), the two films feel like separate entities to him.
“The second project was in a sense his film,” the director says. “I was involved, sure, but it really felt more like ‘I want you to shoot a film and I’m gonna direct it.’ In the end, it got made and ABC didn’t want it, and I’m incredibly glad that Marty was able to use as much of it as he did. But I didn’t want to have a mutiny on my hands, and I know it will show up eventually. I feel like Bob will figure out what to do with it. He’s has always said, ‘Well Don’t Look Back is your film, man,’ and I feel like that’s true, for better or worse.”
Indeed, given the attention to detail that Criterion has given to framing Don’t Look Back as the work of an artist behind the camera in addition to a portrait of the one onscreen, the DVD restoration feels like a tribute to the man who’d forever alter what we expect from music documentaries. “When you revisit this film, most of the time, you talk about Dylan,” Hendrickson says. “But it’s also the moment that Pennebaker comes into his own. He’s moved on from his old collaborators, he’s no longer doing those newsreel-style films for Life, and he’s started experimenting with avant-garde stuff, like the Duke Ellington piece [Daybreak Express] and the Dave Lambert doc we included here. So by the time he starts on Don’t Look Back…he starts the film off with something that has nothing to do with the tour. He jumps into the middle of scenes and cuts out of them. He’s making it up as he goes along. So was Dylan. That’s why this works so well. It’s because of the two of them. It’s revolutionary.”
“People are always going to need Dylan,” Pennebaker says, when asked about why he thinks the film still holds up. “His way of saying, ‘It’s all fucked up, but I’ll show you a way to get through it’ — that will never go away. But most documentaries exist in order to capture a specific moment and then they move on. I wanted to make a film for the future, that wasn’t just about 1965. And I think that’s why it still works.”
New York Times
UPDATE 1-Microsoft's Gates to start multi-billion-dollar clean tech initiative
(Adds confirmation, comments from French government source, changes dateline). By Valerie Volcovici and Emmanuel Jarry. NEW YORK/PARIS Nov 27 Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will launch a multi-billion-dollar clean energy research and development …
Bill Gates to announce creation of clean energy fund at opening of Paris …
Bill Gates will invest as much as $2 billion in new clean energy partnership …
Bill Gates plans to announce clean energy initiative