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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    The trailer for the new season of Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt dropped on Monday, and it’s everything fans of the Tina Fey and Robert Carlyle-produced sitcom could want, highlighting the show’s trademark mixture of warmth and weirdness.

    The second season finds our plucky former cult escapee getting a job at a year-round Christmas store. “You must be the happiest woman on Earth!” Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) tells a retail elf. “I’m a man,” he responds.

    The brief preview promises a “choose your own adventure” Kimmy Schmidt-style. Her former boss, Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski), is rebounding from her divorce by dating a much younger man: “His name is Douglas and he’s coasting on looks.” Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess), her best friend and roommate, is very busy giving amazing life advice. (Remember: Get the digits!) And our Kimmy is still on a quest for empowerment, even if means watching a new friend do “nose candy” with a junkyard Elmo along the way.

    Be warned, Internet: You won’t be able to get that theme song out of your head for the rest of the day.

    The second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt drops on Netflix April 15. 

    Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube


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    In May 2014, two 12-year-old girls lured their classmate into the woods and stabbed her 19 times because they believed if they killed their friend, the Slender Man would take them to his mansion in the woods. 

    According to the Slender Man myth, he’s a violent character that stalks and sometimes kills people. One of the Internet’s most notorious horror memes, the tall, faceless, suit-wearing creature has its roots in Creepypasta and other online forums.

    The attempted murder is as prolific as the Slender Man himself, but the psychology behind the act, and the raw emotion and trauma the girls’ families experienced, is not quite as obvious. 

    Bill Weier, the father of Anissa Weier, one of the girls who committed the stabbing, emotionally and frankly discussed his family’s experience during a panel at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference this weekend. 

    The Slender Man stabbing is the crux of a new HBO documentary, Beware the Slender Man, which uses the case to investigate how the Internet can affect children’s behavior and how the spread of memes and online folklore can influence kids. The Weier family worked closely with the film to help tell the girls’ story. 

    In an emotional and somewhat intense panel, Weier discussed his family’s personal tragedy to a packed audience alongside Beware the Slender Man director and producer Irene Taylor Brodsky and psychology professor Jacqueline Woolley, who spoke about how online culture affects children. 

    1) Why the Weier family worked with HBO

    The media harassed the girls’ families in the immediate aftermath of the incident; the story of an Internet meme inspiring two girls to attempt murder was a global phenomenon. The Weier family initially did not want to work with media, but after careful parental discussion, they decided standard media outlets would not be the best option and opted to cooperate with the longform production. 

    “How did we really want to portray our viewpoint as family members of one of the defendants?” Weier said. The family sought an outlet where “we would be able to tell our side of the story in a way that it would be given more time to be told, that could potentially expose what we saw or didn’t see considering Anissa and Morgan and the situation as a whole.”

    2) Anissa’s brother found out information about the case through insufficient Internet blocking at school

    After the stabbing, the school system blocked certain search terms pertaining to the case, including “Creepypasta” and “Slender Man.” They missed one big one though: Despite Anissa’s family trying to protect their youngest son from the news surrounding his sister’s crime, he found out everything he needed to know simply by searching her name at school, Weier said. 

    3) Fanfiction often portrays Slender Man as a guardian angel

    Despite being considered a horror character, Brodsky said she discovered all different kinds of representation through researching the film, especially in fanfiction that depicts him both as a murderer and a savior. 

    “I found most of the depictions of Slender Man as guardian angel to be in fanfiction, in written fiction,” she said. “Really developed narratives where he could on page 12 be disemboweling a child, and then on page 14, he’s truly caring for, and giving loving advice to, another child sitting on his lap. And there’s nothing sexually creepy about it; it’s just a totally dynamic personality that’s hard to wrap your head around if you’re looking at it on YouTube serials.”

    4) Anissa’s social media footprint

    In the film, Brodsky delves into Anissa’s Internet activity—everything from things she liked on social media to the psychopathy tests she took to determine whether she was a sociopath. Even though she had permission and information from Anissa’s parents and teachers, Brodsky said she still felt a bit guilty about trying to get inside Anissa’s mind through her Web browsing history.

    As Brodsky learns through watching videos that Anissa liked, much like everyone else online, Anissa’s behavior and interests vary. She watched videos of cute kittens and rabbits, but she also had viewed videos about cats eating drowned mice and figuring out how to make Dum Dums into weapons and where humans have soft spots, Brodsky said.

    But what does our Internet activity actually say about us as a person? Does it paint a holistic picture of who we are, or is the amalgamation of data based on closed tabs simply irrelevant content? 

    5) The Weier family feels that the juvenile justice system is failing their daughter

    Weier went 230 days without being able to give his daughter a hug. She was transferred to a facility where she must remain behind glass and bars when talking with her family. Anissa does not have access to a properly trained doctor or counselor, despite asking for one to try to understand why she committed the crime.

    And perhaps most shocking is that Anissa and Morgan Geyser will be tried as adults. (The Daily Dot normally does not name adolescents involved in a crime, but because the girls are being tried as adults, we are publishing their names.) 

    The trial has not happened yet, and they are now 14 years old. As they get older, the public perception might change, and it’s important for the jury to eventually draw a distinction between intelligence and maturity, Weier said. 

    “There is a growing sentiment that not just juvenile justice, but criminal justice as a whole needs review. And it needs review desperately,” he said. “Do these laws make sense? How are we treating our adult criminals, how are we treating juvenile criminals?

    “People are finally starting to sit up and taking notice, and say, ‘You know what, maybe we’re not as right as we thought we were.’ As tragic as it is, I think the film and this case are starting to open up a few eyes as to what the flaws in the legal system might be.”

    Photo via badbarrykelly50/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)


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    If you can’t get a ticket to Hamilton (who can?), you can still catch some of it online, thanks to President Obama.

    Hamilton’s cast is performing for Obama in an event fans have dubbed #Bam4Ham, and video of the event will go up on WhiteHouse.gov after it’s over.

    Hamilton got an early start at the White House in 2009 with a performance of a draft of the first song at a Poetry & Spoken Word event.

    Today’s event is not a full performance, just selections, and there are no costumes or setpieces. Despite Obama saying the event was to “share this incredible musical with folks who might otherwise not get the experience,” the audience trying to livestream the event on the White House’s YouTube channel definitely felt shut out when it abruptly cut off after only a couple songs. The clip went to a blue screen, then announced the event had concluded, at least for unhappy digital fans.

    The anger has also led to lots of inside jokes on #Bam4Ham, in true Hamilton fan fashion. There’s no word on if any more of the performance will appear online, at least on official channels, but fans can catch the opening number and “My Shot,” along with Obama's remarks, on YouTube now.


    Screengrab via WhiteHouse/YouTube


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    BY GEOFF WEISS

    International ad agency J. Walter Thompson has cooked up a clever and charitable ploy to make use of the black bars that appear on either side of YouTube videos when they’re shot vertically and uploaded to the platform.

    The agency announced on Monday a global rollout of its "Donate the Bars" campaign to christen SXSW. The campaign will enable creators to upload a vertical video to DonatetheBars.com, integrate promotional messaging from one of a slew of charities on either side of the clip, and then publish it straight to YouTube.

    J. Walter Thompson partnered with Mashable, charitable MCN Good Amplified, and leading digital network Studio71 on the endeavor. Big-name creators who are slated to participate include Matthew SantoroCody SimpsonAlli Simpson, and Monica Church. Participating charities include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Bob Woodruff FoundationTeen Cancer AmericaChallenged Athletes Foundation, and more.

    Given that one in six videos has black bars—even though YouTube did enable fullscreen vertical playback on mobile devices in July — the initiative provides a platform for charities who often can’t afford the ad space that they need, said Good Amplified Founder and CEO Amber Lawson in a statement.

    And the campaign isn’t just for YouTube’s brightest do-gooders. If you’re at SXSW this week, head on over to the Mashable House to shoot a clip of your own and donate black bars to the NGO of your choosing.

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    Two, eight, one; three, three, zero; eight, zero, zero, four.

    If you remember 2005 and are also a Texan who likes rap music, these barked digits hold a particular affection. When Houston rapper Mike Jones became famous, he notoriously rapped his phone number aloud over the brilliant, organ-driven beat for "Back Then." 

    It worked to remarkable success for the everyman wordsmith. According to the blog Hip Hop Overload, Jones's breakout success meant thousands of calls a day and a $50,000 phone bill. 

    And now, Jones says he's in the process of fighting with Sprint to retain his iconic phone number.

    As of press time, calling 281-330-8004 yields a "your call cannot be completed as dialed" prompt.

    It's unclear what, if anything, he plans on doing about it. Also this gripe was mentioned in a "Throwback Thursday" post, so it's possible the flare was just an excuse to revisit his best work. 

    But while you're here, go ahead and run it back one more time.

    H/T Hip Hop Overlord | Screengrab via Complex


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    Luke McClory’s smarmy, self-effacing standup set just wasn’t good enough.

    The Austin, Texas-based comic tanked onstage during South by Southwest—a grating failure in its own right—and now he has to pick a card from dominatrix Friday Blaise’s hands. Each contains an act of BDSM-inspired punishment: clothes pins on extremities, metal paddle spankings, mouse traps, one especially nasty-looking stun gun.

    “I don’t suppose any of these is a back rub,” he says.

    Not a chance. McClory’s jokes failed to win over an intimate crowd of about 90 downtown at the Hideout Theatre late Sunday, and now he must unbutton his dress shirt and be lightly electrocuted with Blaise’s prod. The audience-selected safe word is “Okeechobee.”

    (Disclosure: I went to high school with McClory, and while we’re longtime Facebook friends, have not interacted with the dude in more than 10 years.)

    To his credit, he gets through a solid 20 seconds of zaps with minimal wincing.

    Such is the payoff during Paid or Pain, a traveling stage show hosted by retired porn empress Lisa Ann and comedian Jay Nog. It’s basically a gong-ruled variety hour: Four newbie comics perform, and the audience gets to throw the bad ones at the mercy of a dominatrix.

    Between the antics, the sex angle is punctuated with a banana-eating contest, a Q&A with Ann that is as compelling as it is creepily fanboy-driven, and porn trivia wherein the audience jostles to take home one of Ann’s sex toys.

    Nog told the Daily Dot that the plan is to eventually format this for TV, but for now it’s just a theater road show. Despite clear warnings to not film the actual standup sets—lest the jokes in progress from guest headliners Todd Glass and Andrew Santino be compromised—Nog encourages uploading pics and tagging @PaidorPain on Twitter. Chunks of the two-hour event are livestreamed on Periscope

    If a hip-hop musical about the first U.S. secretary of the treasury can use the Internet to turn people who haven’t seen the live event into obsessive fans, building Web buzz around one of the most accomplished and blindingly famous porn veterans should be plenty doable.

    Ann, who, following her career in adult film, has enjoyed a second act as a sort of Jenny McCarthy-esque, drink-with-the-fellas tomboy, plays the smack-talking emcee. (Ann also hosts a fantasy football show on Sirius XM.) Tonight she’s wearing hip-hugging jeans and a black tank top.

    As the occasion’s real draw, she’s prepared for lewd questions and shuts down loudmouths. A heckler is greeted with a nice quip about his penis size.

    “I don't really have sex with fruit that often,” Ann says coolly when asked to list produce she finds most sexy.  

    She’s clunkier at joke-telling: A tone deaf line about retired NBA player Lamar Odom visiting Vegas brothels is met with groans. Her nascent, low-hanging fruit zingers notwithstanding, she’s a natural host.  

    You can ask her almost anything, and she doesn’t shy away from her years in porn. She says she began at age 20, and publicly retired via Facebook in December 2014. A breast reduction surgery reportedly followed suit.

    “Don’t ask if you can have sex with me or how much it costs to have sex with me,” she tells the Hideout’s collective of mostly standalone, badge-donning dudes who broke away from their companies’ networking socials. (I’m certain many of them told their boss they were calling it an early night.)

    “You should buy one because you’ll love it,” Ann says about the virtues of her replica Fleshlights. 

    She then turns candid about her sexual history, noting that she had “maybe five” partners prior to entering the porn workforce. Her first film experience was so sexually satisfying, she says, that “I thought I wanted to marry the guy.”

    It’s an online age of sex-positive empowerment for women celebrities. Earlier at SXSW, over at Lucille’s on Rainey Streey, Instagram hero Amber Rose was introduced first and foremost as a “neo-feminist.” And now a 43-year-old retiree is hosting a variety hour where bad comedy (here exclusively from white men) gets a spanking. 

    “I just hope somebody comes,” Adam, another standup who gets the pain treatment, says upon realizing that his stuff isn’t landing. “You guys look like you came here to masturbate.”

    Photo by Ramon Ramirez


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    Billionaire Sean Parker has been behind some huge projects—first Napster, then Facebook—and now his latest venture, the Screening Room, is looking to change the way we watch movies at home. 

    The service hopes people are willing to pay a premium to stream movies while they're still in theaters, but their price is considerably steeper than the traditional ticket and popcorn. For $150, customers can buy the anti-piracy equipped Screening Room box to keep in their house, and then anytime they want to watch a movie, rentals are $50 a pop and last 48 hours. 

    When services like Netflix are streaming video for $7.99 a month, it's safe to say that the Screening Room is going after a different type of client, but what's getting directors excited is that it's the first proposed service out there that wouldn't pit the movie theater industry against the streaming industry.

    It seems the company is still tinkering around with what its exact involvement with theaters will be, but according to Business Insider, there are a few options in the running: 

    The Screening Room is trying to extend an olive branch to exhibitors by offering customers two tickets to see the movie they buy in theaters, which would soften the blow of violating the standard 90-day theatrical window for movies before they move to home-video and streaming platforms.

    The Screening Room is also proposing giving theater chains a slice of the revenue, as much as $20 of the fee. Distributors who participate would take 20% of the $50 rental fee, and Screening Room would take 10% of the fee.

    The Screening Room appears to be taking notes from industry missteps like Comcast's attempt to sell Ben Stiller's Tower Heist to subscribers for $59.99 in 2011, and big names in the industry seem optimistic about its success. Steven Spielberg, J.J Abrams, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Martin Scorsese, Taylor Hackford, and Frank Marshall have all backed the project.

    Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson released a statement in support of the startup, pointing out that, "Screening Room will expand the audience for a movie—not shift it from cinema to living room. It does not play off studio against theater owner. Instead it... is structured to support the long term health of both exhibitors and distributors—resulting in greater sustainability for the wider film industry itself.”

    While many white, male directors of Hollywood definitely seem sold, there's still no word on how the company plans to fit into the life of your average consumer. 

    Business Insider polled its Twitter followers to see if they'd be willing to throw down $50 for a one-time rental, and most people said the price point would be prohibitive:

    With this much industry support, though, consumer skepticism won't likely be the deciding factor in whether or not the Screening Room sees the light of day. 

    H/T the Hollywood Reporter | Screengrab via Vanity Fair/Twitter


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    If you bake it, they will come. 

    At least that’s the hope behind Nom, the newest digital video startup that seeks to combine the budding arenas of live videos and social food content. 

    It’s hard to miss social food content in your Facebook feed. Many of the site’s top video producers are food projects like BuzzFeed’s Tasty series, quick social videos for recipes and eye-catching food prep. Food is a human universal, and the digital numbers prove even just watching food is a hit online just like it’s been on TV cooking shows for years. With the rise of live apps like YouNow or Meerkat, live video is also having a moment in the digital landscape, but no one has combined the two—until now. YouTube cofounder Steve Chen and former YouTube engineering lead Vijay Karunamurthy decided to take that leap with Nom, which launched this weekend at SXSW.

    Nom is entering a crowded space, since other apps or platforms can just as easily house cooking content the same way they livestream music or comedy content. Their argument is that Nom provides an interactive component, as well as eventual two-camera support, so producers can focus on both food and the host at once, something that’s not as essential in other forms of livestream content.

    On the Web, the Nom experience feels flimsy so far. Videos are shot vertically for a mobile experience, so online streaming is dominated by black bars and an interface that sets the comments sections way off to the side. But Nom shines on mobile, where a smaller screen lets viewers more easily ignore the grainy quality. It’s also easier to hop into the streaming comments sections and interact with the hosts—everything from offering suggestions and asking clarifying questions to showering them with likes as finished products are revealed. For users who are used to other livestreaming apps, Nom will be an easy fit.

    Polished food content this is not. The images that lead you into their featured streams have the shine of a highly produced food blog, but once inside, it’s the same production quality as any livestream service like Periscope, shot on phones or computer cameras, sometimes cutting off heads in search of the plate. 

    The content on Nom’s main page promotes streams from established foodies like Hellthy Junkfood, who spent Tuesday making Oreo cookie ice cream cones in a quick 28-minute segment, as well as users who are jumping into the service and streaming their home kitchens. Restaurants are also getting in on the action, streaming things like live shots of the pass, where food comes from the kitchen to the servers. Content lives on in archives for those who missed the live experience.

    Some streams stay focused on a single cuisine or style, like Taste of Persia, who teaches Persian recipes. Also on Tuesday owner Chef Linda prepared Persian Halva in preparation for Persian New Year in a few weeks. While the lesson was interesting, watching a closeup of grains browning in a pan isn’t must-watch programming.  There’s a reason that food content evolved with camera cuts and magical pre-prepared meals that pop out of the oven to elide the cooking time. Instruction is great, but sometimes we just want our food porn fast and easy. If Nom can find a way to tap into that, it’ll be golden.

    Photo via দেবর্ষি রায়/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    Hillary Clinton will be making a very special guest appearance on this week's Broad City, and if the trailer's any indicator, it will be an episode worth seeing.

    A preview was released on the show's Facebook page Tuesday, and in it Ilana gives Abbi a tour of Clinton HQ (where she's been volunteering). Right when you think the tour's over, in walks Clinton, green jacket tailored to the gods, double-winking at the ladies. It's enough to leave both of our heroines speechless. 

    The only real question left for the episode to answer is how Ilana ended up a Hillary fan instead of feeling the Bern.

    The episode airs Wednesday at 10pm ET.

    H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Broad City

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    The Daily Dot is celebrating Woman Crush Wednesday, better known as #WCW on Twitter and Instagram, by highlighting female creators on YouTube whose work we admire.

    I may write about my woman crushes every week, but before sitting down to begin this piece, I found myself fangirling to such a level that I began to feel like a Taylor Swift fan who’d just been surprised with concert tickets.

    Started by Sanne Vliegenthart in 2008, Books and Quills is one of the freshest, most comprehensive BookTube channels on YouTube with videos that engage readers from all genres and interest levels.

    For those unfamiliar with this subcommunity, BookTube is a niche group of YouTube creators whose channels are focused primarily on books—including reviews, tags, hauls, deep dives, and once a year, BookTubeAThon, a reading challenge started by past #WCW Ariel Bissett.

    Originally from the Netherlands and now based in London, Vliegenthart has made a name for herself among the BookTube crowd with her honest book reviews (not everything gets a gold star), quaint and colorful filming aesthetic, and most importantly, her explainer videos on book publishing. Her graphic novel hauls have received particular notice, as she frequently updates viewers on new releases and influential works within this growing community.

    The current social media producer for Penguin Random House UK, Vliegenthart has used her videos to explain epigraphs, how book covers work, as well as ways to increase your reading habits and stay organized with work.

    For me, Vliegenthart is a whole package that speaks straight to my bibliophilic soul. Her book hauls have increased the size my library by easily 40 or 50 books (nevermind my pint-sized New York City apartment) while her blog and Instagram have established her as well-rounded lifestyle blogger I greatly enjoy following. Through YouTube, Vliegenthart has also shared tips and advice for moving abroad and the growing pains that come from living so far from home.

    While I realize not everyone shares my insatiable appetite for literature, the power of Vliegenthart’s content is that there is something for everyone—from the new reader to the person whose floors will someday collapse under the weight of their bookshelfs. That isn’t an easy balance to strike, and yet, Vliegenthart bridges genres and authors from all parts of history, inspiring you to put down your phone and dive into a world not constrained by 140 characters.

    Screengrab via booksandquills/YouTube


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    Six months into The Late Show, Stephen Colbert is learning a lot about being a big-time host—and Steve Martin showed up on Tuesday night to teach him an important lesson about friendship.

    What starts off as your typical late-night variety-show sketch quickly gets real, as Colbert and Martin’s song about friendship—with the latter on the banjo, of course—goes from a playful ditty to a startling admission. The truth comes out: As much as they may say otherwise, late-night hosts and guests are rarely ever friends. Colbert doesn’t know how to process this; Martin even signed a photo of his face for him!

    “Stephen, TV friends isn’t the same as being real friends,” Martin told him.

    Everything we know is a lie.

    Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube


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    Amber Rose knows how to make an entrance. 

    On Sunday afternoon, she exited a black SUV and slowly walked onto the patio of Lucille, a bar on Rainey Street in Austin, Texas. The late afternoon sun reflected off her thick gold necklace as fans, many of them wearing cardboard Amber Rose masks, shouted her name and snapped photos. She eventually made her way to the red carpet, where she fielded some questions. She took innumerable selfies with fans: “Rosebuds,” as they’ve dubbed themselves. 

    She made her way around the entire venue, fans and curious SXSW attendees following her like baby ducks. Later, she let the crowd in on some personal news: “My boobs are sweating very bad.” 

    Rose was at SXSW to debut her new 3D character, in partnership with Zoobe, a Berlin-based tech company. The Zoobe app lets users create an animated character and record original audio for messaging, and now users can make Amber Rose their “alter ego.” While many of the app’s characters are cute, as BuzzFeed pointed out last year, there’s potential for some weird storylines. 

    As we sit in the back of a black SUV the next day, before an appearance at her pop-up shop near the University of Texas, Rose reflects on the past day’s boob-sweat menace before moving on to her new venture. Zoobe approached her about the project, and since they were already fans, she says the collaboration was fairly easy. Of course, she also acknolwedges there’s the potential for her character to used in a not-so-positive way. 

    "I'm 100 percent sure there's going to be some crazy, weird, negative people out there that will record some nasty things, but that’s cool,” she said. “That just comes with it.” 

    That sentiment is often reflected online, where Rose has become an outspoken advocate for sex positivity and against slut-shaming and harassment. She’s responded to critics who think a woman who’s also a mother can't be sexual. She had Kim Kardashian’s back when fellow celebs called out her most recent nude selfie. She also made #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch a talking (and branding) point, after Kanye Westsubtweeted her. 

    “In my past, I’ve defended myself on numerous occasions, and now I really don’t do that anymore unless I’m trying to prove a point,” she said. “Especially when it comes to feminism and double standards, that’s when I really try to speak up on my feelings, because that speaks to me.”

    Having Kardashian’s back wasn't just about her, she says. It was about all women. “I feel like people feel like because we’re moms, we’re not allowed to be sexy anymore; we’re not allowed to be proud of our bodies. And that’s just not true. I don’t promote women constantly being naked all the time. I promote you doing exactly what you want to do in life, whatever makes you comfortable. And it should be a no-judgment zone.” 

    Rose took that further last year, when she headed the L.A. SlutWalk in October. She’s tried to rebrand the words “slut” and “thot” with T-shirts in her clothing line. Rose’s book, which she was promoting along with the Zoobe character, is called How to Be a Bad Bitch, and she defines “bad bitch” in part as “a self-respecting, strong female who has everything together.” It’s clear she's attempting to rewrite certain language that’s been used to suppress women, but she’s also making it part of her brand: one that has now expanded to tech. 

    She says the Amber Rose-branded SlutWalk will be expanding to other cities in the future, though nothing is “set in stone” just yet. SlutWalk and her Zoobe character might seem at odds in tone, but in essence, it’s all just messaging. 

    “I’m glad that I did it,” she said. “I dealt with a lot of scrutiny, people not understanding what a SlutWalk was, insinuating that I was promoting prostitution and promiscuity. Just negative things. It’s really about rape victims, sexual assault victims. I’ve gotten sexually assaulted on numerous occasions, and slut-shamed every day on the Internet. It’s really just all the issues we deal with as women, to come out and talk about it and help other women. Let that part of their life go and move on and be positive.”

    Photos by Roger Casama and Greg Noire


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    They say time is money, but nowhere is that more true than during the music arm of the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

    As more than 2,000 acts scramble for the eyes and ears of the festival’s 30,000-plus attendees, downtown Austin becomes a writhing mass of music where new names and old faces converge. No matter where you stumble, there’s going to be music, but there’s zero guarantee that what you’ll hear will be good. How’s a tastemaker to choose?

    Some leave it all to chance, while others put algorithms in charge of helping them find the next big thing. But now there’s a more curated option in between: The folks at CartoDB have released an interactive map that lets you see where all the shows are happening and how much of a pain it’ll be to get there. To help you decide if the gig is worth the surge pricing, they’ve added Spotify integration so you can preview the band, too. Simply click on a venue—represented by a green dot—and filter by day to see who’s on the bill. The map automatically recenters on that venue so you can plot out your next move too.


    Any seasoned SX veteran will tell you, though, that the best-laid plans can go out the window in an instant, so don’t get too attached to your minute-by-minute schedule.

    Screengrab via nerik/Github


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    BY TODD LONGWELL

    Latino-focused digital media company Mitú announced that it is partnering with Voto Latino on a get-out-the-vote campaign. It kicks off today at SXSW in Austin, Texas, with a social campaign that asks participants to state why they are voting in this year’s election and then pledge to do something outrageous to get their friends to register to vote.

    Co-founded by Rosario Dawson, Voto Latino is a nonprofit civic media organization that seeks promote Latino leadership in America through digital campaigns and pop culture. In the past, it has worked with celebrities including America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Gina Rodriguez, and Pitbull.

    The organizations will leverage Mitú’s millennial audience and community of social media stars and Voto Latino’s networks, which include its Artist Coalition of celebrities, to produce co-branded content and ignite participation in social media campaigns promoting voter registration and activation. The two organizations will also support each other in interviews, forums, town hall meetings, and other activities related to the 2016 elections.

    “Millennials represent almost half of eligible Latino voters, and as the largest digital media brand for Latino youth, it’s our responsibility to do whatever it takes to mobilize them in this historic election,” said Beatriz Acevedo, president and co-founder of Mitú, in a statement. “Latinos will play a pivotal role in electing the next president, and we must exercise our constitutional right to vote and let our voices be heard.”

    The Voto Latino partnership is an extension of Mitú’s #WeAreAmerica campaign that encourages Latino millennials to vote. It launched last month with the release of an app designed to enable voter registration.

    Illustration by Max Fleishman


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    YouTube's Holy Trinity, plus one, will make their next adventure a culinary one. 

    Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, and Mamrie Hart will be joined by fellow YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen as founding members of Dysh, a new foodie app.

    The convergence of social technology and food content has been one of the biggest areas of digital innovation as of late. Dysh falls in line with the trend, and allows users to rate menu items on a 100-point scale, giving a refined value instead of a simple, "try the burger!" review that populates competing apps.

    The two Harts (unrelated) and Helbig have partnered in various combinations before for a variety of projects, including films, webseries, tours, and countless YouTube collaborations. Nilsen is new to the fold, and has been dating Hannah Hart, best known for her My Drunk Kitchen series, since her public coming out. The foursome will take equity in the company and serve as "Taste Buds" according to founder Ashley King.

    “Not only are they perfect examples of what it means to be Taste Buds— they trust each other’s tastes and have fun sharing their culinary lives with one another,” King said in a press release, “but they also bring a social and business savvy to building a platform for millennials.”

    They're working on more than just social promotion. The foursome has been integral to the development of social aspects, like the app's commenting system, according to the company

    Although, sure, 20 million combined digital followers don't hurt the app's chances.

    H/T Tubefilter | Photo via Justin Safaei/Dysh


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    It's next to impossible to score tickets to Hamilton these days, but a new app might alleviate some of the stress around the popular musical's digital lottery.

    Ham App is a must-have resource for anyone trying to win Hamilton tickets through the daily lottery. When the digital system launched in January, fan enthusiasm knocked servers offline and delayed its implementation. Now that it's up and running, download Ham App and gain an edge over the rest of the lottery entrants.

    The app sends a push notification to users when the lottery begins each day, takes users directly to the correct page, and auto-fills their personal information. By preventing you from forgetting about the lotto and eliminating the delay of typing in your details, the app cuts shaves crucial minutes off of the process.

    Ham App is not affiliated with the musical, and it doesn't give you a better chance of actually winning the lottery, but it will help keep you organized and on-task in your quest to finally see the show.

    Ham App is available for iOS. There is no Android version.

    H/T BrooklynMag | Illustration via Max Fleishman


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    Twitch—the video streaming service most famous for airing live feeds of people playing games like Counter-StrikeandLeague of Legends—is branching out into the world of food with a cooking channel. To celebrate, it's playing every single episode of Julia Child's The French Chef in one serving. 

    The company pulled a similar stunt back in November when it aired nine straight days of Bob Ross's The Joy of Painting to launch Twitch Creative (the vertical where Twitch Food now lives), but a cooking show is decidedly different from the service's typical lineup.   

    According to the New York Times, the departure is strategic: "It is part of a budding effort by Twitch, acquired by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1 billion, to cultivate viewers interested in all forms of creativity, whether sewing, sculpture or cooking, not just those who want to watch virtual orcs getting slain."

    The French Chef aired for a decade starting in 1963, clocking in at 201 episodes, all of which will make it to air before Friday, March 18. 

    You can watch the stream here.

    H/T The New York Times | Screengrab via Twitch/Twitter


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    This post contains minor spoilers for House of Cards.

    The morning of March 4—when season 4 of House of Cards dropped on Netflix—I felt like I had turned into a big ball of anxiety. I had to get through an entire work day with all these questions racing in my head: Will Claire really divorce Francis? Will Lucas Goodwin reveal Frank Underwood’s past? How close is Doug Stamper to becoming an alcoholic again? Who will be the Underwoods’ next victim? Will this season be the end of Frank Underwood? (Jesus! No! Thankfully, Netflix has extended the series for another season.)

    I wasn’t alone, either: Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright have that kind of power on others too. With 13 new House of Cards episodes calling my name, I took a rain check on my weekend plans and soaked in every drop of thrill and excitement tightly packed in this new season. And boy did that yearlong wait pay off.

    But after the adrenaline rush subsided, I had no idea what to do with my life (again), so I dove straight back in to put together his House of Cards trivia quiz. I got to relive some fascinating moments from the series, and now I just have to remind myself that breathing exercises will get me through until the next season’s trailer drops.

    (You can ace this quiz even if you haven’t finished season 4.)

    Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube


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    With Florida Sen. Marco Rubio out of the presidential race, some mainstream Republicans are flocking to Ohio Gov. John Kasich—but it’s not for the reason you’d think.

    Jimmy Kimmel highlights Kasich’s electability in a new and fake campaign ad that has nothing to do with his record on the issues and everything to do with the fact that he’s not Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. And that's a promise he can keep.

    It’s not the glowing praise or vote of confidence Kasich needs at this point, but considering the state of the Republican race, he’ll probably take it.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube


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    President Obamanominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, a move that's already garnering a partisan response on Capitol Hill. But if there's one place where no one has heard about the whole thing, it's Los Angeles—aka Jimmy Kimmel territory.

    Garland’s name is already turning into a meme, so it’s not that far of a stretch for Kimmel’s crew to ask random passersby about the fictional characters, celebrities, and criminals who were just nominated to the Supreme Court in Wednesday night's edition of Lie Witness News.

    This video is harder to believe the more recognizable the names become.

    Then again, if anyone could unite the Seven Kingdoms—and even the U.S.—it’s Tyrion Lannister.

    Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube


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