Black Lives Matter Became a Rallying Cry. Make It the Truth. Black lives cannot fully matter until we decide that blackness itself is not probable cause. There are no helicopters in the sky. There are no billows of smoke wafting from a burned out quick-mart and no angry voices shouting in the darkness. The battalions of riot gear-clad police officers are gone now. The protesters have stopped coming and so have the news crews. Several years ago, with no story left to tell, national media outlets packed up their gear and moved on to other cities in search of calamity and rancor. Ferguson remains what it has been for decades—bruised in too many places, broken in all too familiar ways. Situated just west of St. Louis, the once all-white enclave covers a mere six square miles. But to know its history, to understand its present-day fissures, is to understand the […]

Warren “Oak” Felder Warren “Oak” Felder  is a Turkish-American songwriter and record producer based in Atlanta and Los Angeles. He is known for his as part of the production duo Pop & Oak, and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2015. Early life Felder was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. After moving to the United States in 2001, he attended Georgia Tech university. Career While at Georgia Tech, Felder recorded a demo with the singer/songwriter Sterling Simms, which led to a meeting with L.A. Reid and resulted in Felder writing and producing a track on Chris Brown‘s first album in 2005. Around 2009, Felder became production partners with Pop Wansel as the production duo Pop & Oak.[3] Their first big hit was “Your Love“, the lead single on Nicki Minaj‘s 2010 debut studio album Pink Friday.[1][2] Other notable songs they have written and produced include six tracks on […]

Streaming now accounts for 75 percent of music industry revenue Music sale revenues largely come from the same place now The Recording Industry Association of America released a report today that details how the music industry has grown in 2018, and while the data isn’t surprising — the world still isn’t buying records — the specific numbers are still fascinating. Turns out, streaming makes more money than physical CDs, digital downloads, and licensing deals combined. Streaming in this context includes paid subscriptions to services such as Spotify and Tidal, but also digital radio broadcasts and video streaming services such as VEVO. It’s a broad category that nonetheless has made $3.4 billion dollars in 2018 so far, a total that amounts to 75 percent of overall revenue for the record industry. The new user adoption rate for streaming is currently around 1 million new subscribers for streaming services per month, which […]

Bank of America’s Premium Rewards Card Is Good For Everyone, and Great for Some Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card As we’ve covered before, cash back cards and travel rewards credit cards are very different beasts, but the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card combines aspects of both. It probably wouldn’t be my first choice of card, but if you have Bank of America or Merrill Lynch accounts, it gets very attractive, very quickly. When Points Aren’t Just Points – Why Travel Cards Are More Lucrative Than Cash Back 3x points on dining. 4x points on gas. 2x points on all purchases. It’s easy to see these bonus… The Points We’ll get straight to, uh, the point. Each point you earn with the Bank of America Premium Rewards card is worth $.01. There are no fancy redemption options here, you just apply your points as a statement credit […]

Florence Death Toll Rises As Flooding Continues to Threaten the Carolinas Despite being downgraded from a Category 1 Hurricane to a Tropical Storm on Friday, Florence continues to churn as a dangerous storm whose unyielding rains are expected to cause massive flooding throughout the Carolinas. As the storm-related death toll rose to at least six by Saturday morning, officials believe the “worst damage was yet to come,” The New York Times reported. National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham called the dumping of more than 30 inches of rain already in some areas “absolutely staggering,” adding that, “we’re not done yet.” By Friday morning, about 800,000 residents in North Carolina had lost power. About 200,000 more had lost power in South Carolina. According to The Charlotte Observer, five people died on Friday in North Carolina, including a mother and her baby who were killed when a tree fell on their Wilmington […]

True story behind American Animals – real-life tale of how four friends bungled $12m heist American Animals tells the story of four friends who after a visit to Transylvania University, in Kentucky, came up with the idea to steal the rarest and most valuable books from the school’s library The thieves left no fingerprints behind and there were almost no witnesses, but the four robbers who tried to steal $5million in rare books from a university library were not master criminals. In fact the four friends who wore almost comic disguises of fake moustaches, beards and wigs were amateur criminals and this was their first heist. And they almost got away with it.  New film American Animals tells the story of one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history when three well off friends Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk and Chas Allen decided to try and steal […]

This company has huge aspirations for reducing the unemployment rate for disabled folks. by Kayla Stewart If you’re an adult with a disability, finding steady employment can be an uphill battle. Due to some outdated, problematic stereotypes, the unemployment rate for disabled adults in the United States is nearly 10% — double the rate of those without a disability. Aspire works to support disabled adults through workforce development programs and creating job opportunities. All photos are courtesy of Aspire. Aspire works with adults who have many different disabilities — such as autism, those who use a wheelchair, and adults with learning disabilities — to develop several important work skills that can be used in different industries. Aspire CEO Jim Kales says it’s a positive step toward improving the job environment for disabled adults. “While Aspire aims to lower the disability unemployment rate and include people with disabilities into our workforces, […]

Digital DJs Have New Ways to ‘Spin’ Their Tracks German company Native Instruments is updating several of its most popular music creation hardware and software products this fall. One item announced today is the pro-level Kontrol S4 DJ controller, which ships in November for $899. It can be used to play DJ sets in the new Traktor Pro 3 software suite, which arrives in October. Native Instruments If you’ve been to a club, festival, pool party, or bar mitzvah in the past few years and taken a peek at the DJ booth, you’ve seen somebody using Traktor. The widely beloved app, made by the Berlin company Native Instruments, lets a performer seamlessly mix together tracks from their MP3 library to make a non-stop, fluidly changing DJ set. Traktor can be used with hardware controllers too—when plugged into a laptop, these keyboard-like interfaces give a DJ all the same knobs and […]

Why Young Men of Color Are Joining White-Supremacist Groups Patriot Prayer’s leader is half-Japanese. Black and brown faces march with the Proud Boys. Is the future of hate multicultural? PORTLAND, Oregon—Outfitted in a flak jacket and fighting gloves, Enrique Tarrio was one of dozens of black, Latino, and Asian men who marched alongside white supremacists in Portland on Aug. 4. Tarrio, who identifies as Afro-Cuban, is president of the Miami chapter of the Proud Boys, who call themselves “Western chauvinists,” and “regularly spout white-nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Last month, prior to the Patriot Prayer rally he attended in Portland, Tarrio was pictured with other far-right activists making a white-power hand sign. Last year, he and other Proud Boys traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, for the Unite the Right rally that ended with a neo-Nazi allegedly killing an anti-fascist protester. Tarrio […]

New York has quickly become the ‘biggest threat’ to Trump Donald Trump. Several investigations taking place in New York are quickly becoming what experts describe as the biggest threat to President Donald Trump. The US attorney for the Southern District of New York, the New York attorney general, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office are all either investigating Trump, his businesses, or his business associates, or are contemplating such investigations. So far, local, state, and federal officials in New York are looking into hush payments that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former longtime lawyer, made on Trump’s behalf; how the Trump Organization was involved in those payments; the operations of the Donald J. Trump Foundation; and whether Trump’s business practices in New York violate the Constitution’s emoluments clause. It’s quickly becoming clear to experts that the multiple investigations going on in New York are the greatest threat to President Donald Trump.   […]

The convictions of 2 top Trump aides made last week one of the most dramatic of Trump’s presidency. Here’s what could happen next. Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. Last week was one of the most dramatic of President Donald Trump’s tenure so far. Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen and ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort were convicted of federal crimes. Now all eyes are on what happens next. Last week featured some of the biggest drama of President Donald Trump’s tenure so far. In courtrooms separated by about 200 miles, Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of federal felonies, two of which were campaign-finance violations that he said Trump “directed” him to make, while the president’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on eight felony counts while the jury was hung on another 10 counts he faced. So what’s next? What’s next for Michael Cohen? In cutting […]

How to Create and Share 360-Degree Panoramas With Your Drone We’ve become used to shooting panoramas with convenient preset modes on our phones and cameras, but the unique perspective from a drone adds a vertical dimension that can create some impressive bird’s-eye views. However, this also complicates the process of capturing, processing, and sharing images. We’ll walk you through how to do it and the tools you’ll need. For illustration we’ll use my favorite DJI Mavic Pro, but the process is very similar for other prosumer drones. Capturing 360-degree Panoramas with your Drone For starters, you’ll want to optimize your drone’s camera settings. Use as low an ISO as you can that still allows you enough shutter speed to reduce or eliminate motion blur from the scene. For landscapes I’ve found speeds as low as 1/60 of a second work fine. If you are shooting in bright light, it is […]

Artificial General Intelligence Is Here, and Impala Is Its Name One of the most significant AI milestones in history was quietly ushered into being this summer. We speak of the quest for Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), probably the most sought-after goal in the entire field of computer science. With the introduction of the Impala architecture, DeepMind, the company behind AlphaGo and AlphaZero, would seem to finally have AGI firmly in its sights. Let’s define AGI, since it’s been used by different people to mean different things. AGI is a single intelligence or algorithm that can learn multiple tasks and exhibits positive transfer when doing so, sometimes called meta-learning. During meta-learning, the acquisition of one skill enables the learner to pick up another new skill faster because it applies some of its previous “know-how” to the new task. In other words, one learns how to learn — and can generalize that […]

(So the say…) Here’s how you can trace an ’80s hip-hop beat back to 1910’s senior video producer Estelle Caswell explains it all.   What makes ’80s music sound like ’80s music? There’s one particular sound that stands out.’s senior video producer Estelle Caswell showed Recode’s Code Conference audience how a single chord, first created by Igor Stravinsky in the early 1900s, became a ubiquitous marker of ‘80s hip-hop music. Caswell can be found explaining all sorts or sound conundrums on Vox’s YouTube series Earworm. She also directed an episode of Vox’s new Netflix show “Explained” about K-Pop. You can watch Caswell’s original video about this singular sound below.

Barack Obama shares touching statement on the death of Aretha Franklin Aretha Franklin performs during the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Since news of Aretha Franklin’s death broke on Thursday morning, the internet has been flooded with memories, condolences, and tributes to the Queen of Soul. Former president Barack Obama — who,  like many of us, has been moved to tears by Franklin’s music and spirit — shared an emotional note about her passing. “Every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine,” Obama wrote. “Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped […]