Internet & Technology

Monday, July 7, 2014

Y@ Speak: #EssenceFest

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 12:38 PM

It purple rained all over the place, from fireworks to Prince to... nope, just those things. This week's Y@ Speak looks at some 2014 Essence Fest highlights to local pols reacting to Hobby Lobby and if New Orleans was built for bumper cars.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Y@ Speak: the heat is on

Posted By on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 1:18 PM

It's summertime in New Orleans. It's hot and violent and due for a vacation from both of those things. A week after New Orleans officials celebrated its award of "most liveable city," a group of people were shot on Bourbon Street. Here's a look back at a taste of swampy weather, shootings and Keanu Reeves oberving a Jefferson Parish murder trial.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

This little girl from Louisiana is the latest Vine sensation

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Move over Terrio and make way for Cece, a little girl from Louisiana who is the latest Vine sensation. In four days, she's amassed over 50 thousand followers and it's easy to see why. Above is her most popular video, where she makes a pretty solid argument against cleaning her room ("Maybe I like dirt!"). Cece is my hero.

Cece's sass isn't just limited to rock-solid arguments against household chores, she's also a keen observer of the human condition.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Y@ Speak: chicken boxing or boxed chicken

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Which do you prefer? Mild or spicy? Boxed or boxing? This week New Orleans asks the tough questions: Common Core or not? Where do all the vape stores come from? Would you like a weed lollipop? What is soccer?

Your questions answered, kind of, in this week's Y@ Speak.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

#NOLANeedsUber — or does it? Council to take up issue Tuesday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

An image from an Uber launch party earlier this year in Cincinnati, where the service debuted in March. - CREATIVE COMMONS/5CHW4R7Z
  • An image from an Uber launch party earlier this year in Cincinnati, where the service debuted in March.

The kind of language used on social media by devotees of Uber, the smartphone app that connects riders to existing drivers, might make you think they were discussing something much more dire than the potential expansion of a luxury car service into the New Orleans transportation market.

“NOLA deserves Uber,” says Twitter user Joel Galatas, using the now-popular hashtag #NOLAneedsUber, introduced in an email blast by the company two weeks ago. In four minutes, eight more #NOLAneedsUber Tweets come in, all with similar urgent-sounding rhetoric.

“NOLA needs Uber as soon as possible, without price-fixing,” another reads, which is the tweet pre-composed and suggested in the email blast. All these Tweets are directed at members of the New Orleans City Council. It’s a social-media public relations maneuver Uber has used in many other cities, with success.

“That’s one of the really special things about the Uber technology,” says Tom Hayes, Uber’s general manager for New Orleans, referring to the fervor with which supporters of Uber have taken to social media.

Even before Uber had public plans to enter the New Orleans market, it was met with resistance from city officials. There was a now-infamous cease-and-desist letter from Taxi Bureau Chief Malachi Hull (sent to Uber before it even entered the market), and Mayor Mitch Landrieu was tight-lipped in expressing outright support for the service.

Eight months later, it’s a different story. The city is reassessing its existing transportation codes to accommodate the service. But the San Francisco-based company, which operates in more than 70 cities in the U.S. and 37 other countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia, and was recently valued at $18 billion, says it won’t be satisfied until it can operate by setting its own prices, and it’s encouraging its fans to demand the same.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Solstice Celebration offers peak at Good Eggs' growth

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Staff at Good Eggs gathers grocery orders at its Tchoupitoulas Street warehouse.
  • Staff at Good Eggs gathers grocery orders at its Tchoupitoulas Street warehouse.

Good Eggs, which essentially operates as an online farmers market that delivers groceries, hosts a summer solstice party from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday at its warehouse (1746 Tchoupitoulas St.). The event will showcase many of the food producers whose products it sells. There will be a roast hog from Hollywood Livestock in Baton Rouge. Saffron NOLA, the Gretna catering business and Indian restaurant, will prepare a vegetable biryani. Bittersweet Confections will offer sample cupcakes and chocolate bars. There will be pairings of breads, cheeses and pepper jellies Good Eggs carries, and Crescent Pie & Sausage will offer sausages with pepper jelly from Michael's Pickles.  VEGGI, the Vietnamese farmers collective, is preparing a tofu dish and a salad using its lettuces and radishes, and Stony Point Farm is bringing its first watermelons of the season.

Good Eggs' mission is to support local food systems by helping producers reach consumers, but it's a technology company driven by software it has developed to do that. Through Good Eggs' "webstand," customers buy directly from farmers and Good Eggs collects and delivers groceries. It doesn't operate like a store — it has no inventory other than what it is packaging for delivery and some nonperishable items held on consignment. It tries to work with organic famers and most of its producers use no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Good Eggs has grown rapidly in its first year, greatly expanding its offerings and delivery operations.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Y@ Speak: closing time

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 1:02 PM

You don't have to go home but you can't stay here. That goes for you, nude bicyclists, dudes passing out in public and a certain restaurant. For others, it's primetime futbol, reality TV, Walmart, dad and "beignets raining from the trees" season — all in this week's Y@ Speak.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Uber takes it to the people

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 5:10 PM

A screen grab from the website of hail a cab app Uber.
  • A screen grab from the website of hail a cab app Uber.

Uber, the cellphone app that connects riders to drivers, is stepping up its grassroots game in the wake of a New Orleans city Council ordinance introduced Thursday that would make changes to the city's transportation code to be more receptive to the app, but would also enforce a minimum $25 charge for sedan rides, a minimum $35 charge for SUV rides and a flat rate of $75 for trips to the airport.

Uber, whose business model is based on fluctuating prices that are determined by demand, isn't happy with those minimum charges — though, in an email blast to its New Orleans base, it did call the proposal a "step in the right direction." That's compared to the city's initially not-so-warm welcome last October, when Taxicab Bureau Director Malachi Hull issued a cease-and-desist letter before the San Francisco-based Uber even began operating in New Orleans. (Read our February cover story, "Why New Orleans Doesn't Have Uber.")

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Y@ Speak: that's a wrap

Posted By on Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM

This week's Y@ Speak reflects on the last breath of the 2014 legislative session in Baton Rouge, from climate change deniers to Gov. Bobby Jindal's signing of Senate Bill 469, and begins another year of Y@ Speak — catch up on last week's winners from our second-ever awards.

Also: Kurt Braunohler jet skis from Chicago to New Orleans and a cat gets stuck in a news crew truck.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Y@ Speak: What are your #NOLAConfessions?

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Last week's @BeingNOLA user @animatedGeoff asked New Orleans for its deepest, darkest, least nEaUxLa-iest thoughts. We present to you some of the highlights. Also this week: the Solange Special, Bayou Boogaloo, and the Foo Fighters at Preservation Hall.

And a big thanks to all of you who submitted your nominations for the 2014 Y@ Speak Awards. We'll announce the finalists soon, so stay tuned.

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