Internet & Technology

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Holocaust Museum official to speak on social media extremism at National World War II Museum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 1:39 PM

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The National World War II Museum has an exhibit of Nazi propaganda on view through June 18, and next week the museum will host the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Steven Luckert to discuss "Fueling Extremism in a Wired World." The discussion begins at 6 p.m. April 4, with a 5 p.m. reception beforehand.

"What responsibility do journalists, technology companies, governments, and individuals have to keep the world safe?" is the topic.

Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested
Location Details National World War II Museum
National World War II Museum
945 Magazine St.
Warehouse District
New Orleans, LA
(504) 527-6012
Museum, Theater and Art/ History/ Music

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Editorial: These Louisiana politicians just sold out your online privacy

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 12:28 PM

CREATIVE COMMONS/BLOGTREPRENEUR
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/BLOGTREPRENEUR

While the chatter in Washington D.C. last week focused on the failed GOP health care plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, a much quieter — but equally egregious — repeal-and-replace bill moved through the U.S. Senate along party lines. By a 50-48 vote, Senate Republicans overturned internet privacy laws adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the last days of President Barack Obama’s administration. On March 28, the House of Representatives voted 215-205 to follow the Senate’s lead, and President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measure.

What does this mean for you? Simply put, your internet service provider now may legally track your every online move, collect the data, and sell it — including financial and health information, location and other data.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sidney Torres does a Reddit AMA

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 2:53 PM

Sidney Torres IV - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Sidney Torres IV

Real estate flipper / The Deed reality star / celebrated trashman Sidney D. Torres IV participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" chat this afternoon.

And, indeed, they asked him anything — from serious real estate questions to snark. Sometimes he even answered the latter.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THINX founder Miki Agrawal removed from NOEW women's summit lineup

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:42 PM

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The Idea Village, one of the organizing groups behind New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), has released a statement regarding the cancellation of THINX founder Miki Agrawal's appearance at a women's summit at the conference.

Agrawal originally was scheduled to give a "fireside chat" at the summit, which highlights issues women face in the workplace. The high-profile founder of THINX, which makes underwear designed to disrupt the lucrative menstrual pad and tampon market, was known for her colorful interviews and quirky (some might say eccentric) behavior.

But this week, news broke of sexual harassment allegations against Agrawal from a former employee — a serious charge for anyone, but especially for a figurehead who espouses feminist ideals and women's empowerment. The allegations follow a flurry of criticism from current and former employees about poor working conditions for the company's women, including inadequate maternity leave, a toxic office culture and low pay.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Suppressing free speech on the bayou

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 6:26 PM

ExposeDAT, a website that drew the wrath of Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter.
  • ExposeDAT, a website that drew the wrath of Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter.



Former LSU Law Dean Jack Weiss, a highly respected First Amendment lawyer, taught me a valuable lesson about some of our most cherished freedoms.



“First Amendment freedoms, including free speech, freedom of the press, open meetings and public records, don’t get eroded in large cities where big news organizations can fight back,” he said. “They die in small towns, where entrenched politicians control virtually everything and most people are too afraid or too poor to fight back.”



I thought about Jack’s lesson when I read about Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter’s deputies executing a search warrant on the home of Houma police officer Wayne Anderson in hopes of learning the identity of an anonymous blogger who had the audacity to criticize Larpenter and other Terrebonne bigwigs.


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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Androids and anime: a day at MechaCon (slideshow)

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Costumed con-goers strike a pose.
  • Costumed con-goers strike a pose.

The scene at MechaCon check-in is bedlam. A man in a glittery green bowler hat, possibly left over from St. Patrick’s Day, jostles a woman with blue and purple hair, who consoles her crying sister. A girl in a metallic red and blue jacket, matching bikini bottoms and black high-heeled boots shivers nearby. Other people in varying degrees of costume stand around the registration desk in vague gestures toward lines; the confusion seems to stem from the fact that there are multiple registration levels. Red-shirted volunteers keep trying to line people up based on the first letter of their last names (“N through Z!”) 

Behind me, a young man in an electric blue wig, a red fedora with playing cards tucked into the band and goggles seems indifferent to the chaos. He’s carrying two boxes at about chest-level. 

“What’s in the box?” I ask. 

The first box has a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards, he says. 

“And the other one?”

“It’s a box of string.”

"And what is the string for?

“No one is supposed to know what the string does.”

Shyly, he opens the box’s lid to reveal a tangled nest of extension and power cords.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Y@ Speak: #AltonSterling and #BatonRouge

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Twitter allows us nearly minute-by-minute live accounts of anything happening at any time, including the overwhelming, war-like response to protests and marches in the wake of Alton Sterling's death by Baton Rogue police officers last week. Reports from the weekend's protests have used words like "standoff" to describe what was more like a one-sided riot response — where there was no riot. This week's edition follows last week's vigils, rallies and updates from Baton Rouge, all aired on Twitter by the hundreds of witnesses who were there.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CNBC's American Greed season premiere to feature former Mayor Ray Nagin

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 12:03 PM

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The CNBC documentary series American Greed has its season premiere March 31 with an installment titled "Ray Nagin: New Orleans Shakedown."

The hourlong report, which begins at 9 p.m., will focus on Nagin's business dealings, including those with now-disgraced and jailed former tech whiz Greg Meffert. Also in the story: Stone Age Granite & Marble, the granite company Nagin ran with his sons. Nagin, who was convicted on federal corruption charges in February 2014, is serving a 10-year prison term in Texarkana, Texas.

Watch a preview:

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Krewe of Vaporwave's virtual Mardi Gras parade

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 1:47 PM

A snapshot of "A Tribute to War Not Being the Answer," one of the vkv floats.
  • A snapshot of "A Tribute to War Not Being the Answer," one of the vkv floats.
Last night the first annual Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave rolled. Theirs was a virtual parade, viewed via popular streaming service Twitch. To be clear, the parade, a series of video/music collaborations by pseudonymous artists, was entirely online.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a symptom of alienation, but watching it was the opposite of alienating. So many of us do already consume so much of life through screens, whether we're streaming ParadeCam, a small bright rectangle of noise and spectacle in the corner of our workstation at some geographically remote office, or scrolling numbly through Carnival-soaked social media, the documentation of other people's good times. The Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave positioned itself as a joke about this tendency — “This is something to be experienced alone on your computer in the dark,” the Krewe's founder, Merely Synecdoche, told Michael Patrick Welch — but functioned as both a critical commentary on it and, by bringing viewers together at a set time to watch it, even a partial remedy.

Whereas some react to the malign influences of digital technology on our daily lives by mindlessly celebrating technology, fetishizing it, or hailing it as a magical force that can rescue us from our problems, Synecdoche says Vaporwave is about "the loneliness and pointlessness of the Internet."

Vaporwave as a genre is internationally influenced, built of broken pieces of the past, born of a sense of loss, and according to Synecdoche, "on the Internet it’s already been declared dead many times over,” making it a good genre fit for 2016 New Orleans. This first year's theme was "Vaporwave is Dead: Long Live Vaporwave." So: elegiac, fatalistic and unshakably fixated on itself... any of these characteristics sound familiar?

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave launches online 'parade'

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Krewe of Vaporwave's music videos incorporate Carnivalesque graphics.
  • Krewe of Vaporwave's music videos incorporate Carnivalesque graphics.

Anyone who can't wait for the final week of Mardi Gras parades to start can try to get some virtual satisfaction Tuesday evening with the launch of the Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave's first "parade." The online experience screens on Twitch.com. The krewe of anonymous DJs, electronic musicians and visual artists created 15 vaporwave videos, incorporating Carnival imagery, and they screen in succession, conceptually like a 15-float parade, says the krewe founder, who goes by the pseudonym Merely Synecdoche.

"We're a digital art collaborative," he says. "The goal is to be a Mardi Gras krewe that posts digital art every year."

The inaugural parade theme is "Vaporwave is Dead: Long Live Vaporware."

Parade viewers can visit www.kreweofvaporwave.com and find the link to Twitch.com, on which the parade will screen at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The stream mimics conventions of parades. The four screenings are dubbed as locations: Magazine Street at Napoleon Avenue, St. Charles Avenue at Louisiana Avenue, St. Charles Avenue at I-10 and St. Charles Avenue at Canal Street. Images of those locations will be incorporated into the video stream at the matching time. There also are links for "throws."

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