Internet & Technology

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

'So much depends on it': Al Gore issues environmental call to arms at Collision

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 1:01 AM

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The man who was almost president has a message for the entrepreneurs, investors and other tech-adjacent professionals milling about this week's Collision conference in New Orleans: he needs you on board.

"I'm not here to just give you information," he says. "I'm here to recruit you. We need your help to win this struggle. We need your help to solve the climate crisis."

In a 30-minute speech to a packed-to-the-gills house (people sitting in the aisles, on the floor in front of the stage), former vice president, Nobel laureate and venture capitalist Al Gore exhorted conference-goers to sign on to what he says will be the defining battle of our lifetimes — the struggle to turn back the clock on an ever-warming, ever-more-meteorologically volatile planet whose climate has been disrupted by human activity and fossil fuel emissions.

"The world that you will grow into," Gore told the young-skewing crowd, "will be shaped by the decisions we make about this today."

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Breitbart News to hold 'town hall' in Metairie April 5

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 4:29 PM

Ann Coulter is among the panelists at Breitbart News' local town hall "Masters of the Universe." - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Ann Coulter is among the panelists at Breitbart News' local town hall "Masters of the Universe."

Ann Coulter is coming to Andrea's Restaurant in Metairie.

Coulter will be among the panelists when Breitbart News holds a "town hall" at the Italian dining mainstay April 5. The event's title: “Masters of the Universe: Big Tech vs. Free Speech and Privacy."

Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow will moderate the event. Other panelists include author Peter Schweizer (Clinton Cash, Throw Them All Out) and Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. The event is sponsored by Free Our Internet, a nonprofit "whose mission is to educate citizens about how Silicon Valley giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been banning, blocking, and censoring conservative speech online," according to the nonprofit's webpage.

Attendance is free, but those interested in going must RSVP via email. The town hall also will be streamed on Facebook Live.

Location Details Andrea's Restaurant
Andrea's Restaurant
3100 19th St
Metairie, LA
(504) 834-8583
Italian and Wedding, Party & Reception Venues

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Supercard of Honor: chatting with wrestler Cody 'The American Nightmare' Rhodes

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 5:23 PM

Back at WrestleMania 30 in 2014, the talented Cody Rhodes, a hard-working wrestler with a magic touch for finding ways to connect with the audience, was relegated to a minor role in an opening multi-man match. Four years later, he's returning to New Orleans a proven main-eventer, and on Saturday, April 7 at Ring of Honor's Supercard of Honor, he'll face Kenny Omega in a dream match pro-wrestling fandom is buzzing about.

Cody (left) and Kenny Omega (right) will face off April 7 at "Supercard of Honor" - RING OF HONOR
  • RING OF HONOR
  • Cody (left) and Kenny Omega (right) will face off April 7 at "Supercard of Honor"

After almost a decade at WWE, Cody left in 2016 to make a living as an independent wrestler. He's not the first to try, nor the first to succeed, but as a longtime fan it's been gratifying to watch Cody's journey, first out from under the shadow of his legendary father (bleach-blonde Hall-of-Famer Dusty Rhodes, The American Dream) and then beyond the gates of WWE as an international independent star.

Cody's always had charisma. Years ago, his absurdly perfect good looks were the basis of an ultra-vain "male beauty" persona that remains dear to the hearts of many (and helped get my then-partner interested in watching wrestling). It was Cody who finally reintroduced WWE's iconic white-leather Intercontinental Title belt, and he proved capable of making all kinds of unlikely material work, including getting fans excited about something as seemingly basic as him growing a mustache.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

LISTEN: Rebecca Solnit on sexual assault, Parkland and internet culture

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 2:02 PM

JUDE MOONEY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • JUDE MOONEY PHOTOGRAPHY

Essayist, cultural critic and activist Rebecca Solnit, who is known for the prodigious breadth of her interests and her feminist critiques of contemporary culture, is scheduled to give a lecture at Tulane University's McAlister Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. March 19. Ahead of that appearance, she gave a nearly hour-long interview to WRBH-FM's David Benedetto for the radio station's "The Writer's Forum" program.

The interview, which spans a range of topics almost as vast as Solnit's own body of work, aired over the weekend, but you can catch it on the station's Soundcloud. There, the writer and host cover Solnit's writing history; her thoughts on the mass shooting at Parkland, Florida; the future of American activism and progressivism; what it was like to work on Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas; viral media; the language surrounding sexual harassment and assault and more.

The full interview is embedded below.


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Thursday, March 1, 2018

ACLU to livestream students' rights training session

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 1:45 PM

Teens For Gun Reform demonstrating outside the White House Feb. 20. - PHOTO BY LAURIE SHAULL/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY LAURIE SHAULL/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Teens For Gun Reform demonstrating outside the White House Feb. 20.

Following a wave of student activism and action on (and off) campuses in the wake of the killings of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is offering a livestreamed video training session March 1 covering students' First Amendment rights.

The live stream — open to students, parents, teachers and any other interested parties — will discuss walkouts and free speech and other forms of constitutionally protected campus engagement.

A national student-organized March For Our Lives event in cities across the U.S. will demand stronger gun control measures to prevent mass killing in schools. The New Orleans event begins at noon Saturday, March 24 at the U.S. District Court building (500 Poydras St.).

The ACLU also has released a students' guide to free speech, with FAQs covering students' rights on and off campus — including rules covering social media posting and whether schools can discipline students who participate in walkouts.

The stream begins 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1 and is available here.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

RTA's revamped mobile app is almost finished

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 5:12 PM

PHOTO BY JEANIE RIESS
  • PHOTO BY JEANIE RIESS

A revamped version of New Orleans Regional Transit Authority's (RTA's) GoMobile app could be released as soon as April, Transdev vice president Justin Augustine III said this morning.

The redesigned app, which is pending approval by RTA's Board of Commissioners, currently is in internal beta testing at the organization. Though the product is not yet finished, Augustine says the app should allow riders on the city's buses, streetcars and ferries to buy scannable single-ride fare tickets through their smartphones, which they'll be able to keep on their phones for up to 12 months. (The current app only offers the more expensive "Jazzy Pass" and monthly tickets, and stores purchases for just two weeks.)

Riders will be able to receive real-time updates to schedules and view the exact location of the bus or streetcar they're waiting for. There's also a feature that maps stops and routes near the user's current location. The new app connects to a modernized GPS system called CAD-AVL now being used by RTA.

The app has been in the works for almost a year and will be fully accessible for people with disabilities.

Augustine shared details about the app at a presentation about "The Future of Public Transit in New Orleans" hosted by New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and attended by business leaders from the hospitality and tourism industries.

At the meeting, he presented an abridged version of the RTA's 20-year Strategic Mobility Plan and took questions from attendees about the possibility of light rail in New Orleans (in the immediate future, odds are slim, Augustine said).  He also discussed the challenges of helping employees at downtown businesses — particularly in the 24/7 hospitality industry — get to work on time, which he said is a top priority for the transit organization.

"We have to understand what's important to you. We have to understand what your employees need and want," he said. "The future of public transportation will be driven by you."

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Grocery delivery service Instacart to launch in New Orleans March 8

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 2:50 PM

EDDIE WELKER / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • EDDIE WELKER / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

Our eternal trudge toward app-based dystopia continues with the arrival of Instacart, a grocery delivery service, in New Orleans and its suburbs March 8.

Instacart — good for people whose personal hell is a Costco parking lot, or those who just really, really hate exchanging checkout-line pleasantries — is a service in which one can order groceries through an app, to be delivered within a certain time frame (there are 1-hour, 2-hour and five-day delivery options). People in the New Orleans area will be able to summon groceries from local retailers including Rouses Market, Costco and Petco.

The service is fee-based — orders under $35 have a $9.99 delivery fee tacked on. Over $35, the fee is $5.99, and there's an annual subscription that includes unlimited deliveries.

Instacart also will look for 100 "shoppers" in the region, who collect and deliver groceries. Here's a HuffPost article with a few accounts of what it's like to work for them. (Like being on Supermarket Sweep, one worker said.)

More information is available on the service's website.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Edward Snowden in conversation with Ron Suskind at Tulane Jan. 29

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Edward Snowden in 2015. - PHOTO BY NORDISKE MEDIEDAGER
  • PHOTO BY NORDISKE MEDIEDAGER
  • Edward Snowden in 2015.

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden will discuss the state of surveillance in the U.S. with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ron Suskind via a Google Hangout session at Tulane University this month.

They'll discuss "Mass Surveillance, Secrecy & Democracy: When Data Collection Becomes a Threat to Free Societies, "Restoring Trust: How To Solve The Next Generation of Privacy & Security Dilemmas, and "National Security Agency or National Surveillance Agency: Our Cyber Defenses Examined."

In 2013, Snowden leaked thousands of documents exposing NSA's global networks of phone and internet surveillance, sparking a debate over those efforts in the name of national security and at the expense of individual privacy. Over the last few years he has participated in teleconference speaking events while seeking asylum abroad from criminal charges in the U.S.

Tulane students, faculty and staff can reserve one free ticket and also can purchase one $20 general admission ticket for a non-Tulane member. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 8.

The event runs 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29 at Tulane's McAlister Auditorium.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Editorial: Saving 'net neutrality' — what you can do

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 4:39 PM

A Sept. 2017 rally in San Francisco to preserve net neutrality. - CREATIVE COMMONS/CREDO ACTION
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/CREDO ACTION
  • A Sept. 2017 rally in San Francisco to preserve net neutrality.

Next week, the U.S. government seems poised to roll back the Open Internet Order, a 2015 policy approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of a strategy to ensure what is broadly called “net neutrality.” Net neutrality requires internet service providers (ISPs) to be “neutral” pipelines, neither favoring one site over another nor getting in the way of what consumers want to see. They are not allowed, for instance, to create fast and slow loading speeds for particular websites, nor block any websites in general. Without net neutrality, an ISP could favor its own search engine or news page (Verizon, for instance, owns Yahoo, and may prefer you use Yahoo over Google, or Yahoo News over The New York Times).

Simply put, net neutrality is good public policy.

Without net neutrality, surfing the internet could become a lot like paying for cable TV. In ISP might decide to section off groups of popular websites and charge extra prices for that bundle, similar to the way cable TV companies bundle premium channels. It could also work in reverse, with an ISP demanding that streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu pay extra to prioritize their streaming traffic. ISPs would have to disclose this information, but with ISP monopolies operating in many areas of the country, it still would leave consumers little choice.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Orleans Public Library adds Kanopy, a streaming service featuring art house films and documentaries

Posted By on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 2:58 PM

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Great news for lovers of art house and classic cinema: The New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) is now offering free subscriptions to Kanopy, a free streaming service with more than 30,000 titles — including those from the Criterion Collection, as well as film festival award winners, documentaries (including Ken Burns), PBS series, independent cinema, foreign films, classics, shorts and more.

Users with a library card can go to the Kanopy website, create an account and immediately begin streaming as many as 12 free movies a month. Kanopy works on Android and iOS devices, and there's a Roku app as well.

A quick browse through Kanopy's library shows dozens of New Orleans- and Louisiana-related titles, including Tchoupitoulas — A Portrait of New Orleans; Mosquitoes and High Water: The Isleños of New Orleans; The Sons of Tennessee Williams; Bayou Maharajah; Getting Back to Abnormal; and Dirty Energy: Firsthand Stories from the Deepwater Horizon Disaster,

The NOPL also has another streaming service, Hoopla, which features more general interest titles. Like Kanopy, it also is free and offers 12 movies a month.

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