Tag Archives: Google
Apple has confirmed maybe the worst kept secret in Silicon Valley: It’s been working on a cloud service, and will announce it at the June 6 Worldwide Developers Conference.
So now we know annual developer’s conference will unveil “iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering,” but we don’t know yet what it is, or what exactly will reside at the domain name it may have bought for $4.5 million in April.
iCloud could be the mythical iTunes streaming service, a possibility that is looking increasingly likely now that Apple has most of the major record labels signed up for it, in a space pioneered by Amazon and Google, which has no such deals. Or it could be Apple’s version of DropBox, the amazing sync and storage service that currently glues together the whole iOS ecosystem along with its desktop service.
Or it could be yet another abortion of an internet service, like Mobile Me, iDisk and Ping before it.
Whatever it is, it’ll have to be good. DropBox is already the default file system for iOS, and can be used by any developer, on almost any other OS. If iCloud is to succeed, it needs to be just as available to developers. ITunes streaming, too, needs to be something special. A “cloud locker” service like Amazon and Google’s is almost pointless, and we already have amazing streaming services like Spotify and Rdio.
Still, this won’t stop endless speculation during the next week, as pundits work up theories like a shaving brush works up a lather from a tiny, almost nonexistent nubbin of soap. And then on Monday — boom — we’ll know for sure.
Apple also said the keynote will be delivered by Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, and that the WWDC will also focus on the new version of OS X 10.7 Lion, and the upcoming iOS 5.
The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.
All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.
You may or may not remember her but Cherie Johnson played the best friend of Punky Brewster and the best friend of Laura Winslow on ‘Family Matters.’ In an attention grabbing maneuver, the former child star has announced she’s bucking for a spread in Playboy.
Johnson, 35, tells TMZ that she’s wanted to ‘show what her momma gave her’ in the famous nudie magazine ever since she was legally allowed to.
“I have been threatening my family that I was going to do ‘Playboy’ since I was 18 years old,” she said. “When my mom said ‘Okay’ … and my grandma said, ‘Bring me a autographed copy,’ I figured I’d make it a goal.”
Not sure we’ve ever heard anyone use Playboy as a threat before but, … what was the alternative?
Anyway, TMZ posted a semi-nude pic of the actress, claiming it was taken on a beach in California last week.
Johnson disagrees, and hopped on the twitter wagon, tweeting: “It’s messed up when the first thing I do in the morning is google myself 2 see how embarrassed I have to be for the day Pic is from 09 Miami.”
We’re sorry, but acknowledging that you Google yourself the first thing in the morning is not a ringing endorsement. Is this the new “norm” for our former child stars? First, “Screetch” aka Dustin Diamond went all ‘Adult’ on us and now this! Who’s next, Lindsay? … Never mind.
Stay tuned to hear what Hugh Hefner has to say about this.
The ex-sitcom star is also working on a novel titled “Peaches & Cream.” Now that would be a picture!
It’s Saturday night in Historic Filipinotown. Over 1400 fans have gathered in a converted warehouse to watch skaters battle it out in banked track roller derby. Unlike the popular roller derby spectacles of the 70s and 80s, the current derby revival focuses more on athletics than theatrics. There is nothing scripted, rehearsed, or fake about the full-contact sport as it’s played today, and most of the skaters have injury lists to prove it.
The sold-out crowds are drawn to the fast-paced bouts where the scores often climb into triple digits. Spectators can also enjoy half-time musical performances by local bands, or stroll through Vendor Village – a collection of booths offering derby merchandise, alternative attire, and a range of eclectic food options. The charismatic personalities and irreverent spirit of fun make this the quintessential sporting event for people who usually shy away from sports.
The LA Derby Dolls league was founded in 2003 and has grown to five teams, including the all-star LA Ri-ettes, and over 150 skaters, refs, staff, and volunteers. For the uninitiated, the game of roller derby consists of several 60-second jams where two teams each have four blockers and one jammer on the track at a time. To score, the jammer must break through the pack of blockers, skate ahead of them on the track, and then skate past the pack again, earning points for each opponent passed. Check out the league’s website for further explanation of the rules.
The next LA Derby Dolls bout pitches The Sirens against Fight Crew on Saturday, April 16th, 2011. Tickets for the 21+ game can be purchased online ($18 for general admission, $40 for VIP).
Some of the Derby Dolls took time to tell us more about how they roll:
Haught Wheels//Jammer, Blocker, Co-Captain//Fight Crew
Lace N’ Arsenic//Jammer, Blocker, Co-Captain//Varsity Brawlers
Gori Spelling//Jammer, Blocker//Tough Cookies
Amber Alert!//Blocker, Jammer//Sirens
LASlice: When did you first become interested in roller derby?
Alotta Trouble: The first time I heard about roller derby I wanted to do it. I was probably about six. My mom was a figure skater on roller skates, so us kids were on skates at an early age.
Lace N’ Arsenic: I came to a Baby Doll Brawl in October of ’08, which was my first experience with Roller Derby ever. As I watched, I thought to myself, I could totally do that! I tried out the next week and was on a team 7 months later!
Gori Spelling: I was on a friend’s Myspace page and saw something about roller derby. I had never even heard of it, so I did some googling, and found out LA had a flat track and a banked track team. I went to one practice of each league and decided I loved the banked track, so I joined LADD in August 2006.
Amber Alert!: When I joined LADD I wasn’t interested in derby, I was just interested in learning how to roller skate in a non-boring way. Once you get the taste of what you can do in the sport of derby it becomes very hard to turn your back away from it.
Haught Wheels: After I finished up my master’s degree, I wanted a different outlet altogether from night school. Full contact night athletics seemed to fit the bill.
LASlice: What’s the worst derby injury you’ve ever gotten?
Haught Wheels: I have dislocated and broken the same pinky on my right hand three times now. It always looks a little bit pregnant.
Alotta Trouble: I dislocated my collarbone the first jam of a game once, and played the whole game, and got MVP.
Gori Spelling: In 2007 I landed on my shoulder in the infield, and got a fracture. That was definitely my worst injury to date, but I consider myself very lucky to not have had anything worse.
Lace N’ Arsenic: The one I’m recovering from right now – a broken fibia and dislocated ankle. I’ve been out for a month, but I get to start walking again in 2 weeks!
LASlice: Are there any myths or misconceptions about roller derby for which you’d like to set the record straight?
Alotta Trouble: We all have jobs outside of derby, we don’t get paid (yet).
Haught Wheels: I do not take out my frustrations on the track, nor do I find it fun to injure someone. Derby, though a contact sport, isn’t about crazy ladies being unnecessarily aggressive. It is possible to be an amazing skater and derby player while still playing safely and calmly and intelligently.
Amber Alert!: Derby skaters cannot fit into a simple category. So many different types of women skate derby, not just ones with tattoos and piercings. Any woman with a competitive spirit and a drive to be the best can skate derby.
Gori Spelling: There are a lot of rules and there is also a huge amount of strategy that we use when playing. It may not be evident to someone at their first bout, but if you become a regular you’ll totally get into it and we’ll probably hear you yelling strategy tips from the crowd.
LASlice: Do you think about yourself differently since you’ve joined roller derby?
Lace N’ Arsenic: I am more confident in being a leader then I ever have been before and I now think of myself as a trainer and coach just as much as I think of myself as an athlete and teammate. I never knew I would fall in love with training other skaters as much as I did.
Alotta Trouble: My body has changed and I have become more athletic, which has helped with my self-confidence. But also, being in a sport with such girl power has also made me more self-confident.
Amber Alert!: Since I’ve been in derby I’ve found myself to be more of the person I have always wanted to be, confident and secure in who I am. Before I always tried to fit in, to be part of the ‘cool’ club, but with the acceptance I have received from the derby community, I am now just fine with who I am. It is very freeing to be rolling around on skates. I love feeling strong and in control of my body while cruising fast on the banked track. You feel like a superhero.
LASlice: How much time do you put into roller derby?
Alotta Trouble: Each person puts in more than you would think. I’m on the training team, so in addition to when I practice, I also lead 2-3 practices a month, which includes creating a lesson plan beforehand. I’m usually at the track 6+ hours a week, and I usually hit the gym 2-3 times a week in addition. Also, I’m on the finance committee, which mostly takes up time at bouts when my team isn’t playing.
Gori Spelling: Our league is a volunteer-run organization. If our team isn’t skating, we are required to volunteer and work the bout. For example, I’ll be working the door shift for this weekend’s Sirens v. Fight Crew game! Outside of skating, we do community health fairs, neighborhood clean ups, participate in Big Sunday and the Aids Walk Los Angeles, just to name a few.
Amber Alert!: Between skating and managing my various jobs, I probably put in around 20 hours a week for the Derby Dolls. Beyond the skating aspect, I’m also the Head of the Training Team and Co-Captain of the Ri-Ettes so daily I have to manage those positions as well. This includes creating and managing the league’s practice schedule, reviewing and updating the training program as needed, leading practices, scheduling bouts, managing the team in relation to those bouts, the list goes on and on.
Lace N’ Arsenic: I would say on average, I put in 2 – 3 hours a day as a Co-Captain and trainer. That’s not counting the actual skating and training. I prefer to skate 3 times a week on average for 2 hours a night. There’s so many committees that make us run, as well as sponsorship, and all these people put in numerous amounts of volunteer hours to better our sport and league. Bout nights are our rewards for all the hard work.
LASlice: What’s the most exciting play you’ve ever pulled off in a jam?
Gori Spelling: My most stressful jam to date was the 2008 Championship game, in the last jam. I was the jammer and it came down to a ref discussion for several minutes after the jam ended before they declared us the winner. I don’t like jamming in the first jam or the last jam…it’s a lot of pressure!
Haught Wheels: I barrel rolled out of a hit once, and was able to get right back up and get lead jammer status. I had been day-dreaming about that day for the entirety of my derby career. I hope to pull off a somersault next time around.
LASlice: What does it take for a team to win?
Amber Alert!: You have to be smart and strategic, not cocky, to win a bout. You can’t just get up on the track and expect to win. If the team has no direct objective they tend to fall apart.
Alotta Trouble: It’s going to sound cliche, but teamwork is the most important aspect to winning. You could have all the best players but if you’re not working together, you’re not going to win. Also, I think its important to maintain a certain level of calm, it helps you to stay in control on the bench, on the track, and in the penalty box.
Haught Wheels: Out-teaming the other team: we are trained the same, and scrimmage the same, so at the end of the game, whomever is able to stay mentally on top is the team that will win. Every member of a team must feel empowered, and must feel necessary, and must trust every other member.
LASlice: Have you noticed any changes as LADD has grown in popularity over the years?
Haught Wheels: It strives to be viewed more as a sport, and less as a life-style. We take our mission towards athleticism of the highest degree seriously.
Lace N’ Arsenic: The skaters are stronger, faster, and smarter. As the sport grows into something more professional, we are all striving to show the world that Roller Derby is a legitimate sport for women. In order to do that, we have to keep stepping up our game. That’s what I see happening within our league and many other leagues around the country.
LASlice: What role do you think roller derby plays in Los Angeles culture?
Amber Alert!: What I love about our events is that they are not stuck up and exclusionary in any way as most other nightlife events in the city are. No matter what you wear or where you come from you will find fun and excitement at a derby match, and maybe make a few more friends.
Gori Spelling: It definitely seems like something every LA resident either loves attending, or it’s on their list of things to do!
Lace N’ Arsenic: Roller derby provides an alternative sporting event – it’s not mainstream, it’s not overly commercialized, and it’s not super expensive. All of those things are present in almost all other sporting events in the city. We provide something different and more raw.
Alotta Trouble: LA and the surrounding areas really have a lot of options for derby, including flat and bank track roller derby. I think this creates not only an awesome derby community, but a lot of competition as well, and it really forces us all to be the best skaters we can be.
Haught Wheels: It’s a nice little melting pot. It attracts all walks of life, and all types of subcultures, and brings them together into one roaring mob.
Amazon (AMZN) took a big gamble this week, one that could backfire in court.
The company launched Cloud Drive, designed to let you store your music collection online. All you need are a computer and an Internet connection — or an Android-based phone — and you can listen to your music library from anywhere. Amazon is letting customers store about 1,000 songs for free.
Sounds kind of amazing. Investors were impressed, sending Amazon shares up nearly 7% in two days to $179.42. But here’s where Amazon gets into trouble: It didn’t ask permission from record labels before launching the service.
You can bet it took all of 10 seconds for all the major record labels to get on the phone with their lawyers over this one. The music labels think Amazon should have re-licensed the music (read: paid more) for online streaming, and one executive described the company’s move as “somewhat stunning,” according to Reuters.
So now the music industry has two sticks of dynamite it’s trying to manage. The first: No one’s sure that what Amazon did is exactly illegal. The second: Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and others are revving up to do the same thing.
Let’s take the legal issue first. Amazon says it’s simply giving users another way to store music. Nothing wrong with that, right?
“We don’t need a license to store music,” Amazon’s music director told The New York Times. “The functionality is the same as (that of) an external hard drive.” Amazon surely vetted this position with its legal team, and right now, the music labels aren’t sure how to handle it.
“We hope that they’ll reach a new license deal,” a Sony spokeswoman told Reuters, “but we’re keeping all of our legal options open.” For now, Amazon’s service doesn’t work with the iPod and iPhone.
The bigger worry for the labels, of course, is that if they don’t get this straightened out now, Apple and Google will launch their own “in the cloud” services without licenses as well. If that happens, any additional money the record labels hoped to make from cloud services will be gone.
You can bet that a long, slow round of negotiations has already begun. Amazon says it doesn’t need new licenses, and maybe it’s right. But Amazon probably has much more planned for its cloud services — stuff it will need new music licenses for — and it wants to stay on the labels’ good side.
Meanwhile, labels need to hammer out a deal soon, before Apple and Google jump in. Worst-case scenario: This all heads to court, and the music industry asks Amazon to pull the plug on its service until the licenses are worked out.
Best-case scenario: Amazon’s bold, no-prior-approval launch forces the music industry to play along, giving everyone the long-overdue option to easily store music online for free.