Karmin: My Latest YouTube Obsession.

These guys are so incredibly talented. I couldn’t resist posting one of their videos on here. Also, I LOVE Nicki Minaj’s ‘Super Bass’:

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Pottermore: A New Era of Literature

Harry Potter was the original online fandom. You can thank it for midnight releases and the terms “fanboy” and “fangirl” and most importantly, “shipping.”

All of which are now vital to all fandoms in any industry. Books, movies, television and so forth. If you don’t believe me, go onto Tumblr and search for the amount of blogs dedicated to shippers of Lea Michele and Dianna Agron’s characters on ‘Glee.’ You will be stunned by how much Gleeks want this pair, known by “Achele” or “Faberry,” to get together.

Back to Harry, though.

Yesterday, author JK Rowling released a huge announcement regarding the Harry Potter series on YouTube. What she revealed was Pottermore: a new, inventive, up and coming project where you can read her international bestsellers online. Here’s the video. I highly recommend you watch it:

So aside from the leaked material about Pottermore and other mishaps that occurred with yesterday’s announcement, what exactly does this mean?

Pottermore is what I like to think of as a new era of literature. A pave way for digital media and fiction to come together in the best way possible. And it’s only fitting that this fandom (the original one I’d like to emphasize again!) is the first to pioneer this new direction.

As Rowling describes, PotterMore is “an online reading experience unlike any other…the same story, with a few crucial additions, the most important one, is you…Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can participate in, and rediscover the stories.”

The rediscovering part is where Rowling plays a major role. It is reported that she has nearly 18,000 words and other, new material that all Harry Potter fans can find on Pottermore.

So it’s part book, part new material, part encyclopedia, part interaction. Almost like a real-time video game– for book nerds like me. As a fanatic of the series, this is very, very exciting. I’ll spare you my gushing, however, and leave it at that.

This revelation also proves that once again, digital media is winning. It’s persuading all forms of traditional media to embrace all that is possible on the Internet. And since so much of the Potter series’ success is due to its online fandom, it’s pretty darn cool that this project is coming to life. For those that participated in it when Rowling was still writing, and for those who will fall in love with Harry’s story in years to come.

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Filed under Culture, Digital Media, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Literature, PotterMore, Technology

foursquare’s 10 Millionth Check-in.

10 million users for any platform is impressive. Really impressive, actually. Lucky for foursquare, which can now say it’s a part of this club. Reports from TechCrunch and MSNBC’s Technolog describe the social network’s announcement today that it has surpassed 10 million users across the globe.

Of course, this is exciting for all tech junkies and anyone who supports social media across the board.

But this announcement signifies just how wrong I’ve been about foursquare since its existence. I guess letting everyone know where you are at all times of every day has become more of a fad than I ever thought possible. Please note my sarcasm. Still trying to wrap my head around the safety, purpose and direction this service will take in the future. If it ever is made clear to me, maybe I’ll join. Just maybe.

Though I must admit, the stats given with the press release on the growth and history of foursquare are pretty cool. My favorite–since March 2009, foursquare has had 1,061 birth announcements, based on recorded check-ins at hospitals. It’s incredible when you really think about it.

You can see the rest here:

foursquare statistics

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A Late Follow Up on Apple’s WWDC.

Since my hiatus, there’s been a lot happening in the tech world, meaning, Apple did something noteworthy. This something was the World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) a few weeks ago where the world was introduced to the iCloud, iOS 5, Lion and so forth.

I’m obviously late on this one, but it’s a topic I love too much not to cover.

For me, it’s amusing that the revelation of these new services and software can, literally, cause shifts on the interwebs. The blogosphere explodes and everyone’s expressions while catching up on the news typically consists of dropped jaws and eyes on fire with excitement.

Steve Jobs at Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference

Or maybe that’s just me. I dunno. I don’t even own a Macbook, iPhone or iPad.

The point is, well, Apple always receives this kind of reaction from consumers, bloggers and critics.  Its up and coming products cause pandemonium in ways that no other services or providers do, which I’ve discussed before.

The difference this time, which has inspired me to write this is that the services revealed at WWDC aren’t new, handheld toys for Apple fanboys/girls. They’re software, which will make Apple’s toys better, but like I said, they’re software. 15 years ago, the only people who would rejoice over new software would have been a handful of employees working for Linux.

In short, we have come a long, long way.

At the same time though, I’m convinced from these revelations that 21st century media consumers are more excited about the anticipation of things to come rather than the things themselves. Are Apple consumers really going to rave about the iOS 5 software 2, 3 or 6 months from now? I doubt it. Also, we didn’t have midnight releases for summer blockbusters in the 90’s.

In essence, there will always be something else to blow up Twitter about.

Maybe I’m wrong, but sometimes this is undoubtedly true– the part about our tendency to overhype new things. Just recall the time when everyone thought that Windows Vista was going to be awesome. Or when everyone thought Stephenie Meyer was a great writer.

Yeah, I try not to either.

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Filed under Apple, Culture, iCloud, iOS 5, Lion, Technology

Reset.

Hello there! I’m back, and I’m back with a vengeance!

If you scroll down, you’ll see that my last post was a month ago. In person, I would respond to that by saying WOOF enthusiastically. Especially considering my promise to myself that I would contine to blog after finishing classes this past semester. But as is expected, life and its distractions got in the way.

I finished my final semester at Fordham, had an  incredible Senior Week with my closest friends and graduated on May 21st. It was a beautiful day, ceremony, and time for me, my family, and fellow graduates. Here are some of my highlights from Fordham’s Commencement:

Then, between moving out of my apartment, organizing and traveling to Florida for my brother’s graduation, I still couldn’t get back to techculturenow. The upside of that was I got to spend a lot of time at Disney World. Here’s my favorite shot from my vacation:

^Growing up, I was obsessed with Huey, Dewey, and Louie (especially Dewey!) and Ducktales in general. So, naturally, finding these guys in Animal Kingdom was kinda a big deal.

___

 Since I’ve started techculturenow, I’ve refrained (for the most part) from turning my posts into recaps from my personal life. But I couldn’t resist today. I’ve experienced too much euphoria and accomplishment these past few weeks not to share a little.

It all leads up to my next chapter: life beyond Fordham.

And though I haven’t found what exactly I want to do tomorrow, 6 months from now or even 5 years down the line, one thing steady is my passion for technology and to think about it in relation to our culture. By reading my other posts, you can see how I feel this is overlooked too often. My purpose now is to continue this exploration but to go even further. This blog will no longer be an obligation of mine in order to pass a Writing For Online Media class, but an obligation of mine to put myself out there and let it take me somewhere new.

So please, if you will, give me a shot. I hope we all learn a thing or two along the way.

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More iPad 2

Just because I’m obsessed and Apple’s commercials never fail to make me hold my breath. Dramatic, I know. 

Admittedly, I really just needed an excuse to procrastinate my analysis of William Shakespeare’s plays for my last exam tomorrow.

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Trouble Parking? No Problem.

Yes, there’s now an app to find open parking spots in San Francisco. Check out the New York Times’ report on the new iPhone app, SFpark.

Time saving? Definitely. Promoting laziness? Possibly. Another hazard for drivers? Without a doubt.

But I totally love it. And I don’t even own a car. I hope this app expands to New York pronto. What’s interesting is that this application was developed and introduced by city officials. Talk about giving the government something to do.

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