Tyler the Creator gambles on Drake, loses.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/nov/11/drake-booed-camp-flog-gnaw-festival-tyler-the-creator

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Tyler the Creator held his 8th annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles over the weekend. 45,000 people came from far and wide to see artists such as Thundercat, Brockhampton, and Tyler himself. When putting out the lineup for the festival, Tyler blocked out one of the headliners, putting a series of question marks in their place. It was widely speculated that this mysterious headliner would be Frank Ocean. Frank is coveted in the music world owing to the rarity of his performances. He doesn’t tour and North American performances are few and far between. Being that Frank and Tyler are old friends and former members of Odd Future, people believed that he would be the mystery performer. “His name was all you heard while standing in line, as if the infamous recluse could be wished into existence.” 

When Drake walked out, the crowd was unamused. While Drake is a stadium-filling, more-top-10’s-than-the-Beatles-having artist, he represents mainstream pop-rap; the antithesis of Frank Ocean. While Drake is a manicured, establishment rapper, Frank is a sexually fluid, multigenre artist who has rejected the world of ghostwriters and controlling record companies.

Drake could tell that the crowd wasn’t feeling his set, and seemed to be fighting for attention. He asked multiple times if the crowd wanted him to keep going, even asking “Can I do one more? Is that all right with you?” When he received boo’s and little positive reaction, he humbly ended his set, telling the crowd, “It’s all love.”

Now, who’s fault was this? While many artists at the festival are similar to Frank in their alternative take on pop, rap, and r&b; many others were mainstream artists. Artists such as YG, DaBaby, and 21 Savage all fall into the same mainstream rap category as Drake. There are two issues at hand here, and Tyler seems to be at fault for both. Tyler has been known to have ultimate creative control over his content. He designs his clothing and produces/arranges all of his own music. If it wasn’t his idea to put “???” as the headliner, he sure as hell signed off on it. If Drake had been named as the headliner from the get-go, people would probably have enjoyed it. They would not have felt let down by not seeing Frank. The second issue deals with Tyler changing as a person and an artist. Tyler has historically been an anti-establishment musician. If you told someone at the first Flog Gnaw Carnival (of which I attended) that Drake would be headlining in a few years, they would laugh in your face. Drake represents everything that Tyler always hated. Perhaps money has changed him. While he used to rap explicit lyrics condemning designer clothing, he can now be seen sporting extravagant garments from Commes de Garcon and Louis Vuitton.

All criticism aside, the Carnival is a testament to Tyler’s genius, as well as his work ethic. At 28, he has already built an empire for himself (and helped many of his friends along the way). Tyler breaks down racial and sexual stereotypes. He is a self-made, black entrepreneur. He is a rapper with lines such as “I been kissin’ white boys since 2004.” He is getting young people to dress like old golfers, and making it cool. It’s unfortunate that he decided to book Drake, and more unfortunate that he inadvertently led people to believe that Frank would headline, but all in all the festival was a success.

Sorry Drake.

(not really)

 

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British Government To Hit Facebook With A Light Slap On The Wrist Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal.

 

 

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The British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has successfully gotten Facebook to agree to pay a five hundred thousand pound fine over their Cambridge Analytica scandal. Cambridge Analytica is a now defunct political consulting firm based out of Britain. The firm used calculated and unethical methods of data collection in order to provide highly valuable information to their customers. Cambridge Analytica was actively involved in politics in dozens of countries internationally. 

The ICO initially announced to the public that it would be attempting to fine facebook in July of 2018, only to officially serve the fine 3 months later. This is a common tactic done in order to catch companies off guard and not let them come up with a public statement that they can immediately release. Facebook appealed this fine, stating that they had not received any information that the ICO had on the matter, and in turn, were not being tried fairly. It’s important to note that Facebook has agreed to pay the fine only if they are to receive documents related to the case. Another stipulation of the settlement is that Facebook is not admitting liability.  

Facebook profited almost 56 billion dollars in 2018. That’s just over 43 billion pounds. Because of laws in the European Union, the British government could only fine Facebook a max of 500,000 pounds. This minor fine is nothing to them, though they still chose to appeal it. It seems likely that the money had little to do with Facebook’s appeal and that they were more interested in their image as well as valuable information they could get on Cambridge Analytica. It is also possible that admitting liability could provide grounds for further prosecution in other countries such as the US. Facebook is under international scrutiny and one can understand how they would take anything they can get their hands on in order to ensure security. This information could also give them insight into CA’s methods that might help them with future advertising tactics. While it’s important that Facebook is not being let off the leash, as this could incentivize them to prioritize security in the future, we must understand that this monetarily was nothing but a drop in the bucket.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/30/facebook-agrees-to-pay-fine-over-cambridge-analytica-scandal

Alexa, Where Are My Glasses?

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Article: https://www.wired.com/story/everything-amazon-announced-2019/

Amazon has announced a series of wearable internet of things products including glasses, headphones, and even a ring. The company also announced new speakers and other Alexa products. Amazon has been known to release more affordable virtual assistant products than their competitors, such as Apple, and they are trying to continue to be the leader in this category.

At first glance, it’s not hard to confuse the Echo Frames as some sort of attempt at making a successful version of the failed Google Glass. However, the Echo Frames are merely a way to access Alexa without having to use your hands. They feature only a microphone and speakers. If they become successful, it is possible that a camera version could be released, though the bulky look of the Frames make that hard to see happening. The starting price for them will be a steep $180.

Echo Buds are Amazon’s competitor to Airpods. They are handsfree earbuds that feature Alexa capability as well as a Bose sound cancelation feature. Echo Buds will sell for $130.

The Echo Loop is the most absurd product of them all. Amazon is taking an even larger leap with this Alexa enabled smart ring than they are taking with the Echo Frames. The Loop has basically the same capabilities as the frames, but with the added benefit of looking like a lunatic while speaking into your hand in public.

Amazon announced a new revamped Echo Speaker with significantly improved sound quality. Also announced was Echo Studio, a speaker focused on 3d audio; an echo dot with a clock; Echo Show 8, an echo device with a screen; Echo Glow, an echo lamp; an “Eero” wifi router; and two new Ring doorbell cameras.

Alexa will also be getting new computer learning updates.