Interview: Elevator Labs’ Zack Zalon on New Funding, LA’s Innovative Tech Scene

The state of the economy may be a big question mark but one thing’s for sure: L.A. tech is hot. Westwood-based Elevator Labs received $20 million in funding this week in another example of investors putting money into innovative Los Angeles-based startups (just last week Santa Monica-based BetterWorks received an $8 million investment).

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Album Sales Up for First Time in 7 Years

lady gaga katy perry album sales up 7 years

Strong sales of new releases from the top ladies in song and multiple reissues of classic albums made the first half of 2011 the best 6 months for album sales since 2004, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The one percent increase in sales is little more than a tiny bright spot for an industry which has gone into a tailspin over the past decade. The major labels failed to capitalize on emerging digital distribution models early on and do not look to be in a position to recover any time soon.

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Tiziano Project Wins Knight News Challenge Grant

tizianoproject.jpg
Photo from an in-class exercise at a Tiziano Project workshop on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona this week.

A Los Angeles-based startup with a mission to enable multimedia storytelling in communities worldwide that otherwise lack necessary resources and training was awarded a $200,000 grant by the Knight Foundation on Wednesday.

The Tiziano Project‘s Tiziano 360 project was one of 16 ideas to win a prestigious Knight News Challenge grant awarded to fund internationally relevant innovative media and digital news concepts.

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Legislating Sexting: Another Rant Against the State

sexting in school california
Self-portrait of the author pretending to sext.

Life in Southern California comes with various aspects you can depend on for better and worse: Abundant sunshine, salacious celeb gossip, consistent traffic and government over-legislation.

While we can leave the future of foreskin up to city government (thanks San Francisco and Santa Monica), it appears that what our children can and cannot do with their mobile devices while in class will be determined not on a case-by-case basis or by school principals but in Sacramento — by the California State Legislature.

Senators unanimously passed a bill that would make sexting an infraction for which school officials could expel students.

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