Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles and Early Media Reaction

occupy la city hall
Originally posted at KCET’s The Public Note.

Hundreds of people marched from Pershing Square to City Hall on Saturday, some with masks, some with bandanas, and many with signs bearing slogans admonishing the government, corporations and the current financial climate.

“We are the 99%”
“It’s not a crisis it’s a scam”
“Audit the Fed”
“Rights for the people not for corporations”
“200k in grad school debt where is my bailout?”

The protesters have been camped out on the City Hall lawn since Saturday, in solidarity with the 3-week strong Occupy Wall Street movement in New York. If America is a democracy, why does 1 percent of the population control 40 percent of the wealth, and take 25 percent of the income, economist and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz asked in the May 2011 issue of Vanity Fair.

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Photos & Interviews from FYF Fest 2011: Dead Milkmen, Fool’s Gold, Future Islands, Explosions in the Sky, OFF! and More

I took photos and interviewed several bands at FYF Fest earlier this month at Los Angeles State Historic Park. These interviews and photos originally appeared in LAist.

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Click photos to embiggen / view as slideshow or click here to view all the photos on a single page.

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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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Geolocation is a Two-Way Street Where Businesses Meet Consumers

geolocation
UPDATE: Watch video of the panel below.

For both businesses and consumers, geolocation apps and services are a dime a dozen these days. But many of these apps and tools serve to benefit both when used consistently and correctly. Much like social media itself, geolocation is a two-way entity.

“Geolocation makes it easier for consumers to get the services they want nearby and for local businesses to reach the consumers in their area,” Eli Portnoy, CEO of Culver City-based mobile marketing startup Thinknear told me matter-of-factly.

As consumers become increasingly engaged with smartphones and other mobile devices, geolocation will have a growing influence on commerce. For most businesses and services, location — and circumstance — means everything. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35 percent) are smartphone users according to a July 2011 Pew Internet report. Consumers are always on the hunt for quality goods and services at reasonable prices. As consumers grow accustomed to the “smart” aspect of always-connected, GPS-enabled mobile devices, the bargains appear at their fingertips and it only becomes a matter of convenience. As consumers discover the power of smartphones beyond texts, emails and phone calls, shopping habits change.

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Interview: Ooyala’s Chris Wong on Trends in Online Video and Advertising

Digital Hollywood took over the Ritz at Marina del Rey for its Spring 2011 conference, a nice change of scenery for the hundreds of studio execs, advertising and entertainment execs, online video creatives, technologists, SAG members and agents in attendance. (Members of the Dallas Mavericks, who could be spotted in and around the pool area, apparently enjoyed their stay as well).

Between absorbing the latest trends as discussed by multiple panels we managed to interview a few executives from top online media companies.

In the video below, Ooyala’s Vice President of Biz Dev, Chris Wong, explains the importance of streaming video solutions providers, why most companies require DRM (digital rights management) to control copyright, and ponders the meteoric rise of Netflix and the potential impact of its competitors.



Click here to view on YouTube.