Google I/O 2011: Music Beta App Announced and… Movies from the Cloud

Google officially announced its long-rumored streaming-from-the-cloud music app for Android and the web at Google i/o at Moscone Center in San Francisco. It’s currently free (it is in beta after all) — request an invite at music.google.com. No comment on whether or not Google has come any closer to offering streaming legally, as licensed by the labels and publishers. Another exciting announcement — you can now rent videos on Android Market at http://market.android.com/movies. You have 30 days to stream each rental via web or mobile tablet or phone ($1.99 – $3.99 per rental).

In other news from the opening keynote: To date there have been:
* 100M Android activations
* 400,000 daily activations on 215 carriers
* 200,000 available apps on Market

It took:
* 2 years to 1 billion app installs
* 5 more months to 2 billion
* now 4.5 billion app installs from Android Market

Honeycomb 3.1 coming soon to all devices
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Ice Cream Sandwich – new Android OS – 2.4 – coming soon

…and all 5,000 attendees at Google I/O are receiving the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet (a special-edition model, a month before it hits stores)!

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If Donald Trump is a “Possible Republican Candidate” for President Then So Am I

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Donald Trump uses a patented circular-breathing / arm-pumping technique to add heft and bounce to his billion-dollar hair (AP photo)

Attention-starved real estate tycoon and reality television superstar Donald Trump is going to run for president in 2012, according to the media.

Visibly embarrassed after being shamed by The President, The Donald, and The Public at large after seeing the clamp come down on a far-right fringe group called The Birthers, the media establishment gladly passed the mic off to Trump on Wednesday.

“I am so proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish,” an elated Trump said to a crowd of people cheering, no doubt in anticipation that the billionaire would hand out a thousand-dollar bill with every handshake.

And with that, the 64-year-old businessman who has erected major skyscrapers bearing his name in the majorest of cities became the frontrunning candidate to win the 2012 Republican Presidential primary.

Many media outlets reported that The Birthers stated an intent to scrutinize the document but failed to reference the group’s conclusion as posted on birthers.org Wednesday: “…[f]orgery or not, now we can debate the true meaning of a natural born citizen.” Whatever that means.
In today’s media climate, when even the New York Times mistakes an Onion parody cover of Teen Beat featuring President Obama as the real thing, we’re calling on Donald Trump to fill the L.A. River aqueducts with naturally flowing spring water, fund the salaries of laid-off LAUSD teachers and while he’s at it, to find life on Mars.

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Will Radioactive Fear-Fomenting Continue This Week on CNN?

It’s pouring in Los Angeles right now and if you kept an eye on the news last week you’d be excused for worrying that exposure to said rain might give you cancer. “Miniscule” amounts of radiation hit the West Coast this weekend as a result of the multiple nuclear reactor mishaps in Fukushima Prefecture triggered by the 9.0 earthquake in Japan. More accurately, as radioactive vapor from the busted nuclear energy plants collided with the jet stream, it travelled across the pacific as it dissipated amid other clouds. But there is always a “miniscule” amount of radioactive element in the air we breathe here in Southern California and pretty much every other major city. It’s not just FOXNews and CNN, it’s the local TV and radio news too. Anchors and reporters are consistently talking over the analysts they are interviewing so that “nothing to worry about” cannot be heard so much as the key fear-triggering phrases “nuclear,” “radioactive,” “headed this way” are repeated before and after every break. Will the fear-fomenting carry on for another week?

I originally filed the following post at LAist. Click here to see all my recent posts at LAist.com.

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CNN proves once again that the only imminent radioactive threat stems from staring at Wolf Blitzer in the Radiation Situation Room all afternoon.

After spending much of the week threatening the West Coast with radioactive thunderstorms should anyone dare turn the dial, CNN decided to recreate the geography of Caifornia, placing San Francisco a hundred miles or so from the Mexican border and throwing Los Angeles to the sharks, at the tip of a peninsula in Northern California that appears to be all but detached from the rest of the continent.

OK. So it was early in the morning and someone decided it would be fun to flip SF and L.A. on the map. And to misspell San Onofre.

We’re convinced this is a direct side effect of redundant fear fomenting under the guise of expert analysis. Turn on any 24-hour news network, or even local AM radio, and you’ll hear lots of mumbling broken up by words like “radiation,” “nuclear disaster,” and “headed to California.” These catchphrases subliminally enslave listeners to the nearest breaking news device, be it a transistor radio or the plasma section at Best Buy.

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BP Oil Spill: When Crisis Management is Compounded by Social Media

I had the privilege of guest lecturing in Bill Imada’s graduate class at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (my alma mater). The title of the class — JOUR 568– is Critical Thinking and Crisis Management and I was asked to demonstrate the importance of social media in crisis communications and to present a case study. Well it turned out not being so much of a lecture — or even a case study for that matter — as it was a critical review of BP’s [lack of] response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster of April 2010 and the ensuing oil spill that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly 3 months unchecked.

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Click through to the videos in the presentation. Especially BP Spills Coffee. Riotous, no? But there’s truth to every bit of the parody. While BP was too focused on its record-breaking earnings and deflecting blame, it needed to address the reality of what was — and is — a very human tragedy in the eyes and on the active social networks of the public. And BP was way too late to that game.

The U.S. government just approved the first permit for deep-water drilling in the gulf since the disaster and there remains no known fix should history repeat itself. But our consumer culture didn’t get to where it is today out of an abundance of caution. This is where crisis management runs counter to traditional public relations. Organizations cannot wait to get involved on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, they must be proactively engaging and listening to their audiences. Sometimes communication is the only viable regulation.

Video: Artist Cole Sternberg on His ‘The Content is Bleeding Through’ Installation

I interviewed Cole Sternberg (no relation) last weekend at the unveiling of his new installation. I love the theme and concept of the work, however, i can’t possibly imagine taking the time to rewrite such asinine content all over someone’s walls, ceilings and floors. Cole did it over the course of seven months at a back house on the residence of Normandie Keith in the Hollywood Hills. The 24-hour newscycle, gossip media, and technology such as Twitter has brought the future into our laps and shirt-pockets. Cole calls this a “vision for this apocalyptic moment when media and technology have pushed us so far that all the content blurs together.”

Video and interview below as well as photos from the event.

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