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Mobile Technology News, August 13, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • VIDEO: Warning over computer viruses
    Almost 11,000 people had their computer hacked by a virus last year, giving cyber criminals access to personal data.
  • Candy Crush maker reduces forecasts
    The makers of mobile game Candy Crush Saga reduce their 2014 forecast after lower-than-expected second-quarter results.
  • 'House Of Cue Cards': Jimmy Fallon Proves 30 Rock Is Just As Sinister As Washington
    In the latest “Tonight Show” parody, Jimmy Fallon shows us how working at NBC is actually a lot like the Netflix series “House of Cards.” There’s backstabbing, a lot of talking to the camera and even a crazy twist.

    Like Fallon says, you’ll probably love it even more than using someone else’s Netflix password.

    “House of Cue Cards” Part 1

    “House of Cue Cards” Part 2

    “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

  • Good Technology reports jump in government, financial use of iPads
    A new report from Good Technology on enterprise mobile use has shown that Apple’s iOS continues to be the overwhelmingly dominant choice of systems for corporate mobility, with some 88 percent of all business app activations and 90 percent of tablet activations on the platform. However, Android apps climbed to 12 percent of app activations, a gain of four percentage points from the previous quarter, while Android devices climbed to 32 percent of activations versus iOS’ 67 percent.



  • Dirty Bird Fried Chicken Arouses Controversy With Logo Resembling Penis
    A catering company called Dirty Bird Fried Chicken aroused some controversy with its suggestive logo.

    Some people who see the logo think it resembles a rooster. Others think it resembles a penis at the point of no return.

    Mark James, the logo’s designer insists it’s supposed to be a barnyard bird.

    “We were given the name Dirty Bird as the brief, and started working on ideas. We looked at the initials, DB. Then worked with the lowercase ‘db’ linking them to form the shape of a rooster. It’s a graphic representation of a rooster incorporating the initials. It depends on how you look at it,” he said according to the Mirror. “I’m not sure there have been any complaints. A few comments, but it’s in the eye of the beholder, as they say.”

    Company owner Neil Young insists he never intended the logo for his Cardiff, Wales food truck to appear phallic.

    “We’ve never really thought about it like that. Our designer created a d and b for ‘dirty bird’ then pushed them together to make a cockerel,” he told Wales Online.

    Just to be clear: Dictionary.com defines “cockerel” as “a young domestic cock, usually less than a year old.” And the word “cock” in this definition means “rooster.”

    Young and James may be crying fowl about the reaction to the allegedly unintended innuendo, but it should be noted that the food truck does also have saucy giant posters telling customers to “Touch My Thigh” and “Touch My Breast.”

    dirty bird fried chicken

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  • Vine's six-second superstars cash in
    Vine clip creators cash in on their fame
  • Naval War College Professor And Snowden Critic Out After X-Rated Twitter Picture
    A frequent Edward Snowden critic and former National Security Agency analyst who was involved in an investigation over “inappropriate” content shared on Twitter is leaving his job at the Naval War College, he announced on Monday.

    “Sorry to say I’m severing my affiliation with Naval War College,” John Schindler wrote on Twitter. “I had a great time there but it’s time to move on. Thanks for your support.”

    A picture of Schindler’s penis was posted to Twitter in June by a woman who described it as part of a consensual exchange, but one that eventually turned sour.

    Naval War College spokesperson Cmdr. Kelly Brannon told the Associated Press that Schindler’s departure came after an investigation of the risque photos was concluded at the end of July. She told the news service that Schindler resigned voluntarily after being informed of possible outcomes of the investigation.

    Before the photo incident, Schindler assailed Snowden as a potential spy, and once asked whether he should call Army leaker Chelsea Manning “Glen or Glenda?” — an apparent double reference to the fact that Manning is transgender and to journalist Glenn Greenwald, who is gay. Schindler also frequently trumpeted his affiliation with the Naval War College.

    After the photo controversy, Schindler wrote on his blog that his actions “showed poor judgment and were inexcusable.” The woman who posted the photos, meanwhile, wrote online that she was “truly sorry.”

  • 'Women Against Feminism' Parody Twitter Account Says 'LOL No Thanks' To Gender Equality
    The “Women Against Feminism” Tumblr has sparked some interesting conversations on the Internet, among both people and cats. And now we can add an LOL-worthy Twitter account to the long list of responses.

    The Twitter account @NoToFeminism hilariously parodies #WomenAgainstFeminism (the account’s bio reads: “lol feminism no thanks“), using sardonic tweets to comment on the misguided movement.

    The blatantly misconstrued thoughts on feminism such as “I don’t need feminism because my sex life is not a political agenda” are even clearer in a @NoToFeminism translation: “I don’t need fesimnim because I prefer old men to be in charge of my reproductive system it is comforting like putting on grandads cardigan.” Well, when you put it that way.

    Take a look at some of our favorite tweets from @NoToFeminism below:

    I don’t need femsies because i APPRECIATE it when strange men remind to smile i am so forgetful i forget i should be smiling constantly

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 12, 2014

    I don’t need fesimnim because I prefer old men to be in charge of my reproductive system it is comforting like putting on grandads cardigan

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 7, 2014

    I don’t need fisenm because it’s easy, for allowance just give your daughter 75% of what your son gets so she won’t be surprised as an adult

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 11, 2014

    I don’t need fisimens because I like when men are chivalrous and open doors for me or give me their jacket or expose themselves on the bus

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 11, 2014

    I don’t need fisemin because people always assume you mean a man when you say ‘doctor’ but that’s just because only men can be doctors

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 11, 2014

    I don’t need femimesm because when men call me a bitch for rejecting them I imagine they mean I’m a female dog that is so nice dogs are cute

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 9, 2014

    I don’t need feminism because Men’s Rights Activists must have some good points otherwise they would be called Men’s Wrongs Activists!!!!!!!

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 11, 2014

    i don’t need femsisen because women SHOULD be kicked out of restaurants for breastfeeding i don’t want that baby fed before me i am hungry

    — WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) August 11, 2014

    Feminism, shmeminism.

    [h/t The Daily Dot]

  • Mobile Security vs. Blackphone Marketing and Sales Hype
    co-authored by Tom Malatesta, CEO, Ziklag Systems

    For those focused on the subject matter, yesterday’s Tweet fest from TeamAndIRC and Blackphone was both curious and good theatre. 2014-08-12-geeksphoneblackphone1.png

    Silent Circle is a venture backed company and has raised some serious funding, part of it from Ross Perot, Jr. They have entered into a partnership with a small company in Spain to produce an allegedly “secure” mobile phone. Their global headquarters are now in Switzerland, presumably to position themselves as a truly neutral and “unbiased” international company. Silent Circle teamed up with Geeksphone, a small company that markets phones it does not make. Their Smartphones are either Android or Firefox based. The company supposedly has expertise in adapting operating systems and arranging for off shore manufacturing of their products.

    Since the Snowden leaks began, privacy advocates have been hyper ventilating about the range of NSA’s operations, particularly on the domestic front. Because we live in a globalized world, NSA’s operations are a fire starter and both the press and myriad cyber security personalities and entities have been dancing around the fire and stoking the flames by making or insinuating anti-NSA sentiment to promote their products. NSA performs an incredibly important role in protecting Americans but it also appears they play an unintentional supporting role in hyping cyber and mobile security products.

    So the question is, do Blackphone’s promotional efforts live up to the actual performance of the device? It seems not. Hacker Justin Chase at the recent Black Hat USA Security Conference in Las Vegas (a great event) got his hands on a Blackphone and had some fun with it. We know from reading the Tweets and press that he found vulnerabilities in a brief time frame. Three announced. Maybe more kept private. The company reacted and claimed this and that stating their team is still looking into the vulnerabilities they have found so far, with one portion still being examined and that will be disclosed privately when fully understood. In other words the device has a problem. It may or may not be remedied.

    The world of cyber and mobile security has a great many hacker capabilities and individuals that labor for the dark side. A large number of companies work hard to mitigate threats and increase the productivity of users. Significant investment is going into the space. Blackphone has done a lot of PR since the Mobile World Conference in February 2014.They state on their website that their product is the result of the best privacy minds in the industry and that they have the best-of-breed hardware without the usual security compromises.

    It would seem Justin Chase disagrees with them. So is the Blackphone hype or reality?

  • Tim Cook Is 'Not Satisfied' With Apple Workforce Diversity
    By Christina Farr
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc on Tuesday released a report on employee diversity, and its numbers are similar to those of other Silicon Valley companies, prompting Chief Executive Tim Cook to say there is still work to be done.
    The employee survey comes on the heels of recent reports from technology companies Google Inc and Twitter Inc, but it is unique in one significant way. It alone is accompanied by letter from a company CEO, in which Cook stresses the company’s commitment to being “innovative in advancing diversity.”
    Blacks and Hispanics make up about 18 percent of Apple’s workforce, a ratio that is about triple of those of most other tech firms. Nine percent of its workers did not disclose their ethnicity.
    Apple breaks down the numbers into three categories: leadership, technology and non-technology. The technology category, which is 80 percent male, includes Genius Bar employees and engineers.
    The numbers include its large contingent of store management employees. Apple runs 254 retail stores in the United States and 427 globally, according to its most recent quarterly report.
    “As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page,” he wrote. “They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them.”
    But Cook noted that Apple’s definition of diversity goes beyond traditional categories such as race and gender. “It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, such as sexual orientation, veteran status and disabilities,” he wrote.
    The diversity reports have spurred a national debate about the lack of diversity at Silicon Valley’s tech companies and how to improve the ratio. At Google, some 70 percent of employees are also male, and 61 percent are white. Twitter’s overall employee population is 70 percent male and 59 percent white.
    While Apple’s numbers are similar to those of its competitors, some experts say that the company is a step ahead of the rest.
    “Apple will do everything it can to make their workforce look more like the population they serve,” said Fred Sainz, vice president of communications and marketing at the Human Rights Campaign. For 13 years running, the HRC has awarded Apple a perfect score on its corporate equality index, which rates American workplaces on LGBT equality.
    After taking the reigns, Cook promoted Cuban-American Eddy Cue to a leadership role at Apple, and brought on former Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts. The company also recruited Lisa Jackson, the first African American to head up the Environmental Protection Agency, to run its environmental efforts.
    In recent years, Apple executives have spoken out publicly in support of a variety of social and environmental causes, including diversity, accessibility and human rights. Cook made an appearance at the San Francisco Pride Festival for the first time this summer to cheer on thousands of employees and their families who showed up. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/29/usa-gay-tech-idUSL2N0PA0IW20140629)

    (Reporting By Christina Farr; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

  • The Entire History Of Amazon Kindle In 1 GIF
    In case you’ve forgotten how clunky the Amazon Kindle used to look, check out this new GIF chronicling the e-reader’s transformation from 2007 to today.

    Created by tech review site Gadget Love, the animation shows Kindle shedding its cumbersome keyboard, then a few arrow buttons, before finally donning a touchscreen:

    Amazon has continued to invest in the Kindle over the years, despite some road bumps with the device’s popularity. While Amazon doesn’t reveal sales numbers for its devices, tablets like the iPad have eaten into e-reader sales. But if the iterations are any indication, Amazon isn’t ready to give up yet on its flagship e-reader.

    (Hat tip: Mashable)

  • VIDEO: JustPark may 'revolutionise parking'
    A technology firm which claims it is going to revolutionise parking in the capital has just won backing from a major investment firm.
  • How Google Explains the World
    I sure hope someone somewhere is archiving all Google autocomplete data. If I were a social anthropologist living in the year 2150, not that far off in the larger scheme of things, I would be very interested in what hundreds of millions of people were searching the Internet for in the early part of the 21st century, a time when paper books were still easy to find and only a select few were using 3-D printers to print their condoms and toothbrushes at home. I would sigh with nostalgia for these good old days in the same way we sigh about The Roaring Twenties or La Belle Époque. Technically, you had to have been there for nostalgia but who wants to get technical.

    When Google first became popular, I, along with countless others, started playing doctor on Google. It did not take me long to realize that with a few “intelligently” framed keywords, even the most benign of symptoms easily led to a fatal diagnosis. Days were spent worrying about the almost certain throat cancer Dr. Google suggested I had after three days of an earache. The only thing left to do then was to Google how many days I had to live, but I wanted to leave some things to my doctor and insurance company, after all. This was pre-2008 — the medieval dark ages of the great wide Interweb.

    In 2008, Google launched Autocomplete and I thought to myself — “This changes everything.” (In usual 20/20 hindsight, I now feel I should have copyrighted this three-word phrase because it has since been used, with abandon, by almost every new iPhone launch and every popular smartphone game involving birds, aliens or both.) I digress, though.

    When in 2008, Google launched Autocomplete, then coyly named “Google Suggest,” I hastily planned to take a few days off from work just to soak myself in the pool of endless possibilities that this had just opened up. This was voyeurism at its best.

    The 2013 film, Her, nominated for five Academy awards tells the story of a man who develops a relationship with an intelligent operating system. Every moment, tens of thousands of people around the world are playing out parts of that story, to varying degrees.

    The whys, whats and hows of human existence, from the mundane to the existential, are now being asked in the Google search bar, countless times a day. The seven Google Autocomplete questions below show a sliver of these sometimes funny, sometimes sad and often telling snapshots of the human condition.

    2014-08-12-Screenshot2014071719.20.34.png

    2014-08-12-Screenshot2014071719.35.20.png

    2014-08-12-Screenshot2014071719.30.33.png

    2014-08-12-Screenshot2014071719.29.33.png

    2014-08-12-Screenshot2014071719.29.52.png

    2014-08-12-Screenshot2014071719.37.37.png

    2014-08-12-Screenshot2014071719.35.38.png

  • Sony reveals PlayStation TV launch
    Sony will launch its PlayStation TV in the US, UK, and Europe in the autumn in a bid to take on other streaming television consoles like AppleTV and Roku.
  • Beats Music now being pushed to new iOS device users
    People setting up an iOS 7 device for the first time are now seeing Beats Music among the list of recommended Apple apps, according to anecdotes. The App Store splash page is otherwise full of titles like iBooks, Podcasts, Find My iPhone, and the iWork suite. Notably Beats Music is the only one to require payments, since it’s based on monthly subscription plans.



  • This Flow-Motion Video Provides An Eye-Opening Window Into North Korea
    With the abundance of technology available today, it’s possible to explore the world’s most exotic locations right from our computer screens. However, one place we read about often — but hardly ever see — is North Korea.

    That’s about to change.

    rob whitworth nk cityscape

    In “Enter Pyongyang,” British photographer Rob Whitworth and city branding expert JT Singh present a look at Pyongyang, North Korea through blending time-lapse photography, acceleration, slow motion, HD and digital animation. From four days’ worth of filming, they’ve produced a video that blends beautiful scenery with intimate shots of ordinary urban life.

    In an email to The Huffington Post, Whitworth said that their level of access to the city — organized by Beijing-based Koryo Tours, who also paid for their travel expenses — had never been provided to a foreign film crew before.

    rob whitworth nk soccer

    However, with this opportunity came a set of restrictions. Images of North Korean leaders could not be cropped, and the city prohibited filming of construction or military sites, he said. The filmmakers also note on the video’s Vimeo page that filming was “closely assisted” by the North Korean government’s tourism guides.

    There is much debate over the ethics of tourism to North Korea, with critics saying visitors — however unwittingly — can provide funds and propaganda material to a state accused of committing atrocities against its people. The video also focuses on urban life in the capital city, while in rural areas the UN found has evidence of starvation, mass incarceration and torture.

    rob whitworth nk metro 2

    Despite the filming restrictions, Whitworth said their visit to Pyongyang was “beguiling.”

    “It was so different from the ground up,” he said. “For example, the lack of advertising really makes you aware of how completely saturated we are with it in the West. The country’s culture struck me as very reserved and polite. Despite an evident lack of resources, the people were very dignified.”

    rob whitworth nk metro train

    Whitworth said one of his favorite moments on the trip — a visit to a skate park on the group’s last day — shows that some sights in North Korea are more familiar than you might think.

    “There was something so disarming about skating around on a sunny afternoon, racing kids around corners, getting laughed at when you fell over,” Whitworth said. “It could have been anywhere on earth.”

    rob whitworth nk tower

  • How To Watch The Perseid Meteor Shower Online (LIVE VIDEO)
    Prepare for the peak!

    The Perseid meteor shower is set to swing into full view in the overnight hours between Aug. 12 and Aug. 13. The sky show was partially obscured by the supermoon earlier this week. But during the peak, well-situated skywatchers should be able to see 30 to 40 meteors per hour, weather permitting.

    For the best view of the Perseids, skywatchers should step outside between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., according to NASA, which whipped up a handy map to show where in the world the shooting stars will be visible.

    (Story continues below)
    map

    For astronomy buffs who can’t see the show in person, Slooh Space Camera will live stream the Perseid meteor shower starting at 7 p.m. EDT — check it out above. The webcast will feature views of the shower from a telescope in the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa.

    NASA will offer its own live stream of the shower, with coverage from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. The space agency’s webcast, available here, will begin at 9:30 p.m. EDT.

  • Is This Your Car?
    We’ve known for months that a new contractor was about to build in our neighborhood. We were excited as well as a bit nervous. New home construction comes with all sorts of variables and challenges for the existing neighbors. There’s the headache of construction debris, the constant traffic, the noise, and the influx of the labor force. Yet we’re looking forward to a new set of neighbors. Our quiet, unassuming neighborhood was about to go through a 180-degree about-face. But we needed it. We needed someone to come in and turn our neighborhood around, fix our pool, finish the clubhouse, and maintain the amenities. So although the transition could be challenging, the end result would be worth it. Or so we hope, because the jury’s still out.

    The builder would also come into this relationship with challenges. And as the tenant of the home across the street from their new model home, one would assume that the builder would want to start off on the right foot with the new neighbors.

    So imagine my disappointment when the first words out of the mouth of the initial point person in this new relationship was, is this your car? Not good morning, not my name is, not hello.

    “Is this your car?”

    “Yes.”

    “We’re about to start building here, you need to move it.”

    “And good morning to you, too.”

    Sheesh!

    Here’s the deal folks. You only get one shot at a first impression. One. Who’s going to make that impression? Not your CEO. Not your CFO. Not your Director of Human Resources. Chances are it’s going to be a front line team member or your social media.

    I don’t care if you’re selling dreams, a new lifestyle, horsepower, bicycles, artichokes, or an opportunity to retire in luxury. You best make the right first impression or all of that may go right down the drain.

    Now imagine if that first encounter with this builder came with a greeting: “Good morning, I’m Robert Jones. I’m head of construction for West Field Construction and tomorrow morning we’re going to start building across the street. This is Julio, he’s our Construction Supervisor and here’s our contact information should you ever have any concerns. And your name is?”

    Your social media should be in sync with your company’s. If you’re going to be on social media, no matter what you’re selling, make sure that your people are portraying the same image as their employer. If you own a strip club, no one will be surprised to see photographs of pole dancers showing off their legacy. For the rest of us, your people better have it buttoned up. If you want to go out on the town with your co-workers on Friday night, go right ahead.

    2014-08-10-drunk_girls.jpg

    But DO NOT post anything on your social media about how you “Love hangin’ with the Wild Bunch at Company XYZ!”

    Remember, your social media may be someone else’s first impression of your company. And when a prospect interacts with your social media, what will their first impression be? Make sure it counts. And if your team isn’t accurately representing their employer, perhaps it’s time for some counseling.

    As for my builder, there’s always the next project and another shot at making a better first impression.

  • It's a Start-Up World
    2014-08-12-emergingcollective3.jpg

    Over the last decade the number of start-ups in the New York City area has exploded. New York now ranks second in the nation behind Silicon Valley, and its numbers are growing at more than twice the pace of its West Coast competitors.

    To some degree, any business being launched from scratch is a “start-up.” However, over the last decade the term has taken on providential airs. The ideal start-up promises to disrupt conventional ways of doing things, imagine novel social orderings, and remodel our commercial and personal interactions. For the next few months, I will dedicate this blog towards profiling young New York City start-ups that appear to be fulfilling this promise.

    Emerging Collective: serving emerging artists from emerging markets.

    Emerging Collective is the brain child of Raj Udeshi, a graduate of ex-Mayor Bloomberg’s technology incubator, and the co-founder of HiddenLevers, a macro stress testing and predictive analytics technology company. Founded barely seven months ago, Emerging Collective intends to challenge today’s euro-centric art market by fostering north-south dialogue and cultivating artists from emerging economies.

    I interviewed its founder, Raj and staff members, Karima Gottschlack (Project Manager) and Asa Keeler-Wolf (Art Direction):

    What’s it like launching a start-up in New York?

    Raj: As the financial crisis was happening in 2008-9, Bloomberg worried that there would be a talent exodus from New York. And it’s true, lots of talented people left for Asia and Europe. Atlanta, where we have HiddenLever’s other headquarters, was also a big receiver of New York people.

    Bloomberg wanted to prevent this, so he began cultivating cheap office space. Also, he decided to pivot the spotlight towards start-ups and away from Wall Street. He began attending NYC Tech Meetups, and now they’re creating this giant tech campus on Roosevelt Island, trying to make the future of tech come to New York.

    When I founded Hiddenlevers in 2009, the cofounder was in Atlanta, and we had 4 people in New York and 4 in Atlanta. Soon though we decided to shift all our operations to New York, not only for the finance connections but also for the cheap office space.

    Partially thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts, there are all these new co-work spaces with à la carte pricing. Everything’s month to month. If I were to do this in Atlanta, or in Chicago where I grew up, I would have to sign a year-long lease, and go through a credit check. Here I just sign up for month to month and they accept me if they like my business plan. I can grow organically, expand and contract as I want. All services included.

    Sure, in Atlanta, you have tons of people who work out of garages and homes. However, I feel that starting a real project requires a certain level of professionalism. You need office space where you can come to work properly, and where you have to prove yourself.

    How has this changed the start-up ecosystem in New York?

    Raj: The explosion of co-working spaces has revolutionized the environment for start-ups. Above all, there’s the water-cooler effect. It’s amazing to have all these creative minds working together. I get advice from the other entrepreneurs; learn from them and they learn from me.

    For instance, when I was in the Bloomberg incubator, whatever resources or ideas we had would be especially bolstered by the people who didn’t like our ideas. We’d go back to the drawing board and figure out something better.

    How has it been moving from a finance start-up to an art one?

    Raj: I think there’s actually a lot of cross over. Lots of management principles are the same, and skills like people management, and business sales. For instance, I use the same gorilla methods to find spaces for my artists that I used before to acquire financial data. We have a tech start-up mentality for Emerging Collective, even if it is officially an art non-profit.

    Being in New York makes that easy. The New York brand is very helpful for tech, art and finance. There’s so much great talent coming out of the local art and business schools. So talent recruitment is a lot more seamless. People are coming here to make their dreams happen. If you’re trying to do something next level, you come here.

    How does that contrast with Silicon Valley?

    RaJ: Unlike in the Bay Area there’s a lot of industry expertise in New York. You have all these people with great experience, who are disillusioned with their various industries. So you get exiles from those industries who move into start-ups. For instance Karima and Asa both took pay-cuts to make things happen over here at Emerging Collective.

    All the industry expertise in the Bay area is tech, so it’s internal. Here in New york, there’s fashion, finance, retail, event planning, the art world. There’s tons of different industries, so you can staff up all sorts of start-ups.

    What do you think attracts people to start-ups?

    Raj: People like the work-life balance of start-ups. For kids coming out of school now, there’s a lot of disillusionment with the government and with traditional companies. For instance, there’s a lot of time wasted in corporate jobs. People hang out, and there’s all this unnecessary face-time. For people interested in working really hard and building something, start-ups are the way to go.

    What do you think makes a start-up successful? Did you have good investors for HiddenLevers?

    Raj: HiddenLevers is entirely bootstrapped and self-funded. We are really rare that way. We never did a round of fundraising.

    When you use cloud-based software, your business is very scalable. You can build it up organically. People think that getting Venture Capital (VC) funding is winning, but it’s just getting started. I was never interested in that model. It means you have a gun to your head and a real job. Go big or go home. Instead I built a small business, which I have been continuously scaling.

    If you want your project to be successful, you need to take advantage of three or four macro-trends in the larger economy. It can’t be you against the river. The river has to go with you. For HiddenLevers this was the growth of big data analytics, stress-testing by the Federal Reserve, and images as communication – visually representing market trends.

    For Emerging Collective, two macro trends are the explosion of globalization and a new focus on emerging markets. Phaidon, the publisher, recently came out with a book called Cities of the Future that focuses on the global south. Also the next Ted Global Conference is called Ted Global South and will be in Rio de Janeiro. You are also starting to see action in all these new markets; not just the BRICS but even peripheral ones. It’s really exciting stuff. Not just China but Lebanon.

    Another macro trend is a new hunger for immersive experiences. People expect more from the shows they are going to. People want to see, touch, feel. In this era in which material items are a commodity, experience is a luxury. Live music is back. People want to have a look inside the creative process. They want to see how the food is made. So we want to work with artists who create an experience.

    Where did you get the idea for Emerging Collective?

    RaJ: The idea came from a group of people, friends and associates, who travel frequently in the global south (Sao Paolo, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Delhi, Bogota, Beirut, Johannesburg). You see a lot of those places sending people to and from New York; lots of migration. The art scene in these areas is dynamic. There’s this really incredible mix in these Southern urban centers of tech savvy, economic growth, and geo-political stakes: the emergence of democracy from political oppression (Bogota, Hanoi), or, conversely, the descent into chaos in Syria or Egypt.

    The way to tell these stories is through art. Especially since journalists are often killed in these places for writing the truth. So people who want to expose these issues turn to art.

    We think the art scenes in the global south deserve more exposure. The art market today is too euro-centric. For instance, even though China is now the world’s biggest art market, you don’t see enough Chinese art. This is part of the nature of the gallery scene. It’s tough to crack into it as a new artist.

    Asa: Raja and I met at Art Basel in Miami, and we were both tired of white wine, white walls, and white people, as the environment for viewing art. New York is hungry for new ways to engage in art and society. I saw this project as potent and promising.

    Raj: Very central to what we do is expanding the north-south dialogue, finding a common ground between the emerging world and mature markets. We try to cultivate a mentality of not having the US and Europe in control of everything.

    How do you make this happen?

    RaJ: We have a mentorship program; a dual artist residency. One globally recognized senior artist and an emerging artist; a top talent, who will be a future star. We have them come from different parts of the world and meet.

    New York is littered with world-renowned artists, and we’ve already seen significant interest from big name artists to do something like this. The north-south dialogue is something that will become more and more important over the next fifty years as the world gets smaller and as this country also gets smaller.

    So what will be your first exhibition?

    Our first exhibition will be a renowned Chinese activist artist living in exile, and a younger Iraq war veteran from here in the United States.

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