Windows Phone Out-Ships iPhone! (In Ukraine)
The New York Times
Albeit in some smaller markets, Windows Phone is out-shipping the iPhone, The New York Times’ Bits blog reports, citing IDC. “Windows Phone has struggled to gain traction in the market against Apple’s iPhone and phones running Google’s Android … so it’s noteworthy for Microsoft that its product is outshining Apple in a few parts of the globe,” Bits writes. Said markets include Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, and the countries that make up Croatia.- Read the whole story…
Amazon Unveils New Comedy Series
Nipping at Netflix’s heels, Amazon is finally copping to the existence of another original series. “Betas,” as the comedy is named, is set in Silicon Valley and follows four Mark Zuckerberg-wannabes as they pursue Internet fame and fortune. “Betas”, the eighth comedy pilot added to Amazon’s roster, will be made available — along with the other seven comedy pilots and six children’s pilots — for free on Amazon Instant Video and Lovefilm UK/Germany,” reports Read the whole story…
Google Draws Line On “Sponsored Content”
Search Engline Land
Amid a steep rise in “sponsored content,” Google is warning publishers not to let the stuff seep into their Google News feeds, Search Engine Land reports. “Otherwise, if we learn of promotional content mixed with news content, we may exclude your entire publication from Google News,” the search giant threatens.- Read the whole story…
Is The Web Ready To Implode?
Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that a battle between some European hosting company and an anti-spam group threatened the Web as we know it. Gizmodo, however, is calling bull. “It was a Dutch problem, or at most, a minor Western European problem with a couple actual hotspots,” it writes, citing assertions from several companies that maintain the physical underpinnings of the entire Internet. “There’s scant evidence, though, suggesting even that much (or little) happened at all.”- Read the whole story…

by Steve Smith
Flipboard issued its 2.0 version release yesterday with an eye toward empowering users as editors. With the new release, the app is now engaging users more directly in the process of making new content. With the touch of a button, the reader can now tag specific articles and build magazines that can be made public for others to see or kept private for their own later use. …Read the whole story
Facebook on Wednesday rolled out enhanced targeting features for its mobile app install ads that allow developers to reach specific versions of Android and iOS, as well as devices with WiFi-only connections. …Read the whole story
by Gavin O’Malley
Twitter is estimated to increase ad spending this year and next — taking in $582.8 million in global ad revenue this year and nearly $1 billion next year. Twitter is benefiting from the “native” nature of its mobile ad products, integrating its mobile ads with its core user experience. …Read the whole story
by Laurie Sullivan
Covario released findings Wednesday showing that its clients — the majority related to electronics and retail — spent 33% more on paid-search campaigns in Q1 2013 compared with the year-ago quarter. The Americas, driven by the U.S. and Canada, saw spending rise 29% year-on-year. …Read the whole story
In a preliminary victory for Google, a federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a host of privacy-related claims by a group of Android users who allege that the company wrongly transmitted their geolocation data and other personal information to app developers. …Read the whole story
by Mark Walsh
Mobile marketing firm Velti on Wednesday announced the launch of a new mobile ad network called Velti Media as it seeks to expand its revenue base and build its U.S. market presence. The new third-party ad network is meant to build off those businesses while adding an additional revenue stream for Velti. …Read the whole story


Around the Net

The pygmy right whale, a mysterious and elusive creature that rarely comes to shore, is the last living relative of an ancient group of whales long believed to be extinct, a new study suggests.

The findings, published today (Dec. 18) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, may help to explain why the enigmatic marine mammals look so different from any other living whale.

“The living pygmy right whale is, if you like, a remnant, almost like a living fossil,” said Felix Marx, a paleontologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand. “It’s the last survivor of quite an ancient lineage that until now no one thought was around.”

Living fossil

The relatively diminutive pygmy right whale, which grows to just 21 feet (6.5 meters) long, lives out in the open ocean. The elusive marine mammals inhabit the Southern Hemisphere and have only been spotted at sea a few dozen times. As a result, scientists know almost nothing about the species’ habits or social structure.

The strange creature’s arched, frownlike snout makes it look oddly different from other living whales. DNA analysis suggested pygmy right whales diverged from modern baleen whales such as the blue whale and the humpback whale between 17 million and 25 million years ago. However, the pygmy whales’ snouts suggested they were more closely related to the family of whales that includes the bowhead whale. Yet there were no studies of fossils showing how the pygmy whale had evolved, Marx said. [In Photos: Tracking Humpback Whales]

To understand how the pygmy whale fit into the lineage of whales, Marx and his colleagues carefully analyzed the skull bones and other fossil fragments from pygmy right whales and several other ancient cetaceans.

The pygmy whale’s skull most closely resembled that of an ancient family of whales called cetotheres that were thought to have gone extinct around 2 million years ago, the researchers found. Cetotheres emerged about 15 million years ago and once occupied oceans across the globe.

The findings help explain how pygmy whales evolved and may also help shed light on how these ancient “lost” whales lived. The new information is also a first step in reconstructing the ancient lineage all the way back to the point when all members of this group first diverged, he said.

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Visual Arts / Q&A Spelman’s Andrea Barnwell Brownlee readies for Havana Biennial debut

Posted by Debbie Michaud @DebsMichaud on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Andrea Barnwell Brownlee in the Spelman Museum of Art galleries

  • Dustin Chambers
  • Andrea Barnwell Brownlee in the Spelman Museum of Art galleries

On May 11, the Havana Biennial will open its 11th edition in Cuba. For the first time in its 28-year history, an American curatorial team will be part of the official program. That team is made up of Atlanta’s Spelman Museum of Art director Andrea Barnwell Brownlee and Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. In 2008, the pair co-curated and presented Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970, which assembled 48 works by 44 black women film/time-based media artists in a smart examination of an overlooked group of art-makers. The show took home a Best of Atlanta award from CL that year for “Best art exhibit in a museum,” and was nominated for an Association of International Art Critic’s award in digital media and video. Havana Biennial director Jorge Fernández was also a fan and invited Brownlee and Oliver to revisit the exhibit for the 11th event. Brownlee and Oliver spent five months retooling the show — renamed Cinema: Remixed and Reloaded 2.0 — to include 8 works by Maren Hassinger, the collaborative artist team Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry, Tracey Rose, Berni Searle, Lorna Simpson, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems. Brownlee discusses her time in Cuba and the “Why now” of involving an American curatorial presence in the Biennial’s (one of the longest-running in the world) official program.

How did the opportunity arise to be one of the first American curators in this Biennial?
The project really started many, many years ago. Valerie Cassel Oliver [senior curator at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston] and I worked on the exhibition, Cinema: Remixed and Reloaded. From everything we could see, there were so many examples where black women artists were just not included in the dialogue about this fundamental and important medium, and we set about the task of really examining that and looking at the works that had been created using various platforms, various mediums.

I took a group to Havana last year and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, who was in that first show, was our guest host, and it was amazing. We had the opportunity to do a lot of behind-the-scenes things, like meet artists and do studio visits. She introduced me to a number of people, one of them being Jorge Fernández who is the director of the Biennial. We remained in touch and had a number of conversations and received an invitation to submit a proposal. For a number of reasons that were primarily based on logistics, organizing a large retrospective didn’t seem to fit the bill. But we certainly wanted to have a longer conversation about this project, Cinema: Remixed and Reloaded, which he loved. The opportunity to revisit that project came about, and we explored a number of ways that it could be in alignment with this sort of larger framework and theme of this biennial.

So how are you adapting it?
We had 44 artists in the original show, and certainly taking all of them and presenting all of their work would have been amazing; it would have just been phenomenal because we didn’t feature anyone in that show that we weren’t really passionate about their work and believed in it. But the reality of finances and space hit us very, very hard. We did a number of things in terms of our first pass. We looked at things ranging from the reaction of viewers in our respective spaces (it was first presented here and at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston); narrative, because we wanted this to be accessible, we didn’t want to include narratives that were not going to be understood. I can think of three examples of works that I am very, very passionate about but it wouldn’t have the same reception [in Cuba] because of the amount and the details of the narrative that were included.

How does the exhibit you’re co-curating fit into the Havana Biennial’s stated mission this year of examining “the relationship between visual productions and the social imaginary… the way people imagine their social space and express themselves through cultural and historical references, and to the symbolic dimension they acquire through art.”
I think the fact that [the Havana Biennial] has never had the opportunity to look at a single exhibition focusing on black women. It has just simply never happened. Issues around race are really complicated in Cuba, so I think what we are bringing to the table is the opportunity for these specific artists and hopefully many, many others to be brought into an international dialogue in a very deliberate and unapologetic way. In many instances, these artists have never presented their work in Cuba, and have never been to Cuba with the exception of two artists. We are optimistic about sharing work that is compelling, in many instances complicated, and really rich matter for conversation.

What has the experience of visiting Cuba been like?
Like many Americans that go to Cuba, often you come back with more questions than perhaps you left with, and more questions unanswered. In terms of it being sort of this time capsule that’s been in many respects off limits for discussion and certainly for travel, I take it as an extraordinary privilege that I’ve had the opportunity to go and experience it on a few occasions now.

In terms of my expectations, I wanted to see the architecture. I wanted to see how art was treated. I wanted to see how artists were treated. I really wanted to dive headfirst into those concerns. Our focus has been on the artists and culture and how people live with, experience and encounter it. My visits there, my expectations have always been exceeded; we’ve always been treated with just a tremendous amount of respect. It’s my anticipation that bringing a number of countries together for that month-long biennial it’s going to be amplified.

What kind of creative dialogue did you find between regular citizens and between artists?
Well I think it’s important to underscore that [dialogue has] been suppressed from our perspective, but certainly not from other artists that are from other parts of the world. It certainly is robust, it’s thriving, it’s sophisticated. In many instances, the financial resources are not what one would hope for or strive for, but it’s this incredible support system and gets it done at all costs, I mean it’s very real, and it drives artists to create some of the most amazing work, and use resources natural and other.

Cinema Remixed is the first time an American curatorial team will be included as participant in the Biennial’s main program. Why now, do you think?
In terms of “Why now?” I do believe that there is a wider commitment, not just in Cuba, but a wider commitment to making sure that opportunities to have this dialogue, those opportunities arise and do present themselves.

What we’re really proud of is the artists that we did include. It’s intergenerational — not just the established artist or the emerging artist. Even though there are only eight artists, it really does capture the original show. We were primarily focusing on southern Africa and the U.S. just because of space and resources. So [the timing] is really rooted in this interest in continuing, furthering and expanding dialogue. I fundamentally believe that.

There have been other instances whereby American, U.S.-based curators have done other shows — what Jorge [Fernandez] describes as being ancillary and not really part of the sort of official Biennial. I think that the “why now” is really firmly rooted in the fact that not only because the work is important but the timing is right for global dialogue and for global exchange. It just really promises to be enlightening and eye opening and well attended and illuminating and it’s really going to engulf this island nation.

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