Apple Proposes New Emojis With Disabilities

Emojis with wheelchairs, white canes, and various other disabilities may soon be coming to your iPhone: Apple has proposed a suite of 13 new emojis “to better represent individuals with disabilities.”

“Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all,” Apple wrote in its proposal to the Unicode Consortium, which governs the of new emojis.

In its proposal, Apple also noted that the emoji was developed with input from American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf.

Anyone can propose new emojis. Each proposal wends its way through layers of committees before making it to your phone, and not all proposals are approved. Apple’s has been accepted by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee and will now move on to the next step, discussion and review by the Unicode Technical Committee. The UTC’s next meeting is slated for April 3–5.

Here are some of the proposed emojis:

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Google Celebrates the 44th Anniversary of Hip-Hop in THE Dopest Way

Hip hop turned 44 today and Google gave me beats…and life.

Today’s Google Doodle marks the 44th anniversary of the Bronx party credited as the birthplace of hip-hop. The artwork is swagged out with by Def Jam founding creative director Cey Adams, but the fun starts when you click through to the interactive turntable game: Pull from an animated record crate stocked with classic sample material by artists like the Isley Brothers and the Incredible Bongo Band, then match it up with a Google-created beat. Former Yo! MTV Raps host and hip-hop legend, Fab 5 Freddy narrates, prompting users to unlock achievements like “scratch a record.”

The complexity level is kid-friendly, but it’s more than enough fun for adults. Don’t miss the records’ info buttons, which will tell you the BPM and the most famous hip-hop songs to have used the sample. Google’s blog also has an interview with Adams, Fab, and the game design team—read that here and check out one of my faves below.

 

You Can Paint Like A Legend

You don’t have to be an art expert to be familiar with Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, “The Scream.” If you aren’t familiar, here’s a refresher:

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

Munch is making news that turns the focus away from big-ticket sales and thrilling heists and back to the nuts-and-bolts of his artistic process. Munch Museet, the Oslo-based museum responsible for safeguarding the artist’s archive, has teamed up with Adobe, the mega-software company behind Photoshop, to bring Munch’s paint brushes back to life.


In an effort to promote one artist’s legacy—and, of course, to launch a saleable product—they retrieved seven of Munch’s brushes from the depths of climatized storage and transformed them into digital tools.


When Munch died in 1944 at the age of 80, he left around 1,150 paintings, 17,800 prints, 4,500 watercolors, 13 sculptures, a stash of drawings, and the contents of his Norwegian studio to the city of Oslo. This massive trove included several of Munch’s masterpieces, as well as the paints and brushes he used to make them.


While Munch’s canvases are regularly on view in museums around the world, his materials rarely see the light of day, due to their inherent fragility. Photo documentation of the tools isn’t readily available to the public, either. Up until now, the only visual evidence of Munch’s process online has existed in several grainy, black-and-white photos of his studio.


Starting last year, Adobe and the Munch Museum set out to give Photoshop and Sketch users a first-hand understanding of the artist’s process. Their approach was unorthodox and unprecedented: Transform Munch’s age-old brushes into digital mark-making tools. When taken up by Photoshop- and Sketch-savvy millennials, the brushes would have the ability to imitate the artist’s strokes.


The custom brushes have been licensed by Adobe and used by graphic designers, illustrators, and artists the world over. Wired reported that Webster made over $100,000 in 2013 alone selling his virtual brush packs.


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These custom brushes double as a marketing campaign for both Adobe and the Munch Museet. But they also connect a vital art-historical practice to contemporary artmaking in the digital age. the future of art.


This, my friends, is the future of art.

Will Tech Take Hollywood?

Technology is giving Hollywood a run for its money.

It’s happening fast. Recently:

  • Apple hired away from Sony Pictures Television a pair of executives to oversee its entertainment efforts;
  • Facebook made its first-ever long-form original-series orders;
  • Vice received a $450 million infusion from private-equity firm TPG to fuel its content efforts;
  • Musical.ly launched its first set of short-form original series from NBCUniversal and Viacom;
  • Snapchat added 10 more such series via a $100 million deal with Time Warner.

What could this all mean? Who knows. What’s certain is that media executives had better get up to speed quick, fast and in a hurry if they don’t want to be deemed the biggest losers.

Read more here.

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Facebook Is Hiring 3,000 People to Monitor Content

According to AdWeek, Facebook is hiring 3,000 more people for its community operations team, which reviews sensitive material to keep violence, hate speech and child exploitation off the platform. The move brings the division up to 7,500 employees.

In response to a string of disturbing videos that have surfaced on the social network in recent weeks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is expanding its global community operations team.

Zuckerberg said employees will be tasked with reviewing the “millions of reports” the platform receives every week. He said reviewers will help the company more quickly remove content that violates Facebook policies while working with local law enforcement to respond when needed.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook—either live or in video posted later,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community. If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner—whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.”

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Last month, it announced it’s exploring the use of machine learning to prevent offensive videos from being shared.

“No one should be in this situation in the first place,” he wrote. “But if they are, then we should build a safe community that gets them the help they need.”

Today, community activists and civic leaders in Chicago met with Facebook officials Thursday to urge more aggressive action to curb violence on Live as the social media giant faces a backlash from users traumatized by grisly images of shootings, suicides and murders on the streaming service. The meeting came in response to a call from Rev. Jesse Jackson and Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin to shut down Live for 30 days following last month’s murder of Cleveland grandfather Robert Godwin Sr.

Facebook Officals

Facebook and Rainbow Push Officials Meet. Credit: USA Today. 

The Entrepreneur Creating a New Food Chain

When he was 11, Oscar Ekponimo was so hungry he would stare at the kitchen cupboards in his home in Calabar, Nigeria, wishing they would magically fill with food. His father had stopped working after a partial stroke, and his mother earned so little as a nurse that he and his siblings ate just one substantial meal every two days. “My mom used to remind us that the hunger was not forever,” he said. “That always kept me going.”

Now 30 and a skilled software engineer living in Abuja, Ekponimo is working to ensure others do not suffer as he did. He has developed an app called Chowberry, which connects grocery stores and supermarkets with NGOs and charities to put wasted or leftover food to use.

I’m living for this idea! Read more of the TIME article here.

Chow

Source: TIME

#SXSL: Lit with Idealism

Earlier this year, President Obama traveled to South by Southwest® for a conversation on civic engagement. In Austin, he called on creative thinkers and entrepreneurs from across the country to help tackle our toughest challenges.

Today, POTUS is celebrating that spirit of innovation at South by South Lawn, a White House festival of ideas, art, and action.

The promise?  At SXSL, we’ll call on every American to roll up their sleeves and discover their own way to make a positive difference in our country. And it’s an opportunity to celebrate the inspiring work so many Americans have already accomplished.

Take a look at the feed below and join the conversation using #SXSL:

No More BlackBerry for POTUS

There are two people left on this earth with a BlackBerry – me and President Obama. It looks like I will be the only one in a minute or two.

POTUS has used a BlackBerry since the moment he took office. However, he’s finally moving on with less than a year left in his term. The Commander-in-Chief recently told Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon that he was given a new (and currently unnamed) smartphone this year to replace his BlackBerry. The President notes that his phone is so locked down “for security reasons” that he can’t call, play music, send texts or take pictures.

Yikes.

Take a look at him discussing it below at the 2.17 mark. Oh and #foreverBlackBerry.