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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Your handy guide to the journalists that Mayor Kasim Reed has blocked on Twitter

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM

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  • Twitter Screenshot
Every now and then, Mayor Kasim Reed doesn't like what an Atlanta journalist tweets. He hasn't been pleased for various reasons, including when: a columnist publishes a critical editorial, a reporter provides live updates in a heated public meeting, or a writer shares his or her opinion in an 140-character message.

In many of these instances, Reed has employed one of his favorite tactics: the Kasim Twitter Block (also known as the "KTB" or "#KTB" for short). It has become a growing trend among Atlanta's newshounds. Those have included:

AJC City Hall reporter Katie Leslie has been placed in social media timeout since Atlanta's major snowstorm back in January.

Dale Russell has seen it all before as a member of Fox 5's I-Team. He knows the drill.

Former Fox 5 Atlanta reporter Justin Gray took a new job in Washington D.C. But the mayor isn't taking any chances with unblocking him.

No, Jeanne, you're not going crazy. You're just a journalist.

AJC Columnist Kyle Wingfield was temporarily banned from the mayor's Twitter feed for a column about the city's vending practices. But he's since made amends with the mayor ... for now.

Let's not forget about WABE 90.1 FM's Michell Eloy.

WABE's Rose Scott is no stranger to the mayoral block.

Be proud, Jim Burress, be proud.

Project Q Atlanta's Matt Hennie, too.

You're in the club, Condace.

Then there's these guys...

Are you a journalist that's been blocked by the mayor? Did we forget you in the above list? Don't fret! Please let us know, so you're #blockedbutnotforgotten.

The post has been updated to include more journalists who aren't showing up in Reed's Twitter feed.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

'Really Real ATL Housewife' petitions Mayor Reed to honor OutKast

Posted By on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 1:54 PM

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  • Screenshot/Change.org

If ever there was any doubt about Atlanta's reverence for OutKast, the home team put it to rest two weeks ago. Damn ATLiens nearly broke the Internet in the process. Probably safe to assume a record or two was also shattered on the way to OutKast selling out three homecoming shows — the first two reportedly sold out in less than an hour each — scheduled for Sept. 26-28 at Centennial Olympic Park.

For local diehards, like blogger Lib Aubuchon, who've been waiting more than a decade to see Big and Dre perform together here, #ATLast isn't just a string of reunion concerts. It's a culmination of the Atlanta identity OutKast birthed.

So the middle-aged mother of two, who usually writes about her obsession with “all things brainless in the media” on her blog Really Real Atlanta Housewife, decided to petition the Mayor Kasim Reed to "Make September 27 Official ATLiens Day."

"Outkast is more than a legendary rap duo. They are OUR legendary rap duo," she writes in the Change.org petition that, incidentally, goes on to quote a line from the intro I penned for Creative Loafing’s "Straight Outta Stankonia" cover story back in April.

Though she wasn't aware of the "Dear OutKast" open letter I wrote in January, begging on behalf of all ATLiens for a real Atlanta show and an OutKast Day proclamation from the mayor, we were obviously on the same page. So I hit Aubuchon up via social media to find out how her one-woman campaign has been going after two weeks and to see what she thought of Mayor Reed’s recent Facebook response to her request.

How’d you get up the nerve to petition Mayor Kasim Reed?

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Google Fiber eyeing Atlanta, other metro cities for super-fast Internet, TV service

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Were all gonna be rich! Or just blessed with fast Internet speeds!
  • Google
  • We're all gonna be rich! Or just blessed with fast Internet speeds!
If you're wondering why your company's IT guy is walking around giddy as can be, it's because Google today announced that it's considering Atlanta and several other neighboring cities to expand its high-speed Internet and TV service called Fiber.

The service is roughly 100 times faster than your typical broadband connection and packages can start around $70 per month, which can be cheaper than some other providers. Fiber is already up and running in Provo, Utah, and Kansas City, Mo. Austin is next on the list of cities to receive the service. Here's a handy one-pager about Fiber.

The metro Atlanta cities under consideration are Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, and Smyrna. Google hopes to announce its selection by the end of the year.

"Between now and then, we'll work closely with each city's leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face," Google Access Services Vice President Milo Medin wrote in a blog post. "These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents."

He continues: "We're going to work on a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure. Meanwhile, cities will complete a checklist of items that will help them get ready for a project of this scale and speed. For example, they'll provide us with maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines so that we can plan where to place fiber. They'll also help us find ways to access existing infrastructure - like utility poles - so we don't unnecessarily dig up streets or have to put up a new pole next to an existing one."

And if there's one thing Atlanta has, it's plenty of godforsaken utility poles.

Mayor Kasim "iRobot" Reed seems pleased. He says via an emailed statement:

"We are excited about the possibility of Google Fiber service coming to Atlanta. Ultra-high speed Internet service will strengthen our economic development opportunities and set our citizens up to succeed in our hyper-connected world. Atlanta is rapidly becoming known for its nurturing of the high-tech industry, which translates into new, high-paying jobs. Google Fiber also presents a great opportunity to bridge the digital divide that exists in some of our communities, allowing more people to compete on today's high-tech playing field. I'm confident we'll be able to show Google that the City of Atlanta is well worth the investment."

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Don't MEME me, bro! Or, Charles Ramsey's lasting cultural significance

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 3:43 PM

The Internet is so dehumanizing. LMAO.

While the public fascination continues over Charles Ramsey, the latest eyewitness-news neighborhood hero to get the auto-tune treatment, cultural critics have gone into overdrive trying to make sense of his overnight meme-ification since he helped save three long-missing abducted women in his working-class Cleveland neighborhood.

If there were a Mount Rushmore (or maybe in this case, a Stone Mountain) memorializing the stars of this viral microtrend, Ramsey's pop-eyed expression and finger-in-socket hairdo would be carved in that mountain right alongside Sweet "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" Brown and Antoine "Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife" Dodson. As Salon.com's culture blog Browbeat points out in a post titled, what else but, "The Troubling Viral Trend of the 'Hilarious' Black Neighbor," the trend is fraught with issues of race and class and just plain old otherness, but it's also what makes these characters such undeniably appealing stereotypes. Or, as hip-hop vlogger Jay Smooth (below) codifies them in his talking-head video: "the 'wacky black guy' box or the 'charmingly uneducated hick' box."

Continue reading »

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Atlantans head to Austin for SXSW

Posted By on Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Atlanta Councilmen Kwanza Hall (left) sent James Harris (right) and other entrepreneurs off during a Wednesday morning meeting
  • Max Blau
  • Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall (left) sent James Harris (right) and other entrepreneurs off during a Wednesday morning meeting
South by Southwest officially kicks off today, bringing together thousands of start-ups, filmmakers, and bands in Austin, Texas.


After riding aboard a start-up charter chariot bus for nearly 20 hours, I'm hitting the ground running today as I follow an Atlanta musician, filmmaker, and start-up through each of the SXSW's three conferences. In addition, I'll also document the organized chaos of the 10-day festival in all its weird Texan glory.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Georgia ranked third among racist post-election tweets, study says

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Throughout the 2012 election season, social media has helped people to engage in the compilation of Mitt Romney's female-themed Trapper Keepers™ political discourse surrounding election races more than ever before.

But there's also a downside to discussing politics through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. As a recent Jezebel post documented, an abundance of hate messages followed the re-election of President Barack Obama.

Floatingsheep, which analyzes user-generated geocoded data, yesterday took a hard look at racist election tweets. After aggregating tweets surrounding the presidential race, the site's authors examined the data on a state-by-state basis, seeing how the racist posts compared to the overall number of messages during that same period.

What did they find? They saw that Southern states had a high amount of racist tweeters.

That includes Georgia, which ranked third just behind Alabama and Mississppi.

Continue reading »

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Get out the vote memes

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Residents in swing states like Ohio and Florida have been treated to a seemingly endless assault of television spots promoting the presidential candidates. Special interest groups fueled by PACs, super PACs, unions, industry advocates, and other big dollar spenders are blasting their political opponents with every available second of airtime. Those of us in decidedly red states like Georgia are essentially a political afterthought. Nate Silver's 538 Blog has GA rated at 99.9% in the tank for Romney. We've been spared the prodding and pleading.

It's enough to discourage a Georgian from voting at all...almost.

This is why so many folks are devoting energy to encouraging everyone to get out the vote, including Representative John Lewis, who joined the cause Gangham Style:

Governor Romney's supporters prefer a more "straight forward" approach:

Continue reading »

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Web series: the future or passé?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Webisodes for season two Atlanta produced series "Becky and Berry" starting dropping on Thursdays in October, with episode 203 going live sometime today.

Here's 201, which is actually called season 2, episode 3:

The series — the brainchild of co-creator, executive producer, co-writers Brooke Jaye Taylor and Matt Corwell — is a behind-the-scenes look into the sometimes mundane, often frustrating, and occasionally tumultuous daily lives of actors as they go out on auditions and callbacks, attend workshops, deal with agents, etc.

Houghton Talent's Mystie Buice represents the leads, and describes it as “a ringside seat to the industry, and all the lovable and maddening things in it.”

It's a little bit Guffman, a little bit "Extras" with a taste of "Episodes" but for the Web.

Meanwhile, Slate asks the vital question about über-hyped Web series "Cybergeddon":
"This is the most expensive web series of all time—why isn't it going viral?"

Last week, Cybergeddon, a nine-part cybercrime webseries from CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, debuted on Yahoo Screen. The release was particularly timely: The show is about an FBI agent (played by Stick It star Missy Peregrym) who is framed for an epic series of zero-day virus wreckage that, among other disasters, wipes clean the records of a Hong Kong bank. That same week, a group of hackers launch real-life cyber attacks on six major U.S. banks.

At $6 million, Cybergeddon is the most expensive Web series of all time, topping the roughly $2 million spent on Tom Hanks’ Electric City. It comes in 10 different languages and has been released in 25 countries, giving it a wide reach—Zuiker says they hoped to score 20 million hits.

That’s pretty ambitious for a Web series. One hundred million Americans watch videos online at least once a day, but big Web series have yet to really click with audiences, despite heavy investment: This summer, for instance, Hulu pushed 10 new Web-only series and invested $500 million in original content.

Read the rest on Slate.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Atlanta airport to start offering free Wi-Fi next year, 1 million angels sing

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Why should travelers sleep or be bored at the airport when they can surf... THE INTERNET?
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Why should travelers sleep or be bored at the airport when they can surf... THE INTERNET?
Starting next year, travelers at the world's busiest airport will no longer being asked to hand over cash to use Wi-Fi.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport officials today said that, starting tomorrow, daily Wi-Fi rates will be lowered to $4.95 and will be eliminated altogether "as early as fall 2013." Airport honchos say in a press release:

Starting November 1, Hartsfield-Jackson will offer Wi-Fi services at a reduced daily rate of $4.95; the new, lower rate will remain in effect until the fees are eliminated in 2013. With these changes, the Airport moves away from intermediary wireless Internet service providers and begins fully operating and maintaining its wireless system.

“I am pleased to announce that Hartsfield-Jackson is one step closer to offering truly free Wi-Fi,” said Aviation General Manager Louis Miller. “This initiative builds upon our commitment to improving the overall Airport experience for all customers. As a global aviation hub, Hartsfield-Jackson connects hundreds of thousands of passengers with communities worldwide every day. Free Wi-Fi will make it easier for these passengers to conduct their professional and personal business during their time at the Airport.”

Next step: Get rid of those giant ants crawling on the ceiling in the baggage claim, which scare the hell out of at least 14 jet-lagged people every hour. And that photo of the kids wearing diapers in Centennial Olympic Park's fountain.

Kidding! Love you, never change.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Which of these videos inspired an actual 'Portlandia' sketch?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM

OR

The answer after the jump.

Continue reading »

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