Blogs

If the star power of legendary astrophysicist, author and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson is any indication, science is becoming cool again.

The theme of Internet surveillance and security carried into South By Southwest Interactive Saturday with Julian Assange Skyping into the festival remotely from his current home in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy.

The WikiLeaks founder said living as a political refugee inside the embassy since June 2012 has been “a bit like prison” since he is confined indoors and under constant police surveillance.

Not only is Mark Cuban the billion-dollar owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, he is an entrepreneur, an author and a star of the hit TV show “Shark Tank” on ABC.

Investor and business adviser Guy Kawasaki led a one-on-one with Cuban in front of a jam-packed crowd Saturday at South by Southwest Interactive. With laughs from the audience throughout, Cuban spoke candidly about his humble beginnings as an entrepreneur, the digital realm, sports and what’s next for him.

Although the second day of the South by Southwest Interactive was plagued by rainstorms, one unique fashion mogul lit up the stage while discussing her road to success in creating her estimated $100 million clothing brand Nasty Gal.

The Interactive portion of South by Southwest kicked off Friday on a serious note with Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen discussing online privacy and surveillance.

The pair was interviewed by Wired journalist Steven Levy, who took several talking points from their book, “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations, and Business.” 

Schmidt, the company’s executive chairman, said Google was “surprised” by last year’s revelations of surveillance through the National Security Agency’s PRISM program. 

With larger-than-life charm and a love for catfights among rich housewives, Andy Cohen is a household name for reality TV fans everywhere.

Closing out Friday at SXSW Interactive, I attended the panel “Super Fandom in the Digital Age,” which centered around three Internet personalities who leverage videos to create their own brands. Cohen, the man behind much of the drama-filled TV programming on the Bravo network, moderated a discussion between big-time YouTube icons Tyler Oakley and Grace Helbig, as well as Ze Frank of everyone’s new favorite time-killer website—Buzzfeed.

South by Southwest kicked off without a hitch Friday, with dozens of speakers taking the stage across the downtown Austin area. From reality TV personalities to renowned entrepreneurs and multi-million dollar business owners, the first day of the Interactive festival was abuzz with thought-provoking discussions, an exchange of creative ideas and interaction among visitors from all walks of life.

Let’s face it—athletes will do anything to promote their brands. Whether they’re creating a unisex perfume fragrance with their significant other or starring in lame Subway commercials, there’s not a lot off-limits when it comes to athlete self-promotion and marketing. While all of these ploys are undoubtedly dumb, the one that gets me the most is the reality shows these guys are willing to be on, sacrificing their careers and, dare I say, manhood.

Hello, Texas State!

The highly anticipated third studio album from Mother Monster has finally leaked. By Sunday afternoon, Twitter was abuzz with excitement, tweeting approval of ARTPOP with excessive punctuation and excited emojis. Many Little Monsters were faced with a dilemma: to download or not? Spoiler alert: I did.

Lady Gaga, queen of the gays and the avant-garde, has declared ARTPOP to be a marriage between music and art. And by that she meant she was about to produce a colorful cocktail of jewels, drugs, love and fashion. So, of course, we had to listen.

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