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Author: Victoria Sambursky

28 Sep

10 Austin Photogs You Need To Follow On Instagram

Austin Texas, or ATX, is a true mecca for creatives, entrepreneurs, students, foodies and musicians. And speaking of musicians, live music is so pervasive in Austin it’s dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World.” However, during my travels I quickly learned that Austinites do not take themselves too seriously - and that’s what keeps the city’s cool factor in check. From the wide spectrum of music, film, and interactive festivals like South By Southwest (SXSW) and the upcoming Austin City Limits, to the plethora of delish restaurants, funky art and cultural scenes, beautiful dog-friendly parks, and even meditation flash mobs, most Austinites agree that ATX is best showcased visually. Here are some of Austin's most innovative photographers (in no particular order)...
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20 Jun

Google Launches Magenta Project to Discover If AI Can Create Music and Art

Are there limits to a computer’s creativity? On June 1, Google launched Magenta, part of Google Brain Group, to explore this very question. Magenta is a research project using artificial intelligence (AI) to create music, images and text. So far, the group has about six researchers and will invite others through Google’s Tensorflow, an open-source library for machine learning, to help solve the problem of creative machines. “Magenta has now generated its first piece of AI music,” according to Jason Freidenfelds of Google’s Global Communications & Public Affairs team. Elliot Waite at Google created the little ditty embedded below using a LSTM (long short term memory) neural network:   Machine-generated music has been done before, but not in this fashion - this...
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27 Feb

Lesley Chilcott Discusses Film CODEGIRL and Why Closing Tech Gender Gap Is Crucial

Girls around the world are dreaming BIG. They want to be entrepreneurs and coders in the skyrocketing app market, and they yearn to develop apps to help their communities and change the world. But how can young women hope to achieve these critical goals if, by 2017, the estimated $77 billion dollar app market is projected to be filled with developers who are 80 percent male? Lesley Chilcott, acclaimed producer of award-winning documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman, is now shining a laser-like spotlight on this very issue through her latest documentary CODEGIRL, which she hopes will encourage young women to enter computer programming and jump-start a movement to close the tech gender gap. Released on YouTube for free last November, and now available for download online...
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20 Jan

IKEA Launches Space10: An Innovative Lab Creating Game Changing Solutions for Urban Living

Businesses and organizations across the world are curating innovation labs by bringing in the best and brightest to distill creative ideas and fresh perspectives with the hopes of finding concrete solutions to obstacles facing industries. Some think these labs are purely marketing hype with little substance, while others believe it's a revolutionary movement. However, no matter your take on the concept, it’s here, it’s happening, and for many companies, these bold initiatives are working. Enter IKEA and it's new idea hub, Space10. Space10 is set up as an exhibition space and eventual living lab that examines the future of urban living and the challenges that people will encounter around the world. The goal of the innovative lab is to explore possible solutions...
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22 Dec

Thorn Creates Unprecedented Tech Innovation Lab to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation

Think you have what it takes to be a “Digital Defender of Children?” Ashton Kutcher could use your help. Both Kutcher and Demi Moore partnered together to build upon their former task force projects by starting Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to driving technological innovation to fight child sexual exploitation. “What I’ve seen makes you question humanity,” states Ashton Kutcher. “Technology plays a huge role in child sexual exploitation and we are committed to making the Internet a more hostile environment for predators.” Innovate, Experiment and Think Big Thorn recently announced a groundbreaking Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley, and is now looking for the best and brightest to work in collaboration with their research groups, tech companies, non-profits,...
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16 Dec

Kalu Yala: An Off-The-Grid Startup Creating the World’s First Sustainable Modern Town Deep in the Panamanian Jungle

Kalu Yala, which means “sacred land” in the indigenous Kuna language, is a 7,000+ acre community 50 minutes from downtown Panama City that lies in the belly of a breathtaking Panamanian rain valley. This off-the-grid village at the intersection of North and South America has a clear message: “To teach. To learn. To start a conversation, a business, or an adventure. We disconnected from the grid, so that we can reconnect to one another and to what life is meant to be.” On this tropical frontier, Kalu Yala is building a fully sustainable “Parisian style” settlement with plans to become a town eventually housing a population of more than 10,000 people.   The man at the heart of this open-source community is...
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16 Dec

Holy Batband! New Bone-Conduction Device Transmits Sound Waves Through Your Skull

Looking like something Q would have invented for James Bond from the R&D division of MI6, the Bluetooth Batband is a piece of sound technology allowing you to listen to your “private soundscape” as well as the world  surrounding you. Its technology delivers a high fidelity acoustic experience through a bone-conduction system. Studio Banana Things is the company behind the ear-free system and other delightfully innovative items, such as the popular “power napping” Ostrich Pillow and The Kangaroo Light. Batband’s goal is to revolutionize the way we wear our acoustic gear and hear music. I had a chance to speak with Ali Ganjavian and Key Kawamura, founders of Studio Banana Things (a division of Studio Banana), and they shared their vision behind the...
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17 Nov

Mike Dempsey Photography: Delivering Spectacular, Gravity-Defying Photos with a Campy Instagram Handle

L.A. based photographer Mike Dempsey, aka @mikesbutt on Instagram, works from a place of anticipation and risk through his gravity-defying photos. From the fascinating, funny and peculiar, to the just plain WTF, Dempsey’s popular Instagram feed is filled with people performing all kinds of captivating stunts, such as planting a ninja-style kick to a skeleton’s face, slipping on banana peels and chasing after flying bowling pins. And as for the handle @mikesbutt, it was the first thing he thought of, and it stuck. However, he’s not capturing paranormal activity or death-defying feats. These bizarre aerial photos are created through a form of digital magic, though a large percentage of his work is produced as practically as possible. I had a chance to speak...
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16 Nov

Julie Nimoy, Husband David Knight and BioLucid Partner Together for COPD Tribute Film to Late ‘Star Trek’ Legend

With the 50th anniversary of the iconic sci-fi saga Star Trek steadily approaching in 2016, you can bet many Trekkie tributes will be held honoring the culturally influential show. Reportedly, a new Star Trek series will debut in 2017, just a few months shy of the anniversary of the original show that premiered in September 1966. Truly light years ahead of its time, the “OG” intergalactic series showcased epic battles, memorable special effects and skillfully tackled social issues of the era, such as racial intolerance and war. And who can forget the show’s utopian view of the future beautifully demonstrated through its unforgettable characters? Sadly, one of show’s most iconic half-human, half-Vulcan characters, Mr. Spock, portrayed by the legendary actor Leonard...
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7 Nov

The Tylko Design App – Making Customized Furniture Easy

Is there a room in your home that desperately needs furniture, but its odd shape or quirky dimensions are too challenging to work with? Maybe you have a small living space and need custom furniture to fit your new dwelling. Whatever your design challenge is, the new Tylko design app could be just the ticket in helping you find answers to your tough layout and design questions. As their motto states, “Don’t just imagine it, see it.” The Tylko Furniture and Design Story The Warsaw-based furniture brand Tylko premiered last month at the most renowned design event in Europe: the London Design Festival. The company creates products ranging from shelves and tables to pepper grinders? Think you don't need a pepper grinder? Just...
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