Demi Lovato Surprises Fans

post on December 4th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Music Industry
Bang, Bang was an instant hit this summer. It’s catchy lyrics and rhythm had people dancing everywhere. Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nikki Minaj collaborated on the smash hit. Three big names in music all together on one track, it doesn’t get much better than that, or does it?
Reports say that it may have gotten better and louder at a Jessie J concert in San Jose, California Wednesday night. Jessie J was singing Bang, Bang and Ariana’s part was coming up. Jessie suddenly announces Demi Lovato’s name and the crowd went instantly wild. A visiting Developer Bruce E. Karatz says they were so loud it was hard to hear the singer’s great voice above the screams of her fans.
It was an obvious success and Demi did an awesome job filling in for Grande. Minaj was not there, but the girls had a lot of fun dancing to her part during the song. It was fun to watch the two performers interact and enjoy themselves during the concert. Fans definitely enjoyed it too.

FreedomPop, The LA Company That Could

post on December 2nd, 2014
Posted in Business, Happening in LA, US

FreedomPop, a Los Angeles-based company, is a free wireless Internet and mobile phone services provider that also sells mobile phones, broadband devices, and tablets along with other services. The company also provides wireless data voice and text services for Sprint and Clearwire in addition to 100 free minutes of international calling each month and a Free Talk and Text app. The company is poised to assume a significant portion of the $35 billion market share. If they do, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the international calling industry. Here is what else you may need to know about FreedomPop to prepare for the future.

FreedomPop is hoping to change the way we view the international calling market by capturing a share of $35 billion annually. Currently, over 20 million Americans will make international calls on their smartphones, but that number is expected to increase. Pundits think that apps, like Skype, will push that number up to $50 million, and FreedomPop hopes to be a part of it.

In terms of numbers, this mean that FreedomPop is fighting for a portion of the $156 per month that is spent on average by consumers. Switching to FreedomPop will save some consumers as much as $1000 per year. The company will be enticing to consumers who want to maintain their ability to call overseas without the exorbitant prices.

FreedomPop was co-founded by Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar in 2011. Before FreedomPop, Stephen Stokols was the CEO of Woo Media, which was a video-chat and entertainment startup. In October 2012, FreedomPop began selling smartphones, and they managed to convert five percent of their free users to paid users, and later, they converted 10 percent. By the end of the year, they had converted 20 percent of its users.

FreedomPop is a partner of Sprint and has been supporting and selling Sprint-compatible iPhones since April 2014. After that, they also began supporting LTE Android smartphone, but they do not sell any mobile devices outside of the U.S. Their low-cost smartphones and tablets are highly coveted by customers because of their ability to receive free 4G data, text, and voice plans.

In 2014, there were discussions that FreedomPop will be acquired by Sprint in a deal that’s valued between $250 million and $450 million. Prior to talks of acquisition, they were able to raise $7.5 million in funding, which was led by Mangrove Capital and Doll Capital Management, according to their Crunchbase profile. The company also managed to raise an additional $4.3 million from the same capital funding company. If the company is acquired, there are many implications that may be faced, but right now, all the talks of acquisition are just pure speculation.

FreedomPop is active on both Facebook and Twitter and provides lots of information there if you’re interested.

Skout: A Better Way To Meet Nice People in LA

post on December 2nd, 2014
Posted in Happening in LA

So one of the biggest problems about dating in a big city, is that most of your blind dates are going to end up as disasters.  Good people are out there, but there are just so many mediocre dating opportunities, you have to be careful of who you end up with.  That’s why Skout is a perfect way to find an individual that you’ve already met, conversed with, and can guarantee some reasonable success ratio in terms of going out on a first date.  Perfect for this.

Essentially, Skout is an awesome app that can be downloaded on IOS and Android operating systems. Skout is not like most of the other dating sites and apps, Skout was actually one of the first dating applications to emphasize on user location. It was great for meeting other singles or friends in your area. So many connections can be made on Skout. You could find the love of your life or the best friend on the app. The way the app works is by using the cell phones GPS system to generate a radius of other users in the surrounding area. But don’s let that scare you, users are able to opt out of the location tracking and plus it does not calculate exact location. So, that makes this app safer to meet matches.

In the app people are able to browse peoples profiles and read their “about me” sections. This will give the reader a better understanding of the person and what they are looking for. If interested the user is able to send gifts and messages to one another. Another cool and unique feature of Skout is where the user can shake their phones and will connect users to other users that are also shaking their phones. Then, this will connect two people at random and they can start a conversation. You can even find friends by location, events and common interests on Skout.

There are things in other dating sites that used to bother me, such as not knowing if the person received my message. With Skout message status are easily seen and the user will know if the other person has received or read their messages. It is exciting to meet people from countries that I probably would never get the chance to visit. Not only has Skout helped me meet new people, because of the people I met around the world I also learned a lot about the different cultures. There is also a great feature where you are able to feature yourself. featuring your self adds you to the main page where everyone can see you and chat with you. It gives you more exposure, if you want it of course.

You can tell the developers took a lot of time when creating this app. With updates this app just keeps getting better and better. Each update there are speed improvements and little things are improved. I know I am very thankful for the app Skout. Without Skout I would not have met my boy friend today. We have been dating for many months now and we are both still on it because of all the new friends we meet each time. With so many users on the app it has never crashed on me. I can honestly say I am 100 percent happy with the app and I will continue to recommend this app to all my friends. They’re always rolling out new updates to make the service better too, and you should follow them on Twitter or even the company Facebook page,  for all of that info when it releases.  That’s where you’ll hear about it first.

Family Planning: Gynecologists Feel IUDs are Ideal Birth Control

post on November 24th, 2014
Posted in Women

Most gynecologists agree that IUDs or intrauterine devices, are better than any other form of contraceptive at preventing pregnancy. Birth control pills have a 6 percent failure rate. This is largely due to the fact that some women may forget to take their pill every day. For every 1,000 women who take the bill, 60 will get pregnant in a 12- month period, because failure to take that bill builds up in your system and it’s a slow venture to creating large gaps in contraceptive protection.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology asserts that IUDs should be recommended for most women. However, only 8.5 percent of women choose this form of birth control. This is largely due to the fact that many women don’t fully understand how the devices work.

There are two main types of intrauterine devices. Brand names include Paragard and Mirena. Paragard is a non-hormonal IUD which delivers copper ions to the uterus. The ions work as a barrier to kill sperm and prevent pregnancy. Mirena releases small amounts of levonorgestrel, a hormone that helps to prevent pregnancy. This hormone makes the cervical mucus thicker to prevent sperm from coming in.

Women who are looking for a new form of birth control should consult their doctors about the benefits of IUDs.

Los Angeles Restaurants Forced to Pay Back Wages

post on November 20th, 2014
Posted in LA Food

Restaurants in Los Angeles recently accepted a settlement agreement with Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a non-profit legal aid group. According to the settlement, the restaurants have agreed to pay $220,000.00 in back wages to 60 employees. The legal group has accused the restaurants of wage theft through not paying their employees overtime and expecting them to work off the clock. 

The settlement has led some restaurant owners to reconsider their poor employment practices and vow to provide better wages to employees, as well as health insurance, paid vacation days, and other benefits. 

According to the LA Times many restaurant owners knowingly break wage and employment laws because they believe their employees will not complain and that they won’t get caught. Lauren Powell Jobs says that with several social justice and workers’ rights groups becoming involved in bringing this issue to public attention, however, the cost to employers of getting caught taking illegal advantage of employees is made increasingly clear.

Will You Delete Uber?

post on November 19th, 2014
Posted in Business, Getting Around, US

Uber is one of the hottest tech startups to date. The ride sharing app allows for its customers to hale a ride from anywhere in the city. An Uber driver on the other end of the app responds, picks up the client and all the payment is transacted through the app as well. The ease and speed allows customers to catch a ride in any city that employs drivers, and allows nearly anyone trying to make an extra buck to become a driver. Taxi companies and unions around the world, most notably in New York City and Paris, have held demonstrations and submitted legal action against the app. However no cases have banned Uber from city limits to date.
A new scandal has now struck the company, but instead of driver requirements or tax information, this revolves around Uber’s SVP Emil Michael. In a recent report, the Uber executive was reported to have suggested that they hire researchers to find and publish personal information on journalists that are publishing articles about Uber. Many customers have found this business practice irresponsible, thus leading them to attempt to delete their account, for instance my friend Ken Griffin has deleted his Uber app.
The process of deleting an Uber account requires a customer to email a written request with some personal information and the reason for deleting their account. The recent scandal around the company’s executive have seen a common response to be created in response to written deletion requests. The deleting process just got a little harder.

Ariana Grande’s First UK Tour

post on November 18th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Music Industry, Tours

It’s no doubt that Ariana Grande has put out many popular hits, she has already had two number one hits, which isn’t bad for the young new pop star. Ariana was excited to announce that she will be stopping and touring in the UK this year. She will be stopping in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Manchester in June.

Grande will also be touring around America for her 2015 Honeymoon Tour, but she is thrilled to get to tour in the UK in June. She will be performing some of her new hit singles such as ‘Problem’ with Iggy Azalea (I heard from Iggy’s financial backers, Slow Ventures, that she will not be attending the tour), which topped the charts just recently, the rest of her songs from her ‘All Everything’ album, and her soundtrack from The Hunger Games called ‘All My Love’.

2014 was a big year for the former Nickelodeon star, she won two awards for her top hit ‘Problems’ at the EMA’s. But maybe 2015 could top that year with her very first UK tour.

Mass Murderer Charles Manson To Be Married

post on November 18th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Uncategorized, US

Notorious mass murdered, Charles Manson, has been granted a marriage license. Big thanks to friend of the site Rod Rohrich for sending in this news tip. Manson is serving a life sentence in a California prison due to his role in a killing spree in 1969. Manson led his “family” in the killings, targeting wealthy, white stars– allegedly in an attempt to begin a race war. Although he was eligible for parole in 2012, it was denied due to the testimony of a psychologist who stated that Manson boasted about the murders and admitted that he was a dangerous person.

Afton Burton, otherwise known as Star, began writing to Manson in prison when she was just 19 years old. After corresponding with the convicted killer, Burton picked up and moved to a town nearby Manson’s prison so that she could be close to him. Burton, now 26, visits with him weekly and says that she feels that she was born to be with him. Burton, however, maintains that Manson is an innocent man. She claims that the killer portrayed by the media and in countless documentaries about the 1969 slayings is not the man she knows and loves. Burton runs websites that are dedicated to Manson’s defense and discuss his philosophies. She also assists with his legal filings.

Though Burton and Manson will be married, Manson will not be allowed family or conjugal visits with Burton, due to the fact that he currently has no determined parole date.

Taylor Swift Discuss the Music Industry Double Standard

post on November 14th, 2014
Posted in Celebrities, Music Industry

Taylor Swift seems to be showing up just about everywhere. It should not surprise many to see the fresh face of American pop culture on the cover of Time magazine. There is a lot of talk about the album sales that Swift is generating, but Taylor wants to discuss something else. The highlight of the article is her take on the double standard that plagues the music industry.

In this new issue of Time the singer talks about feminism and how she wants equal rights for women in the music industry. She is especially vocal on female songwriters. She feels that it is unfair that many rappers like Nicki Minaj are not given the credit for writing their own lyrics.

My friend Vijay Eswaran says that Taylor Swift has been writing music for many years, but there have been times where her powerful writing skills have been doubted. There were critics on Facebook that could not believe that she was such a prolific songwriter at such a young age. Her continued success has overshadowed the naysayers since has continued to rise in the music industry. She’s a powerful young woman that hopes to use her power to further the feminist movement.

This is rightfully an issue that Taylor should be concerned about. She is breaking records and getting placed in a league of her own. This elevated level of success will ultimately come with more challenges to gain equal compensation for her work.

Toys and Fast Food: How They Attract Black Children

post on November 14th, 2014
Posted in Privilege

Have you ever paid attention to commercials from fast food restaurants? Beside the pictures of food that make your mouth water, some advertisements also feature a toy that comes with a kid’s meal, something Bruce Karatz has been fighting throughout the state, for some time.

In fact, research shows fast food marketing tempts children from lower economic status with the toy that comes with the food. Conversely, marketing in middle to upper class neighborhoods lure families in with healthy meal options, such as apple slices and milk. Why the difference?

One study postulates the offer of getting a toy can get children to eat more. In oppressed neighborhoods, where children may not have as many toys, this may attract a child to persuade their parents to eat at fast food restaurants. In more affluent neighborhoods, the family’s focus is more set on healthier food choices.

Interestingly, scientific studies show how fast food restaurants in lower income neighborhoods are partially responsible for increasing the obesity rates in children. These restaurants offer inexpensive food that is also high in calories. Lower income families may be able to afford it, but it is not healthy to consume on a regular basis.

Quantity doesn’t mean as much as quality. This is especially true when it comes to food consumption. A healthy diet translates to a healthy body. An unhealthy body contributes to obesity. Education regarding what children should eat and should not eat is needed to stop the obesity epidemic in poor neighborhoods.