Flavor of the Week April 19-25

Watch while I fail miserably at updating anything on a weekly basis. But really. Maybe I shouldn’t call it a flavor of the week playlist if it doesn’t change every week, but it also doesn’t necessarily change monthly…and saying “flavor of the bi-monthly” sounds lame AF. NEVERTHELESS, here’s an updated spring flavor of the week playlist…

  1. On The Long Way Down by Robert DeLong
  2. Cato as a Pun by Of Montreal
  3. Gronlandic Edit by Of Montreal
  4. Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games by Of Montreal
  5. Wicked Games by The Weeknd
  6. Gold On The Ceiling by The Black Keys
  7. Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys
  8. Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna
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#MOTD: February 4

I’m deciding to do a makeup of the day post today, so here goes! I’m a creature of habit, so I don’t go out and try a ton of different makeup all the time. Things I play around with a lot are: lip color, eyeshadow, blush, eyeliner, and mascara. Otherwise, I stay pretty consistent. Here’s a picture of my look today:

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In this photo here is what I’m wearing…

Face
Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (my faveeeeeeee)
Foundation: bareMinerals Original Foundation in the color Fairly Light (N10)
Bronzer: bareMinerals warmth
Concealer: Garnier Nutrioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller in the color light
Blush: NARS in the color TAOS
Eyebrows: NYX Eyebrow Gel in the color Blonde (EBG01)
Lips: Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in the color Melted Berry

Eyes:
Primer: Urban Decay Eden Matte Primer
Lid: Sephora brand matte shadow in the color Sandcaste (No75)
Crease: Stila Dancing with the Stars Palette in the color Glam
Eyeliner (tight line only): Tarte in the color Black
Mascara: Urban Decay Big Fatty

I just thought this would be a fun post to share since I love doing makeup and have a lot of fun playing around with eyeshadow and lips. If you have any questions about how I got this look or where to find this products, ask away!

Flavor of the Week: February 1-8

Oooooooh it’s been too long! But I’m back. To be honest, I’ve been struggling with my Flavor of the Week playlist since before finals and post-graduation. Mostly just because I’ve been too “busy” or “lazy” to really make a playlist…but tbh that Missy Elliot performance got me inspired…so let’s go.

  1. Work it by Missy Elliot
  2. We Run This by Missy Elliot
  3. Jesus Walks by Kanye West
  4. Flashing Lights by Kanye West
  5. Heartless by Kanye West
  6. No Church in the Wild (feat. Frank Ocean) by Kanye West & Jay Z
  7. Try Again feat. Timbaland by Aaliyah
  8. Just A Touch by AlunaGeorge
  9. Upgrade U feat. Jay Z by Beyoncé
  10. Break The Ice by Britney Spears
  11. Do It To It by Cherish
  12. Forever by Chris Brown *cries every time remembering that episode of The Office*
  13. Run It by Chris Brown
  14. One More Time by Daft Punk
  15. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk
  16. I Can Only Imagine feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne by David Guetta
  17. Up All Night feat. Nicki Minaj by Drake
  18. Mercy by Duffy
  19. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
  20. Feedback by Janet Jackson
  21. My Love feat. T.I. by Justin Timberlake
  22. If I Never See Your Face Again feat. Rihanna by Maroon 5
  23. Global Concepts by Robert DeLong
  24. Letting Go feat. Nicki Minaj by Sean Kingston
  25. Take You There by Sean Kingston
  26. Slow Down by Selena Gomez
  27. Ta fête by Stromae

A’IGHT. That’s it for now. A lot of throwbacks for sure. I also work at a gym, so I play this list when clients aren’t in and jam. It’s pretty popalicious and wonderful. What are y’all listening to this year so far? I wanna know.

Google Glass: Over Before It Begins?

There’s been a lot of speculation about Google Glass over the last few months, in fact, it’s had a lot of us in a bit of a tizzy. We don’t always deal with change so wonderfully, and Google Glass had all of us wondering if we were ready for the future. An article by Yahoo! News recently delved into the current state of Glass and what its future looks like. Whether we want to accept change or not, it happens. For awhile there, every time an application of ours would update–say Facebook, Twitter, iOS, etc.–we would all freak out and complain about how much we loathed the changes. But we got used to it, right? Right. We forgot what the old layout of Facebook even looks like at this point. As a matter of fact, we don’t seem to complain all that much about app updates anymore. Huh. So when I read this article it got me thinking.

When I first heard of Google Glass my immediate reaction was “oh no…this is the future,” with a rather loathsome tone. To me, it just seemed like a matter of time before we were all wearing Google Glass, capturing far too many photos, videos (even more than now…which let’s be honest, is a little too much), and being in a state of constant connection. But that future may not be as close as we thought.

Authors Alexei Oreskovic, Sarah McBride and Malathi Nayak of “Google Glass future clouded as some early believers lose faith” analyze where Google Glass is at now, and where it might be headed. In the beginning, Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, is reported to have shown up “bare-faced into a Silicon Valley red-carpet event on Sunday.” It’s noted that he “left his pair in the car.” But this has me wondering…is it just not catching on? Even with the employees of Google itself? Maybe.

Besides questioning the lack of Glass worn by Google co-founders, employees, and other important big-wigs, the main focus of the article was around the application developors for Glass. Where are they now? The article goes into some small detail about the many of the developors who have abandoned their current projects and work for Google Glass. Why? Most of them say because there’s nothing to work towards, no movement, no future. My initial thoughts on this are that of an internal gloating–“Hoorah! We won’t have to wear these stupid glasses around! It’s not going to catch on!”–but regardless of these intial exclamations from me personally, my second thought is, “Well if this isn’t the future (or what’s next), then what is?

Google claims that Glass is still in the works and going strong. But we’ve been waiting on the launch of Google Glass for 2+ years. The hype surrounding it has significantly died down, and we’ve moved on to worrying about the iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, and the latest version of Instagram…or something like that. Here are my thoughts: I think Google Glass is a bust. Sure, glasses are trendy again and all, but does anyone really want to wear glasses that aren’t, well, glasses? No. Of course it’s not all about fashion, but also about how the technology works, but if consumers aren’t willing to sacrifice their style for Google Glass, then the technology doesn’t even really matter. It kind of seems like the developors are catching on. Secondly, the co-founder of Google isn’t even wearing the damn things. If Google can’t get its own, high-profile co-founder to wear them…who will? I’m not saying this guy influences all of the future of technology and fashion, but still. Third and most alarming, the developors are backing out! This in itself shows a lack of forward motion with Glass, and if that’s not an obvious sign, I don’t know what is. Last, we’ve got Google–proudly announcing that no, Google Glass isn’t dead, it’s just still developing, testing, etc. Seems a bit like improving the truth to me, Google. Even if Google Glass is still indeed developing and the future exists, what’s with the premature hype? We got our undies in a bunch for no reason (the consumers, at least), and now we’re just grouchy that we even cared in the first place.

So, while it remains unclear if Google Glass has a future or not, it seems as though we have awhile to wait before any sort of eye-wearable technology really launches to the general public. For those of us who are holding on for dear life to our iPhone’s, Samsung Galaxy’s, hell, even Blackberry’s, the future isn’t looking so scary anymore…just a little bleak for Google Glass, and we don’t mind.

And now I can sit back and go back to complaining about those app updates. I mean, iOS 8 really won’t download on my iPhone 4?! (see what I did there?)

Let me know what your thoughts on Google Glass are in the comments below.

Flavor of the Week: November 3-9

It’s been so long! Life has been busy and my playlist has been updated since, but it’s taken me awhile to get around to it. This is what I’ve been diggin’ on lately:

  1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye
  2. Threat by Jay Z
  3. Cheese by Stromae
  4. Oh My Darling Don’t Cry by Run The Jewels
  5. I Don’t Fuck With You by Big Sean
  6. Je Cours by Stromae
  7. AssShots remix feat. R O Y A L T Y by Childish Gambino
  8. Fucks Given by Childish Gambino

Small list, but these are the new/old tunes that have caught my ear recently. Enjoy!

Taylor Swift Pulled Her Catalog From Spotify…But What About Everyone Else?

The recent pull of Taylor Swifts “1989” from Spotify has got everybody talking. A recent post from Music Industry Blog, “Windowing, Shake It Off,” goes into a little more depth about windowing, Taylor Swift’s pull from Spotify, and what this all means for the future of music streaming.

If you don’t know what “windowing” is, a simple explanation is this: having a product available for a certain period of time through a specific medium for a price, and then taking that product away from said medium and making it available elsewhere. A great example of windowing is the movie and film industry. A movie is first released in theaters for the lovely price of $10+ per viewing. It is then later available to rent—sometimes this coincides with it being available in *cheap* theaters as well—and lastly the film becomes available for purchase. If you’re an avid movie goer or watcher, you might be spending a lot of money for the same product, just at different times. This might be a move the music industry is making, based on Taylor Swift’s latest move.

The article mentioned above mentions that Taylor’s pull from Spotify is a temporary one, in order to collect money from a more lucrative revenue stream: digital downloads. And it worked! The author suggests that other artists watching Taylor will probably make similar moves around the time of their future album releases. When reading this, I definitely agreed with what the author said. However, it made me think back to other instances in the industry where artists had made a major move and copycats ensued. For example, when Radiohead offered their album for free or when Nine Inch Nails offered the “pay what you want” method. These strategies worked really well for these particular bands, but it wasn’t necessarily something that popularized within the industry for other artists or for the fans. While it was initially a tempting offer and a new, cool idea, once it had been done, fans realized they could just get the music for free and were less apt to pay anything, therefore defeating the purpose, in a way. It wasn’t going to make sense monetarily in the long haul for any of said artists. So will the same thing happen with windowing? Will consumers realize what’s happening and refuse to participate?

I think that consumers won’t realize what’s happening at first. For those of us in the know and keeping up with what’s going on in the industry, it’s fairly obvious what’s happening here, but for the average consumer, it may not be so obvious.

A few questions that crossed my mind: 1) will this push consumers to go back to purchasing music if the music is only accessible through streaming for a small window of time? 2) will this push consumers to purchase the paid subscriptions? 3) what will a paid subscription include? 4) what will tiers of payments look like for music streaming services? 5) will there still be ads for the minimum payment of streaming services? 6) how long will artists allow their catalogs to be available on streaming services? 7) will this ever work with the growing number of streaming services?

Of course, as the hopeful music industry professional that I am, I can only hope that such a model would push consumers to purchase music rather than stream, but it would be naive to think that streaming isn’t here to stay. Streaming is here for the long haul, and we’ll have to see how it pans out with the future of “windowing.”

The final point the author made was to forewarn artists about the free services such as YouTube and how they are more of a potential threat than Spotify ever will be. Of course, I think we will continue to turn a blind eye because of the video content YouTube allows us to provide for our fans. Also, as we all know, people are compensated for YouTube through the placement of ads and what not, so it’s not as though there is no revenue coming in from the service. What we have to worry about is the scary number of people who upload albums in entirety and get hundreds of thousands of views while the artist gets no compensation for those plays—at least that’s what the author suggests.

After reading that particular comment, I had to think long and hard about it. As an avid YouTube user—mostly to watch beauty/fashion vloggers—it was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that this service I love so much might not be so great for artists. I still believe YouTube is a key resource for artists, as well as the rest of the YouTube and Internet world, but it’s possible that there should be a better regulation of “illegal” activity like this.

It’s a hard truth to swallow, but I think the author makes a valid point. Although Spotify pays micropennies per stream to artists, it’s better than nothing. However, I don’t believe Taylor Swift pulled her catalog because of the “lack” of money she was receiving from Spotify, but rather that she could capitalize on digital download sales if it wasn’t available elsewhere. It gained her a lot of free press and publicity that she otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, and that was the idea behind it. Taylor Swift will be back on Spotify sometime soon, it would be shortsighted not to think so. As far as YouTube and Soundcloud go, we’ve got some research to do. How will things unfold in the years to come? Leave your predictions in the comments below.

Unbundling TV…Are We Ready Yet?

Throughout fall of 2014, there has been a lot of talk surrounding the unbundling of TV services. One article even compared it to the music industry and how download services allowing consumers to purchase singles has crippled the gross revenue of the industry, fearing that this will only allow the same thing to happen to television services. Another article from Wired simply offers an explanation of what television networks are beginning to offer, and how it might affect consumers. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of unbundling, you should read about here.

To give a brief explanation, unbundling of television services simply means that it will be possible for consumers to select the networks they want, individualizing their television experience, instead of offering the usual cable bundles that may soon be of the past. It also means that you might be able to purchase specific network subscriptions online…whoa.

Now that you’re familiar with the idea of “unbundling,” let’s talk about it. The article mentioned in the beginning of this post heeds some warning about the excitement surrounding this idea. Although it might be wonderful for HBO subscribers who really only pay for the cable bundle to watch Game of Thrones, it might not be so good for everything else included.

First, unbundling would possibly allow all television networks to offer online streaming services that you would have to pay for individually. This could potentially mean that you have to have multiple subscriptions to multiple networks to get the shows you want. Instead of one library for *most* of your favorite television, you now have to visit multiple websites to get the content you want. For the past three years, I have been an extremely satisfied Netflix user, and I would honestly be kind of bummed if the television shows offered there were removed and put on their networks service.

I’m a college student, soon to be grad, but let’s be honest, we’re all still poor and just trying to make ends meet for the time being. I don’t pay for Netflix and Hulu—it’s one or the other. So if unbundling meant that in order to watch How I Met Your Mother and Parks and Recreation I had to subscribe to two different services…well bye-bye to one of those shows! The same goes with a multitude of other television shows and movies offered on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant; if unbundling happens, we might say goodbye to our big catalog of TLC, The WB, The CW, CBS, NBC, and Fox television shows. And let’s be honest, that would be a sad world to live in—same goes for all of the different production companies that have their movies on those services…bye-bye simplicity!

For that reason alone, I don’t think unbundling would be successful. I think consumers would find it extremely frustrating to use 3+ sites to watch the content they want.

On a different note, the benefits of “unbundling” might be that consumers would be able to watch television in real time, something that isn’t currently offered via online streaming. Sure, you can watch it the next day, but what if you’ve missed out on all that real time drama? What if you’re only 10 minutes late to the game? What if you want to watch it, but an hour later and don’t want to commit to a service like DVR? Then unbundling solves that. Issie Lapowsky, author of The Great TV Unbundling Has Begun. But Be Careful What You Wish For, mentions “If content providers continue to launch their own platforms, as HBO and CBS have done, the future of internet TV will not just be unbundled. It will be deeply fragmented.” And to that I say, indeed. There are already too many apps on my phone and too many ways to get all sorts of information. This just seems like another thing this simple girl doesn’t need in her life.

That being said, I feel like there might be some common ground. If consumers were able to pick packages from cable companies that allowed them to only purchase specific channels they want, then maybe the idea of “unbundling” could work. But it would still be a bundle, right? Right. Cable companies could offer a certain number of channels for certain price points, and then you get to choose which channels, or networks, you pay for. Sure, some networks could be more expensive, but it might work.

Most television networks currently offer free online streaming for the current season of their television series, and I think it would be a bad move for the networks to individually offer consumers to pay for these services. I’m pretty willing to sit through five commercials every 7-10 minutes of television I watch for free online rather than suffer through jumping through the loops of paying for another streaming service—even if it meant having access to all seasons of commercial free television.

Overall, I see consumers being dissatisfied with unbundling. I think the initial idea is appealing—especially for those HBO subscribers—but the more television networks that take this route, the more consumers will have to pay. And that leads us to the question, well, what’s the point? There isn’t one. In my mind, it will put us in a circular pattern. It might catch on at first, but then I see consumers wanting to get all of their content in one to three places…like it is now. Unbundling is definitely a way to force consumers to pirate television and film, and I think it would definitely affect the gross revenue for television networks.

So unbundling…is the world ready or not? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.