'Coding 101' Could Be Coming To A NYC Public School Near You

Mayor Bloomberg has repeated time and time again that he believes New York City will be the next Silicon Valley. And, in some senses, his dream is coming true: SoHo has become a start-up assembly machine, Long Island City is attracting tech-hybrid manufacturers with its large, abandoned warehouses and the list of NYC-born boom companies is growing faster than you can say "I just checked in here on Foursquare." Needless to say, the Big Apple has gone ebusiness.

So, to solidify the present shift, it makes sense to capture the future minds of New Yorkers. Or, in tech talk, ditch the textbooks and just teach the kids how to code.


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Bloomberg to Bloggers (Us): Stop Dumbing Down Society; We're Trying, Mr. Mayor!

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On Wikipedia, a blog is defined as a "discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). As you're reading this, you are on the Village Voice's Runnin' Scared news blog and this is a post about how Bloomberg thinks this said post, and others like it, have "dumbed down" the populace. We live in the post-post-modern age; think 'meta' for a second.

In an interview with The Atlantic, the Hozziner criticized people like us (the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bloggers) for lessening the national intelligence on how we perceive, understand and react to news. However, the Mayor is still unsure just exactly what a blog is. This lack of definition was seen in his inability to distinguish a blog from a newspaper: "I don't know what the difference between a blog and a newspaper is... sometimes they have different standards, even under the same logo and name."

A key part in Bloomberg's argument - and he's certainly not the only one to believe this - is that the 'blogosphere' (2006, can you hear me?) creates this overload of information where the truth disappears somewhere in the vapor of the Interwebs. And this may be true but it underlies a main motive of what the blogs are meant to do: take a news story, analyze its players and come to a conclusion beyond the headline.

This is exactly what I'm doing right now (or at least trying to do) with this story about Bloomberg's anti-blog rhetoric. Everything is 'meta,' remember?

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Microsoft Will Bribe New Yorkers With Free Wi-Fi Next Month

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If there's any way to get consumers on your side in the Digital Era, it's to make sure they have connection anywhere and everywhere to the World Wide Web on your tab. In other words, providing free Wi-Fi is a damn smart method of promotion because, regardless if you even want to buy the product, it's a win-win situation for both you and the provider. You get your Wi-Fi and they get your attention.

Case in point: starting November 1st, Microsoft, in a deal with Boingo, will provide Wi-Fi to over 200 spots in New York, in addition to San Francisco and the six subway stations in Manhattan already providing the service, as a part of a media blitz for their new operating system, Windows 8. The free Internet will last until the end of 2012, making us happy cogs in this marketing scheme for at least a solid two months.

The computer giant is hoping that we will surf the Windows Store, which will appear online on October 28th, and eventually buy Windows 8. It's a rough risk to run, though: knowing New Yorkers (and, America, for that matter), the Wi-Fi will be used for Instagramming the brunch you just had and the following tweet about how unbelievably delicious it was.
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Facebook Allows Brands to Use Your 'It's Complicated' Status Against You

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It seems like almost every day, we read a story that makes the social network come off as that much creepier and then proceed to open a new tab on our browser, pull up Facebook and scan our notifications. And this one, in regards to marketing, it is a real doozie.

Yesterday, the social media giant announced to investors and brands alike that companies would now be able to target their advertisements based on a new batch of your details. With the new update, brands will be able to sell you shit no one every buys in accordance to:

- Your Education;
- Your Gender;
- Your 'Relationship Status;'
- Your Workplace; &
- Your 'Interested In'

This revamped targeting scheme comes off the heels of the previous setup, where companies were only allowed to touch your language and location details. Hence why, if you live in New York, you see a bunch of SoHo start-up ads, Brooklyn events and shady car service deals on the right side of your Facebook. 

And, with the added dose of marketing creepiness, things are about to get much, much more personal.
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Long Island City's Tech Takeover

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The Hozziner has his eyes set on the tech industry, repeating over and over that he wants New York City to become the new Palo Alto, the new Mountain View and the new Copertino - all hubs of some of the past decade's greatest innovations. Progress is rapidly being made to make that dream a reality: SoHo and Dumbo have become the new destinations for start-ups, NYU-Poly is proposing tech incubators left and right in Downtown Brooklyn and Bloomberg just signed off on Cornell's new applied sciences graduate school on Roosevelt Island.

But recent news point to yet another major development site in the works for a techie revolution: Long Island City, the last neighborhood in Queens before the East River and home to P.S. 1 MoMa, the 5 Pointz graffiti mecca and a whole slew of old warehouses just waiting to be refurbished into computer dens. Many have said that the village will head the way of Williamsburg and Astoria, two neighborhoods known for their recent cultural and demographic upheavals as hordes of Millennials hunt out spots for their online businesses.

Today, the Daily News reported on a brand new tech incubator that has been proposed for the industrial area in Queens - one that owners hope will spur job creation in times of rough unemployment numbers and bring a modern manufacturing wave to the growing spot.

Welcome, Long Island City, to the tech takeover.

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President Obama Coins New Twit-Term: "Twoosh"

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Twitter + Swoosh = Twoosh.

Have you ever really nailed a tweet? After typing your message, you know you used those 140 characters to the best of your ability? Then you just wait for the RTs to start pouring in (if you don't use Twitter, we apologize in advance for this entire post).


Well, the commander-in-chief has a new term for this split-second feeling of social media euphoria: a "twoosh." As he explains it, a "twoosh" is a "Twitter swoosh." Yeah, a "switter" definitely doesn't sound as pleasing to the ears.

Its equivalency on other sites: a highly like-able status on Facebook; a mayorship on Foursquare; a Tumblr post about Ryan Gosling; or, an Instagram picture that makes a Polaroid look like one of these.

And, after the first Q&A with a sitting Prez on the tweeter machine this past Thursday in Iowa, the President is claiming he is the "twoosh master" in his most recent video from the West Wing


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If You Ever Become a CEO, Make Sure Your Resume Is Flawless

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The art of resume-writing is exaggeration; we are all taught to transform "filing" into "transferral of paper entities" and "job" into "duties and responsibilities." Our listed activities and interests are always hobbies we dream of doing on our free time ("fly-fishing," "biking up mountains," etc.). And everyone knows you aren't proficient in MS Excel because no one really is. They're not lies - just simple abstractions to mete out a conversation come interview time.

That's the Golden Rule of the Resume: do not lie. But Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson might not have gotten the memo about that and it's going to cost him his job.

This morning, it was reported that Yahoo shareholder Daniel Loeb, a known activist hedge fund manager at Third Point who is currently in a settlement with the search engine website, discovered that Thompson's resume had a teeny little flaw: his computer science degree from Stonehill College. The flaw: it didn't exist. Turns out that Thompson only received an accounting degree from Stonehill; a point he forgot to mention on his resume. Oops.
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The 21st Century Jay-Walker: New Jersey Town Will Start Ticketing "Twext"-ers


Should we be penalizing people like this or just accept that it's a (sometimes hilarious) side-effect of the Information  Age? The authorities in Fort Lee, New Jersey, are choosing the former.

In a recent quasi-legal move, police officers in the village have shifted their position on "twexting" (worst technological lexicon combination ever) and will begin to hit these messengers with a summons ticket if spotted. According to the police chief of the town, 23 accidents have occurred due to the twexting "epidemic," giving his force enough reason to penalize the activity all together. Except one thing: is that legal?


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Arianna Huffington Wants an App to Tell You When to Stop Using Apps

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Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images for AOL, licensed via cc

Today is the first day of TechCrunch Disrupt, the tech-news site's annual three-day conference of exhibitors, panels, and start-up schmoozing, this year held at Pier 94. Each morning's agenda consists of onstage "fireside chats": Tomorrow, for example, will feature Charlie Rose interviewing Ashton Kutcher. But this morning's star was AOL content head Arianna Huffington (after AOL's recent HuffPo acquisition, she is the boss of TechCrunch) who emerged for a panel discussion -- ostensibly about journalism in the social-media age -- to answer questions from email OG Nora Ephron, alongside friend NYU J-school professor Jay Rosen. (TechCrunch co-editor Erick Schonfeld later informed the room that he initially invited New York Times editor Bill Keller to debate the Lady Huff, but that Keller "chickened out.")


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