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Spike Lee’s Movie Chiraq




The film, which is reportedly titled “Chiraq”has created a lot of controversy because it compares the city’s violence to the war zones of Iraq. Mayor Rahm Emanuel reportedly expressed his disdain for the title to Lee himself. According to NBC Chicago, Alderman Will Burns also called for the city council to cut Lee’s tax break unless he changes the film’s title. Chiraq was popularized by Chicago rappers Chief Keef and later used by stars like Kanye West, who was also raised Chi Town.

Spike Lee says “Wait until the movie comes out. You don’t like it, you don’t like, but wait, see it first.” The film is about “Truth,” “justice” and “peace.” Gang violence.

Lee reminded his audience that one of his earliest movies, “Do The Right Thing,” also generated criticism before its 1989 release.

“There were people who said this film is going to cause riots all across America, that black people are going to run amok,” Lee said.


Libraries Lending WiFi Hotspots




The digital divide widens when you look at race, age, income and especially education level. Only 37 percent of non-high school graduates have broadband, compared to 57 percent of high school graduates, 78 percent of those with “some college” and 89 percent of those with a higher degree.

Out of 148 countries, the United States ranked 35th for Internet bandwidth capacity. Broadband Internet in the United States is, on average, slower but still more expensive than in other countries. Riga, the capital of Latvia, has an average Internet speed two-and-a-half times faster than the one in San Antonio, TX, and yet their service is only a quarter of the cost.  Two plans to begin lending portable WiFi hotspots to underserved communities were among the winning projects of the Knight News Challenge to strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation. Although the Chicago Public Library and New York Public Library initiatives are unique, however their goal to expand internet access and promote digital literacy are the same. Since the target demographic for these projects are underserved, often poor communities, the libraries will have to be careful to not infringe on users’ privacy or digital freedoms in order to demonstrate the success of the projects.  New York Public Library and Chicago Public Library  want to see users from underserved communities become more comfortable using digital technology. Their longterm goal is to see an increase in broadband adoption rates in the communities they serve and to begin eliminating the countrywide digital divide

The digital divide in New York City is even higher than the national average, Currently, anyone with a library card can use a desktop or laptop computer at one of the 92 branches for up to 45 minutes. The NYPL website suggests making an advance reservation up to one day in advance (through, of course, an online reservation system). The Chicago Public Library,  provide a third of the free computer and Internet access in the city, and the largest provider. Anyone with a library card (or an ID proving they don’t live in Chicago) can get on a computer for up to two hour-long sessions per day, 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. (They also have an online reservation system, although the website states computers can be reserved in person as well.)

The proposed plan in Chicago would provide members of underserved communities in three locations access to both portable WiFi and laptop computers for up to three weeks. During the course of the two year pilot, 300 – 500 WiFi hotspots would be made available in several library locations in areas with less than 50 percent broadband adoption rates. In both New York and Chicago, the hotspot lending program will be accompanied by digital literacy and Internet safety classes.

The pilot programs will be judged based on exit interviews conducted with participants. The libraries want to ensure that borrowers become increasingly comfortable with digital technology and if home Internet access changes their attitudes towards technology. They will also probe whether borrowers are aware of or interested in free or low cost broadband Internet programs.

Chicago Public Library will also collect and analyze circulation data to understand demand and use. The NYPL plans they to look at the broad categories of Internet use such as social media, education, entertainment, commerce, search and utility. NYPL is in talks with other New York City library systems (Brooklyn & Queens) as well as Maine and Kansas (rural areas)

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Chicago, New York City & Hawaii Bid For Obama Library





Four of the confirmed bidders are from President Barack Obama’s hometown Chicago.  Obama’s birth state of Hawaii offered an oceanfront location in Honolulu. And Columbia University, where he got his undergraduate degree, is offering a West Harlem site in New York City.

The Obama Foundation, which is planning the library, declined to confirm the bids it has received.

Four of the five proposed Chicago locations are on the city’s South Side. Which includes: the University of Chicago, where Obama taught constitutional law for 12 years; Chicago State University; vacant land in Bronzeville that was part of Chicago’s failed bid for the 2016 Olympics; and a former steel plant near Lake Michigan being pitched by real estate developer Dan McCaffery.

The library and museum is seen as a potential driver of economic development. The University of Chicago cited a study it commissioned that concluded the library would draw 800,000 visitors a year and create 1,900 permanent jobs. The University of Illinois-Chicago also is also offering potential locations on and off campus on the city’s West Side. Hawaii’s bid is being led by the University of Hawaii and backed by the state. The library would sit on oceanfront property in Honolulu, but the university says it’s willing to share the library and museum.

Columbia’s bid would put the library on its new Manhattanville Campus in West Harlem. The Obama Foundation is expected to announce a decision in early 2015

Google Plans To Open Winter Wonderlabs During The Holidays



Google will showcase their showrooms in six American cities, in addition to at least two showrooms, previously announced, that are being built on barges.

The city-based showrooms will be so-called pop-up stores, only during the holidays. Named Winter Wonderlabs, they will present Nexus 7 tablets, Chromebook computers and Chromecast dongles for video streaming. Stores will be located in malls in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Paramus in New Jersey.

After viewing the products, visitors can order them online in the stores or at home. The stores will also feature a large snow globe containing fake falling snow, so that visitors can frolic inside the globes, video/photograph themselves on store equipment, and then receive and share the video/photos. A Web site connected to the Winter Wonderlabs will include a gallery with selected slow-motion videos of visitors in the snow globe.

Winter Wonder Labs In U.S.


Basketball Is About To Get Math Heavy


NBA has made a deal with Chicago-based Stats to use its SportVu video-based software to record and break down every last movement every player makes in every NBA game.

All 29 NBA arenas have been outfitted with six software-laden cameras that capture just how often the Clippers score when a player passes the ball within five feet of the basket (89 percent) and just how often the Spurs’ Top player scores when he gets the ball (24 percent). Those sports-nerd stats are a tiny sample of what the National Basketball Association has in store for fans for the approaching season as the league looks to gear up its content marketing with Big Data. Basketball stats like points and turnovers are about to become old news. For the first time, all 29 of the NBA’s arenas will have software-packed cameras that will record players’ every move, mapping 25 images per second. Chicago-based Stats, which is behind the video-based system dubbed SportVu, tested its platform with individual teams in the past few years before striking a cross-league deal with the NBA. Now Big Data will be employed during games shown on cable’s NBA TV, as well as in’s postgame analysis stories and infographics. The league’s Facebook and Twitter accounts will constantly promote consumer engagement around the data as well. 

All that Big Data, of course, leads to big sponsorship possibilities and the information can be used in a variety of ways. The software has already been used by some soccer teams in Europe and a few Major League Baseball teams, such as the San Francisco Giants,, but the NBA is going league-wide with it and bringing it to a whole new level. Baseball stats took a new turn when teams began adding statisticians. 


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