snail mail

‘Parcel’ to Finally Deliver Packages in Brooklyn

Now in Brooklyn. (Facebook)

Brooklyn residents, prepare to stop fretting over missing package deliveries.

Launched in 2013, Parcel is a service that delivers your packages at a time when a normal human being might actually be home — namely, in the hours between 7 and 11 p.m., and not at 11 a.m., or whenever it is that FedEx always manages to show up.

Originally only available for customers in Manhattan, the service will launch tomorrow in parts of Brooklyn. Starting tomorrow, the company is also introducing Sunday deliveries. Read More

Exit Through the GIF Shop

There Is a Silent, Feature Length Film Made Entirely of GIFs and It’s Transcendental

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The .GIF has taken over the Internet. Once the purview of Geocities sites and cheap Internet 1.0 shenanigans, they’ve made a Renaissance as a form of humor and communication in Tumblr posts, Buzzfeed listicles and ways to express our existential dread — they even have their own search engine.

This past Sunday, in a packed screening room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, filmmakers Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus showed the first feature length experimental gif documentary. The film, called twohundredfiftysixcolors, is a historical record of the gif-as-art-form from 1987 to 2013 as told by the medium’s strangest, most viral practitioners. The team behind twohundredfiftysixcolors spent years putting the film together, collecting the gifs by putting out open calls, contacting artists and building a database of over 3000 gifs organized by similar aesthetic themes. Read More

CRIME

Flyers Bearing Swastika and Uber Logo Found In Jewish Brooklyn Neighborhood

The flyer in question. (JPUpdates.com)

The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is currently investigating a series of flyers found in a predominantly Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood, each emblazoned with a swastika and the logo of rideshare app Uber, JP Updates reports. The distribution of the anti-Semitic flyers may constitute a bias incident.

The flyers, pictured here on JP’s site, were reportedly discovered around 9 p.m. last night by a member of Shomrim, the Jewish neighborhood watch group. The flyers had been distributed around Bedford Ave. and Williamsburg St. — an area largely inhabited by Jewish residents. The person who discovered the flyers alerted a Shomrim dispatcher and the NYPD. Read More

Q&A

Brooklyn Coder Lauren McCarthy Wants To Cure Your Crippling Social Awkwardness

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In a world where your friends can now set you up on virtual blind dates, it’s hard to believe tech could be the solution to any uncomfortable situation.

Lauren McCarthy is a coder and an artist whose strange art experiments put subjects face to face with their deepest social anxieties. She might not be able to cure your crippling awkwardness — or her own, for that matter — but she has designed over two dozen tech-based performances to help you breathe a little easier, even if it just means making a quick getaway. Read More

Start-up School

HappyFunAcademy Teaches Liberal Arts Grads Front-End Web Development, Ends Their Happy Fun

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There’s a growing pool of high paying tech jobs and never enough decent talent to fill them. Here in New York City, if you majored in Psychology or Art History and aren’t thrilled with how that’s going financially — looking to pivot, as they say — you can attend one of many coding schools for a quick intensive. Now, there’s yet another school vying for NYC’s tech hopefuls.

HappyFunCorp, a real software engineering firm with real offices in Brooklyn, is opening a front-end coding school called HappyFunAcademy. The name doesn’t have the same maker-y vibe as General Assembly or Flatiron School, but HappyFunCorp is betting that its impressive list of clients and promise of hands-on experience will “up your command line game,” as their site says. Read More

Chefs React

Smart Appliances Are a Tough Sell for NYC’s Fanciest Chefs

Cooking up a storm (Photo via Wikimedia).

Smart devices keep things exact, check up on humans and, in many ways, eradicate human error all together. So how does technology come into play in one of the few places where #tech sits on the back burner to creativity, tradition and deliciousness?

Upon realizing that many of us still cook like it’s 1995, Betabeat began wondering about the current and future use of technology in the kitchen, and more specifically, what professional chefs who have devoted their lives to the delectable art think of it all.

To find out, we talked to famed NYC chefs, some of whom have extensive experience with smart kitchen devices and others who choose to stay away. If we can conclude anything about the professional chef popular opinion on kitchen tech, it’s that there isn’t one. Read More

Baby I Can Drive Your Car

Lyft Is Launching in Queens and Brooklyn This Friday

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Starting this Friday evening, Lyft users will be able to request rides in Brooklyn and Queens, with further expansion to other New York boroughs in the potential mix.

“Now, residents and visitors looking to travel in between boroughs, get a ride to the closest subway station, or head out for a night on the town can easily request a safe and friendly ride,” Lyft said in a release. Read More

Delivery From Inconvenience

Eastward, Ho!: Grocery Delivery App Instacart Heads to Brooklyn

What up Brooklyn. (Wikimedia Commons)

It’s only been a little over a month since Instacart launched in New York City, but the one-hour grocery delivery app has been rapidly expanding — first throughout a large portion of Manhattan, and now across the East River.

Instacart will now be serving neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the company announced in a press release today. Customers will be able to place orders from Whole Foods, Costco and Key Food — they can even combine items from different stores in a single order. Read More