Insurgents

Tech Insurgents 2012: Ryder Ripps, Jonathan Vingiano and Jules LaPlace

(Photo: OKFocus)

The Merry Pranksters

From Old Spice’s viral “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign to the contentious Skittles spot that made One Million Moms cry bestiality, bizarre or aggressive advertising has become commonplace in our internet-addled society. To nab the attention of customers toggling between screens, advertisers frequently toe the line between inappropriate and outrageous, but few are as unabashedly controversial as the Queens-based OKFocus. Named to AdAge’s Creativity 50 in July, OKFocus is a rebel brand’s dream, equal parts design snob and attention-seeking internet troll. And as advertising moves online, OKFocus clients like Google and the Museum of Contemporary Art have taken note.

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Insurgents

Meet Betabeat’s 2012 Tech Insurgents

(Illustration: Robert Grossman)

Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Twitter and Square, recently tried to disabuse the tech industry of its infatuation with the word ‘disruption.’ “We don’t want ‘disruption,’ where we just move things around. We want a direction. We want a purpose,” he said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, humbly suggesting the biannual conference change its name. But it’s more than just semantics. The tech sector’s claim to produce world-changing products and services often gets drowned out in a chorus of me-too companies solving problems no one ever complained about. The umpteenth nightlife-recommendations tool or empty real-time dating app can obscure the whirr of a nascent robotics sector in Manhattan or a futuristic, even revolutionary, experiment in manufacturing in Queens. Read More

They're Watching

Williamsburg Now Just Trolling the Styleblaster Spycam

(Photo: Styleblaster)

Styleblaster, a project installed by a handful of Brooklyn-based technologists that uses a camera to chronicle the sartorial choices of Williamsburg residents and upload the photos in real-time to the web, has quickly devolved into trolling.

When a Daily Dot commenter used Google Maps to sleuth out the address, it spread across the internet lightning-fast. The camera is situated in a window at 234 Driggs Ave., a block from the Bedford Avenue stop. Read More

They're Watching

Designer Behind Williamsburg SpyCam ‘Styleblaster’ Insists It’s Not the Hipster Creepshots

(Photo: Styleblaster)

In an effort to catalog the underappreciated diversity of style in gentrified Williamsburg, a team of Brooklyn technologists has set up a camera outside their apartment that records the street stylings of passersby and posts the images online. But if passersbys don’t want to be recorded, they’re kind of out of luck.

The site, called Styleblaster, aims to “become a destination for New York City peacocks to traipse by and show off what makes the neighborhood hop.” Using a camera perched a block from the Bedford Ave. L train, the site captures and immediately uploads images of Brooklynites walking by in real time. Users can then click a tophat to signal whether or not the subject is “stylin’.” Read More