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All posts by Nadia Neophytou: In New York

Nadia Neophytou: In New York
Nadia Neophytou is a New York based South African journalist most known for her work as the Entertainment Reporter for Eyewitness News, which is broadcast on Talk Radio 702, 567 Cape Talk, Highveld Stereo 94.7 and Kfm 94.5. She is now based in New York, as their US correspondent. Nadia also contributes to publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, GQ, The Mail and Guardian andThe Sunday Times Lifestyle.
  • Reinventing the cardboard box: simplicity, innovation and a viral video

    It’s one thing when a video goes viral for a few minutes of fame and then disappears into the ether of the Internet; it’s quite another when that video has the ability to change an every-day object used by people all over the world. At this year’s PSFK Conference, the two students behind the Rapid Packing Container, gave a physical demonstration of their new design for the cardboard box -- an idea that’s won them fans all over the world. Chris Curro and Henry Wang, from the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, decided to do something about cardboard boxes...

  • How a small app and a giant corporation are changing invention [PSFK]

    In May, the fruits of a partnership between one of America’s biggest corporations, and Quirky, a crowd-funding site that has been making app-powered invention a reality since 2009, will be seen. At the PSFK 2014 Conference, Doreen Lorenzo, from Quirky, and Linda Boff from GE, gave a sneak preview of the first product to come out of this partnership, which began in April last year. Quirky and GE have created Wink, a place where ideas on how to make products smarter with the help of their connection to the Internet and a mobile phone, will be manufactured by the...

  • ‘I don’t want to take music backward': Neil Young on the launch of PonoMusic [SXSW]

    “I don’t want to take music back to the old days, I want to take it forward -- to the future,” says singer-songwriter Neil Young, dressed in his black hat and black leather jacket, pacing up and down the stage of the Austin Convention Centre’s Hall D. On the day that the Interactive portion wrapped up and the Music part began, Young came to SXSW to launch a new music service, one he believes will benefit listeners to hear music the way artists and producers intend it to be heard. “This is the 21st Century. Why be stuck with inferior...

  • Edward Snowden: we all need to fight government surveillance [SXSW]

    In a rare appearance, and via Google Hangout from Russia where he has been granted political asylum, Edward Snowden urged thousands of tech enthusiasts attending the SXSW Interactive Conference to become 'firefighters' in the jostle between government surveillance and privacy issues. To some he's a hero, to others -- like the congressman who asked SXSW to cancel the panel on the grounds that Snowden's freedom of speech doesn't extend to Russia -- the former CIA employee is a traitor. But to the organisers of this year's SXSW, the issue of spying and privacy is one that deserves to be explored...

  • A virtual conversation with Julian Assange [SXSW]

    Over an at-times wonky Skype connection, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange connected through to a packed Exhibition Hall 5 of the Austin Convention Centre this weekend, to urge the public to become more actively aware of how their information is being collected and used online. Wearing a scarf (even though he hasn't left the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has found refuge from extradition for almost a year), Assange addressed the crowd of around 3 000 people, answering questions about the future of information online and life behind walls. "I exist in a situation which is the dream of a...

  • Show off your work: Austin Kleon on not hiding your talents [SXSW]

    The first of the keynotes kicked off SXSW 2014 with a speaker who once attended many a Southby sitting in the back, drawing illustrations of what he saw and heard happening up on stage. On Friday, Austin Kleon found himself standing on a Southyby stage, while an illustrator from ImageThink illustrated his words on a screen below him. Kleon, the author of Newspaper Blackout and Steal Like an Artist, two best-selling books that have helped many a creative soul out of a rut, used his latest book to explain just how he made the leap. In Show Your Work, the...

  • Chobani: how social loyalty took a yoghurt maker from zero to a billion

    "Zero to a billion dollars in five years” - With that statement alone, Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and president of Chobani yoghurt, needed little fanfare for his PSFK 2013 talk. With no slides, no pictures or audio accompaniment necessary, Ulukaya became one of the highlights of this year’s conference, illustrating how his gut instinct led him to take on a new venture that has since had a meteoric rise to success and amassed a solid social media following in the process. When Ulukaya talks you can almost imagine exactly what it was like when he first walked into...

  • Warby Parker took eyewear online, made it cheaper, socially responsible

    Fashion, entrepreneurship and doing good are the corner-stones of the Warby Parker philosophy, which co-founder Neil Blumenthal explained during his time at the 2013 PSFK conference. A collaboration started by four friends, who were tired of paying a small fortune for new glasses, is now a study in how little or no marketing can go a long way in building a successful start-up. Launched in 2010 by four MBA students at the Wharton School of Business, Warby Parker was conceived as an alternative to the overpriced eyewear that existed at the time. Blumthenal, who had worked with the non-profit...

  • Google’s Abigail Posner: screaming goat videos shed new light on the mundane

    Google’s Strategic Planning chief Abigail Posner attempted to explain the phenomenon that is the screaming goat meme at the 2013 PSFK conference, held in New York City recently. Over four-billion hours of video is watched each month on YouTube and 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, so, why are we watching what we’re watching, she asks. And why are we taking pictures of the seemingly everyday mundane things, like what we’re eating for lunch? Why are we captured by these every day images? Posner believes that, on the contrary, we are attracted to these images and...

  • ‘There’s a f***ing zeitgeist': Amanda Palmer on the new music model [SXSW]

    “There’s a f***ing zeitgeist going on with what’s happening in terms of art and crowd-funding right now,” states singer Amanda Palmer. “Everyone is getting inspired!” Last year Palmer -- musician, poet, all-out wild child -- leveraged her social media network to raise the money she needed for her latest album, book and tour. Palmer, who has used Kickstarter before, was surprised by the amount she managed to raise -- a record-breaking figure of US$1 192 793 from 24 883 fans -- that’s almost US$50 per person. The album, Theatre is Evil, was released in September 2012 and has sold...

  • Clay Johnson’s 4 big tips for going on an information diet [SXSW]

    One of the speakers at SXSW looking to plant his message firmly within the minds of those at the Interactive portion of the annual event is author and technologist Clay Johnson. He is best known for advocating open source information in making government data more transparent, but his latest project is the reason he's on the schedule this year. Johnson has started InfoVegan.com and written The Information Diet, both of which focus on tackling the overload of junk information society is consuming. Johnson believes that just as the industrialization of food brought upon mass obesity, so too has the industrialization...

  • 11 life lessons from top design blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg [SXSW]

    Among the cynicism and complaining that usually accompanies conferences of its size, SXSW manages to deliver a healthy dose of inspiration. Tina Roth Eisenberg gave a keynote address that quickly became one of this year's highlights. Growing up in mountainous Switzerland, and being influenced by renowned Swiss design and "a lot of fresh air", Eisenberg moved to New York and began establishing various businesses despite the uncertainty that surrounded the onset of her life in the Big Apple. Often referred to as "SwissMiss," she now runs a popular design blog out of Brooklyn, New York, which has an audience...

  • The big power shift in media: BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti [SXSW]

    As the Interactive portion of SXSW began winding down, BuzzFeed's CEO and founder Jonah Peretti shared a few of the insights that he and his puppy-and-kitten-loving team have discovered work well for their media site, BuzzFeed, and in fact, indicate the kind of shift that is taking place. BuzzFeed, with its lists and cute pictures of bunnies, taps into what Peretti calls the bored-at-work network (hundreds of people stuck at work all day behind a computer looking for distraction, which has created a network bigger than most broadcasters), and combines it with the bored-in-line network (those who check their phones...

  • Shaquille O’Neal: basketball legend, author, über geek [SXSW]

    Shaquille O'Neal is many things -- former basketball champ, actor, reality TV star, author -- but a tech geek? Turns out he considers himself to be the world's "tallest geek" actually. On his first visit to SXSW, O'Neal, in conversation with Brian Solis, revealed how it was computers and geeks that helped him with his A-game off the court and on social media. Shaq told Monday's audience his cheeky sense of humour wasn't always appreciated by those around him. He relayed the story of how his forthright and at times wacky humour got him into trouble a lot, which he...

  • Africa or bust: tapping into a continent’s tech potential [SXSW]

    Panels focused on Africa at the annual SXSW conference have become a place for those who're passionate about the continent to spread the word on new technology and its role there. And it's not just Africans themselves doing the convincing. Companies working both from outside the continent and within in, took part in a panel titled "Africa or Bust! Content, Monetization, Opportunity" on Monday afternoon. Aimed at spreading the word about the opportunity which exists for content creators, service providers, brands, and media companies on the continent, the panel featured three speakers -- Fadzai Makanda from iROKO...