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Gaming is a mature industry within the United States, in that it’s treated as another form of media similar to cinema or radio. Albeit, positive or negative connotations, gaming is a cultural force. On the contrary, gaming has a anachronistic connotation outside of the standard major markets, but that sentiment is slowly changing. 

At GDC, I had the opportunity to chat with game developers from across the world, and spent an hour or so with the Brazilian and Italian game industry. The first thing I noticed was the scale of their games. Unlike America, where the market is split between AAA blockbusters and independent developers, the majority of these game studios were no more than a small business.

Shares of Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat, continues to rise on its second day of trading. Snapchat’s IPO on Thursday saw a 44% increase in price amid heavy volume. On Friday, NBC announced that they invested $500 million into the young Los Angeles startup. Snapchat provides a social network based on ephemeral messaging services. Pictures and texts shared through Snapchat disappear after 24 hours. 

Snapchat's 'Stories' feature allows users to share video clips and pictures to everyone in their network: ephemeral Facebook with the levity of Twitter. It's popular among young professionals who want to share fun moments among friends, and sometimes family. Unlike Facebook, there aren’t 'likes' or comments to a post. Snapchat’s popularity and its “newsfeed-equivalent” interface allows fitting advertising placements, which has yet to experience significant prominence. 

Ossic is a technology company based in San Francisco that develops the Ossic X, 3D audio headphones. The headphones calibrate to the user and detect head motions to produce accurate spatial audio. I tried a demo, it works as intended. 


Jason Riggs, CEO of Ossic, said on February 28th in private that the Ossic X sold 13,000 units. The Ossic X is listed at roughly $300 pre-order and $500 MSRP. The headphones are used in addition to VR headsets for gaming, but can be used independently for 3D audio. Ossic is working on a plugin that will allow its 3D audio technology to be inlaid into other devices. 

Ossic X is a luxury headphones built with 3D capabilities. 3D audio is gaining ground in the entertainment and education industries, because it makes the experience more enjoyable. 

Last week, I spoke with Ben Chen and Emily McInerney of Tapjoy. Tapjoy provides a platform that serves rewarded video advertisements for mobile applications. The advertising platform is used by the world’s largest game makers and is the de facto leader in the rewarded video market space.

The software is implemented at certain checkpoints within a game, and serves an advertisement, usually full screen video, in exchange for some form of user progression, often in-game currency. Tapjoy is “additive to their current revenue stream, but does not cannibalize their in app purchases,” said Chen.

Last week I got to talk with Christopher Farm with Tenjin. Tenjin provides a full-stack marketing analytics platform that combines attribution, ad network aggregation, and analytics. In other words, they help mobile marketers find their ROI on campaigns.

Attribution in marketing is the process of attributing sales to the source of marketing that brought in the user. Most companies use a variety of digital marketing platform and it’s hard to define which channel attributed to the final user acquisition. 

The ultraportable market has evolved significantly since Apple launched the original 2008 Macbook Air. In fact, most laptops today would be considered "ultraportable" only 5 years ago.

Laptops with desktop quad-core processors like the Macbook Pro and Dell XPS 9550 are only 0.6" (1.5cm) thick and weigh 3-4lbs (1.3-1.7kg). Only hardcore gaming or budget bin laptops are considerably larger. 

Save HXC gaming laptops, there are three classes of notebooks: cheap ultraportables with slower but reasonable performance and long battery life, ultraportables with powerful performance and battery life, and laptops with desktop CPUs and dedicated GPUs. 

LOS ANGELES - Moonlight wins Best Picture Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards. Moonlight is a coming of age film that engenders sexual orientation among poverty stricken ethnic minorities in the Southeast. The film beat out competitors such as Manchester by the Sea, Northeastern man with an existential crisis, and La La Land, a musical about the Californian dream. Over an awkward fumble, the Best Picture was initially presented to La La Land. After the crew of La La Land went on stage and gave acceptance stages, the call was corrected.

Emma Stone won Best Actress, Casey Affleck won Best Actor, and Damien Chazelle won Best Director.

Supervisor Mark Farrell wants to impose a toll on Lombard Street. Lombard Street is known for its quirky curves that draw over 2 million visitors a year. This same attention causes a detrimental effect on the residential neighborhood surrounding it.

According to Farrell, "It is difficult to underestimate the frustration and anger in the neighborhood over the status quo...It is simply unlivable."

Earlier today, the three federal judges of the 9th Circuit of appeals have unanimously denied the reinstatement of Trump's executive order. On January 27th, President Trump issues an executive order to suspend entry from aliens of seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

"The impact of the Executive Order was immediate and widespread. It was reported that thousands of visas were immediately canceled, hundreds of travelers with such visas were prevented from boarding airplanes bound for the United States or denied entry on arrival, and some travelers were detained. Three days later, on January 30, 2017, the State of Washington filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenging sections 3(c), 5(a)-(c), and 5(e) of the Executive Order," according to the opinion released by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Some people say that I’m the last to hold out. The staunch California Republican who can’t stand to vote for this politician. The Democrats can say everything they want about Hillary Clinton, but who she is will never change. I’ll never like her as a person, but that’s okay. Her job isn’t to win the country’s appeal, her job is to represent a nation. 

On Thursday, I tuned in to Clinton's acceptance speech on Twitch in jocality; more interested in the live banter than the content itself. But as Clinton began her speech, it became apparent that she believes in what she’s doing; and despite her methods, she’s been fighting for it longer than my lifetime. 

Street musicians bring livelihood to our city and we should support them. On Saturday, I picked up my guitar and went busking in Union Square. I heard somewhere that these street musicians make up to $10-$15 an hour. I was completely wrong. People won't pay for something if they can get it for free, also known as the Free Rider Problem.

Street musicians provide a lot of culture to their vicinity, and if we don't support them, they'll go away. While I was busking, I met many people who were tapping their feet and doing other little oddities that indicated their enjoyment. My favorite instance was when a little girl of two starting dancing, that really made my day. I ended up making one dollar after an hour of busking. The money mattered little to me, as I was just hanging out in Union Square enjoying my Saturday; however, some might not be as fortunate. These musicians are providing significant value in terms of entertainment, and we must support them. As a citizen, I'd rather spend a dollar on live street music, than a fourth of a Philz Coffee.

If you enjoy live music, please donate. Whether it's a dollar or some loose change, you are a patron of San Francisco's culture. These musicians bring soul to the streets of our city.

John started his career in the Ohio senate at the age of 26, quickly followed by 9 terms as a representative for Ohio's 12th district. Afterwards, he spent a decade as a banker before winning the governorship of Ohio. A fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican, John has a good heart and a maturity that seems absent in the current field. I hope he stays and fight, because the longer he stays on stage, the less revolting the Republican Party becomes. As Democrats envelope most of the moderates in America, the only way to win the Republican primary is to shift further to the right than the next guy. At this stage, I can't vote for any of the elephants in the room, so I might as well vote for a donkey; because either of them is better than a rabble-rouser who prides on anger rather than resolution.

John, I like you, and I think you have the right heart to be the leader of the free world. I don't agree with some of your policies and I know you are attributing Ohio's recovery more to yourself than to the business cycle, (seriously, which state didn't gain a trillion jobs from 2009-2015). Even if you don't win, please run until the very end. Without you, our ticket consists of a bigot, a sleazebag, and a chump. At least we can have one sensible adult in the room.


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