SXSW FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES REMAINDER OF 2017 MIDNIGHTERS, SHORTS, AND INAUGURAL VR PROGRAMS

As SXSW gets closer I hope I am your “go to” when it comes to news, event or show updates and announcements for the festival this year. Today at 1:00pm CDT SXSW announced the remainder of its fill festival which will include James Franco’s The Disaster Artist among 21 features added to the lineup.

Below is the official press release with more information and list of additions. If you want to attend SXSW 2017 click here. Don’t forget that registration fees go up in 3 days so time is of the essence! Continue Reading →

Rate Super Bowl Commercials Today on USA Today’s Ad Meter

I love the Super Bowl and not because I am a huge football fan, it’s because the commercials are always funny and awesome! This year you can rate your favorite commercial before the Super Bowl on USA Todays Ad Meter. In order to rate the different commercials you will need to create an account on USA Todays Ad Meter site located here. Continue Reading →

SXSW Film Festival Announces 2017 Features Lineup

Being an Austin native and living downtown SXSW is a big deal and fortunately I get to cover portions of it as press. The excitement for SXSW 2017 keeps revving up in Austin as it gets closer especially when they have new announcements. Today SXSW announced the line up for the 24th annual Film Festival that will feature 124 films and runs from March 10th through the 19th. Continue Reading →

SXSW 2017 Gaming Awards Nominees

SXSW announced the 2017 Gaming Awards Nominees, Gamer’s Voice award categories and hosts for 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards. I will be on ground zero attending the SXSW Gaming weekend which takes place from Thursday, March 16, through Saturday, March 18 at the Austin Convention Center, and includes content throughout the SXSW Gaming Expo, Gaming Awards, and Gaming Program. Continue Reading →

MTV CASTING CALL – MY SUPER SWEET

In the past I did not condone or liked MTV’s my Super Sweet Sixteen however recently I was reminded that my culture has a similar celebration and even more extravagant. In the Hispanic culture we have Quinceañeras which is a celebration on your fifteenth birthday and it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood. It’s normally a religious celebration and the birthday girl is donning a formal gown almost similar to a wedding dress. Continue Reading →

Drone Rodeo 2017 – Aerodrome Unveiled Build-Out Design and Vision for World’s First Droneport

 While at CES I attended the 2017’s Drone Rodeo Event at the Eldorado Droneport, the world’s first commercial droneport located in Boulder City, Nevada. The 50-acre Eldorado Droneport, is joint development project between The Aerodrome and the City of Boulder City. It is approximately 28 miles from the Las Vegas Strip on one of only six FAA-appointed unmanned air systems (UAS) test sites in the country. The newly released plan includes the vision for the permanent droneport facilities and office space, as well as build-to-suit pads that will be available for lease. The Eldorado Droneport is being jointly developed by Boulder City, which provided the land. Continue Reading →

IK Multimedia Announces iRig Acoustic Stage – Digital Microphone System for Acoustic Guitar

IK Multimedia just announced  the iRig Acoustic Stage for acoustic instruments and as of today the iRig Acoustic Stage is available to purchase at IK Multimedia online store for only $99.00. I have a music room in my condo and have been meaning to get back into music again. Sadly I don’t know how to play a guitar but I can sing decently. I wonder if it would work for me just singing or is it mandatory to connect? Maybe they will send me a review unit to test that out. One can only hope! Continue Reading →

NEWS FROM ATX: SPOON to Curate Three SXSW Showcases at The Main (“Eno’s”)

As an Austin native I have been a Spoon fan since I was in high school WAY back in the day. Anytime they play at SXSW I go to their shows considering they are Austin Home Grown.

It was announced today that Spoon will hold a three-night residency at The Main during the 2017 SXSW Music Festival. It will also be the same week that they will release their ninth album, Hot Thoughts, March 17 on Matador Records. During the residency, Spoon will resurrect the original, classic Austin venue Emo’s location, currently referred to as The Main, Tuesday, March 14–Thursday, March 16. The band will curate a unique line up each night and will be referring to the venue as “Eno’s” in honor of the band’s founding drummer and Austin stalwart Jim Eno. Continue Reading →

NEWS FROM ATX: SXSW® Announces Judges for Accelerator Pitch Event

My hometown is Austin, Texas and this year will be my 4th year covering South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Interactive as press. Though may seem far off to some March is approaching fast and day one of SXSW is March 10th in the heart of downtown Austin. Today SXSW announced the 39 judges for the ninth annual SXSW Accelerator® Pitch Event®, taking place March 11-12 during the SXSW Startup Village® Track at the Hilton Downtown Austin during the “convergence” portion of SXSW.  

This will be the very first time  attending events at the Startup Village track which brings together startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovative tastemakers. Topics range from B2B, B2C, Bootstrapping, Business Strategy, Future of Money, Startups, and anything in-between.

As the date continues to get closer I will be here on ground zero covering as much of SXSW 2017 as possible. Below is the official press release posted today.

AUSTIN, Texas — January 17, 2017 — South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals (March 10-19, 2017) announced the 39 judges for the ninth annual SXSW Accelerator® Pitch Event®, taking place March 11-12 during the SXSW Startup Village® Track at the Hilton Downtown Austin. SXSW Accelerator judges will oversee 10 categories this year, including three new categories – “Transportation”, “Sports” and “Security and Privacy” – as leading startups from around the world are brought together to present their innovations to a live audience and panel of experts consisting of successful entrepreneurs, investors and industry influencers.

The SXSW team spent months pouring over thousands of qualified candidates before deciding on the best 39 people to judge the pitch event. The esteemed judges were hand-picked as experts in the 10 SXSW Accelerator categories: “Enterprise and Smart Data,” “Entertainment and Content,” “Innovative World,” “Health and Wearables,” “Payment and Fintech,” “Virtual Reality,” “Transportation,” “Sports,” “Security and Privacy,” and “Social and Culture.”

“Each year our judges play an integral role in selecting the most innovative startups in each category – and I would say they have an excellent track record, as more than 71 percent of finalists end up receiving funding in excess of $3.1 billion and 14 percent of them are acquired by companies like Google, Apple, and Huffington Post,” said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine. “We are thankful for the great group of judges we have this year, who bring with them business and investment experience key to our ten categories.”

Fifty startups are featured during SXSW Accelerator, which includes 25 companies presenting on Saturday, March 11, and 25 companies on Sunday, March 12. The pitch competition will then culminate with the SXSW Accelerator Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening, March 12 at the Hilton Downtown Austin, where one winning startup from each category will be announced and honored.

The 2017 judges include: Phil Libin of General Catalyst, Sherwin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital, Tucker Kain of Los Angeles Dodgers, Richard Garriott of Portalarium, Christine Herron of Intel Capital, Jody Holtzman of AARP, and Nina Kjellson of Canaan Partners.

For a complete list of the 2017 Accelerator judges, visit: https://www.sxsw.com/apply-to-participate/sxsw-accelerator/.

SXSW Accelerator will announce the 50 category finalists on Tuesday, January 24.

The Accelerator is open to Interactive, Film, Music & Platinum badge holders.

To learn more about SXSW’s Startup Village, visit: https://www.sxsw.com/conference/startup-village/.

About SXSW

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

SXSW 2017 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Capital One, McDonald’s, The Austin Chronicle and Sonicbids.

 

 

2017 Smart Connected Home Products

While at CES I got to explore all the Smart Home or Connected Home products and services to be launched throughout 2017. If anything I learned from CES is that the Smart Home or Connected Home market is flourishing and I predict throughout the year there will be even more awesome products launched.  Till then below are interviews from several different Smart Home or Connected Home booths I checked out while at CES plus pictures of those I didn’t get a chance to get interviews with.

Hi)

Designed after the robot “Eve” from Wall-E the French startup, Fenotek is introduced Hi) at CES 2017. Hi:) is a wireless and GSM-enabled video doorbell that not only looks like her but is also as smart as her. Hi) combines all of the best capabilities and functions needed in a complete video doorbell to protect and connect the entire family via an app on both Android and iOS mobile devices. Hi) is enabled with both Wi-Fi and LTE functions, and capable of family recognition, while a real-time app notification allows you to confirm your identity. It also has 24/7 video monitoring, cloud data saving, and in-app door control, notifications and alarm triggers. While at CES I got to meet with the team so they could give me more insight and do a short video interview of what Hi) is all about.

Continue Reading →