Category Archives: Tech

Google Offering New Emoji To Better Represent Women and Young Girls

Written by. Chalise Macklin

Most people express themselves on social media multiple times a day. In fact, Business Insider indicates 20 percent of total time spent online in the US is on social platforms. Usually, an emoji is a part of that message to further illustrate feelings. Women and young girls complain there are not enough emoji to accurately convey their thoughts and feelings. It will become easier for them to do so soon.

Although there is a wide range of emoji, there are not a lot that showcase the many facets of women’s careers, or empower young girls. The Unicode Emoji Subcommittee agreed to add 11 new professional emoji.

emojiFirst Lady Michelle Obama spoke out in support of the creation of more emoji. Now; she, other women, and girls can rejoice. The new emoji will provide more options for both women and men. Google indicated that the professional emoji for women were unfairly limited before and included a bride and a princess, which is not the average woman’s career or career aspiration. The options now include a variety of careers such as: business, healthcare, education, food service, entertainment and STEM. There will also be more emoji with skin tone choices.

The new emoji should be available in future versions of Android and on other Google platforms.

emoji1Meanwhile, Facebook is testing a new messenger app which automatically deletes messages sent in a “secret conversation.” Messages included in the “secret conversation” are end-to-end encrypted and can be scheduled to be permanently deleted. The new messenger app can be used to discuss sensitive topics or share information that would be highly compromising if in the hands of a third party.

secretThis new form of messenger is still in a trial period and there are limitations to the system. Facebook have said they will improve the system by the end of the summer.


Apple’s New Patent May Upset You

Written by. Chalise Maklin

Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour, Rihanna’s Anti World tour, or Beyoncé’s Lemonade tour may have been your last time enjoying a concert and capturing all your favorite moments on your phone. Your concert experience could change in the near future.

Apple was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that would stop people from using their smartphone or tablet cameras to snap images, record video and audio under certain conditions. Many performers do not like to have their shows recorded. And Apple may honor their wishes.

concertMany movie producers, artists, comedians, and musicians argue that people record their shows, movies, etc. and sell it for profit. Others argue that the videos and pictures will be uploaded to social media sites and could hurt ticket sales.

The new patent will likely make event organizers happy, but not consumers. Apple plans to create a form of technology that will send infrared signals at cameras while people try to take a picture or video in areas that forbids video recording and picture taken. The signal will be designed to disable any photography and recording capabilities for as long as the signal is on.

apple_patentAlthough many may feel this is a violation of their rights or freedom of expression, there may be some safety advantages. This technology could help national security and banks because people will have fewer ways to record video that could be a security risk, blueprints, and information that could land in the wrong hands. Apple’s technology would ostensibly prevent some of that.

Whether or not Apple will actually make the technology available is unclear. Apple did not comment on the patent approval. Despite the fact that in the future your phone may be restricted at concerts and movies, you can still enjoy events because now you will be more in the moment and can enjoy the show and the people you attended it with better.







New Ways To Do College:SCAD Pads

By: Lauren Sims

The Tiny House Movement has been growing incredibly over the past few years. Early tiny house construction workers and dwellers have written books, hosted festivals, and started television and web shows to bring awareness and support to the movement, and to educate other people who are interested. The millennial generation has taken the nuances of the architecture and alternative living industry by storm, creating both techno-solutions to daily living problems as well as eco-solutions. The Tiny House Movement covers more than just physical tiny homes. It covers earth-ships, tree houses, tree orbs, house boats, Lotus Belle Tents, Yurts and a plethora of other daily living alternatives.

Colleges and Universities have also taken interest in the lifestyle of less, and have even gone as far as experimenting with the construction, design, and livability of tiny dwellings for college students. SCAD specifically has been successful in the creation of tiny-dorms, more popularly known as “SCAD Pads”.

The students of SCAD’s architecture, interior & exterior design, eco-housing, departments at the School of Building Arts all had a hand in the planning, design, and production of the SCAD Pads. The entire project was based on finding solutions to urban density and new uses of urban space, and it has provided an exceptional model and curiosity for other schools and areas around the world. Check it out!



BET’s Debra Lee Joins Twitter Exec Board

By: Jaime Lynne

Twitter is taking new strides in their effort to diversify the company. BET Network Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Debra Lee, has officially joined the growing social media company as its first black board member. Lee will continue to break barriers as she also becomes the company’s third female board member in history.

She took to her personal Twitter account Monday morning to make the announcement stating that she was thrilled to be joining the company’s board. She also mentioned how Twitter has “transformed the media and the world like few other things in history.” Continue reading BET’s Debra Lee Joins Twitter Exec Board

New Emojis Could Empower Girls

Written by. Chalise Macklin

When it comes to emojis, women can be brides or princesses, even paint their fingernails, but not represent other aspects of their lives. More options could be on their way. A petition for new emojis that will better reflect the full spectrum of professional and personal interests of women and girls has been gaining traction since late February.

Many people, including First Lady Michelle Obama, want to see more emoji options that will allow girls to better express themselves. The limited emoji options for girls may imply that girls are limited in what they can do. Continue reading New Emojis Could Empower Girls

On Second Thought on Maci Peterson

Written by: Barrie Ladipo

Ever wanted to take something back after it was sent or mistakenly sent something to the wrong person? Well, believe that all your troubles have vanished with the help from Ms. Maci Peterson, creator of On Second Thought.  Maci Peterson, who is the co-founder and CEO of On Second Thought, a messaging app that lets users take back text messages before they get to the other person’s phone! She grew the company from having the initial idea to launching it on the international stage. She won First Place for the idea of On Second Thought in March 2014 at #StartupOasis, UP Global and Kauffman Foundation’s annual pitch competition at South by Southwest (SXSW). On Second Thought has been called “The Texting Savior” by AT&T and was named one of the “Top 5 Apps Beating Uber and Tinder” by Vice Magazine. It was also the 1st Place winner of the national Women Who Tech Startup Challenge sponsored by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, and New York investors Fred and Joanne Wilson.

With Peterson’s new fast popularity, I wondered who the woman behind this magically wand of erasing your tech mistakes. I had a little chat with this rising entrepreneur and her journey to who she is today.

Barrie Ladipo: Before the idea of On Second Thought emerge, what did you aspire to bring to the world?
Maci Peterson: Before On Second Thought, my goal was to always to do great work and fulfill the purpose God has for my life. I believe On Second Thought is one of many great things I will bring to the world. Prior to that, there was always the potential for something great to come from me.
BL: Where does Ms. Maci Peterson hail from?
MP: I am originally from Chicago, the suburbs. I’ve been in San Francisco since September, but I’ve lived in Southern California while I was completing my undergrad.
BL: Was the app inspired from personal experience?
MP: Of course it was! (laughs)
Just like everyone else, I sent the text I wanted to take back. What happened was my ex boyfriend kept calling me and I kept missing his call, so I text him and told him “Hey, I keep missing your call”, but autotext changed “call” to the part of the anatomy that rhymes with call. Of course that is not what I wanted to say, but the embarrassment led to the inspiration.
BL: Being an African American woman in the tech world, what adversity do you face?
MP: I don’t necessarily know the adversity I face because I only know the experience as being a black woman. I don’t know how it feels to be a white man. The only experience I have to go on is what I know so I can’t compare. I will say this, being unfamiliarity is extremely eye opening. For instance, I went to this conference for a prominent investor, who was hosting a conference for all of the CEO’s and they invited a group of women and I as well. When I went to the restroom, I noticed the line for the men’s restroom was queued around the corner, but there was no line to the women’s line ever. I first thought “Wow, these guys have really weak bladders”. I had discussion with someone about it and realize that wasn’t the fact they had  weak bladder, there are no women here. Out of 300 people, they may have been about 12 women. Majority of the women was part of the group I was part or the employees of the fund, meaning out of the hundreds of people there, maybe a couple of them women were actual investors and I was the only black woman. So, things like that are more telling in the tech world. It isn’t about African Americans don’t have great ideas, Black women don’t have great ideas, it is just that there’s something is leaving us out the room and I thank God for the opportunity to be in these rooms and experiences where many women haven’t been.
BL: Even speaking on that experience, do you offer any internships or mentorships for those aspiring women?
MP: I do mentor. I mentor college students mostly. I believe that mentor is such a personal relationship, it is a lot to be someone’s mentor. My mentors are the closet people in my life and those relationships weren’t forced. We’ve established a close relationship through the years so the mentorship was organic. it also goes both ways, I think a lot of people miss that. I can help advise them the same way the help advise me. It really more like dating, it is a lot to find a great connection through mentors and mentees. Especially for me, because I’m such an introvert.
BL: I would have never guessed you was an introvert. How does that help with your ideas and you embarking on them?
MP: Yea, for me, my introversion is where I get my energy. At least once a year, I do a personal retreat where I go off to the country or the middle of nowhere for a weekend, where I read, pray, and journal which energizes me for the rest of the year.  I mostly get visions of the year ahead. During that time I usually get a word and vision, which have been coming true since I’ve been doing these retreats for the past four years.
BL: With your new lifestyle, how do you keep yourself grounded? How has your life changes?
MP: I pray a whole lot more. My life is so different, it literally turned in the last nine months. What really keeps me focused and grounded is prayer. I had to realize it is not about me. The purpose is to inspire little girls, women, African women, especially not having a background in technology. The real purpose is inspiration. This platform is to inspire more people that look like me and companies to invest more people that look like me.
BL: Were you always tech savy?
MP: No. (laughs)
My brothers and I have this joke that “I am an analytical girl living in a digital world”.  So I am tech savy now. I mean I’ve always known technology, but not at a technical standpoint. One of my New Years resolution is to learn how to code because it would make me a better leader.
BL:  Who or what inspires you ?
MP: I am inspired by those parents and teachers who send messages telling me that they shared my story to their kids and class and it emerged an interest for them to aspire to take part in this world of technology.
A. I am fulfilling my purpose. B. There is potential for us to have that diversity in these fields. There are arguments that there aren’t a lot of African Americans in predominant roles at these tech or engineering companies because there isn’t a strong talent pool of African Americans in those fields simply because  technology wasn’t something that was encouraged in our generation. As children are developing more at an earlier age today, I think there will be a larger talent pool for African American and women. So hearing that kids want to be entrepreneurs truly inspires me. This is bigger than me.
BL:What top 5 apps do you utilize everyday on your phone?
MP: Everyday? Of course, On Second Thought, Uber, Instagram, Twitter, Raid. Raid is more than a gps app, it actually helps you detect where the police are. Sometimes you just never know. (laughs)
BL: What can we expect next from Ms. Maci Peterson?
MP: More awesome things for On Second Thought. We are still working on it for Iphone, adding more features than we originally planned. We are looking into internationally expansion to Kenya, India and Latin America. We are also looking into a webseries for On Second Thought, awkward text messages exchanges, very excited about that. What is so cool about this business, everything I have learned throughout my past career paths I have been able to utilize those skills into my tech company, making it even bigger than I imagined.
Make sure you download On Second Thought, available on GooglePlay and coming soon on iTunes.