- monthly subscription or
- one time payment
- cancelable any time
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
So SEA gave their website a refresh a week or so ago and that was met with a positive response from the design community (the old site was a little buggy) but today we’re not here to talk about their new site ;) . Instead I have some exclusive new shots of their Barbican work for you to enjoy. I also thought I’d mention that SEA are listening, so if you happen to detest this work and want to voice you’re opinion, your comment will only be approved if you have some substance to your criticism – it’s only fair ;)
Thanks again to both Alex and Danny @ SEA for the images and info.
Russia is one of the few nations on the planet where Facebook is not the dominant online social network. Russia’s alternative, Vkontakte (“In Touch”), started out as a simple clone of Mark Zuckerberg’s website, but it’s since grown into a multibillion-dollar company, with celebrated programmers and millions of users throughout the Russian-speaking world. For the last year, however, Vkontakte’s creator and general manager, Pavel Durov, has been at the center of several scandals choreographed to force his ouster.
In April 2013, Durov was implicated in a bizarre car accident that left a traffic police officer with minor injuries. Several liberal media outlets in Russia also published allegations that Durov and Vkontakte had cooperated with the Kremlin to stifle political protests during the 2011-2012 “Winter of Discontent.” Rumors also spread that Durov had fled the country to the United States, where he was supposedly planning the release a new instant messaging application called “Telegram.”
Around the same time, the investment group United Capital Partners suddenly purchased 48% of Vkontakte. It now seems likely that UCP engineered the attacks against Durov, planting the stories in the media, in order to pressure the website’s founder into selling his 12% stock, paving the way to a more pliant general manager, who would be more open to “monetizing” the service.
Today, January 20, 2014, the notoriously Kremlin-connected newspaper Izvestia published an article [ru] claiming that Durov had resigned as head of Vkontakte, taking most of the staff with him to work on the Telegram project. Izvestia also reported that Vkontakte is and has been actively recruiting new technical staff from Mail.ru and Yandex.
Within hours, Vkontakte press secretary Georgii Lobushkin wrote [ru] on his VK page that Durov is not leaving his post as general director, refuting “any contrary reports.” Curiously, before publishing the article, Izvestia reporter Vladimir Zykov did ask [ru] Lobushkin for an official comment on the rumor about Durov’s resignation, but the Vkontakte spokesperson refused to deny the story at the time. (Afterwards, clearly deflated by Lobushkin’s later statement, Zykov wrote [ru] on Facebook that he’s developed an eye twitch and the shakes.)
Several others at Vkontakte have now refuted Zykov’s report, including Durov himself, who told Forbes.ru, “This is disinformation, which well characterizes the newspaper Izvestia.” The head of USM Advisors, which manages Alisher Usmanov’s 40% stake in Vkontakte, also denied [ru] the news about Durov stepping down, though Durov’s relationship with Usmanov has been shaky lately. (In December 2013, Usmanov said in an interview [ru] that he and Durov are working through some “fraternal issues” about managing Vkontakte.)
Despite the responses by Durov, Usmanov’s group, and Lobushkin, some [ru] in the RuNet still think Durov’s departure could be imminent. Even within Vkontakte, there are lingering suspicions. For instance, technical director Nikolai Durov (Pavel’s brother) partly defended Zykov’s Izvestia article, writing in comments [ru] on a Vkontakte post that he suspects the rumors might be true that someone in the company is trying to recruit new programmers, presumably to replace staff after ousting Durov and his team.
Whatever the conclusion of the Durov Saga, it is apparent that divisions within Vkontakte continue to spill into the media, where stories emerge alleging Durov’s conflicts of interest, his illicit use of company resources, and now even his resignation. The reason for the bad blood among shareholders is supposedly Durov’s reluctance to embrace more advertising on the site, but there is also speculation that his loyalty to the Kremlin and its growing insistence on controlling the Internet is too unreliable. How much longer can Durov survive at Vkontakte? Will his adversaries relent before he’s gone or behind bars?
“ "At first I wanted to portray Sherlock as a charming, jovial individual with an earnest, empathic concern for humanity at all times. But then I was like, “aw fuck it." ”— Benedict Cumberbatch in an interview with the Sunday Telegraphitti
Korean elderly have made headlines in New York City as they loiter at McDonald's each day, starting early in the morning till well after dark, ordering only fries or coffee. After they were kicked out for hampering business, some in the Korean community called for a boycott of the restaurant.
The New York Times story on elderly squatters in McDonald's went abuzz over the weekend, and McDonald's reacted quickly, putting out the fire by Monday by reaching a “McResolution!“. They promised extended sitting hours for the elderly during less-busy times and even to collaborate with local seniors centers to provide transportation to and from the restaurant.
However, Koreans, who are familiar with senior citizens overstaying at fast food stores in one of the most overcrowded and busiest cities in the world, South Korean capital Seoul, seem to understand McDonald's tough choice. Here are some reactions from South Korean online venues.
맥도날드 사건. 이런 일에 제발 인종 이런 것 좀 안 들먹거리면 좋겠다. 인종차별 차원에서 쫓아낸 것도 아닌데 쫓겨난 입장에서 자신들을 묶어서 “한국인”이라 그러면 자기 얼굴이 침 뱉기지. 어글리. 부끄럽다 참. 오죽하면 쫓아냈겠어. 안봐도 뻔한데.
— Sumin Kim (@kimsumin) January 18, 2014
The McDonald's fiasco. I really hope people don't bring ‘race’ in to the equation. It is not like they were kicked out because of their race/nationality. By emphasizing that it is ‘Koreans’ who were being kicked out, they are actually embarrassing themselves. This is so ugly, and just embarrassing. I can see why this happen.
뉴욕 맥도널드 불매 운동이 별로 맘에 안 와 닿는건 전형적인 한국식 사고 이기 때문이다. 노인들이 종묘 앞에 모여 있고 페스트푸드 점에 죽치고 앉아 있는거 역시 한국 사회의 문제이지 문화가 아니다. 그런걸 남의 나라에서도 답습하는게 참 안타깝다.
— Michael Lee (@michaelreturn) January 17, 2014
The reason why I am not rooting for McDonald's boycott in New York is because how they approach this problem is just so typical. Jongmyo Area in Seoul is packed with elderly who loiter at fast food chains. It is not Korean “culture”, but a problem Korean society has. It is just deplorable they brought it over and repeat it in another country.
Net users cast doubt on the Korean Parents Association of New York – a group who initiated the boycott and question whether they are eligible to represent the whole Korean community in general. Some from the group, notably the chairwoman, are accused of being extreme right-wingers who infamously blocked a peaceful protest against the election manipulation scandal held in New York last autumn. User @hippietech wrote [ko]:
자극적인 제목으로 민족성 자극하는 저질 기사. 한인사회 발끈한 적 없습니다. 몇몇 노인들이 진상짓 했을뿐
I see so many sensational, trashy reports which provoke ethnicity issues. No. Korean communities have not been angered by [the McDonald's case] and it is just a handful of rouge seniors who made a scene.
In an attempt to restore peace in the state of Michoacán, the Mexican government has sent the military to disarm the groups of armed citizens, better known as “self-defenders”, who have taken up arms against organized crime to defend their land, their work, and their families.
The violence is nothing new in Michoacán. For several years this state in western Mexico has suffered the consequences of the lack of security due to the presence of drug cartels and the absence of any authority that can effectively protect its citizens. Added to this is the constant presence of armed forces for the so-called “war on drugs“, initiated by the ex-President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and continued by the current President Enrique Peña Nieto, which has not been able to prevent the traffickers from extorting, intimidating, kidnapping and raping the population. All of these factors have fueled the group of self-defenders.
While the civilian forces are operating within the law, the recent effort to disarm these groups by the military is a milestone that could change the course of the armed conflict.
The blog “Hazme el Chingado Favor” [es] sums up the government’s recent action:
Así las cosas finalmente el Secretario de Gobernación vuelve anunciar que se va combatir la inseguridad y se manda al ejército. Se anuncia con bombo y platillo que se dedicaran 250 millones de pesos para reforzar el programa de Prevención del Delito una cifra risible cuando se considera que tan solo para ganar las elecciones del 2012 el PRI regalo 701 millones de pesos en tarjetas Monex… ¡HECF!
So finally the Interior Secretary announces again that it is going to combat the insecurity and sends the army. It was announced with great fanfare that $250 million pesos [approximately US $19 million] would be dedicated to strengthen the Crime Prevention program, a laughable figure when you consider that just to win the 2012 elections, the PRI gave out $701 million pesos [almost US $53 million] in Monex gifts cards…
Twitter user and blogger Mauricio Ceballos [es] blames the politicians for the state in which Michoacán finds itself:
Todos los partidos políticos, la política en general en México, es responsable de la situación que vive #Michoacán.
— Mauricio Ceballos (@MauCeballos71) January 17, 2014
All the political parties, and politics in general in Mexico, are responsible for the situation Michoacán is in.
While the Twitter account ‘No más corrupción’ (“No more corruption”) published this drawing summarizing the situation:
— No mas corrupción (@anticorrupcion_) January 17, 2014
The sad new map of Michoacán thanks to the inability of the government to bring security to the population
And others simply call it a civil war:
— Majhadera (@Majhadera) January 15, 2014
Don’t be afraid of the words, Michoacán is in a civil war.
With regard to the raid by federal forces in the area known as Tierra Caliente, the priests have made themselves heard—as they have done in other conflicts, like the Zapatista movement—with strong criticism of the government. The Bishop of Apatzingán, Miguel Patiño Velázquez, wrote an open letter [es] published on the Animal Político website. An excerpt follows:
Los hechos recientes, de este nuevo año 2014, han llenado de indignación a nuestro pueblo al cerciorarse de que ni los políticos, ni el gobierno dan muestras de querer solucionar el problema de Tierra Caliente. En lugar de buscar a los criminales que dañan a la comunidad, el ejército mexicano, por órdenes superiores, fue a desarmar a las autodefensas de Nueva Italia y Antúnez agrediendo a gente indefensa con el resultado de tres hombres muertos. La situación se les salió de control y al verse rodeados por la población comenzaron a disparar, primero al aire y después a las personas. [...] Apatzingán está desde el viernes pasado hundida en el miedo y la zozobra. [...] los enviados del crímen organizado quemaron autobuses, tráilers y camiones de carga sin que los federales ni los militares lo impidieran. El crímen organizado sigue obligando a la gente a asistir a sus manifestaciones, sus líderes están plenamente identificados y no hay autoridad que los pare. [...] El pueblo está exigiendo al gobierno que primero agarren y desarmen al crímen organizado. El ejército y el gobierno han caído en el descrédito porque en lugar de perseguir a los criminales han agredido a las personas que se defienden de ellos. ¿No han comprendido que nos encontramos en un “Estado de necesidad”?
The recent events of this new year of 2014 filled our people with indignation to realize that neither the politicians nor the government show signs of wanting to solve the Tierra Caliente problem. Instead of looking for criminals who harm the community, the Mexican army, on orders from above, went to disarm the self-defense groups of Nueva Italia and Antúnez, leaving the people defenseless which resulted in the deaths of three men. The situation got out of their control and seeing themselves surrounded by people they opened fire, first in the air and then at people. […] Since last Friday, Apatzingán is mired in fear and anxiety. […] The envoys from organized crime burned buses, trailers and cargo trucks without the federal police or military doing anything to stop them. […] Organized crime continues to force people to attend their events, their leaders are fully identified and there is no authority to stop them. […] The people demand that the government first catch and disarm the criminals. The military and government are becoming completely discredited because instead of pursuing criminals they have attacked people who are defending others. Do they not understand that we are in a ‘state of necessity’?
Father Gregorio López, in charge of the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción parish of the same diocese, went ever farther in an interview with Red Noticiero quoted by the digital daily Sin Embargo [es] where he mentions the main bosses of the Templar Knights cartel by name, and accuses the government of knowing their whereabouts and protecting them:
Nazario Moreno ayer comió con ‘La Tuta’ [Servando Gómez Martínez] en un rancho que se llama La Cucha, aquí a unos kilómetros de Apatzingán, y el gobierno lo sabía. [...] La estrategia de enviar fuerzas federales a Apatzingán, Michoacán, es “una farsa, un teatro” porque incluso los elementos de la Policía Federal (PF) reciben su nómina del crimen organizado y el gobierno federal y estatal lo saben.
Yesterday Nazario Moreno ate with ‘La Tuta’ [Servando Gómez Martínez] at a ranch called the La Cucha, a few kilometers from Apatzingán and the government knew it. […] The strategy of sending federal forces to Apatzingán, Michoacán, is a “charade, it’s theater” because even members of the Federal Police get their pay from organized crime and the state and federal governments know it.
Many Twitter users share the priests’ point of view:
— Dr. Cordova Montoya (@CordovaMontoya1) January 15, 2014
The Michoacan self-defenders are defending from kidnapping and extortion, Sr. Vallejo is defending the Templars.
Autodefensas es el pueblo defendiendo su vida y su familia. Es criminal que el ejército este apoyando a los templarios en Michoacán
— Cindy#NoAlaReforma (@CindyRevolucion) January 14, 2014
Self-defense groups are the people defending their lives and their families. It’s criminal that the military is supporting the Templars in Michoacán.
Others went so far as to say that the “self-defenders” could be the start of a revolution:
#Yosoy132 fue un desmadre a nivel nacional y fue pacífico, Autodefensas en Michoacán con armas va a ser una revolución
— Mi Abuela Sabia (@Miabuelaasabia) January 15, 2014
#Yosoy132 [note: student movement] was chaos at the national level and it was peaceful; armed self-defense groups in Michoacán are going to be a revolution.
Gonna go ahead and call it again, the self defense forces in Michoacán are revolutionary forces. The Mexican state and military proved it.
— Ⓐ Tony ☭ (@JagerJohnson) January 17, 2014
The actions of the federal forces caused doubt among netizens about the true reasons for disarming the ‘self-defenders’.
— Valor Por Michoacán (@ValorMichoacan) January 16, 2014
It doesn’t suit the government for us to attack their drug business, so they want to disarm the people.
On the other hand, several have expressed doubt about the financing and origin of the ‘self-defenders’:
— ThinkMexican (@ThinkMexican) January 16, 2014
— Marilin Chavez (@marichavmol) January 15, 2014
It shouldn’t be possible for groups of dubious origin and sophisticated weaponry like the ‘self-defenders’ to be considered heroes by [journalist Carmen] Aristegui.
The self-defense groups, however, are gaining support from the public, mainly through actions like the one reported by the magazine Proceso: “Self-defense groups returned 265 hectares (654 acres) to their owners that the traffickers had taken from them.”
No se trata de hacer mártires o héroes a las autodefensas de Michoacán, pero como grupo humano, es mucho más digno que el gobierno de México
— Javier Barros del Vi (@paradoxeparadis) January 14, 2014
It’s not about making the self-defense groups of Michoacan martyrs or heroes, but as a group of human beings, they are a lot more respectable than the Mexican government.
For those interested in knowing more about the reasons that led to the creation of the self-defense group and its history, José Manuel Mireles, their leader, explains them in this interview [es].
[Translator's note: This interview is in Spanish. Here is another longer interview with subtitles in English, including one with Dr. Mireles on the same theme:]
“ While I did read the books, I didn’t go too far into looking at previous incarnations, there being something like.. well over 230 in different languages. He’s the most portrayed literary character ever. A lot of my prep was spent learning the ridiculous volume of lines that Steven and Mark have written for me. It takes a lot of effort to memorize all of that.— HE EMBRACED HIS SORCERER.
Other preparation; a bit of weight loss, but healthily so. Swimming and Bikram Yoga, to get those cheek bones sharp and interesting. And then, yeah, I just thought about it an awful lot. I had some violin lessons. At least knowing how to hold and bow and tune. A bit of firearms practice. That never goes amiss. And then.. That’s about it. Then we got on and did it. ”
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
"Basically the price of a night on the town!"
"I'd love to help kickstart continued development! And 0 EUR/month really does make fiscal sense too... maybe I'll even get a shirt?" (there will be limited edition shirts for two and other goodies for each supporter as soon as we sold the 200)