body-dryerShocking… a TechCrunch writer, without an ounce of parody, brings us the compelling story about a disruptive NYC-based startup tech company that is solving a problem which doesn’t exist. Everything about “The Body Dryer” makes me think it should go straight to Brookstones. Because towels are so fucking complicated and costly.

amazon-fire-products-11Not content to let Apple and Roku dominate the $99 set top streaming box, Amazonlaunched one of their own today, the FireTV. Basically, it does the exact same thing as the other streaming device — you can watch Internet content on your TV via a slew of apps from Netflix and others. But, it does have one major difference in the vein of a gaming controller for $39. Plus, FireTV even has voice search!

Other than that, everything is pretty much the same as all the other products on the market. Google’s probably working on their own johnny-come-lately $99 set top streaming box as I write this.

As someone who has an Amazon Prime membership but never bothers to watch Amazon’s streaming video service, they better make sure they hired a UX/UI expert for the FireTV video service, because the experience sucks as is. It’s amazing to me that none of the major tech companies have cracked the TV nut yet. Even though Apple has put minimal effort (from the outside at least) into AppleTV, it still feels like it’s one major overhaul from owning this segment.

Ortiz-and-Obama-Selfie-22013 World Series MVP, David Ortiz, asked the President to snap a selfie with him and the team in the background during the Red Sox visit to the White House and then posted it to Twitter. Because that’s how the world works these days. In 30 year’s when America elects its first “Snapchat” president, I’m sure I’ll be yelling incoherently to get off my damn lawn. [via uproxx]

“Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts. Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.” — John Green, author of ‘The Fault in Our Stars‘, offers superb advice for aspiring writers, but also life more generally. 

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson reevaluates the income inequality narrative thrust into the headlines by Occupy Wall Street during the fall of 2011:

It turns out that wealth inequality isn’t about the 1 percent v. the 99 percent at all. It’s about the 0.1 percent v. the 99.9 percent (or, really, the 0.01 percent vs. the 99.99 percent, if you like). Long-story-short is that this group, comprised mostly of bankers and CEOs, is riding the stock market to pick up extraordinary investment income. And it’s this investment income, rather than ordinary earned income, that’s creating this extraordinary wealth gap.

The 0.1 percent isn’t the same group of people every year. There’s considerable churn at the tippy-top. For example, consider the “Fortunate 400,” the IRS’s annual list of the 400 richest tax returns in the country. Between 1992 and 2008, 3,672 different taxpayers appeared on the Fortunate 400 list. Just one percent of the Fortunate 400—four households—appeared on the list all 17 years.

Now there’s your real 1 percent.

FantasticBeastsCover_big“Over the weekend news broke via a New York Times profile on WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara that Warners not only wants to dip back into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but is pushing forward with a new trilogy based on JK Rowling’s textbook FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM with some unpublished stories surrounding it that Rowling was toying with around the time that 54 page book published. The film will have nothing to do (directly) with Harry Potter or Lord You-Know-Who. In fact it will be set over seven decades before the events of the first Potter film. Oh, and it also begins in New York, which will be a major tone difference than the extremely British Potter series. Famed magizoologist Newt Scamander will be the lead character.”

10155649_683615137848_1425958779_nAbove: A search dog waits by the feet of Washington National Guardsmen after working through the mud created by the Oso mudslide. The search for victims continues. More photos:

Listen: Sir Anthony Hopkins hears the waltz he composed back in 1964 for the first time publicly.

Of Note:

Watch:  DC Comics Celebrates 75th Anniversary Of Superman With Animated Short produced by director Zach Snyder and animator Bruce Timm. The two-minute short traces the history of Superman, from his comic debut in 1938 to his recent portrayal by actor Henry Cavill in ‘Man of Steel’. Also, there are 75 annotations in the video, but you can read the full-list here. [via designtaxi]

Courtesy of BBC Radio 1?s The Matt Edmondson Show, we now have Wolverine: The Musical. And we all win. Basically, Jackson stopped by the radio show to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past and got roped into singing about his iconic Marvel character to the tune of  his Les Misérables track, ”Who Am I?”

Gotta be honest, I would watch that Broadway musical if Jackman starred in it.

See also: The second ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ trailer, which is much better than the first. I’m in.

Stock video provider Dissolve has taken Kendra Eash’s brilliant advertising takedown, “This Is a Generic Brand Video,” originally published by McSweeney’s, and set it to actual stock video clips from their archives. The piece is narrated by a Sam Elliott sound-a-like, lending this advertising peek-behind-the-curtian bullshit a particular gravitas. #NailedIt [adweek via @zfishkin]

pixar_street1Over at Fast Company, Evie Nagy interviewed Pixar alums about the applicable lessons they’ve learned, while steeped in animation giant’s creative Kool-Aids, for building their own company.

Our conversations revealed recurring themes about applying Pixar’s principles in other organizations: delight and storytelling as driving forces, the elimination of ego as management strategy, the idea that creativity can come from anyone, and the balance between patience and action. Each is a philosophy and approach that former employees have adopted in their new organizations to create revolutionary products and strong teams, and can be translated into any business.

We second what Shawn Blanc says, “so many great nuggets in this article about creativity, community, quality, and more.” The big one for me is about organizational culture. It’s a difficult thing to nail at large companies. Harder still for small companies to maintain once they get big.