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In January of 2010, Kesha Sebert, known as ‘Ke$ha’ debuted at number one on Billboard with her album, Animal. Her style is electro pop-y dance music: she alternates between rapping and singing, the choruses of her songs are typically melodic party hooks that bore deep into your brain: “Your love, your love, your love, is my drug!” And at times, her voice is so heavily processed that it sounds like a cross between a girl and a synthesizer. Much of her sound is due to the pitch correction software, Auto-Tune.

Sebert, whose label did not respond to a request for an interview, has built a persona as a badass wastoid, who told Rolling Stone that all male visitors to her tour bus had to submit to being photographed with their pants...

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About

“That’s Cute” (otherwise known as “That’s Adorable”) is a sarcastic expression used to patronize or dismiss someone’s self-complacency or boastful statement, similar to the phrase “bitch, please.” It is typically used to juxtapose the capabilities or accomplishments of two comparable subjects, as seen in image macro series like Unimpressed Astronaut and Condescending Wonka.

Origin

The phrase “that’s cute” has been used as a colloquial expression for many years prior to its online adaptations. The first Urban Dictionary[1] entry was submitted by user sweetsean93 on February 2nd, 2010, defining the phrase as a sarcastic declaration used in response to an annoying comment or sophomoric statement.

Usage in Image Macros

On June 5th, 2011, Redditor eps101 submitted a post titled “Oh, Charlie” to the /r/pics[2] subreddit, featuring an image macro of Charlie Sheen bragging about the amount of drugs he had consumed, followed by a photograph of writer Hunter S. Thompson with the caption “You’re adorable” (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post received over 12,700 up votes and 700 comments.

Spread

On March 10th, 2012, FunnyJunk[5] user ghostytrickster submitted a post titled “That’s Cute,” featuring an image macro comparing Ugandan guerilla leader Joseph Kony to the deceased German Nazi Party leader Adolph Hitler (shown below, left). On May 30th, Redditor bekbekbekaw submitted a post titled “That’s cute” to the /r/funny[4] subreddit, featuring an image macro of Miley Cyrus referring to herself as a “stoner” accompanied by the photo of Hunter S. Thompson from Redditor eps101’s image macro (shown below, right).

On August 31st, Redditor cockpunch25 submitted an image macro to the /r/funny[3] subreddit, featuring a photograph of pop star Justin Bieber complaining about growing up with divorced parents, followed by a picture of rapper Eminem with the caption “That’s cute” (shown below, left). Within two months, the post received over 6,800 up votes and 315 comments. On October 28th, the Cheezburger site Memebase published an image macro comparing the rapper Drake with the character Walt from Breaking Bad (shown below, right).

The phrase is often used in the Unimpressed Astronaut image macro series, in which a photograph of an astronaut walking on the moon is captioned with grievances about long-distance travel followed by a dismissive statement (shown below, left). The image macro series Advantages of Science uses the similar expression “That’s cool” in response to biblical understandings of natural phenomenon (shown below, middle). The phrase is also commonly used in the Condescending Wonka advice animal series, in which a screen capture of Willy Wonka (played by Gene Wilder) from the 1971 musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is captioned with patronizing and sarcastic statements.

Notable Examples


Search Interest

External References

[1]Urban Dictionary – That’s Cute

[2]Reddit – Oh Charlie

[3]Reddit – That’s Cute, Justin

[4]Reddit – That’s cute

[5]FunnyJunk – That’s Cute

[6]9gag – You went skydiving today?

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MrSeb writes "A cross-disciplinary team of US neuroscientists and cryptographers have developed a password/passkey system that removes the weakest link in any security system: the human user. It's ingenious: The system still requires that you enter a password, but at no point do you actually remember the password, meaning it can't be written down and it can't be obtained via coercion or torture — i.e. rubber-hose cryptanalysis. The system, devised by Hristo Bojinov of Stanford University and friends from Northwestern and SRI, relies on implicit learning, a process by which you absorb new information — but you're completely unaware that you've actually learned anything; a bit like learning to ride a bike. The process of learning the password (or cryptographic key) involves the use of a specially crafted computer game that, funnily enough, resembles Guitar Hero. Their experimental results suggest that, after a 45 minute learning session, the 30-letter password is firmly implanted in your subconscious brain. Authentication requires that you play a round of the game — but this time, your 30-letter sequence is interspersed with other random 30-letter sequences. To pass authentication, you must reliably perform better on your sequence. Even after two weeks, it seems you are still able to recall this sequence."


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Kevin Systrom is the cofounder and CEO of Instagram, which Facebook just acquired for $1 billion.

Reports say Systrom will make $400 million in the deal.

Instagram is a photo-sharing app that launched just a couple years ago, and already has 30 million users.

We'd love to talk to Systrom about the deal, how he got to where he is today, and his plans going forward.

But we can't.

kevin systrom

Facebook is going to IPO next month, and that means its executives – now including Systrom – are required to honor the SEC's "quiet period" rules.

Fortunately, Systrom is not just a wildly successful CEO, he's also a Quora addict. He's answered over 50 questions on the site. Also, Systrom did a Q&A with Business Insider's Matt Rosoff last fall. 

Below, we've collected (and lightly edited) some of the best questions and on-record-answers from those resources to compile a Q&A with Silicon Valley's newest $400 million man.

How and when did you begin coding?

Depends what you mean by coding. I've been programming here and there since I was in middle school. In high school I was excused from my foreign language requirement so I could take more computer science classes. The first real class I took was in Pascal, and then later in c++. Independently I started playing with MySQL and PHP, but never did anything significant.

My freshman year at Stanford I took CS106X which was the first year's worth of CS in 1 quarter (it's usually two). I wouldn't say I did so well... I looked around and saw so many fantastically smart folks in that class and decided I was better off majoring in something like business. Looking back I wish I had stuck with it. It turns out that no undergrad class prepares you to start a startup -- you learn most of it as you do it.

So anyway, long story short, I only took one CS class at Stanford, and instead of majoring in it, I coded basic projects on the side for fun (a student marketplace, an internet radio station, etc). At Odeo as the intern I picked up Ruby on Rails but forgot it quickly as I took a marketing job at Google.

Only at my next job at Nextstop would I say I went from being a hobbyist to being able to write code that would go into production. The lesson I take from this all is that a) don't give up so quickly if it's something you actually enjoy and b) 99% of what I do on a daily basis I learned on the job -- classes/majors can prepare you to learn on the job, but *doing* the work is where you learn what you'll use every day.

What do the different image filters on Instagram actually do?

Our filters are a combination of effects – curve profiles, blending modes, color hues, etc. In fact, I usually create them in photoshop before creating the algorithms to do them on the phone

How does Instagram choose names for their filters?

I wish that I could say it's more interesting - but often it has to do with the inspiration for the filter... a type of film, a photo we've seen, or simply what we were doing at the time.

At what point in Instagram's product development did square photos become the standard?

From day one. We realized that if we were going to do photos, that we'd have to be different and stand out. Square photos displayed really well in a feed format and frankly we just liked the aspect ratio better. It wasn't much more complex than that.

How old are you?

I was born Dec. 30th 1983

Do you code at Instagram?

Yes. I've been doing mostly backend work lately – python/django stuff.

How did Instagram get its name?

A long week of searching for something that combined the 'right here right now' aspect of what we were trying to accomplish with the idea of recording something in your life (hence the suffix -gram). 

We also wanted something relatively unique. We had a bunch of other names that were in the running, but there were lots of other apps with names that were too similar. Another characteristic was whether or not you could tell someone the name and they could spell it easily.

How long was Instagram in development for before launch?

KS: It's hard to answer this question, because there's the client and then there's the server. Most of the server code was taken from Burbn. (For those who never used Burbn, Instagram looks/feels/acts a lot like burbn, only it's focused on posting a photo). That code took many months to develop, refine, and turn into libraries that we can use internally on just about any project. We built them knowing we'd likely reuse them in other experiments down the road. We learned *a lot* along the way that made Instagram act the way it does currently.

The app itself took about 8 weeks. 

How many developers built the original Instagram app?

KS: It was just two.

What is the history of Instagram?

KS: Instagram is an app that only took 8 weeks to build and ship, but was a product of over a year of work.

The story starts when I worked at Nextstop. While I was there working in marketing, I started doing more and more engineering at night on simple ideas that helped me learn how to program (I don't have any formal CS degree or training). One of these ideas was combining elements of foursquare (check-ins) with elements of Mafia Wars (hence the name Burbn). I figured I could build a prototype of the idea in HTML5 and get it to some friends. Those friends ended up using the prototype without any branding elements or design at all. I spent weekends working on improving the prototype for my friends. At a party for the Hunch folks I ran into a bunch of people who would basically make starting Burbn a reality. At that party were two people from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. I showed the prototype, and we decided we'd meet up for coffee to talk about it. After the first meeting, I decided to take the dive and leave my job to go solo and see if Burbn could be a company. Within two weeks of leaving, I raised $500k from both Baseline and Andreessen Horowitz, and started work on finding a team.

Mike Krieger and I started talking and he decided he liked the idea of helping start the company. Once he joined, we took a step back and looked at the product as it stood. By this time, we had built Burbn into a (private) really neat HTML5 mobile web app that let you: Check in to locations, Make plans (future check-ins), Earn points for hanging out with friends, post pictures, and much more.

We decided that if we were going to build a company, we wanted to focus on being really good at one thing. We saw mobile photos as an awesome opportunity to try out some new ideas. We spent 1 week prototyping a version that focused solely on photos. It was pretty awful. So we went back to creating a native version of Burbn. We actually got an entire version of Burbn done as an iPhone app, but it felt cluttered, and overrun with features. It was really difficult to decide to start from scratch, but we went out on a limb, and basically cut everything in the Burbn app except for its photo, comment, and like capabilities. What remained was Instagram. (We renamed because we felt it better captured what you were doing -- an instant telegram of sorts. It also sounded camera-y)

And now, from Matt Rosoff's Q&A…

Why do you think the app took off so quickly?

KS: We took a very basic action that everyone does in the world, taking a photo, and we put some meaning behind it, some reason behind it. The reason is suddenly all your friends can see that photo immediately, in an instant. But also we make the photo more beautiful. It doesn't take very much to convince people to do what they do every day anyway and then do it through you're product. Really we're just taking people and shifting them from taking photos anyway to taking them on Instagram.

But then, because of the encouragement through making photos beautiful, people are taking way more photos than they would have otherwise because there's a reason to share them.

But what advice would you give somebody to get that initial notice and get that spike in usage?

KS: It's interesting because I've started to work more closely with startups trying to do exactly this, and a lot of people think it's a marketing game. But really, if you build a quality app you will naturally rise through the ranks. I don't know how many apps are in the App Store, but everyone knows a fraction of a percent are really well done, quality, thought out apps. There are a lot of apps that are fun to use, they're utility apps, they're fine. But there are a fraction of apps that are in the cream of the crop. You just need to be in the cream of the crop to get noticed.

I think far too many people focus on how many emails can I send the user to get them to come back at the end of the week. If you build something beautiful and useful they will come back. And sure, you should also do those things, but I don't remember the last email I got from Google saying "hey, you haven't been back to our site in a while."

There are gimmicks, paying for downloads and stuff. But we've never spent a dime on marketing. Great products sell themselves.

What does your average user look like? Do you have a few "whales" who are taking tons of photos and then a bunch more casual users, sort of like Zynga with games?

KS: You can split it up into personas. There are definitely people who don't take any photos but like photos and comment on photos. Like people who joined for Justin Bieber -- a lot of them are there for one reason, and the reason is Justin. At the same time, there are people who subscribe to thousands of people and not only like and comment on their photos but take beautiful photos as well.

What do you think of native apps for mobile phones vs HTML5 apps? I talk to some people who think HTML5 is the way to build one app that works on multiple platforms.

KS: I don't buy it, mostly because we started off as HTML5.

What I don't buy is just your statement. I totally buy HTML5. It's great for some companies. For instance, I think it's awesome for bigger brands who are not technology companies to invest in HTML5. It's much more accessible, the refresh cycle's much smaller, it's just better for the organization to spend their time doing what you do well. If you're a larger brand, having the flexibility to do HTML5 is also great.

But to do what we do, there's no reason why we should do it in HTML5....We were HTML5 when we wereBurbn. But there were so many stumbling blocks getting it out to consumers, the second we went native it was the best decision we ever made. I think that's true, for folks to have a strong consumer experience that needs to be completely polished. I don't buy the cross-platform thing.

What about writing in HTML5 and then wrapping it for each different platform?

KS: Why would you do that? You might as well learn Objective C. I think the big stumbling block is a lot of developers are worried that they don't know this other language so let's build it in HTML and JavaScript. But it turns out if you spend a couple of days learning Objective C, you can get really far. The experience is great, too.

You also hinted at moving beyond photos into video?

KS: I've been mentioning this a lot lately because I don't want people getting stuck with the idea that Instagram is a photo-sharing company. Instagram is a media company. I think we're about visual media. I explain ourselves as a disruptive entertainment platform that enables communication through visual media. I don't think it's just photos. There's a reason we don't allow you to upload photos on the Web as albums. It's not about taking all these photos off your DSLR putting them into an album and sharing them with your family. It's not about that. It's about what are you up to right now out in the real world, how can you share that with everyone. It's about what's happening out in the world. It's about can I consume media from folks like Taylor Swift. That's really interesting to people. What's not interesting to me is becoming a photo storage platform.

Video requires a lot more resources.

KS: Everything does. So does Web. We get six million visits a day to our Web site. Imagine us launching a Web site [for sharing], how much more infrastructure would we need? All of these things are commitments. We have to see where they make sense in our lifecycle?

Are you a photographer?

KS: It's funny, I was a photographer before I was a programmer. But in high school I basically got them to waive a bunch of science requirements so I could take more computer science. I got to college and decided I didn't want to concentrate on computer science for some random reason. But I've always done photography, in the darkroom, and I've always really been into digital photography. If you go on to my Flickr page, you'll see a photo that looks like an Instagram photo, from about 2007. I've always been into taking my photos, cropping them square, putting them through a filter in Photoshop. We just reverse engineered how to do filters, now we opened it up to the masses....

I've done all our filters except for a few. We worked with Cole Rise, one of our users, who did a fantastic job on Amaro, Rise, and Hudson. He did the first three on the list and they're awesome, I use them 24/7. But we're definitely itching to get new ones out there. We talked about doing limited Christmas holiday ones, or whatever, but we're not Angry Birds Seasons or anything like that yet.

Click Here To Meet The 13 Lucky Employees And 9 Investors Behind $1 Billion Instagram >

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Savvy developers understand who they're creating games for. Check out trends we're seeing in mobile social gaming and virtual goods purchases among different demographics.

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I spent the past week in Prague where I was working on the World Forum on Governance.  Away from my books and art materials, I resigned myself to skipping this week's post.

However, the cultural attache at the embassy shared with me the happy news that Alphonse Mucha's masterpiece, the Slav Epic, will go on display in Prague next year, just 84 years after Mucha donated it to the city.

For those who only know Mucha for his art nouveau posters, the Slav Epic was Mucha's most important and meaningful work: 20 huge patriotic murals of key moments from the history of the Slavic people.

Mucha posing in front of two of his murals
In times of trouble and uncertainty, Mucha "wanted to talk in my own way to the soul of the nation," reminding them of their proud heritage and the heroism and sacrifice of their ancestors.

The origin of the Slavic homeland around 200 - 300 AD: peaceful Slav farmers flee invading Goths (seen galloping away from the burning village with their loot).  As the young Adam and Eve of the Slavs escape, a holy man with outstretched arms implores the gods for mercy.
Mucha's reference photo for the holy man
"The Celebration of Svantovit: When Gods Are At War, Salvation Is In The Arts."  The earliest Slavic center of civilization from 700-900 AD was centered around the shrine of Svantovit (later destroyed by Danish warriors in the 12th century)  The Introduction of the Slavonic Liturgy: Praise The Lord in Your Native Tongue 
"After the Battle of Grunwald: The Solidarity of the Northern Slavs." Here we see the first great defeat of the previously invincible Teutonic Knights, demonstrating the rising power of the Slavic empire. "After the Battle of Vitkov: God Represents Truth, Not Power"
"Peter Chelcicky at Vodnany: Do Not Repay Evil With Evil." A famous Slavic pacifist implores the victims of a Hussite raid not to become too caught up in revenge.  "The Defense of Sziget by Nikola Zrinski: The Shield of Christendom"
Mucha presented his murals to the city of Prague in 1928, but some criticized them as old fashioned and nationalistic.  By 1933 the canvases were rolled up and placed in storage, and Mucha's hopes for his native land seemed farther and farther away.  In 1939 the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia and the gestapo arrested the aging artist.  He died shortly after his release.  The Slav Epic murals were stored away in a basement that flooded, damaging the paintings.  After many years, the canvases were retrieved and restored, and were put on display in 1968 in southern Moravia.  In 2012, these lovely works will return to Prague where they will be displayed with the honor and dignity they deserve.

"The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia: Work in Freedom is the Foundation of a State"
I think Mucha's accomplishment was an act of courage comparable to the accomplishments he was celebrating.  He put aside his commercially successful decorative art to make a lasting statement about the spirit of his country. He originally planned to make each painting approximately 20' x 26' but war, political repression and economic hardship repeatedly forced him to change his plans.  After his first few paintings, the Belgian factory which manufactured the oversized linen was occupied by the German army and converted to military use.  Mucha switched to painting on sailcloth from Scotland, and later was forced to reduce the size of the last murals.  Still, he persisted.  The Czech avant garde artistic community ridiculed his work as a "monstrosity of spurious artistic and allegorical pathos which, if exhibited permanently could harm the taste of the public."  His murals were nearly confiscated during World War I for their "Czech patriotic content" and he made plans to bury them in the woods to protect them.  The work was frowned upon by Nazis in World War II and by communist occupiers in the postwar era. 

Time and again, Mucha was presented with obstacles but he persisted and left behind an important work of art.

"Jan Amos Komensky: A Flicker of Hope."  A religious exile dies in his chair by the sea, looking out at eternity and thinking about returning to his beloved homeland.


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Students from Bellport High School, many wearing their graduation caps and gowns, embraced Friday outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Patchogue, N.Y., where a funeral was held for 17-year-old Jennifer Mejia, one of four people killed in a Medford robbery Sunday. (Kevin P. Coughlin for The Wall Street Journal)


Dozens of brass players positioned themselves around the lake in Central Park Tuesday, playing an original composition called to an audience in rowboats as part of a daylong event called Make Music NY, which consisted of more than a thousand free concerts across New York City over the course of the day. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Antonio Munoz, center, rounds a corner during the Skyscraper Classic cycling race in Harlem on Sunday. Leif Lampater of Germany claimed the overall men’s professional title. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)


Bernice Acosta was among the thousands who celebrated the summer solstice by performing yoga in Times Square on Tuesday. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)


Artist Akihiro Ito helps install his sculpture titled ‘Forever,’ on Tuesday in Riverside Park on the Hudson River near 60th Street. Other works by members of the Art Students League also will be installed along the riverfront for a year. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Chinese artist Liu Bolin was painted for an art project at the Charging Bull in lower Manhattan Thursday. Mr. Bolin is creating a series called ‘Hiding In The City’ in which he camouflages himself against an urban background for a self-portrait.  (Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal)


Ibtihaj Muhammad practiced her thrusts Thursday in Maplewood, NJ. Ms. Muhammad, 25, is the 11th ranked female saber fencer in the world and the 2nd ranked US Women’s saber fencer.  (Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal)


Braised rutabaga with plum, fennel, pistachio and goat cheese at Gotham Bar & Grill. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)


Andrej Ruff proposed to Natalia Giesbrecht, his girlfriend of 12 years, in a row boat on Central Park on Tuesday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Actor Todd Lawson on the cot babckstage at the Acorn Theatre on 42nd Street. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


A fan is carried by a New York City police officer to an ambulance after falling ill at a promotional appearance by Justin Bieber at Macy’s in New York Thursday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


James ‘Whitey’ Bulger peered down from a digital billboard above Times Square on Monday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Kyrie Irving, who many sports analysts expect to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night, attended a clinic for athletes with mental disabilities with Brandon Knight, left, and Kemba Walker, right, at New York City’s John Jay College Wednesday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns shows off his soccer skills during a charity match Wednesday on the Lower East Side. Several NBA and soccer stars participated in the annual event. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Robin Mazzanewitter and her father, Paul Mazza, played gongs in Columbus Circle as part of the Make Music NY festival. (Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal)

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