• Asian,  Austin,  Australia,  Baltimore,  Bitty,  Chicago,  Las Vegas,  Los Angeles,  Miami,  New York,  Technology

    Let’s Talk About “Bodega”

    Earlier this week, Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan, two former Google employees, launched their start-up “Bodega”. The goal is to make corner stores, also known to many on the east coast as “Bodegas”, a thing of the past. Safe to say Twitter lost their minds! Almost immediately, “Bodega” started trending on Twitter. Their idea was to “combine the convenience of online ordering with the instant gratification of real world retail.”

    There’s only one problem: you can’t replicate the Bodega experience.

    A Bodega is defined as a small grocery store, commonly found in a low-income, urban areas, and Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. They sell everything from cold-cut sandwiches to nail files and toys.

    To many New Yorker’s, their local Bodega employees are like family. These are the people who will make your bacon egg & cheese at any time of the day/night. This is the place where you find things you didn’t even know you needed. They understand the concept of “I O U (I-owe-you). When you don’t have any money to eat, they always have your back. Now it is time that we come together to help them out.

    A big shout out to The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development in New York for addressing the matter in a statement. “The awful irony of naming the company ‘Bodega’ after the very brick and mortar institutions they aim to displace, to say nothing about the cat their logo is based on that will similarly be displaced, is offensive, utterly misguided, and frankly disrespectful to New Yorker’s,” it said.

    All in all, I am all for building a future, but let’s try not to eradicate and gentrify such an important part of many urban communities. More importantly, the vending machine could potentially put many mom and pop stores out of business. Minorities/immigrants own majorities of these small businesses, and depend on this as their source of income. Speaking from a personal experience, I grew up seeing my family work their butts off every day at our own Bodega where we serviced many poor communities and made sure everyone could afford to eat and buy whatever they needed. Using the term “Bodega” is offensive to the Hispanic immigrants who established their businesses in the 1960’s and 1970’s and built their legacy off serving their locals. Bodegas are all about the human interaction. Some fancy vending machine carrying cups of noodle soups and stale candy bars won’t give you that warm experience provided to you at your local corner store.

    Check out the best Twitter reactions below:




















  • Technology

    Samsung Gear 360 – 360 Content for Live Streaming

    Looks like Eve from Wall-E.

    Two weeks ago, Samsung unveiled some great products, notably their new Samsung Gear 360, a 4K resolution 360-degree camera, adding to Samsung’s overall virtual reality ecosystem. The new Gear 360 offers enhanced features for producing high-quality content. With its lightweight design and refined lenses, this is sure to enable many content creators to capture the best moments.

    For the first time, the Gear 360 offers video recording at up to 4K resolution, letting consumers capture and share moments with friends and family. This is the first time that Samsung has a camera that is able to record high resolution content. (The older model could only go such shy of 4K) Equipped with 8.4-megapixel image sensors, the Gear 360 can also capture 15MP high resolution images.

    The latest edition of Gear 360 is compatible with Samsung flagship devices including the newly released Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 edge. Gear 360 ALSO offers greater compatibility with iOS devices (the first time this has happened) and Windows®/Mac® computers. The last iteration of the Gear 360 could only work for Windows computers, but the inclusion of Mac/iOS, allows for more flexibility across all operating systems.

    Once we get our hands on it, we’ll write our review on what makes this so great.

  • New York,  Technology

    Daydream View: Initial Impressions

    The popularity of Virtual Reality cannot be avoided anymore. What was once a commodity for developers, is now easily accessible in any home. Its no surprise that Google is now venturing into Virtual Reality.

    The Daydream View comes in three different colors, for the price of $79 (at the time of this review, the actual price has gone down) In comparison to many other Virtual Reality Headsets out there, its a steal. This is a basic, entry level Virtual Reality headset that allows users to get a taste of it, powered by similar services that you would expect Google to have. The only offside to it, is that its very limited to the Google Pixel phones.

    The look and feel of the Daydream View is great. Its covered in a nice fabric, so it feels nice, and the headset alone is comfortable to be worn for a long period of time. In comparison to other headsets, (Gear VR, Playstation VR), it doesn’t feel like a heavy piece of plastic and it covers your peripherals so it feels as if you are truly immersed in what you are seeing.

    Set up is rather simple and doesn’t take too long to get it running. You need to have Bluetooth enabled to power the VR. During the software setup, you’ll learn how to use the remote. While at first glance the remote may seem to be detrimental to the whole immersive experience, it becomes more clear as the tutorial progresses, why the remote is so important. There are no button options on the Daydream View; everything is done manually on the remote. For example, the buttons help align your center, and can also be used to head to the Home screen.

    The difference of the layout and idea of Daydream, feels like something out of a kids movie. With very cel-shaded graphics and pixelated art, its easy to be awed by what you are looking at.

    If you are part of the Android/Google Ecosystem, you’re going to love it. The option of playing purchased movies from Google Movies on the VR is a beautiful experience. The quality is great. You also have various other apps that allow for a movie like experience in Virutal Reality.

    A few issues with the Daydream View is that while there is plenty of content, the majority of it is just for viewing purposes and not much else. The quality of content that is presented was a bit lackluster. I opened up a Youtube VR video of Star Wars, but it didn’t feel immersive, particularly because the graphics were not high quality. The other issue is the mono-speaker that detriments the true immersion. Don’t expect to run the Daydream View VR for a long time. Within 30min of playing around with Virtual Reality, I saw a significant decrease in battery life on it. (35% decrease)

    Until then, I’ll still play around more and give more of a concrete review of the Daydream View.

  • Gaming,  New York,  Technology

    Review – Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (XBox One)

    I’ll be honest. Prior to watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I have never seen a Star Wars movie. I also have never played a Lego game either, at least not in its entirety. So as a newcomer, I was in awe to see how the two franchises came together to weave a well structured game, not only in story, but in game design.

    Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a beautiful game. From the moment you are thrown into the Battle of Endor, you encounter beautiful, lush environments and vivid colors that surround the area. It’s hard to believe that you’re looking at Lego blocks when the texture quality keeps you focused on the characters and your surroundings. The LEGO designs of famous Star Wars machines also look amazing. Whether you are riding on the X Wing or AT-ST, it looked nice to see them designed as LEGO’s. The cinematics are stunning, and the smaller details made me anticipate for the cut scenes in between gameplay.

    Explosions look great in LEGO form.

    The game keeps true to the story line of Star Wars Episode VI/VII, adding on light-hearted humor to appeal to its younger audiences while still having bits of adult humor. The game doesn’t take itself too serious, but has a good balance between its quirky and serious moments. I had a few good laughs throughout the main story and I often walked around just to hear the small character dialogues. The scene where Kylo Ren makes his appearance and has trouble using his lightsaber will be one of my favorite moments in the game.

    Its ok, you’re still one of my favorite villains in the series.

    When it comes to character controls, they are pretty straight forward. As the story progresses, you start to have the option to juggle between characters, each with their own quirks. Whats great about each character is that they feel different but play similarly. For example, Poe and Han Solo attack differently with their combination attacks, but they each have a grappling hook.

    The characters themselves are important to advance the story and help unlock different areas and can help with various puzzles throughout the game. I had a bit of difficulty adjusting myself to swapping between the various characters, but it got easier once I found a flow to it. The overall difficulty of the game varies in terms of puzzles, but there are unlimited lives and immediate respawns. There’s no real penalty for death, so you can die as often as you’d like during a boss battle and not have to worry about starting from the beginning.

    What stood out to me were the shoot outs. They were fast paced and the graphics also gave them another layer of intensity. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought the scenario to life, while I was scrambling to duck and cover and find the right button to press through out these fights. However, the game auto locks to your target, so it becomes easier and doesn’t take a lot of effort on your end. Regardless, it kept the game fresh at crucial times.

    star wars, lego, poe

    The flight combat was also nice to play, even though it felt a bit too fast paced at times. However, you experience close quarters flying as well as open range. Its tougher to dodge in close quarters but it feels like a high flying pursuit chase against the enemies, and the game is essentially piloting the ship for you. Open range feels very much like any other space shooter, with easier controls, such as flying backwards/dodging with one button. It still looks visually pleasing, and the objectives are simple enough. Once again, the cost of death isn’t too high, and you’ll respawn close to where you last left off.

    The puzzles were anywhere between simple and difficult, but they were never frustrating. A lot of the puzzles involve swapping between characters and their special abilities (Poe and his grappling hook, or BB-8 and his hacking skills). You also know what characters you will need, just by hovering over the puzzle itself. You’ll start to feel the monotony of certain character puzzles, but the combat and exploring takes care of that on its own.

    While you can advance through the game rather easily, there is an incentive to go back to worlds that you’ve traveled before and get more unlockables that you couldn’t get with other characters. There is an endless amount of replayability in this game that adds in a few extra hours, without feeling like a chore.

    Closing Thoughts
    While the game itself is targeted towards younger audiences, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of either Star Wars or loves playing LEGO games. The puzzles are fun, the fighting feels smooth and there is an endless amount of fun for multiplayer co-op. This is a great addition for any gamer in your household for the Holidays.

    Rating: 8.5/10

  • New York,  Technology

    Gear S3 Frontier Review: Stylish, yet useful.

    The world of Smart Watches has opened a pandora’s box for many watch makers. From home name brands such as Swatch and Nixxon coming into the fray to compete for the best smart watch, it can be a bit daunting to find the right one. However, Samsung has been one of the earlier pioneers of smart watch technology. A lot of their earlier smart watches have been hit or miss, but this year, they kept traditional watch design with extraordinary processing speeds to give us the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic.

    From the start, the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic look very different. The Frontier has a rugged looking design, while as the Classic is just that; classic and safe. The buttons on the side of the Classic and Frontier are different, as the Classic protrudes and has knobs like your typical watch.

    The Gear S3 is quintessential for any Samsung or Android user who wants to have a powerful watch that does more then your standard watch. It comes built in with a .22m band, that can easily be customizable. I personally have a few myself, and its great to be able to quickly snap on various, depending on the occasion. The watchband is sturdy and has that rugged frontier idea, but the texture is hidden by the color of the band. When it comes to wearing it around daily, I often forget that I have it on my hand. It is very comfortable to wear and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

    Another great design feature is the moveable bezel. With it, you can receive calls just by turning the bezel left or right. It also feels reminiscent of the classic G-Shock watches. The Gear S3 can also be operated with touch, but I found myself enjoying to rotate the bezel, rather then using my fingers to click on the menu items.

    Texting is also surprisingly easy on the Gear S3. You can use the Voice Feature or you can reply to your texts via your fingers. Its not hard at all, although it does take a few tries to get it right.

    Texting is simple with this.

    Since the Gear S3 is part of the Samsung Ecosystem, you can expect a lot of the great features you would get from Samsung onto the watch. Samsung Smart Watches have been notorious for over promising applications that will be useful for your Gear S3. It’s native apps are great. If you’re into health and keeping up with your heart rate, Samsung has utilize its own native app, S-Health to give you on the go health updates. It is keen, especially with one of the top selling points is a built in GPS. (If you are looking for something smaller, the Gear Fit 2 offers the same thing for the sportier types.)

    However, when it comes to the Sleep Monitor on the Gear S3, I find it lacking. While the Gear Fit2 accurately tracked my sleep well, I feel that this doesn’t track it. On average, I sleep between 6 – 8hrs, but certain nights, it will only record 2 – 5 hours of sleep. I tried to tinker with the sleep monitor to no avail. But when it does work, it accurately tracks motionless sleep and it can easily be recorded onto your phone.

    Having a Smart Watch is all about the extension of your phone. But the Gear S3 does a lot more, and with its design, its certain to be a welcoming addition to anyone who wants to keep themselves connected without pulling out your phone.


  • Asian,  Austin,  London,  Los Angeles,  New York,  Toronto,  WorldWide

    Peter Abruzzo Introduces “The Tech Tuxedo”

              What defines a mogul? What defines an innovator? If I could summarize my definition of the two, Peter Abruzzo would be the answer. As CEO of Xedo, an online tuxedo rental company, Peter Abruzzo is changing the game as we know it. His dedication to anything he sets his mind to is second to none. His sphere of influence is massive. From formal wear to bridal to banking and everything in between, he has influenced success and created defining moments for many industries. In the words of Mr. Abruzzo, “Xedo is poised well to revolutionize the tuxedo rentalindustry.”

    Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 5.08.06 PM
            Xedo was inspired by leveraging the impeccable heritage of ACS Clothing Group. It was established in Glasgow two decades ago and has evolved from a Scottish wholesale supplier into UK’s leading provider of formalwear. Peter Abruzzo’s success dates back to an early age when in 1979, he took over his Grandfather’s tuxedo rental company formed in the 1920’s. He recalls this as a defining moment in his journey. At the age of ten, Peter wanted to be involved in everything business. He embraced every aspect of running his grandfather’s company and had a huge appetite to learn as much as he could from the people he looked up to most: his grandfather, a master tailor, and his father, a marketing genius. Some of these valuable lessons have stood the test of time and continue to influence Peter’s decisions today. Peter took this store and turned it into 550 storelocations in record breaking time, becoming one of the highest grossing formal wear companies nationwide.
             Prior to Xedo, Peter was at the helm of his consulting firm for over a decade. He worked alongside CEOs of formal wear and bridal powerhouses, helping to lead the exponential growth of each brand. With an eye for business model analysis and restructuring, some of Peter’s accomplishments include facilitating the integration of David’s Bridal and After Hours, as well as being instrumental in the turnaround of a division of Men’s Wearhouse, more than doubling revenue.
            His plans for the future include expanding its celebrity partnerships and diversifying its product suite to include suit rentals. Having already built the #1 formalwear company in the U.S.,Peter’s goal now is the help build the #1 formalwear company in the world. By combining the creative talent of today’s top designers with the industry-leading ability of ACS Group, Xedo is offering a higher-quality, better-fitting tux; a Perfect Match accessory color matching system; and 100% online wedding party management. Xedo will reinvent rental worldwide, enabling partners tomeet the needs of today’s digitally driven Millennial clientele.
    Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 5.05.08 PM

              His advice for you future entrepreneurs: always follow your dreams. Never give up and always give everything you do 150%! The most important thing is to find something you love to do and do it wellsomething that makes you want to jump out of bed every morning to get to work and need to be reminded when it’s time to leave. Take the word “No” out of your vocabulary. There’s always a way to make it happen…find the right people to align with and the answer will come.

    Be sure to check out Xedo.com for all your Tuxedo needs!