Noah J. Nelson | KALW

Noah J. Nelson

Reporter, Turnstyle News

Last week Causes, the company founded by founded by Sean Parker and Joe Green to leverage social media connections for grassroots campaigns, underwent a major facelift.

No longer would be a fiefdom of Facebook, the site would become a social network of its own.

Tesla Motors

What do you do when you’re the owner of a revolutionary electric car manufacturer and the paper of record slams your first mass product in a review?

If you’re Elon Musk of Tesla Motors you take to Twitter and accuse the newspaper of lying. At The Verge:

Courtesy of

We talk about the dangers of technology here from time to time, and have done some on the U.S. government’s use of military drones.

Here’s the mother of all drone reporting, from NBC News’ Michael Isikoff:

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The Penny Arcade Report’s Ben Kuchera has a powerhouse of an editorial up today.

Kuchera uses Quentin Tarantino’s stark refusal to play into an interviewer gambit to see his films– specifically the gun violence heavy Django Unchained – through the lens of the Sandy Hook massacare as a prototype for how game makers should deal with the mainstream press on the issue:

Remember a year ago when Facebook announced Timeline? How it was going to change the way that people shared information about themselves? Then it came out and everyone just hated it because if there is one thing that people on the internet hate most it’s change?

Mat-ter + Build Studio

Anayansi Diaz-Cortes, producer of KCRW’s Sonic Trace, has an ambitious vision: to trace the stories of immigrants to Los Angeles from Mexico and Central America, illustrating how entire communities have reconstituted themselves in LA. Not only that, but she wants to do it in style.

Crowdfunding 101: Ten Things You MUST Do

Jul 24, 2012
Flickr user 401(K) 2012

We here at Turnstyle News don’t hide the fact that we’re excited about the ongoing crowdfunding revolution. Filmmaker Lucas McNelly writes our “Crowdfunding 201” column, which takes an in-depth look at what makes crowdfunding campaigns tick. Tech and entertainment editor Noah Nelson takes joy in finding new campaigns to talk about and creators to profile.

When the print/online hybrid magazine Good pulled a pivot this month and became a crowd-sourced aggregator instead it meant that its staff writers and editors were out of a job. Mildly ironic for a brand that had been building its identity around the idea of social good, but hey, the bottom line is what it is.

2012 has become a year for earth-shaking documentaries. Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In stunned and angered me at Sundance this year and now The Invisible War – which also took its first bow in Park City – has done the same at this week’s Los Angeles Film Festival.

The comedy troupe Olde English loves a good challenge. So when founding member Ben Popik threw down the gauntlet and asked his friends to write a movie together, using a method devised by the Surrealists, the group took on the task. Right before they all went their seperate ways. The result – The Exquisite Corpse Project – will have its world premiere this weekend at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood.

Image courtesy of Daniel Junge & Bryan Storkel

It’s hard to imagine two parts of American culture – mixed martial arts and Christianity – that on the surface are more incompatible. Jesus is known for telling his followers to turn the other cheek. MMA fighters are known for turning their opponents’ cheeks for them, with their fists, elbows, and knees. If there’s one existential truth it’s this: humans, especially American humans, are hideously complex. Yet the existence of ministries that embrace MMA still surprises.

Oh, what a mess.

By now you’ve heard about the dust up over the This American Life episode that aired this weekend— “Retraction”— in which the show did the unprecedented. It took back a story it had aired on the grounds that some of the material turned out not to be factual. You may have also seen the story arc for the past few days of Mike Daisey, the monologist whose work is at the center of it all.

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The build up to the most anticipated tech initial public offering (IPO) since Google hit the market has officially begun after years of speculation and hype. On Wedensday, Facebook filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in their documents a lengthy letter to potential investors from founder Mark Zuckerberg that reads in places more like a hacker manifesto from a mildly Disneyfied William Gibson novel than it does from a cut-throat businessman:

We made our way to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival this past week in Park City, Utah to get a sense of where the state of independent cinema is going this year. What films we will be talking about? What issues are on the forefront of documentarians’ minds?

What follows are five lessons we learned while slogging through snow, striking up conversations with strangers on the shuttle busses, talking with filmmakers and seeing every film they’d let us.

The State of Independent Cinema is Strong

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All eyes are on Park City this week as the 2012 Sundance Film Festival gets underway. In the midst of the snow and stars scores of films will be screened, many looking to get picked up for distribution after an arduous road to the festival. In an earlier era hot buzz at the festival led to multi-million dollar bidding wars. But in this age of Netflix, Video On Demand, and recessionary caution those deals are thought to be a thing of the past.

Courtesy of Consumer Electronics Show Press

Conspicuous, thoughtless consumption just isn’t cool anymore.

The most buzzed-about thing to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show this week? A lurid, Hunter S. Thomspon-esque “fever dream” by Gizmodo writer Mat Honan that captures the disorienting nature of a big trade show, CES being just about the biggest.