The buzz in East London surrounding the opening of Shepard Fairey’s exhibition has been incredible. The launch night last Friday was a huge success and the feedback from attendees has been incredibly positive. The creator of the streetwear brand, Obey Clothing Company, who is also a world renowned street artist, has brought music, art and other media together to create a sensory experience that has wowed visitors to the Sound and Vision exhibition at the StolenSpace Gallery in Brick Lane, London.
Last Friday saw the opening of the first showing of the works of Shepard Fairey, in the UK, for 5 years. This latest body of work has been brought back to the same space that he used the last time he exhibited here in 2007, the StolenSpace gallery, The launch night was awash with approximately 2000 people all attending to experience the mixed media bonanza and by all accounts they were not disappointed.
One of the attendees, Will, the owner of streetcasuals.com which is a Bristol based online streetwear retailer, was there and when interviewed earlier this week he told me “The opening was incredible, it was very well attended and the atmosphere was buzzing. Not only were we regaled by the sights and sounds that Shepard has created but there was a pop-up shop for the Obey Clothing Company which added an extra dimension to the already brilliant evening. His work is something that I follow and as a stockist of the Obey range I was incredibly impressed by the exposure that this brand has achieved in and around East London. All in all a great night out and it is great to be a stockist of this incredible streetwear brand”
This year has seen an incredible leap from underground to mainstream for street art in general, with the Olympic Pleasure Gardens’ street art works and more recently the ‘See No Evil – 2012′ in Bristol. Shepard Fairey was involved with the Pleasure Gardens and the event in Bristol, whilst not featuring Fairey, has put street art into the public eye – and they seem to like it. This exhibition of pieces of art that can be bought, taken down and hung at home – as opposed to having to resort to a digital photo of the side of a building – helps to connect the once frowned upon world of incredible art found on the street with the acceptable face of art in general. People like Banksy and Fairey (and many others) are bridging this gap and in the process allowing some of the ugliest of buildings of our cities to become canvases for great, eye-catching street art.
The exhibition continues until 4th November 2012 at the STOLENSPACE GALLERY, The Old Truman Brewery, Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL.
As we all know the summer has hardly got going and it seems that the only creatures that have really flourished so far this season are the slugs and snails in everybody’s gardens. With all eyes on the Olympics and a general feeling that if we just ignore the weather it will go away behind the scenes moves at Bristol-based company StreetCasuals have seen the delivery of the autumn collection from the US streetwear manufacturer Carhartt.
This time of year should be about festivals, sunshine and family holidays. Historically we would have enjoyed some good weather by now. But it has become increasingly obvious that the once less than perfect British summer has become much, much less perfect. With deteriorating weather and an eye to purchasing something that is suitable for autumnal wear, it is good news to hear that the family run “honest business” that started its life in the late 1800s has delivered this years styles ready for autumn.
Will, the co-owner of streetcasuals.com, said “although the summer season is not strictly speaking over it is quite normal for us to take delivery of the new season stock around this time of year. Carhartt are a new brand to us this year and their pedigree has already proven a success. This selection from their autumn range will be a winner with our customers”.
So for those of us who have given up on the shorts and sun hats for this year maybe it’s time to take their hard earned cash and direct it toward some quality apparel that will be more suited to the current weather conditions. Given Carhartt’s reputation in the states for providing honest clothing made with a family ethos it is perhaps not suprising that we, here in the UK, would like to be able to get our hands on clothing of this quality. It is therefore extremely good news that we can buy this stuff from these guys who are in the UK.
Street casuals stock many brands, most of which in the coming weeks will be delivering autumn’s stock, like Huf, Herschel Supply Comapny and Obey Clothing uk based distribution centres and an equally customer led service ethos means that they seem to be one of the good guys.
So next time you leave the house to view an Olympic big screen somewhere take some autumnal items with you to ensure maximum enjoyment in the great British outdoors.
London’s second-largest cab firm has announced plans to introduce free Wi-Fi technology into each of its 300 vehicles, becoming the latest in a series of organisations offering the service in the Capital.
Eco-friendly cab-company ‘Greentomatocars’ has become the latest in a series of companies and public services to offer its customers free Wi-Fi in London. With the Olympics fast looming, the pressure is on to offer the public the ability to view the events, and with download speeds of up to 7mbps, Greentomatocars has certainly capitalised on a potential cash-cow (not to mention improving their public image).
London, already named ‘Wi-Fi Capital of the World’ in 2008, looks set to keep a firm hold of the title. Indeed, Mayor Johnson pledged to increase wireless access across the city, as part of the city’s improvement program in the run-up to the Olympic Games. True-to-his-word, over 40 London Underground stations offer the connection (with a view to expanding the number to 120, by the end of the month). London’s 8000-strong fleet of buses is also set to offer the service. The founder of Greentomatocars commented: “You don’t have to work in the travel industry to see the importance of connectivity…”
But what does this mean for London as a whole? We seem to be moving from ‘Wi-Fi hotspots’ and paid public internet use, through to free, blanket-coverage for the entirety of the Capital. For the commuter, this is very likely an advantageous turnout: the use of smart-phones and tablet computing has increased exponentially in the past couple of years, and a large division of society has some kind of mobile access to the web. Social media has become increasingly integrated to our culture, and the demand for constant access is heavy. As mentioned above: many public transport services either offer, or have plans to offer similar schemes. This could mean a great shift in the transport community, with private companies being forced to ‘adapt or die’, to maintain customer satisfaction. Also with workers given internet on public transportation, perhaps this could prompt changes in the business community: with working-hours ‘extended’, as businessmen and women are able to check work schedules and send emails during the morning commute.
Whether or not this is hinting at the next step in societal development, or simply another fad, brought-on by Boris Johnson remains to be seen, and it will certainly be another year or so before the plans to ‘upgrade’ London are 100% complete. Whatever the future holds, we can be certain of one thing: awkward conversation with cab drivers after a night-out could become a thing of the past!
With sites like www.searchengineoptimisationcompany.co reporting on similar developments, such as WiFi becoming available in London Underground stations during the London 2012 Olympics, it seems that finding somewhere you cannot connect to wireless internet in the capital may soon be harder than finding somewhere you can.
Digital TV company ‘Freeview’ recently commissioned a report in which it surveyed 2000 people, suggesting that the average viewer will watch more than 24 hours of TV throughout the duration of the 2012 Olympics.
The report, called ‘Summer on the Sofa’, showed that sports fans will watch an average of 11 matches during Euro 2012, and of those questioned, each person will watch an estimated 97 minutes of sports coverage per day. Some stated that they planned on watching at least an hour of coverage at work per day, although the average user is more likely to watch just 18 minutes.
Despite the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet devices, the majority of the people surveyed stated that they would watch all sporting coverage on their TVs, although many said that they would share their experiences online whilst watching. It is anticipated that a staggering 180 million Tweets will be sent during the games.
The survey also suggested that TVs in the average home are now a whopping four inches larger than they were at the previous Olympics, and many people now have high quality entertainment systems, perfect for viewing such sporting events. So it is believed that many will opt for home-viewing in favour of visiting pubs to enjoy the games.
This is a relatively new phenomenon for such large-scale sporting events; the pub has always been the traditional place in which to enjoy such events, however a combination of the smoking ban and the recession has meant that many pubs have closed down, and many of the remaining have been forced to raise their prices. This combined with the increased cost of living has meant that many people can simply no longer afford to frequent pubs. The social aspect has been somewhat replaced by social media, as people are now able to socialise whilst in the comfort of their own homes.
This report goes some way in highlighting the importance of ensuring that your living spaces are as comfortable as possible. In these recession dominated times, many people are spending more time in their homes than ever before, making it vital that our homes provide us with a haven in which to relax at the end of the day.
‘Summer on the Sofa’ for example, would be far less desirable if the sofa in question was uncomfortable, badly upholstered and outdated. Thankfully, updating your furniture doesn’t have to be expensive; www.fashionforhome.co.uk is just one such website that sells designer furniture at competitive prices. So if like the 2000 people surveyed in the report, you’re looking forward to a summer of sport and you’re concerned that your sofa just isn’t up to the job, then click here to review your options.
The Olympics may have be planned for years but are now approaching fast with millions expected to visit London during the games. With so many people travelling within the UK and from abroad due to arrive during the summer, the demand for accommodation for the Olympics will exceed supply. In order to meet the accommodation demands of visitors finding hotel rooms booked, more and more property owners and landlords have decided to capitalise on the shortage.
Just as many turn to short term rental opportunities during other notable events such as Wimbledon, there has been an increase in short term lets in and around the Olympic village and East London boroughs that surround it.
Short term lets have seen an increase in the boroughs that surround the Olympics such as Waltham Forest and Dagenham by 35 per cent during the first quarter of 2012. The amount that landlords can achieve from weekly rents has also risen sharply to reflect demand. A weekly rent in one of the Olympic boroughs now stands at around £143 up 14 per cent from the same period last year. It is also estimated that the closer to the opening of the games we get, the higher the weekly rental prices will rise.
Short term lets have also proved popular in West London on the lead up to the Olympics even though rental in East London will make it easier to access the games. West London has seen 37 per cent of all the Olympic rentals with visitors wanting a base in the city in which they can view the games and visit all the city’s attractions and nightlife. Many Olympic visitors are teaming up a trip to the games with a traditional visit to the capital and are therefore staying in the more tourist focused areas, preferring to travel into the Olympic park each day.
Greenwich which is hosting the equestrian events and Windsor near to the rowing events during the games have also seen an increase in short term lets and have proved popular rental areas this summer.
If you have a property to be let in London and wish to find a short term let during the games, there are lots of ways to improve your chances and capitalise on the event. It is estimated that during the games rental costs are due to rise as much as twenty times the basic rate. Make sure you hire experts to let out your property on a short term basis as they will have the experience to find tenants quickly before the games start.
Even with demand high, make sure the property is in good rental condition with good overall decoration and all maintenance work completed and up to date. There will be many different people visiting the city during the games from visitors, competitors’ family and friends to professionals working and organising the games. Some guests may expect hotel accommodation standards such as toiletries and tea or coffee available. Make sure you factor these into the short term rental costs.
The British Cultural Olympiad, the festival of cultural events happening throughout the country in support of the London 2012 Olympics, is promising to be a large proportion of the legacy the Games leaves behind. Utilising floating Svalbard islands, singing watermills and more, the stunningly creative projects on display are sure to impress, but it is arguable that ‘The Space’ website and other more ‘underground’ elements of the festival will possibly have a more lasting influence on British Arts.
‘The Space’ is the Olympiad’s online platform for art, theatre, video and dance. It is funded by the Olympics and the Arts Council. Expectations are that it will be a new experience for a lot of the public to find the most creative pieces of UK art online. The Space is the site where artists upload their creations for the public to have at their fingertips.
An example of this new work is Blast Theory’s interactive online game of ‘tag’ which has you running through the streets of Manchester with their performers via cameras and headsets while you’re sitting on you computer. With good music and cool filming; the team in Manchester get you to join them by clicking your mouse when you see another runner in the video streamed shot.
This unconventional way of presenting the arts is causing raised eyebrows. It is a way for theatre to be presented outside of the theatre. Some directors think it is a way to develop audiences for new theatre by engaging with them digitally but critics have suggested that this site may stop people who want to go to the theatre from going as this is a more convenient option. This website doesn’t compare to live theatre work connecting on a human level with the audience in front of it. The website creates an experience for the public who want to see something creative and out of the ordinary while they are online.
For fans of musical or traditional theatre, rest assured there is a full line up of fantastic shows available in the West End throughout the Olympics. To learn more about the shows and performances taking place, head to a theatre listings website that also keeps a directory of show previews and reviews. While some feel at the web encroaching into the world of the theatre is a bad thing, sites like cheaptheatreticketsLondon.org.uk musical reviews show that the connection between live theatre and the internet can be positive, and may even help the next generation become true fans of not just the stage, but of British creative arts in general.
As many are having to be frugal during these austere times, sites that offer these London theatre reviews can be a valuable tool in making sure your money is spent on a show that you are guaranteed to enjoy.
Technology behemoth Apple’s oft-rumoured foray into the high definition TV market looks like it is drawing ever closer following a claim by Cult of Mac, a website devoted to all things Apple.
In a post published on Monday 7 May 2012, the Apple-devoted news site published a post that claimed that an Apple insider had disclosed what a prototype Apple TV, nicknamed the iTV, looks like and what functions it will boast. Although many industry analysts remain skeptical, the news has sparked discussion across the web.
The Cult of Mac source, who claims to have seen the prototype set working, stated that the TV will look similar to the screens their current iMac range boasts, although significantly bigger. It will also apparently boast a built-in camera to enable FaceTime video calls and ‘Siri’ the virtual assistant that comes as standard on the iPhone 4S.
According to the source, the camera, which will use iSight technology will be able to recognise faces and follow users as they move around the room, bringing an end to the need to remain static while making video calls. This is all exciting stuff but remains speculation until Apple officially releases information about the project. This is noted by Cult of Mac:
“Our source is well-placed and has provided us with great tips in the past. However, not all of them have panned out, ostensibly due to the fact that our source tends to see products in the prototype or early development stage and Apple doesn’t always ultimately choose to release them. We hope this is one of our source’s tips about an upcoming Apple product that actually sees market.”
Despite the rumours, no fixed date has been announced for an unveiling of the set or even official confirmation that it will reach retail outlets this year. Consumers hoping to have their hands on an official Apple TV in time to enjoy HD coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games may be better off investing their money on a set that is already on the market.
Luckily, there is plenty of choice in the sets available and the subscription services that offer fantastic deals that include access to HD channels. There are also many great price comparison sites that can make your search easier. Checking your local HD coverage on digitalchoices.co.uk , for example, has never been easier. Just enter your postcode, house name or number, your email address and what form of digital TV you currently receive (Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, etc) and within seconds you will be presented with a list of fantastic HD TV options in your area.
With more and more television manufacturers producing internet ready TVs, there is one thing that is certain; these are exciting times for the home entertainment industry.
In a remarkable change of fortunes, phone manufacturer Samsung, have overtaken Nokia as the dominant player in the mobile phone marketplace. Having held the position for no less than fourteen years, Nokia have been completely eclipsed by Samsung’s recent success.
Previously, Samsung were known for producing discount ‘imitations’ of the most popular phones on the market, however having significantly improved their game over the last few years, the company is now the dominant player in phone manufacturing, even outselling closest rival Apple.
Having announced first quarter profits of an impressive £3.2 billion, Samsung shipped a staggering 44.5m smartphones in the first three months of this year, widening its lead over Apple as the single largest producer of Smartphones. This latest news is particularly good for search engine behemoth Google, whose operating system powers most of the Android devices produced by Samsung.
Since 1998 when it overtook Motorola, Nokia have dominated the mobile marketplace. However their profitability has seen somewhat of a decline in recent years, with their smartphone devices receiving mixed reviews from customers, and the repeated occurrence of technical problems. In stark contrast to Samsung, Nokia announced a first quarter loss of £1.1 billion. Gavin Byrne, a principal analyst at CSS had this to say:
“Samsung has become an aspirational brand, younger than the Nokia demographic, and it has also managed to bring down the prices of smartphones. The desire to address many different price points has helped it to ramp up volumes very quickly.”
Nokia previously maintained its position primarily through supplying people in developing or emerging countries with cheap handsets, however many people now seriously doubt whether Nokia can survive what can best be described as digital Darwinism.
Samsung has faced its own challenges however, having seen a serious decline in the profitability of its memory chip manufacturing unit, due to a decrease in global demand for computers. Tablet devices are becoming increasingly popular and don’t require the type of memory chip that Samsung produces. The Korean company announced that whilst overall profits had risen, its memory chip division had seen profits fall by 54% in the first quarter, in comparison to the last year’s figures.
This is a source of continual concern for the company; however with the launch of its Galaxy S3 due to take place next week, ahead of the London 2012 Olympics of which it is a lead sponsor, the outlook remains positive for the Korean mobile giant.
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is arguably the most hotly anticipated smartphone of this year, boasting numerous impressive features, including an 8 mega-pixel camera and up to 64GB of on-board memory. The device also has its own speech function to rival that of Apple’s Siri and runs on Android 4.0, which means that the device will support all the latest games and applications.
If you are interested in purchasing a new mobile phone or would like to compare deals, then websites such as Mobile Choices can provide you with further information. You can find detailed information regarding data plans on this website ; however regardless of which handset you may choose, it’s essential that you check what phone coverage is available in your area. You’ll be able to view prices, brands, networks and compare networks on this site .
As rates of people going abroad with and without travel agents increase and sterling’s strength against the Euro increases to the best rate in years the benefits of being a British traveler are to be seen. holidays on holidays press show some of the opportunities that the British pound is making a cheaper option for the UK. The chance that was taken for granted 5 years ago of hopping off to a cute part of Europe for a weekend is for the moment back on the cards.
The options of where to go are numerous. Parts of Europe are slashing holiday prices to encourage people into the country, the USA is also on a drive to encourage tourism with restrictions easing on visas. People have an influence with their holiday plans. There are some parts of the world where spending your money could save you a penny or two indirectly. The power of the people is something advertisers use to sell t-shirts so why not take the opportunity to go to a country you care about. Some that have thriving holiday industries are: Greece, Tunisia, and the USA. The most thrilling holiday could involve spending some money in an economy which you want to help.
With the Olympics here to entertain the Britons who stay at home. Many Londoners are in the position are letting out their homes and having a week away during the sports bonanza. They also maintain the luxury of flying back for the finals. The possibility is there that if there isn’t a sports ticket at hand, the option is to put that money towards getting away.
There is a desire in the Government to keep residents at home to support the economy but there is conflicting evidence for this. There is an article from the mail which, explains this further The suggestion has been ignored by many as the Briton abroad has adventures. A report has come out that each holiday maker spends an average of £532 in the British economy connected to their holiday before going abroad. Luggage, presents, sun glasses, and even duty free all contribute to the UK economy. The Olympics will most likely bring a great support to this year’s budget. Citizens are at liberty to hop off on their holiday and enjoy the foreign sunshine and freedom from a crowded city.
The relationship between sportswear giants Nike and Adidas is at a low at the moment, with the two companies at loggerheads over their sponsored athletes wearing their competitor’s clothing during the Olympic Games in London this summer.
Usually there is something of a gentleman’s agreement over issues such as this, but the rivalry between Adidas and Nike is growing so fierce that no such deal has been struck ahead this year’s Games.
Adidas is an official sponsor of the Olympics, The British Olympic Association and the provider of kit for Team GB, while Nike is the supplier and sponsor of the US team. The row surrounds Nike-sponsored athletes having to wear Adidas trainers and tracksuits during the opening ceremonies and any medal ceremonies they attend and Adidas-sponsored athletes wearing Nike.
Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter states that athletes cannot appear produced by companies that clash with official sponsors, with team members signing agreements to wear official national kit. Exempt from this ruling is footwear, which is classed as equipment, so Converse uk sponsored athletes can wear Converse trainers, Adidas sponsored; Adidas, and so on.
The situation can be equated to a celebrity that is paid to promote French Connection being seen in an official capacity wearing a rival brand’s clothing. For the two weeks of the Olympics, it would be OK if it happened, but both Nike and Adidas are resisting allowing the athletes they sponsor to sign agreements to wear official national kit.
Team GB athletes that are currently affected by the row include Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe and Mark Cavandish. Some commentators have speculated that if the two companies do not come to some form of compromise before the games begin, some of the world’s greatest athletes could be barefoot when they step onto the podium.
The situation is further complicated by Adidas’s position as an official sponsor of London 2012, as they have the power to prevent athletes sponsored by other sportswear firms from appearing in s during the Games. There are some exemptions to the rules that allow this, however, and Nike will try to initiate these exemptions so it can make the most of its deals with some of the world’s leading athletes before and during the Olympics.
Business analysts await with baited breath to see if the row escalates and whether there will be any more twists and turns in this ongoing saga.