KATE (MISSMetaverse)

Have you been following what’s going on with Uber? Just following Matt Taylor’s #shirtgate, an even greater tale of journalism versus sexism and misogyny, as well as privacy concerns and bad business practices have caused this week’s new tech trend: deactivating and deleting Uber accounts.

Uber is an app like Lyft that allows you to hire top-rated private car and taxi services at the press of a button. In the last few months, Uber (which is valued over a whopping $18.2 billion) has been under fire following a myriad of privacy and ethical issues surrounding the app’s data usage and accusations of journalists being intimidated out of writing negative press, sexism, misogyny, and the list keeps growing.

When Disruption Becomes A Bad Thing

Cult of disruption via futurist miss metaverse

Back in 2012, Pando writer Paul Carr noted that Uber’s usage of the word disruption might have a negative meaning behind it. He also pointed out that Uber views both drivers and passengers as disposable commodities, all in the name of maximizing profits. Paul uninstalled the app after writing that piece and this was only the beginning of the press’ awareness of Uber’s soon to be tirade of all-out douchey behavior and bad business practices. Uber is a disruptor, alright. 

Over the last year, the word disruptor has captured our hearts with a refreshing ideology that innovative tech start-ups can provide radical positive change to the world. However, it’s apparent that a sinister agenda also exists in what is known as Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption.

But, for why are some innovators in Silicon Valley harboring so much contempt for good ol’ fashioned start-ups? In these days of UPgradia, describing a product as innovative now seems as stupendous as As Seen On TV and the last thing young go-getter techies want is to seem generic. 

Disruption, however, redefined innovators in a way that felt rebellious in a V-For Vendetta sort of way…but, it’s clear that there are start-ups out there that have taken the whole disruption thing too far and the poster child of such negative disruptors might just be Uber.

How Uber Became A Major Turn-Off

Uber failure: why you might want to delete your Uber app asap via futurist miss metaverse

Uber’s Website Demands You To Allow Them To Know Your Location

Uber via futurist miss metaverse

Right now as I’m typing this, I visited Uber’s desktop sign-up site and guess what? When you visit it, a pop-up appears asking you to “Allow” Uber to use your current location. When I clicked “Don’t Allow,” it froze my screen until I chose  “Remember my decision for one day.” *SIGH*

Uber’s Unfair Surge Pricing Practices

According to the New York Times, Uber CEO defended Uber’s surge pricing practices on New Year’s Eve, when some riders were charged more than $100 for a ride that should have cost $20.

Uber’s Hyper-Competitive Tactics

Back in August 2014, TechCrunch reported that Uber gave contractors phones and credit cards to create fake Lyft accounts to recruit drivers and create false demand which led to over 5,000 lost rides. This was the beginning of what would eventually brand Uber as using “hyper-competitive tactics.”

Uber’s Creepy Stalking And Utter Disregard For User Privacy

Uber God View via Futurist Miss Metaverse

Each time Uber would launch in a new large city, the company would invite the “local tech glitterati” for craft cocktails, canapés, and a presentation by Uber’s CEO Travis Kanalick. At each party, attendees would be treated to Uber’s secret “God View,” which allows them to see all of the Ubers in a city and the silhouettes of waiting Uber users who have flagged cars. Later on at the Chicago launch party, Uber treated guests to Creepy Stalker View, which showed the whereabouts and movements of 30 Uber users in New York in real time which was interesting, until one attendee recognized venture capitalist Peter Sims in an Uber car at 33rd and 5th, texted him and the rest was history.

Then came another incident when Buzzfeed News reporter Johana Bhuiyan showed up at Uber’s New York headquarters for a meeting. When she arrived, Uber’s New York general manager Josh Mohrer reportedly met her outside and told her he had been tracking her Uber ride to the office. This was two months after Mohrer had emailed Bhuiyan records of her previous Uber activity, which Bhuiyan never requested nor authorized him to access.

In its privacy policy, Uber says that it can use your personal information or usage information—that includes your location, email, credit card, name or IP address—”for internal business purposes” as well as to facilitate its service for pickups and communicating with customers.

Uber’s (Potentially Fabricated) Promise Of Background Checks For All Drivers

Delete Uber App via futurist miss metaverse

Case 1:

January 2014 – Pando writer Carmel Deamicis shared that in December 2013, an Uber driver in San Francisco had been accused of verbally and physically assaulting a passenger, James Alva. According to Alva, the driver called him a “dirty Mexican faggot” and then struck him several times when Alva tried to take a photo of him and his license plate to send to Uber.

Uber confirmed that the attacker was an Uber driver. However, since the police did not arrest the driver when called to the scene, the company chose not to investigate the incident any further. Uber deleted the driver’s account.

Pando had since learned that the driver – 28-year-old San Francisco resident Daveea Whitmire – has a criminal record, including felony and misdemeanor charges, and at least one felony conviction involving prison time.

Case 2:

UberX driver Syed Muzaffer was arrested for vehicular manslaughter after killing a six year old girl with his car on New Years Eve in San Francisco of this yeari. Turns out he had a conviction for reckless driving 10 years ago that Uber didn’t pick up on, and the company is now facing a wrongful death suit.

Case 3:

Uber driver Tadeusz Szczechowicz was discovered by the Chicago Tribune in February 2014 for past convictions including “felony residential burglary… misdemeanor criminal damage to property… and another misdemeanor for breaking into a 2002 Toyota for a GPS and satellite receiver… a history of speeding tickets and had his licence suspended twice in 2008 for having two moving violations with a 24-month period.” Worryingly, reported the Tribune, “Only the felony conviction… should have disqualified Szczechowicz to be an Uber ride-share driver under the company’s rules.” Source

Thank you

Miss Metaverse







GENRE: Hip-Hop

Release date:  October 28, 2014

Track Listing:

  1. Rise
  2. Lights On
  3. Shweet
  4. Manolo (Feat. Lecrae)
  5. You Don’t Know
  6. All Rise Up (interlude)
  7. All Rise Up
  8. Beautiful Life 2 (Mine)
  9. Insomniac (feat. Andy Mineo)
  10. Something New
  11. Lazarus (Feat. Thi’sl)
  12. All My Love (Feat. Natalie Lauren)
  13. I’m Gone
  14. Sweet Victory (Feat. Dimitri McDowell & Leah Smith)

I remember the first time I heard “In Da Club” by 50 Cent – this emcee with this cool, lazy slur on top of that infectious beat – ultimately there was nowhere you could go and not hear that song – for years! Brings me back to the days of EPMD. Those guys slurred most of their words, but you knew their voices – and loved their music. Voices like DJ Run (Run-DMC) seemed to stick out in the crowd. You knew it, and you loved listening to it. Very few voices are that distinct anymore.

But I felt the same thing the first time I heard Trip Lee’s voice on Lecrae’s “Fall Back”. Who Is That??? The slick rhyme structure and pattern, the smooth delivery, the deep accent. I had to find that artist! I found and bought the Between Two Worlds record immediately, then I went back and bought 20/20, then “The Good Life” and then I waited – starvin’ like Marvin for a Trip Lee song. While I was disappointed that it took so long, Trip held us over by doing several cameos with the likes of Deraj, Andy Mineo, KB, and more as little appetizers for the Trip Lee fans.

But finally, on 10/28/2014, RISE, by Trip Lee was released.

So…listen #1:

It was interesting. A unique musical experience. Kind of the feel I’d get when I purchased a Timbaland-produced Aaliyah, Missy, or Justin Timberlake record. Trip’s unique way to lay rhyme patterns on different types of music made for a fun and compelling listening experience.

Yes, I started biased. I expected it to be good. I wanted it to be good. Well after pass 1, it was Shweet indeed.

And…listen #2:

Lyrically it began to stand out, and the nuances of the Gawvi-produced music and the theme of the album jumped out immediately. This is an album I would love to hear live at a small venue with a live band – the music arrangements and sounds just scream for live instruments and a jazz club.

“Rise” First words (classic Trip) “Yes sir, Hold up!” How’s that for an attention-getter? Then he charges the listener to rise up and recognize that there’s one true God who rules the universe, and we have an obligation to serve him only and to proclaim him. My favorite line:  “How I’ma retire when we need a crier to tell you to rise up and stand!” I love that!  A lot of meat in that quick 1 verse concept introduction song.

Then “Lights On”. I remember riding in the car with my son and watching him rocking to the groove of the sample. I was taken by the unique groove of the song – jungle groove meets hip hop, and it’s done extremely well. Talking about us having moved so far from home that our lights are out – we’re groping in the dark and we need the light of Christ. And to add beautiful fuel to the fire, listen to the ending! The hip-hop drops out and leaves us with a ballad groove, piano, Leah Smith’s vocals…really pretty. Something you’d hear on your classic R&B station overnight.  How did they do that and do it so well

So there are definitely the really fun songs: Shweet, the first release leading up to the album. Creative word play – sounds like it would be a blast to watch performed live with a hype man by his side. He must have a blast recording it. This song has been on my playlist over and over for a week now. Then what’s a Reach Records album without a Lecrae feature (Manolo, my son brags that the song had the most hits on youtube), and a Mineo feature (Insomniac, it’s OK. I thought they were going for the Uno Uno Seis (Mineo, Heroes for Sale) energy, but it just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t feel the excitement in the song. Decent vocal performances, but I felt like something was missing. But that’s just me.)

For me, there were some standouts: You Don’t Know – a real feel-good song. A tune that feels like I should be riding with my top down near a beach in Miami. And then the transition to live drums! OMG – Kudos to Nate Robinson, and double kudos to Gawvi for another wonderful, unique take on a hip-hop track!  I’m Gone was a cool tune – I like the vocal flavor he put on it. Just Trip on the track having a good time rhyming and telling his story.

There’s one more flavor on the record; the more transparent, introspective look into his life. All Rise Up starts with an interview response, and then puts that interview to music. A rags to riches-esque story of a humble beginning through to a more polished expertise, yet with the same mission. This is a look into why he does what he does. Verse 3, though, almost sounds like a preparation for the possibility of RISE being the last album. He alludes to a desire to transition from a rapper on a stage to pastor behind a pulpit….Hmmmmm.  The final track, Sweet Victory, is another introspective – powerful song. I saw him minister it live at the Dove Awards show and it was powerful, but after reading some of the articles about his struggle with his health, listening to the song gave new meaning and brought a tear to my eye.

On the serious tip, we have Beautiful life 2., Lazarus – featuring Thi’sl, and All My Love – which tells a story of a man who has an affair with a woman that’s not his wife. A story well told, point made!

So I’m not disappointed at all, it was a smart record and was worth the wait. He didn’t disappoint, he didn’t adjust his message – Trip Lee was faithful to who he is, the God he serves and the Gospel he was sent to preach. Although Gawvi’s production speaks for itself, the partnership between the two was magic like the Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones partnership days. I’ve listened to the album over and over already – loudly and louder. I’ve sang along, bobbed my head, and have been blessed and ministered to in so many ways. So as I close (every good preacher has to close) here’s my pros, cons, my wishlist, and my faves for the record.

Pros. Musically eclectic in sounds, rhythms and flavors. There’s a feel for just about every type of hip-hop lover. Gawvi handled the production from start to finish and was so ingenious, Trip got the best of the best tracks to lay vocals on.

Cons. I didn’t hear the “116” crew song that Reach artists generally have on their album. That’s a disappointment. I look forward to those.

My Wishlist. I don’t have anything I could have wished for that wasn’t delivered. Maybe a personal invite to the release party?

My Fave. Man, that’s hard! Sweet Victory touched my heart when I first heard it and it still does. Dimitri McDowell did a bang up job with the chorus. He hit it perfectly and contributed to the energy and emotion of the tune.  Rise is a killer start to the album and You Don’t Know is just one of the many songs that MUST be played loud in order to fully enjoy!

Least Fave. Yeah, the Trip/Andy tune. But, as I said, that’s just my taste. My son seemed to like it. He’s 17. I’m not. What do I know?

Looking forward to giving you a review of Manic Drive. This will be for the tween/pop-generation. Look for it in 2 weeks!  Review by Pastor V (Veronne Carter)

Nashville, TN

THE UFRONT VIDEO 4 CAST 2014 “ New Content on the Rise”

ufront-flyer2014low-res (6)

Welcome to Ufront Media Insights;

The 3rd Annual Ufront Video 4 Cast on October 23rd 2014 was a showcase of  digital video content creators that premiered at the Stella and Charles Guttman Community College in New York City hosted by the founder Mr. Roger Maloney.

The Ufront Video 4 Cast 2014 mission is to promote diversity in the online video space and it includes a variety of video presentations from upcoming online video producers from various fields. The Ufront Video 4 Cast has been really lucky to be at the center of this new industry. Online video, right now, is at a very important moment. There is so much excitement, so much potential, and so much talent,” said Roger Maloney, creator of the event. “Every day, billions of videos are watched online. Some of the online video creators have larger audiences than successful cable shows and  I want to give these online channels as much exposure to the general audience.

The Ufront Video 4 Cast is about giving a voice to a more diverse diaspora of video content creators and getting people to see, talk and celebrate the new content they are creating.”


This years presenters for the UFRONT VIDEO 4 CAST 2014 were broken up into Ufront video categories to give the audience insight into all the different types of video content theses presenters have to offer the world so allow me to introduce them to  you:

 First, in the category of Best One on One interviews goes to  Kevin E Taylor’s show NOW WHAT – this a show that interviews people in entertainment and architecture, fitness and health and other realms, and talk to them about how they  stepped into their next level AFTER something happened that forced them to deal with their own dreams. NOW WHAT?

kevin taylor now what

 Kevin E Taylor makes multi-tasking sound easy. He’s a pastor (9 years in January 2010), a writer and producer for television (12 years in television and more than 15 years running TM3-his own video production company), with shows as: ACCESS GRANTED, TESTIMONY, LYRICALLY SPEAKING and NOTARIZED, which gave the network its highest day-ratings in its history in 1999 and where he won a Gold World Medal for International Programming for a special (24 HOURS WITH DRU HILL) and a pair of NAACP Image Award nominations, competing against himself in 2001 for his Aaliyah episode of ACCESS GRANTED and his interviews with Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige for TESTIMONY. Taylor also wrote biographies for projects or featured articles on Anita Baker (“Rhythm of Love” and “My Everything” cd releases, Jennifer Holliday (cover story for REAL magazine), Rachelle Ferrell (The Black Guide) and Tina Turner for the 1996 cover feature of Sister2Sister magazine. As an author (UNCLUTTER, a “help-yourself” book he published in 2003 after leaving BET to pastor full-time; JADED, a novel released in 2006, which was Top 10 on several Amazon charts and 2 books coming in 2010—IT’S TIME FOR SOME ACTION and BECAUSE HE LIVES)

Second , in the category for Best Video Game & culture content goes to Shalako L Gordon with DUSTY CARTRIDGES GAMERS LIFE 

Shalako L Gordon  is a writer the founder of owner and CEO of BlackFeet Films, Inc. BlackFeet Films strives to create opportunities through independent productions (i.e. film, Television or video).  Mr. Gordon has worked in film and television for the last twelve years. Throughout his years in television, Shalako has contributed to the success and completion of such prestigious programs, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Dateline, NBC, VH1, Black Entertainment Television, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Saturday Night Live and many more.  Shalako is an Award-Winning director with his short film, ‘One Word,’ which screened at over 15 film festivals. Making the transition from editor to director was almost seamless and Shalako’s latest film, ‘The Truth About Lies’ is truly an example. Shalako is currently developing two web series, ‘Fathers and Sons’ and ‘Dusty’ along with a feature length film FLAWLESS.

 Third, in the category for best music video & creating a social movement  goes to IN MY CITY RECORDS co founder Jeremy Castro. The name of their artist is HeeSun Lee ft Jin and the video is called  I Break Stereotypes

 Jeremy Castro is CEO and Co Founder of In My City Records and is the A&R Analyst for RCA Records and  Co founder of GOD IS IN MY CITY and IN MY CITY RECORDS.    Jeremy Castro is a confident, creative and highly qualified marketing & creative professional with 15 + years of distinguished performance & demonstrated success in media and entertainment. Broad-based background encompasses exceptional work ethic and commitment to organizational objectives within highly competitive and rapidly changing marketplace. Proactive manager, team builder and tactical planner with ability to attract and secure key players in building strong and lasting relationships. Recognized for decisive leadership and proven ability to face challenges head-on and execute sound decisions while directing product launches.

 Fourth, in the category for best video content by a BRAND goes to MD Callahan wine/spirits brand called  VODKILA 

MD Callahan – Md Callahan COO and founder of Vodkila spirits, as well as the founder of Vodkila spirits since 2004. His role as founder and COO is gaining daily accounts such as liquors stores, clubs, lounges restaurants.  He also handles visibility for Vodkila and he is  involved in all marketing for Vodkila and promotions.  He is in charge of course of putting the Vodkila girl team together for Vodkila and his role is pretty much what ever is needed lol and all off these duties are done on a daily basis.

Fifth, in the category for Best educational  video content goes to Cornerstone Academy for Social Action by principal Jamaal Bowman and Kevin Allen with The 7 Habits Video 

kevin and jamaal pic

Jamaal A. Bowman, proud father and husband, is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School. Born and raised in New York City, Jamaal’s values and educational philosophy are shaped by his single mom, three sisters, playing street games with friends, constant visits to museums, and the golden age of Hip Hop music and culture. Jamaal played college football at the University of New Haven and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. Jamaal also holds a master degree from Mercy College in guidance and counseling and three New York State ed certifications in business and distributive ed, guidance counseling, and school building leadership. After teaching for 9 years in K-12 settings, while also serving as dean of students, coach, and club liaison, Jamaal received his school building leadership training from New Leaders for New Schools. While a resident with New Leaders, Jamaal wrote and proposed a new middle school rooted in writing across the curriculum, experiential learning, creativity and love. In January 2009 the proposal was accepted by the department of education and C.A.S.A. Middle School opened its doors in September 2009. 5 years later C.M.S. has a widely celebrated school culture, a 21st century child development program, and most importantly, parents and children that love the school. Jamaal maintains a beginners mindset; always looking to learn and ask questions. Jamaal’s hobbies are reading, writing, walking, conversing, and strategic planning.

Kevin Allen is the Chief Creative Director and Partner of The Allen Group World Wide.The Allen Group World Wide is a company whose main focus is Integrated Marketing and Brand Strategies.  Kevin Allen is also a product of the NYC Public School System(elementary to the Leonard Davis Center for Performing Arts @City College New York). Kevin Allen serves as a Intervention and Prevention Specialist Coach for the NYC Department of Education. Kevin Allen also serves as a Senior Advisor @ The Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School in the Bronx,NY.

 Sixth, in the category for Best technology and futuristic video content goes to Katie Aquino aka Miss Meta Verse. Her video is called  Futurist Miss Metaverse

KATE (MISSMetaverse)

 Katie Aquino aka “Miss Metaverse” is a Futurista™ with a whole lotta moxie. Fans and colleagues  describe Katie as a “joyful, disruptive intellect” and “the queen of innovation.” But above all, Katie is a female futurist, the world’s first Futurista™, a techno-optimist, video producer and host. Her background is in filmmaking, having produced and created original content for 11:11 Productions, AEG Productions, and Solaris Entertainment. Katie has collaborated on series for SPIKE, MTV, TruTV, Lifetime, Discovery, Nat GEO, and several others. Katie launched Futurista Inc. in 2013 to promote her futurist speaking, foresight, and consulting business. Her magnetic personality, passion for spreading the futurist ideology, and extensive technology and media experience led her to present at conferences and events including the Tree Media Conference, Wearable Tech Expo at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC, and many more. Among Katie’s many projects that embrace futurism and empowering young women through the Futurista™ lifestyle, she’s most passionate about her AwesomeFuture.TV original web series and blog It’s on these platforms where Katie – in her signature charismatic style – breaks down for readers and viewers what’s going on in today’s world, tomorrow’s future, and what it means for them.

Seven, in the category for Best Dramedy (drama with comedy)  video content goes to Johanna Tolentino with her trailer for Whatever It Takes  

Johanna T


Johanna Tolentino got her first big break at the age of 16 on the feature film “Lean On Me” with Morgan Freeman.  After being bitten by the acting bug, she went full fledge into her acting career and booked roles on off-off broadway in New York with the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.  She then started booking roles in regional theaters around the country including in Atlanta and Philadelphia.  She did a number of industrial films and regional commercials in Atlanta and Philadelphia.  She has also booked roles on various web series, including the web series “Which Way”.  Recently, she played the character of Rosa in The Buddy Holly Story at the Walnut Street Theatre, a nurse on the NBC show Do No Harm, and Maria on the short film, “Taking East New York”. Right now she is the creator, producer and star of the web series “Whatever It Takes”.

Thank you and I hope to see you at the next  UFRONT VIDEO 4 CAST event coming in 2015 !!


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