Calling All Broadway Songwriters (in High School)

Read all about our new songwriting contest!

  • High school songwriters will have a chance to come to Broadway, too, through a new competition announced by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts is giving high school composers a chance to make it to Broadway.
  • A new national competition, called the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge, seeks to find and develop young songwriters from around the country; the finalists will win a trip to New York to work with professionals in theater and compete for the top prize.
  • The competition is a cooperative venture between the national endowment, the American Theater Wing, Playbill and Disney Theatrical Productions.
  • The finalists will receive scholarships and perform their songs in front of a panel to determine the national winner.

The National Endowment for the Arts is giving high school composers a chance to make it to Broadway. A new national competition, called the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge, seeks to find and develop young songwriters from around the country; the finalists will win a trip to New York to work with professionals in theater and compete for the top prize.
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AP Explains: What Is Bitcoin? A Look at the Digital Currency

AP Explains: What Is #bitcoin? A Look at the Digital Currency

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It’s worth more than an ounce of gold right now, it’s completely digital and it’s the currency of choice for the cyberattackers who crippled computer networks around the world in recent days.
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KPMG And Microsoft Announce New “Blockchain Nodes”

  • NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — KPMG International and Microsoft Corp. have announced the launch of joint Blockchain Nodes, which are designed to create and demonstrate use cases that apply blockchain technology to business propositions and processes.
  • The KPMG and Microsoft Blockchain Nodes –innovation workspaces– will expand on a global alliance, which combines Microsoft’s technical expertise with KPMG’s deep industry and blockchain application knowledge, together with strong connections to the start-up and developer communities.
  • “Together with KPMG’s experience in successfully transforming business models, we are pursuing innovative applications of blockchain technology that will help our customers worldwide achieve their strategic goals,” said Marley Gray, principal architect program manager, Azure Blockchain Engineering at Microsoft.
  • Jens Rassloff, KPMG’s global head of Alliances, added, “The Blockchain Nodes and the Microsoft alliance enable fresh approaches to solving clients’ complex issues as well as opening the door to new opportunities.
  • KPMG also announced the expansion of its strategic alliance with Microsoft to work on blockchain initiatives – with Microsoft providing the Blockchain as a Service platform on Microsoft Azure and KPMG providing its comprehensive suite of services – which will help clients efficiently and securely move to the cloud for storage, while adopting disruptive blockchain technologies.

The KPMG and Microsoft Blockchain Nodes –innovation workspaces– will expand on a global alliance, which combines Microsoft’s technical expertise with KPMG’s deep industry and blockchain application knowledge, together with strong connections to the start-up and developer communities. ”
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Deloitte opens Americas blockchain lab in New York

Deloitte opens Americas #blockchain lab in New York

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Consultancy giant Deloitte has opened a client-focused blockchain lab in New York’s Wall Street district. This builds on Deloitte’s broader digital transformation and innovation efforts, called “Grid by Deloitte,” which constitutes a network of labs around the world, among other initiatives
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Arts and media stars we lost in 2016

Arts and media stars we lost in 2016 via @BBCNews

  • Brookner died in March, at the age of 87.
  • Cunningham died in June at the age of 87.
  • The Liverpool-born writer died in June, at the age of 90.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee died in February at the age of 89.
  • The writer AA Gill was described as a “giant among journalists” by the Sunday Times editor when he died at the age of 62 in December.

The arts and media worlds have said goodbye to stars including Dame Zaha Hadid, Peter Maxwell Davies, Harper Lee and AA Gill, over the past year.
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Peer-to-peer companies set their sights on disrupting the insurance industry

  • The company, which launched in 2010 and started offering policies in 2011, says policy holders can get back up to 40 percent of their premiums if they remain claims-free.
  • Peer-to-peer companies set their sights on disrupting the insurance industry
  • When someone in the team needs to make an insurance claim, they will provide evidence to the other members of the team, who will then vote on whether or not to make a reimbursement.
  • Lemonade charges a 20 percent fee on contributions, after which it plans to give away any unclaimed premium money to the charitable cause picked by the customer, rather than keeping the premiums as profit.
  • At the end of each year, policy holders using Friendsurance receive a cash-back bonus if they did not make a claim.

Start-ups, such as Lemonade and Teambrella, are using peer-to-peer strategies to bring disruption to the trillion-dollar insurance industry.

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‘Hactivists’ are trying to reboot democracy from the bottom up with interactive voting apps

  • It was the Argentine capital where the platform was first rolled out in 2012 alongside a political group, the Net Party, which is committed to policies voted for on the DemocracyOS app.
  • Although the Net Party didn’t win any seats in its first election in 2013, the app was trialled by the Argentine Congress where it had some remarkable successes. “
  • DemocracyOS isn’t the only platform that would-be reformers such as Pane can choose from.
  • Pane had been thinking about his own idea for a system of digital democracy for the past few years, since he first heard about DemocracyOS. He decided to contact Pia Mancini directly and she put him in touch with British model-turned-entrepreneur Lily Cole.
  • There’s no point in trying to reinvent the wheel,” he says, “when I can use DemocracyOS and champion this platform in the UK faster.

Read the full article, click here.


@lechappeevolee: “Les hacktivistes rebattent les cartes de la démocratie Le talk @santisiri #echappee16”


At the front of a packed auditorium, a young woman is speaking eloquent English in an Argentinian accent. She’s telling her audience about 19th-century politics and explaining how the phrase “no taxation without representation” came to be coined. She isn’t a university lecturer, and her subject isn’t history. Her name is Pia Mancini, a technology revolutionary who is demanding an end to democracy as we know it.


‘Hactivists’ are trying to reboot democracy from the bottom up with interactive voting apps