Top Story: #TheDress — White and Gold vs. Black and Blue
If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve undoubtedly seen that dress.
What’s the deal?
The dress first appeared on Tumblr with the caption, “guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f–k out.”
Essentially, some see a black and blue dress, while others see a dress that is white and gold. Some see one combo at one time and later see the other. According to one poll on BuzzFeed, about three-quarters of respondents see white and gold.
Business Insider put the dress to the test on Photoshop, where it could not be susceptible to variations in genetics or eye strength.
Here is what they found:
Basically, one of the colors falls on the black/gold border and the other falls on the blue/white border.
The Science Behind the Dress: It has to do with the way human eyes have evolved to see color. Wired explains:
Light enters the eye through the lens—different wavelengths corresponding to different colors . . . Without you having to worry about it, your brain figures out what color light is bouncing off the thing your eyes are looking at, and essentially subtracts that color from the “real” color of the object.
While the system usually works just fine, this image hits some sort of perceptual border.
“What’s happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you’re trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis,” says Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College. “So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.”
So when context varies, so will the visual perception. On a white background, most people will see blue, but on a black background, some might see white.
One thing is for sure: it can drive a person crazy! Indeed, many were perplexed by the dress, which sparked a viral color debate and storm of tweets:
I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow. I’m confused and scared. PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 27, 2015
What color is that dress? I see white & gold. Kanye sees black & blue, who is color blind?
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 27, 2015
If that’s not White and Gold the universe is falling apart. Seriously what is happening???? — Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) February 27, 2015
The 21-year-old singer, Caitlin McNeill who originally posted the photo told Business Insider, “I thought my followers on Tumblr would maybe have a good reaction, but I never would have considered that Taylor Swift and Mindy Kaling would be tweeting about it.”
Brands got a piece of the dress, too:
— Adobe (@Adobe) February 27, 2015
— Miller Lite (@MillerLite) February 27, 2015
Tell us what colors you see!
Under the Radar: Net Neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote this week.
The policy ensures “that no one – whether government or corporation – should control free open access to the Internet,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
The topic is dense and can be confusing for even the most tech-savvy of us all. Basically, the FCC proposal is that the Internet will be classified as a public telecommunications utility, meaning the government can regulate it.
This proposal also stipulates that Internet service providers are to be a neutral gateway, instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways and at varying costs—in other words, no fast lanes.
- The government guarantees protection against fast lanes to give consumers access to reliable, fast Internet connection
- Regulations for service providers indicate that the government is backing communicators against greedy service providers
- Companies will be forced to prove that all new services comply with the law, impeding the speed and reliability of service providers having to deal with the FCC’s regulations
- Regulations could challenge investment in new Internet technology and infrastructure
- If the Internet becomes unreliable, communicators may be forced to ditch social media and real-time, and revisit traditional communications vehicles instead
Reactions: For and Against
The ACLU’s legislative counsel Gabe Rottman says:“This is a victory for free speech, plain and simple. Americans use the Internet not just to work and play, but to discuss politics and learn about the world around them. The FCC has a critical role to play in protecting citizens’ ability to see what they want and say what they want online, without interference. Title II provides the firmest possible foundation for such protections . . .”
Broadband for America, a group whose members include major Internet service providers is calling for Congress to intervene. Its honorary co-chairs John Sununu and Harold Ford Jr. say:“The FCC’s decision to impose obsolete telephone-era regulations on the high-speed Internet is one giant step backwards for America’s broadband networks and everyone who depends upon them. These ‘Title II’ rules go far beyond protecting the Open Internet, launching a costly and destructive era of government micromanagement that will discourage private investment in new networks and slow down the breakneck innovation that is the soul of the Internet today.”
A post written by Comcast executive vice president David Cohen reads:“We fully embrace the open Internet principles that have been laid out by President Obama and Chairman Wheeler and that now have been adopted by the FCC. We just don’t believe statutory provisions designed for the telephone industry and adopted when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president should be stretched to govern the 21stcentury Internet.”
Verizon issued a statement written in Morse code and titled “FCC’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ Move Imposes 1930s Rules on the Internet.” In a translated version of Verizon’s statement, the company rebuked the FCC for deciding “to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation.”
Netflix said, “The net neutrality debate is about who picks winners and losers online: Internet service providers or consumers. Today, the FCC settled it: Consumers win.”
Tool of the Week: Modaine’s Helvetica No. 1 Smart
With spring break and summer vacations in the near future, this new fitness tracker watch reminds us to stay active!
Modaine’s Helevetica No. 1 Smart fitness tracking watch is classically styled to appear like an ordinary watch. The watch ditches the touchscreen LCD display of other smartwatches and goes for a more traditional analog dial at the bottom of its face.
Although it is a little basic and you certainly can’t receive or send texts from your wrist, its classical form factor is hiding basic fitness and sleep tracking functionality.
The watch tracks your daily level of activity and also connects and uploads your data to the accompanying app over Bluetooth to give you a more in-depth breakdown of your fitness metrics. Users can pinpoint where in their fitness routine they could be improving, or what factors may be preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep.
Mondaine’s Helvetic No. 1 Smart, available in the fall, is being positioned as a fashion accessory over a fitness tracker, however, and will go for about $900 a pop – easily the most expensive fitness and sleep tracker wearable. But, as they say, you can’t put a price on style!
Around the Hub: National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday with cookie booths set up in more than 100 communities across the region. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass. have 28,000 members.
You’ll find Girl Scout cookie booths after school today from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at several Boston T stations, including Downtown Crossing, South Station, Back Bay Station, Copley Square, Kendall Square, Kenmore Square and Harvard Square. Check out the Cookie Locator here to find a full list of cookie booth locations in Eastern Mass.
There’s even a cookie locator app for your smart phone!