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Arts & EntertainmentCulture

The ‘hoverboards’ of today, not quite Marty McFly’s future

October 21, 2015 marks “Back to the Future Day,” but the future hasn’t really delivered: The hoverboard Marty McFly rode in “Back to the Future Part II” is still the stuff of dreams.

However, the self-balancing scooter, commonly known as a “hoverboard,” is very much a reality around campus. Early adopters of these devices can be seen whizzing around at a top speed of approximately six miles per hour. Running between $300 and $1799, hoverboards are easily bought online or at kiosks at the Westfield Century City mall or the Third Street Promenade.

One student, fourth-year sociology student Jacky Dai, even sells them wholesale on campus, and it was on one of his boards that I spectacularly failed at balancing myself. After trying out the hoverboard and rediscovering my lack of grace, I decided to take a look into the mechanics and history of these commercialized hoverboards.

Originating in China in 2014, the first iteration of the hoverboard was the Chic Smart S1 Electric Scooter, and since then, many copycat models have come out, also from Chinese companies. Unfortunately, they’re more Paul Blart than Marty Mcfly, as the technology is similar to that of the Segway: rolling wheels, combined with balance, just sans handlebars.

That being said, a few hoverboards that actually hover are currently in the works. Using magnetic levitation, Lexus and Hendo have both put forth prototype models, which work using electromagnets in conjunction with conducting surfaces. The limitations of both, however, mean that this technology is fairly useless for day-to-day hoverboarding.

So stop calling them hoverboards, kids. You’re just on a Segway without handlebars.

Kelly Yeo, Daily Bruin blogging contributor, tests out a hover board, one of the trendiest modes of transportation on campus. Daily Bruin Video follows her learning process to see if the newest thing on wheels is a feasible solution to making it to class on time.

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Arts & Entertainment

#HashItOut Episode 3: Food and politics

Join Social Media Director Francesca Manto and Digital Managing Editor Eldrin Masangkay for the third installment of #HashItOut. This episode covers a wide range of topics from #NationalDessertDay as the hosts discuss what the best dessert places are in Westwood to #DemDebate as they analyze highlights of Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate.

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Arts & Entertainment

Three useful music apps that aren’t Spotify

Unlike music lovers of yore, today’s college students no longer have to rely on friends’ mixtapes, word-of-mouth or the radio to find new music, local concerts and other ways of filling their need for music. Instead of shelling out 99 cents a song, like when iTunes was in vogue, or, more often, illegally downloading, many users are turning to streaming services like Spotify, which offers a 50 percent student discount to college students. With the unveiling of Apple Music in June, it’s clear that subscription streaming services have won the lion’s share of music industry.

Even as these streaming services have saturated the market and saddled students (and consumers) with the tyranny of choice, there are still more apps and websites being introduced to help you on your quest to musical nirvana. In order to help you sort through all the chaos and bad user interfaces, we profiled three non-streaming music applications that are worth checking out.

Bandsintown (iPhone, Android, Web)

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As an app and website, Bandsintown can help you track your favorite artists and let you know when they’re in town. If you load your music preferences from various music services including Spotify and Soundcloud, it will also suggest new local music shows that you may like. Although I primarily find out about the shows I’d like to see via the (optional) weekly email blast Bandsintown can send, their mobile app uses your location to suggest nearby shows, which came in handy when I was traveling in Europe this summer and located a Jacques Greene concert during my stay in Paris.

Songkick (iPhone, Android, Web)


Although considered a concert-tracking app fairly similar in nature to Bandsintown, Songkick also offers in-app ticket purchases and an in-app calendar of all the shows. Their website is better supported than Bandsintown’s, which annoyingly redirects you to Facebook for authentication. Additionally, if you’re like me and would rather not share your music preferences with your friends, Songkick’s ability to sign up sans Facebook email makes it the perfect option for people who prefer to keep their listening habits discreet.

Jukely (iPhone, Android, Web)


Though less of an app and more of a subscription service, Jukely, which recently began its pilot program in Los Angeles, is well worth the $25 a month it offers for unlimited concerts in various cities. If you’re the kind of person who goes to at least two shows a month, you’ll get your money’s worth by attending at least two Jukely-linked concerts or shows. Although most artists are local and probably new to you, big names can be found as well. Jukely stresses the importance of being open to listening to new artists, since the limited tickets for the larger names, such as, most recently Zedd and Disclosure, are obviously much sought after.

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Arts & Entertainment

HashItOut: Episode 2

Digital Managing Editor Eldrin Masangkay and Social Media Director Francesca Manto are back again to discuss 3 trending hashtags from this past week. This week we talk about #StephGonnaSteph, #BadInventions and #Being13 This is a great listen for NBA Warriors fans or for those who just want to remember their early teen years. Take a break from studying and enjoy.

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