Cybertainment: Groove, write, sober up!

December 18, 2011 12:00 am

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BlackPlanet Radio is a new Web radio site targeted at African-American listeners.

It offers a wide choice of music, organized in a variety of ways. Playlists are categorized by decade ('60s R&B, '80s party music, '90s rap and R&B, music from 2000-2010, current 2011 songs), by mood (happy, classy, funky) and tailored by activity ("City Cruising," "Cocktail Party," "Hanging Out in the Man Cave," "Girls' Night Out"). Some are selected by celebrity DJs.

The genres go beyond typical mainstream radio formats, encompassing rap, jazz, dance, oldies, soul, jazz, reggae and more.

The site offers streams from mainstream radio stations across the country.

BlackPlanet Radio also has a social element: Users can create playlists and share them with their social network communities.

For mobile listeners, there are Android and iPhone apps.

BlackPlanet Radio is a partnership between Interactive One, a subsidiary of Radio One, and the streaming service Songza.

It's billed as "the world's most violent short story contest" and writers need to have a thick skin for this one.

Indie Writers Deathmatch V is sponsored by Broken Pencil, a Toronto quarterly devoted to underground culture and independent arts.

The top eight submissions are chosen by the Broken Pencil fiction team. The eight are pitted against each other in an online competition that involves both praise and insults from Broken Pencil readers, who'll choose the winner.

The winner gets $250 and publication in the spring issue of Broken Pencil.

The entry deadline is Dec. 31. Submissions are being taken online at:

There's an app for those whose holiday celebrations cause them to fail sobriety tests. The mobile Holiday Party Sobriety Test app will take users through a series of coordination and cognition tests on their iOS 5 or Android smartphones. If they fail, the app's geolocation feature offers them search results for nearby cab companies. And it suggests that they think twice before posting embarrassing status updates or photos that they'll regret in the morning.

The app comes from Webroot, creator of the Social Media Sobriety Test, a Web browser plug-in designed to stop people from posting to social media sites, blogs and email while under the influence.

The free apps can be downloaded at

Adrian McCoy: or 412-263-1865.
First Published 2012-02-09 18:26:17
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