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Standing well over six feet tall, professional skateboarder Brian Anderson is a larger-than-life figure in every sense of the term. Turning pro in 1998, the Connecticut native enjoyed an illustrious career, winning a Thrasher “Skater of the Year” award and a World Cup of Skateboarding title.

It was away from the park that Anderson truly made his mark, however, having been involved in numerous extracurricular fields including art and fashion, where he walked the Paris runway for Adam Kimmel in 2012.

Last year, Anderson came out as gay, making him the first pro skater to ever do so publicly. In a sport that’s been dogged by accusations of homophobia over the years, Anderson’s decision was seen as a watershed moment. For many, his choice to speak up transcended skating, and has resonated with an audience on a wider national level. For this special Street Style segment, we caught up with the big man and asked his thoughts on his two life loves: skateboarding and fashion.

What do you think of fashion’s current obsession with skateboarding?

I think that we’ve always given things to each other. It’s good. Skateboarding gives back to fashion and high-end labels will give back to skateboarding. I think it’s interesting. It’s nothing that upsets me. Some people think that when fashion “steals” from skateboarding it’s an issue, but we borrow from each other, so I think it’s all good.

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Which independent skate brands are leading the way right now?

I love what Magenta and Skate Mental are doing. There are so many good things coming from Europe.

How do you feel about Nike’s ascendance to the top in skateboarding? Is it a good thing? Does it have a negative impact at all?

I think it’s good. As I’ve said in so many other discussions, a lot of people that I work with work at Nike are people who skateboard. It doesn’t feel fake or forced in any way because everybody I work with is a skater. Everything gets big, and of course people are going to find difficulties with that, or disagreements, or be unhappy with it, but we all skate. Everything gets big. I think people think too much about it. There’s nothing wrong with it and they support good people who do good things.

Check out more of Brian’s work and style below, and take a more in-depth look at Nike SB’s Brian Anderson apparel collection here.

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  • Photography:
    Ahmed Chrediy / Highsnobiety.com
  • Video:
    Robin Thomson / Highsnobiety.com

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By Tory Kingdon

A warning to all social media start-ups: come up with a snazzy new idea and there’s every chance Facebook will do it too, just make it bigger and quite possibly better.

First Facebook launched Instagram stories as a rival to Snapchat; the feature now boasts 150 million users, roughly the size of Snapchat’s entire user base. Now it’s set to introduce Facebook Stories, a move that could blow Snapchat completely out of the water.

Facebook Stories is almost identical to IG Stories in its layout and the way it works – users share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. The stories won’t show up on your Facebook news feed but rather as a separate bar at the top, but we don’t know yet whether IG Stories and FB Stories will be linked.

You’ll have to wait a little while longer to actually get the feature. It’s currently only being tested by select users in Ireland (the luck of the Irish hey?) but will apparently be available in additional countries soon. In the meantime you can watch the video below. Just so you’re ready, you know. 

RELATED: The Millenial’s Guide To Dealing With Anxiety At Work

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All’ultimo CES di Las Vegas la francese Netatmo ha presentato With Netatmo, un programma di partnership IoT per sviluppare offrire ad aziende specializzate nel settore edile la propria competenza tecnologica con l’obiettivo di rendere la casa sempre più connessa. Il primo frutto di questa collaborazione è Velux Active, una linea di telecomandi intelligenti per lucernari, persiane e tende, che permette il controllo automatico, centralizzato e da remoto delle aperture.

Il sistema è ovviamente smart e non si basa certo solo sulla pressione di un tasto o di un display. Attraverso il controllo automatico dell’ambiente interno, i sensori rilevano luce, temperatura, umidità e qualità dell’aria e regolano le diverse aperture per massimizzare il nostro confort casalingo. L’obiettivo non è solo avere un’aria interna sempre sana, ma anche risparmiare energia.

Al momento Velux Active ancora non è disponibile e sarà lanciato sul mercato a partire dall’autunno 2017. Il prezzo, invece, ancora non è stato dichiarato.

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Décrit par Emmanuel Macron (à l’époque ministre de l’Économie, de l’Industrie et du Numérique) comme un “Google français”, Qwant lance aujourd’hui ses performances sur mobile. Contrairement au géant américain, l’outsider made in France ne collecte aucune donnée sur ses utilisateurs. “Deux principes : ne pas les tracer et ne pas filtrer les contenus d’Internet proposés”, assure les fondateurs. Les résultats sont donc affichés neutrement et aucune de vos recherches précédentes ne donneront lieu à des encarts publicitaires ciblés. Lancée en 2013, la nouveauté est que Qwant débarque enfin gratuitement sur les smartphones, Androïd et iOs, pour bénéficier de recherches 100% sécurisées et privées à porter de main. Et un outil qui veut rien savoir de nous, ça fait du bien.

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Make no mistake: The cameras in today’s top-of-the-line smartphones can take some absolutely stunning images. The iPhone 7 (and particularly the 7 Plus, with its dual-lens system), the Google Pixel and the Samsung Galaxy S7, just to name a few examples, are all highly capable shooters. For evidence of that, just take a peek at our iPhone 7 test in Utah’s Zion National Park:

The Virgin River running through Zion Canyon in Zion National Park in Utah on Sept. 10, 2016.Corey Arnold for TIME


Jane Horth climbing Namaste Wall in Zion.
Canyoneering in Orderville.
Exploring the Narrows.

Yet there is still only so much you can ask of a smartphone camera. Limitations in sensor size, lens technology and other factors mean that, barring some miraculous technological breakthrough, standalone cameras will always be more capable than our smartphones. That’s particularly true in challenging conditions, like poorly lit rooms, or if you need a bunch of zoom for, say, shooting your child’s soccer game. (The digital zoom on smartphones is effectively a cropping technique that tends to reduce overall image quality, whereas even affordable telephoto lenses for standalone cameras can produce incredible results.)

Here, for instance, is an image I made in 2013 with an entry-level Canon T3i and a 70-200 f/4L lens. That’s admittedly a more professional-grade lens, but this sort of quality just isn’t possible with a smartphone.

Snow Leopard Cub
A snow leopard cub rests at New York City’s Central Park Zoo. Alex Fitzpatrick for TIME:  

All that said, I’m not lugging around my camera 24/7. Instead, I only take it when I know I’m headed somewhere it might be useful, like on a hike. But it’s very much worth having for those moments.

What gear should you consider if you’re thinking about getting a standalone camera?

First, skip the entry-level point-and-shoot stuff. Those generally won’t produce much better results than your smartphone, so it’s worth spending a little more money on something that will.

I recommend an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera that accepts interchangeable lenses. The Canon Rebel T5 can be a great place to start, as can the Nikon D3400. (To decide between manufacturers, head to a local camera store or borrow a friend’s camera and see which feels better in your hands.) For mirrorless cameras, which tend to be a little smaller and thus easier to carry around, the Sony a5000 is a good choice. (Here’s a good resource on the tradeoffs between DSLR and mirrorless cameras.)

The blessing and curse of interchangeable-lens cameras, is, of course, the vast selection of lenses that you can wind up spending far too much money on. My advice is to learn on the “kit” lens that’s included with many entry-level cameras. They cover a range from fairly wide-angle photographs to a medium telephoto length that’s nice for portraits. After a few months of using a kit lens, you’ll get a better idea of what else you’ll need to get the images you want. (A wide angle for landscapes, perhaps, or a telephoto for the kids’ little league games.)

Personally, I learned on a Canon T3i, then shifted to the Fujifilm system with an X100s and now an X-T10 with the 18-55 lens. Fuji specializes in digital cameras that look and operate like old-school film cameras, so I don’t recommend them for beginners. But they do produce some amazing results:

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Willow Alex Fitzpatrick for TIME:  

There is, of course, much more to photography than gear. Never make the mistake that spending more money will mean you’ll instantly get professional-level photos. With your new DSLR or mirrorless in hand, take some time to learn the relationship between different settings, particularly aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It may seem intimidating at first, but even a rudimentary knowledge of how these functions work will dramatically improve your results.

(Read TIME’s affiliate link policy.)

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