Friday, January 23, 2015

Superdogs - Gadgets for Our Pets

+Google Glass and wearables are now front and center in American pop-culture. From Prince Charles trying on Glass, to +FKA twigs music video, to  +The Daily Show segment on Google Glass with comedic genius Jason Jones. Pretty much everyone, even Aunt Betty and Grandma Lucy now know what they are. Therefore, it's not hard to believe that there are also many amazing new gadgets for our furry four-legged friends. Actually, considering that we spent an upwards of $55B+ last year on our pets, it is amazing that there aren't more. Here are some of my favorite activity and GPS trackers for pets.

Whistle $99

Whistle, a local Bay Area start-up founded by +Steven Eidelman+Dayo Esho and +Kevin Lloyd is a pet activity tracker that allows you to monitor their rest and activity while you are away. You can pair individual's cell phones with the device as well, and tell who is keeping them company. The cool thing about Whistle is that it connects to the cloud so it does not an additional base station, cost $80, to work. I heard Steven speak at an event in the city and I thought that they said they would also be incorporating GPS into the unit, but I see no such indication on the website. Another cool feature about Whistle is the app, which allows you to share photos and moments with others on your phone or through social networks.

Fitbark $99.95  + $79.95 Wifi Base

Fitbark is an Italian company founded by Davide and Sarah Rossi, which monitors activity like Whistle. The main difference that I can tell between these two companies (having not personally used either) is that Fitbark does not connect to the cloud and must be tethered to a base station or cell phone. Additionally, it doesn't seem that Fitbark has the social platform sharing option like Whistle. However, they are opening up their API for development, so we will see what comes about. 

G-Paws $75.77

Anyone that has owned a dog, knows the torment and anguish of loosing track of their dog. They usually eventually are found and come back, but sometimes it is $100 if not $1,000 of dollars later, and sometimes permanently injured for life. From having to bail your dog out of SPCA doggy jail, to God forbid discovering that they had been hit by a car, this is nothing that any pet owner wants to go through (both of which are things I can unfortunately speak of). Founded by Dave Evans, G-Paws is one of the new GPS trackers for dogs and cats, which for under $100, will not only save you money but also peace of mind. Additionally, for the curious at heart, get to know your pet more and all of the mischief they've been up to. G-Paws, however, though you can track the location of your pets it seems that you must take the device off of your pet and download the info onto your computer. Hardly any help for finding or preventing the loss of your pet.

Tagg GPS $99.95 (Pre-order) 

Tagg GPS pet tracker, on the other hand, is both an activity and location doggy wearable. Created by Snaptraces, this is an all in one doggy wearable, has nationwide GPS tracking, instant alerts if your dog runs away, a live map, an ambient temperature sensor, and activity trackers so that you know when your dog is getting their full dose of exercise and when they are at rest. For just $99.95 you get the tracker, a docking station (for it doesn't connect to the cloud), and two months of free tracking. After that it is only $7.95/month. The app is additionally free and comes for both iOS and Android. Great job!

I haven't personally used any of these devices however, so if there are any inaccuracies please let me know. I am just going off of what I have read on their websites.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Plug-In Editor

This will be short and sweet.

Now this was something I thought of a few months ago, and was holding it close and dear for a bit, but in all actuality I'm not getting to it anytime soon. I don't understand why someone doesn't create a universal plug-in editor. I hate it when I publish something and later discover I missed a typo or grammar error. Being an internet junkie, as many of you probably are, uncovering grammatical errors is no unicorn or shooting star. They are all over the place, all the time, on major press publications. Most definitely here as we speak. No need to include screenshots and embarrass anyone else. We all know it is true. Why therefore isn't there some type of plug-in like +AddThis which websites can then plug into their website and anyone with an account, kinda like +Wikipedia, can suggest corrections to the author. This seems highly overdue and any publisher or writer would be extremely grateful. As it now stands, for those that care to notify the writer, either you have to be connected, or you have to spend the tedious time of looking them up and figuring out which social network would be best to contact them on. Additionally, now though if done in the public domain, it can sometimes be perceived as a jab or embarrassing. Especially if it has already been seen by many people. This would be discrete for the public and fun for the participants. You could even gamify it, kinda like the real life Elevate grammar test but by getting higher points for the mistakes you catch on the websites with greater influence. This could be easily calculated by their +Klout scores. Everyone would love playing in real life the game of editing and "treasure finding," and competing with friends. Furthermore, this would show publishers and reporters who is really reading and focusing on their stuff, rather than just liking, posting, retweeting and commenting.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Kidables 'n Bits!

I am excited and super amazed to see how many kidables there already are! And yes, I said kidables not Kibbles! Kidables, or wearables for kids are here and coming in force. There are smartbands for kids, smartwatches for kids, smartthermometers for kids, smartbottles and even a little Mothers' watcher for kids. Here are eight of my favorites:

"The Paxie Band comes with an extra charger, the app, 3 fashion bands, and 3 months of free data. Paxie's features include GPS, ambient temperature, location tagging, boundary settings, daily activity, heart rate, band removal alert and more."

FilIP by FilIP Technologies $99.99
"Wearable phone and locator for kids. Parents can call, text and locate their
child right from their phone, giving kids the freedom to be kids and parents a little
extra peace of mind."

Kilife Kiband $69.99
"The Kiband is a child safety smartband for ages 18 mnths to 7 yrs old. It allows you to create custom safe perimeters, from your smartphone, for your child to explore. You can adjust the distances for near (5ft) to far (up to 200ft) and help keep track of your kids anywhere." 

HereO Preorder $179
"The hereO GPS watch is the world’s smallest real-time GPS location device created specifically for children age 3 and up. Parents can know their children whereabouts anytime, anywhere. With historical locations, parents can track where their children have been throughout the day, reassuring that they haven’t visited any unsafe places."

"ActvContent Sync is the first all-in-one health, safety, and fitness Smartband for kids and adults. Sync can monitor your family's fitness, sleeping habits, and your loved one's location. Our app also lets friends, caregivers, and others in your community to connect with Sync and retrieve vital information in case of emergency."

"The World's First Bluetooth Smart pacifier. Track your baby's temperature, medicine and location from your smartphone."

 "Prevent your baby from drinking air, watch for lumps, prevent colic and the app will measure the volume and meal duration."

"Mother provids you with all of the knowledge and comfort you need, when and how you want it. She's your family's very own fitness tracker, stats keeper, security system and life coach all rolled into one glorious Russian doll-shaped package – it's like someone has physically crammed Mary Poppins in there." 

If you would like to read more you can check out the articles on my LinkedIn page or my Pinterest board where I've been pinning many amazing new wearables and gadgets. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Back to the Future is Now

We are now officially going Back to the Future of 2015. Recently the +Hendo Hover hoverboard was announced, flying cars by +Terrafugia Inc are now a reality, and Marty's self lacing shoes are on their way! Though Steven Spielberg got so many things accurate in this epic and all time favorite motion picture, one thing missing is the smartjewelry. This was one of my recent posts on the awesome new app

While some of us, myself in particular, might have caught a lot of grief for walking about with new wearable technology, this is the year that wearables and IoT are going mainstream. Before we know it, every object in sight will be considered "smart" due to its connection with many other things and to the intelligence of the internet.

Here are five of my favorite new wearables in the smartjewelry category:

Ringly by +Christina Mercando - Divebar Edition $195

"Ringly connects to your phone and sends you customized notifications through vibration and light."

Moodmetric by +Niina Venho $179

"The smallest wearable technology in the world for measuring emotions. The Moodmetric ring measures the autonomous nervous system signals that can be used to understand emotional reactions and improve quality of life."

Altrius by +Kovert Designs +Kate Unsworth Cleopatra Edition $480

"Subtle vibrations alert you for predefined text, email, call or whatsapp notifications from certain people or with specific keywords, so that you can cut out the noise and focus on the stuff that really matters."

Cuff starting at $49

"Stylish wearable technology featuring elegant jewelry and accessories with the interchangeable CuffLinc, which alerts your network when you need help." Cuff also has activity tracking and notifications.

Elemoon by Jing Zhou $199

"Elemoon is the world's first smart accessory that lets you change its light designs to match every outfit or occasion. elemoon can also alert you to important calls, find your phone if you lose it and much more!"

If you would like to check out more wearables and smart devices you can do so by following my +Pinterest account here:

Happy 2015 everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Put the Buzz if your Feed

One of the things about being a social media maven is that it gives me insight into many useful ways to innovate, improve and progress on the social media that is already out there. Two interesting ideas that I recently had involve Twitter and Klout.

What has baffled me about Twitter is that basically every major press organization (and Twitter itself), as well as all other websites and blogs do not at least automatically include the author's handle in the Twitter share function(even my own +AddThis blog share is currently guilty of that.) The upside of including this information however, as well as related handles and hashtags is enormous, not only for the press organization, but for Twitter, companies, authors, and oneself. This is one of the keys to growthhacking on Twitter, and incorporating such methods will get you many more likes, retweets and exposure. The only websites I've come across which automatically include the author's handle are +BuzzFeed and +LinkedIn. This is giving them a serious competitive marketing advantage over all other media companies.

I started brain hacking this issue because every time I read an article and share it on Twitter, I have to look up not only the author's Twitter handle but also any related handles pertaining to the article. While in a way this is part of my competitive advantage, for I get to gather a greater understanding while researching the information, I do not always have the time to do so. However, this should be easier for everyone to accomplish. Why not just create a platform or app and crowdsource this information. One could easily write code to automatically search Twitter's verified accounts for all proper names mentioned and automatically generate suggested handles and hashtags. This would be extremely beneficial to Twitter because it would generate more conversation, collaboration, and information rich data. Why this hasn't been done yet, I do not know. However, in the meantime, growthhack your own Twitter account!

Adding the Life to Klout

One of the most common criticisms about Klout is that they do not incorporate one's real life influence into one's score; Klout is currently only a measure of one's social media influence. Due to this, some extremely influential people who are not very active on social media have a very low Klout score. While some of these people are so influential and known that they do not care, others find it insulting and are therefore dismissive of the new platform. While Klout is an awesome, innovative idea - creating social influence scores for individuals and not just press organizations and/or companies - they could easily generate both metrics.

Take Sergey Brin for example. Klout shows that he only has a 47 Klout while I currently have a score of 65. One of the additional reasons for this is that +Sergey Brin not only probably didn't create this Klout page (since Klout now automatically generates Klout pages for every Twitter profile), but because it is only linked to his Twitter profile (though I just noticed this link is broken and that he doesn't even have a verified Twitter account). For the most accurate Klout metrics and the highest score one must link up all their social media accounts.

Klout should have three separate scores - social, life and an aggregate of them both. To accomplish this Klout could extract one's education and work experience from LinkedIn, determine the Klout score of the company/university, multiplied by two variables - position and time. For example, continuing with Sergey Brin (though he doesn't have a LinkedIn profile either), we all know that he is one of the founders of Google, Google has a Klout score of 97. Therefore, 97 would be multiplied by one of the highest variables due to his founding position, multiplied by 16 years, To tally his educational life influence score, one would include his education at University of Maryland, which Klout indicates has an 89 Klout score times four years and some points for his bachelors degree in science, plus his brief graduate study at Stanford in computer science. Stanford has a Klout score of 96, times the few months there. All of this would then come up with some tally in between 97-89 for his life experience. This would at least be a start to problem solving the lack of life clout in Klout's metrics.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chronicle Reporter Friend of Google Glass Thief

It has now been about two and a half months since the February 22, 2014 Google Glass robbery at Molotov's Bar on Haight Street. The assailant still hasn't been identified (though they thought they had) or come forward to the authorities, and the now identified bartender Jamie Chow is refusing to cooperate with the investigation and give a testimony, and has since obtained counsel. Since then, another man in San Francisco, +Kyle Russell, has been mugged and robbed for wearing +Google Glass+Cecilia Abadie was told to remove her Glass on a flight for security reasons, and another guy in So. Cal had his +Google Glass and computer robbed at taser point. 

Jamie Chow, Molotov's Former Bartender

To summarize, on February 22, 2014, Jamie Chow, the former Molotov's bartender provoked the incident by verbally accosting and threatening me for wearing +Google Glass. Turning around she vehemently said "Fuck you Google..." and flipped me off. As stated in an article by +Anisse Gross in +The New Yorker titled What's The Problem With Google Glass?, the anonymous now identified Chow confirmed saying:
“I couldn’t believe someone was wearing them in the bar,” she said. “It did not sit right with me. When she looked my way I flipped her off so she knew how I felt about her wearing them there.”
A few seconds later Jamie Chow told me I was "killing the city," divulging her perception that I was the icon for a large and omnipotent entity wreaking havoc on San Francisco. A few seconds after that her friend ripped them off my face and ran out of the bar, attempting to get away and/or smash them. I pursued him, eventually getting the +Google Glass back, but had my purse, cell phone, keys, wallet, etc stolen during the assault, as I had left them behind in the bar in pursuit of the assailant. While Molotov's immediately fired Chow, they never turned over the video surveillance and have since been uncooperative with the investigation. Furthermore, Molotov's never extended an olive branch, and actually in the preceding weeks decided to ban +Google Glass all together.

Kale Williams, +SFGate Reporter

Kale Williams, a breaking news reporter and photographer at the +SFGate, has now been identified as one of the four main individuals of the Molotov tech backlash group. After Jamie Chow accused me of "killing the city" and tried to rip the Google Glasses off my face, Kale Williams is seen in the video at 36 seconds pointing a finger at me and saying "Fuck you." When I addressed his identity tweeting the above picture on May 9th, he didn't confirm or deny it, though it was quickly made light of by two other +SFGate employees, +Demian Bulwa and +Vivian Ho:

Vivian Ho who reports on "crime and grime" for +SFGate, similarly tweeted:

Incidentally, the +SFGate was among the first to report on the incident in a February 24th article by +Kurtis Alexander, Woman: I was attacked in S.F. over Google Glass. +Kurtis Alexander proceeded to report on the breaking news in a February 26th article, Google Glass attack offers a new lens on privacy concerns, now the focus changed from assault and robbery to privacy. And though it mentions the "small group of people who didn't appear to take a liking to [the tech] paraphernalia," it fails to mention that one of those four main individuals was Kale Williams IV of the SF Chronicle.

On March 21st, a month later, I finally published a full description of the events, releasing full video footage along with a transcription of what was said. I proceeded to send it out to all the interested parties, one being +Kurtis Alexander. That same day I received an email back from Alexander saying "Looks like we might run a story about you — your supporters and your detractors..." I pressed him about what he meant about my "detractors" on the 22nd, and even when confronted he gave no indication of his or his employer's affiliation with the tech backlash party in question.

While on February 24th and 26th it is understandable that +Kurtis Alexander and the +SFGate may not have known that +Kale Williams was present and involved, a month later it is extremely unlikely, especially since the full video footage had been released. Additionally, I believe that Alexander mentioned on the phone that there was in fact a +SFGate reporter present at the incident, though he did not specify the person's identity and I did not press further thinking it irrelevant.

I eventually agreed to partake in the article and a week later on March 26th, Sarah Slocum: the infamous face of Google Glass was published. After speaking with him the morning after the article was released he said he was receiving pressure from some saying he was being too nice to me. Were some of these people Williams or his friends? And/or friends of Jamie Chow and the unidentified +Google Glass robber? Seems very likely. On March 28th I responded with an article of my own, Slant by Kurtis Alexander and the SFGate.

What also seems telling is that +Kale Williams has certainly tried to keep a low and discrete profile on the surface, despite what he might have been doing behind scenes. Not only has Williams not cooperated with the investigation or given a testimony to the police, he seems to have only made one tweet about +Google Glass in the weeks and months following, retweeting Katie Conger's March 2nd tweet about the banning of it in some establishments:

Furthermore, yesterday on May 9th, I directly confronted +Kurtis Alexander about the presence of one of their +SFGate reporters at Molotov's and inquired if he knew the identity of the robber. +Kurtis Alexander responded to the question about the presence of the +SFGate reporter, saying he "hadn't heard that," but did not answer the direct question about the identity of the thief.

So while I've been the only person to come forward and put myself out there while reporting and testifying to being the victim of this tech backlash crime, and while I was the person that called 911 and made the police report, gave my recorded testimony and media to authorities, and gave my written testimony and media to the public, some have continued to question my story. To those all I have to say is that if so then why hasn't the accused +Google Glass assailant come forward and been cooperating with the authorities, along with the three other main individuals - Jamie Chow, Kale Williams and their curly blond friend? And why hasn't Molotov's turned over their security camera footage? That would substantiate everything. At least Jamie Chow had the ovaries to give an interview to +Anisse Gross, though only under the presumption of anonymity. So while I've also tried to maintain my faith in law enforcement, it is exceedingly becoming harder and harder almost three months later with no suspect let alone pressed charges.