Archive for the ‘mobile’ Category

Calling all innovators: Don’t miss the #LATISM Hackathon!

Friday, September 13th, 2013

With the excitement of our conference this year, and all the great things that we’ve prepared for all of you, we couldn’t be happier to announce our first ever Hackathon (¡¿un jaka-qué?! you are probably asking). A Hackathon is an event that engages computer programmers, designers and entrepreneurs to collaborate and create projects that positively impact the Latino community.

It is also a vehicle to introduce products and ideas that benefit from the Latino market. Hackathons are known for allowing people to problem solve together as teams. “El Hackathon” will be hosted on Friday, September 20th, during our 5th Annual National Conference, LATISM’13, at the amazing Waldorf Astoria in New York City. For a 24-hour period, hackers will be scrambling to execute and produce their concepts into demonstrable functional hacks.

Hackathons allow people to isolate problems and create forward thinking solutions in a creative, yet fast-paced manner, due to the limited time available to perform. This helps people focus on core systems and their “MVP” or Minimum Viable Product.

The goal for the event is to get as many people involved in the innovation process. Teams are then asked to “Demo” their hacks, which exercises a vital part of the innovation process on how to explain an idea. The biggest benefit of hackathons, are the increase awareness around emerging technology and products.

This year’s prizes for the winners of “El Hackathon” include a grand prize of $5,000 for the best hack, chosen by our panel of judges. With sponsors in the ranks of Google, AT&T, McDonalds, Johnson & Johnson and Toyota, this is sure to be a pretty fancy hackathon!

All are welcome to participate. For tickets and more information for this event visit: http://elhackathon.eventbrite.com 

Arduino GSM Shield

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is a really cool addition to your wireless projects.
Now if someone could create a CDMA Shield! =)

The difference between GSM and CDMA is network connectivity. Some wireless carriers use the GSM network to communicate others use the CDMA network. Verizon Wireless uses CDMA.

From Artist to Entrepreneur

Friday, April 27th, 2012


“Entrance to Heaven” by Oscar

It’s been an interesting 2012 so far. And if the world happens to end by december, then I have spent the last days on earth working for nothing. My guess is that the world is not ending. My guess is that a new age is being born, the age where our little friend the micro chip and us will be more intimate than ever.


“Spheres” by Oscar

Since I began my quest to interpret the world and encapsulate my perspective through art, I have found many things that I would never have expected. The first thing that I found, was that art is not just visual, as a matter of fact, its not just physical. Art can be found everywhere from Architecture and Engineering to Medicine and Business. Its all there, staring back at you with the memory of one thousand exponential ancestors. The craziest thing is that the more you know about everything, the more you begin to make sense of things that once were invisible.

Pythagorean Sky
“Pythagorean Sky” by Oscar

One of the first artists I knew and my favorite artists till this day is Salvador Dali. I had the pleasure of seeing his amazing work in various part of the hemisphere.


“Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory” Dali, 1954

Most of his work I understood immediately. It was the surreal content that he became famous for, but there was other work that made no sense to me. It was his late work. Fast forward a decade or so, and I have finally begun to figure out where he was in his intellect and his understanding, fascination and frustrations of the world. As I learned more about life in my terms, I began to assimilate to the work he was creating. Is as though every so often when I would figure something out about life, I unlocked a new concept in one of his paintings.


“Gala looking into the mediterranean sea” Dali, 1976

And this is why even after all these years, the madman that everyone carelessly forgot about, resonates so deep in my yet to be made memories. It makes me exited and looking forward to all the new things I will learn as I go.


“The Swallow’s Tail” Dali, 1983

An other artists that inspired me to make the leap into the unknown is Da Vinci. I always wondered how he became so smart and so creative, in ways that seemed more than human. I mean he created art and a bunch of crazy machines and innovations, like the crossbow:

or wings!

He also created “The Last Supper” depiction which brings me to the entrepreneurship…

You are probably familiar with the famous image of Jesus having his last meal with his disciples. But you rarely see this image in the actual wall it was painted on. As you can see on the image above, the image was painted on a wall and that wall contains other images. The images above the last supper are emblems, shields of the family that commissioned Da Vinci to paint the famous painting. What does this have to do with entrepreneurship you ask? Well, the fact that Da Vinci did not create the painting to satisfy his fascination and intellect. He made the painting because his business was art. He was an entrepreneur that got paid to make ideas and then got paid more to make them come to life.

Not all creative people are successful entrepreneurs. The ones that are not fearless enough to make a business of their own art end up becoming apprentices or assistants to the artists that took the leap. One of my favorite inventors was Nikola Tesla, one of the smartest and craziest people that the planet has seen. You would think that some one that smart would be able to capitalize on his creativity.

The truth is that he died a bankrupt, lone man. Some of his innovations were far superior than other innovators at the time, like Thomas Edison. The difference is that Edison knew money and how it worked, resulting in Tesla working under Edison. Had Tesla mastered money the same way that Edison mastered it, the world may have been a bit different. The lesson here is that Ideas are cheap and if anyone got rich by coming up with ideas, I like any other artist would be billionaires. The bottom line is that an idea is worthless in our Capitalistic world. In order for an idea to be influential, it has to make money. Just look at the last supper painting by Da Vinci, its still making money even today.

This brings me to my own endeavors. As I sit here looking for inspiration to keep on going with my bootstrapped ideas, I made an observation that is encouraging me to keep on going. I noticed that the shields on top of the last supper look like badges.

I take this as a sign that the company I co-founded, Badger Media Inc. has a chance to make it. The same way that a noble family made a shield to represent their kingdom, people can create a badge to represent their wisdom.

We are in the process of rolling out a new website that will allow people to explore and participate in the mapping of things easier and to share not only with other people on badger, but with people in other networks like facebook or twitter. There is more coming too!

The truth is that being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. It take more than guts, it takes fearlessness and a bit of recklessness. In today’s society, we are taught to follow rules, stay inside the lines and to take others into consideration. These are good rules, it makes great workers. As an entrepreneur that sees flaws in the current system, I realize that the status quo is wrong. You cannot expect to have a kick ass company if all your “workers” are followers. Its kind of like a team that requires the acknowledgment of its captain before doing anything; that team will clearly not win any games. What you need is thinkers that will talk the talk and walk the walk. Thinkers that deliver. Of course that is all an optimistic point of view on business. So I will seattle for people who are willing to push the status quo just a tiny bit.

As you can probably tell by my blabbing, I’m clearly a rookie at entrepreneurship. I feel like I’ve been in an internship to learn how to make companies come alive, build them from the ground up. And from the looks of it, i’m only getting started. Stay tuned for more companies. Companies are the new art… or are they the new black..?

…in other news, the Enterprise zoomed by NYC today:
original by rui here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rux-shots-here/6972894844/in/photostream

Hardware, Software and Badger!

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Its been a while since I wrote a blog post. The delay has been due to my immersion in the world of Badger. What is Badger? Its my awesome project and I will talk about it after I share my IOIO findings.

I noticed that sparkfun stopped selling the ioio module for some reason. After researching possible causes, I realized they had just updated the module.

While looking into the possible causes for the [non-exitent] demise of the ioio, I found a bunch amazing projects! The cool thing about the ioio is the ability to control hardware with software, in this case with your android phone! First you have the good old “hello world” which is usually a little blinking LED like this:

While looking for hello “hello world” videos of ioio’s I found this new little micro-controller by GHI Electronics called the FEZ Domino, a .NET Micro Framework module to interface with the Android. It looks like a nifty little MC and its open source, as far as i can tell.

Weather its the FEZ or the ioio, after your Eureka moment, there will be a flood of possibilities crossing your mind. Soon you will be making little interesting projects with your Android’s accelerometer and the voice recognition apps:

And sooner than later, you make the leap to making a robotic contraption with an algorithm that can actually solve the most difficult of puzzles like the V-cube 7:

This brings me back to why I’m writing this blog post.
1. I love opensource hardware
2. I love mobile
3. I began a project called Badger that has sucked my time and would like to tell you about it!

Badger is a website (and soon an iPhone App) that allows you to make badges of anything that interests you. These badges become Visual Hash Tags that are used to group picture and videos that people upload into blogs and maps.

This is a map of the stuff that I uploaded to Badger from my Desktop, Android (via picture text message) and iPhone App (The Beta).

badger map

Badger gives you a place to upload pictures of interesting things that you encounter. Even if they may seem like silly mundane thing that nobody cares about.

In Badger people like Jacek (Co-Founder) made a “Street Art” badge to upload all the street art that he sees. Since badges are collective, anyone can submit content to the badge. Natan (Co-Founder) and I started uploading pictures to the street art badge which is becoming an interesting game/conversation around this topic. I cannot see street art now with out having the need to “Badge” it and I did not even know I liked street art this much!

badger blog

In Badger everyone cares! All the pictures are public, which means that everyone interested in similar topics is looking. You can share the silly pictures you take (which Badger takes very serious), like that nice lamp you saw at the restaurant that was serving the fancy drinks! Or maybe it was a bug that you stumbled across while taking a break from riding you bike around town.

Badger is about all those moments when you are behind the camera, not in front of it. We are hoping that Badger becomes the central venue to go find a map or a blog of pictures about anything! And a place to perhaps connect with a group of people that are interested in the things that you might find weirdly appealing… or not.

Fell free to sign up to the Beta Site and poke around at the content. Every picture has a badge associated to it and you can see more pictures that are similar by clicking on the badge associated to the picture. You can make your own badges once you sign up. Try it out and send us some feedback if you like, at info [at] playbadger.com