Archive for the ‘social’ Category

How The Arctic Vortex Influences Me

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

The arctic vortex landed in nyc today, it’s fun to think about post apocalyptic survival strategies, although I bet they would not be fun at all.

It is days like today that the environment really wakes up my subconscious’ primal instincts. I feel prepared for the hunt. Ready to go out and slay a beast for food. The natural sense to team up with my pack becomes stronger; my level one wolf pack takes center stage. But who is that wolf pack?

It’s times like today when my subconscious thinks about things like supplies. And when I step outside, the deep cold wakes up survival instincts that forgot were there. Everything all of the sudden becomes real and felt. Oddly, this is a bit painful because reality is a tough place. Immediately my brain tries to cope by hiding from reality and hold off until the comforts of my fantasy world come back. Survival at this point is only a few minutes long, just a walk from my apt to the subway and then is back to the happy and safe territory of modern life.

Today I fought the urge to protect my self from reality and stood outside for a little letting nature hit me in the face and remind me that the world is real. I took a deep breath as I gazed at the subway entrance, looking around at everyone racing to his or her destination. I sat there and pondered.

Days like today trigger the mammal social behavior in us. It’s very likely that people are obsessively checking their social networks through Facebook or linkedin, as well as, telephone, email or face to face. The bottom line is that the needs of the human mammal comes out and requires its needs fulfilled. I fulfill them by working together with my colleagues and collaborating to get stuff done efficiently and as swiftly as possible. And after that, get together with friends to have a well-deserved drink in the warmth of this society we have built for our selves. Yet, in the back of my mind, the primal being inside me is still on the look out for danger and opportunities. Looking into the horizon occasionally to make sure that my wolf pack will make it through another day.

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