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Silicon Valley’s Liquid Amorality – Water Will Find Its Way

November 27, 2014 by  

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OneHackerWay620-2.jpg The Facebook campus sits next to colorful algae on salt flats along San Francisco Bay. Ten years ago in mid 2004 I left the Financial Times and started publishing Silicon Valley Watcher. Silicon Valley was starting to wake from a long downturn from the dotcom deflation and Google’s August IPO was a good sign after several years of bad news. The culture of Silicon Valley was different then. The software engineering community was more radical than today, and far more socially conscious. The open source software movement was very strong among engineers and there was overall an anti-commercial attitude and a respect for protecting an open commons. It shared much in spirit with the radical English groups from the mid-seventeeth century such as The Diggers, and also with the The Diggers of the 1960s in San Francisco, who ran free stores and served free food from their kitchens. The business bible of 2004 was The Cluetrain Manifesto and it came directly from that culture. Here’s an excerpt:
…People of Earth The sky is open to the stars. Clouds roll over us night and day. Oceans rise and fall. Whatever you may have heard, this is our


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Sculpteo 3D Printing Engine Will Replicate You In Miniature

November 22, 2014 by  

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For those in the technology “know,” you have seen that there’s been significant advances in 3D printing lately, a prototyping process that makes it possible to create an actual object from a 3D file. The object is formed by applying successive layers of solid material. This fall in Paris, I attended an event called Digital Day, which was a conference focused on an interactive discussion around the latest in technology and innovation largely from French start-ups. The event held workshops and vendors participated in an area where they showed up their latest. I was fascinated by Sculpteo, who has offices in both Paris and San Francisco. On-site, they had a machine which scanned YOU and then from that scan, was able to create a 3D object of yourself. And so, of course I did this, how could I not?  Below I’m standing in the machine as I wait for it to circle around me and scan my body. Above, the engineer is at work as the image of me comes up on the screen in real time. As it formulates what it needs of my body, I watch in…

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Surf Summit, Where Technology, Entrepreneurism & Surfing Meet

November 19, 2014 by  

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Imagine a conference that combines surfing, technology and entrepreneurship on Ireland‘s magical wild coast. A subset if you will of Dublin’s Web Summit, the first ever held Surf Summit brought 200 attendees to the west coast of Ireland to join in discussions, surfing and other adventurous and cultural activities. When I told people I was going to an event where they planned to surf in Ireland’s coastal waters in the middle of November, they looked at me as if I was a bit mad, unless of course they happened to be Canadian or from a Nordic or Celtic country. You see, the Scots, the Welsh, the English, the Scandinavians and the Canadians thought this sounded perfectly normal, for when you come from a country where it is cold and rainy, you need to have a “can-do” attitude regardless of the climate or you simply won’t experience anything at all. I learned this from living in England many moons ago and it has made me a lot more resilient because of it. Iceland is another great example of where their personal and cultural life infiltrates…

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Wearable Tech, Stylish or Not, May Not Get Through Airport Security

November 16, 2014 by  

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Thinking of gliding through airport security wearing your new FitBit, Android Wear watch or soon, your Apple Watch? Think again. New wearable technology in the form of smart watches, activity trackers and jewelry with embedded tech may cause confusion for security screeners. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have yet to write official policies around security, safety and usage of wearable technology. The TSA says that over 1.75 million people pass through its security checkpoints every day. “There are millions of things that people can bring through a checkpoint so it’s hard to give a policy or directive on one piece whether it’s a phone or other type of jewelry, so it’s in the best interests of the passenger to get items screened or put through an X-ray machine just to verify that they do not alarm,” said Ross Feinstein, spokesperson for the TSA. “Our goal here is to ensure that there are no prohibited items on the passenger or in their luggage when they get access to the airport.” FAA PEDS… Under current rules, the FAA classifies wearable technology as a Personal Electronic Device (PED), defined as any piece of lightweight, electrically powered equipment…

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Looking at St. Louis’ Tech Culture As The City Celebrates 250 Years

November 14, 2014 by  

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St Louis 00133 2 With it’s famous arch in the background, St. Louis celebrates 250 years in 2014. I recently returned from 4 days in St. Louis, meeting the local startup community and contributing to a new conference, Startup Voodoo organized by local tech news site Techli and Elasticity, an innovative digital marketing agency. I was more than impressed with the strong sense of social responsibility everyone seemed to have from young business students, entrepreneurs, to philanthropists. Even newly transplanted residents with just a few months residency talked about S. Louis as “we” and exhibited a strong loyalty to their new community. It is worth remembering that Silicon Valley used to have a strong sense of social responsibility, too. It once was very important in recruiting software engineers, they cared about it more than free lunches and free haircuts. When Google registered for its IPO in 2004 the first pages of its SEC filing was a letter from the founders, in which they spelled out their goal of building an enterprise for greater good:
Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served-as shareholders and in all other ways-by


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Web Summit 2014 Roundup: NEW Travel Apps You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

November 10, 2014 by  

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At the fourth annual Web Summit event in Dublin from November 4-6, 2014, 22,000 people from around the world came to see new gadgets, get cool demos and hear the latest scoop on where technology is heading. Since we love travel, we decided to spend a little time learning about what some of the new travel start-ups were up to on the show floor. While we mostly cover news and destinations for the luxury traveler, we threw in several apps into the mix that would be useful for hotels, airlines, property and guest house owners and even boat owners. What I found fascinating was just how diverse the nationalities were across the board — there are some creative apps coming out of Portugal, Israel, Germany, Finland, Greece, the states, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Russia, Brazil, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Australia and even Monaco and Malta, among countless others. I put together a curation of some of the apps I came across during my scouting exercise across three days at this massive technology event. Yonderbound is another B2B solution. Based in of all places Monaco, the female founder team (uncanny fact but they’re both named

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Where Irish Music Meets Food & Tech in Dublin

November 7, 2014 by  

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I attended the Google dinner and party as part of Web Summit this past week in Dublin. On the agenda, in addition to incredible food, Google tech culture and conversation? Irish music of course. Enjoy! Irish beer of course. Google’s youthful culture extends to Dublin and beyond. Now, for a little musical pleasure.


Stylish PulseOn Makes Heart Rate Monitoring Easier Than Ever

November 6, 2014 by  

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I came across the ever so cool PulseOn watches at a trade show event earlier this year. A surprising factoid is that these watches are designed and developed in of all places, Finland. The company is a spin-off from Nokia and was founded by five people who wanted to change the paradigm of how heart rate monitoring is done. PulseOn is a mishmash of sensor technology, algorithms and mobile technology. The mobile app turns the accurate heart rate data into meaningful feedback on the effect of training on your body, making it personalized to you. What I initially liked about the watch is the design. So many of the heart monitors and sensor watches on the market might be functional but they’re also geeky, so much so that I’ve never been compelled to wear one on a regular basis. Their watch measures your heart rate accurately and reliably without the need for a chest belt, so you can be freer as you work out and train. Their sophisticated algorithms extract and analyze heart rate in a wide range of conditions, so whether you’re running, weight training or simply taking a walk, it turns that heart rate data…

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