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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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Web Summit Meets Food Summit With 20,000 Attendees at Royal Dublin Society

November 4, 2014 by  

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Last year I missed Web Summit, what has become Europe’s number one technology event, amusingly labeled as the Davos For Geeks. I went the first two years and this year’s event is a far cry from my year one experience when they only had 500 attendees. Now in its fourth year, 20,000 people flew into Dublin early this week for the premier 3 day event. Founder, Paddy Cosgrave opened the Summit in the morning, emphasizing the importance of the social element to the Summit where deals can – and have been – done. That said, there was still a lot of activity around the main stage, where they had a host of high level discussions and speakers on the hour all day. The center stage had Brendan Iribe, the founder of Oculus Rift who spoke about the rise of virtual reality and its applications in everyday life. Skip Rizzo the Director for Medical Virtual Reality and early stage developer of Oculus Rift gave a demonstration of the technology’s uses for post-traumatic stress disorder for returning veterans. From being shot at to street explosions, the virtual reality exposure therapy has assisted veterans in…

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Wifi in Your Pocket For Your Trip to France With Travel Wifi

October 22, 2014 by  

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Travel Wifi rents personal Wifi hotspots (also called Mifi) giving up to 4G speed connection on the Bouygues Télécom network for coverage in selected parts of France. It is a small device that fits in your pocket with automatic connectivity and English speaking support services. To rent your mobile hotspot, log onto their website and book it with a few clicks. The hotspot is delivered via standard mail in France or courier services inside of Paris to any French address (hotel, rental flat or house…). Once you have received your hotspot, the connection is absolutely unlimited in up to 4G speed! The Wifi signal can be shared with up to 10 devices at the same time. Returning it before you leave France is easy — simply pop it in a provided prepaid envelope that you just drop in any mailbox which is what I did from the airport. They charge according to the rental duration: For 3 days, the price is 10€/day. A week is 8€/day going down to 7€/day for 20 days, 6€/day for 30 days or longer. Disclosure: we were given a device to use for my trip to France with the

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