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…
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
Social media and apps have drastically changed the way people travel. No longer are vacation-goers privately booking their flights, grabbing their guidebooks and sharing their trips only through photo albums. Nowadays, it’s all about sharing trip details, seeking help from strangers and interacting as much as possible along the journey. The following apps are especially designed to make your trip more social, before, during and after.
Like Facebook for hostel and budget hotel booking, WeHostels is one of the top social travel apps allowing travelers to interact with hostelmates before leaving home. With over 50,000 accommodations across 800 cities, you’ll open the app and choose your city to be brought to a list of top-rated hostels and a map with their locations. When you click a hostel you like, you’ll be able to view photos, information and reviews — as well as a limited view of who will be staying there when you are. Once you book, you’ll be able to open these potential travel friends’ profiles to browse their interests and send them messages to plan meetups and potential day trips. It’s a…
Whether you are a social media professional or just a professional in any career - graphics is an important part of presentations, events, group, online and meeting communications. In the past expensive and complicated graphics software was needed to create and “size” graphics.
I have been following and learning about social media from Guy Kawaski for years and recently he shared information about Canva as a great website to create graphics. I started using Canva for my social media and professional graphic projects and was thrilled at how easy it was for even people like me (graphically challenged). I just received a press release that Canva is now available on the iPad, which makes it even easier to create graphics on the go!
“Canva makes it amazingly simple for everyone to create professional quality graphic designs. Its online design platform brings together a simple drag-and-drop design tool and a library of more than one million photographs, graphics and fonts, allowing anyone to take an idea and present it beautifully in print or online.
Canva can be used to design almost anything: presentations, posters, blog content, cards, online marketing materials, invitations, flyers and so much more.
Here are some great travel apps worth noting, most of them mobile apps.
One of the most confusing things about travel can be mentally converting costs from your home currency to the local currency, and understanding how much you’re actually spending. XE Currency is my favourite app for this: it uses live currency rates and allows you to calculate prices with your smartphone on the go. It also has historical currency charts, so you can track your costs from last week or last month at the correct exchange rate.
Useful whether you’re travelling or have friends living across the globe, the World Clock app does what it says on the tin: an interactive map of time zones across the globe, as well as daylight saving times.
My favourite site for an initial sweep of flight prices, Skyscanner searches the web from airlines to deal sites to find the cheapest option for flying to your chosen destination. It’s a good way to see what’s out there all in one place, and there’s also a cool option to pin your search to your start screen and keep an eye on…
Science and Nonduality
(SAND) is a five-day immersive experience where leading scientists, spiritual teachers, philosophers, artists, and a thriving international community gather to explore a new paradigm in spirituality, one that is based on timeless wisdom traditions, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience.
Each year, they come together for an annual conference in the states (and one in Europe) and the result is an explosive, miraculous, healing and serene experience – yes, all at the same time. I attended this incredible event in 2012 in Northern California and this year, they are hosting it in San Jose at the Dolce Hayes Mansion on 200 Edenvale Avenue. Be sure to read my write up
from the 2012 event.
Science and Nonduality provides a forum where preeminent scientists, philosophers, teachers, artists and a large, international community gather to explore and advance the new paradigm emerging in spirituality, that is both grounded in cutting-edge science and consistent with the ancient wisdom of nonduality — the deep understanding of the interconnectedness of life.
Ultimately, SAND is a playground where these different disciplines explore and share insights or simply reflect on what is emerging in consciousness. Knowing defines…
I recently met Jeffrey Shaw, CEO of Underground Cellar, a startup focused on helping wineries sell wine online. He and his team has developed a great technology platform to allow wineries to market themselves and sell their wines but it is also using its own platform to sell wine on behalf of many wineries — using a clever business model.
Shaw explained that when wineries want their help to shift certain wines, Underground Cellar will taste the wines first and then agree to sell a set number of cases and take a sales commission. It always asks the winery to give it additional cases of some of its other lines, often high-end expensive vintages, and those are used to reward its customers.
When customers order wine, they have a chance to win additional bottles for free, equivalent to what they have ordered, or better. The probability of winning extra bottles is shown each time in real time.
[All it needs (below) is some revolving cherries to create a virtual one-armed bandit.]
Customers used to have to wait until their order arrived to see if they had won but Shaw says telling…
The new Friday market on mid-Market Street in San Francisco was a big hit with hundreds of people enjoying drinks, food trucks, and shopping eclectic stalls on a warm autumn evening. Mayor Ed Lee and several supervisors arrived, too. I managed to speak briefly with the Mayor about some of the tech community issues and urged him to integrate the tech community and not keep it segregated. He agreed and said the Friday market was a step in that direction.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to tell the mayor about an idea I had, to have Google et al. up the extra quarter on Muni bus fares. They rose by a quarter to $2.25 on September 1. It would be a great publicity gesture if those firms picked up that quarter for all riders as a show of support for busses for everyone. They have often been criticized for using bus stops and city resources and not paying a full share.
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