Tech

Friday, May 16, 2014

Best North Carolina memes for 2014 (so far)

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 10:33 AM



It's been awhile since we presented you with the top North Carolina memes. Here's the second iteration because the first one was just so damn good.

1. The great snowstorm meme of February wins the No. 1 spot because not only was it hilarious, it birthed lots and lots of similar ones. Memes on memes on memes!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kids get all the cool stuff: DIY.org

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

DIY.org makes me wish I was a kid again. This amazing iPhone app and social platform strictly for children is like the Girl/Boy Scouts plus Foursquare plus tech on steroids. How cool is this?!

Kids earn badges for uploading a photo or video of them completing each challenge. Even better, they have a wide range of epic skills, skills that I as an adult want to learn. It's all over the board, ranging from experimenting with gravity to becoming a linguist to being a backend dev to being a historian or journalist. 



Despite the weirdness of the above video (which I am assuming is weird because I'm not a kid so it doesn't appeal to me) this app/platform plus real, tangible, sometimes non-digital skill teaching is perhaps one of the best uses of technology seen in awhile.

Here's a small cross-section of the type of things kids are learning. Click the badge to go to their website and see what's going on with that particular skill:

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I want to learn to be a Yeti, don't you? Kids get all the cool stuff. Click here to visit the DIY.org iTunes app download page.

For more commentary, follow me on Twitter @dbirdy, for more photos peep my Flickr, if you're into the travel philosophy thing read my website, and to see a bunch of random and fun travel videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Zero, zilch, none and no part of this post is sponsored by any of the above mentioned company or companies, nor would I ever present such a thing.


All image credits: The DIY.org website

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cloak: The perfect iPhone app for avoiding weirdos

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Cloak, the newest social network that's recently been featured in a slew of national media outlets, like the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, NPR, CNN, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, is exactly not that. It's a social network to help users avoid weirdos IRL. Or, as the creators more sensitively put it on their Apple app download page, they're offering "incognito mode for real life."

When I get into an argument with women and I need to hide

I, of course, had to sign up for this app when I heard that it gives you alerts when people check in on a location-aware network like Foursquare, Instagram, etc., for the sole purpose of avoiding them. While I don't always go about actively avoiding people, since I am so plugged into social media, I couldn't help but be curious about this antisocial social network. My inner urban explorer certainly can see the value in this, but my personal safety radar goes off.

I've downloaded and poked around. Here's what I think:

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Coming soon: Charlotte Startup Celebration and Awards

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM



From the Packard Place Eventbrite page:
One of the keys to building a successful start-up ecosystem is celebrating the wins of our entrepreneurs. We're hosting an annual celebration, alongside Detailed Block, to bring together entrepreneurs and celebrate these wins, big and small. The ticket price covers dinner and the awards.

We'll celebrate the impact of start-ups in Charlotte. We're celebrating events like:
- Exits > $5M
- Raises > $1M
- NC Idea winners
- Innovation Fund NC winners
- Charlotte Venture Challenge finalists
- Successes of Incubator programs
- Recap of the BIG entrepreneurial growth survey
- Other major events and successes in the last 12 months
All of the proceeds from this event benefit start-up Detailed Block, to boot. Detailed Block, for those not in the know, is the source for info on Charlotte's high-growth start-ups and general commentary on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the city. This is an event not to miss.



Tickets are $20 and the event is April 4, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

For more commentary, follow me on Twitter @dbirdy, for more photos peep my Flickr, if you're into the travel philosophy thing read my website, and to see a bunch of random and fun travel videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Zero, zilch, none and no part of this post is sponsored by any of the above mentioned company or companies, nor would I ever present such a thing.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Found the damndest thing in Delta: ECG Utah Solar 1

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM



I've been a field producer on local independent journalist/CL contributor Rhiannon Fionn's investigative documentary project called Coal Ash Chronicles for the past two or so years. Back in November, the project took video journalist Kevin J. Beaty and I out to Delta, Utah, to do a profile piece on nearby Millard County's Intermountain Power Project's coal ash beneficial re-use practices. While we were out in the desert, we found the damndest thing: ECG Utah Solar 1. It's a 300MW solar power facility in the works that is tapping into a coal power plant's infrastructure to bring renewable energy to six municipalities in Southern California, L.A. being the largest.

Considering North Carolina's coal ash woes, thanks to the massive Duke Energy spill into the Dan River a couple of weeks ago, West Virginia's before and after that, ECG Utah Solar 1 offers a model for communities beginning to actively look past coal power. We decided to take a second trip back to Millard County just to cover the creation of what will one day be one of the nation's largest solar power plants. Here's what we found.:



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Friday, February 14, 2014

Massive solar energy spill grips California!: Ivanpah Solar Project opens

Sunshine was seen dripping everywhere as the world's largest solar power plant promises to power 140,000 homes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM





During the madness of the Duke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River, some good energy news emerges. Ivanpah Solar Project, the world's largest photovoltaic solar plant, opened yesterday, promising to power 140,000 homes with renewable energy.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Call for beta testers for Next Glass

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 2:21 PM








Who doesn't love a good call for beta testers? In my opinion, being a beta tester is one of the best parts of technology: the opportunity to shape the things that interest us. Next Glass, the up-and-coming Wilmington, N.C., startup/appdev company that offers suggestions on wine and beer selections based on science from data the user provides about what they like. They've got a call out for beta testers, and for those of us who like a good nightcap, this is a super fun, get-in-while-you-can, opportunity to shape what has potential to be a really helpful app.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Free coding classes, thanks to Treehouse and the Library

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:51 AM



Treehouse, the most excellent online platform that offers informative videos to learn iPhone and Android app development, website building, business building and coding skills (like Ruby on Rails), has partnered with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library to share its monthly service (usually $9-$25) to citizens with a library card, free.

A bold move in very much the right direction for the library and the tech startup, the service began yesterday.

You can click here to visit the Library's login page to get access.

For those looking for more details before signing up, here are some of the things you can learn using Treehouse.

This is an excellent opportunity to get out and learn something, even if you never leave your home. There is no age restriction, no cost, no fees. It's there when you're ready to learn.

For more commentary, follow me on Twitter @dbirdy, for more photos peep my Flickr, if you're into the travel philosophy thing read my website, and to see a bunch of random and fun travel videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Zero, zilch, none and no part of this post is sponsored by any of the above mentioned company or companies, nor would I ever present such a thing.

(Teaser image credit: http://teamtreehouse.com/)

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Exfoliate it!: How to purge tech leftovers

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 4:59 PM


Did you get new tech for the holidays and now your old tech is laying around? What other options are available besides reselling? There are plenty of ways to get rid of old tech besides shipping it somewhere.

1) Regift it - One thing Gazelle does have correct is that if the item is sitting in a drawer gathering dust, it's not doing any good. Younger people often don't have tech or the money to upgrade what they already have. Why not give it to a local kid (after you get parental permission, of course) or younger relative to use?

2) Craigslist it - Price compare with other people selling the same item(s) and list your own competitively. Sure, your email will blow up with people wanting to give you $5 for that old iPhone 4S but somewhere in the madness you might make a decent dollar once you filter the cheap-o emails out.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Water cooler swag: Bitcoin mining?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM

The crypto-currency Bitcoin, which has skyrocketed in value over the last two quarters, has developed a teratoma called mining and ooh, is it futuristically weird. From Bloomberg Businessweek:


As with an actual precious metal, Bitcoins are in limited supply - they must be "mined." Unlike with precious metals, this mining is done purely by computer. Miners set their machines to run a series of complex calculations that tally up and certify all the transactions of other Bitcoin holders around the world. If the miner's computers complete these calculations and solve a complex mathematical puzzle before anyone else, he earns about 25 Bitcoins as payment. It's a nice haul: With the price of each Bitcoin nosing up near $1,000, that's $25,000 for 10 minutes or so of work. For the moment at least, miners are the rare grunts who can also get rich.

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