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Combine Video & Sensor Data - Now on Kickstarter

Vuact is running a Kickstarter campaign to turn our “Action Capture” into reality. While we’re running behind the goal at the moment, we’re kicking off new promotions and partnerships early next week, so now is a good time to jump on board!

So what exactly does it do?

  • Action Capture is an app that lets you record video and sensor data simultaneously.

  • It adds context to video recordings with data from wearable and phone-based sensors, and visualizes this against the video timeline.

  • You will easily find, view and share the best moments from bike rides, drives or skiing trips.

Check it out on Kickstarter, back us there and spread the word!

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The Web Turns 25 - Infographic

The Web is the part of the Internet we are mostly exposed to throughout our days (and for many of us, nights, too). From the concept proposed by Tim Berners-Lee, the Web has now grown into the most formidable communications medium ever known to humanity. 

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The Third Metric: Why Your Mileage Should Vary

This is a repost of my first blog post on Huffington Post

You can’t praise water to one who has never experienced thirst. But you can be ready for the moment when they will get thirsty. Then hand them water. They’ll understand, but in their own way.

This is my experience of what the Third Metric is and how I came upon that realization long before I had heard of the idea. The Third Metric can indeed be a measure of success and meaning above and beyond money and power, but we will need to make room for personal experience and realization.

By now the beginning of my story has a familiar refrain: I had a great job, made leaps and bounds in my career at the most illustrious Web company of the mid-noughties and rented a riverside flat in London. I was living the dream promised to eager young business grads everywhere.

The guy sitting next to me left for a Harvard MBA. The girl next to me went to Stanford. And half-way through my GMAT mathematics revision, I turned to the last page of my exercise book and calculated how long I could travel the world for the same money I would pay for the MBA. I did that instead.

I visited 37 countries over 18 months. I didn’t even spend all of the money I’d saved on the trip alone: Some were spent on garments for a start-up company whose inventory now matures in my dad’s garage in the east of Finland.

But I sure wasn’t happy. Indeed, I remember the tipping point: I was 60 feet underwater in one of the most spectacular reef diving locations in Indonesia, looking at luminously-colored nudibranches (like sea snails, injected with neon colors), and the question struck me like never before: “Why am I not having a good time?”

On one level that was just me, a privileged kid whining, like I’d done aplenty before. But on a different, experiential level, really realizing that if I’m subjectively not enjoying this, there objectively must be a problem.

Months later, a neighbor in Melbourne, Australia, locked himself out of the house and I invited him over to the house whose garden shed I was occupying. We compared notes on life over a few hours, and he managed to convince me to enroll on a 10-day meditation retreat. I have always been vehemently anti-religion, so it was by no means a small feat of him. I do not remember his name, but I owe him my thanks.

I will not evangelize meditation or a particular path, but I will share this personal belief based on experience and observation: The tipping point must be experienced and addressed through personal experience. A personal, subjective experience does not diminish the importance of a phenomenon, especially when the results are as tangible and universally valued as increased happiness, health and well-being.

The personal crisis I described was an easy one. There are many much worse experiences that people have gone through that have forced them to stop and re-evaluate their priorities in life. But even a small crisis can send a clear signal if we are willing to listen.

The unit of measurement for the Third Metric will not be the same to all. Since your mileage will vary, there may not be a way or a need to measure at all. Often it is about family, or about the contrast and conflict between Work and Life. While it is about well-being, balance and happiness, it is not an end goal. It is an ongoing process. You can’t collect and deposit it, and then make withdrawals when you need it.

This is what I think will make the Third Metric special and enduring. We need to be conscious of allowing people their own units of measuring it, and especially allowing them the experiential discovery of whatever it means for them, at the time that is right for them. If we keep this in mind, we can build a society where we are tolerant and indeed supportive of this personal discovery. And that will be real progress.

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You Wouldn’t Believe What The BBC News Homepage Looks Like When The Headlines Are Written To Be All Upworthied

BBC doesn’t seem to have caught up with the times when it comes to headline copywriting. Here’s my attempt to help them. I didn’t A/B test 20+ variations of each headline for maximum virality, though.

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Small selection of Mission murals close to home.

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fancyadance:

Frozen Lighthouses on Lake Michigan

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(via neil-gaiman)

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A Two-Weekend Startup

Take a long-running passion, some curiosity, an opportunity and a really tight deadline over two weekends. The result: Lakehead & Woodland Shaving Oils and ShavingOilClub.com.

Ever since I found them, I’ve loved shaving oils. The good ones let you shave closely and smoothly, without nicks or bumps. They don’t make a mess, unlike creams, gels and foams. You see where you are shaving. They can smell really good. And they take up so little space! Great for travelling. So you get the point, shaving oils are superior for a wet shave. I’ve even given shaving oils as Christmas presents. 

The only problem is that they last so long (oh did I mention that, they last really long, too) that you don’t get into the routine of buying them often. Maybe that’s why the big brands don’t do shaving oils much? People don’t need to buy them constantly, unlike the foams and other rubbish? Anyway, I kept running out every once in a while.

I’ve also mixed my own, and with my recent realization that you should only slap the best on your face, I’ve started mixing them with 100% organic ingredients. Why settle for less?

So my girlfriend Essi and I came up with an idea. Why not sell the oils as a subscription? That way, you don’t run out. We can control exactly what goes in a bottle (and how much!) to make sure it is good and it lasts. And while we’re at it, lets make it seasonal – mixing new scents and properties as the year cycles through. It would make for a great present, and people are already getting used to buying subscriptions for consumables. 

It would only make sense if we got a certain minimum of orders, though. The ideal setup was a Kickstarter-like order page where we show how many orders we have. The buyers wouldn’t be charged unless we reached that limit. I’m writing my next post about how to roll up your on Kickstarter-style campaign using just Paypal and a couple of free scripts.

We put together the site over two weekends. Essi picked the fonts, designed the logo and the first label for the first shaving oil, Winter Bergamot. I grabbed a Bootstrap template, a domain, customized and wrote content, and put the site up on my regular hosting account. One morning, we clambered up Bernal Heights to take the product photos in the rising sun (and a San Francisco Mission-based startup has to shoot product photos on Bernal Heights, of course).

So, here is Lakehead & Woodland Shaving Oils, meeting the world on ShavingOilClub.com. A labor of love and two weekends of part-time craziness. If you shave, get a subscription today! You get one bottle every two months - for $19 per TWO months, or $99 per year.

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CLASSIC. In many ways.

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Every month there’s a day when infogr.am team is having some fun. This time it happened to be this way.

Some time ago we learned that the good folks at Piktochart have left behind two generic domains - .net and .org, so we bought them (having nothing particular in mind). But as we’re geeks and…

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Twitter Cards: The Pandora’s Box

Expect meaningless clickbaiting photos, meme photos and lots of cleavage!

By expanding all cards with pictures and Vine videos, Twitter wants to make the platform more mainstream. Here’s my take:

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If photo’s and video get people’s attention, then text content will not. Very quickly, everyone communicating for a living will change into including visual media in the posts. For the mainstream viewer, this quickly makes Twitter look like any other photo-sharing network, just more unpredictable given the easiness of retweeting.

Or like Bad Religion put it: “Quality and quantity / quality and quantity / quality and quantity / don’t tell me they’re the same.”

OMG O HAI ADS?

Of course, introducing rich media into the feed – making it noisier, busies, more colourful – will make it easier to add the other kind of noise in the feed. Ads. If you erode (or improve) user experience (really depends on how you measure it) in a certain direction before introducing more ads, then you can at least say it wasn’t the ads that eroded or changed the user experience. At least for the worse.

What do you think? Reply on Twitter with your favorite click-baiting photo.

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"Hackers & Hookers Costume Party" - how dumb can you be?

Would you go to a Hackers & Hookers Costume Party?

And even more interestingly, what kind of idiocy does it take to organize an event like this? Not only is gender equality still a fundamental issue that needs to be improved everywhere, the technology industry especially has as of late been - and deservedly so - in the spotlight for discrimination, inequality and even sexual harassment.

This is what a San Francisco co-working space and “startup in stealth mode” Hacker Hideout has just done. They describe themselves as “a member based community center in San Francisco for thinkers and builders; tech lovers and business moguls; students and teachers alike.” Sounds really wonderfully inclusive. What they leave out from that list is what must be rampant idiocy evident by their party theme. Here’s more from their event page:

Hacker Hideout is a member based community center in San Francisco for thinkers and builders; tech lovers and business moguls; students and teachers alike. We are and like to think of our facility as a co-working space, micro incubator, socialecotechnological (yes we made this up) think-tank, and social event center for Hackers, Builders, Designers, and Shakers of San Francisco.

How dare you characterize yourself as a center for tech people in San Francisco if that’s your attitude?

What were they thinking? Is the assumption – or am I jumping to conclusions here – that the guys are the hackers and the girls are the hookers? Because it sure sounds that way. Do they think it somehow witty to characterize all women they are inviting as working in the sex industry? Don’t be shocked if nobody shows up.

I don’t know the organizers. There is not enough contact information on the Hacker Hideout homepage. I sent them a message through the Eventbrite page though I’m not expecting a response.