Gotta Catch Em All

By | Gaming, Lifestyle | No Comments

Pokemon GOGotta catch em all. These four words have stirred a crazed obsession in people who have downloaded the IOS and Android app Pokémon Go. The game was released in early July by Niantic and has caught the attention of people from all demographics.

The app brings the real world to virtual reality by using GPS location services to encourage players to travel and get out of their normal environment. Just like in the beloved television show, the concept of the game is to catch Pokémon and battle them with other users. After downloading the app, the user gets to create an avatar choosing different skin, eye and hair color. From there, the world is yours with 142 current available Pokémon to catch. Along the way your character is also able to catch mystery Pokémon eggs. In order for the eggs to hatch, the user must walk 2 km, 5 km or 10 km depending on the egg.

Run out of Poke balls? Go to the nearest Pokéstop and get more.

Are you stuck somewhere and feel left out that you must halt your Pokémon catching? Drop incense and let them come to you!

Pokémon Go has created such a buzz that people have created large gatherings and “search parties” centered on catching these virtual monsters. Recently, several dating services apps have been created (PokeMatch and PokeDates) that work to pair Pokémon lovers together.

In addition, as of July 21 Nick Johnson was the first person in North America to catch all 142 Pokémon. He claims in an article with Refinery29 that the process only took him two weeks and he didn’t decrease the workload at his current job. He also claims to have lost 8-10 pounds in the process.

To read more about Pokémon Go, click here to visit their official website

How to never miss your flight again

By | Innovation, Tech, Travel | No Comments

Walking in an airport? What a thing of the past. Why not zoom to your terminal on a small-motorized suitcase. Cue the Modobag, the world’s first motorized suitcase according to the companies website.

If you’re an active traveler, more times than not you’ve probably been in a struggle to get to your terminal or make a connecting flight on time. The Modobag solves this problem as it is designed to navigate you through the airport three times faster than on foot. The scooter-esque device can travel a speed of 8 mph and can go up to 6 miles on a single charge. The Modobag comes with two USB ports that will charge any electronic you have while cruising.

The idea came to Chicagoan entrepreneur Kevin O’Donnell as he was wheeling his children around on his suitcase at the airport. “Why can’t we ride our luggage and get to where we’re going faster with less stress” quotes O’Donnell on the Modobag website. After the light bulb moment, he then worked with several colleagues to create the speedy bag that was also within TSA standards.

While there are many potential problems that come to mind (crashing into people, driving over walking conveyer belts, crowded areas), the Modobag can be helpful in aiding elderly people who have trouble walking or anyone that had sprained an ankle or broken their foot.

The Modobag is currently on pre-sale for $995 and is said to release in January of 2017. Other features of the motorized luggage is that it can charge up to 80% in 15 minutes, has dual speed controls and offers a padded compartment that will protect any electronic device from being crushed.

Learn more about the Modobag here.

Can you solve the newest viral puzzle?

By | Clever, Photography, Social Media | No Comments

Just like the infamous Dress picture that left people arguing black and blue or white and gold, we present to you, ladies and gentlemen, the newest picture that has left people scratching their heads. The Rug. Although, the picture is less of an optical illusion as it is a puzzle. Somewhere in the picture is an iPhone. And no, the answer is not the person taking the picture. If you’re not fully awake this morning or need an excuse to stop working, have a go. But be fair warned, it won’t be an easy endeavor.

Blue Rug

The picture was posted by Philippines-based Jaye May Cruz to Facebook on July 2 and has since been shared 18,000 times. If you’re having trouble and need a hint, like the majority of us did, look above the tables right leg in the blue stripe. Happy hunting!

P.S

If you still are unable to find the iPhone, here is an article by Cosmopolitan that shows where the phone is.

Three LEGO’s Enter Jupiter’s Orbit

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Three 1.5-inch LEGO’s will go down in history for being aboard the first spacecraft to ever enter Jupiter’s orbit. These figures are Roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno and Galileo Galilei. The figurines mission is part of the Bricks in Space project, a collaboration with LEGO and NASA to encourage children to become more engaged with space exploration, science and technology.

Juno SpacecraftAfter traveling 1.8 billion miles for five years, NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully reached the gas planet as of Monday, July 4. Juno launched in 2011 in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and has been monitored at the navigation facility at NASA’s Jet monitored at the navigation facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California and the Lockheed Martin Juno operations center in Littleton, Colorado.

According to NASA, the purpose of the mission is to investigate “ planetary core, map the magnetic field, and measure the amount of water and ammonia in the atmosphere.”

In order to survive Jupiter’s harsh environment the LEGO pieces were specially constructed out of aluminum with the consideration of having a “non-magnetic metal that would not interfere with other equipment,” according to a LEGO spokesperson in an email to Mashable.

The LEGO website has tracked the minifigures journey in addition to including educational videos about space, a LEGOnaut game and facts about the planet and the mission. Unfortunately, the trio is on a suicide mission and will not return to Earth. After orbiting the giant planet for 20 months (33 revolutions) collecting data, the ship will deliberately plummet into Jupiter’s atmosphere and disintegrate.

You can updates about the mission @NASAJuno or hashtag #NASAJuno

The Robot Best Friend You Always Dreamt Of

By | Innovation, Tech | No Comments

No matter what your age is, having a robot partner in crime seems like a dream come true. Through the years science fiction movies, like Star Wars and Wall-E, have teased us of the possibility of what could be. But now, that dream has become a reality thanks to a toymaker company called Anki.

Meet Cozmo. He is smaller than a coffee mug, has a body structure of a miniature bulldozer and two bright-blue pixilated eyes. Cozmo’s personality, or as co-founder Hanns Tappenier calls it an “emotion engine”, gives him a life-like presence. If you leave Cozmo alone too long he will become restless and start to nudge you. When he sleeps, he snores. When he loses in a game of Whack-A-Mole, he gets cranky. The list goes on.

Developers of at Anki partnered with Pixar in order to create a robot with artificial intelligence (AI) that had the ability of facial, spatial and emotional recognition. Put him on a table and he will go around to each person and remember their name and face. Even after he has gone to sleep, Cozmo will wake up and not only remember that person but any games they played and who won. While moving around, he is able to avoid stationary objects and stop right before coming to the edge of a table (and will look around with a nervous expression on his screen).

Another innovative characteristic with Cozmo is his ability to develop a more unique personality that is specific to a certain user the more you interact with him. Thus, the more games a user plays, new games and upgrades become available.

Every detail of Cozmo has been cleverly thought out. He has a battery life that lasts for 90 minutes and takes 6-8 minutes to charge. If he begins to grow tired, his eyes on the screen may begin to dim and will yawn to let you know his battery is running low. In order to wake him up, all the user has to do is go on their IOS or Android smart phone and use an app created by Anki.

Pre-ordering for the little robot has already begun at a whooping price of $159.99 and shipping is said to begin sometime in September and October.

You can pre-order Cozmo at https://anki.com/en-us/cozmo

Half a Billion Selfie Users on Instagram

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Instagram_500_million_usersThis past Tuesday, Instagram shared a press release on their site announcing that the app had officially reached 500 million users. The report also stated that of those 500 million, 300 million people use the site daily posting 95 million pictures daily. Reigning in 4.2 million likes a day.

Apart of the celebration, Instagram posted a picture on their account highlighting the most popular topics people are sharing in relation to where they live globally. For instance, Instagrammers in Brazil seem to follow and interact with accounts sharing Golden Retriever pictures while users in Dominican Republic took an interest in Barber accounts.

“One of the things we stated early on is that anyone can create a photo-sharing app, but not anyone can build a community that lasts. And [these 500 million users] are not in silos. They are all interacting with each other. It’s a global community, with over 80% of those people outside the United States,” Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom stated in an interview with Time magazine.

The site launched in 2010 with 25,000 people downloading the app on the first day, according to a BBC article. In April of 2012, Facebook decided to buy the photo-sharing app for $1 billion dollars, which is still the largest acquisition in history.
Recent changes to the app have been the logo going from a retro camera to a multicolored look. In addition, developers are working to create an algorithm that will change users feed to appear in a way that prioritizes people whom you interest with more to appear first as compared to a chronological order.

#TakeMeAnywhere in 31 Days

By | Art, Blog, Social Media, Travel | No Comments

TakeMyAnywhereAfter a month of hitchhiking across the United States, the journey will finally come to an end tomorrow for Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf.

LaBeouf began the 31-day journey on May 23 alongside Nastja Rönkkö and Luke Turner in Boulder, Colorado and have since traveled all over the U.S. The only catch is that they have no control over where they go.

Each day at noon, the group would tweet GPS coordinates along with the hashtag #TakeMeAnywhere. Whoever got to the trio first could then take them anywhere the driver wanted. The road trip, which was commissioned by the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Finnish Institute in London, will be made into a feature film documenting the highs and lows of the road trip.

Rönkkö and Turner have been LaBeoufs right hand (wo)men when it comes to artistic exploration. Each month the group comes up with a new project for their campaign book along with a feature hashtag. In the #AllMyMovies project, Shia filmed himself watching all his movies back-to-back in a New York movie theater for 72 hours straight. The actor also wore a paper bag over his head with the phase “I am not famous anymore” written on it for the #IAmSorry project.

In an interview with Vice, when asked what the artistic purpose was for the project was LaBeouf stated to create relationships and for the group to open themselves up to exploration.

You can see the route of their journey at www.takemeanywhere.vice.com.

If you had the three in your car, where would you take them?

Dude Where’s My Car?

By | Blog, Design, Innovation | No Comments

“Where did I park?”

“No I promise I left my car right here”

“Someone must have stolen it”

Apple MapsIf you are the type of person who is constantly trying to relocate their vehicle in a full parking lot then your biggest relief is coming in the next IOS 10 update. This past week at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple released the newest features coming to Apple Maps, one of which will allow users to easily locate their parked their car.

To save the location of your vehicle, a person can drop a pin in the Apple Maps app and can edit the pin to give it a more accurate location. To locate your vehicle, a parked car icon will appear on the app, followed by directions to it. The pinned location of your parked vehicle will also be in the recommended destination section, allowing the user to access it on the locked home screen.

Although several apps already exist with the same features and functions although the new update could be more helpful since it will be integrated with Apple Maps.

According to Refinery29 here are some other new features coming with the IOS 10 update:

  • Redesigned lock screen: Previously with the Touch ID, a person wouldn’t be able to see their notifications due to the phone unlocking too fast. With the new update, your phone will automatically unlock when you pick it up allowing you to see any notifications.
  • iMessage: Possibly the biggest change in the IOS 10 update will be with iMessage. When typing a message, any words that are registered as an emoji will be highlighted so you can swap. Other new features coming to iMessage will be adding effects to the message bubble, Invisible Ink, which will require the user to open a message in order to read it and editing Live Photos before sharing them.
  • Apple Music: Along with adding larger album-cover art, Apple Music will focus more on the feature you use most (Library, For You, Browse, Radio) and will include lyrics to each song.

I Can’t Believe It’s STILL Butter!

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Bog Butter 2An Irish farmer discovered a 22-pound blob of butter, which is estimated to be over 2 thousand years old, earlier this week while working in the Emlagh bog.The “bog butter” discoverer, Jack Conway, then contacted the Cavan County Museum where it has since been sent to the National Museum for research and testing.

“A find like this is extremely significant in terms of our history and heritage,” Savina Donohoe, curator of the Cavan County Museum wrote in an email to the Quartz.

Yet, the discovery of the bog butter discovery is fairly usual in the Drakerath town area. People in medieval Ireland would burry butter in bogs due to its cool temperatures, low oxygen levels, and high acidity and come back at a later time. In addition, butter was also buried in bogs as offerings to gods and spirits to keep their land safe.

According to an article by BreakingNews, top chief Kevin Thornton tasted the rugby-ball sized, diary meteor, and described it as “crumbly and with an odorous and distinctive smell.”

World’s First Drone Taxi

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s your drone taxi!

EHang Inc., a company located in Guangzhou, China has developed an autonomous ariel vehicle that is electrically powered for medium-short distances and can travel at a speed of 91 kph.

The EHang 184 was first showcased to the public at the 2016 International Consumer Electric Show and was approached by the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS).

Working alongside the State of Nevada, the goal of the joined alliance between EHang and NIAS is to conduct criteria specific testing in order to get the device approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and ultimately make it available to the public as an ariel taxi service.

According to an article in Quartz, the autonomous drone that was shown at CES could transport a person by entering a destination in through a smartphone app and had a battery life that would travel up to 50 miles.

“I personally look forward to the day when drone taxis are part of Nevada’s transportation system.” Tom Wilezek, Aerospace and Defense Industry Specialist for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development said in a statement.

Although it might be awhile before the public is able to enjoy riding around in flying drones.

In the mean time, here is a video of the EHang 184 and some of it’s cool, innovated features.