I love infographics. It’s an addiction. Naturally Foursquare’s new Time Machine feature, which turns my check-ins into a video, was the cherry on top of my obsession.
My Time Machine results told me interesting things like the first place I ever checked in was a restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio in 2009. It brought up memories of a delicious salad I ate on that winter afternoon. Of my 1700+ check-ins, the connection I’ve made the most is from restaurant to bar, bar being the kind of place I’ve checked into the most, followed closely by airport. The city I’ve been to the fourth most is New Orleans. My biggest distance covered was 4,834 miles when I checked-in in Prague.
Don’t you want to know all these random stats about your life? And if you don’t like Foursquare, check out my Twitter video, get jealous, and then make your own.
Image via WIRED Spring Camp
There are only two stop signs in the little town of Downieville nestled just below the Sierra Nevada, but don’t let the sleepy surroundings fool you: This is home to the Downieville Classic and a gateway to some of the most exhilarating—and challenging—mountain biking in the country. Here mountain bikers can experience those same epic trails that racers speed down for the downhill race in August.
Primed to hit the trails, the experienced mountain bike faction of the WIRED Spring Camp rented some bikes and took the 11 a.m. shuttle van to the top. They strapped in next to the snow-capped Sierra Buttes North peak and clicked down for the descent, following trails with names like “Baby Heads” and “Butcher,” which were all fast, furious, and downhill.
While they pummeled through tight wooded areas and hard-packed trails at speeds that made it hard to manage turns, the less-experienced riders from Wired Spring Camp hit the intermediate North Yuba River mountain bike trail that winds through forests with a couple miles of up-and-down climbing. Get a snapshot of all the WIRED Spring Camp action (falls included) thanks to Olympus.
Image via mikecogh
There are definitely some hashtag haters out there. But they better get over it fast because the pound sign is not limited to the Twittersphere anymore. #Facebook has joined the club.
For those who aren’t in the know, hashtags help make content searchable. For example, users can search a word, and all the posts that mention that word will appear in a stream. A hashtag is also clickable. Click a hashtag of interest and all the relevant information will appear. Hashtags can also be funny, but that’s a whole other story.
Facebook’s hashtags will help bring up interesting and relevant posts from friends and pages you follow. It was only a matter of time before the social network jumped on board – Pinterest and Instagram had already followed suit of the original hashtag creator: Twitter.
Image via therareairs.com
Spring in NYC means two things start filling up: overpriced roof top bars open up, and city running paths. And here in the city, your running shoe ideally is slick enough to work both places. Here’s a guide.
Nike Flyknit Lunar1+
Light, fast, and eye-catching, Nike Flyknits make use of a special, woven upper that is as comfortable as it is cool.
Rooftop Factor: 7
Running Factor: 7
Nike Free Run
Another Nike entry. Free Runs offer a barefoot-like experience, but in sweet colors suited for business suits and track suits.
Rooftop Factor: 8
Running Factor: 6
Classic and so old school you’ll change your name to Prefontaine. But, compared to the other technical shoes here, not as great on the track.
Rooftop Factor: 10
Running factor: 3
Ugly as sin but with unparalleled road connectivity, the FiveFinger lets you run like our ancestors did - barefoot. Spear not included.
Rooftop Factor: 1
Running Factor: 8
Image via carriekish.com
As everyone knows, the office of 2013 is over-connected and yet under-informed. We’ve just become “reply-bots”, reacting to emails rather than taking time to stop and consider the right move. More and more of us are trying to figure out how to deal with the deluge of texts, messages, text messages, voicemails, emails, and meeting markers that make up the new nine-to-five. Here’s my priority list that helps keeps my inbox - and mind - uncluttered.
Personal or so unimportant it doesn’t matter if the person gets the information - A text message or instant message.
Small, simple details - Instant message, or email.
Not complicated plan - Email. But keep it short.
Somewhat complicated plan - Email to set up an agenda, but follow up with a phone call.
Very complicated - Set up a meeting. Follow up with email.
Super Critical - One-on-one meeting.
Imagine via fstoppers.com
After covering more than a few weather apps such as WTHR designed by Dieter Rams, I’ve determined that a good weather app needs two things. First, information — the what, where, when of weather if you will. Second, and this is tricky, it needs to “capture” weather.
It’s why the Yahoo, yep, THAT Yahoo, Weather app is so amazing. It checks off the first box by having tons of data: temperature, humidity, wind conditions, forecast, even sunrise and sunset. And it’s in that second requirement that it really excels. Using user imagers from Flickr, the App pulls pictures that capture the look and feel of the locale you’re looking at. Pull up NYC weather conditions and the app conjures image of the Empire State Building and the city skyline. Flip to San Francisco weather and get served up with pics of the Golden Gate. In short, you get context, and you “feel” the weather conditions all the more.
Check it out for yourself.
Image via pcmag
Just in time for spring cleaning, some Google tools you know and love are getting a revamp. And not just Google What or Google Obscure, these are tools you probably have loaded up right now.
Google Maps newest iteration is currently invite-only. Basically, the new Maps is a much tighter, much richer integration of other Google things with Maps, allowing you to, for example, look at stitched together images of famous sites, or even step inside a local business.
The latest Gmail is ready now for desktop and mobile. Google’s reasoning for the new Gmail is simple: we love tabs for web browsing, so why not tabs for email browsing? The new inbox separates out incoming messages into offers, updates, and social media, leaving you with a less cluttered experience.
Image via WIRED Spring Camp
What happens when you take a staff more acclimated to urban bike commutes on an eight mile hike in the woods? The WIRED Spring Camp packed some lunch and some Olympus cameras and decided to find out. Set to take on a trail that drops about 1,600 feet down to a river and then climbs back up 1,600 feet to the parking lot, it wasn’t super steep, but definitely more challenging than riding an elevator to a desk job back home.
After a challenging descent—during which some hikers found their legs getting shaky—the group reached an old-style footbridge and out came the cameras for the incredible scenery back. However, then they took the celebration one step further busting out a portable Bluetooth boombox and cranking Led Zep’s “The Crunge.”
While some hikers cooled off by jumping off the rocks into the river, one unlucky camper took a tumble and got a nasty gash requiring some patching up with a first-aid kit (remember: a modern hiker is always prepared with a boombox—and some band aids). However, there was still the uphill left. Read on to see what happens (thanks to Olympus).
Check out highlights from Day 3 here.
Image via minbox.pressdoc.com
The unofficial policy here at Upstarter is to not write about interesting new products—that is, until I’ve actually used them. Which is why I’m only coming to you now with my take on Minbox, the new file sending utility for Mac that promises to send large files much more quickly than Dropbox.
Minbox does three main things:
1. Allows you to quickly email a large file to someone via a drag-and-drop action to the menu bar icon.
2. Allows you to control-click any file and instantly create a shareable link that anyone can use to download that file from the web.
3. Allows you to organize images into shareable galleries, like so.
Two nice bonuses go along with these functions: first, it’s fast. Or as one tweeter put it, “Minbox is YouSendIt on speed.” Also, they have a really slick preferences panel that lets you automatically convert large file types such as RAW to the more manageable JPEG format. Ok three nice bonuses: Minbox is available free of charge.
Image via WIRED Spring Camp
Eight intrepid members of WIRED’s staff—including writers, photographers, and videographers—strapped packs onto their backs, hooked bikes onto their SUVs, and piled into two vehicles ready to record, capture, and report back on all the outdoorsy action as they headed to the Northern California hills to test out a new crop of apparel and gear all in the name of WIRED Spring Camp.
Amid the trunk full of hydrophobic sunglasses, rugged hiking shoes, and some 50 other products for review, there were also some camp chairs, stoves, and a few crisp brews for savoring the fresh air from the deck of a cabin. Call it good-old-fashioned camping for the Digital Generation.
The destination? Rollins Lake near Grass Valley, CA. Rising to an elevation of 2,100 feet with some 26 miles of shoreline, this wooded outpost would serve as WIRED Spring Camp HQ for the next few days. However, before hitting the great outdoors, the first order of business was foraging for some food—by way of a local Italian spot with NJ license plates on the wall, of course (which was just right for carb-loading).
Check out highlights from Day 2 of WIRED Spring Camp captured by Olympus