Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

Comic-Con for Writers

Image via Flickr

Comic-Con isn’t just for fanboys and fangirls. It’s also a great alternative to a typical writing conference. Here are just a few can’t-miss panels for word nerds, up-and-coming authors, and wannabe screenwriters.

Thursday Learn pro tips from the author and contributors behind the Hugo Award-nominated Wonderbook in Wonderbook: Writers on Creativity and Inspiration at 10 AM in Room 25ABC.

Friday Sitting on a TV series idea and need help turning it into a presentable pilot? Don’t miss How to Write a TV Pilot at 8 PM in Room 23ABC.

Saturday Meet authors who’ve raised a combined total of $200,000 for 10 projects in Ways to Increase Success on Your Self-Published Kickstarter Project at 4 PM in Room 23ABC.

Sunday You may find your idea has more potential than you think during How to Create Your Own Novel: From First Idea to Publishing and What you Need to Sell Your Work to TV and Film at 4 PM in Room 7AB.

 

— IT Girl

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|  July 23rd, 2014

World Chat Clock

Image via Dark Horse Analytics

If you’re like me, you’ll find this whole globalization thing has one huge drawback: people have to sleep. So just how do you coordinate a call when you’ve got a consultant in Singapore, a lawyer in Seattle, and your main team in New York?

Use World Chat Clock to figure out when is the best time to tackle that gnarly global conference call. Enter in up to five cities from around the globe and the Chat Clock gives you times of overlap, breaking out time into office hours, “stretch hours”. Nifty.

By the way, the best time for a call between New York, Singapore, and Seattle? There isn’t one. Start brewing that coffee.

Digital Gentleman

#Tech  
|  July 22nd, 2014

A Day in the Life of an NYC Cabbie

Image via Gothamist

There’s an amazing data visualization of a day in the life of a NYC cabbie. The visualization takes data from Taxi and Limousine Service and picks a handful of cab rides out of literally millions to produce the graphic you can see here.

You can watch the cabbie wonder around in the middle of the night, barely picking up anyone, before he grinds it out in the morning, completes several grueling airport runs in the middle the day, then rushes back to Queens for a shift change just to do it all again. Really gives you some respect for these guys. 

Digital Gentleman

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|  July 22nd, 2014

If Cycling’s the New Golf, Here’s Your Bag

Image via Rapha

Startup folks aren’t wild about golf. Play nine holes for fun now and again, sure, but as a networking activity? That’s for the Fortune 500 set. Entrepreneurs tend to favor the more group-oriented cycling because everyone can play, it’s cheap (you know, after you buy the fanciest bike there is) and just like golf there’s beer afterward.

Thanks to WIRED’s Summer Gadget Lab series you’re going to discover a bevy of new gear to help you maximize every outdoor excursion—and cycling’s no exception. Along with this curated list of cycling gear from the Lab, we’ve got one late addition for you. With all that spandex there’s not a lot of room left for your stuff. Enter the Rapha Seat Pack, which can carry everything from smartphones to tire patches in its burrito-like, weatherproof form factor. It fits neatly under the seat of your bike, leaving your shirt pouches free to hold all that water you’re going to need.

Smarter Upstarter

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#Cycling  
|  July 21st, 2014

IKEA Hack: Solar-Powered Bike Lamp Edition

Image via Instructables

Bike lights are not cheap, and I’m always paranoid that they’ll run out of juice just when I need them. We’ve seen hacks with IKEA’s SUNNAN solar-powered lamp before, and they’re always cool. Especially if you can score a used lamp at a resale shop like this Instructable user did

The solar panel of the IKEA lamp takes approximately nine hours to charge, but it can provide three solid hours of light – and it will always recharge in the direct sun. Sounds good to me. And with four extra-bright LED lights and eight different LED animations, you’ll always be in sight. Plus, the light can easily mount on a backpack for maximum visibility.

Read the full Instructable for the Solar Powered Bike Light here

Maker

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|  July 20th, 2014

I Love Lamp

Image via Instructables

I really do love this lamp. There’s just something about its industrial feel and its simplicity.

The Desk Clamp Lamp, designed by prolific Instructables user randofo, is stylishly made from galvanized pipes and other parts that are cheap and readily available at your local hardware store. Once you’ve gathered the parts, it’s sort of like piecing together a puzzle but you’ll be twisting pieces together instead. The height of the lamp can be easily adjusted by modifying the lengths of piping. Completely personalized? Who wouldn’t love this lamp?                 

Maker

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#DIY  
|  July 20th, 2014

Surviving Comic-Con

Image via Flickr

Attending a con might not seem like it requires the same preparation as an outdoor expedition. But it does. Here are our tips for braving the crowds and getting the most out of your Comic Con experience:

1. BYO-Seat.
If you’re planning on lining up for a panel, you’ll really appreciate that small folding chair or stool. Remember, only one per person.

2. Bring a backpack.
If you fill a backpack with water and snacks, waiting in line won’t seem so bad. Once you’ve devoured the reserves, you’ll have room for freebies and various had-to-have-it purchases.

3. Dress for comfort.
That means walking shoes at the very least. Even if you plan on spending most of your day sitting at panels, you’ll be on your feet more than you think. It’s that slow walk – like when you’re shopping at a mall – that is the most exhausting.

Adventure Capitalist

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|  July 19th, 2014

Create Your Own (Battery) Power

Image via Kickstarter

Now that Trapper Keepers are back, I guess anything is possible – even a fanny pack resurgence. At least these fanny packs are more than just a fashion statement. They charge your devices too.

Go Kin Packs generate electricity from walking. Cool. But here’s the catch: two cords dangle from the back of your pack and attach to the back of your shoes. At least it will draw attention away from your fanny pack. Kin Packs come in backpack form as well, which may be more useful for camping and hiking situations. If you walk for two minutes, you’ll get 10 to 15 minutes of talk time on your smartphone – not bad. Back it on Kickstarter now. 

Adventure Capitalist

|  July 19th, 2014

The Coffee Mug That Also Brews

Image via uncrate

It’s time to toss that old plastic coffee mug you’ve had since your corporate retreat to Williamsburg, Virginia. Meet your new coffee mate, the Hey Joe Coffee Mug, available now for a small donation of $49 on Kickstarter. But this isn’t just an ordinary coffee carrier, designed to caffeinate you on the go. Rather, the Hey Joe actually brews coffee in itself, and, even better, “heats the water precisely” to 140 or 155 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll never burn your taste buds off again.

The Hey Joe company also creates its very own coffee pods designed to work hand-in-hand with the brew-master mug, but if you are brand-loyal to a particular bean, never fear! You can also import your own grounds and make the coffee of your choice with Hey Joe’s rechargeable battery-operated mug.

Click here to learn more about the Hey Joe and to become an “early-bird “supporter with a first-edition mug all your own. 

Gastronaut

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#Coffee  
#Mugs  
|  July 18th, 2014

Aerate Your Wine Before You Even Pour It

Image via cNet

As cNet points out, there are tons (and tons) of gadgets out there designed to help you enjoy that splurge-worthy bottle of wine sitting in your kitchen – and we’ve highlighted several. Now, here’s another.

The Vinaera is an uber-effective aeration system that aerates your wine expertly as you pour it, taking out that pesky middle man, the decanter, and eliminating those painful minutes of waiting for your wine to “breathe” as you stare at it longingly. With the “touch of a button,” a long straw reaches into the bottle, sucks up that delicious Pinot and adds in the perfect amount of air for optimal flavor. Then, in seconds, it seamlessly pours it into your waiting wine glass for you to sip away on and enjoy. Voila! 

Gastronaut

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#Wine  
#Vinaera  
|  July 18th, 2014