Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

The $499 Home Robot

Image via WIRED

Looks like we’re one step closer to a Jetson-like future thanks to a recent Indiegogo campaign. (I will have my own Rosie the robot one day! And my flying car!)

Jibo is a digital personal assistant for families. His voice sounds like that of a friendly cartoon character complete with giggles. He can talk back to you and recognize faces, which means he can “bring content to life” by speaking and interacting with users. A 360-degree rotation lets Jibo’s screen easily capture photos from anywhere in the room and track multiple people while on video calls.

Watch Jibo in action on YouTube

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|  July 30th, 2014

Preserving Your Social Past

Image via Flickr

These days it seems like social is trending toward self-destruction. After years of leaked photos and video catastrophes, we’ve finally lost trust in ourselves and put a timer on our digital footprint. It’s all about permanently destroying any evidence of your social adventures. Ahem, Snapchat.

But there is still a strong movement toward preserving your social past. Besides a still-strong fan base for Facebook and Twitter, Timehop just picked up $10 million in funding. Remember that app? It lets you see what you were up to digitally on a certain date in the past, from photos to updates. Three million people check the app daily and the company hopes to move forward with diary-like features.

Are you more of a saver or a self-dustructer when it comes to social? Read more about it at VentureBeat.

IT Girl

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|  July 30th, 2014

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

Fit Bit Flex Gets Fancy

Image via Tory Burch

If you’re a Fit Bit Flex diehard like I am, you’ll be thrilled with this news. While the silicone bands do come in trendy colors and the basic black is fairly sleek, I usually remove my Flex for nights out. But now that Tory Burch has entered the game, my Flex is never coming off.

Printed silicone bracelets in the traditional Tory Burch logo pattern are only $38, but there’s an ultra chic metal hinged bracelet that you will want immediately. Honestly, no one will know there’s a Flex hiding inside. Unfortunately, it’s $195. The Flex performs best when clipped into a wristband, but I’m still intrigued by the stealth brass pendant necklace – except for the $175 price tag.

See the whole collection here.  

IT Girl

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|  July 16th, 2014

#TrapperKeeperIsBack

Image via Facebook

Christmas came early this year. Coming this month to a Target near you is – wait for it – Trapper Keepers. Yes, those Trapper Keepers of 80s lore.

I have to think that their resurgence was inspired by this modern day Trapper Keeper because not only is the original binder-like style returning, but they’re also making a tablet-friendly version. So far it looks like the designs are pretty boring. No Lisa Frank unicorns in sight. (Sigh.)

Will kids and adults alike start carrying around these bundles of fun? Will they get banned from schools again? Only time will tell. P.S. If you don’t know what a Trapper Keeper is you should be ashamed of yourself. Brush up on the history here

IT Girl

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|  July 9th, 2014

Angry Nerd on the Future of Game of Thrones

Image via WIRED

There sure are a lot of Game of Thrones fans out there. The ones who’ve only watched the HBO TV series are living in a state of normal fanboy and fangirl anticipation. But those of us who have read the books, and are impatiently awaiting books six and seven, are living in a different kind of anticipation – an angry one.

In a NSFW video every reader needs to watch, Angry Nerd confirms the thing we’ve all feared: the show is going to catch up with the books. Exhibit A) George R.R. is writing these tomes at an incredibly slow rate. Exhibit B) even if the producers break each book into two seasons, they’re still going to run out of material. What does that mean for us? The show is going to have to create even more superfluous storylines or – GASP – things will happen on the show before they happen in the books. Oh, seven hells no.

IT Girl

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|  July 2nd, 2014

Geek Bar Chicago

Image via Eater

Thanks to a successful 2013 Kickstarter campaign, geeks in the Windy City will have a place to converge this summer.

Geek Bar Chicago is the kind of place where you can play Settlers of Catan in public and cheers to a D&D victory with friends and strangers. It combines dining, drinking, and gaming. While geeky establishments like “barcades” are taking the nation by storm, Geek Bar will truly celebrate and accept all aspects of nerdom. Will there be TVs? Yes. Will they be playing sports? Only if it’s a Quidditch match.

For the kings of the geeks, there’s a GeekFleet program that offers discounts and perks to those who are in the club. Geek Bar is scheduled to open this summer.

IT Girl

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|  July 2nd, 2014

Your Phone Needs a Ring

Image via WIRED

Your smartphone already has a ringer, but did you know it can also have a ring? Thanks to Bluetooth technology, a piece of jewelry can light up when your phone needs you.

Ringly is no joke – it’s made from 18K gold and precious stones and it’s available for pre-order at $145. Although it looks the part, it’s no ordinary ring. Besides looking pretty, it notifies you about phone messages, calls, app notifications, meetings, or emails – it’s your choice.  Choose your settings within the app then feel comfortable stepping away from your device. I’m all for anything that lets me “unplug” even just for a little bit. 

IT Girl

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|  June 25th, 2014

The Modern Day Trapper Keeper

Image via Facebook

These days, I feel like I don’t even need to carry around a purse thanks to my wallet phone case. But now I’m dying to upgrade to this modern take on the Trapper Keeper: The Mod.

The Mod is a fancy folio – like $250 fancy – that keeps your favorite tech and gear safe in a zippered leather shell. There’s a unique Mod for every kind of person. Choose from iterations like the Shooter with room for a mini tripod and a mesh pouch for memory cards or the Writer with room for an iPad mini and a stylus. The Charger insert keeps your back-up battery nearby while the Executive features a snap wallet for important documents.

IT Girl

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|  June 25th, 2014

No Need to Read. Stream Instead.

Image via Spritz

When I say, “streaming” your head immediately goes into video mode, right? But what if I was talking about text? Now I have your attention.

With Spritz, you don’t have to move your eye from word to word – the words move for you. And there’s no need to view an entire page at one time. Only 13 characters are shown at one time – that’s one word. Does that mean your favorite e-reading device could be shrunk into the size of an eraser? Probably.

A few apps and websites are using the reading technology created by Spritz and Spritz has created a few products of their own including SpritzMail, an app for Android, and Spritzlet, a widget that turns any webpage into streaming text. You get to control how many words stream per minute. Will this help you read more?

IT Girl

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|  June 18th, 2014