Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

The Sticker Book for Software Designers

Image via Kickstarter

Software designers rejoice. There’s now a sticker book in your future. A what? Yes, a sticker book. The Sticker UI Book is a sketchbook for UI and software concepts, but it comes with storyboard templates and stickers that represent common UI elements.

Both newbies and experts will find this sketchbook helpful, as well as its accompanying digital version that makes wireframes faster and more consistent. All is optimized for web, mobile, and tablet platforms. Pledge $25 on Kickstarter and you’ll get a sticker book – plus a free digital UI kit. 

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|  October 20th, 2014

Front of House Emails

Image via Front App

Your company might not actually have a front desk, but it has a “front desk.” It’s the virtual place where support, contact, or job application emails are sent. But whose job is it to answer these? One startup is hoping to make the email response process a lot more efficient.  

It’s called Front and it’s an email task manager that allows certain employees to be assigned certain emails. Users can even follow email chains and leave comments for coworkers as a company response is worked out behind the scenes. No more messy forwarding or CCing – Front is just an added layer on top of your existing email. Here’s another bonus: every time your company is mentioned on Twitter, it channels through Front so no Tweet will go unanswered. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Disqus are queued for the future. The program costs about $9 to $19 per month.

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|  October 20th, 2014

Your Own Private Cloud

Photo via Indiegogo

Saving things to the cloud is amazing – until someone hacks it. Which is why having your own personal impenetrable cloud might be the next big thing.

Currently past its funding goal on Indiegogo, the WEDG is a UK-based all-in-one cloud solution for people with “nothing to hide but something to protect.” It can even host your website. WEDG allows users to securely store and share emails and files, which are sent as links with embedded passwords and built-in expiration dates. WEDG syncs across devices and the included mobile app makes sharing easy. One terabyte of free storage is included and can be easily upgraded.  

Read more about it at Indiegogo

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|  October 13th, 2014

Watch Stanford Start-Up Lectures for Free

Image via Twitter

The hottest ticket in Stanford is for a seat in Y Combinator President, Sam Altman’s, How to Start a Startup class. It’s official. It’s free. And, lucky for you, the lectures will be available online. 

Lecture one (watch all 45 minutes here) featured Altman and Facebook Co-Founder Dustin Moskovitz. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to look the other way when startup megastars share their secrets. Join more than 50,000 others and sign up for email notifications about new lectures here – or follow Sam Altman on Twitter, as well as #CS183B. 

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|  October 6th, 2014

Waze for Public Transportation Commutes

Photo via Tech Crunch

I’m a big fan of Waze – especially when it takes me behind a grocery store then through an alley and back onto a side street – and it’s no surprise that the transportation time-saver was bought by Google for $1.1 billion. Perhaps fellow Israel-based traffic app Moovit is next.

Moovit focuses specifically on public transit in more than 400 cities around the world, and uses the live data to tell you the quickest way to commute. Thanks to its constantly growing user base, it has discovered some super interesting stats. For example, don’t move to Los Angeles unless you’re okay with a two-hour-plus commute time. And, don’t expect to get anywhere fast in Rome – it has one of the longest wait times for transit. 

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|  September 29th, 2014

Luxury Transport Service Delivers You In Style

Photo via Uni Baggage

Uni Baggage is a low-cost delivery service aimed mainly at college students in the UK who are looking to ship their personal belongings from home to school with ease. Now Uni Baggage is expanding their services to include luxury transportation for “freshers” – that’s short for freshman – who want to arrive at “uni” – that’s short for university – in style.

The Very Important Fresher service includes drop off in a private jet, ultra luxury vehicle, or horse and carriage. Your belongings will arrive later in a van. It may cost you £25,000 pounds (that’s, like, $40,000 USD), but wow will you make a first impression. 

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|  September 29th, 2014

Reinvent Yourself with Switch

Image via Facebook

Ever regretted the major you chose at age 18? Feel like you’re in a career that you enjoyed at age 22 but have no interest in now? Want to get into the technology field but don’t want to go back to college and get a second degree? Check out Switch – it hopes to become the TripAdvisor of alternate education and career changes. 

Switch gathers reviews of courses, programs, and boot camps straight from the alumni themselves. Their mission? “To help people learn tech skills and switch into the careers of their dreams.” Down the line, they plan to offer scholarships and financing as well as a mentorship program. Take the eight-question quiz on their home page to see which tech career is right for you. I got Interaction Designer. Hmm… 

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|  September 1st, 2014

Get a Date via Your Photos

Image via iTunes

Location-based data, mutual likes, and photography all mix together in Looksee, a new app that’s like Tinder meets Instagram. There’s just one twist: it’s anonymous.

The only chance at revealing a user’s cover in Looksee is to “like” one of their photos. If they’ve “liked” one of your photos, the mask will be dropped and you’ll have the chance to message each other via the app as well as see a Facebook or Instagram profile. The real question is: is this a dating app or a photography app? You can’t comment on other’s photos and you can’t even see which photo the user liked. And you can search photos by location. So it’s more about making connections with people in your area based on mutual interests. Right? Sounds like a love connection to me. 

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|  August 25th, 2014

The Social Network For Parents

Image via Parenthoods

There are a lot of annoying things about social media and baby photo overload is just one of them. I’ve unfollowed a new mom on Instagram and blocked a couple first-time parents from my Facebook feed. I’ll admit it. But if you think about it from the perspective of new parents, you might see things differently. They’re lonely and stuck at home.

Two women – one a former Google and Foursquare product manager and the other a new mom – decided to make a change. The culmination of their efforts is Parenthoods, a Twitter-like app where new parents can share their day-to-day struggles, arrange local meet-ups, and even buy and sell used items. There’s even a place to ask anonymous advice – an important feature as I’ve had a new mom’s breastfeeding question to a “private” group pop up in my Facebook newsfeed. Embarrassing!

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|  August 25th, 2014

Fiverr is Flourishing for Now

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Image via Fiverr

Online service marketplace Fiverr started as a place to hire virtual help for $5. I’ll edit your photos for $5… I’ll proofread your resume for $5… I’ll cast a love spell for $5. (Really, that’s a listing.) It’s a dream for those who need online help fast, but maybe not so much for those freelancers who are only getting paid a five-spot.

The company has seen so much success that it upped it’s maximum listing price to $500 and secured $30 million in funding, according to VentureBeat. But all of the random services I browsed on the well-organized site were still at the low-low cost of $5. TaskRabbit has more sustainable hourly rates in the $15-$25 per hour range, but they only offer cleaning, handyman, personal assistant, and moving services.

Would you purchase or list services for only $5? Tweet us @WIREDInsider.

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|  August 18th, 2014