Tag Archives: Technology

[Tech Talk] Moment: Take Your Life Back, One Minute at a Time

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Being born in the crux of the 1980’s – December of 1984, to be precise – places me in the precarious position where I remember life before the internet, but have all the benefits of life in the post-technological boom era. I’ve seen televisions get slimmer and longer, watched as phones lost their umbilical cords, observed the evolution of VHS as it forayed into Super VHS, Laser Disks, and then eventually to DVD, Ultra HD, Blu Ray and now 4K; my Sony walkman was upgraded to a disc player, then an mp3 player, an iPod and now I can basically play music from my refrigerator.  And then, last but most certainly not least: the cell phone.  What was at one point an electronic brick that had the basic operations of a fancy calculator, has eventually evolved into an electronic ‘blob’ that’s acquired all the functions of literally anything else you could keep in your office or wallet besides your ID card, like calendars, notepads, a Rolodex, books, your credit cards, maps, DSLR cameras, video games, movies, foreign language dictionaries….the list could go on and on.

When the intellectual power of the world can fit in the palm of your hand, it sounds almost anachronistic to think that there’s a phone application out there whose only goal is to get you off your phone, and back into the moment – but thankfully, there is – and let me tell you, it works.  But let’s take a step back for a second and understand what leads to people being stuck on their phones.

For the most part, your cell phone is like the fridge: you open your cell phone in the morning because your brain is hungry for information, and your phone puts it at the ends of your fingertips.  Drowsy from strange dreams and famished for facts, you eagerly ingest anything your phone gives you – only it’s the fast food of information, not a lot of substance, and definitely not filling.  So, every hour or so, you open it – hoping there’s new food there, forgetting it’s the same fridge you ate from earlier – same shit, new timestamp. Untitled

Not to throw myself under the digital bus, but out of all my friends – I’d say I’m the most addicted to my phone.  I’m sure it’s somewhere in my genes, but my parents and grandparents have been large influences in the terms of technological revolution, so I’m not surprised that I had an affliction for information, and a hearty addiction to my phone. My personal irony, is I first found out about moment through a friend’s

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Instagram story, where they’d posted screen shots of how much time they used to spend on their phone versus how much time they spend after using the application; I was sold, immediately.

Moment, created by Kevin Holesh, is a saucy little minx; silently and invisibly running in the back of your phone, unless you ask for alerts, that is..  You feed it screen shots of your application use, and it lets you know how you’re fairing by cataloging your total use, including use by specific applications.

After observing myself for a few days, I decided to enlist in the free 7 day boot camp, Bored & Brilliant, which is a great introduction into getting off your phone and back to reality; shortly after I bit the bullet and got the Pro version, and did the 14 day boot camp. I’ll be honest, I’m actually on my second iteration of it because I really need the practice of leaving my phone alone.  The boot camps walk you through 21 essential tasks that will curb your enthusiasm for your digital reality and replace it with tangible moments, from not taking your phone into the bathroom, to cleaning up your home screen to remove all social apps, turning off your notifications and actually calling the people you love.  Through the app, I have small reminders on my phone to let me know, in 20 minute intervals, how long I’ve spent and I’m a huge fan of their ‘No Screen Time’ alarm: I set mine for 7-9pm at night, and it literally annoys me into putting my phone face down with a loud reminder every time I engage it.

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When I started using the application, I was on my phone up to three hours a day – now, it’s rare if I break an hour.  Plus, over the last three weeks, I’ve gone to sleep earlier, woken up without anxiety, spent more time with my cats, finished more books, had more fun conversations with friends, shared my time with my husband and have been overall immensely happier than before.  I’ve not only recommended the application to all my friends, but I’ve gone as far as downloading it on both my dad and Danny’s phones.

To download Moment for the iPhone yourself – head here! For you Android users, cue the sad violins but there isn’t currently an application for you – good news though: there’s a signup to get notified the second it’s available on multiple platforms.  For more on the applications genesis, and how it can help you take your life back – head to their website.

What do you do to curb your cell phone addiction and what tips do you have for others wishing to do the same?

 

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[Traveling Tales] The Best iOS Apps For Roadtrips

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From the second I got my first car at 17, I realized that curves are for hugging, being on the road is physically cathartic and that the shortest distance between two points is me in my car with the windows down and music up.  Though I’ve developed a map-titude over the ages, I’m constantly praising the cell phone gods that smart phones exist and that developers are willing to share their genius with us.  From directions to attractions, a place to lay your head and places to explore – I’ve found a good set of phone apps that have you covered. Just remember – whatever you’re trying to do, wherever you’re trying to go: there’s a better way, and there’s definitely an app for that.

Lodging. 

Make sure you’ve got a birds eye view into one if not more, of the following apps so you can get a comfortable roof over your head for pennies on the dollar.  My personal favorite is AirBnb, especially because you can snag an entire domicile for an incredibly low rate – or just a single room if you’re flying solo or traveling with your best friend or significant other.  HomeAway and VRBO are great resources if you’ve got a larger group in tow, while CheapTickets can find you a discounted hotel room in milliseconds.

So Much Room For Activities. 

One of my favorite things about road trips is that they can take you wherever your little heart desires – want to head to the beach and cruise the coast? Do it!  Or how about a detour through the desert or a romp near the river?  A road trip is the quintessential choose your own adventure experience and you’re the captain.  Sometimes, it just takes a wish and a will to find something novel – but if you’d like a little assistance, download Roadtrippers for a nifty guide around your location and it’s comprehensive for the entire United States.  After signing up, you can save and share travel routes, not to mention a look into a broad range of activities within a close proximity to your travel path plus the net value of gas for your trip.

Find Yourself

If you’re an iPhone user and you’re trying to get anywhere important, or just find a specific location in general –  do yourself a favor and stop using Apple Maps.  Seriously.  Download Google Maps and Waze immediately, sit back and enjoy the seamless integration and easier to use directions that don’t lead you into the ocean, or into a dead end.

Stay organized.

I don’t know about you, but I love lists – sometimes I even have lists of lists, others I’ll purposely put a few things on it that I’ve done that day so I can instantly feel the struckout satisfaction of what’s been accomplished. But for some reason, When it comes to buckling down and actually packing for a trip I always tend to forget the little things.  So a few years ago, I made a master list and saved it to my hard drive; when I got sick of referencing it – I tossed it up into a list on Evernote.  A great alternative to a bulky Google Doc, Evernote provides a simple forum for staying on task and on top of your life.

What are your tricks of the trade when it comes to traveling?

Let me know in the comments below!

[The Audiofiles] Celebrate the Century Club Desert Hearts Style With 100 Hours of House, Techno and Love

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This coming November, take to the hills and gaze under the stars while the Desert Hearts team celebrates a three terrific years of House, Techno and Love in beautiful Southern California. For 100 hours straight, the hottest stars in the House, Progressive and Techno scenes will flood the airwaves as we celebrate one stage, one sound, one vibe and one love with a community of conscious partygoers. From Thursday November 5 through Monday, November 9th – don your festival duds, get your party pants ready and prepare to groove with new friends and family from all over the United States. Tickets for Desert Hearts’ Fall romp are on sale starting today, snag ’em now!

Purchase Tickets HereLast year, Audiofly vs M.A.N.D.Y., Atish, Tara Brooks, Jamie Schwabl and Blond:ish stole the show alongside Desert Hearts residents Mikey Lion, Porkchop, Marbs, Lee Reynolds and Deep Jesus deep in the heart of the beautiful Los Coyotes Indian Reservation and we can’t wait to head back! Keep it locked on The DJ List for the full lineup, releasing soon!

Relive the Spring Desert Hearts Festival here.

RSVP on Facebook and get the whole squad in on the fun!  For more on Desert Hearts, follow them on social media –

WebsiteFacebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Instagram

Cross Published on The DJ List

[Tech Talk] Instagram adds Collage Maker ‘Layout’ to its Arsenal of Apps

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If a picture can speak a thousand words, then over the past few years Instagram has become an anthology of the modern personality.  From adorable pictures of animals to decadent, delicious meals, the latest and greatest in fashion and music and let’s not forget the exponential amount of selfies, Instagram has made a monumental name for itself in the world of smart phone applications; doubly so once they were acquired by Facebook.As the iPhone upgraded it’s photo and video services, the application paralleled in kind – offering up Hyperlapse as a keen alternative to the iOS’s native time lapse video recording services. Back when it was rolled out, this was incredibly important since any iPhone TimeLapse would invariably be converted to a real time video once it was loaded into Instagram.

I don’t know about you guys, but between cats and concerts – I happen to use a ton of collages, there a wonderful way to wrap up a weekend, pay your respects to a group of friends or simply embarrass just one on their birthday; and let me tell you, there are a ridiculous amount of applications that simply aren’t as seamless. Just off the top of my head, there’s PicStitch, PicCollage, InstaCollage and my typical go-to PhotoGrid. I’m a huge fan of the PhotoGrid because unlike the others it doesn’t have an irritating watermark, you can pick your pictures before your layout, there’s tons of structured – and free form – grids to choose from and you can adjust the color of the grid itself, using any pigmentation you want – even another image.  In all honesty, it was only a matter of time before Instagram reached out and adjusted for the needs of their market.

For anyone who’s been perusing their iOS App Store as of late, Instagram has added a third application to their photography arsenal just yesterday morning. Introducing Layout – a simple, clean application perfect for any and all of your photo collage-ing needs.  It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of ‘heart’ or ‘star’ shaped layouts, but it does offer up a tab to just view the pictures with ‘Faces’ on your camera roll and suggests layouts as you select your favorite images. Once you’ve chosen a set layout, you can mirror, rotate, flip, push and pull on your images – showcasing your favorite features and hiding the rest.  So far, the app is only available in the Apple Store, but hopefully it’ll be rolled out to Android soon!

For those of you who haven’t played around with it, let me show you how it all goes down!

  

Show me some of your collage-creations!

[Tech Tuesday] Electrify Your Life with Glow Headphones

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Music is a multidimensional expression of sound, and while we primarily use our ears to translate tracks into an emotional menagerie of feelings, we perceive it with all of our senses. We can feel the bass rumble through our soul and sense the sound vibrations rushing past our skin, tasting the excitement of a live set in an almost palpable fashion. I don’t usually gush and ogle over headphones, but then again – it’s not everyday that a pair like this crosses my path. It’s true that we can’t necessarily wear our music on our sleeves, less for an iPod Shuffle, but as it turns out – we can now sport it throughout our headphones thanks to Glow.

Implementing smart phone technology from companies like Google, Corning, Android and Knowles – Glow is pushing the boundaries of the next generation of ergonomic headphones, crafting the first smart headphones, glowing to your beat with fiber optic lasers in red, green or blue. Currently, Glow is just a little over a week into their Kickstarter Project – meaning you have the opportunity to help awesome things happen.

At this moment, the current functionalities of Glow are relegated to Android phones (sorry Apple devotees!). Some basic features will still be available through the 5-way hand held controller. Essentially a remote for your headphones, you’ll be able to snap pictures, take calls and work with basic music applications like Pandora or Spotify. Eventually, if enough backers matriculate – as a stretch goal, they’ll build in the technology to pulse to your heartbeat. But for now, that’s just a pipe dream.

If this is right up your musical alley, head to their Kickstarter Campaign or Website to learn more.

[Tech Tuesday] Cut The Ties That Bind You to Cable TV

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20140603-091639-33399095.jpg Video might’ve killed the radio star, but if the Buggles had a revival today we very well could be chanting about the triumphs of streaming media over cable television. Over the last ten years alone, movies, cartoons and computer games have evolved into television shows and syndicated shows have enticed prequels, sequels and spin-offs.  One of the cornerstones of the 90’s childhood – Boy Meets World – has been rejuvenated, and now Girl Meets World proudly airs on the Disney Channel.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a cartoon, into a live action movie, back into a cartoon, etc, etc.  With the revival of older shows, and arduous endurance of things that I’ve always refused to care about like Soap Operas, Survivor, LOST, Maury and the lot – the only glimmers of hope I saw in that bleak black box were sports, like the Olympics or NBA, movies on FX and various bouts of HBO and Showtime’s catalog of epic Television.  So, when I moved into my boyfriends house this past April, I decided it was finally time to cancel my Time Warner Cable Account; and thanks to ample use of Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu+, communal accounts and streaming media – I’ve never had to look back. As of this past April, services like Grande Communications, RCN and Atlantic Broadband have offered Netflix on top of their regular cable service and earlier this year Time Warner struck a deal with Netflix to bring it to the boxtop.  Unfortunately, now that TWC has merged with Comcast – this transition’s been pushed back, possibly indefinitely. If you were born in the 80’s,  you-me-we‘re part of a unique macrocosm of the community that both remembers dial up modems and Network television with ants on the screen, and T3 lines with streaming content in real time.  We’ve spent the better part of our adult lives as entrepreneurs of the internet – skillfully navigating between the two.  Combined with our willingness to constantly ‘GTS’ (GoogleThatShit), we’re in general more apt to both search for and discover better deals for the media we’re devoted to.  Conversely, with the way the current job market is, most of us simply can’t afford a full on Cable package either. So, over time – more and more of us have been converting away from cable.  To put it in quantifiable perspective, there are almost as many Netflix subscribers as there are Cable subscribers for my age group.  And after looking at the price break, it’s no wonder. Apple TV comes with a one time cost of $99, roughly two months of your traditional Cable.  And on top of that, Netflix subscriptions run for roughly $8 a month, same with Hulu+.  Add them together and you’re still  spending less than $20 for ample amounts of content! Netflix is becoming so big, that its even in the process of being added to Cable TV. As a good friend of mine always joked – if a little is good, more is obviously better. And when it comes streaming media, I happen to wholeheartedly agree. Between my parent’s AT&T Uverse Account, my Netflix account with a DVD option, my housemate’s dad’s HBOGO account, and his Hulu+ account – we have access to the same amount of content, if not actually more content, than the average bear.   Find a series marathoning friend and trade passwords, even better – start watching shows en masse; it’s so much more fun that way! Primetime stations tend to throw most all of their shows onto their website and when it comes to the news well – AppleTV has local ABC stations, as well as NPR.  Plus, it’s not like there was much real news on television anyways; you’re just as likely to catch a breaking story on Twitter or Reddit anyways. funny-interesting-man-netflix-6-seasons-meme

What streaming media subscribe do you subscribe to what what are your favorite shows to marathon?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

[Wednesday Watercooler]

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Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.
– 
Lao Tzu 

Hello, hello! It’s been an awful long time since I’ve done my little cliff notes round-up of the latest and greatest in breaking news, poignant stories, wacky tales and viral media that I love to call the ‘Wednesday Watercooler.’  When I started this segment, I was still frequenting the Disney Studios in Burbank.  As time’s gone on, people have ebbed and flowed from their positions and I’ve moved up in rank within my team; I rarely ever step foot in an office, let alone anywhere near a watercooler.  They don’t come frequently – especially given the vast amounts of freedom in time, wardrobe and scenery I have at home – but I have these fleeting moments where I solemnly wish I was a bigger part of my company’s ‘Corporate Culture.’

Part of it is the camaraderie that comes with a shared pursuit, the other part is that work is typically somewhat miserable – and misery loves company.  At home, there’s no one to coffee break with while I lament about current projects – or anyone in the cubicle next to mine as I plod through spreadsheet after spreadsheet, late into the night.  Instead, I can tan on the job while I work on spreadsheets in the front yard, lug my laptop into bed if I’ve decided it’s to early to put clothes on or get a few last e-mails out before I walk out the door to Coachella.  Some say the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but I think it’s greener where you choose to water it – so, you know…perspective helps.  But, if I were to be in the office today – these are definitely the stories that I’d be talking about; enjoy!

Mink: Fifth Element, Move Over – The Future of MakeUp Is Here

In the Fifth Element, Lilu picks up a futuristic Chanel makeup contraption, holds it to her face and voila – instabeauty, right at the tips of her fingers.  The movie was made back in ’97 – and now, 14 years later, it seems like we’re finally getting to the tip of the iceberg of how this technology is actually possible.  Right now, we’re living in the very exciting (sometimes, maybe too exciting) world of 3D printing, where almost everything can be created at the snap of our fingers. They’re developing technology to 3D print food, companies like Space-X custom 3D print their pieces internally so, why not 3D printed make-up? That’s exactly what Mink founder Grace Choi pondered.  This past weekend she debuted Mink at TechCrunch’s famed DisruptNY Hackathon.  Even though she wasn’t a winner at the event (those awards go to Vrban, Indulge and Mixtape – 1,2 and 3 respectively), she definitely get’s my vote.

Image: Business Insider

 

 

Some Food for Thought: Look Up, Spoken Word Piece

I’m not sure whether this qualifies as a ‘Viral Video’ yet, but I really hope it becomes one.  The message is loud and clear – social media is making us less social.  If you unplug from your electronics and interact with the physical world around you, you’ll finally be able to appreciate the richness that already exists in the world around you.

Seawater x25

Ever wondered what Seawater really looked like? Well, after taking a gander at the picture below you might want to eat your words.  Low and behold, that murky water is host to loads of diatoms, cyanobacteria, crab larva, marine worms, copepods and much, much more…

Daymaker: 100 Days of Dance, Project One Life

I don’t know about you, but music and dancing are a surefire way to boost my mood. Enter ‘Project One Life’ .  This kid’s taken to the internet to document his Bucket List  (which as an only child I love, because it’s asking your community to hold you accountable) and this is line item #117: 100 Days of Dance.  For 100 days, this kid performed the same dance move, in the same room, with different outfits – the result is a mashup meant to move you; enjoy!