App Camp for Girls 3.0 is on Indiegogo

App Camp for Girls logoApp Camp for Girls seeks to address the gender imbalance in technology professions by inspiring girls who are middle-school age with a broad introduction to the process of app development, from brainstorming to pitching their apps. You can support them by contributing to their Indiegogo campaign.

App Camp for girls is a one week, full time day camp program for middle school girls. Campers get the full experience of being an app developer, from brainstorming and designing coding and marketing. They use Xcode and MacBook Pros, the same tools that professional app developers use.

In 2013, App Camp for Girls launched their first camp in Portland, Oregon. In 2014, they were able to establish a second camp in Seattle, Washington. In 2015, they will launch the first Canadian camp in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The App Camp for Girls 3.0 indiegogo campaign is being done for the purpose of making it possible for them to expand throughout the United States. They have selected four new locations for 2016. Their equipment is shared between locations, so they will need two more sets of MacBook Pros and iPod touches to meet the needs of the additional locations. They also need to recruit and train organizers and volunteers, rend a location, order supplies, food, and other necessities.

At the time I am writing this blog, the App Camp for Girls 3.0 indiegogo campaign has 16 days left. It has obtained 41% of the funding it needs. They are a non-profit organization that can help girls to get involved in technology.

The Next Must-Have Gadget: Your Own Personal Flamethrower

XM42 logoIf you spend even a small amount of time on the Internet, you’ll see some things that are just downright confounding. That’s why it’s good to view most things online with a healthy dose of skepticism. When I first saw an article about the XM42 flamethrower I thought it must be a joke. The XM42 is being touted as the “world’s first commercially available flamethrower.” An idea that is sure to evoke either pure delight or sheer terror, depending on your perspective.

The XM42 was dreamed up by a small company called The Ion Production Team. This quaint group of pyro-loving geeks describe their brainchild as, “…the world’s first fully handheld, grab and go flamethrower on the market. No heavy pressurized tanks, no silly car-wash sprayers.” The Ion team then go on to say that the XM42 has, “…endless possibilities for entertainment and utility. Start your bonfire from across the yard, or kill the weeds between your cracks in style.” Of course! What could go wrong?

If you’re wondering about the legalities of flamethrower ownership, no worries. The FAQ on the XM42 website states:

There are generally no restrictions on flamethrower ownership in the United States. However, we are currently aware that California and Maryland have legislation regarding flamethrowers… In California, unlicensed possession of ‘any non-stationary and transportable device designed or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of at least 10 feet’ H&W 12750 (a)—is a misdemeanor punishable with a county jail term not exceeding one year or with a fine not exceeding $10,000 (CA H&W 12761). Licenses to use flamethrowers are issued by the State Fire Marshal.’

[Read more…]

Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin at CES

Indiegogo logoIn less than ten years, crowd-funding has come from nowhere to a seriously considered option for many startups and entrepreneurs. Crowd-funding isn’t only about the money, it’s about being able to engage early with potential customers to make better products.

And when it comes to crowd-funding, Indiegogo‘s right up there at the top and at the top of Indiegogo is Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO. In a great score, Todd and Jamie interview Slava about Indiegogo’s trail-blazing approach, venture capitalists and the latest expansions into charity (Indiegogo Life), commerce (Indiegogo InDemand) and merchandise (Amplifier).

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Sending It Up

Any seasoned watcher of Indiegogo and Kickstarter will know that there’s a fairly standard formula for product pitches, from the vocal inflections to the disembodied hands. This gives a great opportunity for lampooning those start-ups that take themselves entirely too seriously. Here’s Introducing Carrot, a new venture dedicating to bringing the orange root vegetable to the technorati. Not sure why they didn’t go with Carrt….

If that’s not enough, Ikea’s BookBook, is both a fabulous parody while promoting a real product. Total genius, though it has been around for a little while.

Finally, Mike Frey‘s My Life Vs…GoPro is a great antidote to GoPro’s videos, jumpcutting between their adrenaline-fuelled action and mundane reality.

All too true.

Ubuntu Edge Fails Crowdfund Goal – What Failed?

edge-1[1]It was an ambitious number. Even though they had 13,232 people back with $12,813,501, the Ubuntu Edge did not reach its goal of $32 million dollars.

The Ubuntu Edge was a concept open source phone using the Ubuntu OS. The phone was planned to dual-boot Android and Ubuntu mobile and almost double the specs of an iPhone or Android.

The Canonical team posted on their Indigogo page that although they didn’t make the goal, they did break records. $12 million was the worlds’ biggest fixed crowdfunding campaign. The pebble watch was the current holder of that record with $10 million.

Does Ubuntu Edge Still Win?

With Indigogo, they have a choice of  Flexible funding or Fixed funding. Ubuntu Edge didn’t reach their goal and their campaign is Fixed funding. Therefore, all backers will get their money back, but might be on a email list when Canonical decides to do this again.

So going back to that previous statement – they DIDN’T raise $12 million because of the fixed funding. So did they really break the record since it failed?

Things for Canonical to Think About on the Next Crowdfund

  1. 32 million is probably too much to ask at this point. $10 million would have been better
  2. Flexible funding would have ensured the phone would have gotten started
  3. Canonical did not post any estimated release dates, which might have put some off. If I have to wait a whole year to get the phone, what good is touting features that surpass iOS and Android?

Final Pick of the Day

Techpodcast NetworkIt’s a last day of CES, Jeffrey Powers, Andy McCaskey, Alltante Sparks and Daniel Lewis gets together and talks about what they saw during the event. There were somethings that wowed them and some disappointments. They all found some small company doing inventive things and that is what they concentrated on. The average price point that they saw was around $119. Then they talked about the various pics of the day.

The first pic by Allante Sparks is a fun pic is not really a tech thing but is certainly something a lot tech people would want and that’s an Ironman suit.

The second pick by Daniel Lewis of Audacity to Podcast was from a company called Nady Systems and it is a Bluetooth wireless audio module. It is the BTM series and at this point is not yet available on their website. What this module will allow you to do is plug-in any microphone, including an XLR microphone and then pair that microphone with your computer, iPad or iPhone wirelessly using Bluetooth. This device will run about $169.90 availability is unknown.

After talking about a problem he had with a certain companies pr representative, Andy McCaskey then talked about a product he really loved called Stick N Find. It is a Bluetooth device that is the size of a quarter and about an eighth of an inch thick. You can stick the device on anything you want to track. The device is then paired up with an app on your phone. It will work with either Android or iOS. You can have it track if something is out of range or within range of the apps. For example, let’s say you always lose your keys.  You can put the sticker on your key and when you lose your key you simply tap on the app and as you move toward your keys it will start to beep and get louder the closer you get. Another example let’s you have a child that wanderers a lot you can place the sticker on something they carry all the time and if they get out of a certain range from you the app will start beeping. This was a Indiegogo project originally they asked for $70,000 they ended up getting over $931,000. One sticker runs $25 and you can get a pack of 10 for $199.

The final pick of the day was the best of all and that was Jeffrey Power’s pick it was the TechPodcast booth and all the great people who worked hard all week to keep it up and running.

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