Originally posted on TechCrunch: Russian mobile-making startup Yota Devices has just unveiled the next generation of its dual-screen smartphone, the YotaPhone. As with the current first-gen model, which went on sale in Russia and select European markets (Austria, France, Spain and…
qz.com Steven DenBaars, a research scientist at UC Santa Barbara, has been working on LED lights for 20 years. He has been instrumental in pushing them to the point that they are the true heir to Edison’s electric bulb. But in his own head,..
Storytelling today means crowding around someone’s phone as they describe their photos. Shadow Puppet bring that show & tell experience online by letting you share a voice-over with an animated slideshow of your pics. Built with Greylock money by Carl Sjogreen, the Googler who sold travel startup Nextstop to Facebook, Shadow Puppet let you talk people through everything from vacations to app demos.
The free iOS app combines the ease of taking great photos with the movement, audio and storytelling strengths of video. Most of us can’t film, act or direct very well, so our Vines and Instagram videos come out crappy. But anyone can make a compelling Shadow Puppet — even kids.
That’s because it’s a natural behavior, something we actually do a lot already. “Shadow Puppet really started with this simple observation: Every time we’d go out to a park or restaurant with friends, someone would get out…
“The most tangible cornerstone that lies at the heart of the American Dream, at the heart of middle-class life,” Barack Obama declared in a speech this summer, is “the chance to own your own home.”
Politicians and pundits across the spectrum regard homeownership both as the best investment a family can make and a measure of national prosperity. But a significant majority of Americans believe differently. According to a 2012 Pew survey, 86% of Americans now believe the key to a middle-class life is a “secure job,” almost double the share (45%) who say the same about owning their home. To compare, seven out of 10 respondents to a Time/CNN/Yankelovich survey back in 1991 said that homeownership was essential to middle class membership, while just one-third said that a white-collar job was required. Since 2004, the overall rate of homeownership in the US has declined from 69.2% to 65%.
Ottawa-based BlackSumac may not be the first startup to try and revamp the home security system, nor is it the first to use a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo to make it happen. What this batch of Canadians did do however is create one of the sleekest-looking bits of security hardware I’ve seen. The Piper is to security hubs what the Nest is to thermostats.
But what does it do?
The Piper unit itself is about the size of your average desktop computer speaker, and it’s hard not to look at it without being drawn to the user-controllable camera pod (complete with fish-eye lens) right smack in the middle of the thing. More importantly though, the Piper itself is loaded up with temperature, humidity, and motion sensors, and can also act as a base station that communicates with different external sensors thanks to its included Z-Wave support.