ActiveReplay’s ‘Trace’ Looks to Take Action Sports to a Whole New Level

Trace App for Action SportsWelcome to Mozy’s App Profile, where we introduce new programs seeking to improve the way we live and socialize. This week, Mozy takes a look at ‘Trace,’ an app that enables users to track, motivate and share their action sports achievements.

If there’s a physical activity, odds are there’s an app to track and share your exercise achievements. ‘MapMyRun’ and ‘FitBit’ are popular smartphone apps that enable users to map routes, track activity, log diet and/or share performance with friends on Facebook.

Similarly, Nike+ Fuelband tracks every movement made by a person and creates goals to keep users on the go. The band itself has even become a fashion statement.

But while there are endless tracking, motivational and social apps for running or exercise, there are few—or none, to be exact—for action sports.

ActiveReplay’s ‘Trace’ is looking to change this.

“Trace is the product that we’ve always wanted,” said David Lokshin, co-founder of ActiveReplay. “People on the team grew up skating, surfing, skiing and snowboarding, and this is some of the data that we’ve always wanted [to have at our fingertips].”

The ‘Trace’ device is physically attached to a skateboard, surfboard or snowboard and connects to a smartphone app. The app is able to identify statistics like waves caught for surfers, runs and vert for skiers, tricks for skaters and a lot more. Like exercise apps, users can share achievements socially and set applicable action sports goals to improve skills.

The app isn’t public yet, but to the delight of Lokshin and the rest of the ActiveReplay family, ‘Trace’ surpassed its KickStarter goal by $11,260, raising a total of $161,260 over a 45-day span.

“[The fund-raising process] stretched the full gamut of emotions,” Lokshin said. “We hit our [KickStarter] goal, and we’re super excited to go back to building product full time.”

‘Trace’ is on-pace to be released during Summer 2014.

 

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Forget waiting in actual lines. WaitAway will text you when your table is ready

WaitAway AppLike owners of other businesses, the biggest fear for restaurateurs is often the lack of customers. But being successful in getting people through the door can be a double-edged sword in the dining business. Having a line that extends from outside the front door to along the sidewalk and around the corner can be bad in the long run if diners realize the food was merely good, and not worth the two-hour wait a second time around.

But now there is a solution that won’t trap diners in crowded waiting areas, or confine them within 5 meters of the premises (how far do those blasted restaurant pagers allow you to wander anyways?), so you can go off and explore the neighborhood until your table is ready.

After requesting a table and giving your phone number to the host, WaitAway will text you immediately with an estimated wait time and once again when your table is ready.

My first encounter with the app was as a diner at the Meatball Shop in Greenwich Village, NYC. I arrived more than an hour early for the proposed dinner time because I was in the neighborhood earlier, running an errand.

“Danny, party of 4,” I told the hostess after asking how long the wait would be.

“75 minutes” is what I vaguely remember due to my awe and shock, realizing, What a coincidence! The rest of my party will arrive in about 60 minutes!

Almost immediately, I received a text confirming my reservation with a link that would allow me to check my wait status.

Drats! I’m one of the few iPhone users without a data plan. Let’s just hope the estimated wait time is accurate.

To my frustration, my guests arrived later than they quoted — but just in time. To my surprise, the table was ready almost at the exact time the hostess estimated (give or take a few minutes).

Oh, mystery software, how I love you.

At the time, I was unaware the program that pinged me with my wait information was the WaitAway app. But whatever it was, I was excited someone had come up with simple, user-friendly technology that let me avoid claustrophobic anxiety.

How do businesses benefit from this kind of software? Sarah Turcotte of FastCompany reports that after the Meatball Shop’s first month using WaitAway, walkaways decreased 30%.

This is absolutely a step up from range-restrictive pagers. Yet WaitAway is not alone in the space. BuzzTable and NoWait are two other businesses offering queue management software.

Mobile communications is exploding. Adopting mobile technology will be important for every business. Business with physical locations will soon have to figure out ways to leverage mobile tech to provide an exceptional customer experience. Otherwise they may be left biting the dust when competitors get ahead of the technological curve.

Programs such as WaitAway provide more convenience and transparency to increasingly demanding consumers, who offer their loyalty to businesses they love and trust.

What new tech are you using for your storefront location?

 

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Gibbon.co and the world of online learning

Gibbon.coThe problem with higher education isn’t just the high tuition fees or low job placement rates. Much of higher education is also marked by inflexibility; stubborn curricula limit the learning experience and prevent students from working at their own pace and from anywhere.

Luckily, there’s another way you can get a world-class education without having to step foot in a classroom ever again.

A new way to learn

Gibbon.co promises its social learning platform will be “the easiest way to get ridiculously smart.”

The site, currently in private beta, will allow users to “Create, share and follow Learning Flows, containing articles, books and videos.” Learning Flows are carefully curated resources that organize information already available on the web to provide a “clear path of what to learn.”

Ever do a Google search to try to learn something? In 0.47 seconds, Google identifies 57,600,000 results for the search term “Ajax programming.” Less than half a second is all it takes to source anything and everything there is to know about “Ajax programming.”

But where to start? And what type of human can afford the energy or time to read through the more than 57 million results? Without proper guidance, you’re better off paying an Ajax professional to fulfill all of your programming needs.

Learning Flows on Gibbon will “guide [users] to the best content available on the web to learn a specific topic.” This won’t be a dull classroom lecture. Discussions are encouraged and peers may offer help to each other.

Since Learning Flows will be user-generated, problems, propaganda and errors are sure to arise. Yet, there are more than enough honest experts and knowledgeable individuals out there who will create Learning Flows that make it really simple to gain the knowledge you want.

Welcome to the world of online learning

E-learning is booming. On the supply side, online learning upstarts such as Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera are offering an incredibly wide range of courses for free, or for a small fee. Many higher education institutions are bringing courses online too. On the demand side, Coursera alone boasts more than 4.3 million “Courserians” on their homepage.

It is clear there is no shortage of expertise on the web and that many millions are eager-to-learn outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Entrepreneurs should be among the eager-to-learn, since building a business and managing it through different stages of growth requires a constantly evolving and improving skill set. If you run your own business, you — and your staff — should invest in education of some sort for personal and professional growth.

Fortunately, you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars — if you spend any money at all — for you and your team to learn the skills necessary to take your business to the next level.

Go on, start learning!

 

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Mozy at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013

Members of the Mozy team had a great time earlier this month representing Mozy at the 2013 edition of the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. We were able to meet with a bunch of great people at the booth and enjoyed the warm, overcast Orlando fall weather.

MozyEnterprise customer Florida Virtual School presented on their experience with MozyEnterprise on the first day of the event. Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is an innovative public school offering accredited K-12 online education, free to Florida residents. Keeping the digital classroom running smoothly means keeping the 2,000 teachers in the FLVS faculty online and with consistent access to their classroom data. After struggling for years with complex and sluggish external hard drive backups and laptop replacement processes, which took a week or more, FLVS switched to MozyEnterprise and has cut the delay in data restoration by over 75 percent.

MozyEnterprise’s ease of use was put to the test when a teacher unfortunately lost her work laptop in a house fire. Thanks to Mozy, she was back up and running with every file she needed in no time.

Take a more detailed look at Florida Virtual School’s MozyEnterprise experience. Below is the presentation that was given about the event. We’re looking forward to next year!

A New Market Gets a New Measure: Independent Workers Earned $1.2 Trillion in 2013

A New Market Gets A Big Financial BoostThe independent workforce is up nearly 10% from 2011 — that’s some 18 million professionals generating over one trillion dollars, according to a new report. These independents, contractors, consultants, and freelancers are not only making a living for themselves, they’re providing work to others. To the tune of $96 billion.

How is that possible?

Here’s the math: more than a quarter of independent workers hire other freelancers, and this year’s MBO Partners State of Independence Report says that these approximately 18 million indies are putting the equivalent of 2.3 million fellow freelancers on the books. To a large extent they’re doing this virtually. The 2013 report reveals that the new virtual team-up is big business, with independents assembling into collaboration teams to meet customer demands.

“This year’s report shows the tremendous economic impact of independent workers,” says Gene Zaino, chief executive officer of MBO Partners. “And [it] validates that independence is more than a viable career path; it’s a job creation engine.”

And there’s no sign of slowing down. By 2023, it is projected that more than half of all private-sector workers will have logged hours as independent pros.

But who are these workers and where are they taking us, exactly? Let’s see what else the study’s numbers have to say.

  • Mainstream Presence: Independence is driving what looks an awful lot like a structural shift. MBO Partners’ 2013 workforce index, a measure created to track the private sector, shows an 8.2% growth since the base year in 2011. And the study’s authors expect growth to hit 24 million by 2018. As it stands, nearly 10 million households can credit at least half of their income to the work of independents.
  • Economic Engine: Independent workers have generated close to $1.2 trillion in total income in 2013. They also spend. When it comes to non-payroll/contractor outlay, on average, they’re putting down about $8,500 per year per solo worker — that’s $150 billion, annually.
  • The Confidence Factor: Sixty-four percent of the indies polled reported a high level of satisfaction with their work style — that’s down a bit from 2012, but still greater than in 2011. The study shows that 77% plan to continue as either sole proprietors (63%) or expand to a larger business model (14%).
  • Multi-generational: Of the 17.7 million independents, 1 in 5 are Millennials (21-33 years old), 36% are Gen X (34-49 years), 33% are Boomers (50-67 years), and 11% are matures (68+).

And here’s one more interesting detail from the report. Independence has a new name, or a bunch of them.

That is, according to MBO Partners, just 3% of independent workers chose freelancer as their primary title. Instead, the survey got responses that ran the gamut, from self-employed to business owner, contractor, consultant and entrepreneur. Seems the independent professional is building a whole new kind of persona. And they’re taking a seat in their own kind of corner office.

 

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Mobile Freelancer, Mobile Entrepreneur: 5 Budget-Friendly Approaches to Your Business Workflow

Freelancers and Mobile ToolsEntrepreneurs and freelancers manage their businesses online just as much as every other kind of owner and corporate project manager, but they often find themselves working with a limited budget.

“We can’t always hire someone to keep certain information organized and structured,” says Sean Mahoney, president and CEO of AndPlus. “Custom software and the use of mobile applications on the devices we carry each minute of every day offer the single and best opportunity for us to place the time spent usually organizing into running our businesses.”

From payroll and ops to low-cost personal-assistant apps, from idea-banks to team-collaboration tools, let’s look at some of the options that can work for the independent entrepreneur and freelancer on the go.

1. Focus on Cash Flow: Apps like Freshbooks ($19.95/month) and Outright (free; $9.95/month premium version) allow you to see your cash flow day by day as it relates to payroll and operations.

2. Task Flow is as Important as Cash Flow: Use task reminders as if they were a personal assistant. A shortlist to check out includes Wunderlist (free; $4.99/month premium version) , Wrike (free; $49–$199/month premium version), and Any.do (free).

3. Consolidate Your Creative Materials: Combine all of your notes, pictures, and recorded audio in one place, using an app such as Evernote (free; $5/month or $45/year premium version). No matter where you are during a day, all of your creative materials are searchable. This can be a life saver at a meeting, during an impromptu pitch, or in any situation that depends on your ideas being instantly at hand.

4. Keep Your Comm Lines Open: Communicate with your team on a platform that allows mobile and desktop interaction. A good place to start: Yammer (free; up to $8 per user premium version).

5. Customize When Ready: At some point, as either your budget grows or your workflow exceeds the free and low-price apps we’ve just considered, you’ll probably want to push your entrepreneurial/freelance toolkit into the customized space. Many of what are the most common actions online professionals needs to deal with every day can be integrated into personalized mobile applications quickly and easily.

“We now are allowed to move forward with our lives and running our businesses in the way we feel is most productive, not the way we feel we’re forced to,” says Mahoney.

The bottom line is, even without a massive line to draw upon, small-business and solo entrepreneurs can create dynamic management tools that put them on the same playing field as their bigger-budget counterparts.

 

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Mozy’s Growing Presence in South America

ColumbiaDid you realize Mozy is growing strong south of the border?

One proof of this is our recent distributor partnership with Sciotec in Colombia. Founded in 2005, Sciotec is a rising star in the region for IT security and backup and storage, having received top reseller awards from the likes of Symantec and Hitachi Data Systems. By focusing more and more on offering cloud backup in the burgeoning South American region, Sciotec has grown steadily the past few years.

With help from Mozy and other select data protection vendors, Siotec has in 2013 broken its company sales records. They will now be offering their expertise to help resellers create their own online backup business powered by Mozy. By offering new ways for partners to provide Mozy’s leading service to its reseller partners, and by offering local currency and language support, Sciotec was a perfect match to be Mozy’s distribution partner of choice in Colombia.

Learn more about Sciotec.

Technically Speaking: Links of the Week – October 14

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features pleas from the police to upgrade your iPhone, Post-Its going digital, and new tool for people battling hand tremors. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Should You Upgrade to iOS 7? The NYPD Thinks So

Last week’s launch of Apple’s iOS 7 had an interesting advocate: the New York Police Department. Officers were seen outside Apple Stores and subway stops handing out flyers urging iPhone owners to upgrade their operating systems. According to Kevin Bostic at Apple Insider, new security features of iOS 7 include Apple’s Activation Lock, which makes it more difficult to erase a phone and reactivate it. The NYPD hopes this technology will reduce the number of thefts of Apple products, which accounted for 14% of all major crimes in 2012.

Post-Its Go Digital

Post-it Notes Go Digital

Those Post-It notes surrounding your desktop monitor may soon be available wherever you go. Emily Price from Mashable reports that 3M and Evernote have teamed up to offer co-branded products with a 30-day trial for Evernote Premium subscription. Evernote’s iOS 7 app has a “Post-It Note Camera” feature which allows users to snap a picture of their notes and have the digital renditions available via their Evernote account.

Hi-Tech Spoon Helps Parkinson’s Sufferers

Lift Labs Spoon

Hand tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease can make even the act of eating a bowl of cereal a frustrating experience. According to the Atlantic’s Rebecca J. Rosen, Lift Labs has developed a spoon which can reduce the amount of shaking by up to 70%. The spoon works by sensing a tremor and intelligently counterbalancing for it. By reducing the effects of hand tremors, the company hopes users can shift their focus from the act of eating to their meal and the people they’re sharing it with. The company indicates that knife and fork attachments are forthcoming.

 

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Frightful Computer Haiku Contest v 3.0

Our annual “Frightful Computer Haiku Contest” is back. If you have submitted before and haven’t won, now’s your chance! The third time’s the charm, right? Comment on this post with your haiku to enter to win $200!

Mozy Frightful Haiku Contest 2013

Haven’t written a haiku since 3rd grade? Don’t worry, it’s easy to do. Haikus are composed of three lines. Line one is five syllables, line two is seven syllables, and line three is five syllables. Haikus that don’t meet this criteria will be disqualified, so make sure your haiku has the right arrangement of syllables.

Here is an example:

I now understand
why hard drives and coffee mugs
don’t mix very well

Our four favorites will win, and here are the prizes you could earn:

  • Grand prize: $200 Amazon.com gift card
  • Three runners up will receive $50 Amazon.com gift cards.
  • We’ll also select a few honorable mentions, who will win a Mozy Saved My Bacon frisbee.
  • The winning haikus will also be featured on our Facebook page and Twitter account.

To enter: Simply comment on this post with your frightful computer haiku.

Rules:

  • Your haiku must be original. Don’t just copy one of the ones someone submitted last time (or this time), because that’s just lame. And we will be checking.
  • Your haiku must be awesome, but this goes without saying.
  • One entry per person. Please do not submit the same haiku over and over again.
  • Submit your haiku by Oct. 31, 11:59 PM MDT. Winners will be announced on Friday, Nov. 1.

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? So get your haiku on and submit away! Like this contest? Click here to tweet it!

Mozy and the Award For Aspirations in Computing

Did you know?

In 2010, women received only 18% of the Computer Science degrees awarded in the U.S. despite the fact that women earned almost 60% of the undergraduate degrees awarded in the same year! And this number has been steadily declining since a high point in the 1980s when women received 37% of the Computer Science degrees earned.

We here at Mozy love diversity and believe that we need more women in technology and especially in computer science. That’s why we’re proud to support organizations like the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing.  This award honors young women active and interested in computing and encourages them to pursue their passion for technology. We want these young ladies to know that we are excited about their interest and aptitude in computing!

Mozy is an enthusiastic signature sponsor for our local Aspirations in Computing award luncheon and we encourage technically inclined young women all over the U.S. to apply for this award and get involved in organizations like this that encourage and nurture technical talent.

We can’t wait to celebrate the achievements of these young women and their Aspirations in Computing!

Sources: