San Francisco-based Boreas Gear, Inc. is funding its latest product through Kickstarter, in an attempt to build a modular pack system that provides three bags in one. If you’re a bag enthusiast like myself (that might not be a real thing but I still have tons of them) then you’ll appreciate the idea of a simple system that makes it easy to covert a single frame into a daypack, waterproof bag and simple hydration/light carry bag quickly and easily.
The SF-based team founded Boreas Gear in 2010, with the intent of designing packs centered around versatility and good design. Founder and Creative Director Tae Kim has a design background and grew up in Alaska, where he spent plenty of time in the great outdoors. The bootlegger is designed to be the perfect companion for a whole host of outdoor activities.
Besides offering the three different pack configurations, it also boasts something called “Super-Tramp Suspension” which uses pull-straps to shift the weight carried in the pack either closer to or farther away from the back, making it possible to adjust it perfectly for either hiking or biking on the fly. If you’ve owned a specialized biking pack, then you know that the added breathing room can really come in handy, especially on longer rides.
The Super-Tramp Suspension system can then be used interchangeably with three pack tops, including the Torpedo, the Hopper and the Scrimshaw. The Torpedo is a lightweight hydration pack, which can be outfitted with a water bladder to keep you from getting thirsty on long rides or trail runs without adding too much weight. The Hopper is a daypack that has plenty of room for a lunch and gear for a full day on the mountain and the Scrimshaw is a completely submersible waterproof bag, perfect for rain, snow, or use in watersports like canoeing or kayaking.
The system is designed to be used either with any individual bag or with all three, and the project has already blown past its $10,000 funding goal. Boreas Gear has been designing and manufacturing packs for years now, so there’s relatively little risk in terms of the company delivering on its planned July ship date. Pledges for bags start at $65 for the frame + a single pack and range up depending on what options you’re interested in.
Continue reading here: The Bootlegger Modular Pack On Kickstarter Is Three Very Different Backpacks In One
Anyone who’s tried their hand at designing a typeface will know it’s a wildly difficult process, and to actually come out at the end with something attractive takes an extreme amount of skill, taste and patience.
Type design isn’t for everyone, but typography is, and nearly every designer works with it every day. This is exactly why Type Release creator Sean Mitchell is here to share with you a list of 32 beautiful typefaces, all of which were released over the last month. These are his findings:
A highly refined neo-grotesque sans-serif based on Helvetica and its modern-day variants.
Here is what I need:
1. I need a simple logo designed for our company called “Bytemonkey Creative”. The logo I like is attached. very simple.
2. I need 4 images designed for my website home page banner. I need the images for
Cheers, the app and social network built around giving users the chance to celebrate the good things in their lives, has raised a $2.5 million Series A funding round led by MindFund and including Charles River Ventures, Trinity Ventures, AngelList founder Naval Ravikant and others. The startup launched just over a year ago in February, and is still very much experimenting with its positivity-based social network, according to founder Farhad Mohit.
The funding will help Cheers continue to explore and expand that experiment, Mohit says, and build on recent additions to the platform. This includes the addition of “Celebrations,” a feature introduced in an update a few weeks ago that allows users to build collections that are open to community contribution about any topic. This new feature was designed to address an audience focus issue by giving users ways to find and engage with content they’re specifically interested in, instead of having to wade through the firehose of the general feed.
The Cheers app is similar in concept to apps like Oink, the Kevin Rose project that closed up shop not long after launch after it failed to attract much of an audience. While Mohit admits that the membership numbers aren’t quite where Cheers would like them to be, he still feels the app is now doing something fundamentally different from Oink and others, and addressing a problem that still needs tackling. The key will be continuing to evolve the app’s approach in order to get it to the point where it’s striking a chord with a broader user base.
“If you look at the kinds of decisions that need to be made, there are several layers,” Mohit (who previously founded BizRate) explained. “There’s the purchase layer, when you want to decide whether or not to buy from somebody. For those, BizRate and its ilk were very satisfactory. Then one level above is sort of vendor choice. That’s where Yelp comes in. They [Cheers and Oink] come in at the awareness level – they help you decide whether something is even on your radar to consider.”
Other services in this category have failed because “they failed to realize what this simple text and picture and information is really good for.” They’re not good for comparison, he said. They’re good for generating awareness. Cheers, if it accomplishes its mission, will succeed by enabling a lot of fans and followers of things to create awareness about the people, places and locations that its network members are favoriting, instead of acting as localized, limited-scope comparison tools on the ground around specific locations.
To do that, Cheers hopes to eventually become a funnel for brands looking for sponsored content. The idea is that with Celebrations, brands can curate content from actual users and fans that is positive in nature while at the same time being genuine and spontaneous. It is essentially tailor-made for use in social media campaigns like Facebook promoted stories.
Cheers has a couple of advantages for organizations and groups. It provokes the kind of engagement you can see here in a Celebration called Starbucks, which was started by a user – not anyone associated with the brand. And the network is remarkably good at self-filtering, maintaining an overwhelmingly positive vibe. Mohit says that’s mostly due to the company’s dedicated core users, rather than any direct influence on the part of Cheers or its employees. Brands will soon be able to take advantage of tools designed for organizations on Cheers, Mohit says, which is in part what the funding is designed to help with.
Mohit is surprisingly candid about Cheers and the startup’s chances, saying that this Series A is mostly designed to set the company up to see if there should be a Series B or not. The company has an excellent model for helping organizations turn their biggest fans into a fount of quality user-generated advertising. Now it just needs the user-acquisition strategy to make that happen on a larger scale.
Sony today announced a new entry-priced DSLT (Digital Single Lens Translucent) camera, the a58, priced at $600 bundled with a newly designed 18-55mm zoom kit lens, and coming to retail in April this year. The a58 pushes the needle forward for Sony’s DSLR-style interchangeable lens line, with a nice hop-on point for the company’s Translucent Mirror tech for consumers looking to get into more pro-style gear.
The 20.1 megapixel camera succeeds the widely respected Sony a57, which also used SLT to help it deliver fast burst mode photography with continuous focus lock. The a58 has a few new tricks up its sleeve, including a new sensor and new BIONZ processor, which allows it to selectively dial down digital image noise and sharpness in different parts of the same photograph, meaning it can preserve detail in lighted areas and make blacks much blacker in others, which should be particularly useful for nighttime photography.
There’s also a brand new OLED electronic viewfinder on board, which improves on the version in the original with improved color rendering and 100 percent field of view. But the biggest trick up the a58′s sleeve is the introduction of autofocus lock-on tech not only for human subjects, but also for objects. The Auto Object Framing tech is the next generation of Sony’s Auto Portrait Framing feature, and allows the camera to pick out people, moving objects or macro subjects and track those, keeping them in focus and also framing and cropping them for alternate, re-composed shots alongside the originals.
The a58 uses Sony’s A-mount system lenses, and the company is also introducing new versions of those today. Three new A-mount lenses make their debut alongside the new body, including the DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II lens which is the new kit lens for the entry-level DSLT. It has the same AF motor as the previous generation, but should have quieter focusing performance, good for shooting video. The new design should also reduce flare and ghosting, Sony says. It will arrive in May for $220 as a standalone lens.
Also new to the line are the Carl Zeis Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM lens, giving pros a nice, fast portrait and all-around lens designed for use with full-frame sensors, with dust and moisture resistance. This one arrives in May and will cost around $1500 when it does. Finally, Sony is also adding a new big pricey zoom, the 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II telephoto, which has improved AF responsiveness and is designed to be used to track and capture fast-moving subjects for HD video. It’ll be $2200 or thereabouts when it arrives in July.
Sony’s camera division is doing very interesting things lately, and the a58 looks to be a nice improvement on the a57 and a near-perfect entry-point for consumers looking to step up to a DSLR-category device, but who are also looking for a host of features that should make handling the more powerful gear easier. With all the new bells and whistles, buyers should be able to get great pics out of the a58 without much of a learning curve.