Not everything needs a web server… or does it? The Visible Energy Monostrip is one of the first power strips – more an outlet, really – with a built-in server that allows you to configure, control, and monitor the amount of juice going into various appliances.
The product isn’t visually arresting – the company also makes the UFO, which looks far cooler – but the functionality is what’s important. With the built-in server and Wi-Fi you can turn the light on and off remotely and schedule it to go on and off at certain times. You can also see how much you’re paying to power the socket.
The system is fairly simple right now. To set it up you plug in the outlet and look for a new Wi-Fi access point. Once you connect, you can assign the outlet to connect to the Internet via your in-home Wi-Fi. Then, using a mobile app, you can register the outlet and control it from your phone. I love being able to press one button from the dining room and watching the light go on in the living room.
I think the most important aspect is the remote management of power. By installing, say a few of these in the house you can turn off lights and appliances from almost anywhere, allowing for very specific control of your energy patterns. I’d love to see this nascent product grow – and I’m sure the functionality will be replicated in other products down the line.
Visible Energy is a Palo Alto company led by Marco Graziano, an expert in Internet appliances. He was amazed that when he plugged the device into his home TV setup he was drawing about $5 worth of electricity a month. His goal is to help others make good decisions about how to use and, in turn, conserve energy.
Read the original post: Hands On With The Visible Energy Programmable Monostrip
99designs, one of the largest communities for crowdsourcing design projects, has challenged its community to redesigning (what it calls) eBay’s “lame” new logo. Do you think you can do a better job? If so, you have 26 hours to submit your design to the contest for a chance to mock eBay and win yourself a slim $429.
We at TNW will surely miss eBay’s quirky Web 1.0 logo, but we didn’t find the redesign to be unsuccessful. Honestly, the new design is an improvement, if eBay wants to come across as a modern, trustworthy company. Here’s the original logo, followed by the new one:
Unfortunately, the 99designs community may have a harder time churning out a better design than you might think. Some of the submissions are absolutely terrible, while others are definitely worth a look.
Check out the contest via the link below, which has so far received some 1,200 entries. Do you have the chops to create something better? If you have a design to submit, make sure to share it with us in the comments! See the design brief here.
Read more from the original source: 99designs calls out eBay’s “lame” new logo, challenges its community to redesign it
In celebration of teachers everywhere, Google has put together some new resources to make YouTube even more useful for learning. Oh, and the site also has a new logo showing off a chalkboard and an apple, hitting two teacher stereotypes in one shot!
First off, Google has created a YouTube EDU Creator Playbook Guide, which includes videos (of course!) that outline best practices for online educators to learn from each other. The guide lays out ideas for organizing curriculum videos on YouTube, attracting a bigger audience to educational content you create, and explains how to use YouTube features like annotations and playlists.
Secondly, Google recently asked James Sanders, KIPP Bay Area Innovation manager, to create a presentation on 10 ways teachers can use YouTube to build a 21st century classroom. You can check it out on Google Docs now. The company claims “it’s full of great, proven ideas for using YouTube to bring educational topics to life.”
Last but not least, Google is pushing everyone to check out YouTube.com/Teachers, the main portal for teachers who use YouTube. If you want to have your educational channel added to YouTube EDU, you can nominate it here.
For those who don’t know, World Teachers’ Day has been held annually on October 5 since 1994. Its aim is two-fold: to commemorate teachers’ organizations and their work around the world, as well as to get more people to support teachers so that future generations can continue to be educated.
Image credit: Ivan Prole
Today Trifacta, a company building a cross-platform interface for dealing with big data, announced that it received a $4.3 million investment from the Accel Partners Big Data Fund. The company also raised money from X/Seed Capital, Data Collective LLC, Dave Goldberg, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman.
Trifacta is a team of computer scientists with deep experience in data visualization trying to pull off one of the holy grails of data tech: making big data accessible to the non-Phd level analyst.
It’s a huge opportunity, if they can get it right. Moore’s Law gives us better and cheaper hardware, and software like Apache Hadoop makes use of it. Humans are now the real bottleneck in technology says Ping Li, who runs the Big Data Fund at Accel.
But unlike other companies trying to make big data simpler to use, such as Datameer
The company hopes not just to make big data easier for normal business users, but also to make it more efficient for data scientists to process as well. The user will be able to pull a data set, or perhaps just a sample of it, into memory and use Trifacta to explore the through an interface that includes different ways of visualizing the data. The application will suggest different operations you might want to perform and there will previews of what the effects of a particular operation might be. Once you've decided on the operations you want to perform, the code or queries are generated.
The founders are CEO Joe Hellerstein, a professor of computer science at University of California Berkley, and “Chief Experience Officer” Jeffrey Heer, a computer science professor at Stanford, and CTO Sean Kandel, who did a dissertation at Stanford on the behavior and productivity of data analysts.
These guys have some chops, but they’re not going into this alone. They’ve also assembled a team of advisers they call the “Trifaculty” to help them out.
They’re going to need all the help they can get — this is an ambitious project.
Accel started its big data fund last year. It’s a $100 million fund dedicated purely to . So far it’s backed online backup company Code 42, energy management company Vigilent and a stealth startup called RelateIQ.
Follow this link: Accel Partners Big Data Fund Invests $4.3 Million In Trifacta
LG’s last big (and I mean big) smartphone release around these parts was the Intuition, a funky phablet that many a critic panned. Thankfully, the company’s straight-laced follow-up — the nicely spec’d Optimus G — was revealed earlier this month, and now both AT&T and Sprint have signed on to sell the thing when it launches later this year.
Of course, just like nearly every phone announcement made this week, neither carrier has revealed when they plan to stock the G on their respective shelves. All LG will say is that the Optimus will see the light of day at some point in Q4, and that could mean a decent wait. Whether or not Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile (or should I say, T-Metro) will carry the thing is still up in the air too, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see the former pick up the G in time for the holidays.
The Optimus G, in case you’ve forgotten, sports a 4.7-inch HD (1280