This past weekend I had a good time meeting like-minded people at the first Food Hackathon here in San Francisco. The organizers billed it as “the first of its kind”, however I’m familiar with Food+Tech Connect in New York City so I’m not sure they can make that claim (see: 2010 eventbrite. Note the almost free ticket prices. Can’t quite say the same for the event we just went to… Paid hackathons? Not sure this is how it’s supposed to work…) Anyway, we still had a lot of fun participating in the madness.
My co-founder and I went to this event together with the idea of building a simple local foodsharing, fresh fruit and vegetable barter marketplace to help create a more accessible sustainable alternative to the very money-dependent food system we all primarily rely on every day to feed ourselves. However in the process of brainstorming a name for our fruit and vegetable exchange we actually found at least two pre-existing websites that we hadn’t found before and were the exact same thing we had been trying to find, and ended up deciding to try using those sites first and reconsider what to build for the Hackathon.
We teamed up with Luke Iseman of Growerbot (Kickstarter) and Garduino (Project), along with his girlfriend Heather to work on his idea for building an online game similar to the mega-popular FarmVille (Facebook game by Zynga) but In Real Life. So like, you earn points (“Seeds”) for actually planting plants in your garden, and earn more points for uploading pictures and checking on your plants and posting measured growth values regularly. It’s called “Seed Mogul” and the goal is to encourage more local, independent, and distributed food production with an addictive and truly rewarding game. One of the parts of the idea that I really liked was his plan to actually allow users to “cash in” their “Seed” points for actual heirloom seeds that they would receive in the mail and use in their garden.
You can see what we built here (You just sign in with Facebook, just like FarmVille). Unfortunately we did not win any of the competition categories at the Hackathon. We probably could have made it a little more polished. But a lot of the key functionality is there. I’m realizing now that we could have also made a stronger case in our final pitch presentation for how this fits into the larger picture of the food sustainability movement and the efficacy of hyper-local fruit and vegetable production as a truly viable alternative food system model. In any case, feel free to sign up and check out our game! We’re hoping to see if anyone’s interested before working further on it. Most of all, James and I are very happy to have met Luke and Heather, and foodclouds is looking forward to possibly working together with Luke more in some fashion in the near future.
So we just bought a bunch of replacement 3D glasses for the TV we got on craigslist. I followed all the instructions I could find, which all pretty much said the same thing:
Turn the TV on.
Start playing something 3D or turn the 3D mode on.
Press the Power button on the glasses, and wait for them to connect.
Well, that wasn’t working for me. After about an hour of research, I came across the solution! You have to unplug the television from the wall for at least 40 seconds (wait for the red TV power light to go off in the front), and plug the TV back in and retry the above procedure.
Apparently this resets the bluetooth(?) receiver in the TV. Good luck!
There’s a cool new web application that you may want to check out. It’s called “If This Then That”, and it lets you connect your social media and web application accounts and create “triggers” that will automatically do things for you. The possibilities are endless, you can basically do anything with this tool. Like, for example: You can set up an auto-response when you get a new follower on Twitter. You can automatically email yourself when the weather forecast says it’s going to rain. And you can automatically move files between different services including DropBox, YouTube, and Photo sharing services…
It’s kind of hard to explain, it’s probably best to just try it yourself. The website is http://ifttt.com. Have fun! And feel free to ask me questions in the comments if you need help figuring it out.
Update: Google updated Google Goggles today to include a feature which makes the big first step in this direction:
Let’s say you’re reading a magazine article you really like and want to share it with your friends. Just point Goggles at a part of the page, and instantly find a link to an online version to share immediately or read again later. You won’t even need the entire article in the frame. Goggles will also pull up more information from pages around the web where that text is mentioned, so its easier to learn about what you’re seeing. more
So… It seems to me that if Newspapers truly wanted to get “hip”, they would not just use social networks to let their readers spam their friends, but actually integrate with social networks to let their readers connect with their friends and co-comment on articles and create and foster real discussion about the issues presented.
Picture this: For every article in the newspaper, you can scan it with your phone and pull up the online version.. Check in with facebook or twitter or your newspaper website account, and see which friends have read, liked, commented or shared, and then be able to join the conversation either on site or link through to the 3rd party site.
Or how about scanning the front of the newspaper to see which of the articles your friends have read/liked/shared/commented, and then being able to jump to the article on your phone, or see which page it’s on?
This sounds like an epic iPhone/Android/MobileWeb application dev project for any local or major newspaper that wants to not only stay relevant, but be the leader in connecting the physical paper experience with the digital world.
I’d love to work with a local paper on this.