MIT wearable-computer researchers (1998). They were easy to spot. Today, with the proliferation of smartphones augmenting our lives in real-time/real-space, the cyborg has disappeared into the everyday.
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In this episode of theorycast, I chat with Zivity model MixieMoxie to learn from her experience participating in this alternative social network. I also aim to understand the user motivations and economics behind Zivity, as well as their earlier competitor, SuicideGirls.com
In essence, Zivity.com is pretty darn refreshing; they take the alternative softcore subculture (i.e. NSFW), mix in eBay-like crowdsourcing, and pay royalty to their contributors, namely models and photographers.
Zivity subscribers pay $10 a month, and every vote they cast on their favorite models / photographers, is worth $1. Instead of a flat royalty fee, it works out to be a recurring amount. Eighty percent of the proceeds then goes back to these sexy contributors.
Several high profile venture capitalists seem to believe in Zivity’s business model so much, that they’ve invested a second round funding of $7m. Founded by Scott Banister and his wife Cyan, the story behind Zivity is equally inspirational. To see life behind the scenes at Zivity, check out this short documentary (nsfw).
Bonus Contest: As a treat for theorycast viewers, I have three exclusive invites to Zivity.com. Just drop a comment on how successful you think Zivity.com will be. I’ll award the best responses by this Sat, 11pm EST. Please note that since Zivity features nudity, invites will only be given to folks who are over 21.
Watches have a cybernetic relationship with man. To some of us, it’s our second skin and it adds to our ability to sense / measure time.
With the Nike Amp watch (debuted Oct 2007), it got that that much cooler, with an invisible face that depicts the time through an animated LED display. You’ve got to watch the video to see what I mean.
The Nike Amp is intended to control your Nike iPod+ Sport Kit wirelessly, but I got it more for its minimal yet detailed design. Besides, it was on sale at BestBuy for $64! Unboxing photos after the jump…
Aside: Yup, this is a ridiculously short post. I’ve got lots to blog about, including interview videos and screencasts, but I’ve to prioritize as I’m trying to finish up my dissertation by the end of year. Life here is becoming too routine, need to make changes… or die trying.
Since I’ve been looking at interesting shopping experiences online, I found something that’s bound to be a hit with the ladies (least I think so).
Polyvore lets you mix and match images from anywhere on the web, to create outfits, interior designs, or any kind of collage.
While it could be used for creating all kinds of visual mashups by layering images quickly, the example of trying out various combination of outfits seem the most succinct. Reminds me of those clear plastic sticker dress-up activity books back in the day.
Women love designer handbags, guys like me love gadget bags. My latest acquisition is the BUILT laptop backpack:
Made from lightweight neoprene and breathable air mesh, our new ultra-slim backpack streamlines the transport of your laptop and accessories. The main compartment accommodates and protects laptops from 12–17″ with room to spare for books, folders or other essentials. Two additional smaller compartments provide storage options for your other necessities; one conveniently located directly on the shoulder strap for easy access. With two sizes available to fit most people, an adjustable sternum strap helps tailor to your shape.
I like the design which appears to be organic and minimal in form. However, it’s always risky buying something this flexible, since you’ll never know how it conforms and presents itself on your body. Asking friends for their opinion, some think it’s gay, others think it’s interesting especially if worn in the front, in which case it might come in useful as a bulletproof vest (har har!).
So far so good, the top zipper reveals a giant space for your laptop, while the side zipper reveals a space for lots of accessories. The entire rear region is basically like a giant thick sack. The lower portion of the left shoulder strap also has a slot big enough for my iPhone. The only downside is how tight it can get lengthwise for my 17″ MacBook Pro (as seen in the photos). The trick is to lift the bag up and shake it a little so the material stretches enough for you to close the top zipper.
It’s usually $79.99, but I got mine “large” from Koyono.com at 67.99 using discount code: BUILT15. And oh, it’s machine washable and said to be waterproof, so I’ll let you know when it rains.
Dr. Kevin Lim recently graduated with his PhD in Communication at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Dabbling for both pragmatic and play, he seeks an ideal interplay between online and offline life, through social networking, blogging and lifecasting. He openly wishes to become a "social cyborg", where the meshing of human and networking technology would allow one's presence to be augmented by the minds of many. Read more...