Photobucket Co-Founder Alex Welch Lets You Demand Photos From Friends With Lasso

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Six years after selling Photobucket to News Corp. for $300 million, Alex Welch is launching a new way to share photos with your family and friends. Rather than making photos available on Instagram, Flickr, or any number of social networks according to privacy settings, Welch’s new venture, Lasso, lets friends ask for photos from each others’ camera rolls.

Welch, who left Photobucket in 2009, decided about a year ago that he wanted to build a better camera roll for iOS with a few friends. He says they ultimately decided that the biggest thing missing from their camera rolls was their friends’ photos.

If you look at the pictures people share publicly as the tip of the iceberg of total photos they have, Welch argues that many people would be willing to share a lot more of those moments.

“You’re probably okay with sharing those photos with select people, but there isn’t an easy way to do that,” he tells me.

I’ve played around with the app a bit and I like it. You simply swipe a contact’s name to the right to send them photos, and to the left to request photos. When they’ve added new photos, a little subtle icon pops up next to their name.

The speed of sharing will be huge for Lasso. If people can ask close friends what they’ve been up to in their new city or on vacation, and they can quickly shoot over a dozen photos, Lasso could start attracting a nice user base.

There are a ton of ways I currently share pictures with friends besides social networks-SMS, Snapchat, and email immediately come to mind. And yet, looking through my camera roll, I realize there are a ton of images that I haven’t shared that my friends might enjoy.

Lasso has raised a $1.25 million seed round from Welch, Jerry Murdock, Greylock Partners’ seed fund, and Trinity Ventures, which Welch says will mostly go toward more product development.

Lasso will expand beyond photos soon, explaining that the concept can be applied to “any piece of digital content,” from videos to documents to apps your friends are using.

“What are things that you do or that you have every day that you’d be okay sharing with me if I specifically ask for it,” he says.

The iOS app is live now, and Welch says the Android app should be released in the next couple of weeks.

Canary Shatters Its Indiegogo Funding Goal For Its Smart, Dead-Simple Home Monitors

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There are some 90 million homes in the U.S. without any security system whatsoever. Many of them are renters who don’t want to invest heavily in a place they don’t own, among hundreds of thousands of home owners who are simply priced out. There has never been a convenient, all-in-one system that could offer home security at an affordable rate, much less one you could pick up at the local Best Buy.

But that all changes with Canary, the latest crowd-funding sensation to hit Indiegogo. We caught up with NYC-based founder Adam Sager to discuss the project.

Canary is a little console, slightly smaller than the size of a paper towel roll, that’s packed with a host of sensors, a mic, and an HD camera.

For $200 down, this little guy will connect to the Wifi, sync with your phone, and constantly watch your home. I say watch, and not monitor, because Canary can only see as far as its sensors will allow, whereas most home security systems are wired in to monitor every crack and crevice of a home. Canary can only hear as far as the mic allows, or the camera sees, or the sensors can sense.

However, Sager believes that when you place the Canary in the central part of your home, near the front door perhaps or watching over the living room, that a real threat, like a burglar, will likely set off the Canary no matter where it enters from.

Plus, if you have a larger space or want added security, you can always link more than one Canary (up to four, Sager tells me).

Canary’s sensors include night vision, motion detection, temperature, air quality and humidity, along with a live feed to the HD camera at any given time. The phone will instantly alert the user whenever the home experiences a random change, like a temperature fluctuation or sudden movement.

But Canary is also smart enough to learn your home, sensing the difference between a burglary and a pet. It even understands when regularly scheduled events occur, like the arrival of a nanny or a dog walker at the same time each day, so that you don’t have a panic attack each time Rover needs to take a wizz.

Canary’s distribution model is different from any other home security system in that you will eventually be able to go pick one up at a local electronics store on the cheap. This has never really been available before, and the potential market is huge with 90 million homes completely unprotected and priced out of the alternatives.

Sager admits that margins on the hardware itself won’t be that high, but the plan is to offer value-added services like monitoring (delivered by a TBD third-party) for $10/month.

Canary has been on Indiegogo for four days, and has blown far beyond its $100k goal to be at $550k at the time of writing. It only took a few hours to reach $100k, according to Sager.

If you’d like to back the project, head on over to the Canary website or check out the Indiegogo campaign.

Honest Trailers Minecraft! So much yes!

Honest Trailers Minecraft! So much yes!

Minecraft gets the Honest Trailers treatment and it’s worth the watch. Anyone who’s a fan can relate to everything in the trailer as it really hits home but in a good old fashioned funny way. Give it a watch and let me know what you think.

The post Honest Trailers Minecraft! So much yes! appeared first on Don't Hate The Geek.

5 Gadgets You’ll Want In Your Garden During Summer If You Have Decking

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In summer it’s great relaxing on your decking as often as possible because you have to take advantage of the sun while it’s there. If you have decking and you want to turn it into a nice place to spend time during summer we’re going to look at a few gadgets that will help you do it.

Wall Mount Misting Fan

Maybe you don’t need to run inside straight away during summer when it gets too hot. If you’re sitting outside on your decking the sun can sometimes get unbearable, but if you attached a misting fan to your wall you will be able to keep cool and it would help you relax at the same time. This one from Advanced Misting Systems is built to last and it’s not going to break if you use it outdoors. Once it’s installed you’ll never have to worry about feeling too hot ever again.

Outdoor Gas Heater

Now we’re going to look at the exact opposite of the last gadget because instead of keeping you cool it will actually keep you nice and warm. When you’re sitting outside you won’t want to go in as soon as the sun disappears, but once it goes away it might start to get cold. When you have a patio heater you’ll be able to turn it on as soon as it starts to get chilly and you will be able to stay outside for as long as you want. It has a simple push button ignition system and you can change the temperature by turning a knob.

Wide Expanse Water Broom

I know you won’t want to spend time on your decking if it’s dirty, so you’ll need to clean it regularly during the summer months. You might not end up with as much mud on it as you would during winter, but it will still need cleaned because it will be getting used so much. This amazing water broom will help you clean it a lot easier because it will spray water out as you’re brushing. Using this cool gadget means you won’t need to get the power hose out until after winter.

Solar Crackled Globe Light

The sun will stay out a lot longer at night during summer, but what will you do at the weekend when you want to sit outside until later on in the night? You’ll need to find a light source from somewhere and these solar globe lights will be perfect. Just sprinkle one or two of them around your decking and they’ll make sure you can stay outside once the sun waves goodbye. They will come on by themselves once they detect the sun has gone and they will also charge up during the day.

Solar Charging Patio Umbrella

This is one of the coolest gadgets you’re likely to see because it’s turned a conventional product into something much more high-tech. At first you think it’s just an umbrella you can sit under when you’re working so the sun doesn’t affect your ability to see your computer screen, but because it’s solar powered you’ll be able to charge your laptop while you work. You can obviously charge lots of other electronics and it will come in handy when you’re playing around with your gadgets while on your decking.

Nancy Baker, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for, Everything Exterior, decking installers in Edmonton. She enjoys participating in art and graffiti competitions. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.

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The post 5 Gadgets You’ll Want In Your Garden During Summer If You Have Decking appeared first on Geek My Gadget.