NY Tech Meetup, December 2011 + App of the Week

December 6th, 2011

Back in the familiar Skirball Auditorium, the “New York Tech Meetup” (better known as NYTM) held their December event, albeit two days before the beginning of the month. Returning to the regular format that showcases some of the new technology coming out of NYC, the evening did not disappoint.

During the introductions, NYTM Executive Director Nate Westheimer encouraged members to investigate two bills currently before Congress: the PROTECT-IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). They propose changes to more than a decade of US policy (particularly relating to Internet freedom) by establishing a censorship system using similar domain blocking technologies that were pioneered by China and Iran. For further information, please visit: http://arst.ch/rdk.

5ivepoints, which was featured at the Meetup, has amazing potential for political candidates, making tremendous amounts of data available to supporters and encouraging them to transform their enthusiasm into real world action. There was, however, some trepidation about the amount of public information that would be suddenly and easily available; for example, registered voters might be called or visited by someone who supports a particular candidate without the knowledge or approval of the candidate.

Obviously, Kogeto amazed us – so much so that they were our “App of the Week/Editor’s Picklast week. An “app-cessory” that combines the “Dot” snap-on lens and a free application (called “Looker”), giving any iPhone 4/4S the ability to capture and share full 360° videos.

The Editor’s Pick for this week also comes from the meetup: Shapeways is a web-based service that allows users to create and order real-world items made with 3D printing in a variety of materials (from resin to gold-plated stainless steel). Either by modifying existing models or uploading your own, custom pieces are created and shipped within days. Users can also purchase products made by others in the Shapeways community or sell their own designs.

Additional praise must be given to both Kogeto and Shapeways for the simple fact that both of the tangible items that they produce, or are associated with the apps, are manufactured in New York State.

Also making a tremendous contribution to the evening was Livestream, the leading provider for real time event coverage, who provided a live video feed of the event online.

More information about the NY Tech Meetup (and video of the event) is available on the organization’s website at nytm.org.

—Michael Kaufman AIA, Tech Editor

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