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Disrupt SF Is Around The Corner So Submit Your Startup Battlefield Applications By June 19th

[shared via Google Reader from TechCrunch]

adafruit-disrupt

TechCrunch Disrupt SF is back! We’re very excited to announce tickets are on sale and that companies in stealth mode can apply for Startup Battlefield for until Wednesday, the 19. After that, we’re pulling the plug on submissions. You have less than a week.

This September 7-11, we’re bringing Disrupt back to San Francisco to welcome an all new slate of outstanding startups, influential speakers, guests and more to the stage. It marks the seventh time we’ve set up shop here in SF and once again all the action — starting with our 24 hour Hackathon — happens at The Concourse at San Francisco Design Center.

So are you ready to launch your company on the biggest startup launch stage? Tell us about it.

As in years past, we’re looking for the very best startups to compete in the Startup Battlefield and walk away with the Disrupt Cup, $50,000 cash, and loads of attention. For the first two days, 30 companies will present their product to a panel of judges.

But first you have to apply. Applications are due June 19. Click here for the application and full list of rules.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis — and the last two Disrupts had record numbers of applicants — so it’s to your advantage to submit as soon as you are ready. Due to strong demand, we are unable to review applications more than once, so please do not submit a draft application before you are ready for final consideration.

PowerPoint slides and video demos are optional but highly encouraged. We reserve the right not to review applications without video demos based on application volume. We look forward to reviewing your application.

All submissions are confidential unless otherwise permitted by applicants on the application form.

More Disrupt SF 2013 details will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are currently on sale at a significant discount. We have a stellar line-up of speakers and panels on the docket. But we need your help. Apply for Startup Battlefield and help us make Disrupt SF 2013 the best yet.

Our sponsors help make events happen. If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact our sponsorship team at sponsors@techcrunch.com.


DIY HAL Replica Wants You To Close The Pod Bay Doors, Dave

[shared via Google Reader from TechCrunch]

hal-finished

Everyone’s favorite electronics hobby shop, Adafruit has posted instructions for building your own HAL 9000 replica out of a big red button, an Arduino board, and some cleverly cut plastic. Best of all? With the press of a button you can make HAL tell you what to do – until you kill it.

Devoted film fans will spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars (occasionally even thousands) to create flawless replica props for their personal collections. The iconic eye of HAL 9000 from 2001: a Space Odyssey is one such object of desire…popular enough that detailed (and pricey) licensed reproductions exist. This is cool stuff! But if we relax our criteria just a bit, you or I can turn out a pretty decent, recognizable facsimile in a weekend for just a small fraction of the cost. The 80/20 rule in action!


HAL is mostly made of laser cut plastic parts and a few nice decals. His brains are an Arduino Uno R3 with speakers attached and his jolly red button is a $10 arcade button. Best of all, the buttons come in white, blue, and green so you can make your own weird version of HAL that lives in an alternate 2001 universe.

To be clear, this is not an exact replica. However, it’s cool enough to, say, act as a cubicle charm or workspace novelty that will allow you, the human, to triumph over the encroaching hellfire of technological domination.


Add New Experience to Your Resume (Without Adding an Extra Page)

[shared via Google Reader from Lifehacker]

So, you’ve spent the last couple of years at your gig honing your skills and getting great experience, and you’ve decided it’s time to move on and look for something new. But wait: What should you do with your resume now that you’ve got tons more knowledge and experience under your belt—but the same jam-packed 8.5×11” sheet of paper to work with?

This is a guest post by Liz Elfman via The Daily Muse.

Hint: The answer is not to add another page (in fact, most hiring managers I know would automatically disqualify you for doing so!). You’ll want to employ the opposite strategy. If you’re dusting off your resume for the first time in a while, you should reconsider what you include, and remove some things that don’t make the cut. Here are a few strategies for trimming what you don’t need so you can make room for the new.

Rule #1: Tell a Story

Your resume is a narrative, and it should tell a purposeful story. The chronology, headers, and action words on your resume don’t matter nearly as much as your overall personal narrativedoes. No one cares about how many bullet points you have and whether they are squares or circles.

Instead, focus on the person coming across in your resume. If you want to be “the social media guru,” anything that doesn’t at least tangentially relate to social media should be de-prioritized. If you want to come across as “the academic research all-star,” by all means put your educational experience on top, throw in your GPA, and get in-depth about your awards and publications. Feel free to leave off your real estate experience.

This neurotic friend of mine (who is actually me) even has different versions of her resume—an international relations resume, a writing resume, a start-up focused resume. Each of these resumes is a variation on the same experiences, but it’s spun for different purposes, highlighting different skill sets and accomplishments.

And that’s OK—you really don’t have to have one resume that includes everything you’ve ever done. Think about your story in relation to the types of positions you’re seeking—and if a job, bullet point, or even a word does not enhance this story, remove it.

Rule #2: Focus on the Recent (or Relevant)

Think about it—just by virtue of the fact that you are the oldest you have ever been, you are at your most evolved point thus far. And whether or not your current position is challenging you, it likely reflects your most senior job title and contains your most impressive accomplishments to date.

So, if there’s a choice between including one more college internship or going into more detail about your current role, always choose the latter. Your goal is to make room for that position byeliminating waste in other parts of your resume.

(Disclaimer: If a previous job was more relevant to the one for which you’re applying, you can and should to go into more detail there.)

Rule #3: Consolidate Your Education

If your education isn’t the most impressive part of your resume, it isn’t 100% relevant to the position you’re applying for, or if you’re not going for an academic role, I’m willing to bet that you could shorten it. Especially if you’ve been out of college for a few years, you don’t need to list out your courses, GPA, or activities—all you really need is your college and degree. Here’s a before and after:

Original

UNIVERSITY OF MAINE, College of Arts and Sciences, Farmington, ME
Bachelor of Arts, Government, May 2008; Major GPA: 3.0; Cumulative GPA: 2.5
Focus: Government, political science, sociology, psychology, economics
Academic Year 2006 to 2007, Institut des Etudes Politiques, Paris, France: Direct matriculation, courses in French and final examinations in French language

Shortened

UNIVERSITY OF MAINE, College of Arts and Sciences, Farmington, ME
Bachelor of Arts, Government, May 2008

(You can move your French language experience under “Skills” or “Languages”—but again, only if it’s relevant to the position.)

Rule #4: Cut the Quirky

Particularly if you want work at the kind of place where everyone sits on yoga balls and takes team-building canoe trips (I want to work there, too), you might think that you should list your hobbies on your resume or go into detail about the fact that you were voted the seventh best vegetarian chef in your city. Hiring managers want you to be a real person with interests outside of the office, right?

This will come across better in an interview, or maybe even in a cover letter. Don’t use the precious space on your resume. Definitely list languages you speak, technical skills you have, or security clearances you’ve obtained, but if your yoga certification doesn’t pertain to the job you’re applying for and you’re running out of space—get ’er outta there.

Re-focusing your resume is a good thing: it forces you to think about what’s really important in the eyes of a hiring manager, and what doesn’t really need to be on there. So don’t spend your time reducing your font size to 8 and pushing those borders to the limit—focus on being merciless about creating your story and honing in on your message. It will take you further in your quest to land dream job.

How to Add Experience to Your Resume (Without Adding a Page) | The Daily Muse


Liz Elfman is a startup enthusiast currently working to help fellow startup and tech enthusiasts find their dream jobs. She is also a freelance writer who is obsessed with the careers space. Previously, she worked in financial consulting. She has lived in France, London, and Washington D.C. Help her be a more active tweeter @lizelfman.

Want more from The Daily Muse? Check Out:

Three Things That Will Get Your Resume Thrown in the Trash
How to Explain Your Winding Career Path to a Hiring Manager
4 Ways to Make Writing Cover Letters Suck Less

Image remixed from Picsfive (Shutterstock).

Want to see your work on Lifehacker? Email Tessa.

Put your Fitbit through the washing machine again? Here’s an app that could replace it

[shared via Google Reader from GigaOM]

I got a Fitbit (see disclosure) last November when it started to seem like all of my friends and co-workers were sporting tracking devices to measure their movement and exercise. I’ve grown to adore the little black device, taking a few more laps around the block on my way home to hit 10,000 steps per day, and running back inside the house if I forget to clip it to my pocket before leaving for work in the morning. I love checking the charts and graphs on the iPhone app that show my fitness progress over time. It’s fair to say I’d be bummed if I lost the device.

moves screenshot

So what if you do lose your tracking device and don’t want to buy another one? Or maybe you’re unwilling to spend more than $100 on one in the first place, about the average price for a Fitbit or Jawbone Up? I’ve been trying out Moves, a free iPhone app released earlier this year, and have been impressed by how well the app tracks my movement throughout the day. So far, it would be a decent replacement for my Fitbit if I ever lost one, and with a pricetag of $0, it’s a pretty great deal if you’re not sure whether you want to track your steps or not.

The idea behind Moves is that most of us are carrying smartphones around during the day anyway, and the accelerometer inside the phone mimics a lot of the technology inside  popular tracking devices. So CEO Sampo Karjalainen set out to create a mobile app that would approximate the experience with devices many of us already own, but at a much more affordable price, hoping the app would appeal to more casual exercisers.

“The whole idea was just to make it really effortless,” he said, noting that for a lot of people, devices like the Fitbit just aren’t as appealing. “They have this active sports image which doesn’t really fit with a lot to people, who might not see themselves as active sports people.”

The app shows you steps you’ve moved every day, minutes spent active, as well as locations you’ve been to if you enable the tracking features. Karjalainen said the app, which got $1.6 million in venture backing from Lifeline Ventures and PROfounders Capital, has been downloaded 1.5 million times since the launch, although he wouldn’t say how many of those users are actively using Moves. The company is working on building an Android version and an API.

It took some time for me to adjust to the Moves app and the simplicity of the screen compared to Fitbit — you can’t enter your weight or food intake, and it doesn’t provide you with stats on calories burned or let you adjust for your height and weight. And apps dedicated to running like Nike+ or Runkeeper might still be better answers for serious runners. However, the steps and distance tracking on Moves provided nearly identical data to my Fitbit, so if you’re just looking to hit 10,000 steps every day and stay active, it’s a great solution. And it did track my runs pretty accurately as well.

The only caveat is that you have to carry your phone with you everywhere for it to work. But chances are, if you’re the kind of person who’s interested in GPS fitness tracking, carrying your phone around probably won’t be an issue for you.

Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.


Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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Download a dinosaur (or 17)

[shared via Google Reader from Boing Boing]

Now you can download 17 digital versions of dinosaur bodies created by scientists at the UK’s The Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, and other institutions. The bodies were made for a study of the biomechanics of dinosaurs — essentially, an attempt to reverse engineer some knowledge of how dinosaurs moved and how body shape and movement changed as dinosaurs got closer to becoming birds. I don’t really know exactly what you might do with these files, but they’re free and available to anyone. And, I figure, if somebody is going to come up with a fantastic use for digitized dinosaurs, it’s you guys.
    


Infogr.am helps you create beautiful infographics, hits v1.0 with new privacy and exporting features

[shared via Google Reader from The Next Web]

news 520x245 Infogr.am helps you create beautiful infographics, hits v1.0 with new privacy and exporting features

Competing with services like Visual.lyInfogr.am calls itself the “world’s most popular infographic creator.” Since debuting in February 2012 to help anyone quickly create infographics with pre-designed themes, Infogr.am is now launching version 1.0 at TNW Conference Europe 2013 with new “pro” features: downloadable infographics, privacy controls and additional themes.

Infogr.am says its users have made nearly 700,000 infographics, adding more than 100,000 every month. The startup claims there “are now more infographics produced in Infogr.am every month than during the entire history of mankind.”

We’re not convinced this milestone is accurate — Visual.ly alone claims 32,000 designers and 145,000 users. In any event, these are strong numbers.

screen shot 20130423 at 2.59.55 pm 730x552 Infogr.am helps you create beautiful infographics, hits v1.0 with new privacy and exporting features

If the term “infographic” makes you sick to your stomach, that’s likely because of the recent infographic burn out. As we’ve said, the number of poor designs, empty stats, biased and sketchy sources out there are enough to make any design-conscious person cringe, but that’s because infographics aren’t any different from any other sort of design; there’s good and bad work out there, and the latter always outweighs the former. In other words, the average website isn’t going to be beautiful or useful, but that doesn’t mean the gems aren’t worth it.

Now, it appears that Infogr.am is in an interesting position, attempting to make infographics both accessible to everyone and beautiful at the same time.

screen shot 20130423 at 2.57.58 pm 730x552 Infogr.am helps you create beautiful infographics, hits v1.0 with new privacy and exporting features

With version 1.0, Infogr.am is looking to reinvent its brand, and now allows users to save their designs in PDF or PNG formats for sharing over email, adding to presentations and printing. Users can also share infographics with a private link or protect them with a password.

These exporting and privacy additions are pro features, costing $18 per month, but anyone that signs up before April 30 will get a free month. Check it out for yourself via the link below.

➤ Infogr.am

Total social collapse averted; Power Girl’s boob window is back

[shared via Google Reader from io9]

Obviously, there’s a lot of terrible things going on in the news recently, but take solace in the fact that the important stuff — namely, your ability to see a comic book superheroine’s breasts — is back on track, as Power Girl has returned to the suit that made (part of) her famous in the most recent issue of Supergirl.

Read more…

    


Getting poorer ratings than Real Housewives of Haiti.

(Source: funnyordie.com)

Happy birthday David Tennant! (April 18, 1971)

(Source: robertleckies, via doctorwho)