#CleanwebNY February 2014 Hosted at NYU Urban Future Lab Brooklyn NY

Patrick Morris Co-Organizer With Opening Remarks

I got there very early. It said it started at 6:30pm, but the people started to arrive at 6:30PM. This was my first time attending the #CleanwebNY Meetup being held at NYU Urban Future Lab Brooklyn NY on the Engineering (formerly know as NYU-Poly) School’s campus. The venue is a partnership project between NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and the NY NYCEDC. The space is in the 15 Metrotech Center building. Amy (Head of Community) gave me a great tour of the space. It has not officially opened yet, but it is looking great. I can’t wait till after the build out and they have their opening. Congrats on the great space NYU Urban Future Lab!!

The  #CleanwebNY meetup is about startups developing products (software or hardware or both) for the Clean Technology space.  They also are a part of this initiative: Cleanweb.co

Patrick Morris Co-Organizer With Opening Remarks

Patrick Morris Co-Organizer With Opening Remarks

The opening of the event was done by Patrick Morris Co-Organizer of the event. Great job in introducing the line up. The theme of this event was Cleanweb Connected Devices.

The first up to present was Jun Shimada Co-founder of ThinkEco. Their produce connects electric utility customers’ appliances such as air conditioners to the web. The data the devices collect flow into their cloud solution and gets processed for the utility companies. They partner with the utilities companies to create a program such as this for the customers. I have seen many variations of products like these in the past the difference with ThinkEco is their execution strategy. The partnerships with the utility is key. From the presentation it sounds like they have learned how to work with the utilities communicating their vale to them effectively.

Next up was Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron Co-founders of Grove Labs. Grove Labs creates hardware and software appliances for greenhouses and farms. The have created their own platform called GroveOS. Their competitive advantage is that they are cheaper and cloud connect when you compare them to their competition. They are also working on a pilot with Abu Dhabi and the UAE. If successful their products would be used in the entire country. That is a huge deal. I wish them a lot of luck. It sounds like Grove is a company the big players would want to buy. Such as what happened to MakerBot (bought by Stratasys). The big companies are making an effort to outwit the Innovator’s Dilemma. 

The last presentation was given by Brian Langel Co-Founder Dash Labs. Dash Labs creates software that uses information collected from a OBD device. These devices connect to the car diagnostic. I have seen their product before. I had sworn that they at one point they were selling a hardware product. I am not sure if they pivoted from that. Their direct competitor Automatic sells the hardware and provides the software. Dash Labs concentrates on the data collection and provides a social driving experience for their customers. If I had a car I would use their product. 

All in all I thought this event was informative. It was great to see the progress of the companies I have seen before.  

Check it out. I have more pictures of the event below. Sorry for the low light conditions, but you should make out the slides and the speakers ok. I did my best to caption the images and make adjustments to the images. Enjoy.

I Will Whisper a Secret to You


More fad apps? I asked myself this question when I heard the release of Secret and Whisper.  Are these apps the new text versions of Snapchat? Questions Questions and why? Why would I use these apps for?

Secret and Whisper are virtually similar mobile applications that enable you to anonymously post things out there. Why would someone want to post something and think it is totally anonymous, when posting something anywhere on the internet leaves Data Exhaust. Such as your location and tidbits about yourself. It only takes a minimal amount of knowledge to trace those clues to find the poster. Have you not seen CSI or 24? To be serious the Secret app asks for access to your contacts, email address and phone number while Whisper does not, but Whisper posts can be seen, searched for, and commented on by all users. After awhile you could guess or use social engineering who commented on your post.

Anonymous or secret narcism. It could be fun to read these things for a bit. I would get board quickly knowing after awhile these are not secret truths, but mostly lies. I would stop using the app. The purpose behind these apps, the app makers say, is to return some of that anonymity back to the internet. I am not sure if there ever was any. As soon as you log on someone knows.

What makes these apps interesting is that it is almost an analogous to how Facebook, Email, and Twitter work. You know who you are talking to on the receiving and sending end of the conversation more or less. With these apps you can play around with the notion of not know who said what or read what.

People will find a way to know who posted something. Just wait for the first hacker to figure out a flaw in their system and then it will be game over. No more secrets.