Category Archives: Inspiration

Things that inspire me.

Every bank should be Simple

I hate banks; the times I’ve been screwed by a bank is easily in the double digits. So I remember the first time I was excited for a new bank, when Washington Mutual came around. They were the closest thing to what could be called an un-bank (a bank without all the B.S.). I guess that plan didn’t really work out so well for them since they went bankrupt and became a part of Chase. And just like that, all the cool factors (no-fee atm charges, individual teller kiosks, actual customer service) went out the window with the rest of their liquid assets. Enter Simple.

The premise of Simple is naturally not that complicated: Take everything that sucks about a bank, throw it out, and add in features that are actually useful. There are only 2 ways I use my normal bank: depositing checks and getting out cash. With Simple you deposit checks with a mobile photo or direct deposit, and use the app to find one of thousands of ATMs in their “network” where you can withdraw money for free. Done and done, all with zero fees of any kind. they also have pretty decent stats and graphs on their website that tracks your spending habits and lets you set spending goals. It’s like if Washington Mutual and Mint had a lovechild startup bank.

Other cool features: the ability to differentiate between amount spent at a restaurant vs. amount left for tip, attaching notes and pictures to each purchase to help remember what it actually was (thanks to Simple I now know Js & Jc on my statement is Yogurtland), the ability to cancel a lost card from the app and an easy way to make payments to individuals. Also comes as a cool white card which I think helps to deter people reading your card number.

I applied for an invite to Simple about 6 months ago, and just recently got the card in the mail. It comes attached to a little cardboard card with a big rubberband which detaches to make an uber-minimal wallet. Love it so far. I haven’t completely abandoned Chase but if Simple keeps innovating at the same rapid pace, they’ll have my business for sure.

Audi eBike: awesome prototype, probably decent bike

Audi makes awesome cars. Lets just get that out of the way. I love ’em. I would never buy one but I can really respect them. So much that some jerkface used to park his 2010 R8 in the handicapped parking spot at my gym and I kept catching myself trying to justify that kind of behavior, because… it’s a freaking R8!¬†Needless to say they know how to design automobiles that not only look killer but are monsters on the road. But how much of that knowledge really can carry over into the world of bikes? Enter their offering, the Audi eBike.

At first glance, this electric bicycle certainly continues the Audi tradition. The laundry list of tech in this carbon fiber beast is ridiculous. Built-in head and tail lights, electric motor, touchscreen display and wifi? Even a wheelie mode where it balances on the back wheel like Segway? All crazy awesome features. But my question is this: who is this (I can only assume) insanely-priced machine aimed at? Commuters? People doing freestyle tricks? Trail riders? With practically no rear travel and those puny front shocks it can’t be trail riders. And it looks like the frame’s rear suspension is a unified rear triangle, aka the worst kind of rear suspension ever. All modern bikes have some sort of variant on the 4-bar linkage suspension so that as the shock compresses your bike doesn’t shrink in size or get chain slack. And lets be honest, commuters aren’t riding any real distances on that seat. Oh yeah, that seat! Ridiculous. Looks like a one way ticket to the proctologist. No, but for real. Nobody’s sitting on that seat.

Solar Eclipse from space: Photoshop of the week

After the solar eclipse on Sunday, awesome photos capturing it started cropping up all over the internet. This one instantly showed up all over Twitter and Facebook, claiming to be a picture shot from the ISS space station. Unfortunately this too-good-to-be-true pic has joined the ranks of The Tourist Guy on the World Trade Center and Shark Attacking Helicopter; a.k.a. it’s a total fake. A convincing fake, created by a this user from the DeviantArt forum. Even though it’s a fake, its still pretty inspiring and worth the hype.

Puma + Subaru join forces for the Global Rallycross Championship [vid]

It really doesn’t take much to get me excited about Rallycross: Fast cars driven at top speed over rough terrain with a good chance of glorious crashes? You had me at “Fast”; not to mention how big of a Subaru nerd I am. So naturally Puma sponsoring Subaru’s 2012 Global Rallycross team got me more than a little interested.
Continue reading Puma + Subaru join forces for the Global Rallycross Championship [vid]

Apple busts out the Golden Ratio

Yeah, they went there. The Golden Mean is a mathematical formula that is both complex and simple at the same time. Basically when you compare two objects and the difference between the two is the same ratio as the difference between the two objects combined compared with the larger object. Or a ratio of 1.618, if you are like me and didn’t study math. The Mona Lisa, the front side of Parthenon in Athens (intentional or not), works by Salvador Dal√≠ and more all use close approximations of this equation, and lots of people will argue that it helps make the art more appealing and physically balanced. Well add Apple’s new iCloud logo to that list. Although to be totally honest, I don’t get what all the internet buzz is about (harmonious? Really?? gag). It just looks like someone got a little bevel/ emboss crazy on a couple circles.

Mountain biking with an IMAX point of view [vid]

I finally dragged my butt of the couch and got my first mountain bike ride of the year in. It always takes the first ride to get the single track fever back and now it’s hit me in full force. Between scouring Google maps for trails and pondering which bike parts I need to upgrade, there’s a whole slew of videos to I need to watch. Framed is a short but gorgeous video showcasing just how awe-inspiring mountain biking can be. Some scenes were filmed with the Red One; one of the highest quality digital video cameras out there.