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MORE SXSW Interactive & Gaming Expo

by on March 26th, 2015

AuditoriumThe SXSW Interactive Gaming Expo is my favorite event (besides Auditorium Shores Concerts). It combines developers, manufacturers and fans of the gaming culture with its diverse range of events of geek culture with the cross-console video game world.  It’s held at Palmer auditorium in Austin (walking distance from my casa) and is kid friendly. The most adorable thing about this is to see little kids geek out on games like my little brothers and I use to back in the day.

There was allot to see and explore at the SXSW Gaming Expo so I am going to highlight what I found the most interesting.

Plotagon is the creative animation app that develops students’ skills in critical thinking, creatiphotovity and writing. The Plotagon character creator lets students create themselves, famous and notable people, or characters and then the creative writing takes off from there. When I wrote my first play (at 12) I wish I had this app (though in my day we had beepers…not smartphones). I’m so jealous yet excited of kid’s technology now a days! Definitely check out Plotagon especially if you are a teacher; I believe getting kids engaged with creative writing and technology is brilliant!

DelorianRoad’s? Where we’re going we don’t need roads!” That quote seems more relevant now than back then because during SXSW the AeroMobil flying car that transforms in seconds from an automobile to an airplane was introduced. AeroMobil is a flying car that perfectly makes use of existing infrastructure created for automobiles and planes, and opens doors to real door-to-door travel. As a car it fits into any standard parking space, uses regular gasoline, and can be used in road traffic just like any other car. As a plane it can use any airport in the world, but can also take off and land using any grass strip or paved surface just a few hundred meters long.*flying car

The current flying car prototype AeroMobil 3.0 incorporates significant improvements and upgrades to the previous pre-prototype AeroMobil 2.5. It is now finalized and has been in regular flight-testing program in real flight conditions since October 2014. The AeroMobil 3.0 is predominantly built from advanced composite material. That includes its body shell, wings, and wheels. It also contains all the main features that are likely to be incorporated into the final product, such as avionics equipment, autopilot and an advanced parachute deployment system.* The ETA on this for consumers is TBD and with good reason…Austin drivers are already horrible imagine us in the sky…no bueno! Continue Reading…

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Press Release: Former NFL Star Releases New Social Media App at SXSW

by on March 19th, 2015

Former NFL Star Created New Technology/App that Connects Millions of social media users around a Shared #Hashtag Interest

Many are calling it the evolution of the #hashtag. The new GINX App allows social media users and brands the ability to now derive real tangible value out of using a #hashtag.

Las Vegas, NV – March 17, 2015 – Today the new GINX iOS and Android App announced its availability to the public. The App will officially launch during the Music portion of South By South West in Austin, TX (March 17-22) and the company will have a noticeable presence at this historic festival.  The new GINX App created a new patent pending technology around the utilization of  an ( * ) in front of #hashtag’d images (ex. *#SneakerHead) within Instagram, to allow millions of social media users the ability to now connect into real-time flash (i.e.expiring) photo-based communities around their #hashtag’d images. Social media users now have the ability to be visually social with larger communities of people using or interested in the same #hashtag during set time frames. Similar to a flashmob, but virtual and around #hashtag’d images. Participants in these #hashtag themed visual communities can then up-vote or down-vote images that other users have ‘Ginx’d’ (i.e. added the * to) to determine who best visually represented the #hashtag. When the time expires in these communities the user with the most community votes around their image is crowned “Star” of that #hashtag. Being voted “Star” of a #hashtag is similar to earning a MAYOR badge on Foursquare, only this social achievement is determined by a community vote and it revolves around a #hashtag. Brands/Events/Marketers can engage with and reward the “Stars” of their brand’s #hashtag. Continue Reading…

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Day 1 of SXSW Interactive

by on March 18th, 2015

IMG_7466   I’m a Texan; born in San Antonio (Go Spurs) and moved to Austin when I was a teenager in the 90’s when SXSW was not this huge. Now SXSW is a massive explosion of amazing tech innovations, new music and film in my own backyard.

This was my first year to have a free interactive badge (after applying for a press pass for years). If you have never been to SXSW Interactive the scene is not only comical but a great place to network and meet fellow tech geeks. I ran into guys dressed as Ninja Turtles, a dude with a blinking globe on his head for Simplify, and this random lady before entering the Austin Convention Center panel sessions. The first day at SXSW I spent a majority of my time at the Convention center and events around that vicinity. I also made random people do monster face with me throughout SXSW Interactive. IMG_7469

The only panel I attended was the panel with Jimmy Kimmel. I’ve been a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel live and the Man Show. I got distracted during the panel with the mention of the “I’m F*@#ing Ben Affleck” youtube video (after all these years it’s still hilarious). During the panel Jimmy Kimmel discussed his Obama interview, tweeting, and Kanye West (who will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live at SXSW on Friday). To view some of the videos from this panel click here and for the second one click here.

After the panel I went to the Pepsi booth who partnered with Fast Company on the SOUNDBOARD intiative. Pepsi is engaging the SXSW community to record inspiration that will help them design the #Futureofthefest. Each person would walk into a photo/video booth and submit what you want to see at the next festival (of course I submitted mine).

When I got into the show room I wasn’t that impressed. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I know it’s not that.

IMG_7406Next I attended the PayPal Event where I ran into an old buddy of mine from Edelman. This year they had the PayPal Duel which sent two entrepreneurs to Austin for the chance to pitch investor and star of ABC’s Shark Tank Daymond John on their small businesses. Peanut Butter Americano—offering the best in gourmet nut butters with a side of social justice—faced off against Earhoox—the ultimate cure for earbuds that just won’t stay put. In the end the winner of the first-ever PayPal Duel was Earhoox.*

The last event I attended was the Startup Oasis Party which had 10 start-ups on each floor. Unfortunately by the time I got there my brain had already hit capacity and I was on autopilot. I did run into my old friend Jeffery Powers from Geekazine (every tech event I attend I always run into him) and take a photo. Stay tuned for my recap of the SXSW Interactive Gaming Expo. Happy SXSW and you can follow me @nrpena for SXSW tweets.

*Per PayPal.com

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Nina’s SXSW Bound!

by on March 14th, 2015

SXSWI will be covering SXSW for cutegeek and SF examiner. In fact I have my badge and ready to tackle the SXSW Circus.

To follow me my twitter handle is @nrpena or follow posts I publish on cutegeek.

If you are attending DM me on my twitter @nrpena or  if interested in doing a product review with cutegeek.

Happy SXSW 2015 and let the games begin!

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Press Release: SXSW & Eventbase – The Official SXSW GO App with iBeacon Technology

by on March 9th, 2015

AuditoriumIt’s SXSW week number one starting with Interactive on March 13th and I am in serious planning mode. This is my first year of getting my press badge approved (only for Interactive though) and I am stoked! Since I do not have a press badge for Film/ Music I got a guest pass which allows you to get into the free events for SXSW.

SXSW Gaming 2014

SXSW Gaming 2014

I was contacted by a SXSW and Eventbase rep to check out the SXSW Go App before I start attending events. Though I hate bogging my iPhone down with Apps, I found the SXSW Go App to be very useful.

The SXSW Go App allows you to check out the events lineup, create your personal schedule, and then log in to sync it with your other devices. The lineup is the feature I like most; no one wants to go into a venue with a lame band after waiting in SXSW lines to get in (especially if it rains like last year).

I have already downloaded the SXSW Go App and started creating my profile.  The ease of use was simple and I loved how it had all the music performers (instead of me googling different sites).

In true geek style I’m excited to go to the Gaming Expo and also Auditorium Shores Concert! Below is the official press release about the SXSW Go App. and to find out how to get your guest pass click here or check out my SXSW tips on Examiner here. Happy SXSW and may the force be with you as you battle the crowds! Continue Reading…

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ROCK BAND 4  IS COMING TO PLAYSTATION 4 & XBOX ONE

by on March 9th, 2015

Rock Band 1 was one of my first PlayStation games and all can I say it’s addicting. It’s truly hilarious to see my friends and family play it as well.

Cambridge, Mass. – March 5th, 2015 – Harmonix is excited to announce that it is teaming up with Mad Catz to bring Rock Band™ 4, the next generation of the award-winning social and interactive music gaming platform, to PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft®.

Players can guarantee that they can be ready to rock with new hardware on release day by signing up to be alerted when pre-orders go live at http://www.rockband.com/preorder. Continue Reading…

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Review: Zenni.com

by on March 6th, 2015

10426590_10152783433674125_52071666369163548_nIt’s SPRING TIME! Time to purge or store those dull winter sweaters away and get colorful (well after this cold snap)!

I have friends who are shoe people, fashionistas, or label junkies (you know who you are) but I am an accessories girl. Nothing else makes an outfit pop in my opinion. I’m legally blind (no exaggeration- it says it on my driver’s license) and usually wear contacts but recently my vision changed for the better (.5 less) so I had to purchase new specs!

My latest fashion accessory addiction is getting fun glasses from Zenni.com which is a San Francisco based online retailer of prescription eyewear. Zenni.com was founded by scientists more than ten years ago to provide the most affordable eyeglasses to people all over the world, the highest-quality optical lenses, and make it easy to order eyeglasses online.Zenni G

Marco helped me find my first pair on Zenni.com and with the order logistics. Fortunately from my last eye exam we had all the details needed to order my first pair. We didn’t need to use the Measure Your Pupillary Distance tool though very handy for those who don’t have those measurements.

Normally I buy my glasses at the Optometrist so I was interested to see the difference of online versus in person. Imagine my surprise that my new specs were awesome! In fact I have another pair on the way with a different color (should arrive today!)!

Zenni.comGlasses Zenni offers allot of options ranging from kiddos to adults glasses along with style, shape and material for your future specs. They are running a spring promotion for all you guys wanting to switch up your glasses for spring; free shipping on orders over $75.

If you can’t see the promo it’s time to go back to the optometrist! Happy Spring and new specs!

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National Nutrition Month & Eating Disorder Awareness

by on March 6th, 2015

nina hsWhen I was a teenager pursuing a modeling career, I was not only excessively working out and stepping on the scale daily but I was also not paying attention to how the lack of nutrients impacted me. I witnessed girls around my age (15yrs) with eating disorders and it broke my heart seeing how ill they would become. It was then that I realized that the modeling industry was not for me. Now, as a lady in my 30’s, I realize the importance of nutrition and the dangerous repercussions of bad nutrition.

March is National Nutrition Month (NNM) which is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information.*NNM

I decided to check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics site (admittedly until this year I didn’t even know of National Nutrition Month). I created an account and began to explore the website. The three main tabs are:

The MOST resourceful tool on the site is Find an Expert. Recently I was asked to find a nutritionist from my doctor and this site has been helpful in finding a location that works with my daily schedule. Continue Reading…

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CCFA & Gi Montitor App – Almost 35 & Alive!

by on February 22nd, 2015

upsidedown take step WalkThis year in July I turn 35, a date that scared me after I got diagnosed with Pan Ulcerative Colitis in 2010. Before I got diagnosed I was frail, 30 lbs less then I am now, and due to malnutrition I was rushed to the ER because I was on the verge of having a heart attack (at 30). When I got formally diagnosed by my gastroenterologist he said something that terrified me: (BTW Doc, is it mandatory to say worst case scenarios?)

“By the age of 35 you will more than likely have colon cancer.”

Take Steps 4When the news was given the look on my mom’s and Marco’s face broke my heart. My mom has Crohn’s and now her daughter has the sister disease. For years I was scared until last year when they removed polyps and my gastro said that though once severe your case is now very mild, Congratulations!

I’m excited to say “I’m almost 35 and alive!”

Continue Reading…

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MTV Movie Awards Promo with Amy Schumer

by on February 19th, 2015

Amy

The MTV Movie Awards to me is one of the best awards shows simply because it more entertaining. This year Amy Schumer will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards that are held on April 12 @7:00 EDT/ @8:00 CDT. I am VERY excited she is hosting. If you live under a rock and don’t know comedian, Amy Schummer, check out her youtube here (My personal fav is “2nd Job in Austin”).

Amy Schumer and Bill Hader created the first promo for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards and it is hilarious. The theme this year is “Winning is Everything” and I’m sure that people will be joking about this during the show especially if they get in award.

To check out the promo video click here and also below that is the nominee list. To view the television categories, click here.

Continue Reading…

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