Archive for March, 2016

My 1st Silicon Valley Comic Con Recap

by on March 25th, 2016

I have never been to Comic Con for one very good reason, I’ve never owned a comic book. When I got an email that Steve Wozniak was throwing the Silicon Valley Comic Con this year with William Shatner as the host I had to go. I was really excited to attend and that they invited me as press for SF Examiner, Cutegeek, and Hi-Tech Chic. In an era of the geeks the convergence of technology and comic books is a no brainer and Silicon Valley is the perfect place for Comic Con.

Shatner MASTER

Silicon Valley Comic Con kicked off day one with a keynote and Q & A from William Shatner at the San Jose Convention Center. He went from one topic to another along with some funny rambling. The best part was during the Q &A is when Steve Wozniak waited in line to tell Shatner that he was the biggest fan. The look of confusion on Shatner’s face was classic flattered and confused. What a great compliment from the almighty and powerful Woz. You can view part of Shatner’s keynote on the below video I took while at the Silicon Valley Comic Con. That same night I also snuck a picture in front of the Ghostbuster’s car with my Flashion Statement T-shirt.

Day two (March 19th) was not only the best but busiest day of Comic Con and as soon as the doors for Silicon Valley Comic Con opened it was mayhem in downtown San Jose. Day two consisted of fan photo ops with Stan Lee, William Shatner, Back to the Future Cast, and many other celebrities. Also on day two of Comic Con Madame Tussauds of San Francisco honored Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak by unveiling his wax figure live on-stage for the first time ever at the San Jose Convention Center. Steve took pictures next to it and then they united Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak once again but in wax form. The Wozniak wax figure was so alike to the real Woz even down to how he dresses. Can you tell which one is the real Woz?

Woz Collage

The rest of day two I spent exploring the show room, helping kids find their mom, getting probed by little kids light sabers, playing with adult sized light sabers, waiting in lines that never end and doing an on camera interview.

One of my favorite booths was the Light Saber Team which is a company that works out with light sabers and have teams throughout California. When I came up to the booth in my head I’m thinking “NO WAY! Are they for real? Light sabers and working out?! Where do I sign up?!” The Light Saber Team had the coolest double ended light sabers and a great concept of working out while using your light sabers, talk about a geeks dream! If you live in California and a geek like me that loves the idea of working out with light sabers check them out here. Sadly the Light Saber Team is not in Texas yet, sorry guys!

While I was walking around the San Jose Convention Center the team stopped me and asked if I would do an interview about technology on camera. My first thought and I think most women would agree was “Crap why didn’t I touch up my make-up?! Oh Well Que Sera, Sera!” The team was very nice and had some great questions on technology present and future including what tech product can you not live without (my iPhone). Not sure if posted it or not but fair warning if I look like a mess it’s because it felt like it was 100 degrees in the convention center.

I also had a bonding moment with a 5 year old while standing next to the huge Iron Man when he said “Why is everything so BIG?!” My response “Honey I’m 5’8” and I’m right there with you.” Everyone was cracking up, I guess I reverted back to 5 years old for a second!

dAY 2

Towards the end of Comic Con I started taking pictures wearing my Flashion Statement shirt with random strangers which included the dude from, the girl from the Mass Effect- New Earth booth, the dude from Point of Geek, the team from and lastly Star Wars characters.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the Back to the Future cast because I’m press which makes absolutely no sense. Oddly they invited me to Silicon Valley Comic Con but they deny me to see the one event & photo op that I wanted to partake in. My suggestion for Comic Con next year is to keep track of the press you invite, turn down the AC (it was so hot everyone was sweating), include more modes of transportation to the Convention Center and remember that press are fans too.

On day three I didn’t attend and I heard it wasn’t that busy so I took the time to defrag from my Comic Con sensory overload and visited friends. The show totaled 60,000 attendees and is said to be the largest turn out in North California history. I heard people say that next year will be even larger! For information on the Silicon Valley Comic Con click here.

All and all for my first Silicon Valley Comic Con it was an interesting and memorable experience. After all, when am I going to see William Shatner live again?

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Live Stream of Michelle Obama Keynote at SXSW

by on March 16th, 2016

MIchelle ObamaSadly my interactive press badge expired yesterday therefore I will be watching the Michelle Obama opening Keynote and Panel at South By Southwest via live stream here at 11:00am CDT. Michelle Obama will be addressing and informing us of the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today, more than half of whom are adolescent.

The panel will include Missy Elliott, Diane Warren, and Sophia Bush, and the session will be moderated by Queen Latifah. Anyone else jealous you aren’t there live? I am!

It’s less than an hour away so you can watch it at or AOL’s MAKERS site or this Keynote session will also be available on SXSW’s YouTube page at a later time.

I will also be posting a recap later today of Michelle Obama’s Keynote and Panel on Hi-Tech Chic.

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White House Hosted Press Call Today to Preview the President’s Travel to SXSW

by on March 10th, 2016


Today the White House held an on-the-record press conference call with Deputy Chief of Staff Kristie Canegallo, Chief Digital Officer Jason Goldman, Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and Deputy Administrator of U.S. Digital Services Haley Van Dyck to discuss the President’s participation in SXSW.

I had the fortunate privilege of being invited to join the call since I may be going to the keynote (still waiting on the White House to approve my credentials). During the call I noticed a huge emphases on technology and youth also technology and low income/ medium income families. In general the call was mostly about technology and how it can help us and the government as we continue to advance in the technology world. They also have some interesting programs they will roll out in the near future that may be announced as well.

President Obama’s keynote tomorrow (3/11/2016) at SXSW interactive should be pretty interesting and I’m looking forward to what is in our future technology wise as a country. President Obama should be arriving in the morning in Austin for the 2:30pm CDT keynote at the Long Center. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be the first sitting President and First Lady in SXSW history to both do a keynote at Interactive and also engage with the SXSW attendees in a panel conversations.

SXSW will conduct a ticket drawing to determine which SXSW badgeholders will be admitted to the Keynote (which is a closed event). SXSW Interactive, Gold and Platinum Badgeholders will be eligible. No other credentials are eligible to enter the drawing. Deadline to enter is 8pm CT on Thursday, March 10.

Randomly drawn winners will be notified the night of Thursday, March 10. If you don’t win or can’t make it, this will be live-streamed on and simulcast throughout our Conference venues including Ballrooms D and EFG, and Room 18ABCD at the Austin Convention Center.

Also, during SXSW First Lady Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16. Along with the keynote the President will engage in a panel conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.

For more information of the Presidential activities can be found here or here. If you would like to follow my SXSW journey and possibly my President Obama’s keynote experience you can follow me here: @nrpena, @hitechchic, @cutegeek.

Welcome to Austin and SXSW President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama! We hope you enjoy our “Keep Austin Weird” spirit during your visit!


*All information was directly from the following sites:,, and
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President Obama to Travel to Austin During SXSW

by on March 9th, 2016

SXSW ObamaPresident Obama will be doing a Keynote in Austin, TX during SXSW Interactive portion on Friday, March 11th at Long Center. I got invited and RSVP’d as press and waiting for the Whitehouse to approve me to attend. Since this is closed event they will have it live-streamed on and simulcast throughout Conference venues including Ballrooms D and EFG, and Room 18ABCD at the Austin Convention Center.

Below is the official Press Release:

WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, March 11, the President will travel to Austin, Texas to participate in South by Southwest Interactive. While there, the President will engage in a panel conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.

The arrival and departure of Air Force One are open to pre-credentialed media but closed to the public.

The President’s remarks at the Long Center for the Performing Arts are open to a limited number of pre-credentialed media and will be streamed live at


I will let everyone know if I get approved to go to the keynote! Wish me Luck!

*All information is from  and


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Mu’s Indiegogo Campaign and their Share & Win Contest

by on March 7th, 2016

Mu SoloIt’s not a SXSW without a few new Kickstarter or IndieGoGo Campaigns. This year it is Mu; “The World’s 1st Smart Eye for Toys & Legos” IndieGoGo campaign (#Mu4Toys).

I wasn’t a Lego girl partly because my little brothers would leave them all over the place. If you ever stepped on a Lego you know exactly how I feel (OUCH). However I do like to spy and this would be a fun product to utilize.

Mu (Moo) lets anyone create REAL autonomous robots without a hand-controlled remote. A toy with Mu installed can see with its eye and do many intelligent things. There are three different ways to pair Mu with a toy body (most of which can be sourced easily online or in your local stores). Mu users can use it with Mu action figures, Mu on remote controlled toys (like the Hexbug remote controlled series), Lego Mindstorms EV3 and the new Mu with its own body.


Currently they are having a Share & Win Contest. To enter, use the share links found on their IndieGoGo campaign to share Mu4Toys on Facebook/Twitter or via emails. Every day they will randomly draw one winner to receive a FREE customized Mu (color of you r choice). Mu will also do a random drawing every six days for the chance to receive a FREE customized Mu 5-pack (color of your choice). No purchase necessary.

Supporters can find the campaign here and they only have 7 days left of their IndieGoGo campaign. To donate or looking to purchase a Mu click here.

Here’s also a video on how Mu works  and below is more technical description of the Mu.

Best of Luck Cutegeekers!


**All information and pictures are from Mu’s IndieGoGo campaign.
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Cutegeek’s 7th anniversary and Nina’s still here!

by on March 6th, 2016

HTC Last Collage

It seems like yesterday when I met Radiris and Michael who were already bloggers for Hardware geeks at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in 2009. After meeting them I was asked to start writing for their new site called “cutegeek.”

I had worked for Dell a while but what do I know about writing reviews? What would make readers come back? Then it dawned on me. I can pretty much break any electronic; I honestly don’t know what happens. Everyone claims I have the anti-Midas touch and it’s been said that if I product lasts in my hands it’s “Nina Certified” on Cutegeek.

After I agreed and did all the paper work when Cutegeek went live I posted immediately. This embarrassingly is my very first post on March 1, 2009: (The video is even worse!).

Since starting with Cutegeek I have had the unique experience in attending CES, SXSW, E3, Napa Valley Film Festival, the launch of the Plasticki in Sausalito, Ford’s Go Further annual event, Mac World and many more as press. I’ve met intelligent people, met new friends who will always be in life and travel more than I would in any other occupation.

Thanks to all the Cutegeek fans; you guy rock for being loyal fans for the last 7 years.

Thank you to Radiris and Michael for the last 7 years of Cutegeek and cheers to many more! As I always say I will continue to work for Cutegeek as long as I’m still cute.


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THIS WEEKEND ONLY: Use UberPOOL to get four rides FREE

by on March 3rd, 2016

UberIf you have any plans of getting out and around town this weekend, Capital One and Uber are here to help.  If you haven’t used UberPOOL, Uber customers share a ride and split the cost with another person who happens to be heading in the same direction as you. Starting this Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 6, Capital One customers who take UberPOOL will get four rides FREE.

Catching your FREE ride is easy:
•       First choose UberPOOL on the Uber app and select your eligible Capital One card as the payment method
•       From there, just enter promocode CAPITALONEPOOL in the promo section and your free ride is ready to roll!
•       UberPOOL is available in the following cities: San Francisco, Oakland, Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Austin, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Uber how

Have fun with UberPOOL this weekend and also don’t forget that Capital One Quicksilver customers ALSO get 20% back on all Uber rides paid for with their Quicksilver card through April 2016.

Also keep on checking back for more SXSW 2016 updates and news!

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SUPER TUESDAY: Stowaway Cosmetics

by on March 1st, 2016

Super TuesFor the past 7 years of writing I always had a rule to never double post for the publications I write for however this is one of those exceptions because my fans may get some free Stowaway Cosmetics!

Stowaway Cosmetics, a line of makeup in sizes you can carry, is putting its own funny twist on the day and encouraging customers to exercise their right to vote on their favorite Stowaway Cosmetics for SUPER TUESDAY. I personally find the names of Stowaway Cosmetics products absolutely hilarious!

Super Tuesday

TODAY and TODAY only Stowaway Cosmetics are exercising your right to vote for your favorite stowaway product & it will reveal a special treat! Once you vote Stowaway Cosmetics will reveal a coupon to get that product for free with any $50 purchase.

Besides the SUPER TUESDAY deal I think Stowaway Cosmetics are great for ladies who travel a lot and going through security check. Each time I tend to lose a beauty product due to the ounces (Thanks TSA).

Stowaway Cosmetics products are perfect for the lady who travels and doesn’t want to deal with obstacles before boarding a plane.

Full details and voting here:



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