All Articles Tagged "technology"

Inventors Believe This Tiny Device Can Prevent Sexual Assault

November 4th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Inventors Believe This Tiny Device Can Prevent Sexual Assault


1 in 6 women have been victims of sexual assault, but there’s a new device on the market that aims to put a dent in this alarming statistic.

ROAR for Good—a company devoted to women’s safety—recently introduced their first product, Athena, which is a safety device that aims to prevent sexual assault.

The tiny device, which works in conjunction with a mobile app, is approximately the size of a half-dollar and weighs about an ounce. With the swift press of a button, Athena will let off an alarm while notifying your emergency contacts that you’re in distress via text message.

“Over the last 16 months, we’ve performed exhaustive research and conducted numerous focus groups and user testing to ensure Athena will be easy to use in panic situations without being accidentally triggered,” developers explained on Athena’s Indiegogo page.

Athena can be worn as a necklace, or it can be clipped to your clothing or handbag. It operates in two modes: “alarm” and “silent.”


Athena cofounder Yasmine Mustafa was inspired to create the device during a backpacking trip in South America.

“As amazing as [the trip] was…literally everywhere I went I would hear of a time where a woman had been attacked,” Mustafa shared with Mashable.

When she returned home, she learned that a neighbor had been beaten and assaulted while outside reading her meter.

“When I read the news story the next day, that’s when the idea for ROAR was born,” she continued.

Athena can be purchased for $75.00 (plus shipping) on Indiegogo for the remainder of Roar’s crowdfunding campaign. The device will be available for sale internationally as early as May 2016, and will retail at $99. A portion of proceeds from each device sold will be donated to educational programs that have been shown to reduce violence.

Have You Heard About The Threesome App 3nder?

October 23rd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Have You Heard About The Threesome App 3nder?


Inviting a third party into the bedroom just got a lot easier for couples who are into that sort of thing. 3nder—the threesome app that launched last year—recently received $500,000 in seed capital from unidentified investors.

According to the New York Post, nearly 1 million users have downloaded the iOS app since it was launched by a London-based startup company.

Currently, California is the 3nder’s biggest market in the United States. New York comes in at number two. The app charges approximately $13 per month for membership and provides a platform for singles looking to hook up with couples and vice versa.

“Nowadays more people are looking for relationships that are designed with more freedom in mind,” said 3nder’s 25-year-old founder Dimo Trifonov, according to Tech City News. “Consensual non-monogamy for singles and couples is becoming more prevalent, especially among young people. We are building the first safe environment for open minded people where they can meet likeminded partners, and the response has been fantastic. We are also gender-blind and orientation-blind, so everyone is welcome.”

To verify identities, the app requires users to log in through Facebook, which has more seasoned swingers concerned.

“People were saying, ‘I can’t log in with Facebook — I’m gonna lose my job,’” according to Trifonov. “But people between 18 and 34 are not so affected by imaginary moral values.”

Would you be open to trying 3nder?

Phubbing: The Silent Relationship Killer

October 7th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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It’s Friday night, and you could not wait to get home to Bae. Dinner is cooked, the kitchen is clean, and the two of you decide to crank up Netflix while cuddling on the living room sofa. Then, it happens. You whip out your cellphone because you simply can’t wait until the movie is over to check in and see what the Internet was up to while you were gone. Before you know it, you’ve missed a major chunk of the movie, and your partner is annoyed with you for interrupting your quality time together.

Please stop.

According researchers at Baylor University, ignoring your partner as he or she sits right in front of you so that you can browse the world wide web on your electronic devices is called “phubbing,” or “phone snubbing” and it can potentially diminish the quality of your relationship.

Gawking at your cell phone for hours isn’t the only form of phubbing. Merely having the device in eyesight while you’re supposed to be spending quality time with your romantic partner was considered phubbing as well.

46.3 percent of the survey’s adult participants reported that they had been phubbed by a lover at some point, and 22.6 percent admitted that this behavior caused conflict in their relationships.

“What we discovered was that when someone perceived that their partner phubbed them, this created conflict and led to lower levels of reported relationship satisfaction,” said co-author of the study, Dr. James A. Roberts. “These lower levels of relationship satisfaction, in turn, led to lower levels of life satisfaction and, ultimately, higher levels of depression.”

Less than half of the phubbed participants, 32 percent to be exact, expressed satisfaction with their relationships.

“In everyday interactions with significant others, people often assume that momentary distractions by their cell phones are not a big deal,” said co-author Dr. Meredith David. “However, our findings suggest that the more often a couple’s time spent together is interrupted by one individual attending to his/her cell phone, the less likely it is that the other individual is satisfied in the overall relationship.”

David continued:

“Specifically, momentary distractions by one’s cellphone during time spent with a significant other likely lowers the significant other’s satisfaction with their relationship, and could lead to enhanced feelings of depression and lower well-being of that individual. Thus, when spending time with one’s significant other, we encourage individuals to be cognizant of the interruptions caused by their cellphones, as these may well be harmful to their relationship.”

So the next time you and Bae are enjoying some one-on-one time, consider leaving your phone in the next room.

Little Tech Heads: Do Your Kids Need A Technology Diet?

August 18th, 2015 - By Allyson Leak
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I have 2-year-old twin boys and there was a time about a year ago when TV was my savior so that I could get five minutes of mommy time. I was still in the room with them, but I had a break from constantly entertaining my sons. Then I went through a period for a few months where I cut out all TV and that wasn’t easy, however, we all survived and I think it was really good for them to have a break.

It’s no secret that technology has become an addiction to many people. Whether it’s at a restaurant, at home at the dinner table, at school, or hanging with friends, kids are constantly tip tapping away on their phones and tablets and updating their social media pictures and status messages or playing games.

According to a recent study on teens and social media use, the Pew Research Center found that “Aided by the convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices, especially smart phones, 92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly,” according to a new study from Pew Research Center. More than half (56%) of teens — defined in this report as those ages 13 to 17 — go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use.”  

If you find that your child is watching too much TV, playing video games for hours at a time, and just generally disconnected from the family and more concerned with what’s on their favorite blog then you might want to consider a technology diet. Try committing for one year and see if you notice a difference. A tech detox and maintenance is not easy, but it could be beneficial. Here are some things to consider:

Lead By Example

It just doesn’t make sense to tell your child they can’t update facebook 50 times a day when they see you doing the same thing. Take an assessment of your social media/technology consumption. If you find that you are on as much as them, then make a commitment as a family to scale back so your kids see everyone is serous about it.

Library Time

The library may not be a kids idea of fun but there can be some cool ways to make it a little more appealing. Dedicate a day once a month where you go as a family and everyone picks three books about things they like. If your son likes video games let him read a book about it versus playing all the time.

Increase Family Time

When there is a technology cutback you need to figure out other fun things to do. You can make a family pizza night and play games that the kids pick. You can go bike riding and pack a picnic or even find out when your local museum has child or teen night etc. The whole point is to get their minds on other things besides Facebook or their favorite show.

Screen Free Areas
If you are downsizing on tech time then take TV’s out of the kids rooms and out of the kitchen if it’s there. Have one to two TV’s around for less temptation. Put tablets and laptops away until the weekends or whenever they are allowed.

14 Fitness Gadgets & Accessories To Get New Moms Back In Shape

July 10th, 2015 - By Rich
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New moms find themselves trying to keep up with the demands of their newborn and other day-to-day operations…on little to no sleep. It’s challenging but not impossible. One way to keep up your energy — and receive much needed endorphins to relax you  — is with a good workout. Here are some fitness-related gadgets you might want to consider.

14 Fitness-Related gadgets for New Moms to Try

Update: #ProjectDiane Kickstarter Campaign, #RewriteTheCode Hits $25,000 Goal In Less Than Two Days

June 12th, 2015 - By Janel Martinez
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Original Report By Janel Martinez- 6/2/2015:
Women (and several men) gathered at Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn, New York last Thursday for the kickoff of Digital Undivided’s Innovation Thursday series with Etsy’s Director of Seller Development Kimm Alfonso. The intimate conversation touched on various points, from Etsy’s education programs and creating an engaged network to going from seller to Etsy staffer and the company’s IPO.

In addition to the evening’s conversation, Digital Undivided’s Managing Director Kathryn Finney had an announcement: The social enterprise would launch its Kickstarter campaign for Project Diane on June 1.

Named after Civil Rights leader Diane Nash (she was co-founder of SNCC), Project Diane is an initiative designed to disrupt the long-standing issue of pattern matching within the technology industry by identifying diverse founders of startups and tech companies. Initially, Project Diane’s goal was to identify and capture data surrounding women founders of color and, ultimately, promote and connect this growing demographic within the space. Now, however, Project Diane has entered a new phase, #ReWriteTheCode. This includes a Kickstarter campaign to help create a documentary film on intersectionality in tech.

“We started off just collecting the names, and we still are, of Black women who are founders or co-founders of startups,” Finney, who credits 2014 FOCUS Fellow Brit Fitzpatrick for putting the initial stages of #ProjectDiane in motion, told MadameNoire. “Then we started to do some research ourselves trying to find people.”

The results have been very interesting, says Finney, who started DID in 2012. Of the 300 companies that’ve submitted themselves into the database, the majority are not technically considered startups, which is an interesting challenge for the Black and Latino community. (The term startup, while often debated, refers to a company designed to scale very quickly. For example, consultancies aren’t seen as startups due to their lack of ability to scale fast.)

The initial data also shows that less than .1 percent of all venture funding in the past five years has gone to a Black woman. More so, only one Black woman, Pathbrite founder and CEO Heather Hiles, has raised over $10 million.

“That’s problematic for us because we need that revenue to go to the next level,” said Finney.

In order to “limit bias in our data collection and to find founders who may be ‘hidden,’ we needed to look at the gender and racial makeup of startups in popular databases like CrunchBase and AngelList,” wrote Finney in an email. “Once we started to do this, we realized that no one had ever looked at the race and gender makeup of the startup community. We were creating the primary database. So what started as a simple solution to a discrete problem became a big solution to a very big problem.”

Project Diane is raising $50,000 to complete primary research on the gender and racial makeup of the 60,000 strong startup ecosystem and will use that data to create a comprehensive gender and racial mapping of the global startup community.

For more information on the Kickstarter campaign, click here.

Update By Lauren R.D. Fox- 6/12/2015:
Project Diane’s #ReWriteTheCode Kickstarter campaign hit its goal of $25,000 without any media promotion in less than two days. “People do care. People do want to hear our story. It’s given people something to believe, particularly women of color, who were starting to feel almost abused by the tech world. They were really feeling like there was no hope, and nothing we could do,” creator Kathryn Finney told The Huffington Post

Project Diane has a financial goal of $50,000. Currently its #ReWriteTheCode campaign has raised $41,012. Click here to donate.

Behind The Click: Digital Media Pro Shauna Graham On Launching Her Beauty Tech Solution

April 14th, 2015 - By Janel Martinez
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shaunagraham_AboutMeName: Shauna Graham

Favorite read: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman | The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Recent read: The Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield

Favorite websites: Huffington Post, Upworthy and Vox.

Favorite apps: Uber, Snapchat and Wake.

Goals for 2015:

  1. Expand my team.
  2. Launch a new app called Reco Me.
  3. Re-launch Hair Decoded.
  4. Gain larger private and government contracts for technology.

Most inspired by: Creativity and the passion to create.

One quote that inspires you: “Expand Your Fear Horizon.” – Me

Twitter handle: @theshaunagraham | @hairdecoded

Shauna Graham has turned her love for tech and multimedia into cool innovations and a profitable venture. The former model taught herself to code in between casting calls, which led the New York-based digital media technologist to found The Alfam. The full service digital media development and consulting group has expanded since its 2010 launch, working with a bevy of clients such as Armani Exchange, NBC and VH1, to name a few. While powering her own business, Graham created Hair Decoded, an interactive social community for hair enthusiasts, in 2014. App Crawler, Bloom and Glamour, Curls Understood and StyleBlazer have recognized the app, and Graham and team are gearing up to re-launch the beauty and lifestyle app.

MadameNoire caught up with Graham to chat about how she got her start in the digital world, teaching herself to code and what’s next for The Alfam and Hair Decoded, as well as her latest project.

MadameNoire: How did you get your start in the technology space?
Shauna Graham: I built my first website on Frontpage when I was in high school. My then-boyfriend was making a lot of money creating commerce stores. He challenged me to create my own, so I started created a few commerce sites from scratch using Dreamweaver teaching myself. I then started making money doing websites for other people, which prompted me to start my own business.

MN: What inspired you to create Hair Decoded, a mobile social app that allows users to track and share hairstyles?
SG: I have/had a blog called Vissa Studios. Most of the visitors were interested in viewing hairstyles as inspiration. I was away on a retreat and it kind of just came to me. Granted there are other similar apps, but Hair Decoded has its own take on a social community for hair enthusiasts.

MN: When you first had the idea to create Hair Decoded, what steps did you take to get it off the ground?
SG: After drawing out my idea on a piece of paper, I did a design mock up. We then designed the graphics and started programming when we got seed funding. It was a team of four of us to get it going. The entire process took about six months to a year from ideation to launch. Through word of mouth, my team expanded from four to 12. I am so grateful I have such an amazing team.

MN: I’ve read that you taught yourself to program and code. For anyone looking to learn to code, what tips would you provide them?
SG: You can mostly learn how to program and code online for free if you want to learn how to code like Code Academy. There are so many more resources now than ever before. Just jump on one and get going. Once you become a little more advanced, I would suggest going to Full Stack Academy. It is a free academy that helps the growth process in the technology world. Or, you can just go to meetups to learn from peers and the programming community.

MN: You also have experience in digital media and creative production, and founded an agency called The Alfam. Your company has worked with big name companies such as Bacardi, Bose and Dove. What has been your biggest lesson in working with brands on creating innovative content?
SG: Create a timeline that is conducive to your lifestyle; that is balanced and healthy. In the beginning, you want to pull overnighters and establish yourself as a fast and hard worker.  Once I came to the realization that I was not superwoman, I was able to balance work by creating proper deadlines.

MN: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received or given?

SG: Received:

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If something is good or bad. Doesn’t matter, just communicate.
  2. Give yourself extra time just in case you run into glitches.


  1. Understand and get to know your client to create an amazing working environment.
  2. Be on top of the latest and newest trends.
  3. Honesty works.


MN: What’s next for Hair Decoded and The Alfam?
SG: Hair Decoded re-launch this summer with some cool partnerships. Can’t wait!

The Alfam is working with some cool partnerships and launching another app. We are excited with our projects now and for new and bigger ones that are to come.

Call Me, DON’T Text Me: How Technology Has Put A Damper On Our Dating Lives

March 18th, 2015 - By Liz Lampkin
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

The 21st century has brought about many changes in the way we live everyday life. A lot of the changes have been great, others not so much. But nonetheless, life as we know it has evolved. With the many things that are new, exciting, and seek to make life easier, there is one thing that has altered our lives in major ways. Yup, you guessed it. Technology.

There are so many man-made devices that help us cook faster, eat healthier, park without parking or even drive without driving! A majority of us use some form of technology to make life easier, but there is one area in life where technology can hinder rather than help. Surprisingly, communication is the one area where technology seems to be failing humankind, particularly in the world of courtship and dating. With the many ways people can say hello, send a friendly smile or deliver an e-card, there really doesn’t seem to be a need for people to connect with each other the old-fashioned way. However, I believe that communication, connections and relationships were a lot better and more fulfilling when people actually took the time to get to know a person.

For instance, when you went on a first date back in the day, you were excited to get to know a person by asking as many questions as you could. Today you can Google a person’s information before you meet them and tell them a few things that they didn’t even know about themselves! Researching someone before a first date can hinder the conversation and make the date boring. Not to mention that it’s a little creepy.

And let’s not forget how people rarely pick up the phone to call one another.
Not too long ago, a man would call a woman he was interested in to hear her voice and wish her a good day. She would anticipate hearing his voice, and such gestures would bring them closer. Today we exchange quick and impersonal “good morning” text messages that have been saved and sent to others. And when we send a text, be it to greet someone or bid them farewell, people don’t take the time to even check their spelling! There’s nothing more impersonal and annoying than reading a text message from a person who’s supposed to be interested in you, yet they didn’t take the time to make sure their message for you was clear.

The Internet, social media, and other forms of technology have cheapened the art of courtship to the point where people rarely go out and meet others. Why take a chance in meeting and sparking up a conversation with someone when you can rely so heavily on dating websites? And even when people do go to mixers to “meet people,” if they’re not immediately approached, they flock to their phones.

Getting back to old-school loving is something people don’t want to do, but I think doing so will benefit the communication skills of generations to come, as well as the present ones. It’ll teach them how to listen to others, how to approach a woman with respect, how to respond to a man’s advances and know the proper way to court one another. But in order to do so, both men and women must establish simple standards for themselves in order to enhance communication with each other and not rely so heavily on technology.

For instance, women should make it mandatory for men to call them at a reasonable time of the day in order to have a meaningful conversation. If you’ve made this request and they can’t do something as simple as this, then they’re not worth your time. Another thing people can do is not become friends or followers of people on social media sites until they’ve actually taken some time to get to know that person. We all know that often, people aren’t who they say they are on social media, and you shouldn’t let any ol’ body have access to all of your personal information. While technology has advanced our world in a number of ways, it’s best not to depend on it so much, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Don’t be so dependent upon technology to communicate for you, because at some point you’re going to have to step away from it and show the world who you really are.

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For and an advocate for single women. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.

White House Puts $100 Million Into Tech Worker Training And Hiring

March 10th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

President Obama has announced a $100 million federal government grant program to improve training and hiring of high-tech workers, which is great news for individuals interested in the field. Tech employees can earn much more than the average American worker; according to the White House,  high-tech jobs pay 50 percent more than average private-sector American jobs.

According to Obama, the U.S. sorely needs tech workers in order to keep up with the rest of the world. “If we’re not producing enough tech workers, over time that’s going to threaten our leadership in global innovation,” he said.

Confessions of a Mompreneur: 10 Apps That Make Life Easier

March 5th, 2015 - By Rich
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Apps really do help to make the world go round. Can you imagine going a day without clicking at least ONE app? Whether it’s your Google Maps app to find directions while in route, or if it’s your love of staying connected with your friends via social media. Apps are here to assist with our daily activities and make life a tad bit easier. One simple app can arrange your day, schedule and even meals by just the click of a button!

I look at all of my apps like a personal assistant. My favorites range from fashion apps that assist with my blog, visual apps to keep my toddler occupied and of course apps to keep my daily tasks aligned. For the mompreneur that needs a digital helper to make her life run a bit easier, here are 10 apps that you should download.

Mom Confessions: 10 Apps That Make Life Easier