Rebekah Monson: The Life-Hacker

Categories: Technology

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Photo by Stian Roenning
"There isn't going to be another Silicon Valley. We are going to be Miami," says Rebekah Monson.
In this week's Miami New Times, we profile 30 of the most interesting characters in town, with portraits of each from photographer Stian Roenning. See the entire Miami New Times People Issue here.

A conversation with Rebekah Monson is like that moment in The Matrix when Neo sees everything in computer code. She may not practice kung fu or pluck bullets from midair, but Monson understands the digital world we live in. As Miami's coding guru, she knows this city now faces a choice: Take the blue pill and stay a sleepy tropical town, or pop the red one and join the international tech revolution. Needless to say, Monson is pushing the red pill pretty hard.

"There is room here to grow and to do more kick-ass stuff in the digital space," she says. "We need to pull this city forward. We need to level up."

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Six Things to Know About Miami's Growing Tech Scene

Categories: Technology

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Courtesy of Rokk3r Labs
Ten years ago, the concept of calling Miami a tech hub would have been as laughable as labeling Silicon Valley a hedonistic tropical playground. And while California's digital Shangri-la still hasn't sprouted any nude beaches (as far as we know), Miami is rapidly becoming ground zero for startup dreams.

At the forefront of the local tech boom is Rokk3r Labs, a Miami Beach-based platform that works to "co-build" companies, helping startups turn great concepts into sustainable, successful businesses.

To get the inside scoop on what's happening in Miami's digital world, we spoke with Rokk3r's CEO and cofounder, Nabyl Charania.

See also: Inaugural eMerge Americas Conference Aims to Mold Miami Into Next National Tech Hub

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Zeel At-Home Massage App: We Give the Rubdown Delivery a Try

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Photos by Carla Torres
Nowadays it seems you can have anything delivered to you without having to get up from the couch or put any clothes on -- except maybe to answer the door.

Pizza? Check. Arepas stuffed with chicken and avocado salad? Check. Booze? Check. Your own personal Swedish massage therapist? Check.

Taking care of that last one is Zeel Massage on Demand, which promises to deliver a massage therapist to your apartment within the hour of you booking the massage through their handy app that alleviates the need for any kind of in person transaction. Hello, technology.

See also: Halloween 2014 in Miami: Ten Things To Do Before the 31st

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Nerd Nite at Gramps Is Like TED Talks With Beer

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Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Are you tired of the same old ignant party scene? Do you long for more intelligent conversation while you blast back the brew? Do you dream of the day you can spark up a bar conversation about advancements in biotech with someone who actually gets it?

We're not ashamed to say we love beer just as much as we love science, and finally, Miamians like us are getting their own night. The international pub gathering Nerd Nite is best described like TED Talks in a bar, and it's invading Shirley's at Gramps for the first time tomorrow, October 9.

See also: Drag #Out at Gramps Is Gender-Bending Fun for Gays and Straights Alike

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III Points Festival 2014: Diggy Lloyd Makes Millennials Cry in Her 20-Something Series

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Photo by Diggy Lloyd
Mackenzie, part of Diggy Lloyd's "20-Something" series.
Reducing a person to a sobbing heap is a rare trick for any artist. But for photographer Diggy Lloyd, it often happens before she's even pressed her shutter release.

"It hits them without warning," she says of the millennials she has been shooting and interviewing for her 20-Something series, on traveling display throughout Wynwood during III Points. "A lot of the time, it becomes a therapy session.

"This is a generation that when we get ready to go out, we know it's going to be documented on the internet somehow. They're used to being photographed, but all anyone asks us is 'How's it going?' "

See also: Miami Natives of Design Build Collective Create the III Points Festival Entrance

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Hinge: Find "Eligible" Miami Singles With New Social App Today

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Courtesy of #missionsmile
Miami is the city of the selfie. Our art-flushed eyes are used to a certain amount of visual stimulation -- at least that's what we'd like people to believe. Truthfully, we must just really like looking at and talking about ourselves.

Self-obsessed as this city may be, everybody gets bored at some point swiping through photos. Hinge, the "anti-Tinder," as it calls itself, has arrived to add a little more substance to your dating search. Launching in Miami, Tampa, and Orlando today, the social discovery app helps users meet new people through friends.

Hinge is a social network that helps you meet new people through friends. The app has raised more than $8.6 million and made more than 6 million friend-of-friend matches in cities such as Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, and L.A.

Even happier news: In conjunction with the launch, Hinge has published a market research study on the perception of what it is like to date in each of these cities.

See also: Miami Breaks the Guinness World Record of Most Selfies Taken in One Hour

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Postmates: "Uber of Stuff" Delivery Service Launches in Miami This Friday

Categories: Technology

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Courtesy Heather Luntz
We Miami folk are so caught up in the hustle of life in the 305 it's easy to become a bit scatterbrained. You finally get home from work and realize you forgot to buy toothpaste. Not only that, but you also forgot the tequila for those pick-me-up, let's-bottom-out margaritas you daydreamed of all day, and your favorite Thai joint won't deliver dinner. Starting this weekend, you won't have to venture back out into the heat and traffic to grab household items, grub, or anything your spend-happy heart desires, with the launch of Postmates.

Likened to the Uber method that connects riders to drivers, app service Postmates connects customers to couriers. It's already available in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Chicago, and L.A., and now it's Miami's time to get a boost in the delivery game, says communications manager Heather Luntz. The initial zone covers South Beach, downtown, midtown, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Wynwood, and the Design District, with plans to expand.

"Miami is a major metropolitan area where people have an appetite for quality, variety, and convenience -- yet the delivery options are extremely limited," Luntz says. "We're excited to launch our first city in the Southeast, as we've already seen local demand for the service. Postmates currently operates in 13 other markets."

See also: Meet the Cab Drivers Who Want Uber and Lyft in Miami

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Flyboards and Hoverboards Hit Miami, Make Everyone's Superhero Dreams Come True

Categories: Sports, Technology

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Courtesy of Miami Flyboard
While Hoverboards still don't exist as a thing you can fly in thin air (despite pranks that may or may not have crushed our childhood dreams), waterborne technology is getting ridiculously sophisticated. And some of the newest H2O toys, now available for rental in Miami, are right up there with Marty McFly's favorite mode of transportation.

Meet Flyboards, water jet packs that strap to your feet, and Hoverboards, the waterbound version of that Back to the Future icon.

These things are real, and you can take a test drive 'em right here in the 305.

See also: JetLev, The Water-Propelled Jet Pack, Hits Market In South Florida

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A Voyeuristic Look at Camming Con, the First American Industry Expo For Cam Girls (Video)

This past weekend, hundreds of cam girls -- or women who make a living chatting with or performing for fans online -- descended upon the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach. That's where CammingCon, the first-ever expo for this billion-dollar industry was held.

See also: CammingCon Blended Cam Girls, Computers, Champagne, and Copious Cleavage (Photos)

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How to Kick Ass on Kickstarter: Five Tips from "The Crowdsourceress"

Categories: Technology

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Kelley Cook
When it comes to crowdfunding, nobody knows their way around collective cash-gathering better than Miami-born Vann Alexandra Daly. Known as "The Crowdsourceress," she's the genius behind Neil Young's insanely successful PonoMusic audio player campaign ($6 Million+ and 18,000+ backers), and the go-to expert of the moment.

Daly splits her time between New York and Miami, and her company, Vann Alexandra, specializes in running professional crowdfunding efforts (which, we might add, are way more challenging than they look). For those of you looking to embark on a fundraiser of your own, we got Daly's suggestions on how to kick ass via Kickstarter (or Indiegogo, or whatever).

See also: Who Is Kickstarter for, Anyway? Indie directors weigh in -- and the site responds.

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