My Goals For 2014

by Josh Highland on January 1, 2014

grey My Goals For 2014

Every year I posts a list of things I want to accomplish in that year. 2014 is going to hold some big things. Here is my list for things that I’m going to strive for and achieve this year.

  • Get more involved in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  • Involve more wearable tech in my life
  • Work on educating people more about MFA and account security
  • Get more involved in the Shopify community
  • Continue to automate more of my income
  • Continue to pay off more debt
  • Launch another Shopify app
  • Continue to delegate more of my tasks
  • Finish and publish my SEO book
  • Expand my SEO offerings to clients
  • Drive a Tesla Model S (at least a test drive or a rental)
  • Have a  conversation with Kevin Rose, and Tim Ferris
  • Contribute to more charities

2013 Year In Review

by Josh Highland on December 30, 2013

grey 2013 Year In Review

For the last few year I list the goals that I would like to achieve for the year (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009). With this post I’d like to take some time and see how many of my 2013 goals I managed to achieve.

  • Attend more tech conferences

I Only attended 2 tech conferences this year, but both of them were completely insane and in San Francisco. Oktane 2013, the first user conference of Okta.com (a service that I LOVE), and the first California Shopify meetup (another company that I absolutely love). This year was about quality, not quantity. Grade: #meh

  • Speak at some tech conferences / user groups

Since I only attended one conference and one meetup, presenting at neither of them, this is nothing but fail. Grade: #epicFail

  • Continue to Automate more of my income

I’m really proud of the accomplishments I have made in this area. B2B SaaS apps are definitely where it’s at. This was the best year for me in that regard. Most of the work was automated, but there was some manual components that I should delegate out. Grade: #epicWin

  • Pay off more debt

This goes in hand with automating my income. This year I absolutely attacked my debt. Automating more of my income really helped this. Becoming debt free is a hard thing to do, but I’m closer now that I have ever been in my adult life. Grade: #epicWin

  • Develop another Shopify app

I’m VERY close to releasing my 3rd Shopify app but I don’t think it will happen in 2013. More important to me than releasing another app is the growth of my existing apps. Both of them were extended, optimized and updated. There was a significant amount of development that went into these that I am proud about. Grade: #win

  • Delegate more of my tasks (4 hour work week style)

This one has made my yearly list a few times now. Every year I make some progress, but I never feel that it’s enough. This year I have make some partnerships that have been helpful in offloading some task, but at the same time I’ve created some new projects that fill the void. Sort of not making anything new, I don’t know what the answer to this one is. Grade: #meh

  • Finish and publish my SEO book

Writing is a much slower process for me than I thought it was going to be. Sometimes I find it hard to convey what I want to say in written form. There have been points in the process that I have found it very enjoyable to sit down and write. The bottom line is that I didn’t get it finished or published. I’m currently about 40% done with the content creation portion. Grade: #fail

  • De-clutter my life – Get rid of things that I rarely use

I’ve really been working on this one. I’ve started listing things on craigslist and eBay and donating things to goodwill. This is going to take me some time before I feel that this is completed, but I think I’m winning. Grade: #win

  • Continue body building – Stack on more muscle

For the most part this was true. I’m still relatively big, and I haven’t lost interest. I’ve slacked off in Q4 of this year, but I’m still passionate about it. I find that heavy physical activity forces my brain to shut off for a while (in a similar way that heavy metal concerts do). My body takes over and give my brain time to rest. Grade: #win

  • Blog more about my experiences with tech and raising a son

Yeah this didn’t happen. working full time + raising a son + running a business = not much time for personal blogging. Grade: #fail

  • Test a pair of Google glasses

This has to be the most #epicWin EVER! Not only did I try on a pair of Google Glass, I was selected by Google to get a pair of Google Glass. I even went to Google to pick them up. I’m honored to be on the leading edge of wearable tech because of Glass. I was even interviewed by the New York Times magazine about Glass. Grade: #epicWIN

  • Have a  conversation with Kevin Rose, and Tim Ferris

Despite my attempts on social media, this didn’t happen.. next year. Grade: #epicFail

  • Promote my clothing line Wolves Clothing more

My delegated work efforts contributed to this one. I’ve taken on a partner that handles the day to day of this. As a result, we have gotten a lot more traction. 1 + 1 = 3. Grade: #win

2013 was a ear of growth for me. I stepped into a new position at work, my business started to really take off, and I have a toddler that I want to hang out with all the time. 2014 is going to be awesome. I can’t wait.


Prescription Google Glass – Round 2

by Josh Highland on August 9, 2013

grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

Last month I modified my Google Glass to work with my prescription lenses. It was better but there was still room for improvement. Some of the problems I had:

  • The zip tie was tight but, the shortened arm of my eye glasses could slip out. A few times I took my glass out of my bag and it had come undone
  • The zip tie allowed the for glass to pivot up and down. This made it difficult to keep the Glass optic aligned if I was doing anything active.
  • It looked weird – I had a zip tie holding everything together!

I decided that something had to be done. After some thought, I realized that shrink tubing my be the answer.

Positives to shrink tubing:

  • More surface area connecting the Glass to the frames = more stability, less vertical wiggle.
  • Less likely to come apart
  • Still a semi-permanent non-destructive solution – I could always put it back to the default factory configuration.
  • Better looking – no more zip tie, very little bulk

Negatives to shrink tubing:

  • Less room to adjust the alignment of Glass
  • Using a heat gun on the sensitive Glass – could melt / damage them

After weighing out the pros and cons I decided to go for it!

I assembled my tools. Shrink tubing, a heat gun, scissors, an exacto knife, and my Glass / Glasses creation.

 

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I started by cutting off the zip tie that has holding it all together.

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Next I cut the shrink tubing to length. I had to be able to reach all the inputs on the Glass – the power button, USB port and camera trigger.

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Next I had to stretch the tubing a bit. Out of the package, it was too small to fit over the optic. I places the tube onto the scissors and opened them, stretching the tube wider.

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Once stretched, I slid the tube over the optic and onto the arm of Glass.

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Paying close attention, I made sure that the tube was ale to clear the USB port, camera trigger and power button.

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grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

Once I got everything where I wanted it and aligned, I used a zip tie to hold it in place. I plugged an old USB cable into the port in an attempt to protect it a little bit during the heat shrink process.

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I decided to wrap as much of the Glass as I could into a heavy rag to protect it from some of the heat during the heat shrink process.

grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

It didn’t take long for the heat gun to get hot. I slowly ran the gun over the tube, shrinking it to fit, being careful to not get anything too hot. This was a nerve wracking experience. I needed to shrink the tube, but not damage the Glass. It was a balancing act.

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I let the tubing cool down before I remove the zip tie and unplugging the USB cord. I was very happy with the end results. The tube had shrank down, firmly sandwiching the Glass to the frame of my prescription glasses.

grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

Glass powered up with no problem. I hadn’t killed them! To my surprise, touches worked through the plastic tubing! Bonus win!

grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

I opened up the “MyGlass” app on my Nexus 7 – Bluetooth and Wifi were still working.

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I also tested the USB port for charging and data transfer. Both tests worked. Next was taking pictures and video. Both of those passed as well. I had done it.

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The end result is a clean and nearly invisible fusion of my Google Glass and my prescription eye glasses.

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grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

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This is the first time that I truly feel that Glass fits me properly. This is a game changer.

I know that Google is working on prescription Google Glass, and I really hope that I’m part of that pilot program. Until then, I plan on pushing the limits of Glass. I’m a member of the “Google Glass Explorer Program”, explorers take risks and discover new things. That’s what I’m trying to do.

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grey Prescription Google Glass   Round 2

I have a feeling that this won’t be my last mod to Glass. I have more ideas but they start getting into the destructive realm and I’m not sure if I’m willing to go down that one way path. Time will tell.

 


Leap Motion – Minority Report computing is a reality

by Josh Highland on July 24, 2013

grey Leap Motion   Minority Report computing is a reality

It’s no secret that I am a lover of tech. Today I got a Leap Motion – “3D Motion Controller”. Basically, it’s a small sensor that projects a field. That field can detect motion, distance and the number fingers that are in the field. The end result is ability for you to interact with your computer in an all new way. After 10 minutes of use, I felt like I was Tom Cruise in Minority Report, or Tony Stark in Iron Man 2. I shot some videos with my Google Glass – which only made the experience seem more futuristic.

0 Leap Motion   Minority Report computing is a reality 0 Leap Motion   Minority Report computing is a reality 0 Leap Motion   Minority Report computing is a reality

My son, Jackson, will never know a world without this type of interface. That blows me away even more then the device. Where are we going to be in 20 years? Amazing to think about.


Google Glass Prescription Lenses

by Josh Highland on June 30, 2013

grey Google Glass Prescription Lenses

Update – I’ve hacked them once again!

Before I picked up my Google Glass, I knew they didn’t support prescription lenses. To prepare for the Google Glass, I went to my optometrist and got fitted for contact lenses. She tried to talk me out of getting contacts due to the shape of my right eye (severe astigmatism). She explained that contacts would most likely not be comfortable and to stick to glasses. Knowing that Google Glass didn’t support prescription lenses, I got contacts anyways. I should have listened to the doctor, the contacts were HORRIBLE! I immediately switched back to my Warby Parker eye glasses for daily wear.

I tired to wear my Google Glass with my eye glasses, but there was no way to make it work. Luckily I can see pretty good up close, so I was able to wear my Google Glass by themselves. There was no way that I could drive a car, work on a computer, or carry on daily life without my eye glasses, so my Google Glass had remained somewhat of a novelty. I would take off my eye glasses, put on my Google Glass and show people the future, but as soon as the demo is over I take the Glass off and put my eye glasses back on.

Today I realized that I hadn’t really worn my Google Glass in a few days. It really upset me. I want Glass to be a part of my daily life, but without support for prescription lenses, it wasn’t going to happen. I decided to do something about it. I was willing to take apart my Google Glass if I had to. I was going to make them work with my prescription lenses at any cost.

I started by removing the only exposed screw on the Google Glass. It’s located just above the right temple, and can be removed with a Torx-5 bit. After loosing the screw, the titanium headband is easily detached, leaving the main Glass unit.

grey Google Glass Prescription Lensesgrey Google Glass Prescription Lensesgrey Google Glass Prescription LensesLooking at my options, I took and old pair of my 141 eye wear and decided to cut the right arm. I used a pair of wire cutters to get the job done. After my first cut, I realized that I was going to need to cut it a bit shorter, so that the power button for the Glass was exposed.grey Google Glass Prescription Lensesgrey Google Glass Prescription Lensesgrey Google Glass Prescription LensesWith the arm at a minimal length, I was left to figure out how to attach the Glass to my glasses. I first tried double stick tape, but it just wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t want to use glue and risk damaging the plastic housing. Instead of getting fancy, I went with a very cheap, low tech solution – a zip tie, or wire tie. I just happened to have a black one in my tool box.

After snugging down the zip tie and cutting off the excess, the whole assembly felt very solid and fit very well. The side of Google Glass is touch sensitive but the tie doesn’t seem to interfere with  it’s responsiveness.grey Google Glass Prescription Lensesgrey Google Glass Prescription Lensesgrey Google Glass Prescription LensesFor the first time, I was able to see Glass through my prescription lenses. I could truly appreciate the quality of the display optic. Images were more vibrant and clear. This is the experience I was looking for from the beginning. This is going to let me wear Glass on a daily basis, and it cost me less than $0.01 to do it! I may try to use a thinner zip tie so its not so obvious. Then again, I have a computer hanging off my face and I think that most of the attention will be focused on it. grey Google Glass Prescription Lensesgrey Google Glass Prescription LensesMaybe Google feels that the people who have the Glass Explorer Editions are true explorers and pioneers, and they will find a way to make prescription lenses work. Maybe Google hasn’t found a good way to make lenses work for most people. All I know is that I have found a way to make Glass work for me, and this is the start of something awesome. Look out world!

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