SF Bay Couple Lives in 712-Square Foot Cottage as an Experiment in Energy Conservation

Since 2012, architect, David Baker, and design communications consultant, Yosh Asato, have made their home in Zero Cottage, a 712-square foot home in the Mission District designed by Baker with the goal of achieving Net Zero Energy certification. According to Living-Future.org, Net Zero certified buildings are rare, and must be designed to harness “energy from the sun, wind or earth to exceed net annual demand.” “The basic concept is that you need hardly any energy for heating or cooling because the house is so well-insulated,” Baker recently told the San Francisco Chronicle. Baker explained that the cottage uses an innovative 92% efficient Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system, that extracts heat from day-to-day use, “heat that you generate—taking a shower, cooking, using your computer.” The HRV system then uses that extracted heat to “warm fresh, incoming air.” Baker said that after using the HRV system, he never wants to build another house without one. “It’s an amazing system,” he said. “It’s so quiet, you can’t tell you are in the middle of the city.” Zero Cottage also makes use of sustainable materials, like reclaimed metal tiles and wood flooring. “We… incorporated wood flooring salvaged from a pasta factory,” Baker explained. “We didn’t …

Siri and Zooey are not without competition

If you are a droid owner who has been a bit green about Siri, Sam Pasupalak has a solution for you. We are all aware of all those iPhone owners who get Siri to help them with all of their personal requests, so Mr. Pasupalak has come up with Maluuba, but can we sleep soundly with this new App? The new application in review is called Maluuba, a true “Do Engine” that has been created by Sam Pasupalak which is closer to the original Siri before it was purchased by Apple. The app uses third party apps, such as Yelp, Eventful, Rotten Tomatoes, Foursquare, Weather Underground, and the like, to pull up your search requests. Its domains range from restaurants, general knowledge, and movies, just to name a few. There has been a great deal of positive feedback generated by the new application and the app has already received a rather generous two million dollar investment from Samsung, which gives strong indication that they may sell their devices with Maluuba already pre-installed. Maluuba also has decided to make their application available to Apple users; their application should be available within the next few months for the IPhone. Pasupalak believes that …

Target hits a bullseye with a successful media campaign

One of the most formidable obstacles for any business is getting noticed by prospective buyers. Whatever the market, getting anyone to remember your company’s name, as well as driving them into your store, is what sells your products. Today, images are now more important than print and searing your image into the public’s collective brain is imperative to running any successful media campaign. Statistics show that repetitive viewing sells things, whatever they are. And fortunately, the Internet is the most useful tool to do this. It’s nothing new and you can’t launch a successful media campaign without it. Target’s new Bullseye Gives campaign uses Facebook strategically to gain sales. Target already gives 5% of its income to charity, and has asked Facebook users to suggest which charities it goes to. This brilliantly uses three of the most popular methods of advertisement: • The Glorious Face of Facebook – When you want to promote your wares, your stuff, your idea, your brand, and drive the masses through your doors, use Facebook. Becoming a friend on Facebook helps let your customers know what you’re up to. Almost everyone is on it. It’s so obvious that it shouldn’t really be acknowledged, but for …

Chalkable: Simplicity for both parents and educators

With the vast amount of applications that are available to the masses, educational startup apps have gained quite a bit of momentum with educators, students, and parents alike. Although this new technology has made it possible to increase ease of access for students, it has left some teachers and educators, largely those who are technologically challenged, in the dark.

Social media marketing – using timing to maximize effect

We have taken a good look at many of the different social media marketing tools and networks out there, and discussed how many of them can be used to help you increase your revenues by improving your interactions with current and potential clients. What we have not discussed yet, is how you can use timing in conjunction with various techniques to achieve even greater results. So what are some of these more advanced synergistic tips, and how can you put them to use? Let’s take a look: • Distribute offers instantly – Take advantage of the instant nature of social media marketing to distribution special promotional offers. For instance, you can post on Facebook or announce via Twitter that you are having a special sale or discount, and watch your local client base rush in to take advantage. Another benefit is that if you use any tracking metrics, the compartmentalized nature of such productions makes them very easy to track. • Promote big offers through multiple channels – Perhaps you’re in the toy business and the holiday is approaching, or maybe you sell ice cream and summer is just beginning to heat up. Regardless, it is extremely likely that your …


Fetchnotes, a cloud based twitter-like note taking app, which allows you to organize your different notes through hash tags, is now offering its users more space for storage. Twenty- five gigs of space, to be exact, now that Fetchnotes has partnered up with Box. This amount of space is normally ten dollars a month, but is free with the promotional sign up. This news comes at a pivotal time; currently the Fetchnotes startup is announcing a move from their home state of Michigan, where it was founded by two University of Michigan students, to the great state of Massachusetts.


Creating, promoting, and sustaining a fan base through social media can generate immense traffic and effective word of mouth marketing for any organization. Though there are many social media platforms to choose from these days, Tumblr stands out from the rest by combining the strengths of all into one uniform and engaging blog, which is also easy to navigate and maintain. Tumblr is best suited for companies that have or want visual reach. Short to medium blog posts are essential for success of brand exposure, as Tumblr’s audience (much like other social media platforms aimed at younger crowds) tend to have shorter attention spans and are highly attracted to visual aids such as photos, streaming videos and interactive content. Including one visual or interactive piece with each Tumblr post is crucial to the success of your marketing campaign through this platform. Along with your visual aids, there is a different style of blog writing needed for successful Tumblr posts. Blogs, or Tumblelogs, must be much shorter in length than the editorial style of blogging seen typically with platforms such as WordPress. Tumblelogs should be presented to consumers like product samples are handed out at food stands. Small glimpses of your …


Stripe, an online payment company, has released a new app dubbed Capture the Flag. This new app gives developers a chance to discover the vulnerabilities (security wise) in mock apps that others are developing. As of right now, the Capture the Flag App competition got kicked off today and will last for a week; the app has already drawn a total of forty five hundred people and counting. At the end of the competition, the company will release their source code so that other app developers can apply it to their work.


If you have been looking at adjusting your marketing budget, you really should consider adding a blog to your web presence, if you haven’t already. Blogs are rapidly developing into one of the most valuable tools a company has for increasing their online footprint. Whether you are currently implementing ongoing SEO or SMM efforts, or looking to start from scratch, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities if you don’t have a blog.


This week, we thought we might change it up a little and focus on a new app that has been released for kids and by kids, and I truly mean that children were behind the development and release of this app. Wee Society, a company that has done work for several big names such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Coca- Cola, Nike, Hasbro, and many others, has decided to create a new line of apps to help young children learn how to read and write. Wee Society’s focus is not simply to be a digital design company but to be considered a whole lifestyle brand.