By Dennis Clemente
NEW YORK–Last April 29, Uncubed held its meetup, “Hacks that saved my life” at Refinery 29 with the World Trade Center building gleaming behind it as early evening set in.
This is not your typical show-and-tell meetup. It might as well be classified the hacked-and-tell meetup as each presenter talked about how a new app or site made their life easier, more fun and even useful in an unusual way.
Just ask Travis Kaufman, a senior platforms engineer at Refinery 29, who improved lunch ordering among his colleagues at Refinery 29.
It should be easy to order lunch, right? Well, there’s always room for improvement if you ask Kaufman. If you are ordering for five people, you should be okay using email. But when it goes up to a hundred or 200, the number of employees at Refinery 29, how would you deal with it?
Kaufman used some open-source software – NoeJS, ExpressJS, AngularJS, Redis and Twitter Boostrap to create an app he called R29 Lunch Box. The app allows people who ordered lunch for delivery to subscribe to lunch alerts.
Next hack came from Gregory Mazurek of Gilt who showed us how he uses Github to write novels—yes, you heart it right. It does make sense if you’re looking at collaborating with people on your novel. Talk about everybody on the same page.
I used majority of it using Github. Largely intended for engineering purposes, I use it for managing versions of (my novel),” he said.
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We also learned some new hacks from Zach Feldman of New York Code Design Academy. He dared us to have an impact on a product without being a non-product person.
Feldman showed us how he tweaked Amazon Echo to put his voice reminders/meetings on his Google Calendar? He showed how his voice turned to text on Google Calendar.
For him, Amazon Echo is a voice learning platform that you can modify to the functionality you want.
“It understands me,” Feldman said nonchalantly.
His hack on Amazon Echo is interesting the way he says “stop” to prompt the end of each instruction, much like how telegrams were voiced to a messenger.
Last presenter was Moat which showed its measurement analytics for ad industry and ad agencies. Using Coke ads as examples, the site showed how it can measure people’s interaction with all of the brand’s recent ads—how people see it and when they click on an advertisement.