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Back on the radar…

I’ve been off the radar the past few weeks, apologies. With the launch of Valet, and travel in China, visiting Beijing and Tianjin, and all over Japan in Tokyo, Nagano, and up in Hokkaido in Sapporo. Lots of reviews and pictures coming soon. Amazing trip.

Gymkhana in San Francisco

Remember The Art of Gymkhana? Well, Ken Block is back– but this time he’s on the streets of San Francisco. Oh, my, god. You will not believe this happened.

Utilizing a tricked out Ford Fiesta with 0-60 MPH capabilities in just 1.8 seconds, thanks in large part to its 650 horsepower engine, the city streets are the stage for a variety of maneuvers usually reserved to a child’s imagination. Shot over a period of four days, every nook and cranny of the Bay is seemingly used for this expansive follow up to a series that draws spectators from numerous different worlds.

Via Hypebeast

Path x Nike Fuelband

path-nike

I invested in my friend Dave Morin’s company Path a few years ago, and I’m thrilled to watch it progress– especially around sophisticated brand integration. This Path x Nike Fuelband partnership is perfect.

Path users can now pair up their account with the Nike Fuelband and share their personal fitness tracking, goals, and so on with the people that matter most to them.

Read More: Path and Nike FuelBand Pair Up

Swap-O-Matic

Wp content uploads 2012 03 presskit kiosk

This brilliant experiment was created by Parsons School of Design student Lina Fenequito.

The Swap-O-Matic vending machine is designed for user to give, take, or swap anything that fits inside the compartments. People have traded items like original art, poems, clothing, metro cards, etc

The Swap-O-Matic recognizes that there is a thrill in getting things. The vending machine satisfies our desires for instant gratification, but it co-ops it and re-appropriates it to something that is a more sustainable method of acquisition, which is through swapping and trading,” said Fenequito…

To use the machine, one simply has to enter their e-mail address on the screen and choose whether they would like to donate, receive, or swap an item. Since none of the items in the machine is assigned a value, all item transactions work on a credit system. As a new user, you’re given three credits to begin with. A credit is earned each time you donate an item and it costs one credit to receive something. Swapping an item in the machine for something that you’ve brought doesn’t require any credits.

Feels totally in the zeitgeist right now and sparks some very powerful and interesting conversation about sharing and consumerism. Via BB

Beaker Magazine

Beakermag

I see good things in the future for Amrit Richmond founder of Beaker Magazine.

In her own words– Beaker is a business and culture magazine for the idea generation.

Beaker aims to equip entrepreneurs, technologists and executives to act on their ideas while navigating between the stages of idea to product, product to market, and the first few years of a startup. We create and curate articles on early stage operations, startup culture and technology trends from around the world.

A welcome resource on the web, surely.

GoDaddy Debacle

GoneDaddy

Image via Soshable

I have mostly been watching the SOPA news from the sidelines the past few weeks– at least until the supporter list came out.

Not so surprisingly, GoDaddy was on there, and the internet went into an uproar. Next stop seemed like a complete domain name exodus. Grab your pitchfork.

Truthfully, I’ve wanted to bail since I watched the CEO slaughter and kill an elephant. Not long after that, there was another debacle. A billing error on my account caused me to loose a domain name (which I previously acquired for $1,000). It didn’t auto-renew, yet somehow everything else does (even when I try to turn off auto-renew).

And then, like a movie, of course they pulled their support of the bill, which is odd because they helped write it in the first place:

GoDaddy not only helped write #SOPA they are also exempt from it.

So they’re not for it, and they’re not against it. Perfect. I’m not one to get into the backstory much further. I had heard enough and I wanted to bail.

This was all a real bummer for me because I’ve done a lot of business with GoDaddy– so much so I have an inside guy there that helps me out with transfers and changes. But between slaughtering elephants, SOPA, and annoying Super Bowl commercials with boobed out models it seemed like it was time to take my business elsewhere.

It was actually a tweet from Ben Huh of icanhascheezburger that pushed me over the edge.  I love those damn cats, what can I say.

And that’s when the epic journey began.

I found this handy-dandy step by step guide to transfer domains out of GoDaddy.

NameCheap looked and felt like a fine place to land my domains. They had a pretty strong stance against SOPA and GoDaddy. I found a code (SOPASucks) that would give me a little bit of a break on the transfer costs. They didn’t accept .be domains, so I used name.com for that.

I headed over to GoDaddy, unlocked all of my domains, batch downloaded the authorization codes and plopped them into the Namecheap.com transfer spot.

I thought that was it, but then I started getting bizarre messages from GoDaddy, like:

Dear Josh Spear,The transfer of JOSHSPEAR.COM from Go Daddy to another registrar could not be completed for the following reason(s):

Express written objection to the transfer from the Transfer Contact. (e.g. – email, fax, paper document or other processes by which the Transfer Contact has expressly and voluntarily objected through opt-in means).

The express written objection may be the result of a pending or recently completed Change of Registered Name Holder. This is an opt-in process during which the new Registered Name Holder agrees not to transfer for 60-days. This domain will be transferrable on 2/24/2012.

Perplexing. All of my other domain names came back with that response or something like that as well. I had read somewhere that if my WHOIS information wasn’t correct, I should update it. Turned out to be a terrible idea. I did update it, and changed the email– because the last time I registered a majority of those domains, the email was wrong. I also added a little more information to be sure I could be contacted if there was any problem.

It turns out had I not changed my WHOIS information I would not have received the email for the New Registration Agreement– an email they send to the WHOIS administrator and only the administrator.  And because I changed it, I did receive the email, but it was already too late.

I’m not a huge fan of leaving dozens of domain names ‘unlocked’ for long periods of time crossing my fingers all would work out.

I pinged NameCheap and chatted with a nice enough tech support person in their online chat for a few hours.

I made sure all my domain names had the privacy feature turned off. (I’ve since sent Domains By Proxy my companies EIN and a copy of my passport to get my login, because I didn’t remember my login, and the ‘forgot login’ box sends an email to a whois email that no longer exists. Vicious cycle.)

NameCheap refunded me and said try again. Oh, did I try again.

And then another alert came. My domain names were locked by GoDaddy for 60 days because of the Whois information change. Despite being told to make sure the info there was up to date!

I have zero pending transfers and I’ve now paid NameCheap, been refunded, and paid again.

As far as I can tell, the locking of domain names was part of the GoDaddy T&C’s I agreed to– not an ICANN rule. A call with a GoDaddy person confirms that. And even more peculiar is that apparently it was okay for me to change the contact email, but not anything else. And yes, I updated all the information. Whoops.

The saga continues.  They sure do make freedom of choice hard.

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