Obsessed with a new idea in Social Connections


This might be the coolest (or creepiest) new social app we’ve seen in months


by Zach Epstein, bgr.com

June 19 10:17 AM

It seems like each new social app that launches pushes us further apart as a society. Thousands of users posting minutia impossible to care about… ridiculous secrets anonymously posted with zero accountabilitystupid apps designed to do little more than annoy us… it’s all becoming overwhelming. Every so often, however, something different emerges that finds novel ways to bring us closer together — and 20 Days Stranger is perhaps the most poetic new social app we have seen in quite some time.

Currently in alpha testing, 20 Days Stranger was designed by MIT’s Playful Systems Group to connect two individuals anonymously for 20 days at a time.

The app runs in the background on an iPhone in order to track your location and other data as you go about your day. It regularly sends messages with vague details about your activities to the person with whom you have been connected.

For example, the app might let your partner know that you’re driving in a car, relaxing at the beach or at a stadium watching a baseball game.

All of these messages are exchanged completely anonymously between two individuals.

Then, at the end of the 20 days, you have the opportunity to send one 400-character message to your partner. You can share your identity and contact info, inquire about some specific activities, or if you were connected with me, you can ask why I seem to never emerge from my office.

“This is about addressing a fundamental human question, which is: How can we become aware of all the people in the world who we are connected to but may never meet?” MIT professor and Playful Systems Group head Kevin Slavin told Wired.

A video showcasing the app follows below, and iPhone users can sign up to join the alpha testing group by following the link down in our source section.


Tech in the House of Yakir



Tech in the House of Yakir

David Yakir

I just had a video conference call cancelled at the last minute.   Since I had an hour free, I thought I’d take a stab at answering some of the questions Ive been getting from you tech geeks about the state of computer technology in the house of Yakir.  

I’ll divide this up into two posts.  Today, I’ll cover the hardware. I’ll follow this up with a software lineup.

First, the Yakir Group is a cloud driven organization and with the exception of a few devices used for administration, it is a BYOD company. We are an Apple based hardware company, but we live in the Google ecosystem for much of our software and communications. 

In addition to listing the state of Tech, I’ll also give a preview of what I think it will be in the next 6 months.

So, here goes: At my desk: a 15” Macbook Pro (mid 2010) with 8gigs memory, 256 SSD. Connected to an Apple Cinema monitor.  Attached are the NeatDesk Scanner and a basic Brother HL-2270DW printer. For the last several years this has served as my “Creation” machine.  This is where I create all the beautiful presentations, update the “yakirgroup.com” website as well as the “Paragraph” website which is at “yakirgroup.com/art.” Because of the Cinema display, it is the most useful when I’m on a Google Hangout or Skype call with multiple people or if I’m collaborating with my partners. Between the NeatDesk scanner and cloud tools and storage, I am virtually paperless and have been now for about 5 years.

I carry with me an iPhone 5, loaded with all the cloud based apps that I use. And now that we’ve relocated to a totally lit up LTE coverage area, it serves as an extraordinary communications tool for cell, VOIP and video. And yes, I can listen to Pandora and Spotify with superb audio quality. Quite honestly, I’m not sure I can work or live in an area not covered by LTE, but that is yet another post. ( A side note. As with my other devices, I use the data side of the service more than the cell service. i.e., Skype, FaceTime, Hangout and the apps.)

I have an iPad 2 that almost never leaves my bedside.  It is my go-to consumption device for every book, newspaper, magazine, television show and movie that I choose to read or watch before going off to bed. It also serves as my last minute communications device for the evening. (Yes, I know, we are supposed to be device free before saying our nighty nights, but I’m an admitted gadget junkie who will eventually get the help I need).

That brings me to two of the more important devices I have.  The first being the iPad mini (first generation).  This is mission control.  This device runs my business, my personal life, finances – namely anything I can control through the use of an App.  I have access to every file for the last 5 years.  I have all the tools to run my life financially; all the tools to shop and buy anything I need.  I have All the communications capability necessary to run ones life and business. For the most part it doesn’t leave my side during the day. The mini was the first device that lived up to the sci-fi dream first presented by the Star Trek folks.   

 Its only limitation is long form creation.  I’m not writing a long article or building a presentation or creating anything too complex.

This brings me to the next device. I travel a great deal for business.  I had been lugging the 15” Macbook Pro with me.  At one point I was getting off a plane in San Francisco with my 22” suitcase and my Tumi backpack and realized I’m carrying too much weight. This was going to be a one week business trip.  I would be at various locations throughout the Bay area.  My base of operations was going to be at a friends house in Marin.  I purposely left the Macbook pro at the house and did all my meeting with the iPad Mini.  I had purchased a keyboard case and for the most part it served me well for the trip.  On the flight back, I left the Macbook in the luggage and took out the Mini to get some work done. 

As I’ve said before, although you can create on the iPad, it is not for creating anything truly complex. That is the reason I purchased the 13” Macbook Air.

The Air has become a default solution for travelers. As most of you know it is a marvel of perfection in design and engineering.  Interestingly enough, it does not replace nor should it replace my iPad.  ( A backwards thought to most of you who were wondering if the iPad could replace your notebook). The iPad is uniquely suited to what I like to call “consumption and mission control.” The Macbook Air on the other hand has become powerful enough to replace any desktop computer.  I’m not a photo or a movie editor nor an illustrator. I use my PC’s for typical business functions.  The performance of the Air caught me by surprise.

I also have the 3rd generation Apple TV. 

So, this is my current tech environment.  But 6 months down the road, my intention is to refine the tech.  

First, it is my intention to retire my 15” Macbook Pro and pass it along to a family member and replace it with the 13” Macbook Air, which, hooked up to my Cinema display will meet all my desktop needs as well as serve as the perfect travel companion.

For the longest time I’ve toyed with getting an Android phone.  Since I live in the Google environment, I thought why not. When I started seeing larger sized phones in the 5.5-6” form factor, I knew I was looking at the future of my tech. That form factor would replace two devices with one. I had been hoping Apple would go against Steve Jobs missive about keeping the form factor of the iPhone small enough to be a single handed device. And although i’m a tech junkie, I like Apple hardware products because the integration of the hardware and software is often flawless. The rumor mill has Apple releasing a 4.7” and a 5.5” iPhone in the fall.  If that should happen then it all changes.  I will pass along my current iPhone 5 for an iPhone 6.  And will pass along my iPad mini. The new iPhone 6 will now, not only be my phone, but my mission control as well.

And while I’m at it.  I’m going to retire the iPad 2 for whatever the latest version of the iPad Air is.  It is a great consumption device, but I’m spoiled techie and I want that Retina display.

I will wait and see where Apple is heading with the iWatch and Apple TV, before I commit here to acquiring them. (I’m sure I will, duh!)

So there you have it; my current state of tech.  When I get a chance I’ll tackle the “What software is on Yakir’s Mac”, followed by a software line-up on my iPhone and iPad.

Current Projected
15” Macbook Pro (2010) 13” Macbook Air (2014) 4gig 128 SSD
13” Macbook Air (2014) 4gig 128 SSD Iphone 6 5.5” 32 gig
iPad 2 iPad Air Retina
iPad Mini 32gig Apple TV (we’ll see what they introduce)
Iphone 5 32gig  
Apple TV (3rd Gen)  


Change & Yakir

Change & Yakir copy



Introducing the new &Yakir

&Yakir is the entrepreneur’s partner. &Yakir is a new category of business. It is an entrepreneurial consulting group, which replaces the customer-client fee-for-service model with acollaborative value proposition. Now, in exchange for investment or other incentives, &Yakir works only with partners, providing integrated strategies and custom supports required to achieve in today’s environment.