Wow, this thing looks set to be massive – Square is this tiny little dongle that fits into any device with an audio input jack, and turns your iPod (for example) into a credit card money taking machine. They are giving out the dongles for free, there’s no transaction charges, only a $1 fee to install the application on your device! It’s the brainchild of Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, currently in beta and will roll out to everyone next year.

Where’s the Catch? Well I’m not sure if you can use you Visa or Mastercard on it, you might need to get a some sort of Square credit, debit or pre-paid card, suppose they’ve got to make there money somewhere? Sorry got the wrong end of the stick, just noticed the image above has a Mastercard logo in it… These days when everyone hates bankers and loves Twitter, I think there could be a lot of people happy to make the switch.

What I like about it, well as a freelancer who once a year has to try and find some receipts to offset against my tax, this is a dream come true, everything stored digitally online where I can’t lose it and I can access easily from anywhere. Also this is going to be a massive help to small independent businesses which is always going to be a good thing.

Via: Matthew Buchanan.


Kickstarter. A new way to fund ideas & endeavors.

While I’m on the subject of adventure film making, I’ve been meaning to blog about this site Kickstarter for a while now. It’s not about film making, but it is about raising money to do stuff.

I’ve seen this sort thing before, but the interesting angle about Kickstarter is you have to supply tiered ‘rewards’ for the people giving you cash. People get quite creative not only with their ideas they want to get off the ground, but also with these rewards that they give back. Brilliantly it’s working, check out and see how many projects have already been funded and how much money they’ve raised.

Problem is you need an invite to post a project and I don’t have one :( So if you have a spare invite to Kickstarter please sent it my way, Cheers for the invite Lisa Yao, you are a legend :) Ok so here’s my pitch:

Te Araroa Route map

I’m planning to walk 1900 miles across New Zealand from the Northern most point to the southern tip next year, the trail is called Te Araroa and it officially opens next year. Problem is I’m spending too much time these days planning/mapping, rather than earning money for it.. So the concept of Kickstarter instantly appealed to me :) But I think my work could be worth while rewards for would be pledgers.

Pledge $5 or more and you’ll be able to download all the route maps I’ve been making and use them for your own hike.

Pledge $25 or more and I’ll mail you the finished DVD once we return and edit it. Here’s an example of last years video of my hike across America. Plus all the maps on a separate disc, and hey shit I’ll stick your name in the credits!

Pledge $50 or more you’ll get all the above plus beautifully screen printed A2 poster of the route, maybe some sort of date planner thing like this.

Pledge $100 or more and I’ll leave your name (obviously nothing permanent) along the route somewhere, write it out in rocks, draw it in sand on a beach, piss into snow, chips on my plate, whatever! Promise to do something interesting and send you the hi-res photo.

Pledge $1000 or more Ha ha, this is the big one and it was Nicky’s idea so unsurprisingly involves me making an arse of myself.. but It could be pretty funny so – donate $1000 or more then at the end of each month you decide what I have to do with my facial hair.. It’s a bit of a tradition that you grow your beard on a long walk, but I’m giving you the chance to style it for me – Big Lamb chop side burns, down to the moustache, shave half off vertically… (Only six available, 1 each month).

180° South

180° South - Conquerors of the Useless

A commenter put me onto this new movie 180° South, specifically it’s a film about surfing, sailing and climbing, but generally it’s a remake of a legendary trip and film from 1968. Interesting slide show of the trip here too (narration over photos, so simple, so good, can’t believe I haven’t seen this sort of thing before?)


It’s this original trip that has really caught my imagination – Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia & Black Diamond) and Doug Tompkins (founder of The North Face), plus three other chums set off in an old camper van to surf, ski and climb their way through South America, on their way to be the 3rd team to climb Mt. Fritzroy (Cerro Fitz Roy) in Patagonia (it’s that iconic granite slab used on the Patagonia logo).

Unfortunately I can’t find the original film (Mountain of Storms) online other than this short clip (voice over is hilarious), but just ordered the dvd from the Patagonia store.

But the fascinating story continues today as Doug Tompkins (with a bit of help from Yvon) is buying up huge chunks of wilderness in Chile and Argentina and creating his own national park which on completion will be given back to the government. Apparently he’s now one of the top land owners in the world, with an estimated 2 million odd acres!

Side note: The first person to climb Mt. Fritzroy was legendary French climber Lionel Terray (with Guido Magnone in 1952) and interestingly the title ‘Conquerors of the Useless’ references the title of his autobiography.