My little sister has lived her life in my nerdy shadow. I've been recommending technology to her since she was old enough to buy it. I've given her countless hand-me-down laptops. I paid her to unlock the tethering plan on her phone during a road trip. I've helped her design websites and extract photos from VSCO Cam and I think I actually loaned my DSLR to her a while back because I can't find it anywhere. So anyways, it was no surprise that when I started working at Karma, I made sure to get her a device. What surprised me is how much she loved it.

"Before I'd heard of Karma, I'd wished it existed," she explains. (Yes, I interviewed my sister. Does that make me a terrible brother? Or the best brother?). She continues: "I would be in a situation where I needed WiFi, and I needed it on my computer, not on my iPhone, if I was going to do anything substantive."

My sister's primary job is styling film sets. On any given project her role can be anything from moving a couch into the right location, to sourcing and renting that couch, to designing props from scratch. She takes continuity pictures with her phone to make sure everything stays in the right place, she researches and rents props from her laptop, and the only thing she's sure of every day is that she'll be required to improvise.

"Before I'd heard of Karma, I'd wished it existed"

A constant source of anxiety, it turns out, is WiFi. "That's always the first question for the art department when we're on a new location," she explains. "Is there WiFi? What's the WiFi password? And then, once people figure out that the art department has WiFi, they ask the art department."

Shortly after I joined Karma, my sister got a new film job, and she dropped by my apartment the night before it began to pick up a device. To say it came in handy the next day would be an understatement.

It turned out, the next location the film was shooting was a train interior, on an actual train, and they needed a way to cover up the advertisements. Because the film was a period piece, they needed advertisements that looked like they were from the 70s, but because this was so last minute they didn't have time to get rights to actual advertisements. So they asked my sister to improvise. She pulled out Karma, downloaded a trial version of Adobe Illustrator, researched train ads from the 70s, downloaded fonts from the 70s, and made four posters in a few hours.

As absurd as scenario this sounds, it's not nearly as absurd as the fact that she was in an office building in Midtown Manhattan when she was doing all this, and yet the only WiFi available was Karma.

Someone left to pick the posters up from the printer before the designs were even sent over. Once printed, the posters were whisked directly to set, and my sister never even saw them.

The only WiFi available was Karma

I literally have no idea how my sister designed four period-correct advertisements in that amount of time, but her boss seemed equally impressed with Karma itself. "She was so wowed," says my sister. "As I was designing posters she was asking me all these questions about Karma, distracting me from my real job." Her boss ended up joining her Karma and used those 100 free MBs to help research reference photos for the next poster design.

After Karma proved useful the next day, my sister's boss bought the device from her. So my sister is not only an exciting use case for Karma, but a shady reseller as well.

And now she's taken things to the next level: Karma is her home internet connection. Both her and her roommate work constantly, have foresworn Netflix as time and cost saving measure ("Last fall I binge watched Alias. All of it."), and saw no reason to pay for a pricey cable internet connection they'd hardly use. I've used Karma from my sister's apartment and it works great for web browsing and email. As long as you're not watching tons of video or downloading huge files, it's perfect. I can't wait to try Karma Go there.

So there you go, my sister has finally surpassed me as a technology pioneer. She has a badass anything-can-happen sort of job, a badass new apartment and roommate, and a badass attitude toward using technology to enable her instead of control her. I couldn't be a prouder big brother.

Brother and sister and ice creamBrother and sister and ice cream

Photos courtesy of my sister, naturally.


About Paul Miller

That guy who left the internet for a year