Hey my DC peeps. This is a bit last minute, but if you’ve got the day free tomorrow you should check out the BrainJams collaboration geek pow-wow event happening Monday. It’s the brainchild of Chris Huere and Kristie Wells who have done two such event here in the SF Bay area. If you’ve got a project you need some geek help with or you’ve got mad geek skillz and are looking to help out on someone’s cool project, BrainJams DC is the place to make that a reality. It takes place at the DC Improv in downtown DC from 10am-5pm. If you can’t make the daytime shindig, catch up with the Jammers during happy hour at the Lucky Bar. Tell ’em I sent you.
This town rawks! I take it for granted some times, but San Francisco really is the center of the universe. Those who don’t live here, just don’t realize it. Friday night, Marc tipped me off to a VIP reception shmoozie thing for Wired magazine’s NextFest event. Jedi mind tricked my way in and immediately was greeted with a martini. Wandered around amongst the futurist tech, taking in the shiny sites and think to myself how this all reminded me of dot-com irrational exuberance. I remember fondly the days of weekly launch parties greased with free flowing alcohol and endless hype. Thanks for the memories, Wired!
The next day, I returned to NextFest to take in most of what I had missed the night before. Unfortunately, the mass of humanity flooding the hall made it next to impossible to get a good look at anything clearly. The demo for ASIMO was impossible as everyone and their kids wanted in to see the humanoid robot walk up and down stairs. I queued up for the robotics panel discussion after, which was moderately interesting despite the obvious shilling for robotic products made by the moderator Colin Angle’s company. Stories of war profiteering by this same moderator by his same company elicited several boos from the audience. The most interesting points were brought up by Rodney Brooks director of MIT’s CS and AI lab and Ken Goldberg, professor and researcher at UC Berkeley. Brooks said that the Jetsonian dream of Rosie the robot is still at least 20-25 years off. Goldberg was the only panelist to give props to robotics as an art form, rather than pure market commodification as others seemed pre-occupied with.
Other highlights of NextFest were this 3D printer which I witnessed creating skulls, the K-bot which is a robotic head that emulates human facial expressions, the Moller Skycar and the directed sound of HyperSonic Sound technology.
Later that night was the Cloud Factory Design Collective’s 6th annual fashion show. Fucking amazing! Ravers can make hella cool threads and show them off in the most creative of ways. More on this once some pix become available. Like I said, this town rawks!
The activist resource social network known as Indyvoter.org has achieved flaccid soft launch. Hard launch is expected soon. Just a few more long intimate nights of coding by the dev team. Check it out. Create an account, explore people, communities, events, and voter guides. Gimme feedback. Seriously, we need it. And yeah, we know it’s slow. Do you know how to optimize a MySQL RDF object store? Yeah? We NEED you, and you don’t know it yet but you need US. And you’ll soon be eating Zante’s for free for as long as you like. If you’ve got the skillz, we gotta connect!
I’m chilling in Richmond, VA at the Mars Bar with me pal Carlton. We just had some of this stuff which is kind of psuedo-Absinthe. It really doesn’t have wormwood cause that’s been banned in the good ol’ can’t-have-too-much-fun USA since 1915. Instead it has something called Southern Wormwood, a less bitter “cousin” of the original trippy shit. They call it Absinthe Refined, which is marketing speak for “the look, the color and maybe the taste but not the real shit” absinthe. Still, the idea of the Absinthe meme being injected into a Virginia bar with wifi, billiards and 80’s music is pretty satisfying right now.
Happy New Year fans of the Eddie! I had an awesome New Year’s week, I was in beautiful Kauai. It was a bit rainy but hella beautiful. I went with my dear friend Audra who knows Hawaii like mice know cheese. We camped out for 4 days on various beaches, tried to hike the Kalalau trail (hella muddy and wet), explored waterfalls, Waimea Canyon and did some diving. We got to play with turtles. Very friendly creatures those leatherbacks! Pix later when I get less lazy.
Btw, read this book. It’s spot on. Amazing that Kansas could be a populist hotbed 100 years ago, but it was. Now it’s a conservative bellweather, home to tons o’ churches and Wal-Marts. Thomas Frank is an amazing eloquent author, also wrote One Market Under God.
It’s rare that I come across a site or tool that just sucks me in. Now is one of those rare times. Flickr has the right mix of visual voyeur curiosity and show-and-tell community that it’s got me clocking up the hours. I discovered flickr a year ago when it first launched, but it was a different animal then. You know you’ve come along way when Yahoo and Google buyout rumors spread like wildfire. I’d love to see Flickr buyout Yahoo. Yeah, I think they’re ready.
Oh, why is Flickr so cool you ask? It gives you the tools to upload, archive, organize, annotate and share your pictures with your friends and soon-to-be friends in a way no other site or tool has before. Awesome, easy to use viral features with a social networking core that encourages community and sharing. Also it’s really encouraged me to take my camera with me and snap pix of pretty much every god damn thing. Check out my Flickr and leave some comments!