Tue 09.30.08 - The air was so very clear this evening that not only could I see Catalina clearly, but also San Clemente Island to the south and Santa Barbara Island just to the north. Extraordinarily lovely.
September 2008 Archives
Mon 09.29.09 - Today's 2/3rds of the House Republicans' revolt against the Republican Administration's bailout bill signifies the definitive beginning of four months of George W. Bush's lame duck presidency.
Wed 09.24.08 - Today was one of the worst days I have had in a very long time. To keep in short & sweet: I am on a very tight deadline for a delivering a web app and both my internet & phone went down today for a number of hours. I spent in excess of 7 hours today dealing with AT&T trying to get everything back up.
All of my neighborhood was effected by the internet outage, and my phone outage was compliments of a misunderstanding on AT&T's part about my recent trip to Helsinki. I will be having a conference call in the morning to straighten out today's 4 hours worth of phone calls to the "Customer Care" plus a trip to the local AT&T store for a new sim chip between bouts of hour plus long phone calls.
Please AT&T Wireless, don't make me regret 7 years of faithfulness to you.
The video(s) from the Nokia Open Lab 2008 are now up on the Ovi channel.
For all the attendees who were baffled as to why we were invited and what the purpose of the Lab was, in the part 2 of Jari Pasanen's introduction to the Nokia Open Lab event, he states what, as VP of Strategy, he was hoping to get out of the event:
"How we can actually improve the communication dialogue between guys like your self, because you also are not only leaders but also censors. You have a lot of understanding where this business is going. Nokia is now moving fast into the internet business. We are not saying we are an internet company. We still have our legacy, we are a mobile phone company, even though we call some of our products 'multimedia computers'...."
As I have watched some of the video from the event that is up on the Nokia Open Lab Ovi Channel, it has helped me to more clearly remember was was said, but... and this is a big but, I am even more forcefully struck then I was at the time by the lack of women present. The four of us who were invited did talk about the lack of women during the event and were told when we asked that more women were invited but couldn't make it.
In the video(s) of the Lab, it appears that Nokia's interest in brainstorming and/ or the experts about mobile and the interwebs' is only a guy thing. Yes, Anne, Micki, and I are featured in the videos (sorry, I haven't seen Rebecca yet in the vidstream), but the greater majority of the event invitees are men (4 women, over 35 men).
If we are to take Jari's introduction seriously and statement that the Open Lab was a way for internet folk to share their expertise with Nokia, then there were many women with expertise in social media, blogging, media, creation, and the internet who could have been invited, such as: Danah Boyd. Lynne D. Johnson. Sharanya Manivannan. Jen Beckman. Anne Galloway. Megan McMillan. Molly Wright Steenson.
Just sayin'. For next time.
Also, next time, 2 or 3 days of workshopping / discussions / brainstorming would be better than 1.5 days. We were just getting comfortable to really get down to the issues when it was time to go home.
Go watch the videos on the Nokia Open Lab Ovi Channel, there is some good stuff there. And some funny stuff as well. ;o)
The synopsis of the very first ever Nokia Open Lab 2008 is below the "fold" (aka click on the continue reading bit)...
Wed. 09.10.08 and Thurs. 09.11.08 - Thus the Nokia Open Lab 2008 starts off with travel from Seal Beach, California at an ungodly hour of the morning on Wednesday (ie before 5am) to get to LAX in time for a 7am (!!!!) flight to New York's JFK airport before transferring on to Helsinki via Finnair.
My neighbor Earl was so kind as to give me a ride to LAX before the crack of dawn even thought of getting up. The flight from LAX -> JFK was wonderful due to the lovely inflight GoGo wifi, as previously documented. At JFK, Micki and I stopped for lunch at an amusing "bistro" that was themed as a New York cop bar with the servers in fake police uniforms.
The plane ride from New York to Helsinki was uneventful, in that there was no wifi, and my poor rowmate, Rahul Nair, got a chatty Ms. Jen (sorry, Rahul...). But hey! Rahul was a part of the team that was responsible for Zonetag and Zurfer. Oh how I would have liked to have met him 2 years ago when I was working on the Around Ireland project. In my defense, it was an 8 hour flight to Helsinki and Rahul has been working in geo-location for a couple of years... ;o)
It usually takes me 4-7 days to fully get on a time zone, esp. it if is more than a 6 hour time zone shift from my usual time zone (Pacific Time). On this last few days' trip to Helsinki, I battled jet lag by not really sleeping, as I was only there for 3.5 days and traveling a total of 1.5 days.
There was no time to be jet lagged due to a busy schedule and no time to transition to the Central European time zone before departing back to California again. While I was there, I took a 2 hour nap most afternoons and only slept between 3am and 6am at night. Thus, it was as if I had to two days within each day. This actually worked, as it made me feel like I was in Helsinki twice as along as I was really there...
...Except the last time I had decent sleep was a week ago. I took today off to catch up on my sleep, but I didn't. Now I feel like I am melting.
div class="note"div class="note"Coming tomorrow: A photo essay of my fave photos from Helsinki and my Nokia Open Lab write up. Due to melting, my brain is unable to think either task up this evening.
A conversation last night at the Nokia Open Lab 2008 Party at Ahjo Bar:
Fellow Nokia Open Lab Attendee #1: How was the Sauna?
Ms. Jen: Good.
Fellow #1: Was it incredible?
Me: Uh... no.
Fellow #2: I wanted to go, but I went out for a walk instead.
Fellow #1: Just good? But they [event organizers] built it up that it was a premier Finnish experience.
Me: Yes, but it was just a sauna.
Fellow #1: Like my gym?
Fellow #2: I just couldn't get naked with other guys.
Me: Yes, like your gym.
Fellow #1: No....
Me: Yes, same size...
Fellow #1: No, it can't be a sauna just like my gym!
Me: Uh... wooden interior, about 8x10 feet, electric heater, pour water in. Just like a sauna at a spa or gym at home.
Fellow #1: It had to be nicer!
Me: There wasn't a cold pool to jump in.
Fellow #1: No?!? Then my gym is nicer.
Fellow #2: I am glad I didn't get naked with a bunch of guys.
For the next two months I am participating in the Nokia viNe project, of which a number of different folks from around the world have been given trial Nokia N82's that have a new Nokia geo-tracking-photo-video-music application* called lifeviNe**. At its most simple, lifeviNe is a 2nd major iteration of SportsTracker mobile app that has been repurposed and redesigned for photo and video geo-tracking rather than adding photos to one's workout.
This past February, I had the opportunity to participate in the Nokia Urbanista Diaries, where four bloggers / photographers were sent around the world in four separate two-week trips. During the Urbanista Diaries trip, we used Nokia N82's to take photos, all the while we ran SportsTracker as we went out and about. At the end of every "Workout", I would upload the "Workout" to my account at the SportsTracker web site, and then the Urbanista Flash app on the Nokia Nseries website would display my/our photos on the geo-tracked-located-mapped route for each of the Urbanista Diarists.
Thurs 09.11.08 - Best sunrise I ever seen, mind you I try to avoid them, but this had an amazing range of reds.
Photo taken today on a Finnair flight over the Baltic on the way to Helsinki.
I am still unable to upload a file via the light box uploader. C'est la vie.
When I walked up to the gate today for my plane between LAX and JFK, I saw several green kiosks that said "GoGo Broadband" with folks dressed in green next to the the kiosks explaining to other passengers what in-flight wifi was.
I overheard one of the green suited folks telling a passenger that it was $12.95 for wifi for the whole flight. The cheap in me said, I have enough to do (client & blogging related) that I don't need to spend $12.95 to Tweet for 5 hours.
My seatmate found out that GoGo's credit card processing is down right now, so they were giving free promos for the day. My cheap won out AND I get to blog while flying.
Also, their brochure read as if only a few websites like the Wall Street Journal and a few others were enabled, but so far I have been able to get on any site I want. Another interesting tidbit, is that the wifi does not work with Firefox for Mac, only Safari.
The good news is that it is fairly speedy, speed tested at 1.1 mbps. Thanks GoGo and American Airlines, y'all rock.
In 4 hours and 3 minutes, two of my alarms will ring for me to get up, take a shower, pack the last final bits, zip up the small-ish bag I borrowed from Alex, and then go to LAX airport to depart for Helsinki, Finland.
24 hours from now, I will be in Finland for the Nokia Open Lab workshop/seminar event for four days. I am excited, but tired from the last few days of whirlwind. I will be moblogging photos as I go, also watch the Nokia viNe* flash interface on the nseries.com website, as I will be sending my photos up there as well.
* How to view my geo-located-pathed photos? Go to: Nokia viNe, click on the "Experience Nokia viNe" button, click on "Contributors", scroll right until you find Ms. Jen, click on my icon, and then wait for the photos, map and track gets served up.
Sun 09.07.08 - Julia Elman at DjangoCon 2008.
Sun 09.07.08 - Day 2 at DjangoCon. Live blogging below the fold. :o)
* Lines for the Men's Room and no lines for the Ladies. This makes the ladies happy that the usual tables are turned.
* The loos' seats at Building 40 of the Googleplex are heated! I have never met a warmed toilet seat before. The lap of luxury, indeed.
* Speaking of ladies, out of 200 Con attendees there are over 20 of us here. Better ratios than the RailsEdge 2007 in Chicago or the Rich Web Experience that I dropped into last Sept in San Jose.
Go Django Go! Now go out and get more ladies involved in web dev!
* Speaking of male heavy tech conferences, the upside is that there is plenty of eye candy if you prefer the gents. Slightly geeky eye candy, but delightful nonetheless.
* Translating Deep Geek: In Java all the dense, insider only names for things seem to be about African large mammals and their lifeways. In Rails, they are just dense and opaque acronyms and some names reflecting birds and their lifeways. In Django the dense, insider naming conventions are jazz greats or musical references (Django, Satchmo, Banjo, etc). The question remains will Django branch naming out to the lifeways of jazz musicians (Touring, Heroin, Speakeasy, etc.)?
* The amusing part of the Googleplex is the large number of signs with RULES (emphasis on the EMPHATIC nature of the signs for information that normally should be common sense) printed on 8.5x11" white paper that are everywhere. Some examples:
"PLEASE No table tennis during tech talks" (The ping pong table has 3 signs on it and 1 next to it on a file cabinet)
"No Wire" (This sign is in blue with a white circle and line through it and it is next to a wireless router. Abstractly bizarre.)
Sat 09.06.08 - I am at the DjangoCon at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif. Per usual, I will be live blogging the event, please click on the "Continue Reading" link to get my transcript/notes.
I am now off to drive up to the San Francisco Bay Area to go to the DjangoCon 2008 that will be hosted at the Googleplex in Mountain View tomorrow & Sunday.
I am excited to be attending DjangoCon, Saturday night's Django 1.0 Release Party, and to visit the Googleplex for the first time. I had planned on staying up in San Francisco on Sunday night to have dinner with friends and generally wind down the weekend, but...
This morning I got a lovely email invitation asking if I wanted to attend the Nokia Open Lab* this upcoming week in Helsinki. Of course I said, "Yes, yes, yes!"
From the invite:
"The latest [Nokia Workshop] being a new annual workshop that hopes to involve an eclectic mix of the online community in a discussion of what the future holds for everything from mobile technology to media creation."
It will be a great whirlwind in the course of 8 days, all in the name of mobile and web creation! w00t!
div class="note"* Big Thanks to Charlie for helping me out with the real name of the Nokia Open Lab event. As usual, Super Charlie to the Rescue.
Thurs 09.04.08 - Pup outside of the Pike.
Thurs 09.04.08 - My Favorite invention of the week : Champagne in a Can. Thanks, Sofia!
Wed 09.03.08 - Scruffy and the Labradoodle at Dog Beach.
Test... test.. test!
[Update from computer: Don't look so appalled at your screen, I am just testing that the Lifeblog on the new N82 works.]
Tue 09.02.08 - Yay! I am very excited.
Please note that I think you are a worthwhile organization, but due to the Chuggers you employee or who volunteer I can't or won't ever donate money to you.
Greenpeace, there are a variety of ways for you to convince me of the rightness of your cause, but having college aged, highly earnest young people assault me outside of the supermarket ("Think about the Polar Bears!") or walking down Grafton Street or in London or ... or... or...
Greenpeace, a public place should not become a place of fear and loathing in the name of a liberal charity. A public place should only be come a place of fear and loathing if a government has murdered or abused its people in that place. So, why would a charity organization want to instill the same feelings in potential donors as the people that same organization is trying to stop from instilling such feelings in the public? Really.
Greenpeace, I realize that there is a big difference between Guantanamo and the exterior of the local market, but your Chuggers make me nearly as angry as the US Government. I don't want to be mugged in the name of charity. Why in the HELL in the world of idenity theft would I ever give my bank or private info to some earnest young person outside of a supermarket?
Greenpeace, why do you put me in the place of having to turn down said young person outside the supermarket and thus create feelings of liberal guilt for turning down said young person which causes me to hate you for setting up said young person to go out soliciting in front of my local supermarket.
Greenpeace, due to being chugged (charity mugged) each time I buy my groceries, I greatly dislike you. I don't have sympathy for your earnest young employees/volunteers. Because of your publically invasive chugging tactics, I don't even have sympathy for the polar bears.
In fact, Greenpeace, I was down right mean last week to one of your Chuggers. The poor young lady was about 21, earnest, and REALLY believed in the plight of the polar bears. After I pointed out the futility of her signing up suckers outside of the local supermarket ("But think of the polar bears."), I told her that Greenpeace had been ticking me off for 3 years in a variety of locations - Long Beach, London, Dublin, and Huntington Beach ("But the polar ice caps are melting, and think of the polar bears"). Then I defined a chugger to her and then asked her how her conscience could allow her to mug people in the name of polar bears.
Yes, Greenpeace, in your name, I crushed the innocence of some poor defenseless college human who wanted a summer job they could believe in. Please Greenpeace, stop the madness, stop forcing young, idealist folk from whoring themselves out in front of supermarkets. Please just send a direct mailing to all of the local Democrats via the US Postal Service instead. Rather than paying the local chugger to alienate your potential donor base, why not do a little demographic research and refine your fundraising to efforts that don't piss people off?
Greenpeace, if you had sent me a piece of paper spam via the USPS with a nice polar bear photo on it with an option to give $5-10 a month, I may have signed up. But instead you assaulted me with a chugger, so no $5-10 a month from me to you.
We can, if we work together help idealist, earnest young folk not whore themselves out in the name of charity. If we work together, we can stop the plague of chugging. Don't give to Chuggers.
Not even for the polar bears.
div class="note" [Forgive any cranky tone here, but this post has been building for nearly 3 years now.]