Thursday, June 30, 2011

On A Bike

On a bike you see a different city.

I biked along Broadway, across the Williamsburg Bridge, straight to 8th Avenue, then up north on 8th, into Central Park, made a few circles, then came down 7th Avenue, then down Broadway from Times Square, then down 5th Avenue from Madison Square Park, then a few lefts, and back across Williamsburg Bridge.

A few blocks from Williamsburg Bridge one black dude remarked: "First time I seen a biker stop for a black male!"

I had not even seen them until then. I had just stopped, waiting for my turn to cross the road.

I waved as I sped away.

Biking through the city was a serene feeling. The best part was going up on 8th Avenue for as long as the bike lane had been painted green, and then it got wild close to 40th Street.

Biking is like walking - the exercise, the sight seeing - only faster.

I almost ran into a cab door. Some dude abruptly opened the cab door when I was almost next to the cab. I managed to avoid.

I had no plans to cross into Manhattan when I got the bike out: borrowed bike.

It was tremendous fun.

Going biking for the next few hours across Brooklyn/Queens. Borrowed bike. Thanks Bhawani. #nycless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Need to find a new place to live by tomorrow. Don't have a place yet. Funny how it always works out just fine. #nycless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Tigers That Talked: 23 Fears

(Via Song Of The Day)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

At The Buspark

I had been House Captain of one of the four senior houses. There were two junior houses, four senior houses, and then there was Gaurishankar, where people who stayed on to do O Levels and A Levels - Senior Cambridge stuff - stayed. Back then in Nepal school was 10 years. Then you sat for the nationwide School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exams. And if you passed, maybe you went to college. But high school was 12 years in places like America and Britain. And this British founded and run top school in Nepal had introduced O Levels, A Levels. Half of the students in Class 10 were selected to do O Levels. Half of those were selected to do A Levels. And this was already a school where you got into in Class 4 after sitting through nationwide entrance exams.

O Levels was two years in Britain, one year at this school. So you finished school in 13 years.

We had three vacations: summer, Dashain/Tihar, and winter. Dashain would be the Nepali Christmas. I was not from Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a valley, the capital. Half the students at school were from outside the valley. I was one of them. The valley students got to go home about once a month for a weekend. We went home for the three vacations.
Kathmandu store, NepalImage via Wikipedia
I had given an excellent year as House Captain. We won pretty much every competition there was, academic, sports and otherwise. Morale was super high. The grades of the students went up across the board. I personally took charge of one student a year junior to me who was considered struggling. His marks were up by 20% across the board by the time I was through.

And a fight broke out on the soccer field. We won the match, there was a fight. I learned about it later. It apparently escalated. It erupted in the dining hall later, and one or two places on campus. I heard.

Our official color was blue. The red house were the sore losers.

But then things quietened down, or so I thought.

I had been the top student in my class every year to that point.

Circles: My Idea

The Sean Parker Analogy

This is weird. I am watching this video. And I am at the 27 minute mark, and I am like this is weird.

I am not into smartphones either. I mean, I don't even have one. I don't have a regular phone. I have a barebones prepaid. And the guy pulled out a primitive phone.

I am not into gaming. Reality is more fascinating than fiction. My World Of Warcraft is the crowd action across the Arab world. That's my "gaming."

I don't do product/coding stuff. For me it is about the user experience. Third parallel.

I don't care about money. But it is a good measuring tool. It is necessary fluidity. I have to convince myself it is about curing poverty for me to be able to think in terms of big money. If it is just, just, just about me, I am just fine where I am, and I need to find a new place to live by July 1.

That white male, how did he know these things?

White Male Conspiracy To Drive Me Homeless
Sean Parker, Billionaire, Was Really Poor Once
The Day I Got Called Sean Parker

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sean Parker: Video: Facebook, MySpace

Google And Apple Playing Tetris?

When Apple revealed its new operating system, the town was abuzz. Oh no, Apple is out to kill all sorts of sexy startups! And now Google is doing the same. Some very sexy apps out there might see fierce competition from Google. It is like Walmart came to town, and the mom and pop stores are going belly up.

Apple Is All Over The News

Has Google Finally Cracked Social?

Driving Coast To Coast

I once drove coast to coast, it was about sleeping and driving, and sleeping and driving, and sleeping and driving. I wanted to get there fast. I did it. I went from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast. It was an experience.

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When Wikipedia Beats Social Media

Great early computer scientists and engineers? Alan Turing...who else?less than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

@jenny8lee This is where Wikipedia beats social media. :-) Or, long live Google.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Stanley Clarke: Spanish Phrases For Strings And Bass

(Via Whitney McNamara)

Babycastles Awesome Party In Williamsburg

In Williamsburg for the Babycastles party. 1st person to show. Trick: be punctual. Just the ambience. Tempting music.less than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply

Monday, June 27, 2011

Google Nexus Prime On The Way

Which phone will be my first smartphone? Nexus Prime has as good a shot as any if it shows up fast enough. My first tablet will also be an Android, but only if it compares to the iPad in feel, and is super cheap. I am not paying 500 for a tablet. I paid 330 for my current laptop. And that is why the Chromebook is a fail for me right now: it is not cheap enough for me. Hello Michael, as in Michael Dell.

VentureBeat: Google’s first Android 4.0 phone may be Samsung’s Nexus Prime
MobileCrunch: New Details On Google's Next Nexus: Now Known As Nexus “Prime,” Built By Samsung
CNet: Is this buttonless phone the next Nexus handset?

FoodSpotting API

Image representing Foodspotting as depicted in...Image via CrunchBaseFoodSpotting's Dish As Starting Point
Twitter ---> Instagram ---> FoodSpotting

I was just reading this and it occurred to me that the solution to my number one gripe about FoodSpotting lies in the app releasing an API: social is for other independent developers to do.
Inc.: 30 Under 30: Alexa Andrzejewksi, Soraya Darabi, and Ted Grubb, Founders of Foodspotting: To learn about bootstrapping her book project, she joined Women 2.0 and started aggressively networking, talking about her plan to catalog restaurant dishes. Tech start-up veteran programmer Ted Grubb met her at a happy hour at Adaptive Path, where Andrzejewski was a consultant, and advised she steer her 20th-Century project into the smartphone era...... When he couldn’t find Andrzejewski a qualified technical co-founder, Grubb decided to learn iPhone programming himself, and he created a prototype Foodspotting app while in a decidedly un-2.0 setting: a tent in the wilderness. ...... New York media darling Soraya Darabi .... scored $3 million in angel funding. ...... "I know that I'm working more than—or as much as—I have in other jobs, but it doesn't feel like work, and that's the huge emotional difference for me" ....... on the forefront of the local, mobile, social app space ...... an international hit, with global "super spotters" staging "eat-ups" in hundreds of cities globally. ...... When it debuted in the iTunes app store, Foodspotting was one of just six apps in the location-based category. "The space has heated up a ton since last July—today it's a crowded space, actually—but back when we were raising money it was new to everybody," Andrzejewski says...... Despite initial investor skepticism, and nine months of bootstrapping, the trio was able to raise $3 million in funding from BlueRun Ventures. That's allowed the company to expand to ten employees: two in New York City, and eight in an open-air-café-inspired office in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood. To stay connected bi-coastally, Skype and SocialCast are open constantly on everyone's computers...... "And just as many funny things happen on Skype as in the office."
The API might also be the solution to the aspect that might most excite me about FoodSpotting personally: SMS enabled spotting of dishes around the world. Food is like music: you could discover endlessly. It is not possible to spot all the dishes that got made around the world just today, no matter how much crowdsourcing you do, and dishes morph. Recipes are alive, just like language stays alive. Good cooks improvise like jazz musicians.

Jessica Mah, Mark Zuckerberg
Jessica Mah: The Most Promising 19 Year Old Tech Entrepreneur In America

Dropbox, FoodSpotting, GroupMe, Hipmunk, inDinero, Instagram, and Quora are some of the names on the list that stand out.

The Color Social Graph Might Work Better For Books, Movies, Music

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Big City, The Biggest City In The World

New York is a big city. If you take the metro region into account, it perhaps is the biggest city in the world.

The first big American city I lived in for a few months was Philadelphia. I would walk to work every morning. It was a 40 minute walk from UPenn near where I was staying to downtown. Half way through the walk you started seeing the tall buildings. And I would be like wow. That wow factor never left me those few months.

I was in Philly for a few hours in January. I went downtown. It felt like a small town.

That is how big New York is.

New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law
Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two Chief Guests: Non Resident Nepali Gathering: Times Square: June 25


I was just texting back and forth like crazy with John's staffer Crystal. I got her two voice mails 10 hours late this past hour. And now we have confirmed, future Mayor John Liu is also coming. The Nepalis are excited out of their minds. They don't know what hit them. What hit them is the Midnight Taiwan Express.

We already had Bill Perkins. That got confirmed when I dropped by Bill's office Monday morning.

Intercontinental Hotel
300 West 44th Street
44 St, 8th Avenue
Times Square

2-3 PM

Bill Perkins: Rock Star
John Liu: Mayor Of NYC: 2013
Happy Holi
Happy Holi
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Friday, June 24, 2011

FourSquare's New Round

The first place I heard about it was here.

Then I went to the TechMeme site, pressed the F for find button and typed FourSquare. And I read up.

Hello Williamsburg

Google Under The Knife

govt used to be scared of MSFT's control of browser. Now some r scared of google search dominance. Don't need regulate sw. Innovation winsless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Wall Street Journal: Feds to Launch Probe of Google:Federal regulators are poised to hit Google Inc. with subpoenas, launching a broad, formal investigation into whether the Internet giant has abused its dominance in Web-search advertising ..... wouldn't necessarily lead to any federal allegations of wrongdoing against Google ...... the Google probe ultimately could be as much of a watershed event for antitrust policy as the Justice Department's landmark lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. in the 1990s. ...... the legal assault on the company—and its aftermath—helped check Microsoft's ability to exploit its dominance in personal-computer operating systems to control other technology sectors. The long-running case also distracted the company from its operations and tarnished its public images—risks that might also face Google...... it isn't illegal to have a monopoly—only to acquire one unlawfully or abuse it....... whether Google searches unfairly steer users to the company's own growing network of services at the expense of rival providers. ....... a group representing several Google critics, including Microsoft and travel services Expedia Inc.,, and Sabre Holdings....... using other companies' content without their permission, deceptive display of search results, manipulation of search results to favor Google's products, and buying up competitive threats to its dominance....... the company has said it "built Google for users, not websites, and our goal is to give users answers." ...... Google has drawn public complaints from travel sites like Expedia and TripAdvisor, health site and local-business reviews sites and, among others. They claim Google promotes links to its own services—such as local-business information pages—depriving their sites of potential traffic...... Google is quickly expanding its array of services that seek to directly answer users' queries, departing from its original strategy of sending them quickly to the most relevant site. Since 2009, for example, Google has directed people who search for mortgages or credit cards to its own marketplace for such offers....... Google doesn't subject its specialized sites, such as Google Places, the company's local-business information pages, to the same rules that cover their sites, and so Google's own sites often show up atop its search results, regardless of their quality. Google has used Google Places as a launching pad to sell ads to local businesses who want to promote offers to Google Web-search users...... "They should compete on fair terms, but they're not subjecting their own content to the same standards by which they judge ours," said Jay Herratti, chief executive of CityGrid Media, a unit of IAC that operates, and "They always guarantee themselves the top position with products that are largely built on other publishers' content," he said........ Google is abusing its dominance in search ads to extend its control to other markets, from mobile phones to online television, publishing and airline travel...... The probe is expected to take a year or more to unfold, and it won't necessarily lead to any charges...... But the FTC fought hard with the Justice Department to take the case, the people familiar with the matter said, and so is unlikely to walk away without taking any action. ...... In addition to Texas, where a state investigation of Google was disclosed last year, the attorneys general of New York, California and Ohio have started preliminary probes of the company ...... In April, Google agreed to submit to independent privacy audits for the next 20 years as part of a legal settlement with the FTC of claims it violated users' privacy at its social network Buzz...... Google agreed to allow the Justice Department to oversee a slice of its operations in exchange for approval of its $700 million purchase of travel-software provider ITA Software..... In 2008, the Justice Department blocked a Google advertising agreement with Yahoo Inc., saying it would have controlled more than 90% of the relevant market.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bill Clinton Making Sense On Jobs

Bill Clinton: Newsweek: It’s Still the Economy, Stupid
Harry Hopkins had nowhere near the rules and regulations we have now. (In 1933, Hopkins’s Civil Works Administration put 4 million to work in a month.) ...... President Obama came in with a really good energy policy, including an idea to provide both a tax credit for new green jobs and for startup companies, to allow the conversion of the tax credit into its cash equivalent for every employee hired. ....... the obvious candidate for that role today is changing the way we produce and use energy ...... Before the financial meltdown, the four countries that will meet their Kyoto greenhouse-gas emission targets were outperforming America with lower unemployment, more new business formation, and less income inequality. ...... We could put a million people to work retrofitting buildings all over America. ...... You get 7,000 jobs for every billion dollars in retrofitting. Let’s start with the schools and colleges and hospitals, and state, county, and local government buildings. That would keep the construction industry busy for a couple of years, creating a million jobs that would ripple through the whole economy, spurring even more growth. ....... One of the reasons Harry Reid won in Nevada is that, right before the election, two big Chinese companies announced they were moving factories there to make LED lightbulbs and turbines for the big wind farms down in Texas. ........ They said, “We’re coming here because Nevada has the best state incentives to go with the federal incentives.” They were very clinical. They said labor costs in China are still cheaper, but these turbines are big and heavy, and higher transportation costs to the U.S. market would offset the labor gains—and there was a tax credit from the federal government for green-energy manufacturing, and extra credits in Nevada. ........ Banks still have more than $2 trillion in cash uncommitted to loans. ....... I suggested that the federal government set aside—not spend—$15 billion of the TARP money and create a loan-guarantee program that would work exactly the way the Small Business Administration does. Basically, the bank lends money to a business after the federal government guarantees 75 percent of it. Let’s say that the SBA fund has about a 20-to-1 loan-to-capital ratio, and it’s never come anywhere near bankruptcy. If we capitalized this more conservatively at 10-to-1, we could guarantee $150 billion in loans and create more than a million jobs. ........ Look at the tar roofs covering millions of American buildings. They absorb huge amounts of heat when it’s hot. And they require more air conditioning to cool the rooms. Mayor Bloomberg started a program to hire and train young people to paint New York’s roofs white. ........ In most of these places you could recover the cost of the paint and the labor in a week. ...... Every analysis shows that TARP and the stimulus saved us from a second Great Depression. After the GM and Chrysler bailouts, we have something like 75,000 more jobs in the industry. Closure of the factories and the suppliers with them would have cost a million jobs. The stimulus should have been more vigorously defended in the last election. It did work, but it didn’t “fix the economy” because it was an $800 billion stimulus trying to fix a $3 trillion hole. ........ If we cut a lot of government spending while our economy still has so little private investment, we risk weakening the economy even more and increasing the deficit because tax revenues can fall more than spending is cut. ...... When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton said, “Because that’s where the money is.” We have to unlock that money and take steps to get U.S. corporations to invest some of the $2 trillion they have accumulated. ....... The real thing that has killed us in the last 10 years is that too much of our dealmaking creativity has been devoted to expanding the financial sector in ways that don’t create new businesses and more jobs and to persuading people to take on excessive debt loads to make up for the fact that their incomes are stagnant. ...... In the seven years and eight months that preceded the meltdown, our economy produced a meager 4 million new jobs, far too few to cope with millions coming into the workforce, and virtually all those jobs were created in housing, finance, and consumer spending. ........ the former labor commissioner in Georgia, Michael Thurmond. After job vacancies go unfilled for a certain period of time, the state offers businesses the money to train potential employees themselves. During the training period, the companies don’t become employers, so they don’t have to start paying Social Security taxes or employer benefits. They train people their way, then hire those who succeed as regular employees, reducing the time lag between when a job is advertised and when it is filled. With unemployment at 9 percent and the real rate of those without full-time work higher, there are 3 million posted job vacancies. Filling them faster could make a big difference. ........ Lower the rates to be competitive, but reduce the loopholes that cause unfair disparities. We all need to contribute something to help meet our shared challenges and responsibilities, including solving the debt problem. ...... we abandoned the path of balanced budgets 10 years ago, choosing instead large tax cuts especially for higher-income people like me, along with two wars and the senior citizens’ drug benefit. In the history of our republic, it’s the first time we ever cut taxes while going to war. ...... There must be opportunities to be tapped, given all the cash in banks and corporate treasuries. ........ There’s been a remarkable lack of attention to “microeconomics,” the untapped growth potential of American corporations, entrepreneurs, and workers.
Now we know, the banks are sitting on two trillion dollars of cash, and the corporations are sitting on two trillion dollars of cash. There is no shortage of cash. There is no shortage of people with skills. There are huge unmet demands. So what's amiss?

Bill Clinton is well qualified to be talking on this topic. He sat on an economy that did well. The economy did so well he deserved a third term.

Lytro: A High End Product?

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by
Hi Paramendra, I personally really like the photo with the martial artists and the sword. The dimension you get is really intriguing. Although your photo is of course great, too. I know what you mean about not carrying a camera around always because they can be so bulky; I’m really trying to remember mine more often because I often see pretty things in nature that I want to capture. The Lytro tech seems really awesome for people who need a little help taking professional-quality photos, but I don’t think most people will be able to afford it if it’s too expensive. The CEO Ng said it will cost under $10k, which is obviously way too much for most people, so it will be interesting to see if the company prices it for the consumer since they said it’s supposed to be for the consumer market. I wanted to share this video on the Lytro tech with you. I think you’ll appreciate how it analyzes news coverage from different sources to show various perspectives on the impact the cameras will make. I hope you’ll consider embedding the video in your post. Thanks, Kate (comment left to this Lytro blog post from earlier)
It takes a white woman to drive an Asian to his senses. What was I thinking? The founders of both Color and Lytro are "Asian." I need to be rooting for them. Every attack on Carol Bartz is an attack on Jerry Yang.

Brandon Flowers: Only The Young

(Via Elleolivia)

Lytro: Another Color?

Earliest Niépce camera, 1826Image via WikipediaThis is not me saying Color fell off the cliff. I don't know. I carry a bulky camera, which means I hardly ever have a camera on me. And for me it is about what I see with my eyes. Where I am, what I am looking at, that particular view. That specific frame. The camera I believe is secondary to photography. And I believe most moments should not be captured. If you love butterflies, you don't become a butterfly collector. And there is some quantum mechanics thrown in. If you get too precise with the location of the particle, you miss out on the velocity. The freeze frame quality of picture taking can rob you of the full experience. Put that camera away, please.

Except when you decide you are going to take pictures for hours on end.

Williamsburg (1)
Williamsburg (2)
Williamsburg (3)

Hundreds more to come as early as tomorrow.

But then I was looking at this Lytro picture and a cold shiver ran down my spine. When you click on the sword, the artist disappears - artist, as in martial artist - and when you click on the artist, the sword disappears. That is problematic, to me it is.

Dial M For Murder

Dial M For Murder (in Williamsburg) (photo) reblogging @sorayadarabiless than a minute ago via Tweet Button Favorite Retweet Reply