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San Francisco
A world travelling hacker-poet from San Francisco
Recent Activity
When Brussel Sprouts suddenly popped up on every menu in San Francisco many years ago, I was both delighted and curious. Like many others I went from being barely aware of the food to enjoying it on a regular basis. I'd often remark to people that there had to have been some development in agriculture or supply chain support that caused this, but no one ever agreed with me. Like seriously not a single person ever said "yeah, I wonder what it was". Everyone thought it was just a trend. Those who were more of the foodie type insisted it... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2022 at Aku Aku
One of my favorite jobs was a consulting gig I did between when my co-founder and I realized we were running low on cash and were not going to be able to raise the funds we needed to grow our two person startup Meexo (most investors didn't believe people would use smart phones for dating in 2011), and when my co-founder got us acqui-hired by Live Nation (for enough money to pay back our investors' convertible note and pocket a little for ourselves, he's really good). Anyhow, the main reason I liked that gig was the people. They were just... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2022 at Aku Aku
A friend who was looking for a new job texted me "how does one become a demonstrably better engineer?" Given what I knew of their context, I assumed they were looking for something actionable that would ratchet them up a notch in interviews (perceived more senior). The question stumped me. I just didn't have a good answer. Given the longstanding situation where companies interview in a manner optimized for the software engineering challenges of last century, there are only two ways I really know of that typically manner: be recruited directly by ex-colleagues who know your skills well, or excel... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2022 at Aku Aku
Some hipster retailer needs to make replicas of these 3,000 year old horse mounted fighter pants and sell them on Etsy. The pants' basic design is strikingly similar to the pants most of us wear today, but closer inspection reveals the level of engineering that went into designing them. [...] And all of those components were woven as a single piece; there's no evidence of any of the fabric having been cut. [...] The Turfan trousers are an extremely functional design, but they’re also pretty damn fancy. As the weaver was working on that stretchy, roomy crotch piece, they alternated... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2022 at Aku Aku
Since the early 90s I've been keeping a list of various ideas I've had for software products. It's not an exhaustive list, just the ones that I took seriously for some period of time. There are many others that never made it past the "wouldn't it be cool" concept phase and thus never made the list. Many of these listed below didn't make it much further than a couple of weeks of design and/or proof of concept coding, but some were actually pretty fully realized. Some were collaborations but the bulk were solo efforts. A lot of these read as... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2022 at Aku Aku
I love this concept of creating a font which is carved into a tree and then updated yearly by capturing how the tree has modified it by growing. Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2022 at Aku Aku
Ran across an interesting project which at initial glance is about food delivery called Free Food. As I explain below, that's free as in speech not beer. The creator of it, Noah Levenson, has a pretty good intro video: Given the project name, at first I thought it was about getting food that would be thrown out distributed to hungry folks, but watching the video, it became clear that this is more about being able to order food directly from verified local restaurants on a decentralized trust network and avoiding the (almost criminally) inefficient middle man services like DoorDash, GrubHub,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2021 at Aku Aku
I haven't spent a lot of time in Roblox, even though both of my kids have spent significant amounts of their time and my money there, but this essay about how it compares to those places where teenagers hang out and create their own space away from the rest of the world really resonates. It makes me want to give it a try again. Some choice excerpts: On his first experience in Roblox: In one of the very first games we played together (a work-in-progress safari game, the link to which I have since lost), V became a zebra, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2021 at Aku Aku
Now that Bill Cosby got an early release from prison, my friend Paul brought my attention to the company Undercover Colors that developed a clear nail polish that allows you to check a drink for drugs by dipping a fingernail into the drink. The nail polish changes colors if drugs are encountered. Brilliant! And love that it was founded by NC State students (didn't to school there, but did participate in their rugby club as a townie). It looks like the product has evolved slightly to a more typical strip test kit though. I supposed the manufacturing costs proved too... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2021 at Aku Aku
I started compiling this list before George Floyd was murdered, and its triteness bothers me now so I'm just going to post it and move on. In no particular order: Masks largely stay culturally accepted in flu and allergy seasons from now on in the USA, but will always carry a political connotation so some groups will never wear them and mock those that do, but like punk rockers have always mocked people in suits. 15 years from now, a common trope will be determining how old some young adult is by what basic K-12 subject they seemed to have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2020 at Aku Aku
Kirk's dik dik (which is not pronounced xylophone, nice one guys) is a new Bay Area band that just released the summer 2020 album jam: Bestiary. Bestiary by KIRK'S DIK DIK It consists of the guy I get my fish from, Kirk Lombard, and a guy that apparently used to be in the same band as Simon who built our bedroom shelves and dated our daughter's nanny a decade ago, Cary Kirk. That last sentence was terrible. Simon did the building and dating, not Cary. I don't actually know either of these two, but I've enjoyed both of their other... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2020 at Aku Aku
Like Mad Max rising from within the desert floor, a bit of the old San Francisco arts scene appeared unexpectedly the past week when I found an old forgotten camcorder tape in a box. It contained footage from June 2001 at Ace Junkyard featuring, among other entertainments, Survival Research Labs and the debut of their new pitching machine which fired two by four studs at 200 mph. Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2020 at Aku Aku
Uber has announced intention to deliver meals via drones. Since Federal law requires drones to be operated by human pilots with clear line of sight, it makes me wonder if a new job role will call for gig workers that are stationed in strategic positions to form a mesh network to pilot these drones. One can imagine them handing off control of a particular drone from pilot to pilot. Since a pilot can presumably operate only one drone at a time, will it be necessary to rent space on flat rooftops in order for drones to "rest" as they wait... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Aku Aku
Well I finally found something worthy enough to bring this blog out of its 7 year hiatus. YOU GUYS, DID YOU KNOW SHARKS GET GOOGLY EYED WHEN YOU PET THEM? This is a GIF-grab from S02E04 of Tales by Light on Netflix. This episode is part of a two part series where the Bay Area's own Eric Cheng sidles up to a couple of fearsome animals and show they are beautiful in their environment. E03 was about anacondas. We only watched these two eps, as we're fans of Eric after we bought one of his earlier prints in 2006 of... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2017 at Aku Aku
I liove the café racer look, but I fear moving away from Japanese engineering for British.
Toggle Commented Jan 28, 2013 on New Ride at The Winter Webb
1 reply
The Singularity Summit is an annual event put on by the Singularity Institute ("bring[ing] rational analysis and rational strategy to the challenges facing humanity as we develop cognitive technologies that will exceed the current upper bounds on human intelligence"). In a nutshell, it can be rationally conceived that in humanity's near future artifical intelligence will be created that is smarter than us, and after that, all bets are off, hence the "singularity". You might say to yourself, just like surely there are some scientists making sure we don't get hit by a giant asteroid or that some bioweapon doesn't decimate the planet, surely there are some scientists or policy thinkers out there who are considering that and preparing for it, just in case, to make sure we don't end up in some Terminator-esque dystopia. These are those scientists and thinkers. The following is my brief recap of the event. Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2011 at Aku Aku
I think I have a new favorite cinema trilogy. Lush and sensual visuals, soundtracks, imagery... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2011 at Aku Aku
dav added a favorite at Kokochi
Sep 26, 2011
Ha, that's great.
1 reply
I made a music video thingy using footage from our recent houseboat weekend for Tripped and Fell in Love, my favorite YACHT song from their new album Shangri-La. Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2011 at Aku Aku
You were like the hottest moblogger ever
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2011 on August 2011 at Kokochi
1 reply
Tesla was watching Blue's Clues this morning and I got to wondering what Steve, the show's host, was up to these days. Starting with the default two step of Google -> his Wikipedia page, I find that There were apparently enough rumors going around that he died of a heroin overdose that he has his own entry. He quit the show because, in his words, "I knew I wasn't gonna be doing children's television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid's TV show, and it was happenin'--fast." After quitting he concentrated on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2011 at Aku Aku
dav is now following Kokochi
Jul 11, 2011
Ah cool, good points! I hadn't checked out any Chrome extensions yet, will look into that. And no I hadn't seen an FAQ yet, but just noticed it after you pointed it out. A lot of good info in there, such as "the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) says that we cannot play more than three songs from one album or four songs from one artist in a three hour period." For the most part it seems like social constructs have been enforcing that but I guess they must have some algorithm enforcements in place as well. Great seeing you on there, you're one of my reconnected friends!
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2011 on Thoughts on at Aku Aku may turn out to have pulled the most epic Odeo since Twitter. Despite serious problems with stability, the service has practically erupted in users with average engagement times that surely beat out even Facebook. I'm not going to bother typing up a description of the service as it is ably described here at Signal News, and I'm thinking of writing a more in depth analysis of their engagement mechanics (based on Amy Jo Kim's Smart Gamification patterns), but here is a brain dump: As my friend Todd Siegel pointed out, at a basic level SecondLife has been offering something... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2011 at Aku Aku