Monthly Archives: June 2011

Work, Love and Bi-Coastality

Next week, Steve and I will be packing up our place in DC, moving our furniture into storage and heading to Southern California to live for three months as part of a pact we made in December to split our time between DC (where I’m from) and California (where he’s from).

We have no grand strategy other than the fact that DC (weather-wise) is rather miserable in the summer and winter months, so we’re opting to enjoy SoCal during those seasons.

During our time in California (LA for July and August), we’ll still be working on projects and growing 1X57 (which is made possible by this little thing called the internet) but I’ll be taking an advanced screenwriting class at UCLA so I can refine my screenplay to the point I’m ready to pitch it and Steve will be reunited with his family, his friends and his “true love” – the Pacific Ocean – where he can surf his throbbing heart out. I’ll be hitting the waves, too. And we’ll be looking to become a part of a community in the same way we’ve done in DC, which we’ll be returning to in the fall.

While have some big things planned both work- and pleasure-wise (more and more they’re becoming the same) when we return to DC, we’re focusing on following our hearts and passions and riding whatever waves come our way.

POST SCRIPT: I almost forgot! We’ll be writing about and sharing some of our more fun adventures in California at Pamela’s Punch for The Pacific Punch.

 

 

Entrepreneurs Taking on Cabs

A few years ago I was in New York chatting with a cabby. The fellow was dirty, smelly, and overweight but fun to talk to. Especially since we were asking him about the black sedans that were all over the city. You can get in one, trade cell phone numbers with the driver, and have your own personal sedan service.

The cabby completely hated those sedans. He said they were unregulated and dangerous. They were obviously stealing business from the city regulated cabs. Throughout the whole conversation he didn’t say one thing that would deter me from taking the sedan.

I mean who doesn’t want to be in a clean black sedan with tinted windows, leather seats, and a clean driver in a suit?

Turns out I’m not the only one wants this. The personal sedan service in NYC is booming and so is Uber the start-up trying to capitalize on the business.

The company operates in a super efficient system. You text that you need a ride, they pick you up and drive you to your destination, and the price/tip is automatically charged to your card.

Right now the company only operates in San Francisco and NYC, but it won’t be long until it spreads like Zipcars.

That is if it can overcome the city bureaucracy, cab unions, and government law suits.

MG Siegler has written up how the city has slapped them with 20,000 hours of jail time with a cease-and-desist letter. The latter link goes into detail on why the company is so disruptive and threatening to the traditional cab system. It’s a fun read and super exciting for it’s revolutionary prospects in taxi industry (aka make it easier, cleaner, and safer).

I’ll go on the record right now and say that cabbies can be real a-holes. They seem to drive like they own the streets and can do whatever they want. Cleanliness, A/C, and politeness are like a dice roll. It’s as if they have a monopoly and are in need of competition…

We’ll see what happens with particular attention focused on tomorrow’s San Francisco cab strike and Uber’s half off discount during the strike, lol.

Getting Starting with Wikipedia: Seven Essential Steps

This weekend, something special happened. And I’m not referring to the fact that Steve and I got up before 9AM on a weekend.

A group of women (and a couple men) came together voluntarily on their own time to teach and learn how to edit Wikipedia. For 4 hours, 20 of us sat in the kitchen area of JESS3 headquarters and talked and learned and had a genuinely fun time. As I’ve written previously, it’s critical to have a diverse body of people contributing to Wikipedia since it’s key to making it reliable as a neutral knowledge resource.

If you’re interested in contributing to Wikipedia but aren’t sure where or how to start, here is list of key steps to get you going:

1. Do your homework. If you’ve don’t have any experience with programming or HTML, wiki-markup (the syntax used to create and edit Wikipedia articles) might intimidate you. So might the environment. Don’t let it. Learn the lingo and guidelines for engagement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Contents/Getting_started

2. Begin on home turf. Start by creating you own User page and play around with formatting there. Most Wikipedians respect individual User pages and won’t touch them.

3. Be bold. No one owns Wikipedia. Your contributions count just as much as everyone else’s. You can’t break Wikipedia. Nothing is ever lost if you change or remove something.

4. Use logic and tenacity. Sometimes edits you make will get deleted (or reverted). It happens. If you believe in your edits, use logic and tenacity to make them stick.

5. Talk it out. If you encounter a conflict or don’t understand why an edit you made is reverted, leave a message on the person’s Talk page to elaborate. You can see who reverts an edit page by the View History tab.

6. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes edits get reverted. It happens. Sometimes people are in pissy moods and take it out in Wikipedia. It happens. Don’t let this deter you from contributing. Learn and grow from it.

7. Find a buddy. Ask friends if they know how to edit Wikipedia. Or check out your local area for Wikipedia:Meetups and go and make some friends. Most Wikipedians are generous with their time and knowledge and will happily help out a beginner. You can also get “adopted” to be mentored via the Adopt-a-user program.

The full agenda and details of the workshop can be found in Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/DC_WWW1

Top 50 Los Angeles homegrown bands!

This is awesome! The LA Times magazine released the 50 best Los Angeles bands.

Each with a YouTube video and open voting for the best LA band. I’m viewing it on the iPad app, which is awesome (LA Times Magazine App), but you can also view it at latimesmagazine.com.

The cover everything from the Beach Boys to N.W.A. to The Doors, Van Halen, Chili Peppers, Tool, Rage, Toto, Linkin Park, Oingo Boingo, Weezer, Sublime, and more.

Plus, my new favorite…Los Lobos…what is it about this song that I can’t get enough of?

The glory of M&M’s

*This is a cross post from a new 1X57 project – OmuthituSchool.com*

Have you ever been away from home so long that you start missing the strangest things?

For me it’s always hometown doughnuts and Mexican food.

For Spence, who has been in Africa for 16 months, it’s M&M’s. Here’s a message I just received from him:

“Alright, goods news off the bat. I received your awesome package today and immediately downed 2 bags of M&M’s (with some sharing involved)…As you can see, my hyperness is still lingering. It’s funny too how much enjoyment I can get from a bag of American M&M’s.”

It’s always the little things :)

 

The glory of M&M's

*This is a cross post from a new 1X57 project – OmuthituSchool.com*

Have you ever been away from home so long that you start missing the strangest things?

For me it’s always hometown doughnuts and Mexican food.

For Spence, who has been in Africa for 16 months, it’s M&M’s. Here’s a message I just received from him:

“Alright, goods news off the bat. I received your awesome package today and immediately downed 2 bags of M&M’s (with some sharing involved)…As you can see, my hyperness is still lingering. It’s funny too how much enjoyment I can get from a bag of American M&M’s.”

It’s always the little things :)

 

Funny business, a woman’s career

Funny business, a woman’s career – the things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you’ll need them again when you get back to being a woman. That’s one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we’ve got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we’ve had or wanted. And in the last analysis, nothing’s any good unless you can look up just before dinner or turn around in bed, and there he is. Without that, you’re not a woman. You’re something with a French provincial office or a book full of clippings, but you’re not a woman. Slow curtain, the end.

Margo Channing

from the movie All About Eve

Funny business, a woman's career

Funny business, a woman’s career – the things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you’ll need them again when you get back to being a woman. That’s one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we’ve got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we’ve had or wanted. And in the last analysis, nothing’s any good unless you can look up just before dinner or turn around in bed, and there he is. Without that, you’re not a woman. You’re something with a French provincial office or a book full of clippings, but you’re not a woman. Slow curtain, the end.

Margo Channing

from the movie All About Eve

What happened to the iPhone 5?

Between all the hype about iCloud, OSX Lion, and Apple’s WWDC 2011, something went missing. The next version of the iPhone, rumored to be called iPhone 5.

So what happened to the iPhone 5?

I’ve been crawling the internet everyday (see picture at right) for news and everything is mum.

Not my Mom, she is convinced it is coming out in September. I want to believe her but, at this point, there is nothing to back that up.

We might as well add her speculation to the rest, here is what I’ve found so far:

TUAW: “Sources inspecting the…iOS 5 firmware have discovered suggestions of two future iPad 3 models as well as a pair of iPhone 5 models.”

MacStories: “A new report from Digitimes, camera image sensor supplier OmniVision has won “significant orders” for Apple’s next-generation iPhone, set to debut later this year.”

That’s pretty much it, my mom’s speculation, TUAW’s, and MacStories. I’m not all that convinced…

Let’s switch into likely outcomes…September, December, next year. Here is BeatWeek’s break down:

  • August – iOS 5 needs beta testing and developer lead time…sounds reasonable.
  • September - the above scenario, except Apple uses its early September iPress Conference to launch the iPhone 5…most likely.
  • Just before the holidays – Something about the iPhone 5 and/or iOS 5 is running late, and we mean late…you’re getting colder
  • Doomsday 2012 - Apple decides to leave the iPhone 4 as the current model for more than a year and a half, unleashing the iPhone 5 in February of 2012 or so….evokes the phrase “epic fail.”

Ok, so we are back to September as the best option. Although, it feels like wishful thinking to me..what do you think?

Oh, and PS, does the following mean the iPhone 4S is dead?

BeatWeek:

“Here’s what really happened behind the iPhone 4S saga, as best we can piece together:

The iPhone 5 will be the next iPhone and it’ll have the same A5 processor as the iPad 2…

Some developers complained that they wouldn’t be able to properly test the limits of their upcoming iPhone apps if they were limited to doing their testing on an A4 instead of an A5. So Apple sent out some jury-rigged iPhone 4 units with A5 processors wedged into them for testing purposes. Word leaked out about it, and some folks misinterpreted this ..being the next commercial iPhone release. And because the last time Apple released an iPhone model twice in a row with a different processor inside they called the second one iPhone 3GS, these folks decided that this “new” iPhone 4 must therefore be called the iPhone 4S..”

Web vs Internet: The Future of Going Online

Here is an interesting debate between Josh Topolsky and MG Siegler talking about Apple’s new iCloud strategy.

Josh is making the case that Apple is completely ditching the Internet, and MG is countering that Josh is missing the App revolution.

Josh: “When it comes to Apple, it feels to me like the company views the web as a technology which undermines rather than enriches its products. It wants you to talk to the cloud, but only through its portals and its gateways, in closed loops and private networks…(the iCloud comes) to fruition in terms of syncing, activation, and even file storage and management… but the company seems to have forgotten the one big piece…the web front-end for these services. Instead of pulling up the stakes here, Apple should be doubling down. The internet is not just going to go away.”

iCloud and Apple’s Truth


MG: “His entire argument is based on what I believe to be a fallacy: that Apple is going to completely turn their back on Web support for iCloud…Topolsky seems to do what many of us now do: interchange the meaning of the words “Web” and “Internet”…the Web (that is, the World Wide Web — HTML documents linked together).”

MG: “I woud argue that Apple is attempting to redefine at least a part of what the Internet is with iCloud…Further, I applaud Apple for not taking an approach to the Internet that is more or less creating another Google Docs clone. Or Flickr killer. Gmail replacement. Facebook eater. Etc…Apple is doing what they do best: re-imagining the way things are done.”

Thinking outside the browser box

After reading this all I can think of is my Bank of America app and all of its bill paying friends (Etrade, ATT, Fidelity, American Express). Would I rather sit in front of a desk with a computer to check balances and pay bills? Or, would I rather sit at a neighborhood cafe or be johnny-on-the-spot checking a balance right before I buy something?

The facts are obvious on this one. Apple is on to something with over 500,000 apps in its store and over 10 billion downloads, not to forget billions in revenue.

This means that Apple is at it once again “re-imagining the way things are done” as MG Siegler says. Imagine where this App fiasco will take us…causing a drastic reduction in web browsing, with the new norm being 75% of internet data use via apps and only 25% via browsers?

It appears to be heading that way since every major player has an App or an App Store. Heck, Apple is even switching over their operating system to Apps (see OSX Lion). We might even be witnessing the birth of the new operating system, the ultra-powerful but super-simple App OS.

Are we saying bye-bye to folders and windows and hello to bright shiny picture buttons?

Apple's new Launchpad (turning laptops into mobile App devices)