Sunday, September 25, 2005

My Saturday

On Saturday, a friend rented a sailboat (see picture...Radiance) for the day and invited others (including me) to join him. This is the second time that I've been out with him this summer. The day was perfect...sunny, warm, a little slow on the wind-side, but that picked up later in the day. We left from the Alameda Marina, headed North and around the time we hit the Bay Bridge, the wind picked up and we were able to actually get some real speed. We found our way to Tiburon, found a berth (woohoo!) next to Sam's, were seated right away and had some drinks/appetizers. We made it back about an hour after sunset.

After that, I headed over to another friend's house for some dinner. He lives high up in an apartment that overlooks the Bay/Alcatraz and just as I arrived watched a fireworks performance that was taking place somewhere around Fisherman's Wharf. Not sure what was going on there, but we were all happy for them. Then it was time for some George Foreman grilled lamb and wine...yum yum yum! Not a bad Saturday, huh?

Friday, September 16, 2005

A cool conference my employer is putting on next month


Over the last decade, computing has been rapidly diffusing from our desktops into the wider world around us. It has become embedded in our homes, roads, offices, hospitals, factories, and even clothing. Wireless networks are now ubiquitous, keeping us and our smart devices connected no matter where we roam. Meanwhile, new sensing devices are beginning to act as the eyes and ears of these same networks. Taken together, computing, communication, and sensing technologies are now bringing a new level of sentience to our everyday environments—a new kind of context awareness.

This transformation of our environment is proceeding along two very different paths—via top-down design, on one hand, and via bottom–up emergent processes, on the other. Both will create environments that are more proactive in responding to our needs as humans; they will also change the way we function in the world and indeed what we think is humanly possible. Beyond these human-centered trends, the new technologies will mobilize objects, places, and processes into networks of activity and intelligence that have the potential to reshape business practices as well as global economics.

At our Technology Horizons Fall Exchange, we will examine these two paths and their implications for daily lives—and for the creation of value in the form of services, products, and social benefit.

  • Tour a map of the emerging technologies of context awareness, exploring the two paths of top–down design and bottom–up emergence
  • Hear from pioneers who are innovating in the realm of context-awareness, from enabling technologies to social frameworks and business applications
  • Uncover the special role that pervasive games are playing in the transition to a context-aware future
  • Meet some unexpected citizens of this future who have already begun to redefine the limits of the human body and mind as they participate in this emerging environment
  • Hear from innovators and your peers in other companies about their strategies for capitalizing on context-aware technologies and applications

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Going to LA this weekend

I'm heading to LA this weekend. Spending some time with a college pal...should be pretty relaxing.

Lassen Peak snow

Here's a picture looking from the summit southwest towards the false peak. You can see the snowfield that we crossed to reach the true peak

Climbing Lassen Peak

Over the Labor Day weekend, I went camping with 20 friends to Lassen Volcanic National Park. On Sunday, 12 of us decided to hike to the peak, a 2.2 mile/2000 foot jaunt. Five of us ended up reaching the top in only 70 minutes. This is a picture of our group with a bottle of champagne that I brought up to *celebrate*. After reaching the peak, we played around at the top in the caldera. Then we had a quick snowball fight in the bit of snow that had survived the summer.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Only in Palo Alto

On my way to my car from work, I passed by a house with a minature rabbit in front. Not a wild one, but a tame, *house* rabbit. I was able to snatch her up and went to the front door to see if she belonged to whoever lived inside. The man who came to the door said that the rabbit lived across the street and that it was allowed to run around the neighborhood. It enjoyed the greens in his front yard garden. To *protect* the rabbit, the owners have a sign in front of their house that says Rabbit Crossing. So...I dropped her back in the front yard and continued on to my car.

How long before that rabbit gets hit by a car???

Monday, September 12, 2005

My first Cops/Bad Boys experience

On the Friday of Labor Day weekend, I was riding North on I-5 with a friend on my way to a camping trip at Lassen Volcanic National Park. We were traveling behind another friend's car and were minding our own business, cruising along at a nice clip when this small SUV zips on by us. It had a noticeable dent on the passenger side doors and I thought to myself, "well...I know why you got those drive like a madman".

About 2 or 3 minutes later we saw a police cruiser kicking up rocks and dirt on the median as it pulled onto the highway in front of us (and a tanker truck). It drove down the middle of the two-lane highway and gradually slowed us down to a complete stop...we soon saw why. On the Southbound side, there were 3 cruisers parked, in front of us were several more and police officers were out of their vehicles and approaching that aforementioned SUV. There was a bit of confusion and the officers jumped back into their cars, and drove forward, but only for a few feet and then jumped back out again. I remember seeing two officers with handguns drawn on the suspects and one officer with a shotgun pointing in the same direction. Soon they had the driver out and on the ground, next a passenger and then another passenger got tossed into the ditch on the right side. Within two minutes, they were cuffed and stuffed into a police car and we were directed to move forward.

While this was happening, we were parked behind a rather large gasoline tanker (not too smart), while our friends were several yards back in a more protected location (distance-wise). Not sure what those boys did...but the officers didn't seem too fond of them.

Afterwards, I remembered the part of Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" where he mentions that policemen who are involved in a high speed chase probably should not also apprehend the suspects due to heightened pulse rates and stress that lowers one's ability to think clearly. In this case, the chasers seemed to do the arresting, but nothing bad happened.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Keith Olbermann on Katrina

This is a great editorial on our government's response to Katrina.