Archive for the 'Silicon Valley' Category

Christmas Oratorio

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

I went to hear Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachtsoratorium) at First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto last night. The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Philharmonia Chorale under Nicholas McGegan gave an outstanding performance.

I was totally unaware of this ensemble until now, and pleasantly surprised to find something as good here in the US (as opposed to Europe where there is a much larger scene for this type of music it seems).

Plus, they did all six cantatas — a real treat!

If you enjoy early music on period instruments (or Bach in particular), you still have a chance to catch one of their upcoming performances in Berkeley (tonight and tomorrow night), San Francisco (December 8) or Contra Costa (December 9).

Silicon Valley’s pheromones of invention

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Stowe says: Through the Eyes of Out-Of-Towners

There is a sensual element to the hothouse atmosphere of today’s Bay Area, an almost narcotic scent that invisibly infiltrates every party and reception, the pheromones of invention, that desire to create that’s almost a tug in the genitals. And of course, there is still the foundational lust — real lust — underneath it all, too.

The out-of-towners fly in, get drunk on this buzzy, fizzy, heady mix, and they never feel right when they return to Cody Wyoming or Australia; they can’t wash the mouthfeel of San Francisco out of their heads when they return to Berlin or Boston. It’s like a tattered postcard of hootchie dancers, smuggled home, kept under a sweaty pillow, and they can’t shake off the sense of missing something, something very hot, pressing and immediate, like getting caught in traffic en route to what you bet was going to be the best date of your life.

I admit I took a sip from the devil’s cup, too.

Creating Building Blocks for Independents

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Earlier this year, Tantek Çelik gave a presentation at the SXSW Interactive conference on “Building Blocks for Independents” and has meanwhile launched a wiki to help expand these ideas.

Half-baked.com

Friday, November 10th, 2006

I’m spending the day at the Citizen Summit at Citizen Space (Citizen Agency’s new office — nice place). As somewhat of an unexpected treat, Dave McLure did a round of Half-baked.com.

HalfBaked.com is entrepreneurial improv theatre that he co-invented: Foo Camp 2006, HalfBaked, & the Art of Geekery.

How it works:

As a group, collect 50 words. Break up in groups of five. Choose two words and announce your company name (word1word2.com). Come up with a business plan (name, concept/product, revenue model, marketing plan, logo, tagline). Pitch to experts and VCs. Have your startup judged and voted on by the group. All in under 30 minutes. Celebrate the insanity!

Can you do something very quickly in short format? It’s all about speed!

This was first done at Foo Camp 2006. The winner then? Bottlecap Porn.

The winner today? Donut Divorve. Divorces are usually very time-consuming, costly and not a lot of fun. Donut Divorce wants you to be able to get a divorce in the time it takes to buy a donut. It’s an online service. Both parties can invite all their friends and family to help duke out the details of the split. Donut Divorce makes money by taking 10 percent of any settlement that’s reached, which — in part — will be redistributed amont the contributors. Of course, there’s point rewards and reputation systems and lots of web 2.0 bells an whistles.

Pics:

Web Monday 2007 — Take the poll!

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

For everyone who has attended any of the more than 50 Web Monday meetups over the past twelve months, I would like to invite you to take part in a little survey that I just set up.

It’s absolutely low-tech, simply email me your answers to the following questions:

  • The meaning of life — Who are you and what brings you to Web Monday?
  • Pretty good stuff — What do you like most so far?
  • Not so hot — What do you see needs the most improvement?
  • Eureka! — What did you learn?
  • This way, please! — Your suggestions and ideas going into 2007!

The poll will be active through November 21, 2006. The results will be published shortly thereafter on the Web Monday wiki.

Thank you all very much!

Amberjack crunched

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Amberjack launched the other day and has already been featured on Techcrunch: Amberjack Makes Site Tours Easy

About Amberjack:

Amberjack is a lightweight Open Source library, enabling webmasters to create cool site tours.

By guiding your site visitors, Amberjack tours can greatly improve the usability of your website.

The Amberjack JavaScript library is lightweight (~4K), stable, LGPL licensed, browser compatible, set up in 2 minutes & super-easy to customize.

Best of all, nothing must be installed or learned. Use the Tour Wizard to create great looking and helpful tours for your site or intranet application.

Amberjack is a private, non-profit project by Arash Yalpani, who is based in Berlin, Germany. He recently launched Webride, an interesting service that automatically attaches discussion forums to any web page.

Wow, that makes two posting about web stuff from Germany today.

At Wiki Wednesday

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Some recent news from Socialtext:

And, more pizza is on the way.

Palo Alto cafes: no free wi-fi on weekends

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

So this past weekend I learned that both Coupa Cafe as well as Caffe del Doge on University do not offer free wi-fi on weekends. Anyone know why that is? I mean, it’s the only reason I stopped by on my way back from the city.

Google has acquired JotSpot

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

This just in (via email from JotSpot):

JotSpot is now part of Google

We’re writing to let you know that Google has acquired JotSpot. We believe this is great news for our users. More importantly, we want to reassure you that you’ll continue to have uninterrupted access to your account. Both Google and JotSpot are committed to supporting our customers, and we understand that users have invested a lot in our products. In the near-term, we’re focused on migrating JotSpot to Google’s systems and datacenters. We’ll work hard to make that move as seamless as possible so that customers won’t be inconvenienced.

Why is Google acquiring JotSpot?

Google shares JotSpot’s vision for helping people collaborate, share and work together online. JotSpot’s team and technology are a strong fit with existing Google products like Google Docs & Spreadsheets and Google Groups.

Techcrunch has more: Google Acquires Wiki Collaboration Company Jotspot

Web Monday Silicon Valley: We have a venue!

Monday, October 30th, 2006

I am very pleased to announce that Cooley Godward Kronish LLP has offered to host our next event (and drinks, mind you). We will meet at their Palo Alto office, 3175 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304.

Now that that’s been settled, please sign up on the wiki and/or on Upcoming, spread the word, bring your friends and colleagues and join us.

See you on Monday!