Category Archives: Personal

Facebook as a Bank?

This is a little bit of a leading argument but it seems to sum up external arguments.

I still have yet to rediscover where I saw that Facebook was filing to be a bank.
$2billion in cash can lend out $18billion in value.
@ 5% interest that’s $900 million a year in profit.
@ 10% that’s $1.8billion a year.
& that’s just on interest.

Facebook makes transactional profits too, so on $18billion in credits, I bet you could see $100 billion in transactions if they one day allowed peer to peer.

Visa has about $2-3billion a quarter in revenue via their transaction fees.

A clear and present danger

There is a growing danger in this country. We are granting centralized authority to commerce and communication. Today, we are not killing people to silence them, instead we bestow a digital death upon them. Digital silence and censorship is death nun the less to net citizens.

It’s a scary time when you no longer can be assured to speak your mind. When what you say or do, could cost you your business and lively hood. It’s a sad time when just talking about legal action with the US could grant you in major trouble, an act popularized by 9/11 and the patriot act. Today it seems like the government is using the fear of prosecution as a means to silence us by proxy of our digital services.

We need to have a constant, open and fair exchange of ideas between the people and our government. It is the freedom of speech that allows each of us to be seen as valued and heard.

Using centralized services like att, gmail, facebook, amazon, twitter and others have come under threat. The government has made it quite obvious that it’s too easy to make threats at these large companies and have them compromise our constitutional rights. In the case of ATT the government admitted that it did so, and then gave them immunity. Think about that for a bit. They admitted to it being wrong, and then gave immunity to ATT for sharing data that would never have been allowed by our founding fathers.

It’s clear that the government is loosing respect for us and our rights. We need to be a country of responsible and free people. We need to respect each other.

We built a government of the people and for the people to avoid revolution, and when it becomes US vs THEM, we are in danger of creating disparity and violence. We must be vigilant and true to ourselves, we must weather the storm of truth and we need to face the facts every now and then. We need to accept our short comings and work together to resolve conflict. Silencing the voices of others is unjust, and it will rally the battle cries of the unheard. The freedom of speech is not about an individuals right to speak, it’s about a societies right to listen. We need to listen to those that want to be heard. I am not saying we need to agree, or to even act, but we do need to keep listening in the open as a united community.

#TSA2.0 imagine you are an Evil Web Genius ( ninja, rockstar ) hacker!

If you were some evil web genius hacker type ( otherwise known as a ninja or rockstar ) how could you mashup TSA’s new scanner’s to your favorite webapis?

If you have not heard, TSA is at it again. It’s almost like they took a look at the past 20-50 years of sci-fi and said, “what don’t people want us to do?” “Oh, let’s do that.” So, they just decided to do it, even though fiction paints a bleak image of it. These days they are doing full body scans, and not the type you might see in Total Recall, where you see someones bones and maybe a weapon or two, but this time TSA seems to have contracted out to a company that seems to have their inner 12 year old boy on overdrive; and as a result TSA’s new scanners don’t just find weapons, no they snap photos of your naked body for the world to document. The technology uses a form of x-ray vision, no joke. Which has raised concerns for cancer patients and others whom care about their health.

So the question is what will TSA come up with next?

How good, bad can it get?

Maybe it’s time to have a little fun of it to raise awareness. Maybe we should create a few mashups in jest of the new procedures.

So, If you were some evil web genius hacker type ( otherwise known as a ninja or rockstar ) how could you mashup TSA’s new scanner’s to your favorite webapis? Would you cache a copy of the photo for yourself? Would you share it on Path with your 50 closest friends? ( MySpace, Facebook, Twitter? ) Would you tie it into your Gowalla or Foursquare checkins? Maybe you could use it as part of a google interview question, ” How can you determine someones BMI or weight from a ‘Naked Body Scan?”

Maybe you could track how much people eat/ gain between the holidays if you compare their departure and return flight images?

If you combine that with the data from ( which has been acquired by facebook ) you could even merge the data from an anonymous photo, and tag that with an ID, and then later use rapleaf to look up that user’s web history before they board a plane.

So if you were one of those web ninja’s what mashup would you build?

Data is a paradise?

#NUD National UnFriend Day

I have been using Jimmy Kimmel’s announcement of #NUD or National Unfriend Day as a reason to clean up my social connections.

So far I have been clearing myself off of old Meetup Groups, Google Groups, Yahoo Groups. I have also been removing old apps from my Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace apps. It’s good to to do a bit of social fall cleaning. Not only have I been removing my self from these email lists, groups and other things, but I have been unsubscribing form newsletters that I don’t read any more. It’s great. I think I now get about 20 less emails a day that were otherwise not spam, but I had no continued interest in, and it was blocking my communication with the people and topics I care about.

I recommend for you to take action and to pair down who you spend your attention on. ( in a few cases, I actually friended a few new people, when I discovered they were now married )

My blog here is no exception and I found that I have 444 subscribers, and most of them are some form of bots ( an interesting number in Asian cultures ) I would like to apologize if I am deleting a valued reader, but if you are real and have something to tell me, please tweet me @jdavid, or just re-register. ( I think there are only a handful of humans that have registered here on my blog. maybe everyone else was afraid of the bot-apocolypse, so like a good John Conner I am clearing out the junk. )

I have added a few tools to make it harder for bots to register, and to track user activity on my blog. I am hoping that I can start fresh with users that are per-capita more human.

Notes from the Future

here are a few random thoughts about the future of tech.

Next up in sever farms, arm-mobile cores with system on chip gpus. I have direct word that google and facebook are both experimenting with this tech. nVidia is well positioned to take this market in 2-5 years with tegra2/3 / tegraX, and compete with intel/ amd in the low power server space.

There is a growing walled garden api problem. this results in the need for openid and oauth to support 4th party authentication, or granting someone the ability to delegate authority for you. you could think of this like if api’s could act via proxy, representative, assistant, or agent. 4th party delegated identity will be huge, and will allow you to pay for agents that filter and aggregate socially restrictive data. google doesn’t own this, and neither will facebook. there is room for a newcomer.

gov2.0 will happen, i am calling it #agilegov, and it will be less like democracy, and more like wikiocracy/ do-ocracies. others are calling it #bigsocial

3d games, will move into the web, and the web will finally move to 3d in the next decade. there are way to many gaps in platform tools for 3d worlds.

edu2.0, better connect top educators to more students. create smaller more engaging learning tools, or microlessons, that track behavior to a learning group online. think github for edu.

anyways that’s my rant.

Rate of innovation, too high? Displacing our humanity?

If technology is moving so fast that the past and present are not predictors of future trends, that is a serious problem.

Continuity starts to fade.

Have you ever wondered why people put so much effort into saving a historic building or preserving some artifact? When I was a young technologist I would have razed it all if it meant progress could move faster, but today I am a bit wiser. In the last few years, I have been moving a lot, and have been disrupting my own personal continuity. New friends, new buildings, new places to eat, new everything. Even my family seems…. more distant, not because of distances, but in May my parents started pursuing a divorce. So, for me, nothing is the same, except a few core friends; some of which moved out here. My happiness went way up when they got here, and a small savory piece of continuity was restored for me.

So, what I have realized is that Continuity is what makes us human. And as a result we have rich pasts and experiences to draw from. We have all of recorded history to define and differentiate us. ( of only about 10,000 years ) What will humans know of us 10,000 years from now? What will be preserved? What will be our Iliad? Our Bible? A dark age in Continuity is a dark age in the human spirit. We need continuity to be more than animals.

With out Continuity we may exist in a state of perfect societal flow, and may even transcend into this singularity thing, but really what breaks down? Philosophy will fail? Reason spanning seasons will fail, and a prolonged desire to plan will fail. If you disagree with this, then why is it that the north is more productive than anywhere else in the world. Why is it that winter climates seem to evoke the need to be productive? Why do the Sweeds make the coolest lights? Necessity breads innovation.

Jared Diamond who has written Guns, Germs, and Steal, and Collapse seems to evoke the notion that having to plan for winter each year played a large role in human and human cultural development.

If technology moves so fast that planing and thinking about the future are fruitless, we are in chaos. We might even be without what we call humanity. We will be confined to the present, making decisions on instinct and gut checks rather than thoughtful discourse. We will be in a stress survival mode, which will remove us from higher thought. The poor are often challenged in this way, and study after study shows that the poor spend more money on the same activities. They spend more on food ( percentage wise ), more on transportation, etc… We should strive for the sort of wealth that allows us the pleasure to think and share.

If this erks you, it should. If you disagree, then you might need to check out the Long Now Foundation, which hopes to create a sense of continuity for us into the future.

I am beginning to think that John Nash’s work ( a beautiful mind ) is more meaningful economically at a society level, than at a company a,b,c level. I think as a society we should no longer seek maximums. “Maximums are the root of too much evil, as they lack the room to account for exceptions.” “A maximized system cannot leave room for the Black Swan, and are fragile by nature, asking to be toppled.” John Nash’s work suggests that in a competitive system one will find a more efficient use of resources going for 2nd best rather than the best. So, in the argument of sustainability, continuity, and stability; maximums undermine our ability’s by overvaluing now when compared to the past and future.

As a society we need to to create an economics that has room for “grace”.

Where are the good tech recruiters?

Having been a tech recruiter while I was in high school and being an engineering consultant I have a fairly unique point of view.

  • recruiters will tell you want you need to hear as a developer, a company who passes on you, has no interest in being blunt. however a recruiter has an interest in you interviewing well with their next client
  • being able to talk tech with folks goes miles. if you can talk to an engineer and actually understand what they are looking for, then you can be their advocate, and they will refer you
  • yes you have to hustle, and some hustle on the bottom via numbers, but, you might find other ways to source your phone list.
  • why don’t recruiting companies sponsor tech events, actually putting together great events. build relationships with speakers and attendees. like, duh,….
  • hold programing competitions, the best developers can win more than a cash prize, and even a $1-5k prize is worth it if you can place 2-5 engineers off of one competition.

anyways, that’s my $.02

Cancer Research, Blocking Cancer’s energy source, ATP, Lactic Acid, PEP, Pyruvate

Please take this at face value, and do your own investigation, but this looked like promising research.

If you put together these articles you might draw some
interesting conclusions.

This is what I gleamed from putting together the above sources.
It seems from these articles that cancer uses a cell division
technique that can be interrupted with a build up of lactic acid.
Lactic acid is more easily cleared up or removed which high sugar, or
carbohydrate diets. ( seems like it’s good for runners, but not good
for cancer patients. )

It seems like cancer growth is at it’s worst when Lactic acid has not
built up in a while to inhibit/ reset the rogue energy cycle that

Lactic acid builds up in muscles that are being used, but is
transported through blood flow to the rest of the body.
Blood flow during intense exercise is restricted to non-vital organs,
which would make it hard for lactic acid to reach those organs.
Prolonging Lactic acid in the body might help fight cancer.

From what I have read, this seems to indicated that intense exercise (
causing a warmness or burning in your muscles ) and not carb-loading
before a workout, or immediately afterwards is an ideal strategy. It
may be that the rise in cancer in our society might be related to the
sharp decline in intense exercise.

End of story, no pain no gain, when it comes to exercise.
It looks like they are looking for a pill to replace the simple need
for us to work physically harder in our daily lives.

Dinner Parties – Mad Scientist Edition

If you have ever thrown a dinner party,  you might know how much work they are, but you also know how rewarding they are as a way to share time with friends, and to eat something good.

In San Francisco, I started a new weekly dinner party at my apartment in SoMa, and ever week we try to come up with a theme.  Sometimes that theme is easy to pull off and other times it’s a bit more of a hassle than it’s worth.

This week I have been trying to pull stuff together for a mad scientist theme, and in a town like SF you would think there are ton’s of lab supply stores.  However, google has failed to easily find me any.  Instead every biotech and chemtech startup seems to appear on the list rather than cool stores like ‘American Science and Surplus’ would back in milwaukee and chicago.

So for posterity sake I thought I would pass the ball forwards and document a few sites of interest to help prepare for the next ‘Mad Scientist Themed-Dinner party’.

Links of aspiration and inspiration

Online Stores for beakers, flasks, funnels, petri dishes and test-tubes

Some Geek Chic-ery