TSL

how will you spend this holiday weekend? will you be engaged in voracious commercial exploits (shopping)? chomping on chocolate covered peanut butter bunnies? playing hide and go seek with multi-colored eggs? or… discovering truth through a surrendered life?

April 10.2009 at 7:02 am Leave a comment

It Speaks For Itself

creators-work_psr-b1509-58_pb-1509-58

April 6.2009 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

Dear Executives Feigning Employee Welfare Concerns: Take a Hike

an associated press article posted on yahoo! covering responses to a recent tobacco tax increase quotes jeff borysiewicz, vice president of cigar rights of america and president of corona cigar as saying:

“Kids aren’t addicted to handmade cigars… We’re an affordable hobby. We’re not part of the problem with children.”

certainly, that is an interesting statement for someone who claims to be concerned for the welfare of employees (i wonder if his employed parents would agree with him?). it shows some audacity when companies imply they are not part of a problem or imply they may be “forced” to relocate operations outside of the u.s. to deflect increasing costs (see reference to  Enrique “Kiki” Berger in the same article).  i hardly believe  they need convincing to do so. keeping costs down, while maximizing profits is exactly why they are in business. tax increase or no, if the bottom line will be improved by moving outside of u.s. borders, few will pass up exploring the opportunity.

employee welfare always seems to miraculously surface when a company faces profit reduction concerns. executives that use it as an excuse when it seems to suit them should drop the social concern facade and be frank about their positions. perhaps borysiewicz should make it plain and ask for a bailout… or ask his industry colleagues to subsidize cost increases with their bonuses.

April 1.2009 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Anita Who? Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

adalovelaceanitabrown

as part of a 1900+ person pledge to blog about a woman in technology honoring ada lovelace day, i have to put out the name of one, anita brown. it was a toss up as we could only pledge to blog about one person or i would certainly have included red burns in the mix (red, if you are reading this:  i am very excited about working under your guidance at ITP. you’ll get my post next year!).

brown founded one of the earliest (if not first) online resources, the now defunct black geeks online, to address digital divide issues, particularly  for african americans. she was an avid advocate to close the digital divide in the u.s.- before it was popular and after the topic seemed to fall to the wayside in the u.s. i met ms. brown at columbia university several years ago. i was inspired by her knowledge and passion for the subject. i am still surprised  at how little i hear of her in conversations about early web pioneers who didn’t limit their aspirations to financial gain. i could hardly find news of her passing (she was 63) , save for an obituary in the washington post nearly three years ago.

like too many civic-minded entrepreneurs, brown seemed to run out of steam just as digital divide concerns were beginning to become of interest to the mainstream again. i am constantly reminded of lesser known talented people who could truly stand to benefit from the kind of support that will provide lasting energy to overcome fatigue. entrepreneurship can be a lonely experience. being focused on more than the bottom line can take a toll on more than the psyche. i often wonder what it might have been like if ms. brown were alive to experience the wave of socially-focused entrepreneurs and initiatives that support them including echoing green, ashoka and the school for social entrepreneurs

it’s easy to mistake her name for others: anita baker, anita bryant, anita hill (yes, i went there)-  but her legacy remains. there are those who know and value her work, endeavoring to carry the torch for digital literacy and information for all. i count myself as one. three cheers for passion, ideas and inspiring people.

 

learn more about the pledge here:

http://findingada.com
http://www.pledgebank.com/AdaLovelaceDay
http://twitter.com/FindingAda
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/findingada
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=47550446005

March 24.2009 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

Artists + Party + Student Debt= AfterSputnik: The Art Project

aftersputnik

aftersputnik, an organization dedicated to extenuating u.s. student loans, is hosting a three-day event in nyc (queens) that showcases artists and their work reflecting how student debt has impacted them. art work will be for sale and a panel will award cash prizes to top selections. my money is on any piece on display incorporating top ramen noodles.

March 13.2009 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Really? “…A Yelp For Cannabis Clubs”???

weedmaps

having spotted this on techcrunch, i thought this was another of their lofty gags, but this site is alive and kicking as of post time. why?  it looks like at least one californian might become a weedmaps fan: democratic state assembly member tom ammiano.

March 13.2009 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

Apple’s New Shuffle: I Am Not Biting

ipodshufflewithvoicecontrol

i enjoy apple’s products, but the one product quirk that drives me craziest is the love-hate affair with their earbuds. they fall out after a while and tend to fray at the end connector to paired devices. i have two sets, each of which came with my ipods (i have a first-gen shuffle and a first-gen touch). so, as for the latest ipod shuffle with voiceover, until they make super-duper, invincible earbuds, i would not sink cash into something controlled solely by earbud remotes. i was also expecting the voiceover feature to work a bit differently, enabling a user to activate controls with his or her voice, giving something akin to a little shazam or midomi-like action. alas, it merely includes an automated voice (much like what you get standard on your computer) that tells which track or play list you are listening to. a bit of a let down. had they made a mini hand-held remote to accompany it or embedded  two-way voice control features, apple might have been on to something.

March 11.2009 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

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