June 2012

Reoccurring theme

Many months ago I did an interview about my involvement in Coffee Common and earlier this week I did an interview about Safecast. Both of these were published this week, and I noticed an interesting similarity running through them…

From Birds of Unusual Vitality:

“I look at my involvement with Coffee Common as a lot of trying to get people educated on things so that they can force the change that would never come from the industry itself. More educated consumers ask better questions to cafes, then cafes have to come up with better answers to those questions – and as a result of all of this, things changes. Trying to change something from inside an industry never actually works (or it takes years and years) I prefer the people to cause a revolution.”

From Fast Company:

To date, Safecast’s volunteer team has measured and mapped more than 3 million data points that comprise a rapidly growing dataset that will serve as a valuable baseline for the kind of in-depth environmental data the world largely lacks. And perhaps that will prompt people into demanding more–and more transparent–data sources.

“People assume crappy data is legit, and nobody’s held accountable,” Bonner says. “But by pushing this issue and publishing this really specific data, now people have to answer questions like, ‘Why is your data so much less specific than this data?’ Asking more educated questions is always good.

An Open Letter To Conference Organizers and Panel Moderators


First of all, I love what you do. Really. You’re terrific, and your efforts make our lives better. Don’t ever change. Well, actually, there is something that needs to change.

There’s a problem that persists across almost every conference I’ve ever been to. The good ones. The bad ones. The Amazing ones and the Meh ones. And we need to address it once and for all so that it can be prevented from happening in the future.

Upgrading MP3s with iTunes Match, or Adventures in Cloud Syncing

I heard about this little hack that will upgrade old low quality MP3s you might have hanging around your iTunes library and thought I’d give it a shot. Basically iTunes Match gives you access to any song you have in your library, from any of your devices. It can do this because they have a huge archive of songs and just match up song titles, the trick is that all the files they have are in 256 kbps quality.

Represent LA

Yesterday Tara, Alex and I announced the launch of Represent.LA. Longtime readers will know I’ve got a bit of a crush on LA and haven’t been very good about keeping that a secret. Earlier this year Tara wrote a bit about how LA’s tech scene kicks SF’s ass (with some rad quotes in there) and we started talking mapping out what was actually going on in town and brainstorming what that might look like. We pulled in Alex and got to work. I say “we” but in fact I did far too little for this project to get any credit, I helped with a logo and some sound boarding here and there, but Alex did all the serious coding work and it was really Tara’s initial vision so they should get the mad props. I give them my mad props anyway. It’s a super rad project and I’m delighted to have played even the smallest role in it, and can’t wait to see how it fills out and hopefully gives people doing technology projects in LA something to be a little more proud of and help show off how rad LA is.