April 2005 Archives

NAACP Career Day

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Supported another career day for NAACP. Previous years, I supported my alumni , Ford Product Development, and this year DAPCEP. Actually, I had made a conscious effort to support fewer outreach efforts, as I have decided to focus more on self. Especially, due in part to very time consuming graduate school coursework, and my aggressive wealth accumulation strategies.

Nonetheless, I was very glad that I decided to attend this event. Most of the students, whom I spoke with were in need of mentoring. As I visually surveyed the nearby booths, it became clear that there was a dearth of 'black males' positioned at the other booths. I seem to recall greater numbers of students in previous years. Not sure why there was a noticeable drop in attendance.

Some of the conversation among the adults was also quite interesting. Invariably, when I attend events that expose me to native Detroiters, I usually ask them, "What has become of your city?"or "What will be the future of this city?"

Yes, I do understand that I am now a resident and taxpayer of Detroit, but I am not a product of this city. However, I am investing in the future of this place (i.e rehabbing depressed homes), as my tax dollars are being used to help a decaying infrastructure stay afloat.

It seems that everyone agrees that the once powerful manufacturing base that made Detroit a technology leader, is now gone forever. I suppose the obvious question now, is "What will be the city's next compelling value proposition?" I don't believe anyone has the answer to that question.

What is certain, the high school students that I conversed with today, will be faced with a huge undertaking. Are they equipped to effect change? Only time will tell..

Penguicon 3.0

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Experienced my first Linux/Sci-Fi trade show in Detroit-Metro area. Penguiconwas very different from LWCE and ALE conferences that I have witnessed in years past. The obvious difference is that there were no vendors. I also surmised that there weren't that many people travelling in from beyond the 100 mile radius. Apparently these differences make for a smaller audience, and perhaps a more enthusiast vibe. Moreover, there were a huge number of Sci-Fi fans, in fact, I believe that they significantly outnumbered the computer nerds.

I met Joe P, one of the GNOME/Beagle developers. He assured me that Beagle was superior to Google's desktop indexing tool.
Although, I have never really enjoyed compiling GNOME packages on a Slackware box, but I'll try my hand at compiling and installing Beagle. It really appears to be a very cool project.

Small Glitch

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Yeah, I know the blog main index page was down for ~ 1.5 days. I'd run out of disk space on my webserver slice. The blog database (Berkley DB) does not respond well to space limitations. I'd considered upgrading to mySQL, but if it's not broken, why mess with it. Got more important things to do with my time anyway.

B'klyn mob - BTHS 20yr Reunion

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B'klyn mob
Originally uploaded by AG_.
I've finally uploaded all of the photos to my flickr site. Had to do it this way since I've run out of disk space on my server. I had mad fun 'kickin live' with the class of 85. Can't wait until 2010 so we can do it all again.

One small rant - Whoever decided to give the alumni a miniature tool kit complete with metal screwdrivers, drill bits, etc. Please reconsider such gifts in the future. I avoided making an ugly scene at LGA by simply telling the airport security droids to simply keep the damn kit. I wonder how many other air travellers experienced the same difficulties ?

Extreme calastethics

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After getting picked up from the airport, I had a divine feast at Pio Pio Resturant (Jackson Hghts,Qns).

My walking partner and I proceeded to gourge ourselves with avacodos, rice/beans, and sangria. It was after the second glass of sangria, that I realized that I was to engage in a workout with some TaeKwondo practitioners, later that evening at the Tessa Gordon's Pure Energy Martial Arts dojang.

Once I got to B'klyn, I hurredly grabbed my taebok and other essentials, and jogged to the studio.
Never like to be that visitor who arrives late and disrupts class. Luckily, they hadn't begun class
when I walked through the doors.

Gordon had a decent sized class with several gups. Once we began the workout, I quickly discovered
that I was in for a real treat. We jumped rope, two-count squat thrusts, push-ups, leg raises,
crunches, and host of other assorted excercises. Thirty minutes into the workout, I thought I had Peruvian chicken coming out of my ears and nose. This was not the first time I had trained with TaeKwondo practitioners, so I was not too suprised by the focus on endurance. Actually, this makes alot of sense for their style, as it is heavily influenced in tournament competition and sparring.

Nevertheless, I endured and continued with earnest. Clearly I wanted to represent World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do system well. Although, I had to stop a few times, I did enjoy it and will return on my next trip to home to B'klyn.

BTHS Reunion -Revisited

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I spent the majority of the day walking the hallowed halls of Brooklyn Tech High School, and connecting with old friends. Definitely, a great deal of fun. There were building tours taking place throughout the afternoon. Lunch was provided by the world famous Junior's resturant on Flatbush. To be honest, it was the first time I had eaten a meal in this place, and its probably due to the fact that their food is average, but the cheescake is always phenomenal.

We capped off the night with dancing, courtesy of my homeboy, Darnell at Rockwell's Bar and Lounge. Fellow Tech Head, Garrett Buckley, put it down on the digitial Denon CD-mixer. Although he didn't use any vinyl, the music was definitely slamming.

Guess what? We get to do it all over again tomorrow. Don't worry, I'll give you a full report.

What is it about airports anyway?

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Seems that I always meet interesting women on flights abroad. Whether its Vegas or NYC.
Good stuff. Many out of town females come to NYC to shop till they drop. I suppose they find it helpful to converse with a native of the area. I gave her a couple pointers.

Check out Time Out NY for the latest haps in the city, and the Woodbury Commons for the clothes shopping experience.

Hmm. Perhaps I'll have a nice breakfast before I head back to the midwest.

Grokster vs. MGM

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Although this news is a bit dated, I'm sure that it's no less important.
If you're not already aware, the Supreme Court passed down a landmark decision that drastically alters the DRM discussion.
MGM and other members of the MPAA took a mighty blow as a result of the high court decision.

Save the Betamax.

As I discussed in the Free Culture essay, the fight against DRM legislation is much bigger than music downloads.
For instance, what if each time you loaded a CD-R into your Hewlett-Packard CD-Writer, that the hardware had the intelligence to discern whether or not the media violated copyright? If it was discovered that your media violated copyright, the writer would not only fail to duplicate the CD, but it would also phone the legal authorities.

Just imagine the chaos this would create for end consumers and the HP engineers. No longer would these engineers be able to use their human capital to develop innovative technologies. Instead, they would be forced to worry about policing customers who could potentially infringe upon copyrighted material. I'm clear that it's better to let the customers dictate which direction technology will grow, rather than allowing litigation to make this determination.

I'm glad the Supreme Court made the right decision. There is a chance that the MPAA could petition Congress to challenge the ruling; however, this would seem unlikely.

Stay tuned..

Automotive Musings

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Recently, I had the opportunity to engage in an interesting dialogue with an auto industry Group Vice President, and the conversation was quite insightful. I expected to get a great deal of diplomatic rhetoric, instead I was pleasantly surprised by what appeared to be honest and frank feedback.

The discussion took many different paths and touched upon a variety of topics.

  • Fragile state of North American auto engineering

  • Commoditization of the hardware

  • Close follower vs. Adaptability

  • Value added engineering

  • Legacy costs associated with healthcare

A recurring theme was leveraging technology to enable your firm to become an innovator and market leader. He acknowledged that there is a dearth of innovation in the US automaker segment.
He specifically compared the Chrysler 300C sedan and the Ford 500 sedan. He admitted that the uniqueness of the Chrysler product gives it the nod over the newly released Ford. He insisted that the culture must change, to help foster innovative ideas and breathe new life into the US market segment.

He also stated that the 'players' in the US market will be very different in 5-10yrs. Toyota has already begun to mark territories on US soil. Hyundai and very soon a new Chinese competitor will be encroaching on the US market.

Regarding the hardware commoditization..

BTHS Reunion

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In couple of weeks, I'll be attending my first official high school reunion. BTHS was a very fun place to learn for me. If I were to summarize my experience there it would be rebellious, unfettered exploration. I really wasn't a hell raiser, but I certainly did my share of experimentation. My adolescence was truly a 'rites of passage' to adulthood. Although, I don't get back home to my beloved borough of B'klyn as much, as I'd like, I still have lasting bonds with many Tech Headz. Many of us are spread throughout the country.

The school is one of the few remaining bastions of high quality learning in the NYC public school system. I really wish there were more 'specialized' high schools of this type throughout the country. With all of the talk of education vouchers and the like, I wonder if we will ever see more public schools like BTHS, Bronx Science or Stuyvesant?

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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