minnēbar update

With 90 participants as of about 5 minutes ago, MinneBar is really gaining momentum. Now I fear the venue will not be able to accommodate this mass of geeks, hipster designers, and open-sourcers all in one place. I think all this pre-conference excitement will really boil over to some great discussions at the conference. I hope everyone can check their “Minnesota Nice” (aka introversion) at the door and really participate.

The idea for a Fall event has already surfaced, this time with a focus on open source and open solutions: OpenBar. I will keep people updated on the event status and will post a review and such after the event. But with less than one month to go, I just hope I don’t have to turn anyone away.

Let’s find a place that can accommodate 200 next year. Any ideas?

I have a lot of take-aways from the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference but one of the most exciting was the rather unexpected discovery of barcamp. A collaborative (un)conference where everyone participates in discussions and sessions is a great idea and an ideal setting for meeting interesting people, growing community, and exchanging ideas and is something that I decided I wanted to bring to Minnesota. So I have picked a date (May 6th), a venue (local shop Catalyst Studios), some sponsors, and some great participants and started planning for MinneBar.

All the details are at the minnēbar wiki so for now I will just say that this will be a great event and if you are interested in participating add your name to the wiki and, if you want, please add what you would like to speak about or learn about.

Google to buy Sun?

Daniel M. Harrison at blogcritics has been all over the potential sale of Sun to Google and what it might mean. He, along with some others, have proposed a Google move into the financial services and healthcare industries.

“Google is going into Financial Services and Healthcare!” he exclaimed over the lengthy conversation. “This is the last stage of the Java project!”

This could also be the true start to the “G-drive platform” or GO-OS (Google OS) and could also mean the open sourcing of Java? This last part is intriguing especially as other platforms and languages gain ground* on the reigning king of the enterprise application.

This claim is, however speculative and not proven true by poor indicators such as book sales and various internet pundits.

Four things

If I am a little late to the party on this you can blame a lot of people but you can only blame Mark for me actually participating.

Four jobs I’ve had

  1. Stocked shelves and helped people feed their consumerism at the very first Target Greatland store
  2. Called cabs for drunkards at the long defunct Mississippi Live group of bars and clubs
  3. Decided the fates of small, short-term student loan applicants
  4. Part of a team of people, who if together today could be doing really great things, that helped two less brilliant people make fistfuls of cash

Four movies I can watch over and over

  1. Any movie containing at least 15% hobbits
  2. Blazing Saddles
  3. Army of Darkness
  4. Rushmore

Four places I’ve lived

  1. A room in a house shared with a crazy, roid-rager who would throw his furniture around in the room next-door.
  2. A small room atop a run-down fraternity house in Minneapolis
  3. A large concrete co-op (where I served as president) in Dinkytown (Minneapolis)
  4. Mexico for 4 months, 3 weeks (cumulative)
  5. A town home in New Brighton (Minnesota) where I spent the first nights married to my beautiful wife and playing with my crazy puppy. (those were separate occasions)

Four TV shows I love

  1. Arrested Development
  2. Lost
  3. The West Wing
  4. The Daily Show / The Colbert Report (not cheating as one is basically an extension of the other)

Four places I’ve vacationed

  1. Europe (Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges)
  2. Wisconsin Dells
  3. The Dominican Republic (where I proposed to Jena)
  4. Hawaii

Four of my favorite dishes (soooo many things!)

  1. Dark chocolate truffles and milk
  2. Lobster scampi
  3. Sushi (though not sashimi)
  4. Authentic Mexican tacos (al pastor)

Google Local-Pedia

Google Local should allow users to enter their own locations into the Google Local databases. There have been plenty of times when I know of a great restaurant being left out of the listings and I think plenty of people would add info to this service. Google need look no further than Wikipedia to see that such a system can work and work with very few errors and flaws. Is there more room for exploitation in Google Local (changing competitor’s info, etc)? Perhaps. But the benefits of a living system of data continually being updated and checked over has overwhelming advantages. As it stands Google Local hardly returns any useful results in the cities I live (St. Paul, Minneapolis) and what’s worse, often returns inaccurate results.

Mundane post title here

WWKCD – What would Kirk Cameron do?

  • Patent Room is a very neat site showcasing drawings submitted with patent applications of the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
  • I really need very little reason to post a link about Daniel Quinn’s novel Ishmael Jason’s post/mini review of it seems like reason enough. I have been thinking more and more about these issues lately. These things go in cycles.
  • Flash + Evangelical Christianity + Kirk Cameron = A maddening desire to kill
  • Nice CSS dropshadow technique that doesn’t use CSS hacks or javascript.
  • If you saw any of the following: Hollow Man, Vertical Limit, A Knight’s Tale, The Animal, or The Patriot in a theater you may be entitled to your money back (pdf). Looks as though Sony used a made-up film critic named: David Manning to hype those films. God, if I could just get the same deal for: American Psycho, Blade, Congo, The Haunting, Malibu’s Most Wanted, and Mr. Deeds.
  • Snopes’ list of unanswerable questions they have received that have a sense of urgency to them. Some favorites include mention of: Cat’s eating a dead person’s face off, hickies, penguin eggs, bananas, witches, and Corona among many other bizarre requests. Some of the requests however really give Snopes a lot of credit. Here is my favorite:

    if anyone understands what im (sic). saying please e-mail me at this e-mail adress (sic). does anyone here bilieve (sic) that there are aliens in other planets? who really made us is there really a god? im not saying there isnt (sic). but who made god? seriously please answer back at me

  • Ever wanted to compare Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth side-by-side?
  • Atheist. Agnostic. Thanks to the writings of Kurt Vonnegut, I now have a new label to use when describing my views: Humanist