The great Ferris Bueller once said…

burning-manThe contrast seems to be increasing every day as I scan the headlines and media. On one hand, everyone seems so fascinated by the totally artificial, opposite of the real-world, Burning Man festival. On the other hand, pretty much anyone else, living anywhere but here, is dealing with real-world problems, strife, conflict, families lost to poverty, famine and war.

I see articles talking about millionaires and billionaire Silicon Valley peeps all heading out to the desert for a week of complete abandonment. I mean, good for them – there’s nothing wrong with a big party. But these articles are juxtaposed alongside stories about Syria; terrorism; women and children dead from rockets fired by state-actors who have been fighting since before I was even born; another black child gone forever; entire nations of families losing themselves to disease and famine…

ferris_girlI came of age at the same time Ferris Bueller appeared on the big screen, to try and define (and explain) my American generation for all of history. And I remember the scenes from Ferris and similar movies, where all the kids in class are being lectured to about all the useless political games, the Cold War, pollution, famine, the global population explosion, nuclear winter, and more - and all the kids are so overwhelmed that they just completely tune out. Many of us tuned out back then.
We were kids then. But now we’re all grown up – and we have no excuse. My generation will very soon become the next “previous” generation. Well, maybe not that soon, but sooner than we want. It’s already been nearly three decades since Ferris Bueller was released – and everyone who even knows what a Ferris Bueller is, are probably a bit shocked that so many years have already come and gone. And the years will only keep ticking away. Meanwhile, all the problems we’ve ignored have only gotten worse. So, how’s that whole “tuning out” thing worked for us? It hasn’t.

Anyway, the point is… It’s time to tune in again. And, as the great Ferris Bueller once said:life-moves-pretty-fast

If you (we) don’t stop and look around once in a while… we might miss our opportunity to actually solve any problems in the world - leaving the next generation to feel even more overwhelmed and lost than we ever did.

Geek Moment: ISS (International Space Station)

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Live streaming video by Ustream

From the Ustream page:

The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the ISS was activated April 30, 2014. It is mounted on the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the earth which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature controlled housing. Video from these cameras is transmitted back to earth and also streamed live on this channel. While the experiment is operational, views will typically sequence though the different cameras. Between camera switches, a gray and then black color slate will briefly appear. Since the ISS is in darkness during part of each orbit, the images will be dark at those times. During periods of loss of signal with the ground or when HDEV is not operating, a gray color slate or previously recorded video may be seen. 

For a display of the real time ISS location plus the HDEV imagery, visit here: http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/HDEV/

One Line of Code

In 1999, one of the most notable brands of the dot-com era – a name almost synonymous with the “World Wide Web” itself – made a bid to dominate the entire ecommerce market for individual, small and mid-size businesses. They spent roughly a half BILLION dollars on key acquisitions, and actually had a real shot at success. At that time, the market for SMB ecommerce was pretty much wide open. This company could have garnered the whole thing. Continue reading

Remember when email and IM was all you needed?

Phone (voice and SMS), email, IM, Twitter, App.net, Messages, Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, QQ, Skype, Facetime, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, GifBoom, Pixable, Snapchat, Snapseed, Tumblr, WordPress, Gravatar, Pinterest, Orchestra, Meetup, 8Tracks, Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm, iTunes, Google Play, Game Center, XBox, Sony, Disqus, LiveFyre, Vimeo, YouTube, YouKu, SocialCam, SlideShare, InstaPaper, Read Later, Flipboard, Prismatic, Zite, Google Reader, OpenTable, Square, NetFlix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Yelp, FourSquare, Airbnb, YardSale, 20 different forums I frequent, a dozen vendors and other services I use regularly, and maybe a hundred others I registered for and then never used again… Continue reading

I might as well complain about Twitter too…

Pop-quiz: You’re the CEO of a company whose product is basically free content that everyone generates for you. The product is wildly popular, thanks mostly third-party innovation that blossomed around your relatively open API. This third-party innovation has produced wonderful apps and interfaces to your product, making it much easier for people to access AND generate MORE content for you, for FREE. Continue reading