Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

I wascleaning up the area around my desk the other night and I came across a napkin on which I had scribbled down my New Years resolutions for ’07:

New Years’ Resolutions 2007:

  • Get Website launched this’ll happen eventually…
  • Lose weight
  • Fix up portfolio pieces ugh… still in progress…
  • get a job Formerly at TSOT, now back to working for myself (although, Kris has hinted that he might want me back in the spring—fingers crossed!)
  • check back with Phil. That wasn’t really a resolution, but rather a task that needed to be done around the end of the year.
  • Go to Web Directions North, Vancouver, Feb 6-10
  • SXSW, March

So, it’s only fitting I make one for this year as well, scribbled in TextMate instead of on the back of a napkin this time. First, the carry-overs from last year:

  • Get Website launched. OK, I guess I’ve waited too long by now. It’s just that every time I look back at my designs, I always find something I don’t like about it and end up creating a new design from scratch each time. I guess I still haven't learned yet
  • Lose weight. Should start going to the gym this week.
  • Fix up portfolio pieces. Ties in with previous resolution.
  • Go to Web Directions North. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it this year unfortunately :(, seeing as I’m going to be really busy with other things during that time (including moving out), so I probably won’t be able to afford flying out to the left coast this February. This really saddens me as I really wanted to be a part of and meet the rest of the Canadian web design community (and I might enjoy the more intimate setting better than a huge event like SXSW), especially since I’ve got a couple friends in Vancouver, too.
  • Go to SXSW. Everything’s bigger in Texas, they say, and conferences are no exception. My only exposure to SXSW is virtually through the podcasts they put out (I love when conferences do that!), and I’d love to go down to Austin and see and meet everyone in person (ideally, I’d want to go to every web conference out there in existence, but that’s not realistically possible for someone in my position.). Plus, it really is the ultimate geek gathering, with people coming in from all across the globe. Hopefully I'll be able to make it this year.

And now the rest:

  • Get GTD system down and working. I’m really adamant about this one. I’ve always had a half-assed idea about what Getting Things Done was all about before Joey lent me his copy, but now I get the full picture. And with OmniFocus now, my productivity and organization has really improved!
  • Launch MOLECULE. MOLECULE is a side-project of mine I’ve been working on. It’s an outdoor, publicly-projected mobile-enabled (semi-)massively-multiplayer game / “art” installation. I was hoping to have it ready for Nuit Blanche in the fall, but other priorities came up and I wasn’t able to complete it. I’m in the process of rewriting it in hopes that it’ll be ready for Nuit Blanche 2008.
  • Become more socially active. I met Tom Williams of GiveMeaning a couple weeks ago (he’s a really amazing guy if you don’t already know him), and he sort of rekindled my spirit about this whole thing, so I think I’m going to try to become more involved with the Green Party again next year, which sort of (unintentionally) faded after I stopped working with them.

There’s probably more, but I can’t think of the rest right now, and besides, I really should be heading off to a NYE party pretty soon. Happy New Year!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The So-Called "official" definition of "Web 3.0"

The Joy of Tech has posted a comic entitled The Definitive Guide to Future Web Versions, most likely inspired by Jason Calacanis' recent blog post where he gives us the "official" definition of Web 3.0. Joy of Tech's 'The Definitive Guide to Future Web Versions'

Needless to say, I don't agree with any of it. He's basically declaring that "Web 3.0" is Web 2.0 without the crap. Which is admirable, but completely wrong.

How many times must I say this? The Web is not something that is versioned. The Web isn't a piece of software. It is an ecosystem. And like other ecosystems, it changes and evolves over time, either by nature or by its inhabitants, who are constantly striving to create an optimal environment for them to dwell in—which is exactly what's been going on with the Web all these years. These past few, however, we have experienced an accelerated growth rate. So it's only natural that some noise has come in along with the signal.

By employing Semantic Web techniques, we're able to filter out the good, meaty data that we want without getting any crustiness that we don't want. Things like Microformats are definitely helping make this easier, and I've been a big promoter of 'em ever since I discovered them almost two years ago.

I really think this the next direction the Web will be taking in the coming years: Semantic data, Microformats, Open APIs—all this stuff that's making my mouth water—because as a developer, I can only imagine all the ways I can leverage this data. Sure, other things like better-quality content will come, too—probably even in parallel to the evolution of the Semantic Web—but you really need a solid foundation to build this content onto, otherwise it's just adding to the rest of the noise out there.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I wanna make a movie

I don't know what it is about me, but I've got the urge to go out and shoot a movie. Maybe it's because of the ScreenWriting bundle for TextMate I discovered today and wanna make use of it, maybe it's ‘cause I've been reading Kevin Smith's Wikipedia bio today (because, thanks to my friend Andrea, I'm gonna get to attend a live taping of The Hour, and tomorrow's show is featuring the ever-so-brilliant Kevin Smith, who I'm a huge fan of! I really hope I get to meet him!) and I yearn to do something like that (I used to do video stuff in high school, but after I left, the Web really took over my interests almost completely), or maybe I've gotten bored of what I'm doing now and feel like doing something new.

I don't know exactly what it'll be about, but I know it will have a video component. An installation of some sort, perhaps? Short film? Not really sure. I need to find out a *bit* more before I start it. Conveniently, Late Fragment is being shown this Saturday as part of Nuit Blanche, so maybe that'll help me better understand what I want. I've been wanting to do something like this for a while, and I think it's finally about time I did so. I'm sure my friends like Brian Hogg and Gabe Sawhney will be able to help me out in giving me advice on how to go about things, since they've got plenty more experience doing this sort of thing than I ever have. Although, someone once told me that passion is the most important thing to have in what you do, and I've got plenty of it. I do things because I like to do them; it doesn't feel like a chore to to me. I just need a clearer vision of what I want—something I seem to lack often times.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lazyweb Request: What the heck is this thing called??!?!

Update: Thanks a bunch to Betsy Weber for solving this ever-so perplexing problem I had. As it turns out this shape is called a hypotrochoid (and the tool used to create it is a Spirograph.

Well, well. My first official LazyWeb-addressed post. Don’t I feel special…

I’m trying to simulate electrons orbiting around the nucleus of an atom. I remembered this stencil I got many years ago that draws shapes comparable to what I want the orbit path to look like. Now I need to find out if there’s an existing programmatical function out there on the Internets to replicate an object moving in this shape. But in order to do that, I need to find out what the heck this thing is called. I’ve searched for at least an hour online trying to think of possible names this shape might be called—ellipsogram, septellipse, gyrogram, parabolic septagram, hyperbolic septagram, etc. — and haven’t found anything even remotely close. The closest thing I could find that may or may not be on the right track is Euclidean Geometry (found by way of parabolic geometry), though I wouldn’t know, as advanced mathematics is far beyond by comprehension — I didn’t take Calculus or Finite Math in high school and haven’t had any formal education on the subject since.

What are these shapes called?

If I had to guess, I’d say the name for it begins with ‘gyro-’ (which means rotation in Greek), and it might have ‘hepta’ or ‘septa’ in the name too, to indicate the seven cusps it has, although this is complete speculation.

This shape appears to be made up of 7 identical parabolas (though technically I’m not sure if you could call them that because they start curving inwards at a certain point, and typically parabolas don’t do that).

What is this shape called?

Anyone have any idea what this seven-“pointed” flower/star-like shape are called? I’m sure there’re plenty of other people who know a lot more than me when it comes to this stuff, and have even formally studied it in University at one point or another.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Imperfect Flower – yellow flower with red center, some petals are missing from the left half of it

Things don't have to be perfect the first time around. They just have to be good enough at first, and then they can be improved in the next iteration.

This is not an easy concept to grasp for perfectionists like me. I had to learn the hard way. Many a time I've been faced with the situation that my deadline was too close and I knew I wasn't going to finish it in time, so instead of submitting what I had done at that point (or explain how I needed more time), I'd rather not submit anything at all and continue working on it until I get it done, and by that time it would've been too late for my work to be accepted.

But I'm slowly learning to accept that it's okay to be imperfect. Not everything I do is going in a museum for everyone to see (although I often treat it that way). Things can always be made better, and being imperfect really isn't as bad as it once seemed.

Technorati Tags: ,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Interesting Similarities

Today I decided to check out Google Maps Street View, which is an awesome new service just recently released by Google. It's almost like having a virtual tour of anywhere in the world! Check out the video below:

Still frame of Ryan Germick from Google Maps Street View demo video

Interestingly, that first shot of Ryan Germick immediately reminded me of Dmitry Buterin during his DemoCamp8 presentation. (I unfortunately missed the demos, but I did catch the after-party that evening.)

Dmitry Buterin demoing Wild Apricot at DemoCamp8

It's because of the neon polyester, isn't it?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A tribute to mesh

Mesh Conference

Mesh is a mere six three two one hour 5 minutes away (yes, I'm late. Grr last-minute client calls), and I'm really excited to see what new and exciting things I'll get to experience and what people I'll get to meet.

However, before I go on about the razzle and dazzle of what is to come over the next couple days, I'd like to take a step back and reflect what has happened over the past year.

Let's start at the beginning. Or rather, before the beginning. I first came across Rob Hyndman's blog via his Digg article that had gained a good deal of notoriety and controversy that day. Whilst browsing his site, I had found a little announcement about an up-and-coming Toronto "Web 2.0" conference, and being web "2.0" junkie that I am, I immediately subscribed to his blog so that I could get more details on the matter when they became available.

Because of mesh, I got a chance to meet with a whole bunch of people who I otherwise would not have met, and I'm quite glad I did, as many of these people have come to be my friends who I see on a regular basis at Torcamp events.

One of them was Sacha Chua, the most exuberant and enthusiastic person I've ever met. We kept running into each other at the conference, and it was a good thing we did. She graciously introduced me to the wonderful world of Moleskines. I think I might've got a bit carried a way with my conversation note-taking (à la Sacha) though, as some people might've found it a bit odd (and perhaps uncomfortable) to be documented as they were speaking in conversation, but I was Moleskine-happy that day and wasn't really paying too much attention to that.

I met Joey deVilla, the infamous "Accordion Guy", during Amber's How and Why To Podcast workshop (check out Amber's slides , mixed in with some videocast). Coincidentally, I caught his appearance on MTV the previous week. It was an amazing to meet a local celebrity like Joey for the first time. I was quite excited to get to meet him, and he's a really great guy. He even stopped to pose for a photo-op for me!

Many thanks as well to Pete Mosely, for organizing mush: among the people there were Stowe, Brent, Joey, Wendy, Leigh, and some more people who I can't seem to remember at this moment (my apologies) [I took some mush-y photos, too]. This year, it seems mush seems to be taking the form of a Facebook group.

There are countless others whom I can barely begin to name, so I apologize if I didn't mention you explicitly, but you know who you are, are I thank you all the same.

One really important person who I owe an enormous debt of gratitude is David Crow. Thanks to David, from whom I learned about BarCamps and DemoCamps (I originally wanted to attend BarCampTdot that took place the weekend before mesh, but I was already booked that weekend. If only I had found out earlier). I attended my first DemoCamp two weeks following mesh (kudos to Matthew Burpee for his kindness to me that day), and had a great time.

I would love to go on about these things, but it's already 6 7 9AM the day of, so I've got to try and cram in at least an hour of sleep (on the bus) before the conference. More to come in the future (and the update will be coming, too). To those of you who are coming out, see you at mesh [A quick sidenote: As I noted before, I'm quite glad to see that the "2.0" has been dropped from the conference's name this year (be it for legal reasons or otherwise). The web was never meant to be a versioned medium.].

So thanks again to Mathew, Mark, Mike, Stuart, and Rob for putting this all together and making this all possible! Without them I wouldn't have been privileged to know half the people I know today. See you there!

Technorati Tags: , ,