September 20th, 2011


Social Mapping

Was in the process of leaving for work early when the vet called, asking if I wanted to bring Pumpkin in this morning, but I decided it was already too late, and made an appointment for 8 am tomorrow. And got to work somewhat early.

Work went slowly, with several tests which needed me to downgrade the software on the machine in order to see the bug, then upgrade it to the current release to see if it was fixed. One bug which was fixed showed me that another was opened (what they did to fix the one re-opened an old bug). Had a nice chat with the program manager to figure out if the process was to re-open a bug from a previous project, or open a new one. He said to re-open the old one, it's a shared code base.

Also had one of those "if you do this thing 20 times which no customer should ever do more than once, the audio will go away from one of the 10 channels on that output". That took a couple of hours and four changes of software to nail down. Plus some help from the tester who worked on it back in January.

Home after work to say hi to the cats, then off to Google/YouTube for the WebMappingSocial meetup group. They always serve dinner, this time it was a choice of 5 kinds of hot dog like objects, sauerkraut, buns, pickles, macaroni salad, potato salad, the usual condiments, bottled water and Sprite. And two flavors of rugelach. About 100 people showed up out of the 165 who said they would.

Three presenters, all with interesting projects. The Stanford Peace Innovation group showing how data mining can show world peace in action - such as people being friends on FB who would kill each other if they met in person, people buying from people on eBay who they would never do business with face to face, and some generation gap bridging. The presenter had the remnants of a Canadian accent, which somehow bothered me. Them holier-than-thou Canucks preaching peace to us war-loving Amurkans. I also thought the results were a crock. I have a bunch of FB friends whom I met through non-political activities whose politics I find abhorrent, but otherwise they are wonderful people. That's not a bridge of peace, we do a lot of debating, rarely changing minds.

Next up was a fellow who is from somewhere like India or Pakistan, but pretends that since he got his degree at Berkeley he is from around here. 20 years in the country, probably a citizen, it would be the polite thing to take accent reduction classes. His partner makes no bones about being Israeli. They had an app which is your basic GPS, on top of which they have added photos and dialog about points of interest you are driving through. A mobile phone screen is too small to really pull off the photo part, but the talking can be a winner if he shortens the descriptions a bit.

Finally up was a woman who needed to find kid-friendly places in SF, so she created a spreadsheet, which she turned into an app, which has no gone viral and covers 29 cities with 90,000 downloads. It's called MomMap, and I think it's the American Dream come true for her. She has done a great job with it, and really needs to think about hiring a staff.

About 1/4 of the audience was women, and not there just for the MomMap thing. After the presentations, the MC asked if anyone had job openings, and got two responses. Then she asked if anyone was looking for work, and got none. Hmmmm.

Wrapping this up early so I can go to bed early and wake up early.

Plans for tomorrow:
Moto picnic
Hang out somewhere with the netbook. (Thought about the CHM lecture, but I'm not interested in vulture capitalists).