Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What is Crazy Friday? -- Initial ideas

What is Crazy Friday? Every week we set aside Friday as the day we focus on learning, exploration and experimentation. It can be any new ideas that anyone can learn, share and teach to everyone.

Here are some idea starter:

  • It can be learning a new platform, technology, technical environment
  • Learn a new programming language
  • Fork an existing feature and implement it in another useful context
  • Integrate with a known public API, mash it up with another service or your own
  • Develop a new app on a new platform and offer it for free
  • Develop an app for a non-profit organization, help them become better in what they do
  • Start a small coaching group around a certain topic and help interested newbies get on board
  • Figure out something we can do better in our life, in our company, in our office; then propose and implement it for everyone
  • Improve oneself and someone else's remarkability -- moving closer towards greatness
  • Share something interesting you find online, offline, something. Make a presentation about it. Promote it.

A few things it's not:

  • Catch up on old friends in Facebook
  • Sleep at home, which can still be valid if sleep is really needed
  • Boring, un-crazy, un-remarkable, un-interesting stuffs.

A few guidelines:

  • It has be done in open source and open data format (or at least most of it! -- unless it violates someone else copyright and privacy)
  • Make sure it's something interesting, otherwise no one will attend your presentation! :D
  • This is not yet open to strangers. We'll come up with a plan how to do it.

Ok, these are just some initial ideas. BrewedCast is also moved to Fridays. Further, we'll also improve who we invite to the BrewedCast and Crazy Friday sessions (if there's any presentation scheduled), so there's more interaction and no one will be out of place.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life is not linear, it's organic.

Life is not linear, it's organic. We're all obsessed about getting people to college. We're obsessed that life starts somewhere and ends up somewhere, and that if we just follow the lines, we'll get there somehow.

It's a bit sad, since everyone who's every spent at least 5 years of life after college, knows it's not linear. And yet, i still see a lot asking questions like, what are the secrets to success, what books should i read to be successful, what profession should i get, if only i can have X, i know i will be Y. Just sad, i think it's time to re-think why in the world we exist anyway? We need to answer more why than what or how or when or where questions.

Who the f*ck ever taught us it's linear anyway?

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Apple has created "golden cage" ecosystem that many non-geeks actually prefer.

Vic Gundotra opened Google I/O with a compelling story of his meeting with Andy Rubin on his first day at Google. Vic was asking whether we really needed another mobile operating system. Andy told him why open systems matter. "If google did not act, our future would belong to one man, one company, one vision." Meanwhile, the slide shows a person from the back, with head bowed, and a giant 1984 logo in the background. Wow! The audience explodes in applause.

Yeah, this is a self-selected audience, but there's a deep current of fear of Apple and its plans for world domination in the mobile space. Apple's tight control of what apps can appear on the iPhone is billed as managing the user experience, but it's also incredibly anti-competitive. Apple also blocks applications from competitors. I love Apple as an innovator - they have made everyone in the industry better. But I really dislike how they have become fixated on control. They are over-reaching.

I thought "someone ought to do a new version of the Apple 1984 ad, with someone throwing a hammer through an iPhone screen." Did a quick search, and found one was done in 2008, as a mashup on YouTube. Only 254 views this morning. Just tweeted it, and after Vic's keynote, I imagine that's going to go up quite a bit.

It made me think of how far Apple has come since its famous 1984 ad that introduced the Macintosh. It's sad.

It's sometimes harder for companies to survive success than it is to survive failure.

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I think Apple got arrogant just a tad too early.

Update: I posted a follow-up.

You know things are heating up for Apple when even Fake Steve Jobs himself announces that he’s ditching his iPhone and getting an Android phone.

A few select pieces:

Which is why today, just to be mean, Google showed an Android phone tethered to an Apple iPad. Big laughs all around.

Indeed. Don’t bother with the iPad 3G, just get the cheap iPad, an Android phone running FroYo, turn on wifi tethering and you are automatically online for no extra costs.

I’m assuming that Apple could have done this already, but chose not to. Who knows why? Maybe they want to keep people locked into their old way of doing things. Or maybe because they were a market leader with no real competition and just got lazy.

I think the latter. It’s not specific to Apple, it’s a well-known law that any market leader with no competition starts taking their users for granted and always gets lazy.

Yes, Apple still has a larger installed base. I was a little shocked recently when an Apple spokesbot responded to the news of Android’s outselling iPhone OS by reciting the old chestnut about Apple’s having more phones out there.

I was shocked because it’s a familiar line, one that I’ve heard countless times in my 20-plus years covering technology. But I’ve only ever heard it from companies that are doomed and in total denial about it.

Very true. Amusingly, this is actually the exact line used by Nokia and Symbian representatives when asked that very same question. I’m sure Steve Jobs is not enjoying the company in that basket.

My take on the overall situation: I think Apple got arrogant just a tad too early. They were doing great, selling iPhones by the millions despite AT&T and they decided that they had already won, so they could become complacent. They kicked out Adobe, started locking down their product even more strongly than before, stopped innovating on the music front (where is Why do I still need an ugly client for the slightest synchronization task?), fell behind both in hardware and software, and Android eagerly filled the void.

One of my tennis coaches once told me “I guess it’s okay to be arrogant if you’re the best in the world”.

Apple became arrogant before they were the best in the world, and they are now going to have to fight hard if they want to stay third or maybe even fourth.

Update: Tim O’Reilly is agreeing.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

It's never enough. Ubuntu Lucid on Edge. A-wesome!

Mark John Buenconsejo thought you would be interested in this station

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Turning pro is a state of mind

"The most important mental breakthrough in my career was simply the recognition that there is such a thing as Resistance. Once I realized that those lazy, whiny, insidious voices in my head were not “me,” but Resistance masquerading as “me” … I could dismiss them and overcome them. I could turn pro The other axiom I would put forward is that this shit is HARD. That’s all there is to it. There’s no royal road, no short cut, no way we can trick, cajole, pay or sleep with anyone else to get them to do our work for us. As Stevie Nicks once said, “It all comes down to you.” The only way to do it is to do it."

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Khan Academy - amazing effort to bring education to everyone.

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.

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starting early for the 10,000 hours in gaming

the confidence and attitude that goes with bringing a new idea into the world is a hair's breadth away, or at least sometimes it feels that way, from being arrogant

This is a fear and a paradox of doing work that's important.

A fear because so many of us are raised to avoid appearing arrogant. Being called arrogant is a terrible slur, it means that you're not only a failure, but a poser as well.

It's a paradox, though, because the confidence and attitude that goes with bringing a new idea into the world ("hey, listen to this,") is a hair's breadth away, or at least sometimes it feels that way, from being arrogant.

And so we keep our head down. Better, they say, to be invisible and non-contributing than risk being arrogant.

That feels like a selfish, cowardly cop out to me. Better, I think, to make a difference and run the risk of failing sometimes, of being made fun of, and yes, appearing arrogant. It's far better than the alternative.

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no documentation can substitute for the experience of looking at how someone who knows what they’re doing has used the piece of the framework that’s puzzling you

Android is an open-source project, which has a bunch of cultural and economic consequences. I’m going to ignore those today, and describe how I use the source code to get work done.

Getting the Source · Before you can do anything with the source code, you have to go get it. This could be a daunting task if you’re not familiar with what a “case-sensitive filesystem” is, or how to use the git distributed version control system.

Fortunately, over at there are step-by-step instructions that’ll let you get by even if you’re only lightly acquainted with all that stuff.

I’d advise you, if you’re doing anything substantial with Android, to go grab that source code. It takes less than 10G of disk space, and if you haven’t done this kind of thing before, you might find that it feels empowering.

Learning By Example · The Android SDK documentation is, by the standards of commercial APIs, pretty good. By the standards of open-source projects, it’s excellent. But it’s not complete. It’s very hard to combine reference rigor (describing exactly what some method does, with tutorial hand-holding (teaching why and how you’d go about using that method).

In a lot of cases, no documentation can substitute for the experience of looking at how someone who knows what they’re doing has used the piece of the framework that’s puzzling you. That’s what the Android source is good for.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

iPad? What iPad? You guys probably haven't heard of Touch Book. This one also runs Android, and well Windows up to 10hrs on bat. :D

What do you get when you combine an embedded board, linux and a contest? All kinds of crazy ideas! :D

Why Openmoko: Apple's insane vendor lock

Apple’s insane vendor lock: This phone is locked in to Apple and the cellular company, and you as the user, end up paying both.

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Linux-ready, open-platform ARM9/DSP SBC costs $89, 300Mhz, 128MB, Ethernet, USB, 5v. -- who's in?

With a linux kernel running on these machines, endless possibilities. Who want in?

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Does programming during daytime make you less sociable at night?

"During one period of my life I wrote a number of computer programs that involved intense manipulation of objects in my mind, for hours each day. I discovered that it was difficult to be social at night when my mind had been in my mind, for hours each day. I discovered that it was difficult to be social at night when my mind had been manipulating object during the day. It felt as if I were deep inside a cave and yelling to the people who stood at the cave opening. It seemed as if the practice of programming interfered with, or exhausted, the part of my brain that handles social skills."

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why startups should train their people

“Most managers seem to feel that training employees is a job that should be left to others.  I, on the other hand, strongly believe that the manager should do it himself.”- Andy Grove, High Output Management

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Friday, May 14, 2010

I was able to mirror the election results site and parsed the HTML files. 21M+ cluster-position-candidate vote entries.

Here are some stats:


all_positions_candidates.csv - 21483907 lines - 1969712099 bytes


all_positions.csv - 713438 lines - 61965718 bytes


parsed_clusters.csv - 78230 lines - 18701511 bytes

I published the code used to mirror and parsed the HTML files, here:

Hope someone can make some sense of the data generated by the script. Have fun, and use it for something good! :) I'm not going to publish the data in a public forum. If any of you want to have a copy or in any way don't know how to run the script or don't like to run the script and just want to work directly with the parsed CSV data, well i might have the left over data from the last test run (before my lizard brain tells me to delete it).

SUPER BIG DISCLAIMER: This will not give you the official results. They're no way this is an official code from COMELEC. There's no way i work for COMELEC. Don't even have friends who work there, nor from Smartmatic. It's a hack to mirror and parse data, so don't use it to base serious decisions. Though you can use it as a start, then use the actual numbers on the COMELEC site for confirmation. :D



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Parsing the election results is putting all the cores of my machine to good use.

Good explanation abour Git.

"Mike, Git seems unintuitive because you don’t have a good grasp of what it does behind the scenes. Imagine trying to get to grips with a Unix shell, if you had no concept of files or directories. In such a scenario even a simple command like “cat” would seem incomprehensible."

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's the point of having an automated election, when we have to stop counting so Congress can count on their own pace on May 31st?

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) stopped updating the tallies for the presidential and vice presidential races Tuesday after lawyers of losing candidates warned the poll body that it might preempt the function of Congress to canvass tabulations for the top two posts.

“People might say that we are proclaiming the president. We just gave the public a bit of a preview,” Comelec Chair Jose Melo told reporters.

The last tallies of the votes for presidential and vice presidential candidates, based on 78.5 percent of the electronically transmitted election returns, came in Tuesday at 6:15 a.m.

The early morning Comelec tallies showed that Sen. Benigno Aquino III was ahead of the pack with 12,233,002 votes. Former President Joseph Estrada had 7,749,597, while Sen. Manuel Villar got 4,329,215.

Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro received 3,243,688 votes, followed by Bro. Eddie Villanueva at 916,543 votes. Sen. Richard Gordon got 431,954 votes. Nicanor Perlas got 42,205; Sen. Jamby Madrigal, 37,119; and John Carlos de los Reyes, 34,833.

In the vice presidential race, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay was leading at 12,025,429 votes. Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was close behind at 11,213, 563.

Sen. Loren Legarda got 3,259,963; Bayani Fernando, 847,100 and Edu Manzano, 593,653 votes. Perfecto Yasay garnered 295, 558; Jay Sonza, 50,722; and Dominador Chipeco Jr., 40,335.

Melo said the Comelec would postpone the announcement of results of the presidential and vice presidential races to Wednesday morning.

Asked about delaying the announcement of tallies, Cesar Flores, spokesperson of Smartmatic-TIM Corp., which provided the counting machines, said: “I would keep on releasing it if I were the Comelec.”

Flores said 88.5 percent of the 76,300 clustered precincts nationwide had transmitted results to the Comelec. By midnight, the Comelec should have 92 percent-95 percent of the election returns, he said.

PPCRV count

Aquino cemented his position as the likely runaway winner in partial unofficial results of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The PPCRV placed the votes for Aquino at 13,165,152, a lead of close to 5 million votes over Estrada.

The Comelec-accredited citizens’ arm has a server that receives transmissions of election returns from the clustered precincts nationwide.

Figures the PPCRV announced at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday represented results from some 85.86 percent of 76,475 polling precincts nationwide.

After Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal held a press conference in the morning announcing the completion of tabulations of results from 78.55 percent of election returns, the Comelec made no further announcements for the rest of the day.

Estrada lawyer

Commissioner Lucenito Tagle singled out George Garcia, a legal representative of Estrada, among the lawyers who allegedly warned that the Comelec might preempt Congress, which is tasked with canvassing the tabulations for the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

So far, Villar of the Nacionalista Party, Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Gordon of Bagumbayan, De los Reyes of Ang Kapatiran and Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas have already conceded to Aquino of the Liberal Party.

“The lawyers of these ‘presidentiables’ asked why we were already announcing the results because our figures might be different from the numbers that would be tabulated in Congress,” Tagle said at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

“What if the figures we announce are different from the ones received by Congress? The issue is there might be conflicting figures,” he added.

Constitutional mandate

Tagle was apparently referring to a constitutional provision designating the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint session as the government body that will canvass the results of the presidential and vice presidential races and proclaim the winners.

Tagle said that before commissioners faced the media at the noontime press conference, the request made by lawyers of the presidential candidates was discussed.

“We commissioners were in favor (of revealing the results beyond 78.55 percent) although it was also considered that there might be legal concerns if we insist on it. So it was agreed that we would not,” Tagle said.

Asked about Melo’s opinion on the matter, Tagle said: “The chair said ‘we had announced 78 percent. So let’s not continue. And we are accused by the lawyers (of preempting Congress).’ One of them was George Garcia.”

Tagle said he told Melo that the press was waiting for updated tabulations. But Melo reportedly replied: “Because we already disclosed the results from 78 percent of the returns, we can be accused of setting the stage for an announcement.”

Tagle said other commissioners also expressed concern over the issue. “Because we were nearing 100 percent, it might be said that we are taking the role of Congress.”

During the interview, Tagle said Smartmatic had already reported an 87-percent completion of the election results.

As of Tuesday night, he remained optimistic that Melo would reconsider his decision to stop further announcements of the election results. (Melo later said that the tabulations would continue Wednesday morning.)

Tagle insisted that the Comelec’s figures remain unofficial, as indicated on its website.

Special session

A number of lawmakers wanted President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to call for a special session of Congress to expedite the canvassing of election results in view of the quick transmission of election returns.

House Deputy Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II is proposing that the special session be held on May 24 instead of May 31 when Congress is scheduled to resume session for sine die adjournment of the 14th Congress.

The Constitution provides that Congress conduct a canvass within three days from the election in a joint session, said Gonzales, who switched from Lakas-Kampi-CMD to the Liberal Party last month.

Best option

Gonzalez said an early proclamation of Aquino as the newly elected president was the best option for the country especially after a bitterly fought campaign.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara said that as long as the election returns had been transmitted to Congress and duly certified by the city or provincial board of canvassers, there was no reason to wait two more weeks before starting the official canvass.

Quezon Rep. Lorenzo TaƱada III said Ms Arroyo should consider the best course of the country and exercise her right to call a special session. With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan

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