August 22, 2014

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I really love doing these photo posts. This trip more than many SF trips in the past, I actually took a lot of photos (somewhere around 1200) and narrowed it down to just 100 uploaded. I’m happy with these and the OM-D EM-1 from Olympus has turned into the greatest camera I’ve ever owned. It’s so much fun to shoot with. I primarily used the PRO 14-42mm f/2.8 and the Leica 25mm f/1.4 lenses. 

My buddy Chris joined me on this trip for a few days then the rest of the time was spent working in our San Jose / Cupertino offices. Enjoy!

As usual, I start the photo set off with an airplane wing. Should have straightened this image a bit. Also, the photos in this set all carry a similar vintage look as I was batch processing in Lightroom with a preset that I like a lot. Oh and the watermark is back. Too many people steal my images these days.

United BOS-->SFO

Street Photography - San Francisco

Toronado San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

Street Photography - San Francisco

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

San Francisco's Bay Bridge

Drinks @ Sante Adairius

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands / Presidio / Golden Gate Bridge

Cellarmaker Brewing SF

Random Photos around SF

Random Photos around SF

Random Photos around SF

Random Photos around SF

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

Amy G. - AT&T Park August 17th

Phillies @ Giants - AT&T Park August 17th

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

The Fresh & Onlys Live at Cafe Stritch - San Jose, Ca

Street Art - San Francisco

Street Art - San Francisco

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

California vegetation is looking so brown lately, even the trees below at our SJC office are no longer green. The extreme drought in California is so evident! Very depressing. All of the hills in Sonoma county were brown and dead.

Pacific Coast Highway / Pacifica

August 21, 2014

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via Wired:

By the next morning, the items in my News Feed had moved very, very far to the right. I’m offered the chance to like the 2nd Amendment and some sort of anti-immigrant page. I like them both. I like Ted Cruz. I like Rick Perry. The Conservative Tribune comes up again, and again, and again in my News Feed.

and

As day one rolled into day two, I began dreading going to Facebook. It had become a temple of provocation. Just as my News Feed had drifted further and further right, so too did it drift further and further left. Rachel Maddow, Raw Story, Mother Jones, Daily Kos and all sort of other leftie stuff was interspersed with items that are so far to the right I’m nearly afraid to like them for fear of ending up on some sort of watch list.

and

But maybe worse than the fractious political tones my feed took on was how deeply stupid it became. I’m given the chance to like a Buzzfeed post of some guy dancing, and another that asks Which Titanic Character Are You? A third Buzzfeed post informs me that “Katy Perry’s Backup Dancer is the Mancandy You Deserve.” According to New York magazine, I am “officially old” because Malia Obama went to Lollapalooza (like!) and CNN tells me “Husband Explores His Man-ternal Instincts” alongside a photo of a shirtless man cupping his nipples. A cloud that looks like a penis. Stop what you’re doing and look at this baby that looks exactly like Jay-Z. My feed was showing almost only the worst kind of tripe that all of us in the media are complicit in churning out yet should also be deeply ashamed of. Sensational garbage. I liked it all.

I have always hated Facebook and preferred Twitter. This sort of stupidity is why Facebook’s ads are making so much money but there has to be a better way. For a while, I was peeved that every time I visited my news feed, I had to click the drop down that said “all stories” instead of “top stories”. Finally, that option went away completely. If you want to see everything from your friends, good luck.

It’s worse than that though. Facebook today (or at least 11 months ago when I closed my account), is news articles your friends shared / liked. Very rarely are there actual status updates from my friends unless it’s a person or topic I’ve interacted with in the past.

I’ve linked to a lot of these sort of pieces over the last 2 years but when the borg decides what content you want from what you’ve liked / friended, that’s too much. Twitter wins because even though I might miss something in my feed if I close TweetDeck for an hour, I can still go back to it later or not miss an update that I’m looking at.

If anyone asks you what the single different thing between these two social networks. If your friend likes statuses from their friends, they can decide if they want to see every update or what some AI algorithm chooses for them.

I choose to see what I’ve subscribed to and I can’t be alone

August 20, 2014

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A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was interviewed for a book that’s available as of November last year. I thought it would be fun to list here the books I’m in / had a part in. There may be others out there as I’ve been interviewed a lot over the years and can’t remember all of the cases where those interviews went anywhere. The Press category on this blog has a lot of links to old memories in self-promotion.

  1. 140 Characters – a book I had a small part in, authored by a very dear friend Dom Sagolla
  2. Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age by Alice E. Marwick 
  3. Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will by Dale J. Stephens

I’ve enjoyed reading these books and just ordered more so I can ask the authors to sign a copy for me (something I should have done a long time ago).

August 20, 2014

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via Michael O. Church:

What most of us don’t realize is that this culture of mandatory “passion” lowers our social status, because it encourages us to work unreasonably hard and irrespective of conditions. The fastest way to lose social status is to show acceptance of low social status. For example, programmers often make the mistake of overworking when understaffed, and this is a terrible idea. (“Those execs don’t believe in us, so let’s show them up by… working overtime on something they own!”) To do this validates the low status of the group that allows it to be understaffed. Executives, a more savvy sort, lose passion when denied the advancement or consideration they feel they deserve. They’re not obnoxious about this attitude, but they don’t try to cover it up, either. They’re not going to give a real effort to a project or company that acts against their own interests or lowers their own social status. They won’t negotiate against themselves by being “passionate”, either. They want to be seen as supremely competent, but not sacrificial. 

The exercise in this post was a great read but more so, the takeaway from the author is spot on. If you want to be seen as upper management, you have to behave like it. I’ve never intentionally acted one way or another and have chosen simply to be myself. I’ve seen the opposite effect as detailed above for more blue-collar jobs. If you don’t act passionate about potato wedges at your job at KFC, you likely won’t make shift-leader. An unhealthy love for potato wedges usually means promotion whereas if a coder really LOVES code and works 20 hours a day, they’ll likely keep her there forever.

August 19, 2014

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While I have a huge respect for the cast and crew for spending 12 years making a film in small increments, the movie was just not good. I guess it’s a good example of just how boring life can be…even with a script and talented actors, following a boy has he goes through things all of us did growing up is just boring.

Lucy was interesting enough to rent

World’s most wanted man was also interesting but overall a dud. 

August 8, 2014

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Four Barrel Customer Service

I never ever expect a response when I email customer service. I received one from Four Barrel and that was already cool enough. I’ve been using their Friendo Blendo Espresso Blend for about 9 months and the last order in July was the first time I ever was unhappy with the taste. For some reason I was getting black / green tea with a lot of acidity. I went through the entire bag trying various changes to get the taste to improve and decided to let Four Barrel know.

Three days later, a bag of Friendo Blendo (new batch) + a note came in the mail. Awesome customer service and I can’t wait to give these a go! Some tips from Tayler that I didn’t know before for their espresso:

I looked up the roast date that you likely received and it looks like it was comprised of 40% Ethiopian, 40% Colombian and 20% Rwandan. Sometimes, a heavier focus into African coffees can cause increased astringency. Additionally, we really like our coffees somewhere between 6 – 10 days off roast. Usually during this time period, you’ll get more sweetness and body out of the espresso. The longer you wait to brew it, the more you’ll tend to experience dry, dusty or flat characteristics. Regardless of external factors, I always hate to hear that someone has had a less than wonderful experience. I’m sending you a free bag of Friendo – and the current composition is different! This one is 50% Bolivia Buena Vista and 50% Colombia Andino. I just pulled some shots and experienced a juicy caramel sweetness with light peach acidity.

I wasn’t aware that Friendo Blendo changed percentages of the blend periodically but coffee supplies are alway changing so that makes sense. The 6-10 days of rest period I also didn’t know about so that’s a great tip! Thanks Tayler and the Four Barrel team.

August 8, 2014

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The home network project is almost complete. It took quite a bit of work, a full weekend and I had to take a day off work to make the final progress to the core infrastructure. I still have to do a few more cable drops and finalize the setup of one more access point then we’re good to go.

Either way, I’m really happy with the setup so far even though it’s not complete, it is fully functional for my needs. Although, I am running a 30 foot ethernet cable across my living room / bedroom for the iMac, everything else is good to go. I took some photos of the setup:

New Home Network Project

Core setup, 12 U Rack mount + Cisco ISR 2811 + Cisco Gigabit Switch + Synology DS214 Play w/ 12 terabytes of storage, Cat 6 and other miscellaneous hardware detailed in the last post.

New Home Network Project

You can see the orb access point at the other side of the basement. It’s powered over ethernet which is great and really easy to manage (Unify Access Point)

New Home Network Project

Just some of the cabling, 4 cables going into the wall of the bedroom

New Home Network Project

Close up of the rack

New Home Network Project

Crappy cable management ( to be improved)

New Home Network Project

The other Unify access point.

Looking forward to more improvements over the coming weeks!

August 6, 2014

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Yes, This is dog

6 this is dog

August 5, 2014

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Since my post last week, Justin.TV is no more.

I’m not really sure why I feel so sad about this news. I haven’t visited the site in a while. I just have those fond memories of the start of the site and how JTV jump-started my move to San Francisco.

Justin.TV posted a video that’s worth watching. The site and its content is gone forever but luckily I have a backup.

It was some time in 2007 shortly after my 5th Macworld Expo visit that Scott Beale of LaughingSquid tweeted about Justin.TV. He hosted a drink-up (common in SF at the time) and invited Justin and team along. My first experience with the guys was sending them paypal cash to pay for a round of drinks. Still living in St. Augustine with Laura at the time, I was already on the verge of moving to SF but had yet to really put things in motion. LaughingSquid promoted my Macworld events and Scott Beale eventually ended up tweeting my resume out to thousands of followers in 2008 which helped me land the job at Yoono. 

That’s why that first evening of buying a round of drinks for JTV & LS over Twitter was awesome and really memorable for me. Not a pretty output but here’s the exchange via Twitter from 2007: (remember back then @ replies / mentions weren’t a thing @ was invented by users but the person you’re @ing had to see it in their normal stream)

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$26 measly dollars but it was the start of something great.

I was one of the first people to join JTV after the initial wave of promoted broadcasters like Justine. I didn’t have a mobile camera so I setup a Logitech camera at my home office and another at my office. The office camera had a disabled microphone to keep business talk out but the home camera was just live most evenings. I averaged 5-20 people during the ‘shows’ and as many as 100 during times when I was doing one of my 2 podcasts. I did some semi-mobile JTV shows at some point in 2007 by getting a Verizon AirCard for my MacBook but it was minimal.

Actually, I met Nick Starr through JTV or one of the other nine services that popped up at that time. He would broadcast his weekly drive from Tampa to Orlando and we’d chat during the ride. It was an exciting time to be able to broadcast from a phone and we were pioneers for using the services so transparently.

Here are a few photos from that life casting era before MWSF2008:

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For 2008 Macworld in SF, Justin.TV let me use their Sony Vaio recording setup for the entire week. I had a live stream on the MacworldBound and DailyTechTalk sites with my friend Sam Downie. This is also the Macworld that I first learned the romantic elements of new-media were not all that they were cracked up to be when Sam and I were at Starbucks at 3rd & Powell and Walt Mossberg from WSJ at the time came in and discussed Apple on the evening before the big keynote. He didn’t say much and we warned him he was being recorded and streamed but the letter I received the next day from him was very serious threatening a lawsuit if we didn’t remove the video. I personally didn’t feel much was revealed but we complied. So much for everyone being friends in the tech world.

The week of streaming was a lot of fun! Sam and I stayed with Bill Palmer in a hostel, streamed from the keynote, parties and exhibit hall. We had a really great viewership all week! it opened up a lot of opportunities for me. Here are some photos:

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I lifecasted quite a bit in May of 2008 when I came to San Francisco for a week to do some house-hunting. Again, JTV let me borrow a wireless cam setup and my girlfriend Laura could see the places I was touring and give feedback. That’s also the first time I utilized an SMS relay service so instead of having to Google where I was or where to go next, I could just say it and a few hundred people could tell me what to do via chat. This was before Siri. I was roaming around at night photographing the city and simply exclaimed, “I’m lost and hungry” Directions and a pizza place recommendation were delivered instantly. It felt like the future.

All I had to give up was just a little privacy. Most importantly, tilting the camera up in the air during bathroom breaks and covering the mic during important convos. I remember getting a chat message at 11:30PM after a night of drinking that people had screen capped my credit card number and ATM pin during a late night trip to the ATM when If forgot to tilt the camera away.

I kept streaming when I got back to Florida and packed up my life. We broadcasted my 21st and 22nd birthdays, my going away party / Laura’s birthday. A few of us played guitar hero live on JTV and I talked out my fears and thoughts on moving so far away from home. For a while, it replaced the content on this blog and I really enjoyed it.

Here are a few shots of me using the service after the move to SF in June of 2008:

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I even used the camera to broadcast from my laptop when giving speeches or seminars. That seminar pictured below helped me start the side-project I work on now, “Tweet for my Biz” where we do on-demand tech support for startups.

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I used the service off and on throughout 2008 when the next logical thing happened. I registered Justin.TV/AdamsBlock so I could “show my family back home the sights and sounds that keep me up at night.

AdamsBlock launched and in a week, there were a few hundred people watching the channel. I was sincerely just capturing life the way I always had. There was /AdamJacksonLive and /AdamsBlock. There was also /AdamsiPhone and other channels on Ustream and Qik.tv. These were all extensions of life casting just like my Twitter and Blog presence.

AdamsBlock made national news with appearances on NPR, CNN, Fox and local media. We had a quarter of a million viewers after a month and 1 million after 2 months. I’d walk around with my camera on and then get home and see 12,000 people watching AdamsBlock.It was just a street corner, a noisy one but nothing special. The site opened me up to a lot of new opportunities and I embraced them but I also made the mistake of doing what I had always done, living extremely transparent. The popularity with transparency equalled my downfall and soon, where I lived and worked and my friends weren’t safe.

Here’s one of the many news articles about that short-lived project.

After thanksgiving, I shut down the camera and left the apartment. 

I found this compilation on LiveLeak that has some of AdamsBlock’s moments. There were many hundreds of clips but I don’t care enough to upload them to YouTube You can find them around though - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8f7_1238543944

I worked with some people to make AdamsBlock a scalable idea but they didn’t have time to commit and neither did I. so the idea sort of went away as one of those cool Internet things that never caught on. I sometimes get what you’d call fan-mail from that era which is cool. Actually, when I heard Twitch / Justin.TV were being sold last month, I thought of putting AdamsBlock back online from my new house in New Hampshire. About 25,000 people who followed the channel would all receive an email that I had gone live and they could see the new ‘AdamsBlock’ but I didn’t get around to it. It would have been fun.

——-

Since AdamsBlock, I broadcasted a few more times on my other channels from time to time when cooking or playing video games or walking about in the city. I did a few videos while traveling but nothing too elaborate. For the most part, I wanted to get back in touch with that first wave of JTV newness. It all started with $26 over paypal and lead to where I am today.

Seeing Justin.TV offline is sad. That’s how the Internet works though and I honestly had zero regrets about any of it .It would be fun to go back and do things over again and correct some mistakes that were made but that’s all in the past now.

I’m glad the founders of JTV who started 7 whole years ago have found success, happiness and wealth. It was a really great service and did truly change my life.

Just a month after walking away from life casting as a full time gig, I saw in the audience with 1200 people at Macworld 2009 and watched MacHeads premiere starting me and 4 other people. It was a proud moment because among a lot of very talented Mac ‘celebrities’, I remember the cheers for me being so loud when I came on the big screen. Later, a friend told me ‘you stole the show!’.  You can watch Macheads in its entirety here

I went on to work at a few startups and eventually work brought me to New Hampshire. Life casting was indeed one of the defining moments of my time in San Francisco. It’ll never be forgotten. I never blogged about this but if anyone is interested, you can read a bit about my time in SF w/ some reflection now that I live in NH in the book, “Status Update” on Amazon. It was written about a few of us and my chapter in the book was based on 4 interviews from 2009 – 2013 conducted by the author.

Photo Credits: LauraW, TerryC, AndrewM and DKnighton

August 3, 2014

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I haven’t posted much to the blog about my recent move. Elizabeth moved to Denver to pursue the next step in her career. She’s doing really well and I’m so proud of her. After she moved, i tried to find a new roommate but that didn’t go well so instead of continuing to pay $1500 a month to live in a 2-story house, I moved to a smaller 1 bedroom single level with a full cellar / basement right on Lake Mascoma. I reduced my living expenses by 50% and the only thing missing is the privacy and perhaps being able to host big parties / tastings. I just don’t have the space here that I did in the old house.

Over the past few days, I’ve snapped a few photos of the new house to share here. Thanks for reading and following!

Mascoma Lake, New Hampshire

Mascoma Lake, New Hampshire

Skiing on Mascoma Lake - New Hampshire

New House Tour

New House Tour

New House Tour

New House Tour

New House Tour

New House Tour

New House Interior

New House Interior

New House Interior

New House Interior

New House Interior

There’s not much 2 it…just 2 rooms and a bathroom and obviously scaling down all of my possessions to fit in here was quite a lot of work but I did it all without putting anything in storage and I think the living space is still very usable for being a small footprint. 

I’ll be here for at least another 15 months and hope to stay longer after that.