All Posts Tagged ‘update


The Best (and Creepiest) Map Mashup Evar


Maybe it isnt dymanic like the map I made of flickr pictures in my most recent mashup post, but this one is infinitely cooler.

This is a heatmap of the places where you were most likely to find me over the last 3 months. Thanks to Foursquare, the location-based nerdmeasuring contest, I logged a couple hundred “checkins”, mostly on the stanford campus. A little Python sorcery and the Foursquare API later you get a cool heat-map of my places.

All this is thanks to Steven Lehrburger and he Google App engine.

The two hottest spots are (predictably) McClatchy Hall where I work/attend classes, and Escondido Village, where I live (and of which I am currently Foursquare Mayor). Below is a zoomed-in version

You can also see my occasional check in at the Palo Alto Caltrain Station where I make my commutes up to AllThingsD where I Intern, my occasional checkin at the Aregalla Gym, and even a couple checkins at Facebook HQ.

Weird, yes. The good news is I had to login and authorize this thing eight ways from Sunday to get the map to populate, and event then, no one entity has enough of the info to create a new map- so not too bad.

This is the data marketing companies are starting to salivate over, especially if the data can be logged in real time. We already are offered deals and coupons based on Foursquare locations, but look out for similar offerings in Google maps, and wherever else money can be made.


First Column at AllThingsDigital

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Almost Famous: Brizzly’s Chris Wetherell

A new feature wherein All Things Digital looks at up-and-coming and innovative start-ups you should know about.

You can see the original post at AllThingsD HERE.

This week: A video visit with, some questions for and a few pertinent stats about Chris Wetherell and his creation, Brizzly, a Web-based social media reader, one of many in the hot status update arena.


Who: Chris Wetherell

What: VP of Technology, Thing Labs, creator of Brizzly.

Why: Brizzly is a Web-based social media software client, for microblogging sites like Twitter or Facebook, expands attachments automatically and allows users to describe and define the trending topics for all its users to see. It’s in invite-only beta.

Where: @cw (Twitter); (Wetherell’s personal blog); San Francisco (HQ for Thing Labs and Brizzly)

Who else: TweetDeck, Seesmic, TwitIQ

Five Stats You Won’t Find in his Facebook Profile

Worst Job: Assembly line at Fujitsu, making rack servers

Has a Geek Crush on: Mihai Parparita, Google developer in Boston

Gadget of the Moment: Roku’s digital video box. “It’s got Netflix, You Tube and TV. Damn.”

Wishes There Was an App for: The legal arena. “They need to, like, use a computer.”

Fails at: Anything related to email

Bio in 140 Characters

From Beaverton, Ore. Dropped out of Berkeley. Got hungry as an indie rock drummer. @Google Reader. Left Google, invented Brizzly.

The Five Questions

Why should I care about Brizzly?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If one of the things that interests you is how a large community is experiencing life–I mean really interested in the community and not just the idea of your friends–then Brizzly does that a little more easily than other things. [Brizzly’s assets are] no small difference for those who are interested in it.

Why are all Twitter-related logos, including yours, so darn cute?


Yeah, we’re a little cheeky, right? I think it’s probably just because of a pendulum swing. I mean, the last thing [Thing Labs’ CEO Jason Shellen] and I worked on was the exact opposite. Google Reader is not cuddly. It’s friendly, but cuddly it isn’t. The other thing is, we were hoping to try what strong branding is like–in terms of anthropomorphic animals. The bear design [was drawn by] both Jason and [Twitter Co-founder] Biz Stone.

What can we expect from Thing Labs and Brizzly three months out?

We will have at least three richer sets of experiences, some of which include entirely different products all connected through our API.

Every geek has a memory where they saw something new and had to say to themselves, “Dang, I love living in the future.” What’s yours?

One big one for me was at Google–it was my first day and someone says, “Hey, have they taken you to see the robots yet?” I was like, “Hahaha… No.” They took me to this building where there was a room filled with these Rube Goldbergesque mechanical devices. Large cages with metal bars and wires, culminating in this ball in the center. This girl climbed into the thing. She put her feet in these stirrups and sat in this weird chair, and then this book slides out. The girl started tapping her feet on this base drum pedal and doing this thing with her hands, and then the book slides away [they were scanning the books]. I was like, “What is this?” and they said, “Well, this is Ocean [the internal name for Google Books].” What struck me was the scale. It was clear to me that they were going to scan ridiculous amounts of information very, very quickly, and I realized: Whoa, THIS is very different.”

Are you really competitive with rivals?

I just don’t have that kind of fight in me. I mean, I want to kick my own ass. I know there are lots of guys out there who can totally drop the names of someone they want to just crush. I just don’t have it. I get more frustrated with me, more than anyone else. I’m like Jim Carrey in “Liar Liar”: “I’m kicking my ass.”


Cycling for Sight 2009- Photos

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Day 1- The Team Arrives

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Day 2- Braille Santa Barbara to Pepperdine

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Day 3-Pepperdine to UC Irvine

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Final Stage- UCI to Braille Institute San Diego

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Cycling for Sight- Audio

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Below are a few audio pieces I put together surrounding the Cycling for Sight 2009 ride.


The Genesis Story

This is the genesis story of the ride, featuring ride co-founders Dave, Johnathan and Andy. They talk adventure cycling, crazy ideas and the line between genius and insanity. Give a listen. Its about 10mins. long.


This is Why We Ride

The audio track from the “this is why we ride.” soundslides presentation. It features about a dozen CFS09 riders giving quick answers to tough questions.


Blind Stoker Slide Show

The night of ride day 3, I treated the CFS09 crew to something a little different. We’d had end-of-the-day slide shows, but this was something more fun. Listen in to the slide show of captured sounds from the day 3 ride, as it would have been experienced by one of our blind stokers.


Cycling for Sight- Soundslides



Greetings to all the return viewers, as well as first timers. The link below will take you to a very special video unlike anything we’ve produced so far. Its a combination of photos and sounds that gets to the heart of why CFS is so very special.

Please come back to in the coming days as there are still videos that will be posted, and a recap story to be written.

Link: This is why we ride.


Cycling for Sight- The Last Day

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Just the beginning. Come back tomorrow night for lots more multi-media from the ride.

Greetings again all. We gathered so much great multi-media material over the last couple days that its still being processed, chewed on, sorted and arrangted for your consuming pleasure. I plan on spending my day tomorrow finalizing some awesome features that will really bring the people behind the ride to life. Look for that tomorrow evening.

Until then, please enjoy some of the best shots from the final day of the ride. If you are a rider or family of one and your favorite photo isn’t up yet, check back tomorrow night- theres lots more to come.

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Cycling for Sight- Pepperdine to UC Irvine

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Today our car route took us a little away from our bikers, so the media crew decided to roll out something we’ve been thinking about all along. There are a few pictures below, but the highlight of the post tonight is a very special kind of slide show. Throw on some headphones and hit the play button to experience a condensed version of today’s ride just as one of our visually impaired riders would (minus the smells of course).

If you listen close, you’ll hear us start our day with a walk to the cafeteria through the sprinklers (some of us rode over), breakfast in Pepperdine’s cavernous dining hall, our SAG support car passing a few of the riders, the team passing LAX and the beach, arrival at the half way pit stop, filling the water containers, a chance encounter with a horse, the team arriving at and departing from the pit stop, riding through more urban sections of the route with features like Spanish radio, but stop overhangs, corner food stands and passing a few bikers as well. We finished out the ride past some beautiful stretches of beach and into UCI.

See if you can hear it all…

[podcast][/podcast] [flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157621860717527″]


Cycling for Sight 2009- First Look Photos

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Just a few photos from day one of the ride. High spirits and fresh legs all around.

CFS09 has almost met their goal of $75,000, and you can log on to donate. Just click the banner at the bottom of the photo gallery for details.

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