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Showing posts from September, 2010

Kay Nou

Kay Nou is a fascinating new blog by my next door neighbors. Take a visit and you'll be treated to all manner of opinions on a wide range of topics, including running, teaching, law, food, Buffalo and Western New York, and Haiti. With 46 blog posts in September alone, they produce a steady amount of content that rewards repeat visits (or an RSS subscription). Just to put that in perspective, prior to this post, I managed 46 posts on this blog for the entire calendar year.

Visit Kay Nou:
http://kaynou.wordpress.com/

The Social Network (Movie Review)

All companies need creation myths, and if one doesn't exist, it's probably necessary to invent one.

It's unclear how much of The Social Network is fact and how much is exaggerated and fictionalized, but it doesn't really matter as David Fincher's film succeeds as a compelling story of a smart but irreverent college student who doesn't quite fit in at Harvard but pounces and executes the right idea at the right time. The results speak for themselves as Facebook has become the number one social network site in the world.

I enjoyed the film and especially appreciated the balanced treatment of Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg). He comes across neither as a sympathetic figure nor as a villain, but somewhere in between, and mostly as a lonely and sometimes angry kid who desperately wants to fit in. This flailing coupled with his savvy at building innovative web applications (first MP3 software, than the infamous Facemash, and, finally, Facebook), leads to an unexpected m…

Remix by Lawrence Lessig (Book Review)

Copyright and fair use have become confusing and confounding. Not only is it unclear today what exactly we can copy and create, but it seems incredulous that record companies and movie studios would resort to suing children.

In Remix, Lawrence Lessig cuts through the confusion and details how American copyright laws have ceased to perform their original role of protecting artistic creation and allowing artists to build on previous creative works. Today, Lessig contends, digital technologies make it as easy for media artists to remix, as it does for writers to quote from other sources. Unfortunately, such remixing is in violation of the current laws and creates a stifling climate for creativity.

Lessig stridently argues against the continuation of such a limited "read only" culture and suggests five major changes to our copyright laws:
Deregulation of amateur creativityOpt-in copyrightSimplification of the copyright lawsDecriminalizing copyingDecriminalizing file sharingNote: 

SeeClickFix

I previously mentioned that I'd be blogging about many of the fascinating speakers and innovative organizations I was exposed to at BIF6.

SeeClickFix advances a civic Internet through progressive technology and social media. Basically, SeeClickFix allows anyone to report and track local community problems to government officials and the media via the internet.

Think about it. You're driving through your downtown and see a pothole. You take a picture with your cell phone and use a mobile phone app to send the picture through SeeClickFix. The picture and issue is logged on the site, and the governing (transportation or city works) agency receives an alert about the problem.

I'm fascinated by the concept and eager to hear from others if they've used the service and if it's been effective in their communities.

BIF-6 Summit

I had the good fortune to attend the Business Innovation Factory'sannual summit this year in Providence, RI.

The conference featured more than two dozen innovators who took the stage and told stories demonstrating their passion, creativity, smarts and discipline to get things done in new and valuable ways. Think TED, but on a more intimate scale, and with a clear focus on business and social innovation.

I found the event absolutely exhilarating and fascinating. Almost a week removed now, and I still can't stop thinking about it. Look for follow up posts in this space about some of the speakers and stories featured at BIF-6

There She Goes - Characters My Daughter Resembles

My daughter turns three on September 9th. Her personality is really beginning to develop now, and everyday my wife and I are greeted with new sentences, vocabulary, and concepts that she has mastered. She's also navigating her way through a full range of mannerisms and emotions.

One moment she might hold her white teddy bear "Pickles" close and give him a big, expressive hug. Then, in the next, after I've asked her to do something, she might react quite differently.

"Cecilia, it's time for dinner. Let's put your toy away and get in your chair."

"Daddy, no. Last one," she often says.

"Honey, time for dinner."

"No. No dinner. NO!"

In these moments, while I sometimes feel exasperation depending on the particular outburst and duration, I mostly find myself smiling and wondering if these expressive moments foreshadow the personality traits my daughter will exhibit as she gets older. The possibilities seem endless but, even a…