Fiat Lux

It's Latin for 'Let there be Light'

Upcoming Speaking Gigs

In the next few weeks I’ll be speaking at two different conferences, one on each coast.

On March 21, I’ll be talking about how to navigate the waters when two developer communities are working together at the Evans Data Developer Relations conference in San Jose. I had a great time speaking there last year with my colleague Craig Goodman, and am looking forward to returning.

And then on April 5 I’ll be at Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies in Boston, on the topic of what NOT to do in community management. Looking at the rest of the speaker roster, I’m really excited to hear what they all have to say, and honored I’m on the list.

If you’re going to be at either event, or looking for a couple of good events in the near future, I hope to see you there!

(cross-posted to the Community Kitchen)

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Inventing the Future

Adobe had an all-hands meeting today and I was privileged enough to hear Adobe’s founders speak as part of the event. I was very much struck by John Warnock’s closing exhortation to us. Urging us not to be afraid of competition, he said:

“The future is yours. Invent it.”

It’s hard to write about that now, though, when as I type this images of devastation in Haiti are rolling across my TV screen. I’ve been through a couple of earthquakes since moving to California, though nothing as big as a 7.0. I can only dimly imagine the terror of living though one that bad, much less to live through it in a land where there is no real infrastructure nor strong building codes.

We here in the US are very privileged in so many ways. In times like this we need to remember how good we have it and help the ones who are in need. There are a huge number of charities and NGOs collecting funds to help aid Haiti right now. Please pick one (or more) and make a donation if you can possibly do so. We have.

Haiti will need to invent its own future now. We all need to help.

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Not To Be A Downer, But…

High gas prices are bad, but as the Wall Street Journal reminds us, it could be a lot worse. At least I have a kitchen full of groceries and the ability to keep it that way.

For the world’s poor, the situation is getting worse.

Surging commodity prices have pushed up global food prices 83% in the past three years, according to the World Bank — putting huge stress on some of the world’s poorest nations. Even as the ministers met, Haiti’s Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis was resigning after a week in which that tiny country’s capital was racked by rioting over higher prices for staples like rice and beans.

Rioting in response to soaring food prices recently has broken out in Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ethiopia. In Pakistan and Thailand, army troops have been deployed to deter food theft from fields and warehouses. World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned in a recent speech that 33 countries are at risk of social upheaval because of rising food prices. Those could include Indonesia, Yemen, Ghana, Uzbekistan and the Philippines. In countries where buying food requires half to three-quarters of a poor person’s income, “there is no margin for survival,” he said.

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Another Extremely Cool Discovery: First Recorded Voice

Audio historians have found a set of French “phonautogram” recordings from 1860 that predate Thomas Edison’s recordings by more than 10 years.

On a digital copy of the recording provided to The New York Times, the anonymous vocalist, probably female, can be heard against a hissing, crackling background din. The voice, muffled but audible, sings, “Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit” in a lilting 11-note melody — a ghostly tune, drifting out of the sonic murk.

What’s even cooler, you can download the clip yourself and listen to it. The quality’s not great, but it’s clearly a woman singing. Very neat.

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A Few Depressing Numbers

7 MVPs
31 All-Stars

And yes, even a couple of my much-loved NY Mets. (Lenny! How could you?)

This is a sad, if not-unexpected, day for baseball fans.

Oh, and one other, unrelated, number – tonight Akismet blocked the 1,001st piece of spam since I switched to WordPress.

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The Last Curtain Call for Pavarotti

There will be no more encores for stellar tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

I had the pleasure of hearing Pavarotti live once, years ago, in New York. The world will not soon see his like again.

UPDATE: Yahoo has a nice aggregation of news reports, obituary notices, etc.

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