The phenomenon of the selfie (and then came the selfie-stick)

The “Selfie” – the cultural activity, icon, and dare I say relic or sorts, that has been auspiciously practiced throughout many people’s daily lives – has established a robust selfie-zealot practice globally. It has been venerated on Facebook and esteemed on twitter. The popularity of such a dutiful practice baffles me, particularly because it seems little attention has been given to it’s origin, like so many practices of this type. The selfie-disciples are blindly carrying out a practice that have little functional basis. While the purpose of a selfie spawned from a time of inconvenience and perhaps isolation, now it is being used to maintain the individuation of a solitary experience, intentionally preventing others from participating in an event – maintaining within the safe confines of the comfort zone of “me, myself, & I”.

I can only help to think that the first selfie was a product of not finding a person to take a picture to help capture the moment, and therefore one, reluctantly, had to do so him/herself. However, the impetus for the original selfie has been lost as “selfie-sticks” have now become marketable. Not only are people taking pictures of themselves, by themselves, but they have also decided that given those times when they don’t want to have such an up-close picture, they would rather opt for the “selfie stick” than open up an opportunity for human connection by asking someone to take a picture. The “Selfie-Stick” has provided the convenience of isolation craved so often by our culture.

Yet, with enhanced convenience comes difficulties, ironically. On Tuesday, Disney will be banning the Selfie Stick from all of their theme parks as it has demonstrated safety concerns. Concerns have arose out of fear of people getting hit on the head accidentally by the stick. Not only are people refusing to ask others to take a picture for themselves while on a leisurely vacation, but they are also neglecting to acknowledge that other people might exist within close proximity to their stick. There are some other serious side effects to self-stick usage as well. People are showing signs of increased lose of common sense as they are using the sticks on theme park rides near the operating systems, causing the stick to get stuck and putting everyone in danger.

Although I’m not a doctor, I believe kindly reaching out to another human being and asking for help to snap a quick picture could prevent head injuries, social isolation, major malfunction of park rides, and put everyone out of harms way. However, again, I’m no professional.

What does an IT Consultant do?

IT specialists are generally filling up their days providing services, deploying equipment, fixing hardware and software kinks, and of course coding. However, just because one is a “Specialist” does not make them a “Consultant”. While a specialist might be able to work at length on one project or assignment until feeling sufficiently complete, a consultant has to be more agile in juggling clients and challenges. Below are 5 services and characteristics that are specific to an IT Consultant.

Multitaskers:

-As mentioned above, just because one is an IT expert does not necessarily mean they are an IT consultant. Consultants are constantly multitasking – whether they like it or not. They have the ability to manage, and balance, multiple accounts all at one time, with different business models and various demands. They deal with more variables, and therefore require a more adaptable disposition than an IT pro. Consultants are flexible with both scheduling and curve balls.

Versatility:

-IT Consultants are extremely versatile with hardware and software technologies, never just wanting to pigeonhole themselves into one specialty. They also have an extensive coding language arsenal, to be able to provide expertise for any customer that comes along. Why? Because specialization is for the birds.

Salesman/ Businessman

-Customers and potential customers generally are in the dark in regards to what it means to “leverage their technology” or how that could benefit their business in the long run. They don’t usually care to dish out very much extra money on more advanced network technologies, hardware or software if their understanding of such tech is minimal. Therefore, it is an IT consultant’s responsibility to use their expertise, knowledge and wit to help novices understand how such services could payoff for them in the long-run. Providing a timeline of a payment plan while paralleling that with the services that will be offered concurrently, can be extremely helpful for an IT consultants’ showmanship.

Resiliency

-The ability to be resilient in key. Many deal with very demanding client expectations. The expectations generally don’t come from a place of “knowing” but rather a lack of knowledge with tech. In fact, many clients are demanding out of frustration because they actually are unsure of what they are even asking from the consultant. Therefore, consultants must practice resiliency as they get plenty of flack from customers who are making irrational requests for immediacy. Due to the convenience culture technology has helped perpetuate, IT consultants generally have to endure many demands on a tight schedule, all with a smile.

IT Handyman/ Technology Therapist

-Advising clients of more efficient ways to use information technology is preliminary for this type of work. However, most IT consultants know that their job title includes/ demands much more than just this alone. Their tasks involve a wide range of things – they not only need to know tech, but they also need to have a clear understanding of how the tech is being used in the company for which it is needed. Having an extensive understanding of workflows and coding language is invaluable and, at the heart of it, mandatory. IT consultants have to study the existing IT infrastructure of a company the same way an architect would study a building. Similarly, they also need to be well informed of the company culture, something akin to that of an anthropologist. Consultants are multifaceted problem-solvers, offering advice and consoling, never giving generic solutions. This is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of job.

Eternalizing Our Identity Through Facebook

After one is deceased, their Facebook accounts can become an active memorial for friends, family and loved ones to collectively reminisce. Before a person passes, there is an option in the settings to effectively “immortalize” the account by assigning someone as a legacy contact – an individual who manages the page postmortem. This agreement is a social media “Will” of sorts, where a close family member or friend can be ascribed as the executor of the virtual “estate”.

Memorializing a Facebook page fixes a person’s place in the world, a simulated gravesite that allots a continuous space for solemn commemoration. The page can quickly go from a platform for dialogue between the living person and the world, to an outlet for loved ones of the deceased to grieve together. It becomes a living, breathing, active board of remembrance. In some ways, when one passes, the character and personality of that individual remains intact with the collective reliving and continuous re-cultivation of that person through memories, pictures and quotes. This generally is an effort to depict who that person was when alive and to forever keep him/her in memory. Giving someone legal responsibility of managing one’s Facebook is a form of immortalization, at least on a virtual dimension. Perhaps, this is the preliminary step to what science and technology have been attempting to craft for decades – immortalizing the human body. The incessant desire to grip and grasp onto the human form to the bitter end – until there is no end. Over population? Pay no concern, viruses and warfare will take care of such issues. The zombie apocalypse might be well on its way.

All jokes aside, memorializing one’s page is Facebook’s effort to assist families in their grieving process. The designated legacy contact for a person’s account has only slightly stricter page oversight parameters than the original page holder. Once Facebook is notified that a person has passed, the page will be “memorialized” and the legal heir is able to internally post of the timeline anything regarding times for the memorial services or heartfelt stories. They also have the liberty to post photos and make new connections with friends of the deceased who desire to share their condolences on the page. The company has confirmed, however, that this legacy contact is unable to look into any previously private messages that were exchanged on the account to continue to respect and protect their privacy. The reason for allowing a person to absorb an individual’s account after passing is for Facebook to ensure that a person’s identity is forever protected. For those who are not interested in keeping their account active can always request for it to be permanently deleted after death.

Top 5 Coolest Technologies of 2015

In just a year, technology has brought us an extraordinary amount of advancement. Below are our top 5 picks of the most recently released, important tech gadgets of 2015.

Microsoft HoloLens

Described as a first of it’s kinds – an “untethered, see-through holographic computer” – Microsoft has distanced itself from labels such as “virtual reality” by identifying the Microsoft glasses as an “experience mixed reality”. It is a combination of holograms mixed with reality, advertised to be used to expand creativity, communication, work and play. Have an idea? Perhaps Microsoft’s HoloLens can help in your decision making process by going slightly beyond the 2D screen in bringing your idea to life in effort to more intimately understand your concept. The future is here and it involves a more personable, natural interaction with content.

Self-driving cars

A self-driving car? Rewind a little less than 50 years ago, the idea would have been considered preposterous, even ludicrous, reserved only for that of a science fiction novel. Now, the concept of a vehicle being able to navigate and function without the efforts of a human is now a near reality. Fast forward to 2015 – if you live in Mountain View, California, where Google’s headquarters resides, you might happen to see a peculiar little, egg-like bugger of a car, with it’s driver being completely hands-off the wheel. Welcome to the era of the autonomous vehicle, or better yet, the era of the ever pervasive “internet of things” where the only responsibility the user has is to push a button and the rest is simply taken care of from there. And it’s not just Google that has jumped onto the self-driving bandwagon. Nissan has recently announced the company has scheduled to release it’s self-driving car for 2020. Tesla also took a big leap toward self-driving electronic cars. Although initially made to only be a not-so-affordable-yet-extremely-efficient electronic vehicle, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, now reported that a software update will be installed in a matter of months for the Model S to have an automatic steering feature installed. These are now being tested on the road from Seattle to San Francisco.

Automated Action Camera Drones

This year has been the big release for many Robotics companies across the nation of the autonomous action camera drone. In 2014, there was plenty of anticipation leading up to the technology, a first of its kind. Gone are the days of wearing detachable action cameras such as GoPros. Robotics companies have solved the problem of eliminating any extra bulk by allocating the responsibility of filming to a drone. It is acknowledged by some as the perfect marriage between drone technology and cameras. Capture every moment without the hassle of needing to be responsible for getting it all on film yourself. It is like having your own paparazzi on demand.

Apple Watch

It was in the early 1980s that computers were about the size of one’s room, just 30 years later, they are now optimized and customized to the size of one’s wrist. Gone are the extraneous machines and the large bulky parts. Today we have efficiency and practicality in the palms of our hands – literally. Not only is the apple watch a wearable device, but it is also sleek and fashionable. After three years in development, the Apple watch was finally released in April 2015. Users can communicate with friends, measure metrics such as steps taken, calories burned, and pulse, as well as use GPS, email, weather, music, and the oh-so-needed Siri application. The Apple watch is distinct from other Apple products with how it senses the pressure of one’s touch to mean different signals from it’s user. Next up – the Apple ring.

Wearable Medical Devices

The wearable medical device industry is booming at an unprecedented rate. Such devices are considered to be transforming the medical field beyond what could have ever been imagined even just 10 years ago. Health monitoring is becoming more and more personable, allowing the patient to take health care into their own hands. From monitoring post-hospitalization to chronic disease, researchers are expecting some very important data from such devices. Currently, the ever growing number of medical devices includes glucose monitoring, ECG monitors, pulse oximeters and blood pressure monitors.

By 2016 the wearable technology market is expected to exceed $2.9 billion. Some of this wearable health and fitness technology includes Preventice’s BodyGuarian’s Remote Monitoring System, Avery Demisa’s Metric Wearable tech, 9Solutions IPCS, BodyTel, AiQ Smart Clothing, Danfoss PolyPower AIS, among many more. Most of these devices are compatible with iPhones and Bluetooth, enabling patients to send measured body information directly back to their doctors. Convenient and empowering.

Top 5 Developer Websites

Upon an in-house discussion at the office, I began to realize that there are very few “Top (enter number here) Lists” for developers. As the “Top 10” blog becomes more and more ubiquitous throughout every site on the interweb, we are hard-pressed to find those that cater directly to the people who make the global platform for sharing, discussing and opinionating survive. I nearly fell off my yellow plastic office chair out of pure shock to discover that although there is a “Top 10 List” for every ridiculous thing out there now-a days (See: http://www.totallytop10.com/), there are still limited amounts for those of which the very backbone of the internet existence rests upon. How can we be enjoying something so prolific, so fundamental, so essential and not pay our pence to the developers, engineers and coders behind the machine. Therefore, this my friends, is an attempt to give back to all those souls who have slaved away to provide us with the single-click freedom to peruse the world over for the best LOL cat. Below is a list of my top 5 choices of websites for developers with a brief, albeit hearty description, of my affinity for each. Enjoy! And if you disagree with any of the sites I have chosen, please connect.

  1. Stackoverflow.com  I think most developers would agree that stackoverflow.com is one of the most popular sites for programmers. It is easy, free and tends to be pretty darn reliable. Have a question about programming and you either a) don’t have any co-workers to ask because you work remotely or b) don’t have any co-workers to ask because no one has time for your questions because you ask too many? No sweat, post your question up on Stackoverflow and get answers fast. Or you might be in luck and already have had the question asked and answered by someone else. Simple and to the point, perfect for developers.
  2. Dzone.com  This site is catering to the tech professional. While they might sound a little arrogant at first, it would be difficult to find a tech pro who’s not. And they have good reason to be. It is one of the largest communities of technology professionals on the web. They have been providing resources before many of the current developers even began to drive and their members are just plain smart. These guys know what they are talking about, making them an invaluable resource for any developer.
  3. Github.com  Not sure if your code is as clean as you would like? Github provides fantastic code review and code management for both open source and private projects, on the cheap! This is an excellent site for those who are looking to make software development more collaborative. Here you can get quality feedback from other developers on your code. You never have to do it alone again.
  4. Oracle’s Java Documentation  It is safe to say that whether you are a novice or an connoisseur, you will most likely discover something worthy of your precious time on here. Ranging from Java tutorials, trainings, forums to reference tool guides, if your question is java related, this is where you want to find yourself.
  5. Leetcode.com  An excellent social platform for preparing IT technical interviews. Similar to Github.com, Leetcode can also check code, with its online judge. Their platform supports 9 coding languages, making it difficult to not find a solution here.

Top 10 Technology Websites

If you are someone like me, a professional tech blogger and an aspiring technology brat, then you too may be on the constant insatiable hunt for the top-shelf, most substantially sound technology site. And let’s face it, it is sometimes difficult to truly sort through the subpar from the extraordinaire with how saturated the market is with the prolific amount of the run-of-the mill, overly ordinary blogs currently flooding the internet. Therefore, I took it upon myself (your welcome) to sift through all the rot, mundane material to find the “cream of the crop” of tech websites. Mainly, I did this selfishly to have better sources to draw my research from in the long-run. However, I’m also interested in supporting my global community with quality reading material. So stop wasting your precious reading hours on mindless web surfing for salient source material and start actually… reading! Below are the top 10 (truly) best technology websites you’ll find.

 

LifeHacker

A simple, no frills, direct technology website. The content is well written and original, which is hard to come by. Apart from tech news, it has an extensive array of subjects ranging from gadgets, business tips, product deals and consumer tidbits, as well as productivity techniques. There are some articles peppered throughout the site one would expect to see in a “Psychology Today” magazine such Patrick Allan’s write up on “How to control your temper before you loose it“. In brief, you won’t be let down.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://www.topsite.com/best/technology

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

CNET.com

Sophisticated and sleek are the first words that come to mind when entering CNET.com. Definitely catering to the high-brow, business oriented readers. CNET has a flashy (not to be confused with flash) website that retains a subtle form of competence, order and class. Excellent source for users wanting to learn, as it offers a “How To” drop down menu for it’s readers.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/<

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

Engadget

What I enjoy about Engadget is the sense of authenticity. Their articles are not recycled from other sites. When reading any one of their copious write-ups, it seems as though the writers are really doing the foot work. When it comes to sampling and reviewing products, these guys put the time in. Great place to go for gadgets and reviews.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

Ars Technica

Something I really appreciate about this blog is the simplicity in the navigation bar. Often times with many tech sites it seems they have so much to say and share they will bombard the reader with anything and everything all at once. However, with Ars Technica all their articles are neatly compartmentalized into clear, concise categories. Whether it be information technology, business, gaming, hacking or reviews, this site is bound to satiate your proclivity for hard earned amusement.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.topsite.com/best/technology

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

 

Gizmodo

While the blog layout might seem a bit disorganized, the voice behind the writing is poignant and savvy. The best part about the content on this blog is the witty humor. If you are a tech geek who is looking for some more textured, personalized content, where you can actually hear the voice behind the written word, Gizmodo might just meet your fancy!

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

All Things Digital

All Things Digital is a Wall Street Journal technology blog. Well organized and the go-to for more information-hungry tech nerds. Articles are written by reputable sources the educated reader can trust. Writing is extensive and thought provoking with excellent opinions and commentary pieces. One of my favorite features on this blog is how it offers a “Companies” section, allowing the reader to find specific coverage on any major tech company.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

 

Boy Genius Report

More of a blog than a developed website, the Boy Genius Report makes it’s content accessible to both the everyday internet troll as well as the hardwired tech nerd. Their topics run the gamut of business, cars, ebooks, gaming, hardware, opinions and celebrities. The review section encompasses a wide array of products, with a particular focus on Samsung and Apple.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

Download Squad

A Huffington Post technology blog that provides up-to-date news coverage on big news in technology. Great source for those who are already admirers of The Huffington Post. While it provides pointed news in tech, it also publishes a handful of more eclectic articles that one wouldn’t expect to run into on a tech website/blog. One of its most admirable attributes is it’s reviews on downloadable applications of Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile devices.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

Electronista

Advertises itself as a source that covers “gadgets for geeks”. Provides news, reviews, forums and services in a very basic and clear delivery. A bit of a “no bullshit” website. Not for the pop-culture techies – no glitter or frills are found here.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

Wired

A little quirky, but without a doubt interesting, Wired is full of eccentrics and variety. You never know what you might come across in any of their featured sections. Whether it be a review of an iphone design or a design of a ziplock bag, Wired will most likely have it covered. This site draws interest from the rationalist, to the innovator, to the obscure tech rule breaker.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

Silicon Valley’s On Going Existential Gender Dynamics Crises: Ellen Pao vs Kleiner

It is a bit of a “he-said she-said game” in the Ellen Pao case against Venture Capital Firm Kleiner – Silicon Valley’s most recent gender discrimination case. Silicon Valley, over the past decade, has become notorious for it’s patriarchal corporate culture, a place where women are constantly at odds with it’s male dominance. The Valley has become analogous to a fraternity scene, but for grown men. A culture where the movement for egalitarianism and the push for moving women out on the “second class citizen” in corporate cultures has perhaps been an agenda placed on the back burner.

Ellen Pao, a previous partner of Kleiner, had sued the V.C. Firm under allegations of unprofessional gender dynamics in the work environment. Her attorney argued that although Pao had many successful efforts in the firm, including investments with RPX – the patent company – along with twitter investments, she had little-to-no traction for upward mobility, hitting a lower than normal “glass ceiling”. Although Pao’s case shines light, once again, on how women are still minorities in Silicon Valley, faced with blatant discrimination due to a product of the culture’s lake of exposure to gender diversity, the Venture Capital firm, in the end, was cleared by a California Jury for all claims brought against it. Even claims that involved more personal matter of Pao being terminated from her position at the firm – thought to be a result of a retaliation against Pao for her suing the firm in 2012 – was also cleared.

Although there was no major triumph for Ellen Pao personally, there is some pay off. With the more gender inequality cases brought out of the wood-work in the V. C culture, perhaps there will be a larger, more sustainable push for equality and integrity within Silicon Valley corporate world.

Unfortunately, the scene got a little messy for Pao’s case when the jurors brought up the affair Pao had with former Kleiner partner, Ajit Nazre. Pao claimed Nazre used business trips as opportune courting situations, arguing that she was more of a victim of his habits than a romanic interest. Whether or not it was appropriate for her to get involved with a married business partner who she was told had already separated from his wife, is news for the tabloids. I believe the coverage on this case is most important in the fact that it is not the first, and most likely will not be the last given the culture’s history. Therefore, it is a symbolic slap in the face for the Silicon Valley to wake up and get their act together when it comes to gender dynamics. Or perhaps I live in a fantasy world believing everyone to be educated about gender politics, human rights and to have read Simone’s de Beauvoir’s 1949 book “The Second Sex”. But no, in fact I’d be lying to myself if I said I truly believed this was reality.

 

Kayleigh Stack

Tech Blogger and Marketing Assistant

I once was young, and a VP (Part 1)

In the very short six years that have gone by since moving to the city where I currently live, I’ve seen the culture change dramatically. Someone more blunt might say it has “gone straight to the crapper.” Of course, this is my own subjective perspective. Since, if you consider all the new construction going on, the flourishing businesses, and the amount of people constantly moving to beautiful San Francisco, then you could easily say this city is doing fantastic. But sometimes, looks can be deceiving and if you think that everything is fantastic in the city then you would be wrong. If you think I’m going to rant about the changes taking place in San Francisco (specifically with regard to the tech world), well, then at least you are half right.

Let me clarify something here, I’m no expert in economics, and my academic background doesn’t include sociology. I studied circuit design and how to make diodes, electrodes, and resistors do my bidding. You may ask: why then do you think you have the right to discuss the subject? Well, I, Fede was once (for a whole year) 22, and in that magical year, the co-founder and VP of a honest-to-goodness business. Besides that experience, I also have the phenomenal faculty of common sense ( I prefer to call it “uncommon sense”, since most people seem to lack the ability to understand and judge basic things). If you would be so kind as to allow me to continue, I would like to point out the big flaws in the very big picture.

To begin, I would like to summarize my experience as co-founder and VP of a company. As previously mentioned, I was 22 when my friend (which was not even of legal drinking age) approached me with what seemed to be a genius, bullet-proof plan at the time. This guy was young, bright, and very ambitious. He worked for five years at a local shop, learning the business inside and out.

One afternoon, we sat down and ran some numbers, figuring that, with an initial investment of $6000 we could start our own shop. I thought, “Hey! I have $3000 laying around, so lets do it!” Just a few months later we were in business.

I once read somewhere that experience is the hardest teacher, because it will hand you the test first, and then gives you the lesson after. I don’t want to waste your time telling you about my business experience (read: failure), we can leave that for some other post (I’ll title it “How to fail hard in business”). However, I do want to talk about the way I felt throughout this period of my life.

While most people my age were in school, or working for the man, I was running my own business and calling the shots with my business partner. Heck, I was the man! We even had some employees that I bossed around. Yeah yeah, I was that guy. You know that guy right? The one that when he is talking to you, you see the “I’m way smarter and better than you” pour out of his facial expressions. Yea, I was him.

Ok, lets fast forward to the present (my finger is very itchy to start pointing).

Back then young adults were discouraged to start businesses. There were no other 20-something year old kids trying to start a business (at least not like the outrageous numbers you see today). You were lucky to get a bank to give you a credit card that had a $500 limit. We were not trying to change the world either, my business partner and I. We were just wanting to have a successful business and make some money.

These days it’s much more common to walk into a VC firm and demand some exorbitant amount of money for… for… an app? Yes! an app! An app that will innovate life by… by… by doing something! Yeah! Now, where is my (10) million dollars? Here…Sold! (See “Yo.”)

How is this even possible?! How are we letting this happen?! Because even if you have (or stole) a great idea, there is maybe one Bill Gates every 10 to 20 years (I know you are thinking Mark Zuckerberg would be better example to mention for this article, but Bill Gates has glasses and probably still plays dungeon and dragons). The point is, if you don’t wake up in the morning with body pain from, I don’t know, just sleeping, you are too young and by no means in a position to run a company.

Young people should not be trusted with gobs of money and power. For evidence of this, please look up Justin Bieber. What do you think will happen when you have an entire fleet of Justin Biebers in charge of funded companies with lots of cash to throw around? Well, they are going to Bieber things up. And what happens when things are Biebered up in your town? I think you know the answer, yet I will give you a very simple break down.

The Very Simple Breakdown Of What Happens When Things are Biebered Up In Your Town

  1. You get money to build your business
  2. You hire a bunch of new talent
  3. To get the new talent, you need to offer what everyone else offers in this market. Crazy salaries will simply not do any more. You need the coolest office space in the best part of San Francisco. You need a chef to come cook for everyone three meals a day. You need someone to do your employees laundry. You need someone to do the laundry of the guy that does the laundry. See where I’m going?
  4. Live the #CrazyStart-upAwesomeLife (also known as Biebers running around the streets of SF)
  5. A year goes by and you still don’t even know what your super cool app does
  6. New talent may not have actual experience building stuff
  7. You’ve run out of money
  8. Ask for more money
  9. Repeat until there is no more money

Stay tuned for the second part of this article…

Federico Pisani.

Technical Blogger.

I Was Once Young, and a VP (Part 2)

Now, lets be serious for a minute. An over-saturated market is never a good thing, and right now, the market is over-saturated with job offerings. There are more people seeking “talent” than the amount of actual “talent” out there. Employers take whatever they can (my neighbor’s dog just got a job offer from Google). That means they hire a person that calls himself a “Software Engineer” after learning HTML/JS for a few weeks or just getting out of college.

So lets all move to SF where we’ll get lots of money for just calling ourselves “Software Engineers.” Did Someone just say gold rush?

Since there is only so much gold in the mine. You can only dig for so long until you get it all out, and we are close to the end of this rush. You can only build lies upon lies for so long before everything collapses, and when it happens, the over-saturated market will do a 180 flip leaving us with the complete opposite situation. Tons of people (most of them completely unqualified) and not enough jobs.

But what about the big guys? What about Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc?  The well established companies are not relying on finding gold anymore. They are now making investments with all the gold that they have. And they will eventually take advantage of the situation in a market saturated with people looking for jobs. Today they have to hire who they can, tomorrow they get to pick. And when they get to pick, they also get to offer whatever they feel like – and what they feel like it won’t be as sweet as it is today (not even close).

Do you know all that new construction that targets “young professionals” making all that money? Who will be the target when the bubble bursts and 22 year-old kids begin to fall from the sky and hit the ground hard?

Do you know all those new fancy bars and expensive restaurants that just opened up? How will they stay open when people can’t afford $15 cocktails? I still remember the days where booze were cheap in this city (lonely tear running down my cheek).

Clearly we are living in a culture that is based on a big lie, and as my mom always said, lies have short legs, so they can’t get too far. We are about to see the end of this start-up-lie era.

Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I implying that tech is going away, and we are all going to have to move back to caves. In fact, I obviously believe in the ability of technological progress to help not only improve lives, but the world around us. All I’m saying is, this particular bubble is about to readjust, and when  that happens, we are going to shovel the dead dreams of all those young CEOs out of San Francisco.

To be perfectly honest, I can’t wait to go back to the times where no one listen to you if you are under 40.

Fede Pisani (Age of 30).

Technical Blogger.

Note: If you don’t know what HTML is, go learn it. You could be making over $100k in little over 2 weeks.

Is Texting Contributing to a Bidialectical Culture?

When reflecting on the history of literacy and its advancements, one might reference poetry, koans, or sonnets – Rumi, Shakespeare, maybe Sinclair Lewis or Ernest Hemingway – all of which had a distinguished nature to their writing, making it less a form of dry, solemn communication and more of an art of high resonate notes. Their writing was often a vehicle to discuss ethics in politics, societal morals, or human’s idiosyncratic nature. Most literary laureates are given great praise over their ability to use language as an artist would use a paintbrush – masterfully coloring in the world with their gifted narration abilities, one pen stroke at a time.

Individuals who consider such literary accomplishments as major advancements to the written word and furthering our communication style, may scoff at the way the current generation is utilizing – or not utilizing – writing in text messages, seeing it as a form of abuse. Some may even consider the shorthand, so often found in text messages– such as LOL, JK, & NVM – as degrading the artistry of language, giving children bad habits, and making it difficult for them to have intellectually rich and verbose conversations with their peers. However, most of the distrust circulating around the texting culture are people opinionating, with their hypotheses not really grounded in any sound research, just mere speculation, and perhaps a pitch of nostalgia for the past.

In a recent TEDtalk on communication, linguist John McWhorter discussed a less popular angle of texting and its effects on literacy, debunking the very premise of texting being damaging to the written language. Rather than creating a generation of subpar writers, he believes that it is actually helping people become better communicators, as it serves a similar function in the brain to that of a second language. Texting is now being seen as a new form of second language – with all its shorthand, slang and brevity- making it difficult to understand for those individuals who are unfamiliar to the nuances of the code. Studies have shown that people who are bilingual are cognitively nimbler, quicker, and even able to resolve conflicts better. Therefore, if texting is now seen to have similar advantages to that of being bilingual, then our generation might just be experiencing, as McWhorter mentioned “a linguistic miracle”.

McWhorter discussed that through texting we have mastered ways of communicating empathy with the challenge of not physically seeing a person’s body language or facial features. The LOL or LMAO texters are generally not literally “Laughing Out Loud”. Rather the LOL conveys resonances, showing how one relates to the other, just as someone who has a face-to-face conversation may demonstrate this emotion through locked eyes or a cocked head. We are now using additional methods to convey our physical reaction and body language through emoji, written slang and acronyms.

Remember, in the history of humanity, the written word, compared to the spoken word, has been around for a minuscule amount of time. Therefore, perhaps every ounce of development we have contributed to written language is expanding our written repertoire, whether high-brow or not. From this lens, no slang or alternative dialect can ever be degrading the english lexicon, rather it makes it even more meatier, subtly advancing our culture, one LOL at a time.

So go ahead “Text up” and be apart of the growing bidialectical generation of english speakers, pigeon, ebonics, shorthand, and LOLers.