Part 1 covered the morning sessions, before lunch.

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Antonio Aguilera is part of an amazing organization,, that is modernizing collective action in the workplace. He focused his talk on the fact that we need to broaden the definition of Tech Worker and encouraged different ways of collective action.

All along supply chain people are tech workers, from the janitors cleaning up your mess to the people assembling phones, as well as developers and who is stereotypically tagged with the title.

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Catie Cuan is a performer and technologist, a dancer that decided to get into robotics, because she was performing with robots in her pieces. …

Warning: This is long. I started with my notes, didn’t really edit them down and have added some commentary here and there.


It was fantastic to spend a day talking about Ethics in Tech. I glad that these conversations are starting to happen, even if they feel like they should havae happened 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

There is a lot of work to do around Ethics in technology. There are a lot of amazing people doing vital work, but it isn’t centralized and there is anything but consensus. …

CES is always amazing and horrible. It’s fun because you get to see people you haven’t seen in awhile (my favorite part) and you get to experience all kinds of cool new tech, some of which won’t make it’s way into your life for years, or ever. The horrible part is that you see tech you never want to see again and the event itself is really too big. The orchestration is amazing, but there is too much to take in at any point. To stand out, companies and organizations do whatever it takes to attract attention.

Main Halls

Some companies lead with some novel use of their tech, like the chocolate 3D printer. Yeah, it takes awhile to 3D print anything and chocolate is no exception, so this on demand thing will need to be ordered well in advance. The printer can’t be used for other food, but chocolate is literally sexy. Giving someone a specially crafted and designed chocolate seems pretty sweet (or semi-sweet, depending on your preference..har…

My daughter recently lost her tooth. She places her lost teeth in a small bear that she sets next to her bed, letting Tiny Tina, her personal Tooth Fairy, find the tooth a little easier. My daughter has managed to lose the little bear and along with some slight negligence on the part of “Tina”, but let’s not blame her, the aforementioned lost tooth wasn’t found. As a result, Tina wrote my daughter a very fanciful letter, inquiring about the location of the tooth, since there was no bear. I am always impressed with Tina’s unique penmanship (pen-fairy-ship?) and curious how the little creature manages to procure a pen, piece of paper and hold that large object, let alone manipulate it in such a fancy manner. …

Let’s implement limited rules that will make things better for our kids

Note: As this piece was being edited, The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) announced they are planning to file a complaint asking the FTC to investigate Facebook’s use of Facial Recognition Technology.

With Mark Zuckerberg again apologizing and testifying in front of Congress, it is time to regulate social media.

Regulating social media is difficult. Where do you start? Some of the protections that Europe have taken are great. As some of the work I do in my professional life, it’s interesting to see specific countries around the world enacting policy that all Personal Identifiable Information (PII) must be stored locally on servers in those countries. …

As an American, I was raised to believe my country is exceptional in all ways. Having worked in technology longer than I’d like to admit, we tell ourselves that the US and the Bay Area, in particular, are unparalleled in terms of innovation and what allows people to be innovative.

I’ve been extremely fortunate and have made frequent business trips to different parts of Asia over the last few years. As a result of that travel, my eyes have been opened to how we’re not as exceptional as we are lead to believe. Part of this awakening is because there is massive density of human population and cultures across the continent that allows quick sampling of many viewpoints and approaches to problems. …

How a bagel order led to 400 people marching in the streets the next day

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Crowd in front of the Islamic Center of Alameda

It all started on a Saturday morning, when I was texting my wife my bagel order and mentioned that we should go to the local Mosque and hold signs of support. About 30 hours later I was following my local City Council members and 400 other sympathizers in a march through the streets of our little city.

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The point of this post isn’t to pat ourselves on our back, but to tell you all how easy it was to organize something like this. We’ve been asked by others what we did to make it happen. …

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Favorite Medium often gets brought in by companies contemplating replacing SASS products or other pre-packaged, off-the-shelf platforms. The main factors for an organization’s lack of satisfaction with their existing solution are that most often the off-the-shelf software does too many things and doesn’t do a specific task or set of features well enough, or is difficult to customize or integrate with other software in their infrastructure.

The purchased platform is usually too generic to the set of business problems the company is trying to address. It does lots of things moderately well, but not great, for most businesses. Customization of these platforms is either impossible or extremely costly, making companies question the original purchase, since they could spend that money to create software that exactly meets their features. …

Not long ago I had two of my worlds collide when I was interviewed by Vice Magazine for an article on Katsu’s Graffiti Drone. I used to be one half of the first graffiti website, Art Crimes/ For the last million years, I’ve been a technologist, working on digital products and properties for all kinds of organizations big and small. It’s rare I get to tap into my knowledge of the graffiti world and the greater world of technology at the same time. It was fun to think about the future of street art.

Below is a slightly reworked response to a series of questions asked by the reporter in regards to Katsu’s open source, graffiti drone, Icarus.

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My team, like many teams these days, is distributed around the world. We’re currently working on a project where the client is in the Eastern Time Zone of the US, team members are in the CST and PST as well as in Seoul and Singapore. This is a fairly common situation and we’re just glad we don’t have someone in London that we’re collaborating with.

The project in question is using sensors and beacon technology with mobile apps and data collection services. Since this is early in the project and hardware is being tested along with software, there aren’t really enough sensors for everyone to have a set in their location. Much of the functionality that is being developed has to be demonstrated in real time — is the sensor detecting an event? Is the beacon data updating quick enough on the mobile app? Are we collecting relevant data for more in-depth analysis later? …


brett webb

Creative Technologist/Lover of Fun. I help people with their (mostly digital) projects.

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