Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sleepytime Sunday

Leave a Comment
PhotoPhoto_2
Photo_4Photo_5
Read More...

My googly-eyed dog

Leave a Comment

Photo
Read More...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A dog and her hydrant

Leave a Comment

Photo

Sent from my iPhone

Read More...

A practice in patience

Leave a Comment

Photo

Read More...

I'm so excited for some of these panels! - Jana's picks for SXSW Interactive 2010 via @geekaustin

Leave a Comment


SXSW Interactive has grown so much in the last decade, it feels harder to sort out what to go to and what to skip, but this year I feel there are a few that are ones that can't be missed:


Africa 3.0: A Look at the Future of a Connected Africa: To most people, Africa conjures up images of starving children, savage wars and greedy brutal dictators. But there is another view of Africa, the Africa of Isak Dinesen, once best summed up in a quote I once read that Africa, once you have been there, gets under your skin and you never forget it. But, honestly, most of this is just romantic tripe. Africa is an entire continent, with many cultures, many languages and many different levels of affluence. What everyone there shares is a lack of communication with the larger world that the other four or five continents (even leaving out Antarctica, which gets tied to the rest of the world due to the fact it's residents are Western scientists with satellite connectivity), that has to change in order for it's 1 billion people to become a part of this brave new world we are to believe we are constructing in the tech industry. While not everyone has access to a computer or internet access (regular electrical service would be required for a computer, and I can point to live journal entries I wrote while in Sierra Leone from what I viewed as a shed with a generator), the cost of a cell phone, with the money to buy more minutes for that phone and electricity from a generator for enough time to power that phone is not outside of the reach of as many people as less portable technologies. People there deserve the same access to the global flow of information as the rest of humanity, and focus on mobile technology as well as the first high speed line into the continent will change the future for many people there. I would like to hear about these plans and am curious, as a traveler whose travels once took her to West Africa, to see where the plans are being laid and how.


Nina Hartley: Porn Star, Sex Educator, Social Networker: I'm a resident of the city she got her start in, a friend of sex workers, and a personal fan of her style. As she has worked in the adult industry for over twenty-five years, I would love to hear her views on not only how the web has changed the adult industry, but how the recent changes in the web -- social networking and now video sites -- have changed both the industry, in profitability, interaction with fans and social perceptions of adult entertainment.


Migrating to Cloud Architectures and Its Best Practices (Jinesh Varia, Amazon Web Services): I'm hoping this year's cloud computing panel will be a little more technology-centric than the 2009 cheerleader session of cloud computing as the wave of the future. I know the guys on last year's panel were capable of more. This year, I'd like to see more actual details of not only the advantages of cloud computing, but actual discussions of data security, migration issues and even perhaps the mundane issue of cost differentials. The devil is in the details, and, if I were the owner of a start-up, I think it would take more than last year's panel to convince me that this would be the better choice for my company's crucial infrastructure.


Is Canvas the End of Flash? - why did Steve Jobs and Apple leave Flash out of the iPad? Despite the new device's poorly-chosen moniker, Jobs has many times over been proven to be a prophet of future technological behavior and maybe he's onto something here and I'm curious to see what others have to say.


Can You Copyright a Tweet? - possibly one of those honestly million-dollar questions. While many things on Twitter are often mindless drivel, one can often find some very quotable quotes on there. Who does the tweet belong to anyway?


Duh... It's Like Tech for Girls - this panel has a lamentable title, but I sympathize with a few of the proposed questions. I've been a sysadmin, and I can't rack a super-sized Sun server without help from a couple of guys in a data center. It's not because I don't know how the technology works, but it's obviously designed for people with more upper-body strength than I'll ever have, no matter how much I like the design of a Sun server (one has to admire quality machining, an attribute often lacking in their cheaper-made Dell cousins, and possibly a subtle point lost on the modern world), they aren't designed for me to handle. I'm curious, but hoping this doesn't turn into some grrrl power nonsense that was outdated when Bikini Kill broke up.


Can the Real Time web be Realized?. Google is the master of the search engine, and presumably if anyone has a stake in the future of search (and thus their own survival), it has to be them. I want a listen to what someone has to say and see if the real-time web is just another far off dream or something that will start showing up more than in just a few bits on a google search I make. Real-time search, in particular on mobile devices, stands to replace, and for many people already has replaced, the radio as the primary source of needed up-to-date information such as weather and traffic. Strangely, this seems to be the only panel on the topic.


Beyond Algorithms: Search and the Semantic Web. I really want to know if semantic search is a threat to google (I say that with all respect, because I have worked as an ontologist) but algorithms have worked so far, so why do we need to change it? I've always been curious about Nova Spivack's views on the power of semantic search and what it will take for it to realize the potential he believes it to have.


2009 Iran Election: Women's Revolution? Twitter Revolution?. Again, there has to be a better title for this panel. But the Iran protests last summer and the fact the rest of the world got the news via twitter was the first thing that made me think more highly of twitter beyond Ashton Kuchner's popularity stats and some of the mundane ideas for marketing using twitter being tossed around sxsw last year. So, again, it's curiosity that draws me -- the impact of a more interconnected world world via social networking I personally would hope would allow for the greater freedom of the individual to toss out a bad government (oh do I remember the first true savoring of modern technology and news when my roommate in Berlin got a text from a friend in DC in November 2006 of Rumsfeld's resignation). The news traveled instantly and one could hear whoops and hollers from every American expat in Berlin. Despite the bad results (such as recent riots in Nigeria due to rumors spreading via text message), something that draws humanity closer together cannot be altogether bad.
Hope to see all of you at SXSWi this year. - Jana




I definitely want to attend Africa 3.0!

Read More...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

CNN features work-at-home moderators | Bazaarblog

Leave a Comment


Media_httpwwwbazaarvo_gisid




Very exciting to have Bazaarvoice featured by CNN as a business that is thriving and creating jobs during the recession. Makes me excited to not only work at a company that is doing well, but also one that is creating unique job opportunities for people in the community.

I'm in the video... can you find me?

Read More...

WOOT! Facebook opening 200-person Austin office - Silicon Valley Business Journal

Leave a Comment

Facebook Inc. is creating 200 jobs in Austin, thanks to a $1.4 million incentive from the state of Texas. The move will be the first major U.S. expansion outside of Palo Alto, where the company is headquartered, according to officials. It is investing about $3.1 million to set up operations in Texas, according to Gov. Rick Perry's office.


http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2010/02/22/daily72.html


Pretty exciting stuff! Again showing off why Austin is a great place for technology companies to be! Oh Texas, thank you for paying them to move here!


Read More...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PANIC: Snow in Austin

Leave a Comment

Photo

Panic, panic! We are all panicking! And somewhere in the world, an Eskimo scoffs...

Read More...

Sky Mall Kitties : Kitties in the Air

Leave a Comment
This just made my morning! Snow and slush you can't get me down when Sky Mall kitties are about!



via youtube.com


Read More...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Egg Watchers: the egg timer that entertains you

Leave a Comment




This is the absolute best egg timer in the world. I think I will be trying this out sometime this week.
Read More...

Now, Austin, why is Tuesday's forecast looking similar to Boston's?

Leave a Comment
The crazy, bipolar nature of winter weather in Texas brings Tuesday's oddball forecast. But we can still all smile at the fact that the rest of the week is cloaked in sunshine and warmth.

PhotoPhoto_2


Read More...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Falling for Mexico: a whirlwind trip that included (but was not limitedto) ruins, chocolate and art.

Leave a Comment
My recent trip to Mexico was amazing.  First off, it was great to see my dear friend Lana and travel with her for the first time.  She is the reason that we planned this trip and it was her genius and planning that made it run smoothly.  Secondly, I discovered a budding interest in Spanish that I have carefully ignored since freshman year of college. Freshman year, I got to take a Latin American Culture course and a Spanish class (both of which I enjoyed). I need to budget in time and dollars to learn Spanish.  It was so cool to hear the Lana speak Spanish and get us around everywhere.  I could understand a lot of the basics, but when the conversations go intense or exact directions were needed – I was pretty useless. 

Mexico City
I arrived in Mexico City around noon and had to wait for three hours for Ms. Avulova to arrive.  This was not a problem as I had packed a book and seated myself comfortably front of her airport gate. She arrived an hour early (when does that ever happen?) and we went down to grab money (of course we had both showed up without any) and took a cab to our hostel.  Our Hostal Montejo was our home base in Mexico City.  Our host, Aaron, was absolutely amazing. He gave us a map, laughed at us when we told him what we wanted to do (mind you that night) and patiently reorganized our trip in Mexico City.  This was essential to us having an amazing time in Mexico.  We were walking distance from the Bosque where the Museum of Anthropology is located and so we headed that direction, and followed that by a nice walk to the Zona Rosa with some good eats. 

Day 2 involved us heading to the Zocolo of Mexico City via bus. Our first stop was the National Palace where we saw the Diego Rivera murals, the Cathedral of Mexico City and the Templo Mayor.  All was very impressive, but the fact that I was choking on smog and had burning eyes did not settle well. We headed to more murals and took a look at a beautiful post office and then headed to Coyoacan to see La Casa Azul aka the home of Frida Kahlo.  First order of business in Coyoacan was buying me a fluffy towel.  Made the rookie traveler mistake of forgetting my towel and rookie traveler I am not (disorganized, yes, but rookie, no)!


Coyoacan was pretty and cute and made up for the streaming madness that the city center.  The home of Frida Kahlo was gorgeous and the way the museum was laid out with her art, letters and photographs was very beautiful. It was like walking into her and Diego Rivera’s love story and it was just gorgeous.

Teotihuacan was our next early morning adventure.  About 30 minutes outside of Mexico City is a vast expanse of land and where the Aztec people seized the temples of the an older culture and built upon their massive temples.  Called the “Place where men become gods” by the Aztec people, the site features temples that ascend to the heavens and natural acoustics for priests to pontificate their interesting and somewhat bloodthirsty religious dogma.  The highlights in Teotihuacan were told to us by our guide as we walked around looking at murals and tried to imagine how the old city moved with the ebb and flow of people.  We also made a quick stop to taste some tequila, pucca and mezcal all wonders made from agave plants, and then we headed to go up the Temple of the Sun. I didn’t make it.  I got too nervous to go up the stairs and go to the top so I waited while Lana went up, said hello to the sun and then came back down.

Mexican_tour_099

That afternoon we jumped on a six hour bus to Oaxaca City!

Oaxaca City
We arrived at 10pm and rang the bell to be let in to our hostel (a literal bell on a string).  Marta the matriarch of Hostel Quijote, let us in and showed us our room.  The next morning she sent us to Chocolate Mayordomo to get some hot chocolate and bread to start off our morning.  We then headed to Monte Alban to see our next set of ruins.   Monte Alban was fantastic. We were high up in the mountains, there weren’t that many tourists, and so it felt like our own Mesoamerican playground. But let’s rewind two seconds and talk about HATS! At the entrance to Monte Alban a woman was selling palm hats for around two dollars. There were bright ones, plain ones and multicolored ones – I, of course, settled on granny-esque one with a multicolored ribbon around it.  So the morning was not only spent frolicking around ruin, but frolicking with hats!

That afternoon, we explored the city center and met up with our dear friend Laura Boyle, who had been studying in Oaxaca for a week. It was nice to see her (I hadn’t seen her since we met up in London in 08).  The next day we were signed up for a cooking class at La Casa Crespo.  The cooking class was the highlight of my trip.  We started off the morning planning the menu with our teacher, and then we headed off to grab the necessary ingredients at the local market.  This was cool because we learned what items to look for and also more about local Oaxacan offerings. We headed back to the kitchen and began to whirl up salsas, mole, soup and ice cream.  I was in love with the colors of the venue, the smells of the food and the hands on action of learning how to make it all. 
Mexican_tour_114

Palenque
Talk about whirlwind. We arrived in Palenque at 8 am and left that night at 6 pm.  Within that time frame we packed in a four hour tour of the Palenque ruins where our private guide Francisco told us all about the Mayans and how they were geniuses.  Except for making their skulls look like corn that is just plain awkward.   We walked around the ruins and then headed into the jungle where we were bitten by 18,000 mosquitoes and were utterly frightened by the chance of being bitten by a snake.
Mexican_tour_219

Cancun
Oh cheap Miami (as our wonderful host in Mexico City put it) how you give Americans such a misguided and sad view of Mexico – Cancun was part of the reason I initially wasn’t that interested in travelling to Mexico and how sad I would have been had I not made this trip!  On the other hand, Cancun is just a lot of fun and ridiculousness, and we got to stay in a huge resort at a hostel price! Woot to hotwire.com for hooking us up in a 4 star hotel for 78 dollars a night! We visited Isla Mujeres  on day 1 and hung out at the beach.  It was all very lazing around and being fabulous after our jungle adventure in Palenque. The next day, we visited our final set of ruins at Chichen Itza.  Chichen Itza is an amazing site and restored very well.  You can’t go up to the top of the ruins anymore (I went up when I was in 8th grade – it was terrifying), but it isn’t the most necessary part of the tour.

The next day it rained all day and even if our plan had been to stay on the beach all day, we were happy relaxing and getting massages! All in all, a good way to end an adventure.

I really liked Mexico and am starting to feel very inspired to learn Spanish.  This will be the year methinks and I am very excited for it!

Mexican_tour_255

Links to all of my photos
Read More...

TEDxAustin - live streaming brillance

Leave a Comment




This event makes me excited to be in Austin. Not only am I living a in a cool city, but I'm living in a city that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and brilliance.
Read More...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday's face before I go to work :(

1 comment

Photo
Read More...

Hello | The Indigo Bunting: Heart invitations

Leave a Comment


Media_httpfarm5static_sjnoe




I love when good design, quotes and adorable-ness come together! Hooray for this couple!
Read More...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday and her best friend, Bree, at the dog park

Leave a Comment


If this little dog doesn't come to the dog park Sunday sits around like a loser and no one wants to play with her. But as soon as Bree is let in, Sunday perks up and starts to burn some energy.


Read More...

No one needs to drink their dessert

1 comment
On one hand maybe it's good that they are advocating NOT ordering a dessert after this. On the other hand, it is just plain ridiculous.


Photo

Sent from my iPhone
Read More...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunday post dog park

Leave a Comment

Photo
Photo_2
Read More...

A Town called Beer

Leave a Comment
One of my favorite places in Austin is the Alamo Drafthouse. Not only can you see awesome movies at the Drafthouse but you can also down delicious foods and great local (and not so local) beers. Even better they regularly change the menu to reflect the current movies! When Sherlock Holmes was playing they featured a Shepherd's pie and during Pirates of the Caribbean there was seafood!
Bazaarvoice regularly hosts our company offsite called the All Hands there. Every quarter, we pile into the Drafthouse's comfortable seats and partake in a review of the past quarter. It is a ton of fun and filled with live music, all day order-a-thon, and great videos! Sadly, the most recent All Hands is our last at the Drafthouse as we have grown too big to fit in their largest theater. This is a bummer, but we are moving on to a larger venue.

Anyways, at the last All Hands one of my coworkers and I split a huge bucket of beglian beers called A Town Called Beer to celebrate the release of the Belgian (I'm guessing) movie A Town Called Panic. A hilarious movie that I really want to see. My favorite of the four beers was hands down the Delirium Tremens followed by the Duvel. Piraat Ale was just fun to drink because of great branding. ;-)



Read More...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Olympic

Leave a Comment
I just love that there is an inkling of similarity between the two photos and THAT SIMILARITY IS DINOS! Woot!

But seriously, I think that this photo collection of the torch's journey toward Vancouver is an amazing collection that not only showcases Canada, but the goodness of humans in general.

All in all, stunning and inspiring. :-D

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/02/olympic_torch_relay_nearly_com.html



Dinotorch
Dino-me



Read More...