random findings, Uncategorized 0 comments on Origami Gone Wild

Origami Gone Wild

I definitely did origami as a kid. In fact, I can make a mean swan, and every now and then my swan will flap its wings. That is the extent of chaos that exists in my world of origami. These guys have taken it above and beyond the call of duty. Absolutely crazy. I’m going to spend one weekend trying out their creations. Just amazing!

Origami Gurus

Extreme Blue Internship, Uncategorized 0 comments on Week 12 – San Jose – The End

Week 12 – San Jose – The End

So things have come to an end for my stay in California. This was the summer of my life. You can’t dream dreams better than this experience. I can truly say that this was the best decision I could have made. I’m glad that in August I can be proud of the blind leap of faith that I took in March.

Why was this summer a success? First, and foremost, I had a great project and a great team. We had one of the strongest, if not the strongest, MBAs in Ivan who had a tremendous technical background to couple with his business knowledge. In fact, Ivan should get a lot of credit for our success as he helped us solve one of our mission critical problems with Axis early in the summer. Extreme Blue will forever be re-defined by the graphics work of Kelvin Jiang. If you need to understand basic, yet stunning, graphical design, then look no further than the work of Kelvin. He was awarded with special commendation at the end of the week, and he truely deserved it. And last, but definitely not least, we had Matt. Matt pushed us through to the end, and continuously forced us to be excellent through his pessimissim/realism. We were excellent because we had an excellent team. It reminds of a great line from, “Remember the Titans” where one of the players said, “I’m not perfect, [you’re] not perfect, but this team is perfect.” That’s exactly how I felt at the end of last week.

Why else was this summer so successful? I learned a lot. I learned that to reach the top, you have to demand that people keep pushing you. When you get there, don’t forget to turn around and help them up. I learned that alcohol may not be the best beverage when mixed with computer scientists. I learned that distance can create a relationship before it ever has the chance to destroy that relationship. When you learn, you grow. I’ve grown up a lot this summer.

There still has to be more reasons. Well, that’s true. We got to go to LinuxWorld this week, and that was spectacular. We got loads of free stuff. We demonstrated our product. And we created buzz about Eclipse OHF. I’m also on the verge of becoming an Eclipse Committer. Then, I can truly say that I’ve used my talents to create something better for the world. It’s a good beginning to my eventual goal to take over this silly planet.

The icing on the cake was the friendships that I created; friendships that I know will last beyond this summer. My room mate Meshkat is one of the smartest people I know. He’s quietly a genius. We watched the World Cup together and played poker together. We went dancing, yachting, and dining. He always smiled, and made the people around him laugh. He’s a great guy. I’ve already lauded over how great my team mates were, so they don’t get anymore face time. The staff of EB helped change our world. I think I’ve now opened doors that I didn’t know existed. My mentor helped me realize that I need to become my dream so that I can make it come true. And California helped me chill out and enjoy the little things.

Good-bye IBM. Good-bye San Jose. I’m leaving you now, but you’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

just thinking out loud, Technology, Uncategorized 2 comments on Is Google going too far?

Is Google going too far?

I recently met a family friend for dinner, and she and I both have the bad habit of speaking Turklish – an interesting mix of our ethnic Turkish with our adopted English. In fact, we don’t just speak Turklish, we write Turklish. While the ability to change languages on the fly isn’t worth commenting about, a recent round of e-mails in Turklish caused a stir amongst our inbred language community. Look to the right to Google’s list of ads, and you’ll see “Buy Turkish CDs in the US!”, “Get Turkish imported foods online”, and other Turkish advertisements. Now with Google gathering information from Google Talk to build a Google Music site, I have to ask: Is Google going too far to gather information? Who is Google sharing this information with? Does Google know I have a freckle behind my left ear?

I know that others have commented on whether Google is pushing the limits of privacy by scanning its searches, e-mails, and whatnot, but I never felt invaded until I saw these ads in conjunction with this new Google Labs project. Technically, I’m sure it’s nothing more than a mapping of words to a dictionary. Should that alone worry me? No. I’m confident that no person ever reads my e-mail and then gets his Turkish buddy Mehmet to find ads in which I might be interested. That would be an ignorant understanding of how AdWorks functions. In fact, you would be quick to note that participation in Google Music is voluntary, and therefore my privacy is openly invaded through my acquiescence. However, once people have information, what they know, and can find out, about you is no longer in your control. Quick example. Let’s say we scrubbed all of the name/identifier data out of a survey on favorite book. If I can drill down and find out that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington D.C.’s favorite book is the Koran, then I know a lot about a specific person. Having this data someplace means someone at sometime can learn more about you than you intended.

I don’t think that Google is the danger here. In fact, the world might be a safer place if the biggest threat to our humanity is a flame war over a blog post, which we nerds will happily provide. However, to do business in China, where 1.1 Billion people live, Google has to cooperate with the Chinese government. Do you want extra information about you to be accessible to the Chinese government if you’re the Falun Gong because you shared a piece of information with Google? What about when the United States claims that because of National Security Requirements, they will need access to the data banks of major search engines? If information exists, then someone will want to find out how they can use it. Should Google be collecting this information if it can’t guarantee the independence of how this information is used?

To close, I find it very interesting how willing we all are to share about ourselves in order to create a more open society. Yes, that society is virtual, and people will know all about my fantasy football team without ever knowing about me. However, have we reached a point where sharing information about ourselves exposes us to the fears and chaos of prying governments?

Extreme Blue Internship, Uncategorized 0 comments on Weeks 9 – 11 – San Jose/NY – Expo Time

Weeks 9 – 11 – San Jose/NY – Expo Time

We spent an intense amount of time getting ready for the expo where we were to present for IBM executives as well as the other interns in the Extreme Blue program. Important pieces to the expo: (1) presentation, (2) poster, and (3) demo. I think we prioritized things in the wrong order, but we just did what we were told. We had one of the top presentations in Almaden, and we definitely had one of the top 3 presentations at Expo, but I’m jumping ahead. First, let’s start with the trip to NYC.

I played my last indoor game with RSI Random the Friday before we red-eyed to NYC. We won 5-4 and we didn’t take the lead in the game until 12 seconds before the game ended. It was a thrill ride. We were down 4 – 1 with 4 minutes to go. I was dead. A new player named Hugo took over the game and tied it 4 – 4 with a really pretty goal. Then, our goalie passed the ball up the field, it bounced off the top of the wall, stayed in bounds, and Hugo took it one on one to score the game winner. I arrived at the airport smelly, and full of adrenaline.

The flight was pretty quick, and JetBlue provides DirectTV on their flights which was great. Check out Project Runway on Bravo, great show. We arrived at JFK and found our way to the Intercontinental on E. 48th and Lexington. It was a great hotel, great location, in a great city! We walked through Central Park while we were waiting for our rooms to open up and saw 5th Avenue. After taking a quick nap, we headed down to the south of Manhattan. We saw the Financial District, Statue of Liberty, the Wall Street bull. Check out the pictures here.

We stopped by, “The Producers” on Sunday and laughed our behinds off. It’s really a great musical. I definitely thought it was money well spent! Next came the Expo!

We arrived at Expo only to find ourselves in a back room, with a small podium (other groups had tables), and depressed about the situation. We left on top of the world knowing that we had made a name for ourselves. The rest, is IBM confidential.

Another great trip was our sailing trip around San Francisco Bay. It was great to see the bay with friends on the water. A relaxing weekend, and then LinuxWorld. Week 12, here I come.