Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Foresight: A Two-Act Drama for the Information Age – Jul 9th-18th

Have you ever wondered if there would ever be a way that your presence could live on even when you were physically no longer here? What if you could live forever with the help of technology?

Foresight: A Two-Act Drama for the Information Age” Foresight tells the story of fictional Silicon Valley pioneer Victor Martinez and his wife, Lorena. Faced with a terminal illness and the approaching birth of his daughter, Victor migrates his personality into an advanced computer. Victor 2.0, fully equipped to read bedtime stories, vacuum the house, and even make breakfast, is convincing enough to assist Lorena in raising their daughter, Shelley. Shelley loves and accepts her digital daddy, but Victor’s physical absence takes a brutal toll on Lorena. The curtain rises on Shelley’s thirteenth birthday, when Lorena decides it’s time to finally move on.

“Foresight’s” writer and director, Ruben Grijalva, launched his theatre career at San Jose’s Independence High School in 1999, where he wrote and directed stage plays based on two books, “Lord of the Flies” and Elie Wiesel’s “Night.” While a senior at San Francisco State, he wrote and filmed “Shadow Ball,” an award-winning short film where the Negro League ritual of baseball in pantomime comes alive. “Shadow Ball” won the Kodak Silver Award, the Harlem Film Festival’s “Best Short Film” award, as well as awards from the Mendocino Film Festival and Australia’s Heart of Gold International Film Festival.

Grijalva utilizes a hybrid of traditional stage drama and state-of-the-art digital filmmaking for “Foresight” that employs a flexible real-time image-rendering application developed specifically for the play. How does he use it? The main character is a video effect – the actor performs from a backstage green-screen studio and a proprietary software application translates his performance into a stylized digital character. This digital character interacts in real-time with the onstage performers. I think it’s an intriguing mix and would love to see how it works on stage. I’ve never seen a play like this and I hope to make it up to San Francisco to catch a showing.

“Foresight” premieres July 9th at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Theatre and runs through July 18th
Buy Tickets
Tickets are $22 in advance and $27 the day of the performance.
(Plus a processing fee of $1 and the $2 Fort Mason Center Preservation fee)

More info about the play: The Easily Distracted Theatre / Foresight

25 Technical Girls Win Awards

The National Center for Women & Information Technology today gave out 25 awards to San Francisco Bay Area girls for their technical achievements. This is the first year for the Bay Area Affiliate group to give out NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing. Girls who were honored in today’s ceremony at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View are eligible to compete for national NCWIT awards. More about the award:

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing offers both a national and local “affiliate” competitions to generate support and visibility for women’s participation in communities nationwide.

Today, girls from high schools in San Francisco, Fairfield, Oakland, Pittsburg, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Cupertino, San Jose, Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville were recognized for their technical achievements.  With five, San Jose had the most winners for any city.

A group of 18 men and women from business, academic, and non-profit companies, schools, and institutions worked for the last six months to create today’s event. Sponsors were: The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Apple, ETR Assoc., Girls Inc., Google, Intel, Microsoft, MOUSE Squad, NSBE Alumni, Palo Alto Unified School District, San Jose State University, SDForum Tech Women’s Program, Techbridge, The Computer History Museum, The Tech Museum, and UC Santa Cruz. I lead the Application Review Team. We plan to distribute these awards annually.

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Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson

TapToTalk has an App

TapToTalk App

I heard from Silicon Valley author and entrepreneur, Phil Bookman, about a new app. Phil is CEO of Assistyx LLC the makers of TapToTalk.

TapToTalk turns a Nintendo DS, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a portable communications (AAC) device. It’s designed for non-verbal children with Autism and other developmental delays. TapToTalk is affordable and fun to use.

TapToTalk apps are free with subscription.

This post is not intended as a commercial for TapToTalk. I’m hoping to get the word out to families about this service and the new apps.

TapToTalk ~ site.

TapToTalk ~ Blog

TapToTalk ~ facebook

TapToTalk ~ YouTube

Today at The Tech: Casting Call Video Workshop

Here is something of interest for kids from 8 to 18 years-old. The Tech is having a Casting Call. The Tech Challenge Video Workshop and Gallery is a place for kids to learn about a scientific concept. They will star in their own video demonstrating what they’ve learned. Their video may even become part of the gallery exhibits!

Your child may be inspired to one day have a film accepted by the Cinequest Film Festival.

Sunday March 7
12Noon – 3PM

The Tech Museum
201 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 294-8324

Also Check Out: The Tech Summer Camps 2010

For kids entering grades 4 – 8

Nine full weeks of camp with morning and afternoon options. AM and PM extended care available.

See Site for information and cost.

Charisma: A Mike Gold Mystery

We were first introduced to Mike Gold, a successful Silicon Valley software entrepreneur in Opium, a Phil Bookman novel.

Charisma: A Mike Gold Mystery finds Mike working on his latest challenge. As the newly hired CEO of a biotech company he must first tackle the technology, and then take the company public. After the drama Mike went through in Opium: A Mike Gold Mystery, this should be a piece of cake. But once again, his life takes a surprising turn. Mike’s friend, and that of a loved one, will soon be in danger.

Charisma: A Mike Gold Mystery by, Phil Bookman on Amazon

Attacking The Crown Jewels : How To Protect Your Business Strategy Against Competitive Threats. (Nonfiction) by, Phil Bookman

Real Revolutionaries at Cinequest

Real revolutionaries

For nerds like me, the highlight of Cinequest is likely to be the premiere presentation of a new documentary about the origins of the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley. The Real Revolutionaries tells the story of William Shockley, Robert Noyce, and the “Fairchild Eight” or “Traitorous Eight”. Shockley was a genius physicist who later became known for what can safely be called crackpot theories about race and intelligence. Noyce was one of eight physicists and engineers Shockley hired when forming the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, who later quit en masse to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Noyce and Gordon Moore later left Fairchild to start Intel, and others of the Fairchild Eight also went on to found a host of “Fairchildren”, companies with roots at Fairchild.

The film did a good job of covering these events, and included interviews with several of the personalities involved, as well as with Robert Noyce’s widow, and Syl Jones, the African-American journalist for Playboy who interviewed Shockley in 1980 about his race theories. The filmmakers also tried to spice it up with animated segments describing the technology involved. The animations were perhaps too cute for my taste, and the technological explanations were quite superficial given the amount of time taken to present them. But the historical information made the film overall an interesting 90 minutes, and the photos and film of Silicon Valley in the ’50’s and ’60’s were fascinating.

After last night’s screening there was a panel discussion led by NBC 11 reporter Scott Budman (far left, above). Panelists included Federico Faggin, third from left, who lead the design of Intel’s, and the world’s, first microprocessor; and Julius Blank, second from right, one of the actual Fairchild Eight.

The Real Revolutionaries will be screened again Saturday, February 27, at 7 pm at the California Theater.

Cinequest 20: “Hewlett-Packard” Opening Night

HP Vivienne Tam Digital Clutch Notebook

Standing in the cold drippy rain, while waiting to be let into the California Theatre, was made somewhat better when Jason (Jason Watches Movies) arrived. He always has a good story to share. As Matt pointed out, people braved the weather, set the Olympics to record and the house was full.

Hewlett-Packard and Cinequest:

Look in the theater lobby for the HP ‘TouchSmart’. The user can search for films, browse by country, genre, date , and venue. There is something called MeTV enabling the user to email Cinequest moments to friends, family, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Cinequest audience is asked to fill out a card with a bit of personal information, and our thoughts on the movie last viewed. This year incentive to do so is encouraged by the chance to win a HP Vivienne Tam digital clutch notebook (Inspired by the Chinese love story – Butterfly Lovers).

Google Might Kill Me?

Heated Toilet in the Ladies Room Google Campus

I love Google. They once invited me to the Google campus. As the subject of an experiment in blogging, I was paid a whopping $50., all that I could eat, and just the joy of being on the inside was cool.

As I said, “I love Google”, but I’m not sure that I need Google Buzz. Do I need this next “Big Thing”? According to this potty mouth Google guy if I value my life I better or else!

I Am T•Pain


Mark Thompson, local South Bay renaissance man, is a bestselling author, speaker, and an advisor to world leaders. All very impressive, but I was blown away when he told me that he was with Smule, and the cool I Am T•Pain – one of the top iPnone Apps of 2009.

I Am T•Pain is on my iPhone – my songs are hilarious attempts. This App will draw attention at an office party, a family gathering, or a New Year’s Eve party.

Smule – I Am T•Pain and other cool products.

Mark Thompson

SuccessMatters on twitter

Success Built to Last

Success Built to LastThe Book

San Jose: Starbucks Card Mobile App


Yes, here in Silicon Valley (and Seattle) there’s an app for that.

Starbucks is testing an iPhone/iPod touch app in San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale, CA. Why here? Because we are cool, or it may be because Apple is here.

My Starbucks Card app was free. It was easy to load my account with my major credit card. I can check my balance, and view my transaction history, etc.

There is a drink and food menu – with cute little pictures. I love it, but the app is only good to use in selected stores.

There is one in San Jose, one in Cupertino (not far from 1 Infinite Loop), one in Sunnyvale, and five (!) in Mountain View. There is even a Starbucks listed for Castro High School. Do they drink more coffee in Mountain View?

There is a place on the app to let Starbucks know what we think. I wish my favorite store (14801 Los Gatos Blvd) was participating.

My iPhone is always with me, and now so is my Starbucks card!

20520 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014
5180 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129
1037-C El Monte Ave., Mountain View, CA 94040
1380 Pear Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043
Castro @ High School: 750 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
809A Cuesta Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94040
2410 Charleston Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043
1687 Hollenbeck Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94087

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