“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Archive for June, 2006

Back in saddle for Rio Dazzzze!!!

Posted by direwolff on June 26, 2006

"Rio Daze" is the adjective that kitesurfers and windsurfers have adopted for when we get perfect thermal wind conditions at Sherman Island (aka. Rio Vista). It's a play on Rio Days, where one goes into a daze from the perfection of the conditions.

After my chiropractor initially diagnosed my recovery at 2-3 months, over the past few weeks he saw that my progress was actually better than expected. Last weekend he gave me the go-ahead on trying to get some blood flow through my muscles and OK'd me going road biking. Managed to get out both Sat & Sun for 20 mile ride which Lil' Pinot and I do in about an hour (she'd go faster if I could only keep up with her climbing hills…drats!). While my shoulder and back muscles felt a bit tense after Saturday's ride, Sunday was smooth and pain free.

Well, on Fri, the doc advised that I go give kitesurfing a try as he felt I was ready. This was pure music to my ears. Mentally, having already prepared myself to sit out 2-3 months, I had actually almost stopped thinking of the joy that went with riding. With his encouragement, I planned for the weekend.

Got out to Sherman Island on Saturday and was a bit nervous not having ridden in a month and focused on taking it easy which didn't make for a relaxing start. The winds were far from perfect with lots of gusts coming through. This wasn't insipiring. After lollygagging for an hour, I finally decided to rig up and go for a ride. Decided I would keep the jumps to a minimum. After about 30 mins of feeling OK, it was time to start getting some air. Plain stuff at first. All seemed well. Finally decided to try a spin and with that cae my first miss, falling right into the drink, but it also felt like I tweaked something on my lower shoulder blade. "Oh no", I thought, "not again". It seemed to start getting more tense so after another 15 mins I decided it was best to chill for an hour or so and see where things went.

At around 2:00p I made the decision to go for the 2nd session. It was touch and go whether I'd do it. But fortunately, right from the beginning, everything about this session felt right and within 10 mins I started launching my normal tricks. No pain. That was encouraging. Managed to ride for about an hour before calling it a day so as not to over do it on my first day back.

Then came Sunday, with high expectations, winds really steady I got there in time for the midday ebb and didn't look back. The conditions were perfect, my body felt like it was right back to where I had left off a month ago. Got some huge air and managed a 2 hour session. Only stopped out of a desire to remain cautious. Went out for another 30 mins to try out a new kite from a buddy, and called it a day after having landed most of regular tricks but at greater heights than usual due to the immaculate conditions. Yes, Rio Daze was back and so was I having a good time with the crew.


Posted in Kitesurfing & Extreme Sports | Leave a Comment »

Supernova 2006 – attendees and presenters on equal footing

Posted by direwolff on June 24, 2006

The Supernova conference in San Francisco, always astronishes me by the quality of the attendees. It's like the speakers have nothing over on the attendees and at times they actually switch roles since many of the panelists generally attend and participate in the conference as well. It's like every one is deep in thought on the issues discussed and have either derived their own opinions or seek collaborators in flushing those out. Some times it's just hoping that others' presentations may shed light and bring out unique perspectives that can contribute to one's opinions.

There are a few other conferences that bring out this level of attendee, noteworthy among these is Esther Dyson's PCForum, now part of c|net, (though apparently there will be no more of these). Ironically, Kevin Werbach, producer of Supernova, was editor of Esther's Release 1.0 publication for a time. The difference however, is that because this conference is in San Francisco, it is far more accessible to a broader group of people which makes it easier to see a greater number of early stage company participants who are actually placing bets on many of the topics being discussed and explored.

Between sessions I met a young lady named Sarah, a story-teller, who has produced TV, film, and Web movies. Here she was just getting involved with some other top people I know and know of, to develop a new social networking company. Sure, there may be several of these out there, but there are new twists that people have only now begun to grapple with and Sarah was ready to "step up to the plate" and have her turn at bat.

Among the attendees were a few VCs like Jeremy Liew (Lightspeed Venture Partners), Christine Herron (Omidyar Group), and Jeff Clavier (angel) that I noticed, folks representing many of the Web 2.0 companies (both in the market and in stealth mode), and even panelists like Craig Newmark (Craigslist), Kim Polese (SpikeSource), Saul Klein (Skype), and Seth Goldstein hung around as participants before and after their own panels ended. Authors, bloggers and pundits like David Weinberger, Steve Gillmor, Dan Farber, Tara Hunt, Robert Scobble and Mary Hodder.

It's great to hear the buzz of people talking about interesting ideas, excited by the prospects of this revival of the Internet space (not that it ever died for some of us). With much of what's being enabled by new development methodologies, you can tell that every one is just now beginning to get their arms around the new possibilities, and trying to see how best to run with them. It felt good to be around the enthusiasm.

Posted in Feelings, supernova2006 | Leave a Comment »

Before you know it, freedom & privacy will just be words

Posted by direwolff on June 11, 2006

Well, looks like the NSA is at it again. First they did it illegally, constitutionally at least, but with those in power supporting them I guess it made it a "non-criminal crime". This time they're showing us the way to the evils of technology where we've all enjoyed the honeymoon period of the joys and bounty of technology. Nothing like playing with computers, gathering some data by any means available, even if some are illegal, to then begin making assertions about people without context. Gotta love it.

Now it looks like they are going to start mining social networks and other open info on the blogosphere for various "security" (is that code word for something?) purposes. Makes sense, after all they are the National Security Agency, aren't they. Of course, in hopes of finding terrorist or child molesters or some other boogey man, it will be interesting to see how they justify spying and data collecting on every one in this country just in case some one gets out of line. Read more about it here.

This sort of news should help chill free speech online, in no time then our government could do away with dissenters, as our current administration and the CIA's new chief, General Michael Hayden would like. Perhaps I'm streching things a bit, but that's what I hear when Hayden says that the NSA shouldn't have to report all of its activities to Congress ("heck, why not, they've all been partisans to the destruction of our country's constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in the name of [enter boogey man choice du jour (ie. communists, environmental terrorists, plain ol' terrorists, child pornographers, evil doers (still trying to figure that one out), etc.)], they're cool with the agenda so why shouldn't they be kept in the loop").

It's kind of strange living in our country these days, like having all of the negative baggage that was once attached to communism (government spying on its citizens, citizens not trusting government, elections of questionnable value, the margin between the scary rich and the scary poor getting really scary) without any of the benefits (socialized healthcare, education, and social services). Kind of like a Twilight Zone episode. Weird.

Posted in Online Community, Public Policy | Leave a Comment »