Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Goodbye Steve, and the deepest of thanks

Steve Jobs brought together a wonderfully diverse set of skills and talents that, combined with some luck, gave him the power to change the world of technology. Those skills: Compassion, Courage, and Good Taste are a rare set, and the convergence of events that led him to create Apple were a syzygy we are not likely to see again in our lifetimes.

Thank you Steve, not for the products, but for the role model. Many of us have been encouraged in our quest to "Think Differerent" by your celebration of doing just that.

Compassion, awareness and peace, Steve. Love, Dave

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The (Renewed) Tradition of Making Things

I'm still flying high from the great response and creativity we saw at Vancouver's first Mini Maker Faire on June 25, 26. My friend Tom created some nice metal & wooden stands for our various "less-than-an-hour-of-programming" Arduino demonstration projects.

- The Peak-a-Boo (less correctly called the "I Keeel You!" display) that had a picture of Jeff Dunham's Ahmed character poised to spin around at someone who approached too closely.

- TheRandom Color LEDerizer, which chooses one of 16 Million possible colors an RGB LED can create and used pulse-width modulation to fade it in and out.

- The Ultrasonic Theremin, which coupled a MaxSonar EZ1 sensor, and a Mac running Processing, to translate hand height to frequency.

Maker Faire is a coming-out party for creativity, for people who cross over the illusory creative/technical barrier.

Geeks abound, Athena rejoices.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Speech That Would Have Won The Canadian Election for the Liberal Party

Here is the speech I would make if I were leader of the Liberal party of Canada. Here it is Mike, it's yours for free.

Canada is liberal. Canada is the Liberal Party.

For most of our 144 years as a nation, Canada has exemplified tolerance, open-ness, and a strong belief that since some of are more fortunate than others, we will choose to share some of what we have with those who do not, in the belief that since we are all more equal than not, helping our neighbour in times of misfortune has the natural consequence of them helping us if and when we should need it. And when it was required, we have gone to war to defend those beliefs.

That is what Canada represents. Our leading bookstore says it best; the World needs more Canada.

Canada is liberal. Canada is the Liberal Party. Centered between socialist and capitalist, centered between giving too much and giving not enough. Centered around ensuring banks can be profitable, but not irresponsible, with Canadians' money. Centered around ensuring Canadians have jobs, but not selling all our natural resources; wood, oil, and water, to the nation with the highest bid.

For most of our 144 years, Canadians have elected the party that represents these ideals. I don't believe that has changed. But we as the party representing Canada have fallen short. We lost the right to govern with integrity, so Canadians told us in the free and fair way we have the grace to live under, the Canadian electoral system.

We don't believe that Canadians want to live with a polarized, two-party system like we see south of the border. Polarized groups unable to listen to each other, poised to find fault rather than merit, to find error instead of possibility, to find division instead of unity.

Canadians want the Liberal party. They want us to be real. They want us to be strong. They want us to be honest. When we do these things, we will have earned the right to govern this amazing country with the balance and integrity Canadians want.

I am Canadian. I am a Liberal.