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Sarah is a Presidential Innovation Fellow!

Look for Sarah‘s bio here, under Open Data Initiatives: Meet the Round 2 Presidential Innovation Fellows!

We’re so excited for her! She’ll be working on the Smithsonian Open Data project, bringing all the dataz to the people. Sarah is amazing =D

Women Techmakers at Google I/O – May 15, 2013

Raw notes below! Will edit later!

Susan Wojcicki
Insights: often one sentence, but it’s very powerful

Youtube: user-generated content
1.56 billion dollars – from that little insight, you make a really big decision

Near and dear to my heart: ads
Insight’s very basic: ads are information.

Anna Patterson
VP Engineering
F15E – like the Eniac, had to toggle in the program.
phenomenal data mining. facts and relations, given a big data set. when you learn new correlations, kyou can explain these new correlations with an underlying phenomenon. leaving department to start companies. cofounded 1998 webmining company: the web was so big at 5 million pages, how are people going to get around this thing?! automatic taxonomy. what questions wehre answerable on the web and which weren’t. no recipes but the taxonomy around linux was deep. angel funding in time for crash.
mobile about to take off. moved into mobile in 1999 in time for the telco crash
1yo and 4mo pregnant, have you ever heard of
volunteered at internet archive. snapshots of web over time. in 2001 30 billion web pages. live web had 5 billion.
history based search engine that launched at 12 billion webpages. look how terms changed over time. 1997 search for clinton. in 1999, not as presidential.
4 days after launch, people wanted to acquire it. that’s how i ended up at google.
4 kids, started company: high-res, rich experience with high bandwidth; low-res for feature phones – summarize things. a fact that appeared on tons of pages on top with references. cool
returned to google, became one of the first 100 engineers in android. 40 million phones at that time. now has 900 million
helped launch google play on play tablets. 2 weeks ago, native search architecture on phone to index local data — when offline, have access to it
ray kurtzweil: the ai that humans create are going to leave the earth at light speed and populate the universe. we’re not jus tworking on the most important prdocut in planet earth,b ut in the universe.
use technology to shape the world. very powerful platform to help people and enable change.

Johanna Wright
vp search and assist, android
bicycled across country – ny tech exec to la unemployed and rejected from business schools
interviewed at ucla. response: you do? then job at google. career starting out at googl eand product management and advice.
first piece of career advice: not linear. expect to be disrupted. this is a disruptive industry, and you, too, maybe someday be living
what matters: engrgy and teanchit which you pick yourself up
pm for search. two choices: universal search: all content from different backends and put in main search results pain.
premium content search: all content behind paywalls and put in search results.
of course you should do universal search! that’s our business!
what does a good opportunity look like?
– strategic. in line with company’s vision and has not been done before: likely to be a good opportunity.

2005, google growing like crazy, chaotic. hard to know how projects got assigned, what you were working on. paired up with infrastructure team. great team, focused on building infra, didn’t wnat to build features. as prod manager, judged on features being launched. stressful.
– created set of mocks for what universal search could look like
– made powerpoint deck, walked around google, introed self to anyone who wanted to be features tech lead
– paint a vision. once you have a vision, it’ll be a lot easier for people to follow.

idea: user study. prototype. the people around us in google started to be able to imaing that this product may come to life and happen.
– if you don’t know what to do, do something. just do something to move the ball forward.
fortunate that user study WAS what we decided to do because poeple loved it. so awesome to learn tha tthe project and prdouct had legs.
spring 2006 in labs for user study. search we asked people to do was barry bonds.
youtube of barry bonds – home video. participant of tying. participant / smile / not unnatural
– listen to your users. use the product yourself.
really glad we’re investing in speed.
magical experiences with google now, told me about party in burlingame which i forgot, told me it was 30 minutes from house.
intuitive feel for what you should be doing.
1. paint a vision
2. when you don’t know what to do, make mini milestones. roll that ballf orward.
3. use your products.

very own lean in story: universal search. 8 mo preg, marisa meyer said “lead a team for search strategy” – normal process is to set this meeting in mid november. no problem, we’l just move the date up. not much time to prepare. wednesday: strategy presentation. thursday: baby (c section). “this might be horrifying
set me up to have a leadership role in search when i came back from leave.
not that you hvae to sacrifice your family for your career. given the opportunity, iwant to give that presentation. huge that manager believed in me.
as managers, we shouldn’t assume peoples’ abilities or desires. we should ask. it’s our job to enable greatness in our teams.

Diane Greene
founder VMWare, entrepreneur, investor, ceo til 2008
board of directors, google

grew up racing sailboats. when you race a boat, first you have to build a team and get your team all aligned on a single goal (Win the race)
2. strategy to win the race. undersatnd what wind and currents are doing. pay attention to competitors.
if competitors surprise you or you get a wind shift, immediately handle that and continue winning the race.
3. engineering around sailing: prepare your boat, ready to go fast, tune it while on the racecourse to keep going fast.
that’s what led me to train. trained as mech e, then naval architect.
came to SF for first job and the first thing: analyze mooring for offshore oil platform used for firefighting. way to model this, learned to progra.
quit. went to hawaii. lived in a commune exploring windsurfing was an early microcosm of the tech industry. high aspect sails. new shapes of boards, new sails, build and test equipment every day.
ran engineering for windsurfing international (patent on windsurf) — taught me how abused patents can be. tried to control a rapidly-expanding industry with patents. continued to study software.
graduate program in cs at berkeley. berkeley was a pretty happening place at that point. the grad students had a lab full of brand-new sun workstations. build on open system. richard stallman hanging out there. first gui.
cybase operating system on sun. few months windsurfing and writing software.
how important it is to enbrace change. always go forward an embrace the
cybase didn’t want to support symmetric multiprocessing, so oracle eclipsed them.
tandem had best database but ran on proprietary hardware and os, so too hard to see buisness model. bought by compaq (then hp)
sgi, aggressive tech company at that point in time, worked on interactive television, exciting project, but again, internet was happening. started at sgi, but founder of sgi jim clark left to found netscape and a number of us left to found companies.
that’s when i decided to stick wtih startups. two successive small startups, executed early
1. streaming video over the internet low bandwidth
2. internet ad serving, interestingly enough
took time off, decided to found vmware, which was based on some work husband was doing at stanford around virtualization. there’s a few things i can kind of relate to what i’d already learend
1. sun micro introduced these workstations. people loved these workstations and brought servers into their companies. people loved vmware’s workstation software, and when we came out with server, people were quick to embrace it
2. engineering work with hardware, chip, storage vendros. worked with all vendors to take to market. huge beliver in collaboration in industry. always hard to convince other companies to trus tand partner with us, but always won jointly together.
3. how to adapt and embrace change. my job changed considerably from 0 to 6/7000 people when i left. recognizing “this isn’t working” and constnatly sectioning out parts of my job that i didn’t have time anymore and hiring someone to do those things. vmware was just a totally fun adventure, building it with all those poeple and seeing th eimpa t that it had
infinite number of wasy to do things. but whe you see something your’e interested in, think you could have imnpact, the thing that’s imnportant is to codify that vision, see that vision, enjoy the adventure of building that vision. if you do enjoy it, itmakes it failry easy to be fearless about it.

hardware lead at google
Jean Wong
phd electrical engineering: photonics. optical communications. came to google: hardware lead on google glass!!! “i have it, i love it, so much more natural than a phone” (greene)
1111 (also consider base)
blank canvas: tech at a point to make an impact
discovery phase: connect to each other in access to social sphere
– look at existing products in mobile space, understand where it was we could make an impact.
– form factor
0- ease of access
– ease of use – blocked while using device? or talk w/ peole and look straight ahead?

to push on these, did some technical experiments
– blocked from lookking
– early optical experiment to see size of optical stuff impacting
in a vast array of options, looked for stuff
played with picoprojectors. looked at components like prisms. even
underpinning: electrical components and board design. in this huge array of options, how do we downselect?
1. power consumption
2. weight
these two are factors in enabling us to 1) wear a system all day and 2) want to wear it all day.

second phase: prototyping
six phases starting with actual mobile phone on glasses LOL
migrated to making own optical design/architecture
more and more customized components. making own plastics and metals. essence of what glass needs to be

derives its ease of use from an easy to follow ui.
experimented with different things like head gestures and keypad. text, font, size to optimize for readability.
found that minimalizing and stripping down to very core allowed for best use case and experience.
minor head tilts and voice commands allowed us a handsfree experienced which is imporant when dancing or riding roller coaster.
however, having touchpad and camera button allows for quiet.

next phase: production
it is possible to tweak a device and get close to ideal for functionality and looks, but question of scale. how do we build a google of devices?
automation is key to this. not only do we have to build glass itself, we have to build infrastructure that builds glass. floor space, equipment, whole kit and caboodle.
for added complexity, customization: color options. color complexity. colors match? make sure between devices, colors match? production requires answer to all tehse questions and beyond.

through these three phases, i have found that glass is both an innovation and a reinvention.
by integrating highly compact and new components, extend far beyond displays in last few decades. individualized movie players, game consoles.
we can develop new fields and push beyhnd and learn to be better connected to each other. shared access to communication. empathzie with people.

1111 days since she joined. this is a picture i would not
paragliding in new zealand.
more excited about what is yet to come.
1. barcode and qr code scans: reviews of books and movies
2. never getting lost, never bumping into things while looking up directions
3. whole other level: wedding vows, teacher taking questions, help you translate in medical doctor in foreign country that you’re allergic to penicillin

so much potential in terms of what is to come. new perspective for information sharing: new environment that glass can engender. when i have time to pause and think about how far weve come, feel prviliged to be part of such dynamic team. count you as developers as part of this group. so much potential and positive impact. and with that, i look forward to what you’ll build!

Megan Smith
solve for x
if you find your x, if you find your passion, you will be unstoppable.


Kenton, Jade, Asheesh, maiki, and Sarah all met each other! There was OpenHatch + Railsbridge/Bridge Foundry strategerizing! Jade played fantaisie impromptu and vienna Teng!

Two MIT puzzle hunt puzzles by Seth:


native client
Sodium chloride ha ha ha
Google pushing it

The tyranny of somethinglessness

Otherwise: on thurs there was a Wikipedia engineering meet up in sf! On fri we had one last rehearsal and on Saturday Spot the Octopus had an amazing concert! Today we went rock climbing and I met some women who love magic the gathering and warhammer and bouldering! And I did two 10c climbs! Not easily but still. I don’t give up!

Okay! Good night!

on suicide

Cory Doctorow writes:

Because whatever problems Aaron was facing, killing himself didn’t solve them. Whatever problems Aaron was facing, they will go unsolved forever. If he was lonely, he will never again be embraced by his friends. If he was despairing of the fight, he will never again rally his comrades with brilliant strategies and leadership. If he was sorrowing, he will never again be lifted from it.

Depression strikes so many of us. I’ve struggled with it, been so low I couldn’t see the sky, and found my way back again, though I never thought I would. Talking to people, doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, seeking out a counsellor or a Samaritan — all of these have a chance of bringing you back from those depths. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Living people can change things, dead people cannot.

(emphasis mine.)

I hate myself for never doing enough.

I must remember to forgive myself for never doing enough, because as long as I stay alive, I am doing more than I would be able to do if I were dead. The hard part is believing that I’m not burdening people and making things worse by staying alive. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t disagree with that all the time now, which is a vast improvement. Each of us has talents and the capacity to show each other delightful things, so we should continue to do that and we’ll always disappoint each other, but it’s okay. We were all made to be disappointed and all we can do is try to think about the delightful parts instead.

There are people organizing hackathons to work on projects in Aaron’s memory. MyLifeline looks particularly interesting to me because it could totally be feasible with a simple twilio app (I started sketching some ideas).

Here are some strategies for talking to people at risk via SW.

Lawrence Lessig is impossibly eloquent on what could possibly lead someone so well-loved by so many people to do this, and how disagreeing with the means is not the same as disagreeing with the entire person or being entirely unsupportive. It is very complex, but life is complex, and these are important, lifechanging, earthshattering issues they’re fighting.

I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.

It is also funny that in the phrase “But anyone who says that there is money to be made in a stash of ACADEMIC ARTICLES is either an idiot or a liar,” LL actually uses caps, bold, and italics.

Nothing is real and everything is real, because this is all we have and we’re here on this earth for such a short time anyway.

Autocross 10/13/12

I’ve heard Jeremie talk about autocross a lot, but never got a chance to go until Saturday. I had a BLAST.

Photos at

I had the privilege of riding in Jeremie’s Z for my first lap ever, which resulted in a video I’m slightly embarrassed about. I didn’t sleep the night before and was already in hysterics anyway. haha. And he was doing it on purpose. If you watch the video, you can sort of tell when he spun out.

Also got to ride in:

Scott’s Miata
Curtis’ new 2012 Subaru WRX STi [1, 2, 3]
Jonathan’s Corvette C6 Z06
a Lexus
Charles’ Lotus Elise
Rita’s Lotus Exige

I want to get a miata so I can race, too. Also I have to learn to drive stick. I have my motorcycle license, but have still never driven a manual transmission car in my life. haha.

so much fun.

Want to see xrays of my left foot and ankle?

I went to the Chinatown NEMS location today for my appointment to enroll in Healthy San Francisco. While I was there, I stopped by the medical records desk & the radiology clinic (conveniently (for me) located on the same floor!) to get a copy of my xrays from my appointment with them two months ago. I’m going to bring them to the specialist I have an appointment with at the Arbor Free Clinic on Father’s day. No brunch for you! Only slow-healing ankles!

NEMS Radiology gave me the xrays on a CD. I popped it in to my Mac and found a bunch of .exes and stuff, which I guess I can click on haphazardly when I turn on my Windows box later, but I did find a folder with just regular ol’ .jpg files. Three of my left foot, and three of my ankle.

There’s also a copy of what the radiologist said. Here it is, with links provided by me:

There are two tiny ossific foci seen near the distal tip of the medial malleolus suspicious for avulsion fractures. The visualized osseous and soft tissues, otherwise, appear unremarkable. There is no dislocation.

Words I don’t know! Thank you, internet! Thank you especially, wikipedia! Thepedia.

I feel pretty sorry for myself. =(

women in a 99%-male field

Korean article on women in esports, translated by a member of the TL community:

I haven’t even read half the article yet, but:

Lee So-Ra: Have you ever thought ‘I wish I was born a man’?

Jung So-Lim: I wish that I would be born a man in my next life every time I wake up in the morning. Be it an e-sports career or not, Korea’s social system makes me want to live as a man.

lol /wrists