Guide to this year’s Techweek in Chicago, as a non-dev/programmer/entrepreneur

This is a guide for people who are more interested in the cultural and societal implications of technology from a non-technical background. (I’d recommend attending all the “future of TV/media”  talks as a  beginners guide to video distribution and social media use.)

Thursday, June 27th:

The US  First Robotics Challenge, from 12pm – 4pm.

“US First’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

KIM DOTCOM WILL BE SPEAKING at “The Downloaded Era: Battle for Internet Rights“, 4pm – 4:30pm,

“The debate around how we should view the concept of intellectual property and copyright in the digital age has continued since the launch of Napster in the ’90’s until today. Why is file-sharing still so limited and how has it affected the world at large?”

Friday, June 28th: 

Funny or Die‘s “When Humor is Serious Business,” from 11:00am – 11:30am, featuring Funny or Die CEO Dick Glover. (I have an inkling what Glover will discuss, but being as I have never heard him speak, he might surprise me.)

“Funny or Die is now synonymous with Internet humor…What makes their business model so successful? How do they acquire high quality content with a low budget? What does the future of Funny or Die—and Internet entertainment in general—look like?”

Digital Art; From Easels to Pixels, 12:00pm – 12:30pm

“Art infilitrates everyday life, and every surface, object, or open space is fair game for medium. See how artists are incorporating technology into their work, whether as a means to an end or as the finished product itself. These people are innovating on what it means to be a traditional artist and the burgeoning interest in creating art meant to be consumed in digital form.”

The very ambitiously titled “How the Second City Can Become the First in Fashion,” 5:00pm – 6:00pm

“Take the tech from the West and the high-end fashion from the East and meet somewhere in the middle. Where do you end up? Chicago, of course. Combining the best of both coasts, a slew of Chicago startups are leading the pack in terms of the merging of high-tech and high-fashion.”

Saturday, June 29

In the wake of Hasting’s mysterious death and the conspiracy theories suggesting his car was hacked I feel compelled to attend “Driverless Cars: Speeding to the Future,” 12:30pm – 1:00pm

“While flying cars are still just a figment of our collective imagination, self-driving vehicles—such as the Google Car—are on the imminent horizon. Not only does this technology have the potential to prevent millions of injuries and save countless lives, it also has the power to disrupt the flow of trillions of dollars in industry revenue. Nearly everyone will be affected: suppliers, automakers, service-and-repair shops, insurers, energy companies, hospitals, and car rental companies, to name a few. Undoubtedly, there will be huge implications for all transportation and logistics—the backbone of every company’s supply and distribution chains.”

Entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe, 1:30pm – 2:00pm

“Eastern Europe’s tech scene is small but growing. Find out what Google is doing to facilitate the growth of the tech sector in Poland and beyond, what ideas are brewing in that corner of the world, and how they plan to impact the future.”

 “Is the Internet Destroying the Middle Class?,”  2:00pm – 2:30pm

Advertisements

Initial thoughts: TDR&R opening at Maxwell Colette

I arrive a little after 7pm, with three friends, one of whom had redeemed a free zipcar for the night. Our heads are full of “golden oldies,” because that was the only radio station we could settle on.

Maxwell Colette is easy to spot from down the block and across the heavily-trafficked street; tall  bright windows glow a soft yellow. The gallery is full, but not uncomfortably so, yet.

The space is warm not just in temperature and light, but also in sound.

I feel invited.
Text and Drugs and Rock & Roll Show

Read the rest of this entry »


The Printers Ball

Last week I participated in the 3six5 Chicago project.

You can read my post, on ChicagoNow, here.  They are still in need of Chicago authors for later this year, so any writers out there, send them an e-mail!

I was so taken by the whole idea – of writing a personal, casual post in under 365 words, that I decided to do one for days when I do something interesting. Which isn’t that often.

The following is the text I wanted to include in the post, but couldn’t, because it came out to more than 365 words.

I am home now, from the Printer’s ball. “Much fun was had” is an adequate descriptor. I collected free bits of paper like a mad fiend. At the time I imagined throwing them in the air and dancing in slow motion –no, not really, I collected them to make collage art: the lazy art, the art that uses my hands — a preference because Photoshop is also on the magic electronic box.

Later in the evening the results of my foraging– the pamphlets, journals, or magazines that I took two (or three) of because of the graphics or paper–makes my back ache. My bounty is held in one place by a newly purchased linen bag hanging off my shoulder. It dug into the skin.

Sobering up, I realize the follies of drinking on an empty stomach. I also realize why the young man in a baseball cap got as upset as he did — it is not my fault the baseball cap did not fit the daper niceness of the rest of his ensemble. No need for bitchiness…

I felt old among the smelly youth, but young against the mothers with their daughters.

The Printer’s Ball was even like a fairy tale — I lost a large fake jewel from the top of my sandal.

I purchased a piece of art, had honest interactions with good people, and enjoyed cheesecake at Eleven City Diner.


Rahm’s second fake twitter, followed (perhaps written) by Karl Rove

The original fake Rahm’s twitter account has been getting more press lately, following the real Rahm Emanuel’s offer of $2,500 to the author if he/she reveals him/herself. See NBC’s article about it here, and here is USA Today’s.

Perhaps inspired by the popularity of this fake twitter, a new fake Rahm Emanuel twitter was created about 5 days ago, @MayorRahmE. This newer fake twitter has a little bit more than 300 followers, and is significantly lacking the wit (or any sense of humor, really) and intelligence of the original.  The very first tweet on this new fake twitter is below:

This new fake twitter writes in CAPS AT IRREGULAR INTERVALS and seems to make fun of Rahm (and his ballet skills) directly, rather than indirectly like the ingenious original fake twitter.

Surprisingly, one of the original followers of this new, bad fake Rahm twitter is Karl Rove, or who ever is in charge of his twitter. Karl Rove does not follow the better, original fake Rahm twitter.


I’ve been in three separate publications in the last 24 hours

The god Woden, after whom 'Wednesday' was name...

Wednesday was named after this god ^^^ Image via Wikipedia

….and it wasn’t because I submitted any articles!

First, I was quoted in the Tribune’s RedEye on an article about female gamers….

Eordogh, a freelance video game writer, said she used to play PC games under the screen name “Laser Kitty,” but changed it to “Laser Gandalf” because of the perverted or sexualized comments she’d receive from male players who concluded she was female.

“When I play online, I get a lot of comments like ‘Show me your boobs,’ ” Eordogh said. “If a girl wants to be sexy, that’s fine, but I wish I wasn’t held to the same standards. I just want to play games, not be stereotyped.”

– “Play girls: the life of a female gamer in Chicago“, by Ryan Smith

I say something else too, but I want you to click the link. I made sure to get 2 hard copies of the RedEye yesterday.

And it was brought to my attention this morning, that there is a photo of me on the Huffington Post under an article titled Ladies Love Rahm. The photograph was taken on Saturday when I got to ask Rahm Emanuel a softball question. An internet/twitter colleague found the photo in the AP database. To see a larger version of the picture, click here.

UPDATED:

And, a photo of me is on Gawker as well! (With Rahm Emanuel of course)


I got to ask Rahm Emanuel a question, in person…

… Check out my post about my experience on my hyperlocal neighborhood blog here.

The whole experience made me question what kind of journalist I want to become. I started the Albany Park Post blog under citizen journalist sentiments, and if I were to get a degree in Journalism, it would only be if I decided to become a serious, hard-hitting journalist – something I never thought I would want to be.  I know whatever I am doing now, let’s call it a freelance writer thing,  I am not doing it properly. I am still paralyzed by various personal fears – for instance,  I’ve been sitting on a large story about a local art institution for months, and I haven’t finished it  because I don’t want to be sued (the female in my story is a little odd, and the suing type).

“If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing it right”… I get that. But growing up, I wanted to be a lot of things… and a hard-hitting news journalist was never one of them.


Chicago is a hot-bed for start-ups after all!

RedEye Sailboat Category:Images of Chicago, Il...

I want to get on the RedEye boat (Image via Wikipedia)

Tracy Swartz wrote a whole article in the RedEye I can use as  ammunition  against the New York and San Francisco tech-snobs:

These young up-and-comers said they prefer Chicago to start-up hotbeds such as San Francisco and New York City because office space and payroll are cheaper, talent is easier to find and keep, and top business schools at universities including Northwestern and the University of Chicago are nearby.

The increased recognition has brought benefits. One of the problems Chicago entrepreneurs used to face was little access to funding. West Coast investors now are recognizing that Chicago firms are worth the investment, Rudnick said, and they’re not requiring these companies to move to Silicon Valley.

via “Think Big! Young Chicagoans cashing in on tech ventures

I am also partial to this article because Tracy highlighted non- Groupon start-ups in a positive light. Hot.