Archived entries for Events

Yahoo! Research Labs Buzz Game

Yahoo! Research Labs and O’Reilly Media Collaborate to Introduce Tech Buzz Game, Inviting Participants to Predict Future Technology Trends Based on Popularity of Yahoo! Search Terms

The Tech Buzz Game is a fantasy prediction market for high-tech products, concepts, and trends. As a player, your goal is to predict how popular various technologies will be in the future. Popularity or buzz is measured by Yahoo! Search frequency over time. Predictions are made by buying virtual stock in the products or technologies you believe will succeed, and selling stock in the technologies you think will flop. In other words, you “put your play money where your mouth is.

At the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference today, Yahoo’s principal scientist Dr Gary Flake announced, among other things, the Tech Buzz Game, which “leverages search query volume and frequency on Yahoo! Search” and puts that “buzz” in play in a stock market model. Using the 10,000 in play money that you get with a free game username, you can buy and sell shares of technology concepts like “bittorrent”, “podcasting”, “Macintosh Tiger”, “yahoo photos” and other things. Things terms are broken down into markets, which as each zero-sum-game distinct markets “Browser Wars”, “Mobile Development Environments “, and “Rumor Mill”.

Check out this and more at the new Yahoo Research Labs site that launched in conjunction with the ETech conference. You can also read up on this year’s ETech Conference, or read the Tech Buzz Game’s press release.

(By the way, as of this writing I’m in 9th place on the game’s leaderboard – out of 697 currently. We’ll see if my beginner’s luck holds out.)

buzz-game-2005031601-9th

Aliens of the Deep

Aliens of the Deep” brings some of the deepest-ever (3,500 meters, or more than 2 miles) underwater exploration to completely amazing and mind-blowing hard-core 3D IMAX film. This film has been playing at the Metreon movie theater downtown (San Francisco) for about the last two months, and literally several times a week I’ve talked about going to see it. Aimee and I planned on it first, then with Derek. Well, Derek and I finally went to see it yesterday, and it was worth every penny ($10).

First of all, the concept is fascinating. At these depths, life exists completely without photosynthesis — sunlight has never touched these areas. At these depths, the environment is as unwelcoming as imaginable: incomprehensible extremes of pressure, darkness, temperature. It would be easy to imagine that zero life exists in these environments, and yet it thrives. For the people who look to space, these environments are quite similar to what may be encountered on distant planets and moons. These environments are also quite similar to the earliest days of Earth. And so, to find life in these areas — massive amounts are down these — is to realize that oceans under the deep ice of Jupiter’s moon Europa, or the surface or core of an ancient Mars may have identical conditions. As they say a few times in the movie, exploring [life at the] the awesome depths of the oceans is the best experience to prepare for exploring [life in] outer space.

photo_28_hires

Second, the movie is the best possible eye candy. IMAX screens are already a treat, and 3D put it way over the edge. I don’t remember ever being to a modern 3D movie, but I highly recommend it. It works. It’s great. Whomever’s working on this stuff has nailed it. After a few seconds, your eyes calibrate and you’re in for a treat. In addition to all the underwater sequences, there are several other sequences that totally max out the visual experience. One is an exploration of earth’s life forms. An elephants trunk comes right out of the screen and touches you in your seat. In another, animation brings you from 10 light years distant, in through our atmosphere, through the ocean, down to the thermal ridges where the newest ocean-bottom crust is formed. It’s probably a 60 second sequence, and one of the treats of the movie. I could almost feel the smoke coming out of my ears as my brain cranked overtime to process the scale, orientation, detail and 3D-ness of it all. Totally fun.

rainbowsymphony_1822_3561814

But of course the most amazing part of the movie is the underwater photography we came to see. One sequence gets centimeters away from a giant 10-foot bizzaro jellyfish creature. One of the most amazing creatures, the film is so high quality that you can see the incredibly fine network of cells that give it shape. You seem to see it nearly pulsing with energy, and it’s translucent skin reveals internal organs moving around beautifully. Truly alien. Other animals life in the volcanic plumes of 750-degree superheated water that the earth’s center vents through ocean-bottom chimneys along the central-ocean spine. In these areas, new crust is continually formed, representing some of the most primitive geology observable. Massive amounts of animals live in the boundaries between this awesomely-hot gassy water, and the awesomely-cold deep-ocean water.

Academy Award┬«-winning director James Cameron combines his talents as a filmmaker with his passion for exploration in all forms in “Aliens of the Deep,” an Earthship Production presented in IMAX┬« 3-D by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. Inspired by concepts from the field of astrobiology-the study of life on other worlds-Cameron explores the idea that the bizarre creatures living in the extreme environments found on the ocean floor might provide a blueprint for what life is like elsewhere in the universe. The director is joined in the journey by a team of young marine biologists and NASA researchers who share his interests and excitement as they consider the correlation between life under water and the life we may one day find in outer space.

“Aliens of the Deep” presents the dramatic and visually stunning highlights of a series of expeditions to deep-ocean hydrothermal vents, where super-heated, mineral-charged water gives life to some of the strangest animals on Earth-6-foot-tall worms with blood-red plumes, blind white crabs, and an astonishing biomass of white shrimp, all competing to find just the right location in the flow of near-boiling water. This adventure brings the audience face to face with what it might be like to travel far into space and encounter life on other worlds.

I wish Hollywood made more of these. Bringing exploration, understanding, big questions, and inspirational science to the big screen is good for the world. I think everybody in the audience left inspired. I’d go see a movie like this at least once a month, and I’d probably even pay 3 times as much. Nothing but the biggest props to James Cameron for putting his money into something besides his Hollywood mansion. Keep it up.

Go see it while you can. (It’s only 48 minutes — you could even check it out during your lunch break.)

Yahoo!’s Ten!


yahoo@10-17
Originally uploaded by natekoechley.

Yahoo! celebrated it’s 10th birthday today (well, i guess it’s yesterday now: March 2nd).

It was a big party – Yahoo has always known how to throw a big party. It started out with open bar (beer, wine), and a well-made video history. After the video, Terry, Sue, Dan R, and the founders Filo and Jerry each gave talks.

Dan brought a few groups of users on stage. First were two cute old women, who played cards on Yahoo Games. Second and third were two mothers who recounted how Yahoo Groups provided critical health information that enabled them to better care for their children, each of whom was afflicted with horrible, rare diseases. The last group was a local couple who met on Yahoo Persons. Of course, he dropped to one knee and proposed on stage.

In addition to being on stage, all the proceedings were carried live in all the yahoo offices around campus and around the world, and also broadcast online. (She said Yes.)

After the user’s were on stage, Dan and Sue presented awards of service to those that had been at yahoo for more than 9 years of service./p>

“Sugar Ray” was the band for the day.

The usual big spread of food (sushi, carving stations, appetizers) and then, of course, birthday cake and ice cream…. And the beer/wine kept flowing.

Happy Birthday Yahoo!


Cooking Thai


cooking-thai-04
Originally uploaded by natekoechley.

On Thursday night, Aimee invited a bunch of her friends over for dinner. The dinner was multi-purpose: celebrating her that-day completion of the last application to grad school; a housewarming party for her friends who hadn’t seen our home; and a going away party, as she’s leaving Monday night for about a month in South East Asia.

13 photos in Flickr set


Arch Bishop Don Magic Juan’s B-Day Pictures

Don Magic Juan's Birthday Photos

Great photo album from Don Magic Juan’s birthday soiree. Photos by Will Okun. (via Frank151)

SF Sketchfest

The Onion’s coming to San Francisco

My brother is coming to town next week from Brooklyn. He’s a writer for The Onion. He’s on a panel as part of SF Sketchfest, a sketch comedy festival.

He’s joined on the panel by two other Onion writers (of six total) and the editor, as well as Dave Eggers. They go 8pm, Monday January 24th, at Cobb’s Comedy Club in SF.



San Francisco, California | Creative Commons By-2.5 License | Contact

RSS Feed. This blog is proudly powered by Wordpress and uses Modern Clix, a theme by Rodrigo Galindez.