Category Archives: Commentary

June 25, 2009 SDF Visonary Awards 2

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On June 25, 2009, Heidi Roizen hosted the SDForum’s Visonary Awards, given to pioneers leading the way in high technology. Executive Director Susan Lucas-Conwell welcomed San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed who praised this year’s guests and awardees. Forest Baskett of NEA introduced Jim Clark of Silicon Graphics and Netscape. Yogen Dalal of Mayfield Fund introduced Judy Estrin of JLabs. KR Sridhar of Bloom Energy introduced Vinod Khosla of Sun Microsystems. Tom Wertheimer introduced Kay Klopovitz of USA Network. Here are more pictures of the event.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

June 11, 2009 STC Volunteers

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On Thursday June 11, 2009 the STC Silicon Valley Chapter Council held its annual dinner at Il Postino in Sunnyvale. What started out two years ago as a happy few is now a happy multitude. I literally turned the keys over to President Pat Harvey. The chapter now has experienced leadership and sharp volunteers ready to face whatever challenges the future brings.

Thanks to those who were there at the beginning and worked hard to make this happen. Joanne Grey started the ball rolling. Guy Haas and then the amazing Todd Hawley wrestled with the weirdest website in the world. Pat Harvey knew the rules and kept us on track. Andrea Ames backed our changes. Connie Stewart and Revathi Sampath did their jobs in spite of everything. And of course there is the incredible story of Viki Maki. If you ever need a team and a person to lead it, call Viki.

Viki Maki found great people like Karen Aidi, Jackie Athey, Marcie Gugenheim, Don Hines, Farozan Jivraj, David Katsumoto, Lauren Katzive, Bob Kauten, Gina Luzzi, Greg Martin, John McClements, Meg Miranda, Theresa Stanley, Mary Vue, and Karen White. They are tomorrow’s leadership. I hope they work in every council job, learning what it takes so when the day comes they can step in to the role of president and do what must be done.

I now get to be Immediate Past President, the grandparent who spoils the kids. Since the most recent adventure began, I figure I’ve attended over a hundred meetings and given away a hundred iPods. Last night everyone got LED flashlights and thumb drives in little pirate pouches. On to the next success.

Note to Earnest: The facts are now indisputable and the truth is self-evident. The extraordinary accomplishment is well-earned. Votes have been counted and the verdict is in. Being right has its advantages. Enjoy the rain.

Sitting by the pool, laughing. -DJ

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 29, 2009 Blumbers

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Fellowship of a Thing

I always thought I was a fellow and now I have proof.

Regular readers to this site may know that I am currently president of the STC Silicon Valley Chapter. This month STC headquarters back in Washington D.C. announced that I will become an Associate Fellow. As with anything I do, there is always more than one person involved. Over the next few weeks I will try to publicly thank all the wonderful volunteers I have worked with over the years that made this award possible.

I’ve also written my 100th article for SDForum News. Once again, I could not have done it without the excellent staff and volunteers that bring the latest in emerging technology to my attention. Apparently my business cards will now say Media Fellow. I now have to write about writing about SDForum. :-)

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Commentary – October 30, 2005

Star Trek’s George Takei came out. He has gone where at least some men have gone before, the fabulous frontier. I guess all those K/S books missed the mark.

Civil rights hero Rosa Parks is dead. Her body lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Can you imagine her sitting next to a surprised Strom Thurmond on the way to the pearly gates?

The Bush Administration’s Scooter Libby has been indicted. The rest of the Muppets are shocked.

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about peak oil. I am sure that in the 1850s there was a lot of talk about peak whale oil. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick could be interpreted as a story about a greedy pursuit of diminishing offshore source of energy. Then came the oil strike at Titusville. Let me know when we reach peak coal.

There’s so much to worry about it that Sanjay Khanna, author of Only The Paranoid Survive, is writing a new book about the increasing level of anxiety in society. His presentation at the Future Salon was impressive but caused more anxiety. This will explain my camera work of the event, which resembles a security camera at a convenience store. I look forward to his book.

Also on the anxiety list, it is Halloween. There has been a lot of talk about whether it is dangerous for kids getting into the Goth scene. I talked to some experts who said that there many factors contributing to something as terrible as defense attorney Daniel Horowitz’s tragedy. Alone they may mean nothing, together they raise a heavy mascara eyebrow:

  1. Death in the family, violent or even by grisly accident. Did they start dressing up after that incident?
  2. Drug or alcohol abuse, prescription or otherwise.
  3. A history of violence or abuse. Were the police called? Did they assault a police officer?
  4. Inability to sustain long-term relationships. Did the last partner move across state lines to a gated community in the desert?
  5. Violent video games. Do they earn top scores for shooting storm troopers?
  6. Weapons of any kind in the house. If they don’t have them, they can’t use them.
  7. Stunted emotional growth. Are they pushing forty and still walking around like an angry mime on a weeknight at 3:00 AM?
  8. Reactions to being raised in a strict belief system. Are they just doing it as an act of rebellion or is it something else?
  9. Deliberately misconstruing humorous comments. Can’t take a joke.
  10. Secretive behavior. Telling associates not to gossip about them.

On to other business

October’s SDForum Emerging Technology SIG talked about new business opportunities leveraging web APIs. Scott Irwin from El Dorado Ventures moderated the panel. It consisted of Adam Trachtenberg of E-Bay, Chris DiBona of Google APIs, Jeff Barr of Amazon Web Services, Robert Goldberg of IdeaLab, Toni Schneider of Yahoo APIs, John Rodkin, CEO of F2 (a new startup using Web APIs). One thing they could agree on was the coming November 8th meeting about Grease Monkey. When all these people agree about something it is worth looking into at SDForum.org

William H. Draper III, Managing Director of Draper Richards, L.P. talked about his experiences in venture capital in India. Draper chose to invest in India over China for its democracy and rule of law. English speaking India had an advantage in developing software. Draper then rounded up the funds and found local partners to run the business. After six years they were able to return 16 times their original investment. Amazing as that was, Draper regrets not investing more in Infosys, which performed even better. He thinks India’s long-term growth depends on new infrastructure funded by an income tax.

If you want to know more about high finance, STC has a workshop in Santa Clara on Saturday November 5, 2005 from 1- 5 PM. called What Technical Communicators Need To Know About Financial Accounting. Marie Highby, co-founder of 2Mules, former STC treasurer and chapter president, will talk about the language of business and how to interact with upper management on a professional level. To register, go to www.stc-siliconvalley.org

DJ Cline Commentary 10-30-05
Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.