Sunday, March 15, 2009

What ails the Internet?

Yet another great clip from NPR. Apparently, the net is 40 years old and its time to rethink its structure. Of course, it ended making me a bit more worried than hopeful in the end...

In honor of Friday the 13th, A discussion on Superstition

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MOUSE Legacy Project - Proposal

I finally finished my proposal for the MOUSE Legacy Project - a three month long gig. As some of you may remember, my project last year was the OLPC wikispace page. Hopefully, this is new endeavour will see much more usage...

The basic premise started off with the creation of a browser. After a week or so of playing around with Xcode - Apple's development software - I finally had one up and running. It was ugly, had no tabs, and couldn't bookmark, but it actually showed the real internet; for that, I was happy.

However, a simple browser isn't going to cut it. While the technical aspects - tabs, bookmarks, design, etc - are to be worked on in the upcoming weeks, the actual core of this project is what, in my opinion, makes this simply shine. The plan is that once a presentable browser is up and running, we then start to create documentation that provide people guides to the code written. The idea is that, by looking at the lines of code we write, and the text, screencasts, or anything else we make to give directions and explanations, people will be able to build upon our work and even make their own.

This concept was inspired by some ideals behind open source and programming languages such as Scratch. I liked the idea of having programs open to change from the public, and languages that were made for the teaching of children, so I attempted to just blend the two together.

Hopefully, this can not only be done, but can be done well and have it catch on. It would be great to see these types of programs more often - those that are built for use just like any other, but also come with something that acts as a programming learning aid. I really do believe that such a thing would help many people who think "This is great. I would love to make my own", actually go out and achieve those goals.

College Apps - 3 Months Later

I've completely seemed to have forgotten to post updates about the whole 'getting into college' bit. Which is funny, seeing as how I posted so many drafts of my application essay up here.

So heres the rundown. I applied to around 10 schools - I've forgotten the exact number actually. At this point, I've made getting my acceptance letters into a bit of a game. I'm really just interested in seeing who takes me and who doesn't. So currently, I stand at four for four - out of the four colleges I've heard back from, I was accepted into them. The list is as follows:

Hunter College
Brooklyn College
Oswego* - State College of New York

Back in December my top three schools were Susquehanna, NYU, and Brandeis. I don't expect to get into Brandeis and its very likely that if I do make it into NYU, I won't attend. Why is that? Because at the time of writing this, Susquehanna is the college that has offered me the most - notwithstanding financial aid, which very well may be the true deciding factor in all of this - plus, its the college I'm most 'gunho' about.

Let us focus on Susquehanna for a bit, shall we? I've noticed that not a lot of people that I talk to - friends, a few teachers, family members, etc - have heard about the school before. Yet, those who have say awfully good things about it. I originally applied because a good friend of mine who attended mentioned that I should take a look at it - an action that, in hindsight, I'm very glad I did. They were the first college to get back to me at all, and shortly thereafter, they offered me a $15,000 per year scholarship (remember, this isn't financial aid...) and a spot in their honors college. I believe that it was the honors college bit that most floored me, but should I attend in the fall its the thing I'm looking forward to most. My hope is that it'll give me something more to stay focused on throughout the four years so that I don't stray too far off course.

I think that the worst thing I could say about Susquehanna (which actually is a good thing as well) is that its in a small town in Pennsylvania. Seeing as how I've lived in New York all my life, I figure such a thing is going to take a while to get use to, but at the same time it provides the perfect place to get away and experience something new. After all, I have every intention of returning back here once I graduate.

That being said, there is now a growing list of things I want to do here in the city before I possibly leave on my desktop. I want to hit up all those great parks and museums once last time (especically Inwood Park - I've been planning to head up there again for six years now!). All those neighborhoods I've come to grow and love after eightteen years; all the people I've met... It really does feel odd to be seriously thinking about leaving all of it behind for four years.

*Interestingly enough, even though its one of my favorites, it took me so long to finally learn how to pronounce the name correctly (sometime in the last two weeks, to be exact). To make things worst they even have an audio clip on their site that sounds it out for you. As a lot of people have pointed out to me: "How can you go to a school's whose name you can't pronounce?" Well, so long as I don't get the same over dramatic responses I get from people when I tell them I go to "School of the Future", I don't really care.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

DL Hughley Breaks The News, Appears To Be Canceled

As the title states, it appears that D.L.'s news show is to be canceled.

I'm personally disappointed by this. I really did enjoy this show. I'll admit that at first, the humor was a bit... strenuous at times, it indeed picked up in later weeks. To me, D.L. presented himself as an intellectual from the way he talked about the issues with his guests. Yet, I'm aware of the resistance from the black community, stating that his humor was - among other things - embarrassing to us.

Let me say this: I never felt embarrassed nor thought that his humor held any ill intentions (to our race). The reason why I enjoyed this show was because it had placed a comedic spin on the week's news and even informed me about things I may have missed. It was a great show to unwind with on a Saturday night, in light of all the hell going on with the economy and other social issues.

Of course, this show's cancellation has made me think of a certain theme that bothers me - one I hope to discuss a bit later, but is outside of the scope I'd like for this post to possess.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And The Republican Ship Is Sinking...

I was watching this episode, this past Saturday night, and besides the crap about the Republican Party needing a "Hip-Hop Makeover", I was actually feeling hopeful about this man. Even though I disagreed with him at some many points, he presented himself in a way that I could come to respect. Of course, I was quite pleased when I heard him say that he was the 'leader' of the Republican Party, not Rush Limbaugh - along with a few other comments that gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

However, recent events have forced me to recalculate my opinion about this man. After hearing that he issued an apology to Mr. Limbaugh just days after those comments were made, I can't help but to think of him as merely a stooge and a myriad of other words that all come down to him being nothing more than a tool.

How dare you issue an apology to such a man, Mr. Steele? Do you know that you've managed to show this whole country what little power you truly have so fast that I hope you whiplash (and please do not let me start on the whips bit, cause that would only lead everyone into trouble)? After the joke of a speech by Governor Bobby Jindal, Limbaugh outright saying that he hopes Obama and/or his ideals fail, and you're party's public fits on the Senate and House floors, you have the audacity to rather than take a sharp step toward establishing your leadership turn around and kiss that ass' behind. Your party is quite litterally falling apart, sir. Get some backbone and step on a few toes. Lest, you really are just their courtjester after all.

Yet still, as a democract - for better or worst... - I must say this: Please, keep on fighting. Create more holes in your already travesty-infested vessel. And once it does sink, I hope from it rises a new Republican gathering - one capable of actually working towards a collective good of the country. One actually worthy of my respect, cause let me tell you something: things are shifting fast. If you lot can't get your act together, we will leave you behind, and trust me, eight years of vandalizing this country is still very much fresh in all of our minds.