Sunday, December 11, 2011

The new

I've been working on a new site,, a site that provides free exam practice.

There are a number of free practice test sites out there. I've learned through my work with Upward Mobility the sources of a lot of content, contributed some myself, and then, loaded them into a testing engine we've program.

The list of exams will grow, but there are already a number of good ones for academic, medical and business subjects out there already.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's stop with the Silicon Valley diversity BS

I just felt compelled to respond to the ridiculous use of data by some of the recent articles arguing about diversity in Silicon Valley. The problem of racial diversity in tech companies is systemic American problem, not a Silicon Valley specific one. We need to address the root cause of the problem, which is that not enough non-Asian minorities are going into Engineering related fields.

This chart on the left is from a CNNFN/Forbes article by Julie Pepitone. It accuses Silicon Valley of trying to hide a diversity secret.

It makes the workforce imbalance seem terrible skewed and that there's some type of severe discrimination problem going on in the valley.

Well, how about we compare this data to how specific racial demographics go into engineering according to 2008 NSF data?

% Engineers Enrolling in Undergraduate Programs (Data here)

Wait, so in Silicon Valley, a engineering centric business center has the exact same percentages of Whites, Blacks and Hispanics who go into the Engineering fields? And while Asians have double representation, California has 2.5x more Asians on percentage basis than the rest of the country.

Can we please stop wasting our time with this debate, and focus on building systems that get underrepresented minorities into math, science and engineering careers? Creating a false maelstrom over SV hiring practices is just going to help the problem.

Friday, August 12, 2011

42 meals in Sydney

I did some serious dining during my time in Sydney - a truly amazing culinary city. I basically tried to do some exploring, and also went down the TripAdvisor rankings to find the very best.

I forced ranked all of the restaurants I ate at - it's not definitive, since at most places, I only got to try a couple of dishes in a single visit. I did make two trips to Medusa (6x!), Longrain, Golden Century and Madang, so I'm confident of my strong ranking for those.


Medusa Greek Taverna
Fish at the Rocks
Golden Century

Very Good

Chinta Ria
Mure’s (Hobart)
Altitude at the Shangri-La
Billy Kwong’s
Garfish Manly
Lord Nelson Brewery
Xage Surrey Hills
Yee King Noodles


Fusion Café Marsfield
Mad Cow / Ivy
Sailor Thai
Christie’s at the Fish Market
Zaaffran BBQ & Fine Indian
Delima Indonesian
Peace Harmony Thai
Emperor’s Choice CBD
Chat Thai
Conservation Hut – Wentworth Falls
Phillip’s Foote
Menya Noodle Bar
Nicholas’ Seafoods at the Fish Market
Malaysian Laksa House QVB

Below My Bar

Smolt (Hobart)
Zozo Korean BBQ
Giovanni’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
Doyle’s at the Fish Market
Wok on Inn Darling Harbour
Adria’s Darling Harbour
Xic Lo Vietnamese (Chatswood)
Treis-Elies (Katoomba)
Katselis (Katoomba)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Future of the American City

My friend Bob Barancik sent along the following link, which I think hit home at a time where I've been thinking about topics like this. Few civilizations have been able to sustain a leading level of reinvestment into their cities, infrastructure, etc. That is true throughout history and will be true for America. Just as other great civilizations decayed, so will's just a matter of whether it happens in 100 or 400 years. I imagine our level of angst is something like Rome 375 AD....

Bob's Summary: Orion managing editor Andrew Blechman interviews author James Howard Kunstler about the future of cities in an age of peak oil and obligatory contraction. According to Kunstler, Phoenix and Las Vegas will be "toast," skyscrapers will become massive liabilities, suburbs will turn into salvage yards, and commerce will look very different. Kunstler is quite certain that civilization will remain intact, albeit retrofitted with slow trains, sailing ships, and other blasts from the past.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brookline Price Segmentation for Boston Red Sox Tickets

I think this is a brilliant little segmentation scheme that helps the City of Brookline maximize parking revenues. I'm pretty sure they've installed smart wireless meters that make this easy, which is a hot M2M topic I've been working on a lot at CSMG.

There's no way a Sox fan would leave in less than two hours to print a new ticket as a wireless meter would require. However, I suspect many will just pay the $22, which will still leave businesses without much parking. Either way, it's a better situation for the city than before.

From The Boston Globe:

Brookline will raise parking meter rates just in time to charge Red Sox fans $22 to park along a stretch of Beacon Street during the home-opening series against the New York Yankees in April.

Selectmen unanimously approved the special rates during Red Sox games near the St. Mary’s MBTA stop tonight, as well as other meter rate increases around the town that are expected to raise an additional $1 million a year in revenue.

The hikes approved by the board will charge motorists parking along the Beacon Street median from St. Mary’s to Hawes streets $1 per hour for the first two hours in a metered spot, and $10 per hour for an additional two hours, bringing the four-hour total to $22 on game nights. Motorists will also have to pay to park at the spots until 10 p.m.

The parking spots are a short walk from Fenway Park, and Brookline is making the move because merchants have complained that Red Sox fans take up all of the parking spots on game nights, leaving no where for other customers to park.

Selectmen also voted Tuesday to increase parking meter fees from 75 cents to $1 per hour in Brookline’s biggest commercial areas. The fee increases take effect April 1.

The special rates during the Red Sox games are expected to raise $35,000 a year for the town.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some links to check out

A couple links to check out:

An viewpoint I wrote on an out there, but real opportunity in advertising ringbacks. I know it sounds like it'd be the most annoying thing, but in some environments, it's a legitimate revenue or branding opportunity.

My brother Eric has a new blog on using lean in the Aerospace environment.

A couple friends of mine, Inaki and Andres, from MIT Sloan launched a cool new Facebook photosharing product at their startup Pixable.