Girl reading her Amazon Kindle, 86st Subway Station, New York (Jan,2008)

Girl reading her Amazon Kindle, 86st Subway Station, New York

Originally uploaded by Gubatron.

On our way back from the museum, back in January, I had to sneak out my camera to take a picture of the first Amazon Kindle I got to put my eyes on.

She was an asian girl who probably has something to do with amazon, cause this devices were sold out the minute they came out.

The device is pretty amazing, but I’m not sure If I’d spend $400 on it.

Eventually this is what the subway will be like in the future, everybody holding digital books, to read books, blogs, news… no more deciding which book to bring with us today.

Why NYC Geeks have a hard time making ‘Sillicon Alley’ boom?

View of Manhattan from Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY - Taken by Gubatron, Aug 2007

There’s been a discussion this week on the New York Tech Meetup mailing list, and this guy’s answer (Allan Benamer) has to be documented somewhere. Check this out.

“…find it difficult to understand why a Stanford can achieve such great town-and-gown synergies that brought the world Yahoo!, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Google, Silicon Graphics, etc., and a Columbia or a Rutgers or a Cornell or a SUNY cannot.”

I’m from the West Coast and got to see the dotcom boom up close. I think it’s not just Stanford but my alma mater, Berkeley, and a host of other great schools on the West Coast like UCLA and Cal-Tech that are also helping out. The truth of the matter is that much of NY Metro’s inherent “nerd power” is sucked up by financial services firms. An engineer being paid upwards of $100k a year to do crappy Oracle SQL calls for some financial services Intranet app is pretty much the average around here. There’s no incentive to innovate as a result. Plus, there’s a cultural problem. If you go on BART, you’ll see people reading programming books all the time. Here, it’s just multiple copies of Kite Runner on the subway, (not that there’s anything wrong with that, that’s why I moved out here.)

The nerd infrastructure is just not supported well either — nerds need Fry’s and great tech book stores like they do in the Bay Area. Here, all we’ve got is J&R, a host of cheesy grey market electronics retailers and Barnes and Noble. It’s hard out here for a nerd. 😉

That said, I would more than welcome whatever energies are poured into a Silicon Alley. I just hope that the infrastructure gets better as a result.

Why do they say Venezuelans are lazy?

Plaza Venezuela Subway Station, Caracas, Venezuela – Any weekday starting at 6:30am

And I don’t think its due to bad subway planning (of course it could be better), but Caracas subway is way more frequent than NY subway, wait times are really short specially at rush hour.

No subway station in New York is that full at 6-7am, at least I haven’t seen one. It seems New Yorkers sleep a little more late, try to get on the subway on Bedford Av towards Manhattan at 9am… is everyone late for work? does everybody start work at 9:30 or 10am? I only see the immigrants (probably illegal) going to work early in the morning here in New York.

Photo courtesy of zethanx

Los Amigos Invisibles by The Hudson River

These guys are one of those things that really make you proud to be a venezuelan.

They gave out an amazing concert last night, the crowd went nuts and at the end people were screaming “OTRA OTRA OTRA OTRA”.

Se la comieron.

That’s me with my Leones del Caracas Baseball Cap – just a discrete sign to signal that I’m a Caraqueño

It’s awesome to see LAI first timers around you go nuts and repeat over and over how good they are. If Los Amigos Invisibles are coming to your town, don’t miss it.

If you want to get a taste of what they sound like, click here, you can get all of their albums in

Bjarne Stroustrup at Google NY, July 31st 2007

Tonight, July 31st of 2007 I had the privilege of attending a talk by the man himself, the creator of the C++ language, Bjarne Stroustrup.

He was sharing with us how things are going for the next version of C++0x – The 0x stands for a possible year of this decade where it will be released.

One of the interesting things that happened to me at this meeting was to finally have the honor of meeting Sebastian Delmont, and oh, those 3 geeky Red Hat guys, wonder if they were actually part of Red Hat or just hardcore fans, good thing I was wearing my Ubuntu shirt to represent for the Ubunteros.

As for C++0x, I guess my thoughts aren’t that deep, I honestly don’t care much about C++ at this point in my life, and it seems it’s an old language striving hard to keep the pace with newer features found in new languages. It seems its very hard to reach consensus on the C++ board, and its very hard to accept new features given the language is already too big, its also funny to see that everything that gets hughe (millions of people use it), will always have problems in terms of adapting to new conditions or injecting innovation to itself. Bjarne created the language around 25 years ago, and there are features that only now he’s finally been able to get accepted for this version. C++ however, we must admit is a language that’s heavily used, (but I think by end users, not the software engineering community), on software like Photoshop, Google search engine, and the Mars rovers (these were the examples Bjarnes kept bringing again and again, I would also be proud of course).

For me, I’ll stick to Python, Nasa’s been using it too for quite a while, the same with Google and many other applications, hey, YouTube’s backend runs in python.

Greenpoint, paradise for both Polish and Venezuelan

When we moved out of our ghetto latin neighborhood, my wife told me “You’re going to miss the food”, but today, I discovered one supermarket in Manhattan Ave. here in Greenpoint which has the best of both worlds.

Not only they have all the polish stuff that you can get in this neighborhood (which makes my wife’s life a lot better), but they also have latin food and best of all they have Harina Pan, to make the best arepas a Venezuelan guy could eat.

If you’re a Venezuelan and you’re planning to marry a polish person, get your ass to Greenpoint in Brooklyn, NY.

What’s Happening in New York with Tech Companies?

I think a lot is happening, and I’d like to point out some people that have finally started writing about all the tech activity of the “Sillicon Alley”, and most important, organizing meet ups and events that can help us network and get the word out there of whatever it is that we’re doing here.

If you’re about to make a release of your new tech product and you’re in the New York City area, maybe you should bump your elbow to these sites:

  • Next NY

    A fun way to connect both socially and professionally with young people who have a stake in future of tech and new media in New York City


    We cover the intersection of the technology, media, and communications industries, with a focus on companies and people making waves in New York. Specifically, we provide news, commentary, and discussion about digital publishing, entertainment, news, music, social networking, mobile, and gaming.

  • NY Tech Meetup

    On the 1st Tuesday each month at 7PM, 6 people get 5 minutes each to demo something cool to New York’s tech community (geeks, investors, entrepreneurs, hackers, etc)

  • That’s it for my list now, please comment to contribute more links and I’ll update with your links.

    Upcoming Movies where New York gets Destroyed


    Click here for QuickTime Trailer

    Or what I’d call, the Last Man Standing. I saw this trailer in the movie theater last night and really felt like going to see this movie. Being a New York resident its always impressive to see the city you live getting destroyed or changed so much after something that seems world war three or some kind of mankind elimination, specially when the trailer tells you something you often joke about with friends, which is “What would you do if you were the last man on earth?” (I like to put it more if it was me being the last man on earth with other 10 women and it was up to me to populate the earth)

    If you don’t have quicktime, just hit play below to see it right here:

    The misterious trailer right before transformers

    But then I saw another trailer, which I could not get the name of the movie. It was shot with a home video camera, people were at an apartment somewhere in Broadway (Manhattan), they were basically like saying goodbye to a guy that was going to leave to Japan, and if I remember correctly, the lights go out, it feels like an earthquake, the camera goes to the window (it’s night time), and then there’w a HUGHE explosion coming from South Manhattan, people start running out of the apartment, sound goes in and out (the sound gets a lot better in the theater at this point If I remember correctly), then they go out the street, and swarms of people are running from south broadway, and you can see like a bunch of balls of fire falling everywhere, the camera runs, its really scary (I couldn’t help to think how scary it’d be if we were at war, the trailer with that camera made it feel more real), and then a Big metal piece, like the size of car falls on broadway, the camera turns, its the head of the statue of liberty, then I was so amazed I couldn’t tell the name of the movie, but a friend told me they didn’t put it, if somebody knows, please let me know what the name is.


    So this is why the internet is beautiful, yesterday at lunch I told my friends about this trailer, and they were like, ah sure, whatever, but with the internet you get geeks like you that get excited about these really cool things, that in the end will make billions of dollars (like for example, the same thing happened to me the first time I read about The Matrix and nobody gave a shit when I told them about it, and now its a classic trilogy), so maybe this will be one of those things.

    Thanks to RoRRO, Sebastian and JM for the info. They tell us this misterious trailer is an unwrapped project by J.J. Abrams, people have begun to take their cellphones to record the trailer on the movie theather, and all we have is this misterious website.

    Ideas for a better world: Make the subway easier for brainless riders

    I often have stupid ideas that could actually be applied to make real world every-day-people-related systems better, but I never write them down. I had this idea a few months ago, but forgot to write about it, hopefully someone on the New York MTA will read it one day and will have the power to propose it to their executive board.

    If you travel on the subway like me, you can travel forward in time if you use the correct doors from train to train, I think you actually travel forward in time, instead of wasting time, if you for example need to Switch to L on 14st and you’re at Canal St, all you need to do, is take the express Yellow Line (I think it’s the R), but to make the best of your time, you need to walk to the very last cart of that platform, you make use of your “waiting time” to travel forward in time (or save time) once you get to 14st, since you get off, and the stairs to the L transfer will be right on the end of the track, then you go down stairs, and if you’re lucky enough, you can make it to the L without waiting.

    I say you travel forward in time, cause if you get on the first car of the R, you will loose all your “waiting time” sitting at the beginnnig, and then you will have to do the walk you didn’t do in Canal St, when you get to Union Square…

    so… in short, after this absurd, but “clear” example (yeah right), what’s the solution?

    Make everybody travel like this…

    If you do, and you have a well designed system, based on mining patterns on how your metro users travel every day, you could design the metro system to have people ride in certain cars.

    You could either… mark cars of the train to say:

    “This car will give you an optimum get off time if you get off at:
    – station blah, blah, blah
    or if you need to transfer to: L, 1,2,3”

    So, you don’t stand in the way for people that actually need to get off and run for their next transfer…
    anyway… just the thought of a maniac of traveling optimally on the subway.

    Not sure if this made any sense gramatically, and I don’t think its even worth revising it… just ventilating my frustration with slow people…

    Oh, and another thing, there should be “Staircases for People in a Hurry”, or “Fast Lanes in Staircases”, not just Up and Down directions, but actual, fast stair cases, so we don’t have to smell people’s asses going up the stairs like they’re doing a walk on the zoo on a sunday, please move your ass on the stairs people, you can make people loose transfers.