Trying out LucidCam and the YouTube VR180 Format

I’ve been playing with a LucidCam recently as part of my work. LucidCam’s is a really easy way to start taking 180 degree VR content, both with photos and videos. Just turn it on, choose a media mode, and then point and press the “shutter” button to shoot. There’s no viewfinder, though you can enable one through your phone if you tether it to the camera via a direct wifi connection.

The 180 degree lenses basically takes away the need to focus – as LucidCam says, you can “capture moments from your perspective”, which just means you can capture everything (technically more) your eyes see, so there’s no need to spend time framing a shot.

Below is a playlist of some bike rides I took this week in the South Bay (you can view in 180 degree 3D with a VR headset like the Google Daydream one). The first set of videos is from an evening commute ride from Apple in Cupertino to Mountain View, the second set is an early morning ride through Palo Alto and Los Altos.

Finding the Harvey Weinstein in Me

As the Weinstein allegations start to go Cosby, I wonder about my role as a man. Am I part of the problem, part of the solution? How do I know, other than boosting my own ego thinking, “I couldn’t possibly be part of the problem!”

When I was living in Vietnam at the beginning of this decade, a friend told me of this story of Weinstein. I didn’t know the person involved, or Weinstein, but should I have done something? What could I have done?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the casting couch. It seems like common knowledge today that women, whether in show business or not, are going to be harassed / coerced / manipulated, but is having this knowledge improving anything in society? In the Vietnam incident, my thought was more along the lines of “Well, I guess that seems to be the price of admission.” I wasn’t happy or being humorous, but that seemed to be it in terms of my involvement.

My sister-in-law is a successful fashion model, and that’s where those thoughts return. While I want to be outraged at what’s going on (to women), at the same time, I just do not want to think about it because I don’t know what I can do.

I feel castrated in my possible reactions. What is the civilized way to fight back, to really have impact?

And yet, I’m not an innocent in this discussion. I have my own story of guilt: 20 years ago in high school, I was going online during the starting days of the internet, the time when people started transitioning away from AOL and finding the internet: Yahoo, Google, Excite. E-Mail was a miracle. This was Web 1.0, the early days of Geocities, where anyone could create his own website and show off a cool animated “hits” counter to show off the number of page visits.

As many teenage boys do, I gawked at the attractive girls in my classes. I had an idea of naming the most attractive girls in my year and putting it on a website for everyone to see.

I learned basic HTML, scanned photos from my yearbook and put it up. Scraping emails from group threads among classmates, I executed my first example of spam / mass emailing / grassroots marketing. I didn’t ask permission from any of the girls, being scared of them (never had I talked to most of them) and their possible responses, yet still wanted the site out there, getting attention.

As that was, perhaps it wasn’t so bad and I started to get some hits. I can’t remember all the details at this point, but I’m sure I continued working on the site, seeing how I could adjust things. Some friends of mine gave feedback, and this is where I made the wrong decision.

A friend mentioned (paraphrased) that one girl had a physical feature that would be great for oral sex. I don’t think I really knew what that meant, but I thought, hey, more content, and something to put on the website.

And so I did. I remember showing the website to my dad at this point, and he made a very astute comment (as usual) that I should reconsider putting comments like that on the website.

But I wanted the attention, I wanted people to visit the site and have a reaction (even though I truly feared a negative one), so I kept it. A few days later, some anonymous students had a negative reaction to the site and I was actually harassed (pretty stressful for my teenage self) for it. I do not know if they were doing so in defense of one of the girls, or some other reason. It does not matter.

I clearly put my need for attention over something that was not nice to put in full public view. It could have affected one of the girls negatively, and it was a form of harassment.

I don’t quite remember what happened after this. I am fairly sure I removed that one comment that was out of line, but probably kept the site up for some months after.

But…”I couldn’t possibly be part of the problem!”

NBA Business Lessons from Jared Dudley

https://art19.com/shows/thewojpod/episodes/ebb0221c-ccdc-46f5-b54f-cbbfb8405863/embed

I listened to this newest episode of Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Woj Pod this morning on my commute – it is excellent, perhaps the most educational NBA business related podcast episode I’ve ever listened to. Jared Dudley goes into details about what makes a veteran valuable to a team, and how he got paid for that. I’ve never heard a current player be so frank about his situation before – you’ll usually only hear about that stuff once it’s long over (Jalen Rose). Jared Dudley keeps it real!

My favorite quote, from something Jared Dudley learned, “Be a star in your role.” I love the direction of doing what you’re asked to do at your very best, not what you think you should be doing or what you want to do, but fulfilling your assigned role to the maximum and forgetting ego.

I’ve been listening to Woj for the last year. At first, his interview style was a bit annoying because he tends to ask positive-tilting leading questions, but once I understood that people aren’t coming on to be grilled by a homicide detective, I’ve really enjoyed the quality of guests he brings on and the stories they tell on the podcast.

Through this, I understand the relationships Woj has built around the NBA, why’s he’s such a scoop machine, and his value to ESPN.

When Bicycle Riders Become Cyclists

(Otherwise known as the Obligatory Bicycle Photo by Cyclists and Kestrel Talon Ad  – photo taken near the top of Montebello Road)

I’ve been cycling for the last year and a half. After some occasional riding last summer, I started training with TrainerRoad in the Fall, and I’ve enjoyed riding outdoors since the Spring. I’ve totally been sucked into it – I love to talk about it, read about it, watch it, and gazingly look at my bike for no reason (it’s stored indoors), much to my wife’s chagrin.

I also worry about it – why I can’t be faster, how to take curves more dangerously yet not so dangerously, etc.

Along the way I’ve learned:

  • It is god-damn expensive. I aggregated all my bike-related expenses and it’s now nearing $4,000(!), despite always looking for deals and used items when possible. This also doesn’t include the cost of events (often $100+ not including travel and housing). Yet, the bike itself (as pictured), has me cost about $1,850 after getting two amazing deals – the all-carbon Kestrel Talon (originally $2,500) was $600 and used for 500 miles. I bought my Jones Precision Wheels Carbon Wheelset (originally $1700+) for $400 WITH a Powertap G3 Power Meter ($599).
  • $1850 for a bike is a lot, and yet, it’s really not (if you’re a cyclist, you understand).
  • You have to take a photo of your bike standing sexily by itself, ideally with a view behind it – thus, this blog post. There are even right and wrong ways of taking photos! For example, photograph the drive (right) side, push it in the highest gear possible, put any wheel decals at 12 O’Clock, put the pedals at 3 O’Clock.
  • N+1 is real – this is the thinking that no matter how many bikes you have (N), you have to have one more (N+1). For example right now, I’d like to get a cheap, used Cyclocross bike to improve my overall bike handling skills by riding on dirt. But what I really want is the 2017+ Specialized Roubaix, which will make me such an awesome rider (especially descents), I will make everyone cry. It’s a fact!
  • I interchange between getting sick about the money I spend, and thinking about where I can store the next bike. I don’t even have space for it – can I do an ICO (Blockchain) to fund this habit? I am a fiend.
  • 10g (.022 lbs) of weight is everything, and I obsess over whether I should pay $25 to get 10g less weight on a bottle cage. So what if I drink a bit of water, it’s easily more than 10g of added weight in my body? Don’t you dare use intelligence on me! I’m a cyclist, no brains required.
  • If you say “suffer” to a cyclist, they interpret it as “going to heaven”. I have not yet gone to heaven. Jesus, you master of suffering, show me the way!

As shown in photos: