Fireside chat with the founders of Google

You should presume that some day we will be able to make machines that can reason and think and do things better than we can.

Google and the giant power to grow

Serge Brin of Google - Fireside Chat Larry Page and Sergey Brin share the story of how they almost sold their company. The two discuss their other projects – from self driving cars, the Android OS, Google Now, to machine learning technologies they are beginning to venture into.

A great quote from Sergey that gives good insight into Google’s vision for the future surrounding machine learning is that “You should presume that some day we will be able to make machines that can reason and think and do things better than we can.”

Fireside chat with Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin with Vinod Khosla

Driving innovations and breakthroughs

Larry Page mentions the book, “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think” by Peter Diamandis, and how many of the things we need to be happy (housing, security, opportunity, etc.) will be easily provided for us in the near future. He points out that this could be accomplished currently with less than 1% of the amount of resources and work required to do so. Page goes on to say, “The idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet the people’s needs is just not true.”

Larry Page of Google - Fireside Chat They very briefly make hints to a possible Google Car in the far off future and how the traditional vehicle style is not necessarily needed with a self-driving car (like having a steering wheel, seats facing forward, etc.).

Page discusses how difficult it can be to have a large company manage so many inter-related things: “The user experience needs to make sense. It needs to feel like they’re using Google, but they’re using something else. I think there is a limit to kind of how much we can do there and we have to think carefully about it.”

All and all it gives pretty good perspective into the hearts and minds of the creators of Google. Check it out.

Black Girls Code: Bridging The Digital Divide

  • Black women make up only 3% of the computing workforce.
  • Black Girls Code works against the digital divide by introducing young girls of color, into the technical field through workshops and programs.

I will forever love Kimberly Bryant for this. The future is looking mighty bright :)

OldSchoolNewSchoolMom.com Redesign

Screenshot of the Old School/New School Mom blog redesign:
Redesign - Old School New School Mom

This was a very fun project that involved a little more than just redesigning a blog.

Originally, the domain was registered with Google Apps and hosted for free on Blogger.com. And the cherry on top is that the commenting system is managed by Disqus.

All very cool things that helped enable this mommy blogger, Sarah Fader, to run her own site without needing the technical ins-and-outs that goes into Web Development. I truly admire and respect that about these services! But the ability to host your own content and truly claim ownership of the capabilities of what you can do with your Web site still trump the simplicity of each of those services to me. It’s the Open Source way.

Sarah Fader, blogger.So after many battles with Disqus (getting them to import the comments to a new system) and many battles with Google Apps (getting them to transfer registration while keeping Gmail services) and many battles with Blogger (well, this one was pretty straight forward actually), I was able to migrate all of the content and then redesign Old School/New School Mom for Sarah Fader. She’s a writer for Huffington Post with many passions and tons of blog ideas. Her dedication to her craft is truly inspiring. Be sure to check out her work!

Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the Web

In just over 5 minutes, TimBL sons this dude something hard for not knowing what Net Neutrality is (an interviewer should at least understand the topic they’re asking questions about), then he goes on to mock the interviewers blatantly biased follow up question.

Finally, TimBL articulates what’s so magical and fascinating (on a scientific level) about the Web and how to most it’s just seen as a toy or a form of entertainment – but really, there’s something brilliant and technologically out of our grasp about the Web (it is where technology meets a truly democratic and free, open society). And it may take another 25 years for us to truly come to understand that social dynamic that TimBL stumbled upon while trying to improve scientific research in Physics. His original vision for the Web is, in essence, what Wikipedia is today – a wealth of free knowledge and open to all to contribute and improve upon.

(There’s so much I want to say about this video by PBS – from the incorrect naming of the video to the obvious misunderstanding of the very subject they’re interviewing TimBL about, but I won’t waste the time. Instead, I’d like to focus on the latter portion of the interview snippet.)

As companies like Apple slowly try to recreate TimBL’s invention of the Web and patent it and control it through their apps ecosystem on their iOS walled garden, I look up to great minds like Tim Berners-Lee for inspiration of how I want to be remembered. And while I admire what great tech companies like Google and Facebook are accomplishing for the Web – at the very grand scale I can’t help but feel distrust from their use of social engineering tricks.

The First Web ServerI fell in love with the concept of the Web as it was presented to me just a few years after Tim Berners-Lee invented it. I’m married to the idea of free information, free knowledge, and an open network that is a wealth of a resource for anyone interested in learning about anything (the Wikipedia model).

Over the last few years working full-time as a Web Dev I’ve grown leaps and bounds in my craft, but as I look back on what originally attracted me to learn what it is that I do – I realize it’s not about likes or shares or subscriptions or followers. Social Media has changed the landscape greatly, but I can’t help but view social media the way Apple views the Web (as something that was created long after I showed up at the party and I secretly want to recreate).

But to get back to TimBL’s awesome point about studying what the Web is – not on a technological level like most Web Developers do (on how to create cool gadgets, sites, apps, etc.) but on a social and societal level. This kind of thinking is what helped lead to Twitter and other great and open Web companies.

My hopes are that Net Neutrality gets figured out for the betterment of the Internet and a free society (not one you have to pay extra for access to certain sites by the ISPs), and finally that over the next 25 years we embrace the connectivity the Web brings us and we become a more close and scientifically literate world.

Here’s to the next 25 years of the Web (and to many more)!