Archive for the ‘XX’ Category

 The Post

Recently, my roommate has been MIA. A lot. And because I miss her so dearly, I can’t stop thinking about her…and dreaming about her vacant room. Living in the Silicon Valley and constantly being reminded of all the entrepreneurial things I could be doing, I can’t help but occasionally consider how profitable it might be to put her room up on Airbnb. Because I love my roommate and can’t think of anyone I’d rather live with, I would never actually go through with this money-making scheme. However, in honor of my favorite day of the year, I decided to tickle my fancy. Of course, not without my partner in crime (my other roommate) and some of our amazing friends.

Here’s how it went down:

9:00 AM

My roommate received a voicemail from a prospective lodger. There are no words to quite capture the essence. So you should just listen to it here.

12:30 PM

My roommate received a call from a “member” of the Airbnb Photography Team. For those of you who don’t know, Airbnb offers professional photography service of spaces that are put up for rent. The company has found that the feature significantly increases interest and bookings of a given space. When she received the call, my roommate laughed and said that she felt like her roommate (that’s me) had “accidentally” provided her number instead of mine on an Airbnb posting. Of course, she was giving me more credit that I deserved as I hadn’t actually put up a post anywhere. At this point, she had a feeling this whole thing was a joke (she’s really intelligent and difficult to dupe in general).

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 6.51.05 PM

1:00 PM

A previous tenant of our apartment sent us a “Screen Shot” of an Airbnb posting upon which she had stumbled while doing some “business school research.” Really this was just a mockup that I created with Photoshop. The previous tenant mentioned that it looked like our place. My other, unpranked roommate and I accused our pranked roommate for having tried to prank us. This completely threw her off (#meta). This led to an unforeseen but wonderful subplot, in which I could email the group and say, “No, it wasn’t us. But, wow, I wish I had we had thought of this prank. It is brilliant.”

 2:45 PM

Our “landlady” (really just another friend) left my roommate a message apologizing for having put her room up on Airbnb without her consent. After the profuse apology, she suggested that my roommate speak with both me and my other roommate before complaining to Airbnb.

7:00 PM

My roommate is confused about the whole situation. And until it’s all cleared up she…is not coming back to our place. Which brings us full circle. Open room tonight — anyone need a place to stay?

Update 7:00 AM, April 2

I came outside our apartment to see a (harmless?) homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk next to our garage. Feeling like my orange pants were screaming enough for both of us, I just looked at him then walked away. While that certainly wins me negative roommate points, I made up for it with a warning to the group via text.

The Text


The first technological revolution in our household was about 21 years ago. It was a recording of you saying “Ba-Ba” like a sheep. Your mom sent it to us on an audio cassette. We played it over and over. –Our 80-year-old grandfather, JG, upon receiving an iPad2.

A couple of weeks ago, I read this post about a sixty-year-old San Francisco man’s first encounter with a computer. We know an eighty-year-old Bangalore man with an iPad2. Appreciate the irony. Even before the iPad, JG was a pretty technologically savvy guy. He has a computer. He can send email. He can use a search engine. But the thing about his computer use is that it is a premeditated affair. He turns on his computer about once a week, reads his email, responds, then closes everything. Quits applications, shuts down the machine, unplugs the machine.  (more…)

Inner Circle: Party of 1

Posted: June 29, 2011 in Tech Talk, XX

An expectation is a fickle beast. When expectations are high, you usually are on the surefire path to disappointment. When expectations are low, pleasant surprise is a definite possibility. And because expectations are based on previous experiences, they cause us to over-criticize some things and over-praise others. Let’s take the example of my brother and my piano careers. Though my brother is three years younger than I, we both started learning piano at the same time. So, at face value, our teacher should have expected the same thing out of both of us. But instead, because I was older, I was expected to practice more and learn faster. And worse, when we played the same exact piece the same exact way, my brother, was considered a music prodigy and I was considered average.

This evening I was invited to Google+. A few years ago, I would have been ecstatic (and I was for Voice then Wave then Buzz then Music). It was Google, and I expected a lot. But through those experiences, Google betas have taught me to manage my expectations. Once you’ve had your heart broken a couple times, you’re far more cautious. I gingerly, and with little to no expectations, accepted my invitation to Google+.  (more…)

Hyphos: A little less Greek to me

Posted: April 10, 2011 in Tech Talk, XX

During one of my “finer” moments of early college, someone asked me and my friend if we had known each other before college (we came from practically the same hometown). My friend said yes, while I, simultaneously said no. I had interpreted the word “known” to mean “BFF,” and my friend had interpreted the word to mean “Facebook friends.” Awkward.

As much as I love Facebook, I think we can all agree that the platform is not an accurate representation of our friend network at a specific point in time.  A comment on our last post led me to Hyphos (from the Greek word for “web”), an early-stage platform that promises to improve the way we socialize. Intrigued, I immediately signed up for an invite to the beta.  We’re waiting eagerly for that.

In the meanwhile, we were able to snag an interview with Alex Capecelatro, a member of the Hyphos team, to get his and the Hyphos story. Read on to learn about an experience he guarantees you’ll love.


Color is the new black

Posted: March 27, 2011 in Tech Talk, XX

Many many years ago, I discovered that if I kept mixing together different colors of finger paint, I would eventually get to one powerful tone: black.

On Thursday, I downloaded Color, a new mobile application that mixes together shades of those we’ve grown to love (Foursquare, Twitter,, and Facebook to name a few) to create, what IMHO is one powerful social app. The experience thus far has been far from flawless, but a couple golden moments in the past couple days have given me some basis to understand Color’s $41 million dollar funding and $100 million + pre-launch valuation.

Color is a way for people to, as described by the app itself, “take photos together.” Here’s how it works: You use the app to take pictures of the world around you. These pictures are automatically published to a public album that is visible to, and includes photos taken by, people around you. As you use the app, you build an aesthetically pleasing chronological timeline of your social experience. (more…)

More Sibling Rivalry (Revelry)

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Tech Talk, XX

I stumbled upon this video today. After watching it, you’ll have no questions as to why I decided to share it on this blog. Enjoy!

All Fun & Games

Posted: July 13, 2010 in Tech Talk, XX, XY

Sometimes we communicate in ways other than Gchat.
But we need an iPad, 2 iPhones, and a $10 app.