Monday, November 30, 2009

The .Astronomy Conference

I'm in Leiden this week at the Lorentz Centre for the .Astronomy Meeting. If you're not lucky enough to be here, we're streaming the mornings live so you can sit in on the talks...

Live TV : Ustream

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Coding from camelback

The term digital nomad is starting to break into the mainstream. To some it's all about work from anywhere; your local library or coffee shop, the hotel pool, a co-working space. But lately it seems that anywhere has become a much broader term. Sell your house, your car, your furniture, pack your bags and buy a ticket to somewhere, anywhere, that isn't here. The plan is to earn a first world salary by telecommuting, but pay third world prices for food and shelter.

The nomand's lifestyle is defined not by how many hours a day they're online, but by when they're not. Emily Davidow has it right,
Last weekend, an uncle asked me “How many hours a day do you go online?” I looked up from my iPhone and repeated the question out loud several times... “All of them,” my wise brother answered. “She doesn’t go online, she just is.” Uncle seemed confused and more than a little worried. - Emily Davidow
I've been a semi-nomad for the last decade, I didn't sell my house or my car and just go. I've always had somewhere to come back to, but I've travelled a lot. At the peak, a few years back now, I was spending six to nine months of the year out of the country. Although over the last year or so, for obvious reasons, I've scaled back the amount of travel I'm doing, I must admit I sometimes have a wistful thought or two. Looking out a hotel window on a new view, or sitting watch the world go by, or even a quick dose of culture shock is a different life than dragging myself into the office every morning. No matter how much I enjoy what I do for a living...

However this weekend I sat on my couch at home in-front of a roaring fire as the severe weather raged outside. Surrounded by three laptops, my iPhone and an iPod touch, I was working on the second draft of my upcomimg book. I could have been anywhere in the world, but I was at home. Why? Because while I could have been anywhere in the world, I chose to be at home. After a decade of semi-nomadic existence, where else is really as comfortable?

Where 2.0 Online

At the start of December I'll be kicking off the Where 2.0 Online Conference talking about iPhone sensors. My introductory session is intended to be the foundation for the rest of the event and is based on the sensors chapter of my upcoming O'Reilly book Learning iPhone Programming. I'll be going over the sensors available and talking about how to access them, then I'll deep dive into the accelerometer and attempt to build an accelerometer based application, live on camera. I'm not sure how they talked me into that...

I'll be followed by four app developers who will each focus on the sensors they used in their respective apps. They will cover their tools, their process and their mistakes. Andreas Alfare will be talking about augmented reality, Ian Peters-Campbell will be talking about location sensors, Martin Roth about working with audio and Jeffrey Powers about computer vision.

Admittance is US$149, and participants will receive an advance copy of Chapter 10 of my book, the chapter talking about sensors, as a part of the conference fee. If you'd like to register, but you're thinking that's a bit steep, I can offer you 25% off as a "friend of the speaker", use the discount code whrfall09fsp when you register. It's should be a lot of fun, if you only to see me attempting to code on camera...