On Civic Hacking Sustainability

[youtube]P2AZH4FeGsc[/youtube] The Thrill of Victory!  And the Agony of Defeat! NYCDataWell didn’t make the semi-finals cut.​ I’d be lying if I said we weren’t disappointed, ​ but we knew there was no guarantee, and perhaps, the risk we took by going with such an unconventional design was just too big a leap. Regardless, we’re very proud of our work and still look forward to the future …

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Reality is the Highest Resolution

I’m the son of two civil servants.  Growing up, however, I remember being indoctrinated by my parents NOT to pursue public service. They both saw themselves through college, and they fell into civil service out of necessity, and got into their career tracks not out of passion, but because there was no other option. I still got the public service bug in me however.  Was …

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Anniversaries, Mochi and Open Data

It was our seventh wedding anniversary the other day so I promised my wife I’ll come up for air and celebrate in style. As luck would have it, New York Restaurant Week was underway so I could impress my wife with my discerning, epicurean (on a start-up budget) choice – Inakaya. Truth be told, it was the only Restaurant Week participant across the street from …

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New York State – the Empire State of Data!

During yesterday’s State of the State speech, Governor Cuomo announced that he intends to implement a comprehensive statewide open data portal. Woohoo!!!  This news brings back memories of us literally jumping up and down in Sami’s basement when we heard the unexpected news of NYC passing its Open Data Law. But then, we tempered our celebration when we found out that  unlike NYC, there was …

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Ombudsbot – Machine as Ombudsman

Was reading an excellent article by David Eaves on TechPresident this morning on “What Technology Can and Cannot Do In the Fight Against Corruption?” and I was I was struck by the whole idea – Technology against Corruption!?! As it happens, I’m currently reading Dan Ariely‘s latest book – The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty and was inspired to post this comment: What about using behavioral techniques informed …

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“The Startup Process” Christmafied

Here’s the postcard we sent for the Holidays.  Since we’re all about mashups, we thought we’d do one for our postcard too… With due apologies to Paul Graham and Fred Wilson…  

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ESTEEM – STEM, Kidpreneurs and Civic Hacking

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. You hear it all the time on the news.  In this era of high unemployment, a lot of jobs are still going unfilled because of the STEM deficit.  This is where we’re lagging behind in public education and I couldn’t agree more. Being a first generation immigrant, I’m often surprised when I help my nephews and nieces with their …

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Proudly Made in NYC

Woohoo!!!  We just made the cut to be proudly listed in New York Tech Meetup‘s Made in NYC list – joining the ranks of NYC internet giants like 10gen, Etsy, Bitly, Foursquare and Bloomberg. But we were kinda bummed that there was no official logo to declare our NYC pride. So, we scratched an itch and lovingly made one in NYC. 😉 We often describe ourselves …

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311, Sandy, Open Data and Lydia Callis

Finally got power back last Thursday at 3 in the morning!  And the first thing I did was to look for clips of Lydia Callis. During the power outage, our main source of information was WNYC and intermittent updates from Facebook and Twitter from our smartphones.  Mayor Bloomberg had regular press conferences and we couldn’t help but notice that social media was lit up with …

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eCommunity Service (or Amazon Mechanical Turk for the Pu...

Last week, after wrapping up our successful debut at SemTechBizNYC, I spent the whole day at Midtown Community Court, serving my one day of community service for biking on the sidewalk. Ever since we moved into the NYU-Poly Varick Incubator, I’ve been biking to work and was still familiarizing myself with the city’s extensive bike lane network when I was flagged down by a cop …

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