Creator of "Beijing or Bust" documentary detained

Free Hao WuThe disappearance of film-maker Hao Wu has been brewing in the blog-o-sphere for a few weeks, with requests by some concerned individuals to minimize publicity while Hao's family quietly communicated with his detainers. But Web-savvy sympathizers have quickly mobilized. Reuters reported two days ago on Hao Wu's detention by Chinese police, and Reporters Sans Frontieres reported earlier on efforts by Hao's sister to secure his release.

I simply know Hao as a former colleague from Excite@Home who was justifiably proud that his first documentary film was aired on PBS station KQED in December 2005. I hope for Hao's speedy release.



Photo by The Jud

Fascinating to witness the Tom Cruise visit to Yahoo spin from an internal speaking engagement into a mass-media event through a chain of digital transformations from employee camera-phones to blogs to network television (see "Inside Edition" coverage using Yahoo employee-posted media). If nothing else, this rapid metamorphosis and associated public debate demonstrates the growing impact of user-generated content. Or, consider it a "Web 2.0" style buzz-marketing stunt. Either way, very impressive :-).


OpenLaszlo Meetup

Originally uploaded by PTWithy.

Thanks to Tucker Withington, I finally got a peek at the OpenLaszlo Meetup last week in San Francisco. Rain and traffic conspired to delay the return of my Yahoo commuter shuttle back to the city in time for the meetup. As a result, I missed free beer, free pizza, demos of exciting multi-runtime AJAX technology, and what was undoubtedly a cool party as well (see flickr photos).

It's Tom and Jerry

It's Tom and Jerry
Originally uploaded by maidelba.

Referring to the men rather than the mice, caught this morning at URL's Cafe on the Yahoo campus either debating the future of the Web, or just looking for some good cheese .


In What Language do Deaf People Think?

Thanks to the innovative social software application, Digg, I discovered this interesting post on how the prelingually deaf think since they've never been exposed to spoken language. The article notes that the gestural/visual nature of sign language makes it conceptually closer to written Chinese than English. DIGG readers may be naturally drawn to the article because of the implications for the cognitive and computer sciences...

read more | digg story

... this brings to mind a book I'm currently reading, Noam Chomsky's "On Nature and Language", as well as a favorite read from several years ago, John Searle's "Mind, Language and Society". With the Internet getting better at revealing so much worthy of my curiousity, I am humbled by the saying, "Life is short."


Now I Yahoo

Yahoo HQ Sunnyvale
Originally uploaded by lyndon.

Well, after commenting back in November 2005 that three capable competitors may have a lock on the future of consumer software, here I am at one of them -- Yahoo. My mission here is to help software remain free for end-users by improving Yahoo's already formidable targeted advertising solutions.

I am among many old friends from the former ExciteAtHome, and I see from Y!360 that fellow OpenLaszlo proponent Marc Canter makes the rounds here as well.