Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lakesode Park and 565 Bellevue at Lake Merritt
Lakesode Park and 565 Bellevue at Lake Merritt
Salsa By Lake Merritt On Sunday
Salsa By Lake Merritt On Sunday
Kwik Way Grand Opening
Kwik Way Grand Opening

TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, Apps Based On Black Stereotypes Disturbing

Just finished watching the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon New York 2011, at Pier 94, and overall the presentation of new applications, or apps, was, as always, entertaining.

But this 2011 version had a small, mini, but still nasty trend: the presentations of apps based on black stereotypes.

OK, it only happened twice, but twice is the start of something.

The first presentation was around an app called Angry Black Man, where a cartoon character who's obviously black walks along and either is upright or slouched based on obstacles placed in his path. It was created by a team of two black programmers, and at first, I though the presentation was maniacally funny, but then considered that the brothas may be presenting some issues of their own.

Why make that before an audience that was mostly white and Asian? Did the makers think that it was OK to do because they were not in a black environment? Does it reflect their own self-hatred? That last question still sticks with me.

The last presentation at TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon NYC was by a white man and an Asian woman and called Yo Mama, an alarm based on the character stereotype of the big, large black mama called Big Mama and played by Martin Lawrence.

No one laughed.

That's when things started at TechCrunch Distrupt to get a bit disturbing for this blogger.

Now, you know that if an Asian programmer presented an app that was an Asian Stereotype, not only would no one laugh, but Asians and others like me would howl in protest.

Where's the concern here?

That's something to ponder. It's not TechCrunch's fault at all that this happened, but it is a sad commentary on American and World society.

Stay tuned.

TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, Venture Crapital Too Funny

Venture Captalists, beware! There's a game app about you now.

The TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon NYC 2011 is underway, and there are a number of interesting presentations. ight now, the "Facebook Time Machine" is being presented, and it's good for looking at how much your friends have changed in appearance. And another is called Let's Game, also for Facebook.

In fact, a number of creations are either Facebook or Twitter apps, but it's nice to see an app (er, application) that's not native to either one of those sites, but stands alone.

That's Venture Crapital.

The creation of Dmitri Cherniak, Wylie Conlon, Adrian Sanders, and Chris Bliss, they created this game in just 24 hours and as part of the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon NYC 2011. Here's the website:

It's a simple game that has you as the Venture Capitalist, basically throwing crap at startup ideas as they fly in the air.

Not sure how the judges are going to like the concept, but you can tune in and see here:

Online TV Shows by Ustream

Stay tuned.

TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon NYC 2011 Update

tcdisrupt_tc-4 by TechCrunch
tcdisrupt_tc-4, a photo by TechCrunch on Flickr.
While some sleep, well most, the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon NYC 2011 is still in full swing with Macbooks open - well for those still awake.

We can catch up on the doing via the Twitter hashtag #hackdisrupt.

What is the Hackathon? It's a kind of contest where teams of programmers get together and make a brand new application, one that could be the driving force for a new company and be the next "disruptive" technological approach.

First, it's important to note that there are various teams working on Hacks for apps, with the entries due at 9:30 AM, EST.

Second, when you're ready to submit your hack, you have to fill out the form here:

Thus far, at 2AM, bean-bags are out and, as Robert Francis tweets, are all accounted for. That means folks are sleeping.

Damn it.s two AM and all the bean bags are accountrd for.  #h... on Twitpic

Reports are that this Hackathon's larger than the 2010 version, which was bigger than the 2009 one.

The even culminates with a presentation at 10:30 AM and finally at around 2:30 PM, or 3 PM, one hack project will be selected to be part of the overall Startup Battlefield.

hackathon2k11  005

Where Are The Girls

Over at TechCrunch, a number of commenters noted that it was a "sausage fest" with only three women in a room-full of men. This begs the question of why there aren't more women at TechCrunch functions like this one, and the discussion continues...

Why not find and invite young women like Arfa Karin, who's the World's Youngest ARCast Programmer, and now 13 years old. She proves that the reason more women aren't in programming is because they're generally not exposed to the idea of being a programmer.

Not good.

Stay tuned.