Monday, May 4, 2009

Is a unique user experience worth it?

Recently, I've noticed a lot more tweaks on Facebook that have walked that careful line between creating a unique user experience and completely abuse access to user info.

Believe it or not, I let the targeted advertisements go. I even let it slide when friends are suggested to me based on "mutual friends." But now I'm a little concerned.

I logged on today to find that Facebook is now recommending friend lists for your friends based on information about your relationship with them. So basically, Facebook has analyzed the content of my profile and my friends' profiles to tell me who is probably a "work" friend and who is a "school" friend. This bothers me. Not only does this make me feel like a third party is doing the networking for me, but it's analyzing my info and making bad decisions. I don't know a single bit of criteria as to WHY they thought Sam Nitz belonged on my work list and not my school list. If they're going to mine through our interests, education and places of employment, can they at least give us some rationale before making a lousy guess that my 60 year old father is a "school friend"?

Oh and BTW, suggesting that I become a friend of "sarcasm" means you're close to jumping the shark!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Goodbye Email at APCO

I remember my first week at APCO a colleague said to me:

“Still having fun?”

My answer, which I hope defines my tenure at APCO, was, “Always.”

If APCO hires people, not positions, then I walk away hopeful that I successfully filled the role of Steve Guttenberg’s Sgt. Mahoney from Police Academy.

For every political landscape overview, grassroots mobilization program, budget request and media kit, there was a Five Guys Friday, a transfer request to a Nyuuk, Greenland office, a hockey goal lighting fixture dubbed “the bad idea light” and a life-sized cardboard cutout of Admiral Akbar from the Star Wars films.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned at APCO, it’s that every one of us is capable of taking the work seriously, without taking ourselves too seriously. This is no doubt due to the amazing group of people assembled here that bring out the best in each of our personalities. People have mentored me and helped me develop professionally so that I am well-equipped for the challenges that lie ahead.

I hope to continue to stay in touch with all of you and have included my info below. I know you are all thinking I’m going to use this opportunity to plug my band, “Bonjour, Ganesh!” and our website, but I’m not. I leave “Five Guys Fridays” in the capable hands of Brian McLaughlin, the last remaining founding father from APCO’s “Bullpen Era.” Brian is more than capable in leading the charge to consume artery clogging burgers and fries each Friday and help combat “Health Fruit Tuesdays.”

I arrived as your colleague and leave as your friend. With that in mind, please enjoy this short video:

Adam Rosenberg (work email) (personal email)
(202) 253-3091 (cell phone)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New band's first show is TONIGHT!

My new band, Bonjour Ganesh, will be making their debut tonight at Velvet Lounge at 10 PM. We're an 8-piece jam band with a horn section. We're also celebrating our singer, Jessica Savage's birthday. Come on out.

915 u Street, NW - Washington, DC
Doors: 9PM, $8, 21+

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Conservatives Losing Gay Marriage Debate

Over the past few weeks, things have changed.

In 2004, the conservative right politicized the gay marriage debate by riding a wave of constitutional referendums in order to try to legislate hate and give people unwarranted reason to fear gays.

"If gays marry, everything you've accomplished with your nuclear family will become worthless!" was the overall slogan of the GOP in the aftermath of San Francisco recognizing gay marriage. After numerous states across the country passed constitutional bans on gay marriage, Republicans seemed to feel safer. As if their concept of marriage was now safe. Then a California Court said that gays could marry and quickly a referendum (Prop 8) was pushed by conservatives to put a stop to this. Overall though, you have to figure conservatives were never THAT worried. I mean, sure CALIFORNIA is going to recognize gay marriage. It's California! It's full of liberals. Though it's the 5th largest economy in the world, it's another planet to conservatives. A lost cause from the beginning. California is a state likely to allow bats to marry dogs, so allowing gays to marry wasn't a shock. They could rest easy after Prop 8 passed, they had constitutional bans on gay marriage in effect in states across the country and now a referendum approved by public vote in arguably the most "liberal" of all those states. If you can stop it in California, you've pretty much stopped it for good, right?

Oh, but that's where things got interesting. A few weeks ago, Vermont's legislature passed legislation recognizing gay marriage. Conservatives must have thought, "Whatever. That's Vermont. It's Howard Dean country. 'Nuff said."

But then came Iowa. Precious Iowa. In the middle of the country. With it's moderate leanings and "heartland" mentality. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that to not allow gays to marry is unconstitutional. This turned all the conservatives on their asses and should signify the exclamation point to how this country has shifted ideologically. This isn't a liberal state like California making a "liberal" ruling. This is IOWA. If states were baseball players, Iowa would be the Republicans No. 6 hitter. Not always on their side, but decent and can be relied on to not do something crazy.

The ruling showed that conservatives are going to have their hands full in this debate over the next several years. Like whack-a-mole, you'll hit one state down only to see another come up. They're chasing an idea that society has finally caught up with. The seemingly foreign concept that all of us are equal and entitled to the same rights and privileges with our spouses regardless of sexual orientation.

I'm proud of the Hawkeye State and the judges on that court. I'm proud of gay-rights groups that keep fighting this, even in states where even us liberals assume we have no chance. Iowa is just the beginning, I can't wait to see the look on the conservative leaders' faces when we cut them at the jugular and get a decent ruling out of true red state.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

DCist Photo of the Day

Originally uploaded by Phillyberg

Had another photo of some veggies picked as Photo of the Day by The comments are hilarious.

Monday, March 2, 2009

DCist Photo of the Day: March 2, 2009

My photo was named Photo of the Day for DCist! I'm excited because I'm still new to the photography stuff and am still learning. It's a nice feeling to know you at least have somewhat of a good eye!

Check out the original here:

Or click the post title to go straight to DCist.

Dogs picking fights?

Originally uploaded by Phillyberg

Some shots with the D70 that I took at Eastern Market this past weekend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eastern Market photo from last weekend

Eastern Market, originally uploaded by Phillyberg.

Still getting the hang of the new camera, but snapped this last Saturday and messed around with the coloring a bit to make it "colder".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I've converted to Mac

So after 28 years of being a PC guy, I've converted to Mac. Not to sound cliche, but I am never going back. Though getting here was an adventure. Let me explain with a timeline.

Thursday, January 29
7:00 AM - I wake up to find my Dell laptop frozen. Thinking nothing of it, I restart the computer. It freezes on the Dell logo as horror fills my veins. My immediate reaction being, "Ohmygod, am I going to lose all of my Phish mp3s?"

8:00 AM - Despite running in and out of the shower to check on the computer, it still has shown no progress and is dead, dead, dead. Funeral arrangements are made. I call my dad and tell him the computer situation. It is described as the "Kobiashi Maru" of computer crashes. That means "not good."

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM - Work, while thinking, "I'll get home and the laptop will be fine." Midway through the day I am convinced to look at a Mac by a couple friends. By the end of the day, I've already plotted my route to the Apple Store in Bethesda.

6:30 PM - Arrive home and head for Apple Store in Bethesda with the remaining Vegas winnings in hand.

7:30 PM - I purchase my first Macbook. In and out in 10 minutes. It's a thing of beauty. Though on a side note, elderly workers there make me realize that they aren't working at Apple Store because they're bored of retirement. It's because their retirement is almost dried up. Very depressing.

8:30 PM - I am home and turn on my Macbook. Immediately I plug my 500 gig hard drive in and start copying mp3s. I am prompted to do a software update which I do and then reboot.

8:35 PM - A grey screen appears on my Macbook upon reboot. I think nothing of it.

8:37 PM - The grey screen remains and my temperature rises.

8:40 PM - I am in full panic mode again as I've seemingly crashed an uncrashable machine. I unplug the hard drive and get the machine to shut down. Depression sets in.

Friday, January 30
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM - I spend with my dog at the behavioral vet (read: Doggy Therapist) where I learn my dog has anxiety disorder, is afraid of other dogs, and needs to be put on Prozac. Not doggy Prozac, but real people Prozac.

5:00 PM - I come home and find the macbook is working with no hard drives plugged in. I plan on taking it back. Somehow this doesn't happen until....

9:00 PM - I get to the Apple Store in Bethesda and find that it's closed. I am still computerless. For a guy who loves connecting and playing with music and photos (read: nerd) this is awful.

Saturday, January 31
1:00 PM - I take the macbook to the Apple Store in Pentagon City. "Big Tony" hooks me up and gives me an upgraded Macbook for $100 extra instead of charging me for the open box.

1:30 PM - I get home and set up the Mac this time having a theory that the hard drive is causing the problems. I start the unthinkable task of copying ALL my mp3s to my Macbook's internal hard drive. Since the hard drive is being recognized so long as its not on boot up, this seems like a great fix. I'll have all my songs and I can take the baby with me anywhere.

About 40 gigs in I realize that the mp3s going in are going to be greater than the space allowed. I start to do an audit of my mp3s and delete albums to make space as my thinking is that 27 James Brown albums and 18 KISS albums is a little excessive. Anything to save the 56 gigs of live Phish mp3s.

8:00 PM - Operation continues as I delete the excessive number of 10cc albums I seem to have acquired and the 35 Jimmy Smith albums I downloaded over the years.

11:30 PM - Pork-induced sleep caused by Chris and Mary Corcoran.

Sunday, February 1
1:00 PM - Travel to Apple Store in Bethesda AGAIN and get Microsoft office in exchange for iWork. Great trade. I still am copying mp3s all afternoon with no problems.

6:00 PM - I take the laptop to Chris' and watch the Superbowl as I audit my music collection.

10:30 PM - It suddenly hits me to try to restart the computer with my OTHER external hard drive to see if its the hard drives or the computer. My 80 gig hard drive works, my 500 gig causes crashes. Case solved. Only took me 4 days.

Monday, February 2
7:00 PM - I finish copying my mp3s to my computer, store a few in other places and talk to Greg Greene about how I can get this all to work. At last the computer is ready to rock. We agree that I need a new external hard drive and I'll run some mp3s off of it and some on my internal hard drive. Problems solved.

The tally in four days:
2 Macbooks
45,231 MP3s to start
39,951 MP3s to end
56 gigs of Phish
1 busted Dell Inspiron E1705

Excited about this.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New site and relaunch coming soon

I promise - I'm working on it!