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Sarah Allen's reflections on internet software and other topics
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    It sucks to read about more shitty behavior at a tech conference. The sad truth of our society is that shitty conduct is common in every industry, especially those dominated by old power structures of white, straight men. I don’t like to hear those stories, but they don’t make me want to leave. [...]

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    A few weeks ago, the Smithsonian American Art Musuem held the first Smithsonian hackathon as a way to include volunteers in the process of re-imagining what a kiosk of the future might be for the Luce Foundation Center for American Art. Twenty-three people from the DC community spent the weekend in the museum, writing code and [...]

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    Working as a Presidential Innovation Fellow has changed my perspective on the US government. I still believe there’s a bureaucracy that threatens to crush us all under its weight, but I no longer see that as immovable or inevitable. There are people working in our government, relentlessly in pursuit of excellence. They [...]

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    When I learned to code, I was not very good at math and didn’t like it much. I had just started pre-algebra and struggled to make sense of abstract equations and abitrary rules that seemed to serve no purpose and were disconnected from my real world. I didn’t care to discover answers that [...]

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  • 12/21/13--11:49: origins of the smithsonian
  • In 1826, James Smithson wrote in his will that, if his heir were to die without children, his entire estate would go “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” This unusual bequest was even more… Continue reading

    The post origins of the smithsonian appeared first on the evolving ultrasaurus.


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  • 12/27/13--10:15: what is big data?
  • Svetlana Sicular (@Sve_Sic), Gartner Research Director, offers a Big Data roadmap (via rww article). One of the delightful surprises in her report is a definition of a data-driven enterprise that includes process and people: Fact-based decision making Treating information as an asset Business people responsible for analytics and acting on outcomes IT people responsible for… Continue reading

    The post what is big data? appeared first on the evolving ultrasaurus.


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    In 1997, I attended the Grace Hopper Conference for the first time. I was already quite accomplished in my career. My first startup had been acquired. I had worked as a software developer on both After Effects and Shockwave. My code was used by hundreds of millions of people. I believed that I had eradicated… Continue reading

    The post why more women conference speakers? appeared first on the evolving ultrasaurus.


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  • 03/03/14--17:33: inspiring student films
  • Last week I watched the first ever White House film festival. A couple months ago, students all across the country were invited to make short films about the technology in their classrooms or how they imagined their classrooms could use tech. The results are quite amazing. Of over 2500 submissions, 16 were selected and the… Continue reading

    The post inspiring student films appeared first on the evolving ultrasaurus.


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    Interview with Valerie Liberty of Balsamiq who recently submitted her first talk proposal. Val: My name is Valerie Liberty and I work for a small bootstrapped startup called Balsamiq Studios. Sarah: I don’t know if you can call Balsamiq small anymore. It is a bootstrapped startup that has emerged to become a force in the… Continue reading

    The post a first conference talk pitch appeared first on the evolving ultrasaurus.


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    Many museums, archives and libraries are exploring Linked Open Data to make their online collections more meaningful to researchers and to the public at large. From the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands to the Cooper-Hewitt in New York, our cultural heritage can be explored in digital form with links to help us dive deeper. These aren’t… Continue reading

    The post linking people through history appeared first on the evolving ultrasaurus.