September 2010

Toronto’s Hot Tech Scene

by Joey deVilla on September 27, 2010

sarah prevetteSarah Prevette addresses the SproutUp crowd.
Photo by Brett Gundlock for the National Post.

“On almost any given weeknight,” goes the article in today’s National Post, Sprouting a Hotbed, “there is an event in Toronto somewhere where the technology crowd convenes to talk about the smartphone applications they’re building, to offer advice on each other’s business models and share Twitter marketing strategies with an eye to becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg.”

There’s a lot going on in my city’s tech scene, and it’s making splashes worldwide. The article covers some of the names of the people who make Toronto the tech-place-to-be that it is, including friend and former coworker at Microsoft, David Crow:

"If you were to ask me what’s in the water and what makes Toronto special, it’s that it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world," he said. "Much of what we think of as innovation is just the tension between different viewpoints and Toronto is the city of differing viewpoints … the whole point of building the community piece is to help the diversity and these folks come together and get excited about what’s going on."

Read the full article

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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If Art Galleries Ran Like the Internet

by Joey deVilla on September 26, 2010

Painting that reads "This painting is not available in your country"Found via Certified Bullshit Technician.

The painting is titled This Painting is Not Available in Your Country and was created by Paul Mutant (2010, acrylic on canvas, 12” by 10”). You can see more in Paul Mutant’s Flickr photostream.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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Not Hip to the Lingo

by Joey deVilla on September 26, 2010

Grace Baptist Church sign: "Real friends don't rub it in; they rub it out"Photo courtesy of Certified Bullshit Technician.

Someone needs to tell them they pulled a boner with their sign.

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A Bad Sign

by Joey deVilla on September 23, 2010

Seen earlier today at the corner of Melinda and “I can’t tell where the hell I am, some idiot put a ‘no left turn’ sign in the worst possible place”:

Street signs at the corner of Yonge and Melinda Streets, with a "No Left Turn" sign blocking the Yonge Street sign

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“The iPhone of Night Clubs”

by Joey deVilla on September 22, 2010

the iphone of night clubsFound via The High Definite.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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Now That’s Just Lazy

by Joey deVilla on September 22, 2010

Doorstop, still in its packaging, being used to prop a door ajarFound via Reddit. Click the photo to see it at original size.

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Jeff “Cooking for Geeks” Potter’s Book Tour

by Joey deVilla on September 21, 2010

Jeff Potter poses with his book, Cooking for Geeks, at HacklabTO

Last night, I caught Jeff Potter’s presentation in support of his book, Cooking for Geeks, at HacklabTO, a hackerspace in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Like most authors, he’s been touring around, promoting the book, but unlike most authors, he’s avoided the usual venues. Rather than talking at bookstores or pubs, he’s been holding his book gatherings in cosier settings such as living rooms and spaces like the Hacklab.

Cooking for Geeks is written with a specific sort of person in mind: one who likes to know how things work. It’s for the science buff who wants to know more than just how to cook the perfect steak, but why that method works. It’s for the tinkerer who wants to convert ordinary kitchen instruments into really cool cooking devices, either because s/he can’t afford those devices or because s/he’s driven to tinker. It’s about giving people the right mental models to understand the processes that happen when we take ingredients and turn them into dinner.

Jeff opened his presentation with a “What Type of Cook are You?” test borrowed from Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating, which help you better understand the way you see food and your approach to cooking. It turns out that I’m a hybrid of Type A (the “comfort food” sort of person) and Type D (the “experimental” sort of person). I’m the sort of person who often – but not always — follows the “Law of the Precious and Rare” at restaurants, ordering the thing I can’t get or make at home, or the dish that I haven’t had in ages.

Jeff’s presentation was eye-opening and even inspirational. Leigh Honeywell, who was also there, was so inspired by the part about sous-vide cooking and how you can put together your own immersion cooker by hacking a slow cooker’s thermostat that she’s sourcing the parts as I write this. Perhaps we’ll have tasty sous-vide steaks at Hacklab next week! Thanks, Jeff!

Cover of "Cooking for Geeks"If you missed last night’s presentation and you’re in Toronto, you’re in luck. Jeff’s doing his presentation today (Tuesday, September 21) in two places, and he’s got books for sale as well. He’ll be at:

Bonus! I bought an extra copy of Cooking for Geeks and had Jeff autograph it. I’m going to give it away in a contest of some sort – I just haven’t decided what sort of contest, Watch this space!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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