Hiptop Nation


(These entries are part of hiptop Nation, a communal weblog for anyone in the world using a Hiptop device)


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Final iCountdown
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The store re-opened at around 5pm with the big iPhone displays showing a countdown for the final hour. There are now rows of demo iPhones set up inside. My next door neighbor and her daughter came up unexpectedly. They weren't here to buy the iPhone; they need to consult with someone at the Genious Bar about their new MacBook. I told them this would be a bad night to try to get help. Checking the back of the line, it looks like about 150 people. The three guys behind me turned out to be day laborers who were being paid to stand in line to buy a bunch of phones for someone.

- mike lee - montgomery maul, md
Steve's Friday
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Just as I was finishing a late lunch of pizza, the Apple Store put up decals saying, "World Premiere Tonight at 6 p.m." and covered all the windows with black vinyl curtains.

Pouya Dianat, a photographer from the Washington Post is here to cover the premiere. He's bristling with long white Canon lenses. I asked him why his boss wasn't here in line with me.

MikePop IM'd me to point out that this is really Steve's Friday given that Pixar's Ratatouille is opening tonight too. Let the millions of dollars roll in!

- mike lee - just under 2 hours to go
Mr. Folksonomy Visits
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Thomas Vanderwal, the father of the term folksonomy, stopped by to say hi. He was running an errand to the mall and is not buying an iPhone right away. We had a great chat to catch up on our projects. He's travelling the world consulting on social media.

An Apple staffer has been handing out bottled water and a lady from Java Fresh just gave out $1.00 off coupons. There's a steady stream of people asking what the line is for. 100 people in front of the Apple Store all facing a giant iPhone monolith. It's amazing that they can't figure it out.

A lady just offered to take our picture. I'm pictured with Steve and Ed as we proudly represent the tech geek dads of Montgomery County.

- mike lee - just about five hours to go here at montgomery mall
My iDay Begins
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Well I'm definitely no Greg Packer as I sit here in the air conditioned Montgomery Mall about 25th in the iPhone line in front of the Apple Store.

I got here at about 9:15 and stores opened at 10. The mall perimeter doors were apparently unlocked at 7am and a group of about 15 high school and college students who had camped out in the parking lot all night marched in to start the line.

There are two security guards in front of the Apple Store who got on my case for taking pictures. Whatever.

I'll be moblogging all day, so check back.

- mike lee - 7 hours to go before I buy my iphone here at montgomery mall
Fun In The No Photo Zone
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Lunch today was at the Red Rock Canyon Grill which is situated in the Silver Spring No Photo Zone on Ellsworth Drive. This area, where photographers are harassed by private security guards, has generated some media attention recently (Fox News & BoingBoing). After the Red Rock, we walked across to the fountain in the plaza where Cici had her first run through. I took lots of photos without a problem, but that's likely because I focused only on the child. Now that these photos are up here and on Flickr, terrorists might be able to glean some tactical data to plan an assault on the nearby Cake Love store.

- mike lee - silver spring, md
A Cellphone Salesman Made Me Cry
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No, it wasn't a nightmare about buying the iPhone.

It was Paul Potts' performance of an operatic aria on the Today show this morning. Paul (really a cell phone salesman) won the top prize a few days on the TV show Britain's Got Talent. This was his first trip to America, and the first time a large US audience has seen him on television. He's returning to England right away to record his first album, which will be released in a month. He's also scheduled to perform for the Queen.

On YouTube: First audition - Nessun Dorma, semi final with mini-documentary, winning final performance.

Amazing. Watch.

- mike lee - wheaton, md
Inventing My Future
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Where my visit to the Media Lab earlier this month closed the loop on conversations started 14 months ago, today's visit was to set a firm stage for the future. Our CIO and my boss are the executive sponsors of our relationship of the lab and they were here today to kick off conversation on research collaborations. Pictured here are some snaps from our tour.

We started the morning with a quick visit to the One Laptop per Child Foundation to check in on their progress. SJ Klein answered our questions and demoed the latest hardware.

Cory Kidd in the Robotic Life group is a week away from placing his diet coach robots into homes for field trials.

I'm mugging with Jack Driscoll, Editor-in-residence at Media Lab and founder of the Silver Stringers, a group of senior citizen journalists that has been publishing an online newspaper for 11 years.

Hugh Herr gave us another overview of his human augmentation work in the biomechatronics lab. He described the next version of his powered prosthetic ankle.

Some of Tod Machover's students demonstrated their research in advanced digital musical instruments. Shown here are two of his classic instruments for kids.

After many thank yous and with pages of notes and lists of action items my colleagues headed their separate ways. I taxied back alone to the airport to catch my Delta Connection Comair CJ150.

More photos on Flickr.

- mike lee - cambridge, ma
To Boston...
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...after a 90 minute delay at Reagan. I took a taxi from Logan directly to a dinner with some MIT people at Atasca. Now back at my room, I discover that I left my Sidekick charger at home, so I'm shutting down to save some power for tomorrow.

- mike lee
SCRUMing
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I'm observing the sprint review...it's been pretty civil so far.

- mike lee - washington, dc
New Job, Same Office Space
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Today was the first day of my new job at the same employer. Illustrated here is the exciting view of my desk where I was reviewing TRS Reports and fondling my Swingline Red Stapler. I've even added some flair to my space with a snazzy set of Plush Emoticons.

My new title is Director of Program Management instead of Director of Client Services. I take on the business administration team and lose web content, community and metrics. Like my prior role, I will have to do even more work integrating the web with major initiatives across our organization. I have 2/3 fewer people to help manage, but a larger personal workload. A lot is still uncertain because my boss still hasn't announced the rest of the management team (I have no clue) or even the two new people on my team. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe the day after. Or maybe next week.

I keep the fun stuff I've been doing with the MIT Media Lab. Music Professor Tod Machover and some of his colleagues will have a major presence at our national convention in Boston the first week in September. And I'm back at the lab this Thursday with my boss to talk about a research agenda for the next year. Look for more blogging on human augmentation, robots, digital music, laptops for kids and more.

Now back to my TRS reports.

- mike lee - washington, dc
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