Opinion
More RubyNation 2012 Videos
After a long hiatus, more RubyNation 2012 videos are going online at Blip.tv. We'll have all of them available as soon as we can.
Toastmasters 2012 Fall Conference
The Toastmasters District 29 Fall Conference was very successful. It was an interesting event to organize and run because it has a lot more moving parts than technical conferences such as RubyNation or DevIgnition. It featured an opening ceremony, a political keynote (the mayor of Herndon, VA), two speaking competitions, a variety contest, educational sessions, a leadership luncheon, a district business meeting, a raffle, fund-raising activities and a book sale.
My Global Warming Talk External Link
My talk, "The Apple Falls Down: Perspectives on Global Warming," is now available on YouTube. Check it out!
Featured Slideshare Presentation
I uploaded the slides for my Killer Business Models talk to Slideshare.net last week. I was extremely gratified today when I learned that they chose my presentation to be a featured selection on their Home page.
I Have No Klout
Apparently, I have no klout, which is a new measurement of social media influence. Check out the Klout web site for more information about this new statistic.
Finding Ruby Jobs
Here are some recommended sites for hunting down Ruby/Rails jobs:

http://jobs.rubynow.com
http://www.rorjobs.com
http://railswork.com
http://www.workingwithrails.com

Rails activity has also kicked back into gear in the Washinton DC area. MetroStar Systems and some other companies that I'm aware of are regularly hiring developers.
New Computer Consultants Meetup External Link
My friend, Charles Calvert, has just formed a new Computer Consultants meetup to replace the now-defunct Independent Computer Consultants Association (ICCA), which went bankrupt at the end of 2009. If you're interested in consulting, you should think about trying out one of this group's meetings.
Joining Toastmasters External Link
I joined Toastmasters last Wednesday to ramp up my public speaking skills, particularly since I've been regularly speaking at user groups and technical conferences. My long-term goal is to be as effective in front of an audience as speakers that I admire, such as nationally known speakers like Dave Thomas and Chad Fowler, or top local speakers like Jeff Casimir.
Choose Your Own Price External Link
My friend, Carl Fyffe, brought this interesting blog post to my attention. It's from a freelancer who has used a technique where he lets clients pay him what they think a task is worth.
KeenerTech Crosses Milestone
KeenerTech.com just recently crossed an important milestone. I implemented Google's AdSense program in December 2009. The site is getting enough traffic now, and has Google ads sufficiently integrated into the site, that KeenerTech.com is now self-sustaining. That is, the site earns at least enough through advertising to pay for its hosting costs. As a by-product, it also covers the hosting costs of the other sites that I host for various people.
Running Amuck at Quantico
Those pesky marketing folks at MetroStar Systems have done it again. Our company is sponsoring the Marine Corps series of races, and the marketing folks pounced on me (in a weak moment) and convinced me to sign up for the Marine Corps Run Amuck race on August 14th. This four-mile race engages runners in obstacles, mud pits, a water challenge and more beginning at 8:00 AM!
On Media Convergence External Link
Here's an interesting video perspective on media convergence. Quite nicely done,by the way.
Great Stats About Google External Link
This link shows some really interesting info graphs about Google. It shows just what an Internet behemoth Google has become.
FaceBook Stats External Link
OK, here are some really cool statistics about FaceBook. This was actually strategic for me, since I'm doing a talk on FaceBook and Rails in a couple of weeks at RubyNation 2010.
Perspectives on the IPhone External Link
Here's an interesting, and decidedly negative, perspective on IPhone apps from Mark Suster, an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. A lot of his remarks make good sense.
Cory Doctorow on Internet Productivity External Link
Cory Doctorow, writer and Internet commentator, compares the Internet to rock-n-roll, citing the fluid, chaotic nature of Internet businesses. He holds that the primary advantage offered by the Internet is "doing something X-percent as well with less-than-X-percent" of the necessary resources.
SlideShare Down For the Count
Started to get all of the KeenerTech.com presentations online via SlideShare, but they seem to be down for the count. All major functionality (uploads, etc.) seems to be down except for, fortunately, support for embedded presentations. You'd think they'd have some sort of contingency plan in effect or some kind of staff notification feature.
Grab Networks Lays Off Entire Ruby Team
Grab Networks, the media company known for making news video clips available on the Internet, just laid off their entire Ruby development team yesterday. I worked there myself until midsummer, so I know all of the folks who just got the axe. If your organization is looking for some good Ruby (or Java) developers, check out my Contacts page and send me an email.
Loudoun County #4 For Job Growth External Link
Loudoun County just ranked #4 in the United States for job growth according to CNN Money. There may be an economic downturn, but the IT market in Northern Virginia is hopping along just fine.
JRuby Team Jumps to EngineYard External Link
Oracle is in the process of acquiring Sun, where three core team members of the JRuby development team work. Charles Nutter and company have jumped ship to join EngineYard, a prominent hosting company and a major supporter of the Ruby community. In fact, they're one of the sponsors of our local RubyNation Conference. There's more information about this on Slashdot.org.
Charles Calvert Talk in Tysons Corner
Charles Calvert will be talking at the next meeting of the Independent Computer Consultants Association in Tysons Corner. His topic will be "Becoming an Independent Consultant." The meeting is at the Olive Garden. Networking begins at 6:30 PM, dinner at 7:00 and the talk will start around 8:00. The cost is $30 for non-members ($35 at the door), but this cost also includes the dinner and non-alcoholic beverages.
Voxant Merges With Anystream External Link
The official announcement went out over the wires today. My company, Voxant Media, just merged with Anystream. Voxant Media specializes in building an advertiser-supported distribution network for monetizing content such as video, images and text. Anystream produces products that process video, transcribe video as needed and generally make it available for distribution. Their most notable recent activity is streaming all of the content from the Beijing Olympics. Check out the official press release.
Reactions on the Voxant-Anystream Merger
Some more reactions to the merger:



Temporarily Unemployed
As of today, I am temporarily unemployed. Yes, this means that I am yet another ex-AOL employee, although my separation was voluntary rather than being the result of one of AOL's notorious rolling layoffs. Fortunately, my unemployment will only last three days, after which I'll start my new job as a Technical Architect for Voxant.


Dead Man Walking External Link
This blistering article in the April issue of Fast Company exposes the management problems, lack of vision and business ineptitude that have transformed AOL from a high-flying Internet company and world-class brand-name into a slow-motion train wreck. The article is also strikingly negative about Randy Falco's reign of error as the CEO of the organization.
Arthur C. Clarke External Link
Pioneering science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke has died at 90. He's best known as the author of classic science fiction novels such as "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Rendezvous with Rama" and others.

Astronaut Dave Bowman attempts to shut down the computer, HAL, in "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Joining Voxant
Well, after five productive years at AOL, I'm finally leaving for greener pastures. I officially submitted my resignation notice to AOL today. I'll be joining Voxant as a technical architect, effective March 31, 2008.


Surviving the AOL 2007 Layoff External Link
I was fortunate enough to survive today's layoff at AOL, which was particularly brutal for the Dulles, VA campus. Half of the development team that I worked for got cut today. Many of my friends and co-workers also got the axe. While I am, of course, happy to continue having a job that's a mere 5 minute commute for me, I can't help but think that, in some very fundamental ways, AOL has lost its way.