aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
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FOO Camp 2004
Posted by dav at 2004 September 11 09:51 AM
File under: Events

Hot on the heels of our return from Burning Man, Mie and I find ourselves at O'Reilly HQ north of San Francisco for the now annual FOO Camp (Geeking Man). The great conversations started early this year as I gave a couple of friends, Anselm "Andy" Hook and Jason Harlan, a ride up from San Francisco.

Anselm has been working on Thingster, a location-enabled personal content publisher and global search engine. He's also using the thingster code base as the back end for a book recommendation service called books we like. Friday morning before we left I mentioned to him that I have never entered my books into one of these systems like books.burri.to (now defunct) or mediachest.com because I'm too lazy to type in all my ISBN numbers and my cue cat is fritzing. I told him that I ought to be able to take a digital photograph of my bookshelf and submit it to a service that analyzes the image to indentify the books. The software would need to separate each individual book and then use either OCR or a similarity index to previously identified books to generate the appropriate book title. It could probably even identify the publisher edition. Anselm mentioned my idea to lemonodor and within minutes the lisp master had whipped up a demo app that could extract just the spine of a book from a photo of his desk. Unfortunately his code is owned by his employer, but it's an encouraging proof of concept.

Jason "everything I own is in two bags" Harlan has been living a nomadic hacker lifestyle, travelling through Eastern Europe and elsewhere along the thematic lines of locative and art technologies. He says he's met at least 150 interesting artists and technologists in the past year or so, and that by having so little possessions and anchorage it has forced him to become very skilled at networking in order to meet such needs as places to stay, work, things to do, etc. As a perennial introvert his life seems to me to be a bit like learning to swim by jumping into the deep end of the pool, but I find myself wanting to follow his lead as I'm sure it will pay off major dividends for him, personally and professionally.

The Saturday sessions are about to start, so I'll post this and be off. I'll try to post some session summaries later.


hey Dav,

How do all you guys snaggle the sweet invites to foo camp?

With all these geowankers in town, we all should have a meetup one of these days. I am in SF for a post-burningman visit myself.

see ya

Posted by: mikel_maron on September 11, 2004 03:05 PM

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