Monday, April 27, 2015

Kathmandu 1990. And can I blame the earthquake.

First time I went to Nepal was 1990. After a truly arduous journey through India, I was ready for the peace, calm and beauty everyone talked to me about in Nepal. I took the bus up to Srinagar, and then to Kathmandu. I never forget the moment I opened up my eyes in the bus after my dozing off for few hours of sleep; bus climbing the conic shaped Himalayas and hundreds shades of green shaping these enormous heights we were climbing. It felt like we were going into some land so taken away from rest of the world, so impossible to reach. When I got to Kathmandu, I felt like I found exactly what I came here for. The calm. The quiet and reserved but kind people of Nepal; beautiful small ‘village’ of Kathmandu with small streets. It was so easy to get around that I rented a bicycle and ventured out into nearby towns. Buildings were two story tall, the temples stood out. The summer of 1990 was also a very strange time, country almost quiet after the turmoil of many protests and demonstrations which turned deadly within the year but the king finally lifting the ban on political parties. At the time Kathmandu was almost the only ‘city’ in the country, rest pretty much small village like towns, and most of country largely with rural populations.

Next time I went to Nepal was 2004. I desperately needed ‘the calm’, and it was the only place I knew which would stop the train in my brain running millions of miles an hour. When I arrived to Kathmandu, the peace has left. The city became a city with multi story apartments and probably grew ten fold in size. I was sitting at the rooftop of my newly built five story hotel and could see the town stretched to the mountains; populated with slums starting at the edges.  The leftist front guerrillas and the civil war almost coming to an end and country making a decision to go back to peaceful times. I remember people with guns in their commando outfits coming down on the rural roads walking towards to Kathmandu in most unexpected places; and also trucks full of people waving Maoist flags at the outskirts of the overblown city. The long fought battle left people with so much emotion that they were demonstrating everywhere; but also the rural people tired of the fighting already left for the cities and the huge population explosion with new buildings.

As I read about the temple in Danbar square, built in sixteen hundreds, destroyed this morning; I remember all the many more peaceful cities I cherished in me, and how many of them will be no more lands of tranquillity and beauty, like what we saw in Damascus and Aleppo or Sarajevo. It is not earthquakes or the nature to blame. It is us who create oppression, poverty, forced immigrations, disruption to nature causing power struggles and wars. I am counting and list keeps growing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Partnerships Are Key to Tapping Wearable Tech Written By Me - Business of Fashion - April 7, 2015

From 13th-century eyeglasses to modern-day yoga pants, fashion and technology have always been inextricably linked. But to tap the promise of wearable tech, we need to foster a new ecosystem of players, argues Ayse Ildeniz of Intel’s New Devices Group.
Opening Ceremony and Intel's MICA | 
SANTA CLARA, United States — Wearable technology is creating a new space for innovation and attracting the attention of a diverse and growing ecosystem of players, from Silicon Valley to Madison Avenue and fashion megabrands to small designers with big ideas who are willing to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Even casual observers can’t miss the eye-grabbing headlines about Apple’s $10,000 smartwatch or recent moves by TAG Heuer and Gucci.
With retail revenues from wearable devices projected to exceed $53 billion by 2019, according to Juniper Research, there is little reason to wonder why so many people are watching the wearables space. But if wearables are going to make the transition from high-tech novelty to everyday necessity, technology companies need to partner with leading designers and fashion brands to produce products that deliver real value without sacrificing style.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Brief history of time- Yes, everything, and time, is relative.

Now that I am stuck in an airplane w wifi for 6 hours.

Saw it in a movie theatre, dragged by my friend who suspected I dig sci-fi. A good attestment to relativity theory where three hours was far too long with too much packed of everything Hollywood suffers from. based on the theory that if you stuff it with enough science gibberish, folks will think you are smarter than them.
-uber ride with my Ugandan driver.
We agreed how expensive Nairobi and how bad Kampala traffic is; the Ethiopian politics today and that Chinese are taking Africa over. We both miss our sisters; he hasn’t seen her since 1987 when he left home as a refugee; and me only two weeks with the barbunya pilakisi she left in my refrigerator.
-I spoke at the alumni panel at the grad school I went to last weekend in SF.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What will you MAKE?

Rome Maker Faire; transforming electronics—its all personal!

 I was with makers today in Rome at the opening ceremony in Rome maker Faire. It is our second year for entering into this space. And boy—what a year its been! We shipped two versions of Galileo board for Makers; we shipped Edison for promakers.
The most gratifying is to hang out with these incredibly creative techy people imagining wonderful things using technology. We demo’ed a motorcycle we prototyped with BMW which is smart, and you get all the information about the bike via a talking helmet! Our engineers did that in a matter of two weeks using an Edison chip… 7 billion people, 7 billion ideas to revolutionize how we think and how we make!!!!

I cant wait to wear that helmet on my headJ