The beating heart of technology in San Francisco.
A neighborhood in San Francisco called Soma is quickly becoming known as the heart of the San Francisco VR community, and the heart of…
A neighborhood in San Francisco called Soma is quickly becoming known as the heart of the San Francisco VR community, and the heart of frontier technology startups. If you are a techie, or if you love science, engineering, art, and math then this is where you want to be!
I love San Francisco, at night I am often in North Beach, for example tonight I am at Buster’s in San Francisco I order a veggie sandwich with only mayo, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, grilled jalapeno, & sourkrout oh and provolene cheese.
Article by Micah Blumberg, journalist, neuroscientist, “The Neural Lace Podcast” vrma.work and vrma.io
This is the password to Buster’s wifi by the way if you come in for a meal and a little bit of typing work, I honestly love this place, so consider my article a recommendation: Busters1952
My total ends up being about 11 dollars and some change. When the food arrives it is delicious.
So I am actually composing this post inside a note inside an Apple ipad with a cracked screen that a dear friend let me borrow indefinitely and I’m typing to it with a little $40 Logitech keyboard. I wrapped black duct tape around a metal business card holder from Office Depot and then I stuck a super strength velcro sticky to it and to the business card holder. There is also a new Glass brand screen protector over the screen so I don’t scratch my fingers, and I now have an apple pencil as well.
My $3,000 laptop was a Razer Blade 14inch Laptop from 2016 with the 1 Terabyte hard drive. On that hard drive was and is a recent interview I did with Ryan Pamplin at Meta, Ryan is also a Vegan and he took time out of his day to record an interview with VRMA, my friend Micah James Zayner was a guest reporter on this particular day, I helped Micah out with a list of starter questions but he handled the interview fine and threw in several of his own questions. There were like 5 episodes of the Neural Lace Podcast that had been unreleased, one was an interview with the famous Science Fiction Author David Brin, another was with the CEO of Ascendance Biomedical a genetics company that is reversing menopause and reversing aging. I had so much new and good content that I was working on, and it’s all locked up on that burned out computer.
My friend who loaned me his ipad pro indefinitely also told me that I should contact Razer via email and explain the situation to them, since it is under one year warranty I should be able to get a replacement. We hope. Last week I made a mad dash to try to recover the data from that computer, but I found out that the hard drive in my Razer Blade is so new to the computer world that there is no known external enclosure in existence that can read that harddrive outside the computer. That tiny terabyte SSD had by itself added a grand to the cost of my laptop which I had purchased in January.
So then I think to that fateful night, when my laptop died, when I think about what happened a huge smile comes to my face, it was truly a glorious way for a laptop to die. But to tell this story properly I have to give you a little bit of background information, so several weeks ago I was at AWE 2017, this was about a month before Neurable made a splash at Siggraph 2017 and I was checking out the new demo from MicrodoseVR which featured Muse’s new mask that fit into the foam padding of the HTC Vive. I recorded the Neural Lace Podcast #7 which you can hear on soundcloud and read about on medium.com https://medium.com/@micah31/the-brain-as-a-special-kind-of-hard-drive-4bd3a99dba4c
The brain as a special kind of hard drive.
June 7th, 2017 Written by Micah Blumberg, Journalist, Neuroscientist by hobby since 2005, Founder of the Neural Lace Podcast and Founder of…medium.comKeep in mind that this happened close to a month before Neurable was revealed to the world at Siggraph 2017. Sorry Neurable Muse was first to HTC VIVE VR at AWE2017. The Neurable is still a great innovation and I’m eager to buy one.
So what happened is that Android really liked the conversation we had in that podcast, and I think that in part because of that and in part because of previous positive interactions that I had with the Vision Agency I was recently allowed to become an official brand ambassador for MicrodoseVR and I could not have been more proud. So there I was, at an event, the second time that week, second day after finding out I get to be the SF representive of MicrodoseVR essentially my computer over heats, and it burns out its graphics card, at an event at exactly 10pm after serving people all night who were dancing with joy from getting to try MicrodoseVR, my computer was the $3000 laptop from Razer. Part of the reason it was so expensive was that it was a VR Ready PC inside a 14 inch laptop, a first edition, and it unfortunately has heating problems across the entire line.
(Image credit: Razer Blade, Cnet)
My understanding is that Razer is being very good about it and replacing laptops with a burnt out graphics card with a newer model of the same laptop. Coincidentally exactly at 10pm Microsoft Windows, in the middle of an event, at a VR demo, where I was hosting the demo, Windows forced it’s update on me, having been resisted by me so many times Cortana decided that she was fed up with my delays to get more work done and she forced a Security update on me.
Thanks Cortana. Now my laptop is secure and dead (haha). “The machines brought peace to the world…” quote Death Star Robot
So then I explain to the event organizers, and to the team at the Vision Agency, that my computer has literally died in the service of bringing great joy to the faces of happy, dancing, merry people at an event. It was the best way possible for any computer to die I say on facebook, and that post gets several likes, but unfortunately it means that I’m working from a broken ipad screen this month when I am out of the office, at least until I can get my laptop replaced by Razer with my data hopefully transferred to the new laptop. I really hope that Razer does not lose my data it would be so bad. Luckily most of my content is backed up on a backup hard drive it’s just the recent stuff that hurts the most, because the new stuff that I have recorded is so good. I can tell you that Android and Phong were very understanding and they may actually be sending out a computer to me that can be used for demo purposes so I don’t have to use my main work machine. My neural lace research of course wasn’t on that computer. I have many cloud subscriptions, and portable hard drives.
So thanks to River Studios I’m able to use one of their 5k 27inch Mac Workstations for now because that use is related to a stealth project that I’m working on with them that could potentially involve VRMA Virtual Reality Media and a lot of cutting edge new technology. So while I am working on a project with River Studios (VRMA) I am working on a separate project with River Ecosystem with folks from the original SFVR team.
This separate project that I’m working on: I can now announce, it’s called SFVR360 or sfvr360.com and that web domain will take you to a facebook group for San Francisco Virtual Reality SFVR which contains a pinned post that is the logo for SFVR360. So SFVR360 is a series of monthly events that we are going to host at River Ecosystem in San Francisco. These events, over the course of a year, will feature talks from speakers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math, these events will feature cutting edge new technology demos, including AR, VR, EEG, Self Aware Robots, Robots! Autonomous flying drones, Volumetric Video and point clouds with neural networks rendering the graphical resolution up a few scales when you lean into a particular part of the point cloud. We are going to have guest speakers like folks from major technology companies, folks working on AI Deep Learning Neural Networks, folks creating GPU processors, folks working on next generation mixed reality headsets, folks working on next gen augmented reality devices, folks creating VR headsets, folks bringing EEG to headsets, as well as MEG, ECG to VR, and AI to affective computing inside AR and VR. We are going to have so many amazing speakers this year and I couldn’t be more excited!
I will get to publish these talks on VRMA.work and potentially some of this content will go to our new sites when we launch (soon). So I asked my friend Joe, who has been with SFVR from the beginning helping to create events for the SFVR community of San Francisco. (We are proud to have hosted events at Gray Area Theater, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Upload SF and every year we are proud to do the VR Mixer on the first night of GDC with our friends at SVVR Silicon Valley Virtual Reality. Joe is my co-organizer, and he’s in charge of the event itself, while I am in charge of the media for the event.)
These events will feature VR demos (including MicrodoseVR thanks in part to my friend Troy who is going to bring his computer and his Vive to help out. Troy is also part of the SFVR team going way back, along with the original SFVR organizers Matt Sonic, Angelo, and Olga) Joe and I formed a new company, SFVR360 as a child company to the original SFVR which is still owned by Matt Sonic. I’m officially now the CSO Chief Strategy Officer and Joe is now officially the COO Chief Operations Officer for SFVR360, and yes it’s a real company, without our own registered trademarks, and yes we will pay our taxes and do everything correctly by the book. Joe and I are excited to work with River Ecosystem because it has long been a dream of SFVR to do monthly events similar to how our friends at SVVR do small monthly events and then one super large one in the Spring at the San Jose Convention Center.
River Ecosystem is a fabulous place for us, the new SFVR360 team, in part because of it’s location within the San Francisco VR community, and also it’s an exciting area because River Ecosystem is now sending out applications for developers to join their accelerator, this means office space and funding to run your own company, in a space with other cutting edge companies doing amazing things with AR, VR, AI Deep Learning, Robots, Volumetric Video, Blockchain, EEG, ECG, EMG, and more, it’s basically a macroscopic heart for advanced technology start ups in San Francisco. I’m a AR VR Neural Lace Journalist (for VRMA Virtual Reality Media) so I will be right there to discover and share the coolest stories from this new expansion to VR town San Francisco (Soma is VR town) and of course all other journalists are welcome to visit and create their own stories as well from the content they discover here. (Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to connect you with River Ecosystem, I will update this later with more information.)
So if you and a friend are ready to build your own frontier technology company you should come talk to River Ecosystem, or you can come meet the River Ecosystem team at our next SFVR360 event which I am happy to announce is on September 15th. We are going to send out a flier with more details soon but you have the web address sfvr360.com where you will find the latest information!
So as I consider my heart health by reducing my consumption of animal products when I go out to eat, I am also thrilled to be in the heart of the San Francisco VR community at the River Ecosystem and working with great folks, who have amazing talks, who are pioneering amazing new technologies, and changing the world with technology. I hope that you come talk to me about AR, VR, and Neural Lace, I hope you demo at our events, I hope join the accelerator, I want to film your speech in volumetric video for publication on VRMA, I want to interview you for the Neural Lace program and I want you to sponsor our events and our media! Email me at email@example.com