Armen Chakmakjian

Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

24 hrs with glass

In Random, Social Media, technology on November 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm

No I haven’t left the house yet with it.

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General observations:

  • Snapping off a quick picture of the family at the table for leftovers was easy.
  • Once I got Evernote hooked up, saving a quick note to myself is easy (speech to text).
  • Sending a short email was ok once I got a couple of contacts added to the glass contact list was predictable and easy.
  • Because I’m an iPhone user I don’t get text messaging/sms or directions which stinks.
  • Sharing a picture to any service, email, Evernote wasn’t too bad, although not having the ability to annotate the picture with text (using text to speech for a caption) seems like glaring dumbness…Or the ability to do so is so non-obvious that it’s a massive usability miss.
  • Googled a few things and it is ok.
  • I did figure out how to use glass to send a message via ifttt email to my wemo outlets. I’d have used sms to do this, but for the iPhone limitation. The truth is that I don’t need glass to do this, but it was fun for a demo. The time delay for email processing is significant though. I say “send a message to kitchen light…Hashtag kitchen off” and glass figures out I mean #kitchenoff and sends it. 30 second later, the wemo reacts to the command.
  • I haven’t yet figured out how to send a text tweet or a Facebook status update, even though I can share a picture.

Will keep experimenting…

A facebook status from a friend triggered this thought…

In Random on November 24, 2013 at 4:34 am

Ran across this today, and still feel that the commoditization of information is a problem for humanity

The Urtaru Chronicles

When I was growing up, my father bought encyclopedias and an atlas…that gigantic atlas that always seemed bigger than me.    We already had a set or two of grocery story kids encyclopedias and then he bought the bicentennial version of the Encyclopedia Americana and built a built-in shelf unit in our Den for it…So when you watched a movie or the news, the darn encyclopedia was staring down at you.   And off in the corner of the room, the Atlas leaned up against the wall.  Information was available, and he showed that it was important because we had to pay for it, prominent because it was where the family gathered, and the message: to not use it was stupid since it was right there.
This led to the following behavior:
  • Watch Cleopatra, look up Cleopatra.
  • Watch Peter the great, look up Alexander Menshikov.
  • Watch 3 mile Island disaster…

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Be careful what you cite from the internet…

In College, history, Literature, Random, Science Fiction, wine and whiskey, wow on November 7, 2013 at 4:51 am

So one of the things that a modern computing capability has provided is the ability to search for your electronic footprint. What I see when I google myself is, starting from the top, my LinkedIn profile, then Facebook, then twitter, then YouTube, Scribd and this WordPress blog. There are several other things also. Interesting, but expected.

Then I went over to Google Scholar. I had written and posted a couple of my research papers from my MBA studies as a part of my portfolio and cross referenced those to LinkedIn. I figured that if a prospective employer wanted to poke around and see something beside my science fiction novel, they would find that useful and interesting. I did expect to find the works of various professors Chakmakjian including my cousin, a physicist, as well as the famous chemistry professor from Tufts HH Chakmakjian (father of Alan Hovaness, the composer) to whom I cannot rightly claim to be a relative since I have no evidence. There are also some research done by real doctors Chakmakjian, medical research types that had published some studies. None of my research articles come up, because I never had them published by a journal…so google scholar skips over my work.  Fair enough.

As I said, that was expected; However, what I hadn’t expected was for one of posts on a website in 1997 to be cited…twice.

A post, not a scholarly treatise, not a research paper, just a quick ditty I wrote on the Armenian Language on a website that was gathering info on languages of the world. It never said, this is a scholarly site…it just asked for some info on each language. So figured, what the hell, I’d do it since there wasn’t any entry for Armenian.

At the time (1997) it was so palpable that what I wrote was loose and unscholarly that a bunch of professors of Armenian descent  in California electronically came after me and asked me to state my credentials (and verbally bludgeoned me with their own credentials). I wasn’t trying to cause trouble, nor was I going to claim that I had done research, I just told a story and put it on a site.  The biggest offense I made at the time was conjugating a particular verb incorrectly in the eastern Armenian dialect.  That is what set off the bi-coastal rockets.

Anyway, I didn’t argue with the guys, I immediately apologized and asked the site owner to please take my entry down because I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. I also asked the offended intellectuals to write a similar article that would be much more definitive in place of mine. From what I could tell they never did, it being much more important to attack me, rather than fixing the situation by replacing it with their more learned opinions.

Sometime in the early part of this century, the site went away, probably from lack of interest.

Well, that’s where you get to the title of this post.

Evidently, Google Scholar tells me that my ditty was up there just long enough for 2 different scholarly works to cite this thing I wrote. I mean that thing wasn’t up on the site for more than maybe 6 months…and it did not have references, it was obviously written by a layman telling a story in fable form…why would someone cite that thing in an article about the phonetic shift of Armenians in Jordan. YIKES.

Anyway, all I’m saying is first check your references. If you’re using a web page as a source, well, think about whether that piece of information is worthy of citing. I write a lot of stuff up here, but if I see my blog post on scotch being cited in a historical essay of how the islay scots used seawater to douse fires started by the danes, and then extracted that water from the burnt wood and saved it for a thousand years in a time capsule so that their descendants could use it to make peaty malt in the 1800s, I’m going to be really scared.  Either that, or it confirms my belief that I can use Jedi mind tricks to convince people of things, and that that power extends to my writing on the web 🙂

Taft and Roosevelt

In Random on November 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Thought this was a touching paragraph in a book review of From Teddy Bear to Bull Moose http://on.wsj.com/1ghK06b

…we really do miss statesmen (and the personal political theater they lived in) these days.


It took years before the old friends reconciled. Ms. Goodwin touchingly describes the scene, in 1918, when they did. Taft learned that Roosevelt was dining alone in the hotel where Taft was staying in Chicago. A thoroughly decent and forgiving man, Taft immediately went to the dining room and greeted Roosevelt, who returned the greeting warmly. The other diners stood and applauded. A few months later Roosevelt died in his sleep. As Vice President Thomas Marshall wrote: "Death had to take him sleeping, for if Roosevelt had been awake there would have been a fight."