2014年6月22日日曜日

DebugDC

I joined a hackathon called DEBUG DC: Growthathon for Immigration Reform. Yep, it's a big problem.

201406 DebugDC

Opening talks

Joe Green, founder of fwd.us explains what action actually have impact to what magnitude using this "Advocacy Points".

201406 DebugDC

"Getting 5 minute meeting with member of congress is not that hard" says Joe. (And from what we see in the metrics, it's 1000 times more impactful than signing a petition). He also mentioned that what congressmen cares about is not about numbers, but intensity. The angry people screaming at town halls about immigrants are "intense". How can we get the online activists get more "intense"? We can't go to town halls- we are too busy for that. How can we get intense online activism?

Someone else who works in politics mentioned that many people in political world still don't care about the internet, Twitter and Facebook- what they care about is people sending mails, calling phones, yelling at meetings.

201406 DebugDC

SOPA/PIPA was a success not just because we went blackout online- of course that was powerful, but they cared because we melted the phone of congress. The question is, how can we cause such chaos in congress in other important issues?

Hackathon

The team I joined is going to build a game that enables users to realize how hard it is to get a green card.

This is the actual flowchart to see how hard it is to get green card in US.


Also, this is a nice visualization of how long "waiting for Green Card" can take. And it's scary to see some of the cases it takes nearly 25 years to get a green card.

Waiting for a Green Card
Article: Interactive Graphic: The Long Wait for a Green Card

So, we are building a game with several characters that users can play the roles, realize how difficult it is to get green card for some demographics, and join the forces to advocate for immigration reform. We are also using Facebook app to have users share to their friends, and fwd.us APIs to contact their legislators.

Those characters will be determined based on those parameters:
-country of birth
-country of citizenship
-family situation
-employment
-industry
-highest level of education
-financial asset

APIs

One of the things I didn't know till today is that fwd.us has several advocacy APIs:

Push4Reform (app.fwd.us/legislators)

This is a function that allows users to input their zipcode and returns their legislator, enables you to mail, call or tweet to that legislator, and view their stances on immigration reform.

For example, this is the result for Anna G. Eshoo, legislator for District 18 of California (where Google Mountain View exists).




API can be accessed here: http://staging.fwd.us/api/v1/explorer

This is what the API will be returning:


Letters API

This API enables users to send letters to legislators.


API can be accessed here: http://staging.fwd.us/api/v1/explorer

Selfies4Reform (app.fwd.us/selfies)

This is a service that enable users to take a selfie and send post cards with immigration reform message to their legislators.


API can be accessed here: http://staging.fwd.us/api/v1/explorer



BuiltByImmigrants (app.fwd.us/stories)

#BuiltByImmigrants is a service that features stories of how immigration has made a difference in America.


Looks like they don't have API for this.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki

2014年6月13日金曜日

Pocket Miku

Hatsune Miku is a singing voice synthesizer software that allows you to easily create vocal parts from scratch by just entering a melody and lyrics. Its newest release "Hatsune Miku V3" is available for Windows and Mac, and for English songs as well as Japanese.

Pocket Miku (NSX-39)  is a simplified version of Hatsune Miku for computers, it includes library developed by Crypton Future Media for NSX-1 based on the vocal library of Japanese Hatsune Miku. It is released under Gakken's "Otona no Kagaku" series, which is a popular Japanese science magazine.

And finally! I've got them, thanks to Saharu-san. Woohoo! :D :D

Pocket Miku

Pocket Miku

I highly recommend watching this video before use. It has English captions.

Gakken NSX-39 Demo&Review



==Basic modes==

You can use the keyboard to make Miku sing in 3 different modes:
1) do-re-mi mode with scales (default)
2) a-i-u-e-o mode with vowels (shift + vibrato button)
3) preset mode with 5 lyrics (shift + aiueo buttons)

==Buttons==

The device has a keyboard and 9 buttons.

1-5: a-i-u-e-o (vowels)
6: vibrato
7: shift
8: volume up
9: volume down
7+1-5: preset mode (lyrics)
7+6: do-re-mi mode (scale) <-> a-i-u-e-o mode (vowels)
7+8: octave up
7+9: octave down
6+8+keyboard: pitch bend (half note up)
6+9+keyboard: pitch bend (half note down)

==Keyboard==

Lower part of the keyboard has the scale for chromatic keyboard, and upper part of the keyboard has ribbon for portamento keyboard. You can play music using the stylus.

==Preset mode==

7+1: Konnichiwa Arigato (Hello, thank you)
7+2: Butterfly song (choucho)
7+3: Cherry song (Sakura)
7+4: Auld Lang Syne (Hotaru no hikari)

==Power==

1) Use battery
2) Use Micro-USB cable to connect

==Midi mode==

You can control Pocket Miku via Pocket Miku applications.

1) App to input lyrics

2) App to play in realtime
http://otonanokagaku.net/nsx39/appli/02/

3) App to change config (not released yet as of 2014/06/13 but coming!)
http://otonanokagaku.net/nsx39/appli/00/

How to use the apps:
1) Connect Pocket Miku with your computer via Micro-USB cable
2) Enter the app URL in your browser (Google Chrome Version 33 or later)
3) Enable Web MIDI API (chrome://flags/#enable-web-midi) and reboot browser
4) Re-enter the app URL and agree to TOS. You will be able to connect with NSX-39 (Pocket Miku)

==NSX-1 chip==

Pocket Miku uses an audio chip called NSX-1.

YAMAHA's LSI NSX-1- specification (English)

YAMAHA's open source sample apps for NSX-1 (Japanese)

Note: In order to use these applications for NSX-1, you must switch Pocket Miku to "NSX-1 mode" by pushing 3 + 8 + 9 simultaneously.

==Advanced settings==

- NSX-1 has 16 MIDI channels and Pocket Miku Voice is fixed to channel 1, so you can actually use other channels as GM voice set.
- NSX-1 has Reverb x 29 types, Chorus x 24 types, Insertion x 181 types and Master EQ (5 bands), so you can use those effects.
- You can customize the buttons using system exclusive message.

==Videos==

What you can do with Pocket Miku (Official video in Japanese)


"Stand Proud" with 2 Pocket Miku


Pocket Miku + iPhone Garage Band - Yamato



== Many developers creating apps for Pocket Miku! ==

"Web MIDI API, Chrome for Android (not Chrome Beta) - using a smartphone to send system exclusive messages to Pocket Miku"
Blog post in Japanese is here



How to send system exclusive messages to Pocket Miku using Android - Web app using Web MIDI API & Android Chrome Beta



-Using XG effects of Pocket Miku using SONAR
  Blog post (Japanese)
  Video
-Text Input to Pocket Miku for Android Chrome beta will work with IE
  (official app only works with Chrome)
  Blog post (Japanese)
-Created an app to enjoy the effects of Pocket Miku with iPhone
  Blog post (Japanese)
  Video

See also this blog post by +Takashi Toyoshima  summarizing Web MIDI implementation status on Chrome. (Japanese + English)
http://blog.toyoshima-house.net/2014/06/chromeweb-midi-api.html

==Blog post series by Fujimoto-san==

-Pocket Miku's value becomes 100x using USB connection with computer (Japanese)
-Using 120% of Pocket Miku's functions using Web Apps (Japanese)

==How to purchase==

You can buy it at Amazon.


==Troubleshooting==

Panic Command: 1+8+9 (Use this command to reboot the chip and initialize MIDI setting and re-register table data)
Initialize Command: 7+8+9 (Use this command to revert back to factory default setting)
Tuning Command: 5+8+9 (Use this command to fix the tuning, touch each note on the keyboard with stylus)
NSX-1 App Compatible Mode: 3+8+9 (Use this mode to use apps and midi data for NSX-1)


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki

2014年5月1日木曜日

Created a blinking jacket using EL Wire

I bought an EL Wire kit to make my jacket to blink :D

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I can make it light, blink slowly, and blink fast :)



This is what I bought- it's ready-made EL Wire kit at Amazon, so all I needed to do is sew the EL Wire on to my jacket :)



Ingresswear

Ingresswear

Next step:

I want to make something with EL Panel - looks very cool!



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki

2014年4月30日水曜日

2014 Google Personal Democracy Fellowship

Women who wants to join Personal Democracy Forum, listen up!

Personal Democracy Forum is a conference that crosses the world of technology and politics. PDF brings together a thousand top opinion makers, political practitioners, technologists, and journalists from across the ideological spectrum for two days to network, exchange ideas, and explore how technology and wired citizens are changing politics, governance, and civil society.

This is the video of keynote from last year by Catherine Bracy of Code for America, "What Techies Need to Know About Politics"



This year, PDF will be held on 6/5-6 in New York at NYU’s Skirball Center, and the theme is “Save the Internet | The Internet Saves,” focusing on the ways people can work together to keep the Internet open for free speech and association, and how the Internet itself helps make society and civic life more open, participatory, and innovative.

https://personaldemocracy.com/conferences/nyc/2014



This year's speakers include:
Clay Shirky Professor, NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Bruce Schneier Author & Security Technologist
Jillian York Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
John Paul Farmer Senior Advisor, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
Rebecca MacKinnon Co-founder, Global Voices Online
Sue Gardner Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Barton Gellman Journalist, The Washington Post
Ben Berkowitz Founder/CEO, SeeClickFix
Shannon Dosemagen Co-founder, Public Laboratory
And my colleague from Civic Innovation Team, Google - Anthea Watson Strong is speaking this year too.

In order to support female civic innovators who are wanting to join PDF, Google and Personal Democracy Media are teaming up to offer registration and travel fellowships for women working in civic technology to PDF 2014.

For the 2014 Google PDF Fellowship, we're looking for 15 women who are working to keep the Internet open or working on ways the Internet makes democracy stronger, or both. To apply, take a few minutes to fill out the application form by 12 noon EST on Thursday May 1, 2014 to tell us more about yourself and how you’re thinking bigger. Fellowships cover the full registration costs and include a meal with Googlers during the conference and possible partial travel stipends. All applicants will receive notifications regarding decisions by May 9, 2014.

You can apply here:
https://docs.google.com/a/google.com/forms/d/1FiD3CBGrHuZ-1x4ybAhl72efKmHMzGtjNNtPynClKiA/viewform

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki

2014年4月29日火曜日

[Photo] Shooting the fire dancers

I went to join the photography team shooting photos of fire dancers!

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Several things to note: shooting fire dancers is really hard.

It needs to be dark, the dancers moves fast, it's just sooo hard to shoot photos without them becoming blurry. And of course, I'm new to photography, and I just bought a new camera. All of the photos are taking with "auto" settings, and I have not done any post-processing of the photos. - Still have lots to learn! I don't have tripod nor flash...

Just to give you an idea of their movements, you can see those short video clips.





Anyways, I did my best to capture the dancers!

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Photos by other photographers:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zoxcleb/sets/72157644028013627/


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki