Mr. Starr-Street Goes to Washington

I moved to Seattle, Washington from San Francisco 5 years, 4 months, 13 days ago. When I moved here I had the intention of staying here 10 years and building up a career and buying a house. Well I received an offer to be relocated with the company I’ve been working for almost a year now to Washington DC and I accepted it. Tomorrow will be my last day in Seattle as my husband and I are driving from Seattle to Missoula, to Mount Rushmore, seeing friends in Wisconsin, family in Ohio and finally making it in my car to Washington DC next Sunday. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities, new adventures, and the next phase of the journey of our lives together.

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While I appreciate some of the great things which happened while living in Seattle, it never felt like “home.” There were some horrific people who formed organizations with the specific intention of making my life miserable here. There were also nice people and friends made along the way. I just felt that the negativity never outweighed the good in people here.

Thus begins a new chapter. We are moving from Washington to Washington, most likely leaving the former Washington behind for good. I don’t see any redeeming qualities in the people or places I met along the way and have no reason to ever want to come back to a community with so much compensatory hatred and need to tear down those they don’t like, often without ever getting to know the person first.

This of course is meant for the people in my personal life, I obviously wouldn’t be relocating with the company if I felt this way towards coworkers.

Here’s to a fresh start and new experiences every day.

Goodbye Seattle, wish I never knew you.

Google Glass Says Goodbye

Just under 2 months ago I wrote a post about how I was stopping using Google Glass from my daily life and putting it up on the shelf. Today Google has said that it’s putting the Explorers which helped show the world Glass on the shelf with the end of their Explorer Program.

2015/01/img_0074.jpgI’ve been reassured a by a few Glass employees that the warranty will still be applicable for the duration originally listed, and they subtly stated that issues such as #Foilgate will most likely be repaired in the future even out of warranty.

I’ve moved far away from Google though … I am now back on an iPhone (6 plus). I gave up the iPhone in favor of an Android phone when I got Google Glass because it tethered for free on Android, SMS was fully functional and two way on Android, and it just worked better if you had an Android phone. The One Plus One was by far the best Android phone I’ve ever had btw.

So now that I’m back on the Apple side of things, using Glass would entail a blue tethering bar on my phone all the time and not being able to send texts which eliminates a lot of the functionality I originally used Glass for.

I even gave up my Moto 360 (Android Wear) device and went back to a Pebble. It’s funny how the Pebble which was the original mainstream smart watch is now the dumbest in the bunch. There is no color screen, you can’t talk to it, nor touch it’s screen. I miss a lot of that functionality, but am anxious to get it all back and more with the Apple Watch.

For Glass though it is sad to see them giving up on the people who spend thousandS on the device, travel to buy the device, accessories, etc. They have stated that the hardware will continue to function and that the apps will still work, just no new development on this current hardware or apps. Also Nest’s creator Tony Fadell is overseeing Google Glass now as well as his Nest CEO responsibilities.

Google has stated that Glass is graduating from the Google X labs and into a real division of the company. So then why does it feel like they’ve given up. I guess closing the Explorer program is a clean way for them to separate from old form-factor and start fresh. It also leaves us hoping that they would let us exchange our Explorer Edition for a Consumer Edition out in the cold. It looks like we won’t be getting a free shiny upgrade. All of the feedback, phone calls, messages, talking about the product made us glorified beta testers who had to pay for the privilege to be. We are now left all alone with nothing but a 2 year old piece of hardware which still can’t even make it a whole day without a charge or 3 along the way.

Sales of the Explorer Edition end soon, and maybe that will drive up the price on sites like eBay and Swappa, but knowing that the hardware is end of life who would pay a premium for something that is nostalgia now?

My Glass still sits in the box. Unopened. Unused.

It’s nice to know that the looks I get from strangers now are because of how I look as opposed to the $1500 computer on my face.

It’s funny how far things have come in how I feel about the product, but if you search the more recent articles on Glass it seems as if I’m not the only one who has felt fatigue.

Will I buy the Consumer Edition of Google Glass? Let’s just say they really need to wow me on features, use cases, inter-OS-operability, and most of all battery life before I can even commit to a semi-firm yes to that question.

I’ve even begun to change my opinion on venues which don’t allow Glass. For example Purr Cocktail Lounge banned Glass one year ago this week and I haven’t been back since. However it was my favorite place to go for drinks. With more venues like The Lobby closing on Capitol Hill, and my use down to zero of Glass, I’d honestly like to go back … even though they don’t support or allow a product which I once was passionate about. I haven’t yet, but I’m open to the idea of it. Lost Lake however, fuck Dave Meinert who is an asshole for asshole sake and nothing more than a media and money hungry disgusting man.

I guess today’s announcement today about the Google Glass Explorer Program helps renew some hope for the product. However, there is a lot of work to be done, and maybe just maybe Google is amping up it’s efforts and really working to address these. I wish the team all the best and continue to talk about Glass on nearly a daily basis with those around me, I just hope that it can truly become the moonshot that they once promised us and that the social stigma against wearables of this type are won-over by widespread adoption.

The Daily Show with Nick Starr

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[Update: Here’s the video and Behind The Scenes Photos] Okay that title might sound a bit presumptuous, but you have to say something to shock people into clicking on the link on Facebook or Twitter to read this… I mean blogs aren’t what they used to be. No one reads these long paragraphs anymore.

As some of you might’ve noticed, my partner Brian and I went to San Francisco back in May for a day. Flew in on a Wednesday night, were put up in a hotel, and flown back the next evening. My ticket was paid for by Viacom, the parent company of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Brian was able to go because a friend helped us out with a buddy ticket.

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Why was TDS flying me out to SF? Well turns out my public incidents with Google Glass caught their attention and the day that Google Glass was publicly available they started thinking about a segment gathering people who have had public incidents with Google Glass.

I spoke with them every day or so via email and phone till eventually  they said here’s your plane ticket and hotel. See you in 2 days.

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I wasn’t sure who else was going to be there or even who was going to interview us. Turns out they gathered a great cast of Glass Explorers.

 

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We all met, some or most of us for the first time in a hotel conference room where there were large lights, cameras, and a panel of 6 chairs. Some makeup and mic checks and we were ready to go. They sat me front row center and in walked Jason Jones from TDS. He sat in front of us and asked us questions for 3 1/2 hours. We all answered honestly and seriously, but this is The Daily Show. They are bound to turn it around and make us look funny, but we all knew that going into it. Everyone had a different reason for being there. Some to get their story out, some to help educate, and some because how many times in your life is The Daily Show going to seek you out? As in most of the interactions I have with others about Google Glass, I wanted to help educate what the device can and can’t do and explain the limitations and future for the device. Trying to show others why it is so amazing and how it will fit into their lives.

Well I can’t say if a few of these moments will make it in, but at one point Jason and I did a speed test to see who could Google him first. Him with his iPhone and me with Google Glass. At this point, I totally spaced his name and said, “Ok Glass, Google John.” He claims that he narrowly beat me, but also that, “He actually Googled the right person.” I also offered my Google Glass to him to try on and use, which he did and the producer seemed to really like that idea, BUT there was no cell signal nor WiFi where we were so he couldn’t actually do anything online with it.

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At one point he was stating that they are ugly as fuck and unfashionable. I tried to rebut by saying that they have been in Vogue and on various runways. He says, “yeah but you all still look like unfashionable douchey fucks.” I replied that, “Fashion is subjective” and he looks over at the camera and does an eye roll. I actually hope that part makes it, especially since I wear the same thing every single day it is a bit odd for me to be talking about fashion.

All in all it was a great trip and experience. We crammed in as many visits with SF friends as we could and tonight the episode airs. Set your DVRs, check Hulu.com tomorrow or The Daily Show’s website. No matter how the editing comes out, I had a great once in a lifetime experience and wouldn’t had changed a thing.

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I say all of this BEFORE I’ve actually seen the episode TONIGHT. I might have have a different opinion once it airs.

Seattle Weekly – Portrait of a Glasshole

Seattle Weekly photo

On January 2nd I received a Facebook message from Vernal Coleman a reporter for the Seattle Weekly. After all the horrific things posted about me on various blogs and articles as it related to the Lost Lake incident, I was hesitant to speak with him. He referenced the Lost Lake incident, but it seemed as if he had a different angle on the entire story and wanted to know my story, and how I felt it played out in the media.

I ended up meeting with him at Starbucks and spoke for a few hours. We would meet twice more, both times an hour or more to discuss various items as they related to Google Glass, my work life, my home life, social media, past events in my life, and many more topics. He eventually asked to meet with Brian Street, my partner of two years.

So much time had passed since our initial meeting that I wasn’t sure if the story would ever be told, but after some fact checking and a photoshoot, on April 8th my story came out in the Seattle Weekly. I read the entire thing online, then ran to the newsstand to pick up copies for family and myself.

The story told very well. It took up 5 pages of the Seattle Weekly. Brian said that he was glad that finally people are able to see the Nick that he knows. Not the person that people warned him about when he first moved to Seattle.

So if you haven’t read it yet, check it out here!

Why There Won’t Be An iPad Mini

Last week Apple released their entire new line up of iPhones and iPods. They have an iPod at every price point from $49 – $399. The new  iPod touch 5th Generation (4″ model) won’t be out till next month and STARTS at $299. The 4th generation model is still $199.

A Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD start at $199. This is the same price as the OLDER iPod touch. Apple wouldn’t dare cannibalize the sales of their “most popular iPod ever”, the iPod touch, by coming in the market with a product bigger, faster, better, and cheaper or the same price. It just doesn’t make smart business sense to sell a product with a 7″ or 7.9″ display size (two of the rumored screen sizes) for the same price as their 3.5″ or 4″ devices.

What about a $399 iPad Mini? That is only$100 less than the full sized, fully functional iPad, and if you get a refurbished iPad from Apple with the same 1 year warranty, it would cut the difference in price by only $50.

Therefore for those holding their breath for October or later for an iPad mini, I hope you don’t end up looking blue in the face like Violet Beauregarde. Not saying that in the future we won’t see an iPad mini, but I just don’t see it in the foreseeable future.

 

Update: Oops guess I was wrong.

Brian Tyler Boydston

Last night I found out that a friend of mine killed himself after he was bullied for being gay. Brian Tyler Boydston and I started talking on Twitter, and eventually became friends off of just social networks. We would call and talk and text each other when we just wanted to chat.

With high college course load and social life we lost touch but still would send each other the occasional text or message.

Last night I found out that he killed himself after being bullied for being gay.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

It is horrible that there are people out there who would drive a person to such an act… People like Matt Lederer and Chris Mallgren need to be stopped! They suggest that gay people kill them self! Their words are hateful and evil. No one should ever feel the need to kill them self, let alone have people like Matt Lederer and Chris Mallgren telling them directly that they should commit suicide.

Please stop spreading hated! It is supposed to get better, but when people are telling you that you should kill yourself, how does it get better? These people need to be stopped!

2012 Resolutions

First … happy new year to everyone.

My first and foremost resolution in 2012 is to: Get a job!

I’ve been unemployed for the enteritiy of 2011, and really want to get back to work and find something I enjoy doing. This is the most critical and important goal this year for me… mainly because if I don’t, I’ll end up on the streets… and I don’t want that again.

Second goal/resolution is to: Get below 150lbs and stay there

It’s no secret that my entire life I’ve struggled with my weight, and only in 2008 did I decide to do something about it. The lowest I’ve ever gotten is 146, but I had a personal trainer then… I’d like to get below 150lbs (a goal which I accomplished before moving to Seattle this past year), but also to stay below that mark. It is kinda cool when you are the gym weighing yourself, and you only have to put the 100lb weight plus the slider vs the 150 plus slider.

Third and this seems like it is a reoccuring theme in these resolution posts is: To find a guy to date

I’ve given up almost totally on finding a boyfriend…I just don’t ever see anyone caring for me or even liking me long term to want to be my boyfriend… so I’d settle for someone who I can go out on more than one date with… Still trying to break that “never been on a 2nd date” curse.

All in all, I’m looking forward to 2012. I hope you meet and excede the goals you have for yourself this year!

Merry Christmas

2011 is drawing to a close… I’ve made a lot of changes in my life… and am glad about each and every one of them.

It is now time to turn to 2012 with a renewed hope… There are a lot of things that I had hoped 2011 would bring me, like a job, a 2nd date and/or boyfriend, but alas these items still elude me.

I’m excited that 2012 will finally bring me a new job… it certainly better or I’m going to end up being homeless again…this time for REAL… So keep me and my future in your prayers and I’ll do the same for you.

I hope you have a great day with family, friends, loved ones, a Happy Christmas, and a joyous New Year.

This is me…

This has got to be one of the most thought out posts I have ever written. I never thought I would be writing this, but here it is…. When I moved to California, I had several agendas for leaving everything and everyone I ever knew. I wanted to be around the tech sector and all of the great people who are involved in the community out here. I enjoy going to all of the great Web 2.0 parties in the area, and I have made some great friends since being here.

I also wanted to find a job where I could feel free to express myself that would be an extension of all of my passions. I took the first job I was offered after moving and was very happy there, but I didn’t like that it was located 25 miles away from the city I drove 3,000 miles to be close to, and that I was living even further outside of San Francisco. I didn’t feel free to come and go as I wanted. Three weeks ago I gave my notice at my previous job providing 3 weeks of lead time for them to find someone to hire, and I could train my replacement before I left.

At the same time, I have accepted a job offer in a field which some may or may not understand. I mentioned earlier, I wanted a job that completely encapsulated what I care about, what I enjoy doing, and who I am. The job is essentially the same as the last company I was with, in that I am managing multiple servers, websites, newsletters, and all of the IT backend. I will also be handling AV aspects of the company, including video streaming, etc. This is a great opportunity to branch out my knowledge and passion for video which I has laid dormant since my high school days.

I really feel that my love of visual media, and love of technology management make this a great move in companies, but there is one other factor which plays into my choice in working for this company. The company is very involved in promoting the messages of safe and consensual sex between men. This is something I harp on daily on other sites where I write. I think the prevention of spreading sexually transmitted diseases is a message that needs to be expressed in the gay/bi/lesbian/straight community. This company provides a safe and secure location, as well as protection for everyone who visit their locations.

They also provide weekly testing and even someone who comes in and will sit down one-on-one to offer advice or someone to just talk to about your concerns. The company works closely with Public Health Departments, Community Based Organizations, county and state HIV/STD officials, the CDC (in U.S.), the research community (UCSF, UIC, CAPS) and many others – to create collaborative relationships which support and expand HIV and STD awareness and testing programs while also maintaining outreach initiatives that are effective, user friendly, and creatively inspired.

This is who I am as a person, and I don’t want to lie or be ashamed about that. Many people have asked me about this in the past, and until now I have been less then upfront and honest, mostly because I was afraid of what others might think. I now honestly don’t care. I have always tried to be a very open person about my life, and don’t know many people who openly admit to living in their car for over a year or any of the other crazy things I have done. I feel that in the spirit of being open and honest that I would like to express that I am gay. While I have never had a relationship with a guy, I feel as if I would be ready to if that opportunity presented itself. I don’t feel as if a person’s sexuality should stop you from caring about someone for who they are.

The company you work for should be an expression of your own passions, and I feel as if I have found one that has truly allowed me use my talents while at the same time not having to hide who I am. I understand that this news might shock some people, and others not so much. I have not said any of this sooner, because up until now I have felt too scared to. Even as I write this I am trembling. Due to the nature of who I am, and based on past experiences, I do not wish to disclose the name of the company which I will be working for, and hope that you can respect this. The company is very reputable and has offices in the US and Canada, which will allow for some travel with the job as well; something I am looking forward to greatly. I will be working in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro district and have found a place to live within walking distance of my new job.

That being said, I appreciate the support of those who have found out this information through various means, you have helped me more then you could know. This is something which is very difficult to do, and I am glad to have such great friends to help me through this time. I look forward to your comments and feel free to drop me a line anytime.

Thanks for listening,

Nick Starr