Betabeat has had open government on the brain this week, so we called up Girish Chhugani, senior advisor at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT, pronounced “Do it!”) to talk about the city’s newly launched NYC Open Data initiative.
Mr. Chhugani is both the project lead for NYC Big Apps–Mayor Bloomberg just launched version 3.0 of the contest at NYTM–and the man responsible for transferring the city’s heterogeneous data sets on everything from traffic to crime to electricity consumption to school attendance into something more developer-friendly.
In front of a packed house, Jeff Glasse grasped a mike at the Village Lantern down on Bleecker. “My brother’s in the army and he’s always sending me pictures of himself—pictures of him and his cub pack, whatever you call the other guys he’s with,” the standup comedian said. “In every picture he sends me he’s wearing camouflage. I don’t really have the heart to tell him that I can see him, in these pictures.”
There was peal of laughter from a woman in the crowd.
Stand-up is a sideline for Mr. Glasse, whose website home page features two portraits of him. On the left Mr. Glasse is dressed in all black, a microphone in one hand, his other hand out in a “What’s the deal with…” shrug reminiscent of Jerry Seinfeld. On the right Mr. Glasse is standing in front of a white board, wearing glasses, holding an iPhone with a strange looking video camera attached. “I’m a comedian. I’m also the CEO of a tiny new company,” reads the website’s banner. “Which one makes me more pathetic?”
That self-deprecation is Mr. Glasse’s own form of camouflage. A student of 17th-century literature at Princeton, he worked in video production for ESPN and the United Nations before founding, DIGIT, a company that helped pioneer the field of interactive exhibits for museums. These days Mr. Glasse is is the co-founder and CEO of Kogeto, a small New York startup trying to revolutionize the way people shoot and watch video by producing the world’s first affordable, handheld, panoramic video camera.