W Hotel Invasion by awesomize.me members Last Night

I headed to W Rooftop Hotel last night to hang out with a few friends. As I always, I ordered my red wine and started cruising aroun to check out the place and the people.

The place is just Awesome! What’s even more awesome is the view. From the 11th-floor balcony at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, you can see  Washington is spread out right in front of you. You will also be able to see all the monuments – the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the White House’s East Wing which is only a block away, and more.  You can also watch planes taking off from Reagan National Airport or see the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Old Town Alexandria. It’s just beautiful! Read more of this post

Awesome Washington, D.C. Last Night 4th of July Celebration

We kicked off our 4th of July celebrations with the annual National Independence Day Parade and capped it off with the classic fireworks display above the National Mall.

The festivities included performances by Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight and David Archuleta. Actor Jimmy Smits hosted “A Capitol Fourth.” He said the combination of the National Symphony and the fireworks over the monuments make him proud to be an American.

The First Family and their military guests watched the evening’s fireworks from the South Lawn of the White House. Read more of this post

Business and Educational Events around Washington, D.C.

2010 Top Trends in Government Contracting M&A

Join Holland & Knight and The McLean Group for a complimentary webinar focused on key trends from the first half of 2010 in the middle market federal contracting mergers and acquisition market. This one hour event will take place Thursday, June 24th at 11am. To register for this free webinar please click here. Inquiries may be sent to Eric Gins  

TEDxPennQuarter at the Newseum – July 11, 2010 Read more of this post

U.S. Crack Down On Intellectual Property Theft

The first National Intellectual Property Enforcement Strategy by our government was unveiled yesterday. It includes a wide-ranging strategic plan to protect intellectual property from pharmaceuticals, medical devices, software, to films & music and pledged to confront governments that fail to crack down on piracy. It was about time!

The plan was developed by a several government agencies including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, Commerce, Agriculture, Health and Human Services along with the White House and U.S. Trade Representative’s office.

The initiative aims to crack down on websites that allow illegal downloads of films or music, to “lead by example” in curbing use of pirated software or goods at home, and according to Mr. Biden, to “shine a light” on governments that fail to stop piracy. Read more of this post

BP formerly called Anglo-Iranian Oil Company

Kamran Abdi
Given the BP mess all over the News,  and about 70,000 Iranian Americans living and working around DC area, I figured you find this clip interesting.

As an Iranian American myself,  even I didn’t know BP used to be called Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Frankly, not sure it’s a good thing these days 🙂

Did you?

Here is another supporting video with more detailed background:

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First Lady Reveals Her Favorite Things about Washington DC

Elias Shams

Michelle Obama wants Americans to see the capital she loves, from the intimate majesty of the White House to the restaurants that the President and she visit on their date nights. Who could we possibly have on our side better than Michelle?

Mrs. Obama said that Washington, DC, is starting to feel like home, after living at the White House for a year and a half.

“It’s been a really good first year and a half,” she said this week.

I wonder if Barack will let me to take her take her to my favorite restaurants Moby Dick and The Rogue States in Dupont Circle and Lima lounge for clubbing later on which is only four block from her house 🙂

Take a listen and enjoy:

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From Mosaddegh In Tehran 1951 To The Mobile Billboard Campaign In DC 2010

by Kamran Abdi
A brilliant human rights campaign was initiated by the Iranian-American Youth (IAY) and Justice through Music (JTM) in Washington, DC last week.  They drove mobile billboards through Washington streets near the city’s significant landmarks including the White House, the State Department and the Capitol to raise awareness and draw support for the opposition movement in Iran.

Among the billboards is one showing a young woman protester in Iran and the words, “Support the fight for freedom in Iran.”  Another billboard shows a bloodied Iranian protester and the words “31 years of oppression – enough dictatorship in Iran”.
Read more…

First Cyber Democracy And Populism In DC

by Elias Shams
President Obama answers your questions live on YouTube today in one hour.

Referring to our last week coverage of President Obama State of the Union speech, the white house received about 12,000 questions on YouTube’s CitizenTube channel. The President is about answering them at 1:45 p.m EST.

The White House had a live stream of the speech that was embeddable on blogs or websites. Nearly 1.3 million people tuned into the WhiteHouse.gov’s live video feed of the speech. About 48 million people watched him on traditional television.

I don’t think he intends to answer all 12,000 questions :-), but he’ll get to as many as he can. Unlike the previous president, he won’t know which questions will be asked until he hears them during the interview.

It will be interesting to watch this.

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What Question Do You Have For The President Tonight?

by Elias Shams
Tonight at 9:00 p.m EST is your chance to ask questions from our President after his State of The Union speech on YouTube’s CitizenTube channel as well as on The White House’s brand new iPhone app.

YouTube will be opening up a special Moderator series for citizens to submit their questions.

Following the President’s speech, all of you will be able to submit a question and vote on others at YouTube.com/CitizenTube. Then next week, the President will answer questions in a special online event, live from the White House.

So, for clarification, a) President Obama will NOT be answering those questions TONIGHT b) You need to get your circle of family members and friends to vote on your questions once submitted.

Read more on the YouTube blog and the White House blog.

One Year In, a Closer Look at the Obama Presidency

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The Administration in the Palm of our Hand

by Elias Shams
You have to admit! This is the first administration that has stayed way the head of the technology curve. They have been working hard to harness all digital channels to effectively communicate with citizens. As the mobile phones are slowly becoming our next computing device, the White House is trying to make sure we can watch them in the palm of our hand starting with iPhone.

Earlier this week, the White House released their own official free iPhone and iPod Touch App known as “White House App” to the iTunes App Store. The free App will allows us to see content from the WhiteHouse.gov including the News, Press Briefing Room, White House Blog posts, archived video of events and speeches. The one feature I am looking forward to try, is the ability to stream live video coverage of events, including next week’s State of the Union Address from WhiteHouse.gov/live.

I haven’t downloaded the App yet, but feedback from friends who did, is good. The app is clean, light on size, easy to use and informative. What I am impressed the most, is they are already working on the App for other smart phones including Android, Droid Nexus One , etc.  They will be released in coming weeks.

From my experience, It is not that easy and cheap to make an App for iPhone and shortly after for Android, and other phones. I wonder if the administration is using Appmakr, the product I recently covered that allows companies to make their Apps for various platforms (iPhone, Android, Droid, etc.) in the matter of 10 minutes. If they aren’t, they should. They will save both time and money. After all, their office is only four or five blocks from the White House.

That is a major stride towards open government. Can you imagine Bush or any GOP leader doing something like this? That’s a laugh 🙂

The free White House App is available from the iTunes App Store.

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