Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thoughts on Google's Nexus One

It’s not a game changer, neither from my perspective as a mobile apps developer, a social entrepreneur who needs cheaper smartphones in the marketplace to scale some of our models, or as a wireless industry consultant.

It’s a minor upgrade from the hardware perspective on the Motorola Droid. It’s on a 2nd tier carrier, and there will be comparable Android devices released later in the year. It’s essentially another G1, a “type 1” device running on T-Mobile. The $500+ unlocked price point isn’t going to do much for anyone – you can get an unlocked anything at that price. By the time it gets into the supported, subsidized lines for major carriers, there will be better devices up there.

So while I’m expecting some uptake because it’s Android 2.1 and a high end processor, it’s essentially a high-end phone. I’m expecting Sony to release an Android Xperia that will blow this out of the water at some point soon, so patience may be a virtue here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On Tech Art

Recommendations on tech art from my Swarthmore classmate Branen Salmon...some pretty neat stuff here for those who are interested in how technology and art intersect.

Well, broadly, tech art appropriates technologies and applies them towards aesthetic or critical ends--often both. It's a wildly broad space, and Seattle's tech art community has people working all throughout it. There are a few "full-time" artists [1], but most of the folks in the scene are either software developers, engineers, or musicians by trade. (Or self-fashioned mad scientists [2] with academic day jobs.) I don't have a good feel for the market--I'm sure that some people collect tech art, but I get the impression that most of the people making it aren't expecting to sell anything. That could just be my bias, though--my favorites have this odd tendency to be big, fragile, dangerous, environmental, mobile, social, or otherwise unruly.

But yeah! Seattle's tech art community is big and full of quality. If you'd like to catch something closer to home, Philly has (had? I'm speaking circa 2004/5, here) some truly kickass artists. New York's got a lot of stuff going on (though it's less cohesive than Philly), and I'd be shocked if Boston didn't have something, too. Good places to start include the Slought Foundation [3] and Klein Gallery [4] in Philly, Eyebeam [5] in NYC, AXIOM in Boston [6], and Dorkbot [7] in all three cities.

[1] http://www.washington.edu/dxarts/profile_research.php?who=brixey&project=vault
[2] http://amasci.com/art/pondmach/pond3.html
[3] http://slought.org/
[4] http://www.kleinartgallery.org/current_exhibition.htm
[5] http://eyebeam.org/
[6] http://www.axiomart.org/
[7] http://dorkbot.org/