Info Gluttony

Bubble Bobble

Posted in tech / Internets, technology by echan on August 22, 2011

There have been a lot of these articles lately, and in the past year, the feeling of frenzy has accelerated in the Bay Area.  Thousand page issues of Red Herring or the Industry Standard no longer appear in mailboxes, but the tech blogosphere is far more profilic than these mags combined.

So, here’s my two cents about the great questions: 1. Is there a bubble? and 2. Are things different this time? I think they can be answered through another question, “Who is chasing whom?” If founders are chasing investors, then there’s no bubble. But if it’s the other way around, and investors are looking for an entry into nearly every single start up idea out there, then we’ve got a problem. And from anecdotal evidence alone, I think we’re in the latter case. I definitely fall in with the bullish “Winter is coming” folks.

Part of me wonders where the money and people are going to flow next. From the late 90s to now, the pattern was tech boom then bust, and housing boom then bust, and now we’re in tech boom mode again. What worries me most is the mass migration that happened around 2001, the last time the bubble popped. Ninety percent of my friends left the Bay Area during that time (heck, even I left the Bay Area during that time). This is a transient place, but when leaving becomes the dominant mode, will I be left behind here with my non-profit friends and other perma-native-locals?

So Many Ways to Tweet

Posted in tech / Internets by echan on November 13, 2009

To clarify, I’m not asking how many ways you’ve tweeted (i.e. If you tried out Ping FM once or twice and abandoned it, then don’t count it*), but which twitter clients / apps / other websites are you actively using to tweet now.  As for me, I’ve got:

  1. Twitter Gadget on iGoogle
  2. Tweetie on the iPhone
  3. Twitterific on my iPhone
  4. Brizzly
  5. From Google Reader (posts shared with note only)
  6. From Flickr
  7. Twitter homepage
  8. Via SMS
  9. Via email (Twitpic only)

I really can’t think of any other web-based/phone-based activity where I use this many apps to post / read.  It’s quite mind-boggling, ’tis all.

*Abandoned tweeting avenues include, but are not limited to: Ping FM, Google Wave, Friendfeed, Twitterlator, IM, and Tweetdeck.

Pieces for the Museum of the Near Future

Posted in Internets, tech / Internets, technology by echan on September 4, 2009

I’m trying to recall correctly whether the following art exhibit that a friend described to me was real or imagined.  Perhaps you can help me out.  A few years ago, my friend, who happens to work for a company that measures cellphone traffic, described an installation at a museum, where a light cloud was formed in direct proportion to cell phone emissions in and around the installation.  In essence, calls and texts were visualized (that same interference you hear on your car radio, when you get a call on your iPhone, transformed into light).

If you asked me 5 years ago, to visualize cell phone art, I think projects of this sort, are what most people would have imagined.  Thus, I am somewhat surprised, but not blown away with what, David Hockney is painting on his iPhone (story via Stribs). Or to put it properly, I am amazed that David Hockney is painting on his iPhone.  This is not the first instance, of someone using his/her phone to create art; Jorge Colombo painted a New Yorker cover this May, but as these little stories add up, I’m excited for the day when I walk into SF MoMA and see an iPhone mounted on the wall, running through a slideshow of such works, and see the descriptive tile on the wall: “David Hockney / “Untitled” / 2009,” etc.

But perhaps the physical SF MoMA is the wrong way to think of the Museum of the Future.*  From my Googling, I see that Hockney’s works are already on display in SecondLife homes. Perhaps the globally accessible Internet museum is it?

*”Museum of the Near Future” is more accurate, since this isn’t something that I expect to see in 10 years, but since the speed of information surpasses the speed of light these days, I completely expect this near the SF MoMA roofdeck sometime in November.

**

On separate thought involving iPhones this week.  Based on the stat that 20% of all iPhone customers are in SF and NY, I was rather surprised by how common iPhones were in Singapore, but they were area.  The iPhone is truly a global phone, at least in urban centers.

Fitting Harvard’s Five-Foot Shelf in One’s Pocket with a Thin Wallet

Posted in books, tech / Internets, technology by echan on July 1, 2009

Perhaps, in time, the Kindle will make it to my list of top 10 happiness-producing purchases.

I wasn’t alerted to scope of the free content available on the Kindle (I’m too lazy to send my Kindle files from Project Guttenberg), until Robin Sloan pointed out that the Kindle public domain download for Trollope’s The Way We Live Now.

This got me to thinking, about the Great Books, particularly Harvard’s Five-Foot Shelf.  Instead of running to the bookstore, 50 volumes are available (I’m guessing mostly for free, since they are in the public domain) with a few pushes of the thumb.

I’m still amazed that  I can carry around the library of Alexandria in my purse, ’tis all.

Plot Devices and Cellular Devices

Posted in media, tech / Internets by echan on April 12, 2009

I’ll admit that Gossip Girl is not great television, but it is one of my guilty pleasures.  I’m guessing that Matt Richtel, a writer for the New York Times, has never seen an episode based on his piece in today’s Times, where he laments, “Technology is rendering obsolete some classic narrative plot devices: missed connections, miscommunications, the inability to reach someone.”  In Gossip Girl, the opposite is true, text messages and phone calls propel the plot forward, and oftentimes divide people, or reveal truths at inopportune moments.

Part of me still waiting for the “novel” of our time (or at least for this part of the naughty Aughts),  and I think whoever will be annointed the next big literary voice will be a writer who masters incorporating the “always connected” state of being with a good story.  Or maybe, I’m completely wrong because the type of people who would get this, don’t read books anymore.

We Are So Lucky

Posted in tech / Internets by echan on August 1, 2008

I think there was an article in Business Week or somewhere else a while ago that outlined how we (as in middle class Americans) are all really rich in terms of the technology we have today, compared to what was available to the super-mega-wealthy at the turn of the century (i.e. fridges, air conditioning, the Internet, etc.).

I’ve been turning this idea around in my mind lately in terms of today’s crop of cell phones.  I remember distinctly back in college that there were moments when popular media had the ability to make us gasp in envy at a new phone.  Two such examples are the collective gasp that my friends had when we saw Neo’s slide phone in the first installment of the Matrix.  Similarly, the season premieres of mid-late seasons of the X-Files fueled conversations about Scully and Mulder’s new handheld devices. I haven’t had one of those moments lately.*

But those phones are now relics, as most of my circle has transitioned to some sort of smartphone that we would not have imagined back during the Clinton administration.

* As this link from GeekinHeels points out, other people had one of those moments with the Dark Knight.