webOS: A New World Open

Palm Pre and The Legend of TalibahWelcome to the next big thing: webOS. Palm’s new smartphone, the Pre running their brand new operating system, webOS truly breaks new ground. webOS represents an evolutionary step that does to smartphones what Web 2.0 did to the Internet. Keep in mind, we’re talking about webOS, not the Pre. While the Pre is a solid piece of technology, it’s basically a lot of existing hardware re-arranged in a nice package. The evolutionary step comes from Palm’s new operating system. Lets look at two big pieces:

Interoperability

Remember when we first adopted technologies such as RSS feeds and publicly available Web application APIs? The design change was a shift to better interoperability for the user. The result was a better overall user experience on the Internet.

This concept is echoed all over in webOS’s design fundamentals. The recent cat and mouse game with Apple over iTunes is the most widely known and obvious example. This was never an issue for me. I use Ubuntu as my desktop operating system. There’s no version of iTunes for Ubuntu. Even if there was, I wouldn’t use it. I prefer to simply copy my DRM free music right from my hard drive onto the Pre. Increasingly, people want the media they buy to play on all the devices they own. With webOS on the Pre, it’s just that easy – without installing any additional software.

Palm introduced us to the world of device syncing a long time ago. This is how most iPhone and iPod users update their music now. Unlike these devices, the Palm does not require any additional software installations for the user. In fact, information like calendars, phone numbers, and even your facebook accounts are all kept in sync over the wireless connection.

Palm is making it a point to have webOS openly communicating in every way it can. In a way, a Pre running webOS is a well established little node of your social network. If you’re chatting with a friend over google chat and they go offline, you’ll automatically switch to sending text messages to their phone. The experience is seemless from your point of view.

Application Development

I recently installed the Palm Mojo SDK and built my first test app. With my existing CSS knowledge, I laid out a simple tile based grid with a sprite on top. I was surprised to recognize the MVC architecture of the framework. I’m familiar with MVC from building Web applications. Any Web 2.0 era developer will likely remember how things changed with MVC frameworks first came on the scene. The big difference here is that the language is javascript and the application runs on the smartphone client instead of a web server.

A significant section of the tech community criticized the SDK. It’s entirely true that developing games that take advantage of the machine’s hardware is not possible in the SDK. However, early homebrewers had 3D videogames running on the Pre before the SDK was released. The Pre and webOS have the capacity for gaming level graphics.

The Mojo SDK creates a low barrier of entry to thousands of Web developers interested in building smartphone apps. If you want a simple interface for your Web app, building it on the Pre is extremely easy.

Conclusion

If you’re like me, and you’re a fan of Clay Shirky, you might already see the formula that’s at play here. Palm opened up channels to lots of existing technology by improving interoperability in webOS. Then, Palm made it easy and inviting to come contribute to this new exploration. Palm didn’t just release a great smartphone, they created an architecture for participation. Thank you Palm.

Death and Taxes…

They say there are only two things that are for certain in life – death and taxes.

Simple question. I live in the United States. For my most basic needs, I have to spend money. What if I don’t want to have a job, what if I don’t want to participate in “money”?

There is one way to get out of money – being homeless. You can’t really “own” a piece of land. At the very least, you must pay property tax on land. So really, it’s more like leasing. Even if you do “own” it, imminent domain can take it away.

So, unless you want to wander around homless (and many do), you have to participate in the system.

The question: how is this not slavery?

Albeit a very comfortable form of slavery, I can’t see how this is not an evolved form of slavery.

Egalitarianism

defend-equalityI can’t remember when it started. I can remember male bashing when I was very young. Since then, there have been a long series of confusing and frustrating events. Most recently, I’ve had a number of feminists in my life. This spawned a lot of conversation which deeply frustrated me. I love women, and I believe in equality. Yet, so many talking points brought out a warrior type spirit that wanted to debate points and defend a male point of view. More so, I was legitamitely insulted by the demonetization of men.

As soon as I would begin to debate and argue, I could see immediately that my efforts were at best ineffective, and at worst more damaging. The feminist rhetoric is as powerful as an organized religion and contains a wide variety of deeply emotional justifications for much of the inherent misandry. Once powerful emotions are triggered, a fair and logical discussion grows increasingly difficult if not impossible. (more…)

Progression Of Awakening – The Loss of “I”

mandalabotIf evolution holds, we started as microorganisms. Well, perhaps you could say we started somewhere before that. Regardless, at some point in history, humans lacked a sense of awareness. Fast forward to current times, and there’s a lot of talk about being “conscious” and “awake.” Somewhere between microbes and now, the first human(s) realized what it meant to be. I’ve always wondered what that part of evolution was like.

So as we strive towards greater awareness, well some of us, I often wonder what this truly means. In much the same way an amoeba is not well equipped to grasp self-awareness, I figure we only have the capacity to be aware to a particular extent. Still, something seems to be happening – to be changing – right now. I can’t point you to a website or walk you though some form of logic to illustrate that we are in a time of rapid change. It’s just a personal conclusion drawn on my own learning, observations, and experiences. This blog post isn’t really about the current time of change. What I will talk about is “awareness” itself and where I suspect it may be going.

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Kitchen Sponge Best Practices

SpongeI’m frequently unpleasantly surprised by the standard kitchen sponge practices I observe in many many kitchens. I’ve often observed risky practices at the homes of friends and family. However, more recently, I’ve witnessed these frightful practices in the office kitchen. I’ve seen poorly rinsed sponges left sitting in the bottom of a grime filled sink soaking in waste water on a daily basis. I figured I would solve the world’s sponge problems by posting some kitchen sponge best practices.

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About Texas – From A Native

Texas Flag

Texas Flag

I’m the only member of my family born in Texas. My parents, sister, and half-brother’s family all still live in Texas. I currently live in Colorado. Recently, governor Rick Perry started a dialog about Texas leaving the union and now NPR is picking it up. I don’t want to get into the issue of Texas potentially seceding from the nation. The issue is widely misunderstood as Texas holds no right to leave, merely to split into 4 individual states.

As I’ve travelled, I’ve found as much dislike of Texas inside the US as I have for the US in other countries. No where have I found as much anti-Texas attitudes as the snow covered slopes of Colorado. This past season I got in a gondola full of kids who were skipping school. Their entire dialog on the way up was littered with stories about “dumb Texans.” What’s worse is spending enough time on the slopes to see that they’re largely right. When Texans come here on vacation (and they come in flocks), it always makes for a less enjoyable day.

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My Own Social Media History

There’s a silly link going around to see if someone was on Twitter before Oprah. Seeing the link today, I started doing something I’ve thought about for a while. I did a quick audit of some of the social sites I belong to and referenced when I joined. I also looked at some of my other social media activity in the process. It was surprisingly hard to find some of the information. For example, I can’t seem to find my Facebook join date. The oldest related date I could find was the oldest profile pic I still have up. Anyway, here’s the dirt:

Where When Reference Method
Facebook 7/5/2007 Oldest Profile Pic
Twitter 6/19/2007 First Tweet
Tribe 2/21/2007 Profile Join Date
YouTube 12/11/2006 Profile Join Date
Flickr 10/4/2005 Oldest Image Online
LinkedIn 8/3/2005 Profile Join Date
MySpace 9/17/2004 Profile Join Date
Blogging 1/26/2004 Oldest post online (once I started calling it blogging).
MeetUp 1/20/2004 Profile Join Date
Live Journal 12/30/2003 Profile Join Date
Usenet 9/17/1996 Oldest post I found on google groups.
Blogging 8/8/1996 Oldest post still online (didn’t call it a blog then).

On The Pirate Bay Sentencing

Pirates

Pirates

The file sharing rant has raged on for years. While the media industries claim that file sharing has hurt their market share, the movie industry is seeing record sales. For many, it’s obvious what is going on. With the advent of new media, we saw a shift in how things work in our world. Once upon a time, you had to have a lot of money to record media and distribute it. This need gave rise to a collection of media industries, music and movies in particular. Now, recording and sharing media is very cheap and very easy. The MPAA and RIAA are no longer important. However, with their size and power, they will do anything and everything they can to keep the status quo.

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