Devin Coldewey

Devin Coldewey is a Seattle-based writer and photographer. He has written for TechCrunch since 2007 and is currently a contributor at NBC News.

His personal website is coldewey.cc.

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Latest from Devin Coldewey

  • Million Man Ban

    Million Man Ban

    Participating in democracy "takes a certain amount of civic courage" -- and on the Internet, more than ever. No matter what position you take, however enlightened, ignorant, hurtful, helpful, or anything else, there are a million people ready to side with you and just as many taking dead aim. Just don't expect them to do it quietly. Read More

  • More?

    More?

    Earlier this week, Nilay Patel at the Verge penned a provocative, and provocatively-titled, pronouncement on the state of the Internet. Never one to mince words, he declared it fucked. I beg to differ from Mr Patel, not to the degree, as a man once said, that nothing is fucked, but I think that, in the words of the rejoinder, the fucking plane has not quite crashed into the fucking mountain. Read More

  • Make It Sing

    Make It Sing

    Between you and many of the things you use every day, there is a complicated but elegant feedback loop, a physical dialogue, the topic of which is harmony of operation. The relationship that you build with a device is a self-optimizing relationship. First you make it speak, then you make it sing. Why does this matter? Because so few of the devices we are adopting today will ever sing like that. Read More

  • Parlor Tricks

    Parlor Tricks

    CES looms, as it frequently does, and soon we will all be awash in the deluge; the annual international carnival of gadgetry shows no sign of slowing. But beyond this yearly cycle, a longer pattern is about to reach an inflection point. Read More

  • Nonplussed

    Nonplussed

    I sat down to write up the new YouTube comment system earlier this week, and before I finished the article, I had deleted my Google+ account — my real one, not the joke one that you acquire during the YouTube signup process. The labyrinth of settings and accounts involved struck me as so absurd, and the process so hostile to comprehension, that they needed to be described as they might have been… Read More

  • Shouts And Murmurations

    Shouts And Murmurations

    Why do we have comments? It seems like a simple question. And indeed, there is a simple answer: So that people can express themselves regarding the topic or article to which the comment section is appended, or peruse the expressions of others. But that's not exactly correct. True, that is what comment sections are for, but why do we have them? Read More

  • The Maginot Line

    The Maginot Line

    I'm sorry to say that I have succumbed to something like schadenfreude. It's not that I really enjoy what is happening these days, what with institutions of the web shutting down, basic civil rights being ignored, and all the rest. It's just that it's all a little poetic. Read More

  • Tools For Treason

    Tools For Treason

    If we are to start again on the Internet with knowledge of prying eyes that turn the law to their own purposes, our founding principle cannot be the establishment of trust, but rather the impossibility of trust. The trick is to treat every communication as a potential act of terrorism. After all, isn't that how the NSA does it? Tools for treason are the only tools that will suffice from now on. Read More

  • Waiting For Prometheus

    Waiting For Prometheus

    What is the real issue brought up by this whole PRISM debacle? It’s not that the government is willing to overstep its role using national security as an excuse. That’s been going on for thousands of years. It’s not that companies in a position of power are willing to throw those that rely on them under the bus in order to get ahead. Again, that’s nothing new. And… Read More

  • Packing For Walden

    Packing For Walden

    I'm probably going to be consigned to whatever level of hell is reserved for pretentious editorialists for saying this, but sometimes when I'm trying to evaluate some new piece of technology, I consider whether Thoreau would have taken it to Walden Pond with him. Wait, just give me a second. I know how it sounds. Let me explain. Read More

  • Dawn Of The Digilante

    Dawn Of The Digilante

    It's hard to say with any conviction where we are in the process of, shall we say, crowd-sourcing justice. Like most things, it is a process, not something achieved, and while some question its utility, it's no good to question its existence. Some see the events of this week as a turning point, and in a way, they were, but there are dark days ahead for digilantes. Read More

  • 256 Shades Of Grey

    256 Shades Of Grey

    I want a black and white computer, and I don't want it out of sheer, wanton weirdness. I actually think it's a good idea. Here's why. Read More

  • The Right Tool For The Job

    The Right Tool For The Job

    The mobile phone is today's PC, but not necessarily in the way you think. They've reached a pleasant plateau hardware-wise, and are poised for a diversification movement like the PC faced in the early 2000s. Pretty soon we're going to stop adding and start subtracting. Read More

  • God Damn It, Google

    God Damn It, Google

    Once, I envisioned Google's destiny as a rich tapestry, obscure services hooking in through engines and tools to a vastness of data, and, at the other end of the telescope, a single point of entry through which one would have instant access to everything from maps to obscure scientific results. This incredible web of empowerment, resources, and variety. This bright future. I'm feeling let… Read More

  • Counterfeit Is The New Real

    Counterfeit Is The New Real

    Here's a rather unfortunate development: The proliferation of recording devices and instant distribution is matched by our ability to falsify the information they produce. While they don't exactly cancel each other out, they do have the awkward effect of turning an age of the most rigorous documentation into an age of jaded (and justified) suspicion. Read More

  • There’s Already An Apple In The Games Industry: The Games Industry

    There’s Already An Apple In The Games Industry: The Games Industry

    There's a funny thing about the way proponents of Apple (I say this without denigration) cheerlead their champion as it enters (supposedly) the gaming world. In a lot of ways, there's already an Apple in the games industry: it's the games industry. Apple is filling the position in the games industry that Android fills in the mobile world. Read More

  • Careless Whisper

    Careless Whisper

    It's funny to me when I see people my age and thereabouts clucking with disapproval at people who are somehow managing to, in their eyes (and my own, occasionally, I'll admit), misuse or abuse the tools of social media. It reminds me of my mother telling me how Nintendo is going to rot my brain. Is it possible we're becoming our parents in this as well as everything else? Read More

  • Facebook’s Categorial Imperative

    Facebook’s Categorial Imperative

    Facebook's newest feature adds some much-needed relevance to the huge proportion of its data hoard that no user has seen or, if we're honest, thought about, in days, weeks, or years. But Graph Search is ultimately nothing more than a handy sorting algorithm, and it's indicative of the fact that really, Facebook doesn't understand the first thing about us. Read More

  • Circuit Breaker

    Circuit Breaker

    There's something I've always hoped for but never seems to appear: A hardware switch to disconnect my device from all outside communication. Call me paranoid, but airplane mode just isn't good enough for me. Such a switch for wireless (or for the camera, or the microphone) seems to me an elementary protection against a number of potential dangers, and I doubt I'm the only one who'd appreciate it. Read More

  • “Gun” “Control”

    “Gun” “Control”

    If we as a country, and indeed we as a global community, are going to seriously address the question of gun control, we need to address the issue of fabricated weapons and weapon plans, or else the discussion will be moot. This is because the proliferation of 3D printed weaponry changes both the definition of "gun" and of what it means to "control" it. Read More