Devin Coldewey is a Seattle-based writer and photographer. He has written for the TechCrunch network since 2007.
His personal website is coldewey.cc.
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 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
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
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 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
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
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
If the Internet, at its most basic level, was built around the idea of one human connecting with another human, is it really changing how this is done? To make it easier and better is no insignificant accomplishment, but are actually changing the way people communicate with one another?
It seems to me that we’re not fashioning a thunderbolt, but greasing the lightning that’s already there. → Read More
To operate in the 21st century as if it is still the 20th is certain death for most businesses. Not instant, but certain. And it was certainly this practice that led two of the largest publishers to combine their lot. The resulting business will have to change all the same, but it’s easier to navigate these waters as a single raft (of the Medusa variety, but a raft nonetheless) than as a flotilla. → Read More
The boundaries of our personal rights have been summed up concisely in the observation that they end where those of others begin. And this is a perfectly good lamp by which to guide our actions in many cases. But the Internet has led to the destruction of location and identity as necessary considerations when calculating our rights and privileges.
This week furnishes some examples – and… → Read More
It strikes me as wrong that our most powerful and expensive and familiar objects should be the ones we love the least. We hold them and touch them every day, look at them for hours on end, sleep next to them. But how little we care for them!
Here is the problem: we cannot love an object which knows nothing, which learns nothing, and which says nothing. → Read More
It’s a powerful thing, this Internet of ours. The greatest tool for the distribution of knowledge, the administration of compassion, and development of conversation ever created. And the events of this week have shown how it can be a platform for tolerance and understanding, for love and peace.
Particularly touching was the story of a man who, with the assistance of friends and the Internet… → Read More
I was always a smart kid. Did very well on tests all through grade school, didn’t have to do much work because the work I did do suggested to my teachers that there wasn’t an issue. Just a couple missing worksheets, he’ll do fine. When I got to middle school, I took the usual approach to things, which, for me, was always to just do them. That had worked brilliantly before, so I kept right on… → Read More
Depending on who you ask, Jack Dorsey started off the latest Disrupt on either a very controversial or a very non-controversial note. “We need revolution, not disruption,” he said, words that would be easy to characterize as platitudes if he were not working hard at uprooting a few global institutions. Even so, the sentiment did not entirely match the tone of the conference that was to… → Read More
The power of the internet lies in its near-infinite mutability. It’s an edifice of information being added to and sculpted by as many hands as there are eyes viewing it. Truly democratic and increasingly accessible, it will soon be the vector for most communication that takes place on our world.
But its mutability is also a weakness, as so many great strengths are. The weakness arises from a… → Read More
The 20th century was owned and operated by middle men. Industry began as the creation of something for which would be traded other goods, services, or cash. As production centralized, distribution (as always) rose to close the distance between the product and the consumer. Facilitating consumption became a business unto itself: printing, shipping, packaging, and all the rest. A respectable… → Read More
Suppose you dropped your phone — a real fall, like from the second story — and it broke. You’re picking up the pieces, cursing and trying to think of the last time you backed up your contacts, when you notice something. Deep within the phone’s hardware, hidden from everyday use, you find a message — etched right onto the chassis.
What kind of message? Let’s say you found a Darwin fish, or… → Read More
Magic, they call it. And indeed we may add an appendix to that old saw: any sufficiently advanced, or sufficiently obscure, technology is indistinguishable from magic.
You must know the story of the Mechanical Turk. How princes and tradesmen were amazed by this ingenious device’s ability to play chess intelligently. In an age of steam and brass hinges! Yet at the time thousands were fooled. Had… → Read More
We’ve always been interested in the Notion Ink project, which has always striven to be a true alternative to both the iPad and Android masses. Last time, it was through both a Pixel Qi screen and an interesting custom interface, but delays and yield problems more or less buried it and competitors piled up.
The sequel to Notion Ink’s Adam was originally going to have a 10″ screen running at… → Read More
In Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Veldt,” two children play in their “nursery,” a sort of home holodeck where they can conjure up any scene in which to play. Bradbury always had a wonderfully clunky sort of technobabble; in this case, as the father tells the mother, “it’s all dimensional superreactionary, supersensitive color film and mental tape film behind glass screens. It’s all odorophonics… → Read More