CTO Breakfast Report


The first item of discussion at today's CTO Breakfast was iPhone features and unfeatures. A few of us had one. I passed mine around for people to play with. We also discussed some other devices, like the Blackberry Curve. Apparently the voice recognition on the Curve is very good.

Scott Lemon brought up openmoko, a hardware device for building open phones. Looks cool.

The discussion of the iPhone's lack of GPS led to a great discussion of why GPS is cool. Someone brought up location reminders: "Next time I'm at Home Depot, remind me to pick up..." We talked about the fact that most state traffic data is closed so that the state can sell it and the ability of GPS-enabled cell phones to gather traffic data from everyone's phones.

A discussion of how GPS enhances out natural abilities (and causes some directional skills to atrophy) ensued. I brought up Natural Born Cyborgs, a great book about this phenomenon.

I started a discussion of Facebook. We talked about Facebook as a poor man's aggregator. Lots of people who don't use aggregators use Facebook or MySpace as a way to keep up with friends in the same way that bloggers use aggregators. Personally, I don't spend a lot of time on my Facebook page continually updating it, but people do.

We also talked about Facebook as a convoluted email replacement. Steve brought up that some people will leave him a Facebook message, which sends him and email so he can click out to Facebook and read it. Facebook is serving as a mediator for contact and interaction. It's a whitelist-based communication center. I mentioned Scoble's new broadcast network based on Facebook.

Scott Lemon said something that I found very funny: "the local news is a way of highlighting statistical anomalies." In other words, it does a great disservice to the community by making people worry about things they don't need to worry about.