I moved to a smart phone within the last year. In the past I hadn't really needed one. When I went somewhere I typically had my laptop with me, so I usually hid behind that. However, as my role became more and more driven by general email and Internet access rather than specific proprietary programs I realized that I wanted to have more access and functionality without lugging the computer around all the time. If you know me at all, you know I'm a Linux nut, so I naturally gravitated toward an Android phone. I love it. The openness suits me and I get to use my curiosity and ability to tinker to my advantage.
Apparently I'm not the only one who sees advantages to Android. If
Gartner is correct, Android will overtake the other options and become
the dominant mobile operating system. I think that the openness is the
Mild tangient: I'm not a big cook, but I enjoy cooking when I can.
The only cooking show that has managed to grab me is Good Eats
Brown. Why? Because where most cooking shows are about watching
someone else cook, Good Eats is about me cooking. Each episode
explores a cooking concept and explains to me how and why it works. He
gets into the science of cooking so I know why doing certain things to
food makes it taste better. I leave with tools and techniques to help
me cook rather than just a pretty picture and a link to recipes that I
will never look up. One of Alton's key concepts is that nothing in
your kitchen should only do one thing. Therefore he prefers something
conventional, like a steel mixing bowl, to a gadget, like an electric
popcorn popper. The more flexible the tool, the better it is in the
Back now: Open environments like Linux and Android have that same flexibility that I like. They can be set up to do one thing very well, but they still have the functionality to do other things as well. They foster a multi-functional approach rather than a "gadget approach." Ultimately as more and more of our devices talk to each other, having open standards and flexibility is going to be much better than "duct-taping" everything together. I'm really anxious to see where all of this goes. If Android dominates the phone market it will also dominate the market for other devices like DVRs, smart TVs, smart appliences and vehicles (not to be confused with the Smart Car which is a strange, freakish thing). This could all get very interesting.
Other ways to learn
I got a tweet today from opensourceway. It was a presentation from the TED conference that explored the idea of children learning without teachers. Basically a gentleman made a computer available to kids on the street in India, with no instructions and no supervision to see what they would do. The results are amazing and call questions on many of my presuppositions about learning. If I'ved done this correctly you can just view it below. If not you can find it at the source.