Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Invisible Monsters (actually about my phone)

I just read "Invisible Monsters" by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club. It wasn't that good--the central premise seemed ripped from "Infinite Jest" by the late, lamented David Foster Wallace, the beauty disfigured. Even the drag queens and the parents who had more pride in being parents of a dead gay son than they ever had for the son, seemed to just be one of the threads in IJ. We've been here, done this. And the split identity of narrator/narrated was done much better in Fight Club.

The only reason I'm really writing about this is because it is the first book that I read on my phone. Yes, on my phone. Essentially one paragraph at a time, but it's a fairly short book. I'm currently reading Japanese Fairy Tales. These are great because I can read a few at a time.

My phone, the G1, is like the iPhone and has many of the same apps that you see on the commercials. One of the best is Shazam which allows you to hold your phone up to "hear" a song in public or on the radio--it listens and then analyzes--about 20 seconds and then it identifies the song, artist and album and links you to YouTube or Amazon or the artist's My Space page. I am boggled by the algorithms that this must take--because it's almost never stumped. It can't do classical (which would be difficult as there are so many recordings of the same pieces) and it doesn't do well with old standards, but it DID identify Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs (I was testing it's limits).

And then it has absurd apps. like the light sabre (with sound when you swing the phone), a steamy window you can write on and a Tricorder (Next Gen).

PLUS--better than the iPhone it has a hard keyboard so you don't have to deal with the tiny touch buttons. I can update Facebook, Twitter and my blog from the phone, plus surf the web and check my email.

In a very short time, our phone will become our only device. All it needs is a projection screen and projection keyboard, or perhaps just the movie eye-set or the predicted tv contacts.

The future is here.

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