by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

February 13, 2009

Working at Google

Big news: I got a job at Google! I am working full-time in their Manhattan office as part of the maps team. I actually started at the beginning of December and tweeted it then but I have more to say than the simple fact that it happened:

Google and I are a really good fit. We both love Free Software: Google is a major user of and contributer to Open Source. From preexisting infrastructure like Python, Firefox, and the Linux kernel to releasing their own tools like Protocol Buffers and the Web Toolkit, they are walking and not just talking.

That goes for their motto "Don't be Evil", which means they don't do things like lock-in users: GMail allows exporting messages and contacts in standard formats. By contrast, after years of being a happy user of the Sidekick and collecting 450 contacts I recently upgraded to an Android G1 Dream. In order to transfer my contacts I had to write a program and hack them out--Sidekick had intentionally made it hard to leave their system. Google keeps their customers by remaining the best solution, not by trapping them.

Google's mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" and that's fundamentally something that I support. Besides web search which has transformed thought and memory itself, they are scanning the world's libraries, putting them online and making them searchable, plus scanning the Earth and its cities in 3D. Google has the tech muscle and the business model to turn childhood dreams of cyberspace into the real global cyborg mind of today.

Android, the Open Source cellphone operating system has a special place in this story. Phones are rapidly becoming our primary communication gateway, far more personal than the personal computer because we carry it with us everywhere. As they get smaller and we become more attached to them I believe they will become part of us, incorporated figuratively and ultimately literally. It's crucial that these devices be Open Source so that they can be trusted as part of ourselves, and we can alter them to our own ends.

How does this effect my art career and the Electric Sheep? I was clear to Google that I am going to continue working on the Sheep on my own time and with my own equipment, and they are fine with that. In fact they are big fans and quite supportive. This does not mean that we are working on a Google version of the screensaver based on their servers; intriguing as that possibility may be (hint: they have a lot of servers and bandwidth). It does mean that I'll have less time for the project, but that's how things were for most of its history, and since this is more of a team effort than ever, I fully expect the ball to keep rolling and growing.

Posted by spot at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2009

Amnh Show Doc

The first batch of documentation from my VJ performance at One Step Beyond at the Rose Center: photos by Jasmine C. Ceniceros, and a video clip shot by Isabel. Thanks to fuevoz and the museum

Posted by spot at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)