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OpenMoko Is Still Around & They Just Launched Something

Free Software

Published on 09 June 2011 01:23 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
3 Comments

OpenMoko, one of the original projects aimed to create open-source mobile phones, is rarely heard about these days with Google's Android and Apple's iOS dominating the markets. While they had the Neo 1973 as a true Linux phone it didn't sell too much nor its successor, the OpenMoko FreeRunner, which is still available for purchase. Aside from phones, OpenMoko had developed the WikiReader as a mobile device that's capable of reading Wikipedia articles without a persistent Internet connection. Today they've also announced their latest project: Shiftd.

OpenMoko Shiftd isn't a new phone, a mobile device, or even anything running the OpenMoko Linux software. In fact, Linux really isn't involved unless talking about their services. Shiftd is just a web-site. Shiftd is a web service for bookmarking, sharing, and discovering videos on the web. Yes, that's really OpenMoko's next "product."

The Shiftd.com tag-line is "Discover videos worth watching." So far it seems to just be embedding lots of YouTube and Vimeo clips without being too much of a tremendous value. Perhaps the OpenMoko crew has been spending too much time with VIA Technologies?

The OpenMoko Shiftd announcement can be found on their mailing list and the relevant text is also embedded below.
Dear Community!

Today I get to do one of the things I love most about my job; announce our next product. This time, it's very different from what we've built in the past. No circuit boards were printed. Steel tooling wasn't cut. Mass production didn't dent our view of reality. No. This time, ones and zeros were all it took to assembly Openmoko's fourth product: shiftd.com - A web service to bookmark, share, and discover videos worth watching.

Like all our previous products, Shiftd started off by scratching a personal itch. We were fascinated, yet totally overwhelmed by the shear volume of videos on the web. We desperately wanted a way to speed up the process of discovering what's worth watching. Existing tools left us deeply unsatisfied. So we set out to build our own.

Currently, we're focused on Shiftd's core interaction model: bookmarking, sharing, and recommending videos. We have a working prototype. We're excited about using it ourselves, but we know it's far from perfect. Like the Neo 1973 many years ago, I want to share our perspective with you at the earliest possible stage.

Longterm, our goal is to bring Shiftd to many different types of devices and systems. At this point, technically, we have built only a website, supporting a few videos sites, using Flash not HTML5 video (yet). We have rough ideas for future improvements, including which interfaces to open, but no concrete steps have been taken. We are at the beginning - the time at which we know the least about the project. Purposefully, we have made the fewest binding decisions possible, while still maintaining our original vision.

Your feedback is critical for us to get this product right. We want Shiftd's heart to beat from the living process that emerges from the journey we take together. Your stories, your real reactions, will intimately grow Shiftd into something great.

Sign up today at http://shiftd.com. Start shifting. Tell us what you like and what you don't like. Personally, I'm really looking forward to receiving your recommendations (@mosko) and sharing some of my own favorites with you.

Sincerely,

Sean Moss-Pultz

It was exciting seeing an OpenMoko announcement land in the e-mail inbox today, as the first in a year or two, but sadly Shiftd doesn't appear to be anything worth getting excited about and is a large shift in course from the company's original plans.

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