ITP2800 – Week 1 – Slides, Whiteboards, Audio

Here are the captured whiteboard brainstorms, audio (first hour only due to technical glitches) and my slides for the week 1 class of ITP2800. All of this content is hosted and available on, with class bookmarks and homework reading assignments posted at Week 1 homework assignments are listed at the end of this post.

These images were created using the smart digital whiteboard in the classroom, which allows me to project powerpoint slides and then mark up on top of them. We collectively deconstructed the title of the course “Social Activism using Mobile Technology” with some great results.
Disclaimer: my penmanship is generally better than this, but this was a rapid fire brainstorm and the smartboard pens take a bit getting used to!

SOCIAL: People, Groups, Communicating/Community, Interaction, Casual Talking, Context+Culture, Hierarchy/Roles/Privileges, Social Justice, Shared Experiences, Socializing, Social Psychology

ACTIVISM: A Cause for ACtion, Change/Revolution, Movement/Moment, Activated, Mobilized, Organizing, Violient/Non-Violent, Action/Reaction, Strong Opinion, Resistance, Non-Passive, Participation, Protest, Direct Action, THE MAN, Leaders/Followers, Crowd Sourcing, Grassroots/Astroturfing

MOBILE: Portable, Gadget, Dispatchable, Anytime/Anywhere, Networked (People), The Network, On the Move, Personal, Social!, Remote Data, Telecommunications, Tele-vision, Tele-operation, Handy, action, Invisible, Magic, Cloud, Action!, Wireless

TECHNOLOGY: Not Nature, Not Naturally Evolved, Human Made, Stronger, Empowering, Security, FRUSTRATING, delicate, tool, unpredictable, elusive, disruptive, mediator, organically evolved, addictive, expensive->cheaper->smaller->faster, dangerous, privately owned vs. open-source, INFO, DATA, Sensors, Tricorder, Innovation, ROBOTS, SKYNET!

Here’s the raw audio of the first hour of class (syllabus review, grading, basic concepts… real exciting stuff!):

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Here are the slides:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

* SMS Mailing List: text ITP2800 to 41411
* Get your own keyword and make it do something
* Create a hashtag on Twitter and see how many mentions you can get
* Find a mobile app (iPhone, Android, Blackberry or other) that you think is a good representation of Social Activism and post a public review of it
* Research a cause to affiliate with

Creative Commons License
Social Activism using Mobile Technology – ITP 2800 – Week 1 by Nathan Freitas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

Six Reasons I Develop for Android

I wrote these up quickly for a friend who needed some bullet points for a proposal, and so I thought I’d just share them here, as well. Please comment with your own experiences with Android #WINs and #FAILs.

  • Development SDK is free, open-source and officially supported for Windows, Linux and Mac OS (iPhone is Mac OS only basically)
  • Java is the foundation for Android development vs. Objective-C on iPhone: many more Java developers and more affordable; ALSO a number of existing open-source Java libraries can run on Android, specifically Apache Commons client library code
  • Android devices have removable batteries and SIM cards and can be unlocked for use on other networks w/o breaking the law
  • Android devices have Micro SD based storage that can be easily removed; good for both application data distribution and security reasons
  • Android hardware supports a true digital compass (your software knows which direction your user is facing, not just GPS lat/lon), as well as (at least with G1 device) auto-focus 3 megapixel camera capable of barcode, fingerprint and human iris scanning
  • Finally, custom version of the Android OS can be built that are purpose-built, stripped down and customized for certain applications

gReporter for Android code is up….

Still some work to do, cleanup and some better javadocs, but if you are looking for Android code to help you record audio, take photos, get GPS location, upload via HTTP and more, then this is the project for you.

Git Code Repository (source access and zip/gzip download):

Slide overview download:

Here’s the slides I presented today at Columbia University on this topic…

Peek and Xtify sponsor "Cool Peek App" contest!

In recent months, I’ve been carrying around a Peek email device, or what I call the “One Hundred Dollar Blackberry”. It is a great piece of hardware, made by an honest-to-goodness New York City hardware company (not many of those!). I am also a big fan because I think their simple features and price point make this a great device for small business, non-profits and community/political/labor organizers…. all phenomenons of which I am a huge fan!

Peek has teamed up with Xtify to sponsor a contest, which should be a lot of fun… see the details below!

In full disclosure, I am doing some consulting for Peek right now, so I admit to a certain bias… but I’m definitely not getting paid to put this on my personal blog!

Dear Contest Entrants,

Thank you so much for your emails about signing up, there is a lot of interest in the competition!!! We have put up the official competition website here – You can sign up directly in the contest forums.

The prizes are cool – fame, fortune and opportunity!

We tried to make things as easy as possible in terms of development. All you need is the Xtify APIs and whatever messaging/email API you want to use to send emails to the Peeks. We’ll post a lot more details on the forums to help you build your app but this should get you started.

To get your minds motivated here is a sample app built around location, Location-based dating!

All of us from Peek and Xtify will be available and monitoring the boards to help you guys build your apps.

Bon chance and I look forward to seeing what you all build!

Xtify & Peek

Diagramorama: Sending Download Links to Mobiles

Email to SMS Technique

Originally uploaded by nathanialfreitas

I recently had someone ask about sending video download links to mobile phones. Mux does this using the “your phone number”@”your mobile carrier”.com approach, otherwise known as the SMTP Email Gateways.

Every carrier has a different way to do this, with different limitations, but it does essentially work, and as long as you aren’t spamming people, it is a good solution.

Here is a mostly complete list of the gateways from