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Optical/IP

Here Come the Warm Phones

8:00 AM -- Is it just me or does ambient music pioneer and noted egghead Brian Eno have a lockdown on all the cool music projects in the IT industry? If it isn't Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) then it's supplying the choons for Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s new "nature-inspired" Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition handset.

I suppose it's understandable; Eno has made a name for himself by creating, rather than following, musical trends. It is only natural that IT companies would want to be associated with that kind of cutting-edge cool.

Still, it must chafe Eno's lesser contemporaries and followers. How would you feel if, like a Jean Michael Jarre or a Gary Numan, you'd built a career around easily digestable sci-fi bombast, and then -- when the future actually arrived -- Professor Eno was there to sweep up all the lucrative jobs. Pretty silly I'd imagine.

It's not even Jarre or Numan I feel for though. It's Thomas Dolby, the hyperactive 80s pop star who got so deep into the mobile tech business in the 1990s that he founded ringtone firm Beatnik Inc. in 1993. He's still on the board, and I'm sure being a ringtone pioneer just as the industry took off was hardly financially unpleasant. But what he's up to right now? Back out on tour across the states with his electro act.

Meanwhile, Eno is busy with another of his concepts. This time its "generative music" -- pieces that build themselves from a... er... molecular level. No doubt coming to a phone or startup screen near you very soon.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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