Saturday, October 2, 2010

The end of ePaper-based eReaders?

The end of ePaper-based eReaders?, post.

I'm sure e-paper will hang on for a while, but I'm also sure that they have to get highly innovative with that technology re contrast and reaction time (and color), for it not to become a tiny niche in the reader/tablet market. Otherwise it will mainly be used by the over-fifties who have no use for this new-fangled fast-moving world of web text, but just like to read books with no pictures.

An iPad stand? Yes Sir.

This iPad stand, the edgily monikered "Block22", is garnering a lot of roses. And sure, it is pretty. 
I think it can be better, though, and I'll try to prove it.

I'm also planning to have a custom leather sleeve for the iPad made, and one for the Apple Wireless Keyboard.

Friday, October 1, 2010

“Most Powerful Tablet Anyone Has Ever Made”

I'm been saying from the start that if the effort were put into it, especially into the software, a tablet could become a super-tool for higher education (and lower too). And now it seems somebody is doing something about it.

I like the interface looking like it was designed for adults, unlike the iPad's, which frankly (and despite my love for the iPad) looks like it was designed for children, with the over-widely-spaced colorful icons which you can't really do anything about, there's no other options of menus or smaller icons, or text-only icons, or... anything. Which means that when you have many apps, it's a chore every time to find one. And no, folders don't help all that much either, sorry. I really hope Apple have plans of developing that interface, but I'm not sure how optimistic I should be.

iPhone 4 vs Dell Streak

I bought the Dell Streak because I thought that if the 3.5 inch screen on the iPhone 4 is so good to read on, the 5-inch one on the Streak must be better.

Turns out it isn't. I have a subtle preference for the iPhone 4. Despite both their screens being very good.
The only thing I can figure is that it must be the high-resolution Retina display on the iPhone. Despite my eyes not being good enough to see any pixels on either of them.
But when I use a loupe, the quality difference is clear. And so I guess that it's right in that grey area where I can't see it consciously, but subconsciously it makes an important difference. Huh, how about that?
So, a light-weight 5-7 inch reader with a high-contrast, high-resolution display would be heaven.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saying Good-bye to My Paper Magazines

Saying Good-bye to My Paper Magazines, article.

And a quite positive article too. It seems that many magazines are going into digital subscription with an aim for very reasonable prices, which is good news for both publishers and readers.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

IA Writer

Well, if we don't yet have hardware directed squarely at just writing, at least we have a couple apps which do it. Like the new IA Writer. It is getting loads of great reviews. I've barely touched it yet, but I'm a bit puzzled, because even for a guy who is always asking for simpler tools, this one seems curiously under-featured. I mean, it basically don't have any features. Or rather, no settings. You can't even change the font. Or the text size!
That I regard as a mistake. One guy's maximum readability is another guy's headache. A twenty-year-old with 25/20 eyesight will not prefer the same text size as a sixty-year old with cataracts.
And for the font they have gone with mono-spaced? Why? The only reason mono-spaced fonts exist at all is that old typewriters couldn't do anything else. It does not help readability at all, unless you've done years of reading manuscripts in this form, so you're used to it. 
In any case, at least it's interesting. I'll turn it around some more. Although I might stick with My Writing Nook for the while.

Get an reader as an ebook?

This is funny, Amazon's server saw that this ereader is a "book", and so they promote getting the book converted to Kindle format!

Reading is still good in the Net age

Reading is still good in the Net age, is the message of this article, and I couldn't agree more.

But I must say, I've been thinking about all this talk recently, from Steve Jobs and others, what a shame it would be if professionally edited news writing weren't to survive.
And in principle I can see that. I'm all for quality. But when I read newspapers (on paper or online), I must say I'm not all that impressed. The bulk of it does not seem very interesting, or even very well written. 
Just look at the article linked above. It's an article the Wall Street Journal, for pete's sake, one of the most famous and respected papers in the world. And yet the article is a mess. It's just a great muddling-around over several paragraphs, in order to say one thing: reading is still good. I have a feeling that it, and the even more confusing illustration, is supposed to be funny, but it's not.
It's not very PC of me, I know, but I must say, I think I write better than that.

Instapaper Mobile site

Instapaper is one of my favorite mobile apps. Now they also have a mobile site, which lets you browse many sites on a hand-held device in simple text form.
For some reason it does not work with some sites, like my blogs, but it's works very well with sites like NYTimes and Wall Street Journal.