Friday, February 17, 2012

8 Unexpected Downsides of the Switch to E-books

8 Unexpected Downsides of the Switch to E-books, satirical article.

It's funny, even as I (and many like me) have virtually stopped buying paper publications, it's nigh impossible to imagine a world without paper books and -magazines.
But I guess as super-cheap displays as well as Net connections become omnipresent over the next twenty years, that'll change. When something that works like an iPad but costs and weighs barely more than a CD, and will find and display anything anybody wants to share, is everywhere, the need or desire for anything on paper will be an exception.

"Breaking the Page" (updated)

Breaking the Page, ebook (free for now)

Thanks to Len. I will read this with interest. I like the title a lot. Like I've talked about, in traditional publishing, virtually everything is based on the PAGE, and so is our thinking. It is no coincidence that the first big, popular destop publishing application was called PageMaker. 

Ebooks have many advantages, speed of delivery, etc. But a major difference, something which will take us collectively years or even decades to really get beyond, is that they are not bound by pages. That's why I think that old legacy software like inDesign is not really well designed for making and designing ebooks. It requires a different thinking from bottom up. 

Scott McCloud has written a lot about this. He sees the screen (computer, tablet etc) not as a page, but rather as a window through which we can look at an infinite "page" we can scroll around in. And in that space, we can arrange things in manners which have never been possible before. Scott has made many interesting web comics in highly experimental formats. 

Here's a good example: London Unfurled, an iPad app. You get one long drawing of the buildings along the London Thames which you can scroll along, and you can click on the name of many of them and read a short article about it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The next 'pad

Happy Valentine's day.

So, probably within a month we'll know what the iPad 3 will be like. Personally what I'm hoping for is some quantum-leap upgrade in screen technology. Like, easier on the eyes somehow, and twice the resolution.
The iPad 2 has a big screen, but it is still very limited how much text you can have on it and still read it comfortably. Not very much really. And there's barely any difference between HD and SD video on it.
And the Retina Display on iPhone 4 showed us how much better it can be. So here's to... uhm, the crazy ones.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Anger Over 'Distasteful' Steve Jobs Advert

[Thanks to Mary]

Anger Over 'Distasteful' Steve Jobs Advert, article and video.

After reading half his bio, I've lost some of my respect of Steve as a person (it shouldn't be beyond anybody to curtail rudeness), but still I think this ad is, well, just that, distasteful, and not even well done.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ol' faithful iPad

I just ordered my Instapaper app on my iPad to show me the article I was reading in the Safari browser. Nothing happened.

A little irritating, but really what it illustrated to me was how rare this is for me with iOS devices. I've been using iPad 1 and 2 and iPhone 4 and 4S for two years now, and something like this has happened only a couple of times. That's pretty amazing, especially when you consider how young the platform is.

God knows it's a vast and welcome improvement over the (nineties) systems Mac OS 7, 8, 9, and Window 95, 98, Me, which all were about as stable as a stilt walker on a freshly polished floor. A decade ago if I had a day without a couple of system-wide crashes, I lit a candle in the window.