Tag - digital

Know Kno No

I can’t figure out what to make of the Kno.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s an e-reader. But not like the iPad, not like the Kindle, and not like the myriad of competing Android-based tablets in the marketplace today.

The Kno is aimed straight at education, and is designed to replicate the physical experience of a book … while adding enhanced digital features. So is every other e-reading tablet, you might think. But not quite. When I say replicate, I mean replicate. As in size … lots of it.

The Kno is not one tablet but two. And it’s not 7″ or 10″ … it’s 14″. Times two.

That’s right … two 14″ tablets joined together that open like a book and aim to faithfully replicate the experience of cracking open a full-size textbook and reading it. Pixel-for-pixel.

Wow.

Here’s the part that I seem to be terminally confused on: is this a good idea, or is this just slavishly adhering to an old paradigm? In other words … is this the best thing ever, a new revolution in digital technology, or is it just a better buggy whip in the day of the horseless carriage?

I’m not quite sure.

More screen space is always better. But the price … probably $1000, and the size, and the weight, and the probably battery life, and the probable slow user interface (small processor driving a huge screen) … make me think this is not a winner.

But it certainly is intriguing. As long as you don’t try to fit it in your pocket.

Is This Really The Future of Magazines?

Why, why, why, Wired? 400 MBs of images in your 500 MB iPad app. Extremely uncool.

From the story on Interface Lab:

With the Wired app weighing in at a whopping 500 megabytes – just 100 shy of a full CD-ROM – how do they intend to maintain new editions of the magazine?  500 MB is too large for a 3G download (no help from AT&T’s less than spectacular network performance) and for those with iPad’s with the smaller storage, each issue will take a significant chunk of space on the device.  With no apparent means for managing which issues you keep on your device, this will become huge issue for a lot of people.  Obviously they will fix this with updates to the application, but I’m still wondering what they were thinking to begin with.  I’m hoping there were voices of dissent that pointed out the end product was not worth it’s weight in megabytes.  A PDF version would have been a tenth of the size, though without the interactivity.  But is the interactivity worth the 500MB price?  I personally don’t think so.

Why is the magazine so large?  Being the intrepid hacker that I am (*wink*) I mounted my jail broken iPad via AppleTalk and quickly tore into the app itself to see how it was constructed.  Similar to the PopSci+ magazine application, each Wired issue is actually a bunch of XML files that lay out a bunch of images.  And by “a bunch of images” I mean 4,109 images weighing in at 397MB.

via Is This Really The Future of Magazines or Why Didn’t They Just Use HTML 5?.

The Glass Box And The Commonplace Book

I find it interesting that many of the scholars and intellectuals of centuries past were, in effect, bloggers:

I want to start with a page out of history—the handwriting of Thomas Jefferson, taken from one of his notebooks on religion. The words on this page belongs to a long and fruitful tradition that peaked in Enlightenment-era Europe and America, particularly in England: the practice of maintaining a “commonplace” book. Jefferson Scholars, amateur scientists, aspiring men of letters—just about anyone with intellectual ambition in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was likely to keep a commonplace book. In its most customary form, “commonplacing,” as it was called, involved transcribing interesting or inspirational passages from one’s reading, assembling a personalized encyclopedia of quotations. It was a kind of solitary version of the original web logs: an archive of interesting tidbits that one encountered during one’s textual browsing.

The great minds of the period—Milton, Bacon, Locke—were zealous believers in the memory-enhancing powers of the commonplace book. There is a distinct self-help quality to the early descriptions of commonplacing’s virtues: in the words of one advocate, maintaining the books enabled one to “lay up a fund of knowledge, from which we may at all times select what is useful in the several pursuits of life.”

This is only a small fragment of Steve Johnson’s article, which deals primarily with DRM, text, linking, and digital walls and windows. Highly recommended – follow the link …

via stevenberlinjohnson.com: The Glass Box And The Commonplace Book.