briefly noted: iphones & o'reilly 02.19.2009, 4:31 PM
posted by dan visel
- Ars Technica has a review of an interesting-sounding iPhone application called Papers, designed to make it easy to carry around a library of scientific papers on your iPhone. It works with a desktop app also called Papers; it also interfaces with various scientific search engines so you can download more papers on the go. It's not free, and it's not for everyone, but it's nice to see software that seems to understand that different kinds of reading need to be done differently.
- Thematically related: Adam Hodgkin argues that dedicated e-book devices generally lack an awareness of the place of the network in the task of reading; this is more natural in things like the iPhone.
- Jason Epstein's keynote from O'Reilly's Tools of Change conference is now online. There's not much in here that's particularly surprising to anyone who's been paying attention to the field for the past few years – the Espresso Book Machine is still his hope for the future of publishing.
- And James Long, over at the digitalist has a wrap-up of Tools of Change.
- Michael Cairns points out that the trouble with e-books is that publishers still think of them only as an electronic version of the print book.
- Ted Nelson, who we mention here from time to time, has a new, self-published book out, entitled Geeks Bearing Gifts, which is his own deeply idiosyncratic take on the history of the computer and how we use them, starting from the invention of the alphabet and explaining exactly where things went wrong along the way. Ted Nelson, of course, is the inventor of hypertext among other things; I hope to have an interview with him up here soon.
- And there's a new issue of Triple Canopy out; not all the content is up yet, but Ed Halter's piece on Jeff Krulik and public-access TV – something of a Youtube-before-Youtube and Bidisha Banerjee & George Collins's memoir/video game combo are worth inspection.
Posted by dan visel on February 19, 2009 4:31 PM
bowerbird on February 21, 2009 1:11 AM:
ok, when o'reilly drinks the x.m.l./.epub kool-aid,
you can understand. after all, they make money
selling the answers to the questions raised when
people try to seriously use those technologies...
when observers like james long or michael cairns
drink the kool-aid too, it's very unfortunate, but
honestly, who cares if some people get it wrong?
but when _google_ starts drinking the kool-aid
-- saying they want to do "original intent x.m.l."
on the millions of books that they've scanned --
you know we're in trouble. these are the librarians
of the future, so for them to pick this convoluted
and expensively complex methodology, i could cry.
they'll transform the keep-it-simple-stupid beauty
of our familiar ink-on-paper vehicle-of-knowledge
into the incomprehensible mess of modern markup,
of the type we now encounter with "view source"
on any random web-pages, much like this very one.
the concept of "reflow" doesn't seem to be one
that the page-designer here seems to be fond of.
go ahead, resize your window -- i'll wait -- and see
that the text-column doesn't resize along with it.
the challenge? rewrite the source so it will reflow.
but... no, i won't wait for you to accomplish that.
because understanding all the complexity of today's
.xhtml, with cascading stylesheets and all, is _hairy_.
gone are the days when we taught ourselves .html
simply by a curious use of the "view source" gift...
this is the legacy that the technoids have bestowed.
they made it so complicated that we couldn't do it
ourselves, and now find ourself needing to hire them.
and this is the kind of bullcrap google is now pulling.
then again, google will have big truckloads of money
dumping piles of cash in their back yard, what with
the prices they listed in their "settlement" proposal
-- gonna make lots of money selling the old books! --
so i guess they've gotta find a way to quickly get rid
of all those excess funds, and there's no better way
to throw money into a big black hole than to pay to
create bracketed markup and then pay to maintain it.
ha! you thought that money would go to the authors?
yeah, right. just like the "profits" from major movies
get shared with the actors, right after the accountants
figure out how to make sure that there _are_ no profits.
once google has paid to do its "original intent x.m.l.",
there won't be any money left for the stinkin' authors.
with their "settlement", google convinced me that they
have turned evil. and with its new announcement about
"original intent x.m.l.", they've convinced me that they
have turned stupid too.