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  • 15 September, 2008

    ePaper—Now we’re talking

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:30 am permalink

    It’s no secret that the Amazon Kindle has reinvigorated interest in dedicated ePaper-based reading devices (if not necessarily publishing industry profit margins, just yet). It’s also no secret that the Kindle is absolutely atrociously designed, and that its closest competitors, the Sony Reader and the iRex Iliad, are not much better (although aesthetically much more pleasing).
    Enter Plastic Logic and their as-yet-unnamed reader. It’s got almost everything that would make me want to buy a dedicated reading device. Let’s do the checklist:

    As large as a sheet of paper: Tiny is not always better. I don’t necessarily mind reading books and documents on, say, my iPhone, but it’s nice to have a decently-sized reading area. As long as I can stick this in my bag in place of reams of paper, it’s still a space-saver.

    Thin as all hell, and pretty light: This baby is 0.3″ thin. I could see myself slipping this into my bag along with my MacBook Air, no problem.

    Touchscreen: My iPhone has spoiled me—I want a touchscreen on everything now. I find myself reaching for the screen on my laptop all the time, especially when I’m using an application that’s also present on the iPhone, such as Google Maps. The fact that you can flip pages, use a soft keyboard, and even mark up documents with fingerstrokes is a big, big win for the Plastic Logic reader.

    Full colour, high resolution display: Still lacking, but give it time. Like televisions, personal computers, iPods, and other devices, I can see this reader’s first couple of iterations be black and white, but eventually move to colour, once price and technology make it feasable.

    Open platform: Here’s a place where Kindle and Sony particularly fail. They’ve locked their devices to certain formats. The Plastic Logic reader will be document format-agnostic, as it should be. The presentation at DEMOfall shows the reader explicitly handling PDFs and PowerPoint presentations.

    Here’s that presentation:

    This looks fantastic. Wrap it up in something other than PC beige, price it competitively with the iPod, and I’m pretty sure you’ve got a winner. I’ll be keeping a close eye on these guys as 2009 comes around.

    In the future I can see a device with the guts of the iPhone, or even the MacBook Air, adopting this kind of display, and becoming a full-featured input/output device. I can has touchscreen Mac Tablet?

  • 14 September, 2008

    John McCain gets BarackRoll’d

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 7:45 pm permalink

    This is pretty hilarious:

  • 10 September, 2008

    …and I feel fine.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 9:53 am permalink

    I apologize for the lack of posting around these parts recently. This summer has been hectic, to say the least: travel, moving, new projects, old projects, and a job shuffle (more on that later) have all taken a toll on my time over the last two or three months.But I couldn’t let today go by without giving a shout out to CERN.

    Today’s the day, folks. The Large Hadron Collider goes online (or technically, first collides particles-the LHC actually came online this morning at around 2AM)! No we won’t all die a horrible death by black hole, despite what all the anti-intellectuallists and the bible-thumpers might tell you. We may, however, gain a significantly better understanding of our universe, and the origin of the same.

    So: happy LHC day. If they find the Higgs Boson (do NOT call it the “god particle”, for fuck’s sake!), I propose we declare a worldwide holiday.

  • 6 September, 2008

    reCAPTCHA

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 4:31 pm permalink

    After installing reCAPTCHA in the comments, I no longer have to manually deal with 30 or so daily pieces of comment spam. And, we get to help digitize books. So, reCAPTCHA: keeping the internet human.

  • 4 September, 2008

    Metallica Watch Part Next.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 6:58 pm permalink

    Well, it seems Metallica really is playing a different tune these days. According to the BBC:

    Speaking on San Francisco radio station Live 105, Lars Ulrich said: “If this thing leaks all over the world today or tomorrow, happy days.”

    “It’s 2008 and it’s part of how it is these days,” the musician added

    Interesting. Lovely. So a quick check of Xtorrent and–yep, there it is. I wonder if it really is the oh-so-awaited return to form that’s worth buying?

    [EDIT: Well, it's good on first listen! Back to form. Yes indeed.]

  • 4 September, 2008

    LHC Rap.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:59 am permalink

    A little old school party rap to take you back to the days before imminent, tin-foil-hatted ragnarok:

    And remember, kids: the shit goes down on 09 September. Set your calendars.

  • 3 September, 2008

    If it ain’t broke. . .

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:47 pm permalink

    Wired reports that ‘file sharing’ is alive and well, despite so-called legal alternatives. Big surprise there. After all, the people who pirate want shows as DRM-free HD content in a standardized format, and that’s about the last thing the networks seem willing to give up.