There’s a fascinatiing conversation going on on Tor.com right now about the Espresso Print-on-demand book-making machine and its implications for readers. Check it out here.
26 January, 2009
posted by Pablo Defendini at 12:40 pm permalink
21 January, 2009
“Secret Twitter Society,” he says
posted by Pablo Defendini at 7:17 pm permalink
Warren Ellis does some thinking out loud regarding social networks and micro-blogging:
So, are people rolling their own private microblogging networks yet? And knocking together mobile pages and writing/hacking desktop apps to work with their private microblogging networks yet? It would seem to me to be the obvious outgrowth of the Twitter phenomenon: ambient communication for secret societies.
I would love to have a private Twitter network for just my friends. Apps like TweetDeck serve to compartmentalize tweets, but not to compartmentalize the whole network.
18 January, 2009
A real-world Seldon Crisis
posted by Pablo Defendini at 6:15 pm permalink
I see nothing but ‘train wreck’ written all over this. Emmerich is a competent filmmaker, churning out big-budget genre spectacles of debatable quality like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. But both of these movies are nothing more than shallow, star-and/or-effects-driven affairs, and The Foundation Trilogy is anything but. The only slightly intellectually engaging movie of Ememrich’s that comes to mind is Stargate, but even then Emmerich struggled to convey the intricacies of that movie’s relatively complex plot.
18 January, 2009
BSG Round table discussion
posted by Pablo Defendini at 3:10 pm permalink
We’re having a great time discussing Friday night’s episode of Battlestar Galactica on Tor.com. Come join the fun, but be warned: spoilers abound! If you missed it, SciFi has posted the episode in its entirety right here.
16 January, 2009
Contrast – The Flex OLED VAIO Laptop Of Our Dreams? | Sony Insider
posted by Pablo Defendini at 1:32 pm permalink
I’ve been saying we’d see a proof-of-concept for a high-res, bendable OLED or similar display before 2009 was out, but I didn’t expect it to be announced this soon. I can totally see an e-reader being made out of this material:
Contrast – A Sony OLED VAIO Laptop Concept from Sony Insider on Vimeo.
The Contrast Vaio laptop uses a foldable seamless OLED for the display and the keyboard, but as the videos show the keyboard can fade away and the whole thing can display something else. This concept has no restrictions on layout and size, and is extremely durable and shock resistant. Like the other Contrast product concepts, it is made of high performance flexible bioplastic.
And that will be the end of the newspaper and magazines as we know them.
8 January, 2009
I shall be bloviating at NY Comic Con
posted by Pablo Defendini at 4:27 pm permalink
One of my goals for this year is to not let The Sleekness lie fallow, and one of the ways I’ll be achieving that is by stealing from myself: I’ll be doing a lot of cross-posting from my blogging (such as it is) on Tor.com. To wit:
New York Comic Con (Feb. 6-8) has published its schedule of events on its site. Check out the full list of panels and talks here, and start planning your weekend. Tor.com is holding a panel (moderated by yours truly—yeah, somebody was clearly off their meds when they approved this), focusing on online fiction and the changing role of traditional print publishers on the internet. More or less. Your mileage may vary. We may just end up talking about medieval siege engines or something.
Regardless, if you’re in town for the con, do drop by and say “hi.”
7 January, 2009
More on the decline of the old, the rise of the new, and the spaces in between.
posted by Pablo Defendini at 9:09 pm permalink
Yeah, those stinkin’ pirates are really hurting the entertainment industry. Killing profit margins, destroying lives—oh, wait: the movie industry raked in a record-setting $9.78 billion in 2008? The best-selling album mp3 album on Amazon this year was composed of music that could also be had for free, legally, under a Creative Commons license? Madness! Madness, I tell you!
The Pirate’s Dilemma has a spot-on analysis, as usual. Of particular interest to me is Mason’s likening of vinyl records (whose sales apparently doubled this past year) to books: “Records are like books – they are souvenirs of ideas.” Indeed. But that still means a smaller, more selective audience, looking for a high-quality product produced in smaller numbers with collectors in mind, versus the cheap, mass market (no pun intended) alternative.
Mason continues by calling attention to the plight of the college yearbook: “The yearbook business, for example, has evaporated thanks to social networks”. I hadn’t really thought about that, but it makes perfect sense, and not necessarily only for the reason that The Economist states. Aside from the archival capacity of sites like Facebook and MySpace to keep the same mementos previously housed between the covers of a yearbook (pictures, etc.), the fact that social networks keep people connected despite the separation that comes after graduation makes the need for a commemorative tome practically nil. I don’t need memories of Susie Jenkins; Susie’s still in my life—I see her status updates every day, for better or for worse.
6 January, 2009
“2009 is going to be a bloodbath”
posted by Pablo Defendini at 8:31 pm permalink
Clay Shirky on the future of media:
The 500-year-old accident of economics occasioned by the printing press – high upfront cost and filtering happening at the source of publication – is over. But will the New York Times still exist on paper? Of course, because people will hit the print button.
The whole article is well worth a read. It’s not too long, but it covers basics of Shirky’s predictions about how the media laandscape is going to shift (or is already shifting).