Category Archives: Technology

More Keyboards

Since What to do with a broken keyboard is one the my most successful posts, here are some more keyboards.

Give them what they want!




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Nesting Dolls: Hi-Tech Style


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Check out Fast Company‘s interactive chart marking the evolution of electronics.

big bangs

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Amazon vs Google

According to the NYT, Google held discussions with publishers at BEA last weekend regarding plans to sell E-books directly to  customers through Google.

This move would put Amazon and Google head-to-head in the battle for E-books. Google said they would take suggestions regarding the much debated price of the electronic books from the publishers, but ultimately they would decide the list price.

Read the entire article here.


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Wooden Kindle

wood kindle1wood kindle2wood kindle 3

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Is Flutter the new Twitter?

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An Addendum to “‘I Love Balthus.’”

On second thought, I’m not entirely sure that the time I spent this winter was completely wasted. My wit atrophied immensely (due, of course, to Mama’s Family), but I was actually reading extensively online– newspapers, journals, blogs, dissertations by Noam Chomsky, hyperbolic assertions by other, less notable intellectuals. Why doesn’t this count as reading? blackberryiphone

The distinction, I think, is a personal one, but is perhaps more universal: there is an unspoken, unsubstantiated edict that posits reading as an activity where an individual sits down in a quiet, well lit room and reads a book. This is not necessarily the case.

As we march forward, more and more people are reading on cell phones and laptops. The iPhone has a new application that allows you to download books from Amazon (a la, the Kindle). My roommate purchased a Blackberry so that he can write his fiction while riding the subway, which has increased his productivity immensely. It seems that print, both written and read, is available in more ways than ever before.

But this is, again, where I have a gripe with the Kindle, specifically as a tangible product. I said in a previous post that if I want to read, I’ll pick up an actual book. This is a little misleading. When I read something that I love, I’ll purchase it and read it in book form, much in the same way that I’ll purchase a CD or even vinyl if I really like the music, despite unfettered access to wholly digital music. If I’m reading merely to gather information, on the other hand, I don’t really care if I pick up the New York Times or if I go to their website (though I do like actually holding a newspaper, despite the easily smudgeable ink).

My point is, I guess, that I’m unsure why Amazon decided to approach the Kindle as digital hardware emulating analog hardware. Why does it have to look at all like a book? I’m kind of turned off by it. I understand that they think that people want familiarity (especially antiquated literary types) but I think they may have misread (pun intended) their customers. Think of it this way, the iPod isn’t successful because it looks like a walkman, it’s successful because it’s useful and convenient and beautifully designed, like all of Apple’s products. I get the feeling that Steve Jobs would have approached the whole thing differently.

I get the sense, with the rampant usage of iPhones and other, more multitasking, portable products, that the Kindle is kind of plodding along, trying to figure out how to make itself useful. I could be totally wrong. I’ve read articles that indicate some stores are having difficulty keeping them in-stock, which is great. I’m certainly a proponent of anything that gets people reading. Maybe I just feel like they should have spent more time on multifaceted software as opposed to hardware, or, perhaps, I’m just wary of a product named after something that burns quickly.


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