Digital bedlam

Yesterday I was riding the BTS here in Bangkok, when I noticed a guy standing in the corner of the car. What first caught my attention was his face, which was bathed in an unholy glow. Short of sleep as I was, my first thought was, yow, this is some kind of divine messenger, maybe sent by my dear, departed mother to have another go at finally setting me straight.

Then I realized the light came from the iPad he … Read more

Um… (attention-span failure)

Kindle Singles. Score one for iPad enthusiasts. Soon there’ll be no time to suffer the unfortunate effects of backlit screens. Kindles are better for extended reading? Yeah, well. Whatever.

Savage Chickens cartoon used with permission.

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New, improved reading experience. Not.

“Alice” fans and critics (see my last post) likely fall into opposing iPad and Kindle/Sony camps. The former will view Alice as a new and improved kind of reading: “Great! It’s just like browsing the Internet.”  The latter — i.e. those who actually enjoy extended reading — will view it with horror: “Whoa! This is just one more patch of digital quicksand.”

In the spirit of deteriorating attention spans and debilitated Muses, and  because it’s way easier than writing … Read more

E-readers need serendipity buttons

One burning issue du jour concerns the relative merits of Kindles and iPads. But rarely, now, does discussion swing around to the real advantages of traditional paper books.

If only paper books could perform word searches, eh? How I wished for the missing function when I went looking for a passage I dimly remembered reading somewhere—something to the effect that night air was sweating the fragrance of jasmine. I wanted to use something dangerously similar in a story I was … Read more

Unemployed Blacksmiths and Novelists Support Group

It was all foretold in Finnegans Wake. It could have been, anyway.

There’s just no end to human ingenuity. Now you don’t even have to buy an e-book reader to suffer Internet interconnectivity. Ubimark has developed a way for readers to evoke Web connections from a print book by way of cellphone camera and browser. Have a look at the following item (short article & video), “Putting the Web inside the printed book.”

Ubimark, iPads and Vooks Read more

From absent presence to omnipresence: “I am my iPhone” (local DTAC slogan) to “We are my iPad”

In Thailand, the iPad mostly remains a rumor of digital utopia on the other side of the world. But travelers to those distant parts are beginning to arrive back here with their über-gadgets.

And they are harbingers of epidemic social change. These carriers of the current Digital Grail—and soon, I suspect, they’ll include everybody in the world with a few hundred dollars to spend—behave as though they carry new-born children, and they’re prone to dropping these items on the … Read more