Friday, April 12, 2013

Vehicles of Reality

Quoting from Italo Calvino, Elearning Europa boast their collection of 1,000 fairy tales to be downloaded.  Whether their collection is useful or not, vehicles of reality is an excellent description.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Internet could crash

Danny Hillis uses an appearance on TED talks to suggest the fragility of the internet.  It's not as panicky as it sounds; Hillis is optimistic and talks about simple solutions.  At the same time he talks about how the internet has expanded exponentially along with our reliance upon it, showing how we cannot simply ignore the fragility; something must be done.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Print is Free

Tim Milne argues that print has been made free by electronic communications, just as art was made free by photography; it should become an emotion distribution medium. I am not completely convinced by the argument, but I love his enthusiasm.  I am also looking forward to the day when the writer lies in bed, or idles away staring into space, rather than having to produce something.

Beware of Books; they can take over your life

Grant Snider, Incidental Comics, offers a useful warning to those who collect books.  Can't see the problem myself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The end of local newspapers

A worrying story reported on the BBC as: Media Wales and Daily Post job cuts 'death throes' of press.  It would seem that there is a place for local news, and most particularly a vehicle for holding local politicians accountable.  Yet, if the public won't buy the papers, if they prefer to get their news online and generic, then the business of newspapers seems defunct.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Social Resume

Social Resumes, the cv you gain by using social media, are on the up it seems.  Mashable offers some tips on what to include, and what not to include.

Extreme Walking - you might even get an idea

I'm a big fan of walking.  It's the cheapest form of transport, and good for you as well.  Tim Wright offers a further celebration, championing walking for writers.  I'm with him all the way.

In Defence of Writing

Following the argument on the use of social media to promote reading and writing, particularly among boys, comes a warning with regard to the quality of English writing among university students. Professor David Abulafia, a historian from Cambridge, warns that the standard is dropping as a result of Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Exploiting the transmedia, cross-platform, connected technology of today

Cliff Manning argues that young people are not reading less; they are reading differently.  He points out, as he does so, that books are a relatively recent technology.  His celebration of social technology goes on to suggest that schools should make more of online reading, particularly as a means of motivating boys.  I am inclined to think that such bonuses should remain as bonuses; we should not distract schools from teaching young people how to read and write in an extended manner.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Serendipity Engine, Elegantly Powering Authentic Consumer Discovery

Small Demons promise a lot, and the publishing houses are buying into it.  I am not sure that it is the same as curling with a good book, or, as I prefer, sitting in front of a fire.  I also have intellectual shivers when I think of reading as Consumer Discovery.  I am sure it might be useful nonetheless.  Have a read.

In Defence of Ebooks

Overdrive are keen to sustain the relevance of libraries into the next generation of readers.  I am not convinced; the article says that libraries were about the discovery of new/rare books, and boasts at the same time that interest in overdrive services is fuelled by Harry Potter and other best-sellers.  Ebook libraries are worth monitoring nonetheless.

Monday, January 14, 2013

In Defence of Books

Lucy Siegle teaches us nothing new when she points out that five years is a good innings for a laptop; though her comments on planned obsolescence are worth considering.  What is immediately relevant, as a book lover, is the implication for ebooks.  What physical books have is longevity, they last.  Ebooks need energy to be sustained; and the devices used to access them will surely have the same obsolescence flaw as our laptops.