Pew Research: Tablet and Ebook sales over the holidays.
Day One: Mac Journal Application for iPhone, iPad and Mac Desktop.
Monolith: Wood iPhone back panels.
Spare that fragile backside.
Macworld: Ebook library borrowing hits record pace.
“... some publishers still won’t provide borrowing licenses to libraries for new ebook titles.” This is a huge problem at smaller libraries. They get access to *one* copy of a new ebook title, whereas they can get a dozen or more print versions. Getting on an ebook waiting list is a joke, oftentimes.
Macworld: Holding out for an ePub hero.
Interesting overview. Never heard of Sigil before.
RWW: Why Apple, Why Does it Have to Be Like This? The Cold Cynicism of the iBook EULA.
“What a terrible thing to do to a book; to brand it forever constrained for sale by a single vendor only.” Well, that puts a distinct damper on my excitement over the announcement.
The Atlantic: Average Kindle Book 6 Times More Expensive Than Self-Published Titles.
“In 2010 there were zero self-published titles among Amazon’s top 100 bestselling books. In 2011 there were 18. What is drawing customers to these books in such large numbers, many of which are from new authors? Price, says a new report ...” I suspect a section of the market just wants a lot o’ good-lookin’ covers in their book reading app.
Speaking of which. Nosing around on someone else’s tablet or smartphone currently has the cachet of snooping in a medicine cabinet while visiting a friend. Noone admits doing it, but everyone does it. I hand mine over to a client or friend to show a particular item, that interest lasts for 15-30 seconds and then the snooping starts. Seems to be as natural as breathing for just about everyone. I’m going to squirrel away some real doozies on mine, just to scare the hell out of snoopers.
Most of the apps I hit on Android are very nice, but there are a couple of skanky ones. Perhaps this site will help.
Karolinska Institutet: No increase in brain tumours in the Nordic countries.
“The present study shows that there has been no increase in glioma in the Nordic countries since the introduction of mobile phones, and that the risk increases reported in a few individual studies are inconsistent with the cancer statistics. The paper is an update of a previous study on the incidence of glioma in the Nordic countries. The analyses now cover the years up to 2008 and still show no sign of an increase in the disease in the age groups that have been using mobile phones.” You can take off the foil hat now.
Nieman Journalism Lab: Simplifying publishing could mean a flood of new content.
“There’s a long list of tools that try to make ebook creation easier, from big names (Apple’s Pages, Adobe’s InDesign) to smaller ones (Scrivener) to open source alternatives like calibre. But it’s still a complicated enough business that there’s a healthy ecosystem of companies offering ebook conversion services.”
I’ve discussed the idea of a Hypercard for book publishing, but I doubt we’ll see a program with HC’s sheer Swiss-Army-Knife practicality. As with web design and development, there are forces that want the publishing process to be complex. All the new ebook formats are circling around HTML5 and CSS3. This will bring print software closer to web development IDEs. How simple is HTML5 and CSS3? *cough* Sure, there may be a half-dozen ‘simple’ e-book apps ... but their features will be limited, and the path to more complex authoring will be well-trodden. So, want a *decent* ebook published? Expect to pull out your wallet.
GigaOm: Why e-books will be much bigger than you can imagine.
“Here’s a secret: Most authors can tell you all you need to know about a subject in 50 pages. The reason that many instructional books in bookstores are 300+ pages is so they look impressive and thick.” And another point, social marketing is more effective than print advertising. I’d say that observation is terribly contextual. Certain products will thrive on the social interwebs, others are just not suited for that kind of ‘talking up.’
ReadWriteWeb: Can We Rely On Social Media In An Emergency?
Not at present. As we found during our forest fires here, the initial tweet gets good coverage if the generating account has enough followers ... but after that, the signal-to-noise ratio goes exponential with everyone wanting to ‘brand’ the information to their own followers. As further studies are done, you’ll hear this again from other sources than myself. Unless Twitter allows a ‘solo’ channel or hashtag for one account (or a pre-approved number of accounts) to use, this will remain a problem.
Yahoo News: Man’s iPhone marimba ringtone halts entire New York Philharmonic.
OnLive Desktop - Simple PC App Access from Anywhere.
Cute. For iPad only, at present.
Klip.me - Enjoy Mobile Reading.
If you haven’t seen it already. I tend to reserve my Kindle for book-reading, my iMac for web-reading, so it’s of dubious use. Smartphone? Maybe.
Simple wrist straps.
This is something that drives me crazy. Try to find wrist straps for modern smartphones or tablets. They’re HARD to find! Why?!! To me, it’s the simplest bit of insurance that I won’t drop something. I purposely bought one for my iPod Touch, but I cannot - CANNOT - find one for the HTC Sensation. Nor the Nook Tablet. The Nook Tablet has a lovely metal ring on the corner, begging for a strap. Can you find one? I suppose I’ll have to make my own.
Gordon Coale, it’s another market for you.
ReadWriteWeb: Foxconn Workers Threaten Mass Suicide.
“Foxconn produces devices for Microsoft (including the Xbox360), Apple (the iPhone and iPad), Sony (PlayStation3) and Nintendo (the Wii), as well as the Amazon Kindle.” Let these manufacturers know this is not acceptable.
Nook Tablet, quick comment.
I needed access to an Android tablet, and the ability to read ePub files. The Nook Tablet is the most inauspicious thing I’ve ever come across. Nowhere near as ‘sorted’ as an iPad. I can’t even figure out a way to copy and paste URLs. Basic functions are just ... screwed up. The keyboard is significantly wonky. With Comcast Blast! service over wifi, it’s slower than death. Checking GMail is a five minute process - if you can get the damned thing to sign in. Barely qualifies as ‘beta’ in my opinion. I hope a future software update makes this thing more usable - otherwise it’s getting rooted.
Waterproof your electronics.
Double-exposure is the next photo-fad.
I’m wagering. I’m seeing an uptick of such items on Tumblr. Another way for the unskilled to take dull photographs and make them into something that resembles art.
Stephanie Rieger: The ‘trouble’ with Android.
I suspect this will only get worse, not better.
CNet: Android, iOS activations hit record on Christmas. Again.
Here, also. I often get grief from my clients for pulling out iPad, iPod Touch, Macbook ... and a (as clients characterize it) ‘4,000 year old’ cellphone with no smart features.
I chose Android over iOS for two reasons:
One, most of my clients are running Android and I need to know it better than I do.
Two, the majority of my information is in Google apps rather than MobileMe or iCloud.
After 48 hours with the HTC Sensation, I have to say I really like it.
Better than iPhone? It’s early days yet. The iPod Touch gives me most of the functionality of iPhone, and I run an iPad ... so I know the ‘lay of the land’ on iOS very well.
The Sensation is very fast compared to my late model iPod Touch and iPad 1.
Android’s interface is non-intuitive if you’ve been using iOS. Took me a while to figure things out (if I actually have). Setting up apps and widgets on the home screen is particularly confusing at first. They need to include a link to an extensive Android tips and tricks page or similar in their user guide.
Battery could use more legs, but I doubt it’ll leave me stranded on any given day. With moderate ‘setup new apps’ use, I got a day and a half out of it. There seem to be higher capacity replacement batteries out there. I may pick up a second just to have around.
The screen is quite bright, colorful, and I have not even given a thought to the lack of a Retinal Display.
I wish some iOS apps would move over to Android (Flipboard, Instagram, etc.), but there are plenty of alternatives. I’m surprised that many apps are free on Android, whereas you will always be pulling out your Apple account to pay for apps on iOS. So far I’ve spent less than $10 on apps and am covered about equally compared to my iOS devices.
Compared to the portrait and landscape keyboards on iOS, the Sensation’s keyboards are actually usable for my big fingers. That doesn’t really communicate the feel ... it’s a much more responsive keyboard. If for no other reason, this is a huge dealmaker for me.
The GMail app is superlative, much better than the iOS experience. Once you get the hang of the interface, one can zip through email, label and archive much much faster than in iOS.
Camper app works well for Basecamp. I have yet to fully kick the tires on this, but just accessing it with one click without having to use a little browser, is a plus.
The phone calling features actually work (some of my clients who have iPhones complain of call quality). Call quality’s not as good as my old phone, but I hear all smartphones have call quality handicaps.
Those last three items (email, Basecamp and phone quality) are vital to me ... and for once I feel I can be connected to my business in a small form-factor.
In sum, I had expected much, much less out of an Android phone. So don’t believe the nay-sayers - the experience for an iOS person who uses Google products, is a good one. Fun, even.
It just came to me ...
I was scanning through my “Politics” channel on Zite (iPad app I prefer for newsreading), and the epiphany struck.
The overall feel of modern day political articles is roughly equivalent to public-access cable channels in the ‘80’s. Crazed, manic, loud ... and just plain bizarre.
Luckily a finger-flip carries me away from this awfulness.
CBC: E-book prices spark battle between publishers, retailers.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Google Goggles.
“Have you ever seen a work of art—on a poster, in a book, on a billboard, or even in one of the Met’s galleries—and simply had to know more about it? Now you can. I’m pleased to announce a new collaboration with Google that lets you take a picture of a work of art with your mobile device and link straight to more information on metmuseum.org.” I suppose it’s futile to remind folks that some museums were doing this with the Apple Newton (at least a *form* of this) twenty years ago. Welcome back to the future, improved.