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A Book Addict's Defense of the Smartphone | Technology and Learning
"A counterargument to the emerging conventional wisdom"



"Smartphones are either like cigarettes or comic books. Either bad for humans, or good for those who make their living telling us what is bad.

The smartphone worrywarts have some evidence on their side. I’ll get to some disturbing smartphone numbers in a second, but first some smartphone love.

Smartphones are the best thing to happen to book lovers since the paperback. The iPhone is a bookstore, library, and narrator.

The biggest reason that we don’t read more books is not lack of desire, but a shortage of time.

With my iPhone, I’m able to listen to audiobooks while walking, cooking, and cleaning. The Kindle iOS app allows me to read e-books in short bursts. I’ll read a page or two while standing in line at the grocery store, or while eating my morning cereal.

Does the advantages of the iPhone for book discovery, portability and reading outweigh the costs of mobile computing for everything else?

The big worry about smartphones is that they are killing our ability to focus. Productive thinking requires our attention, and smartphones are attention magnets.

On average, smartphone users (which is everyone now) spend 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on their phones. The top 20 percent of smartphone users are on their devices for an average of 4.5 hours per day.

Smartphones have been associated with everything from rising levels of anxiety and depression among teenagers to damaging interpersonal relationships.

Professors find the use of smartphones so distracting for teaching and learning that 1 in 4 has banned them from their classes.

A recent MIT study showed that even a single day with access to their smartphone can cause college students to have elevated levels of stress and anxiety.

Some warning signs of smartphone addiction that I found online include:

• “Difficulty completing chores or work due to concentration issues.”

• "Seclusion from family and friends or using your phone when in conversation.”

• Masking of smartphone use by sneaking off to the bathroom at work.

• “Worry that you’re missing out on something when you’re not with your phone.”

• Feeling "anxious or irritable” when not with your phone

• Sleep problems.

There seems to be a growing acceptance that we can’t control our smartphone actions. A recent NYTimes article called "Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain" (2/23/19) received 495 comments.

Almost half of Americans have tried to limit their smartphone usage in the past, with only 30 percent being successful.

I could go on enumerating all the disturbing smartphone statistics.

My point is not that I don’t think that smartphones can cause problems for attention, focus, and interpersonal relationships. I’ll stipulate that we have not adjusted to the downsides of having the internet - and everything that comes along with the web - in our pockets.

What I am saying is that the advantages of being to store, listen to, and read books - wherever and whenever - outweigh all the smartphone negatives.

The audiobook and the e-book, purchased (or borrowed) and read/listened to on a smartphone, is the game changer for book lovers.

Strangely, the wonderful opportunities to spend more time reading books that smartphones have enabled has gone largely uncelebrated. Academics - we people of the book - should be overjoyed about the potential of the smartphone to increase reading time.

We should be making the argument that the problem with the smartphone is not the device, but how people use it. Delete that Facebook app. Get rid of Twitter. Take the games off the phone. Maybe even remove your e-mail accounts.

Keep the Kindle and Audible apps. (Or whatever e-book and audiobook app that you use).

Think only of the smartphone as a reading device and a bookshelf.

Do you use your phone to read books?"
smartphones  mobile  phones  howweread  reading  joshuakim  infooverload  distraction  kindle  ebooks  audiobooks  access  accessibility  attention  2019 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Push to Kindle - Chrome Web Store
"Send web articles to your Kindle
Push to Kindle is a free service which lets you send web articles (news stories, blog posts, Wikipedia entries, etc.) to your Kindle or other e-reader for easy reading.

Installing this extension will add a send to Kindle button to your Chrome browser. Simply click the Push to Kindle button on a page which you'd like to read on your Kindle.

Use Push to Kindle to send a long web article to your Kindle to read it later. Use it to build up a reading list of articles for offline reading. Or simply use it to improve your reading experience.

Features:
★ Speedy delivery to your Kindle
★ Preview showing you what will get sent to the Kindle
★ Alternative download options: EPUB, MOBI or PDF
★ Send to multiple Kindle devices (enter up to 5 comma separated addresses)
★ PDF support
★ Image support
★ Title editing
★ Free

If you're confused about the email addresses needed to use Push to Kindle, please read our guide here: http://help.fivefilters.org/customer/portal/articles/178337-kindle-e-mail-address

Android users: Look for Push to Kindle in the Android Market https://market.android.com/details?id=org.fivefilters.kindleit

Kindle Fire users: Look for Push to Kindle in the Amazon App Store http://www.amazon.com/FiveFilters-org-Push-to-Kindle/dp/B005GFM0H0

iPhone and iPad users: Use our e-mail service http://fivefilters.org/kindle-it/#email

- - - - - - - - - -

Push to Kindle can send to the following devices:
★ Kindle e-readers sold by Amazon
★ Android Kindle app
★ iPhone/iPad Kindle app"
kindle  android  epub  chrome  extensions 
february 2019 by robertogreco
The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected | WIRED
"THE FUTURE BOOK was meant to be interactive, moving, alive. Its pages were supposed to be lush with whirling doodads, responsive, hands-on. The old paperback Zork choose-your-own-adventures were just the start. The Future Book would change depending on where you were, how you were feeling. It would incorporate your very environment into its story—the name of the coffee shop you were sitting at, your best friend’s birthday. It would be sly, maybe a little creepy. Definitely programmable. Ulysses would extend indefinitely in any direction you wanted to explore; just tap and some unique, mega-mind-blowing sui generis path of Joycean machine-learned words would wend itself out before your very eyes.

Prognostications about how technology would affect the form of paper books have been with us for centuries. Each new medium was poised to deform or murder the book: newspapers, photography, radio, movies, television, videogames, the internet.

Some viewed the intersection of books and technology more positively: In 1945, Vannevar Bush wrote in The Atlantic: “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified.”

Researcher Alan Kay created a cardboard prototype of a tablet-like device in 1968. He called it the "Dynabook," saying, “We created a new kind of medium for boosting human thought, for amplifying human intellectual endeavor. We thought it could be as significant as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press 500 years ago.”

In the 1990s, Future Bookism hit a kind of beautiful fever pitch. We were so close. Brown University professor Robert Coover, in a 1992 New York Times op-ed titled “The End of Books,” wrote of the future of writing: “Fluidity, contingency, indeterminacy, plurality, discontinuity are the hypertext buzzwords of the day, and they seem to be fast becoming principles, in the same way that relativity not so long ago displaced the falling apple.” And then, more broadly: “The print medium is a doomed and outdated technology, a mere curiosity of bygone days destined soon to be consigned forever to those dusty unattended museums we now call libraries.”

Normal books? Bo-ring. Future Books? Awesome—indeterminate—and we were almost there! The Voyager Company built its "expanded books" platform on Hypercard, launching with three titles at MacWorld 1992. Microsoft launched Encarta on CD-ROM.

But … by the mid-2000s, there still were no real digital books. The Rocket eBook was too little, too early. Sony launched the eink-based Librie platform in 2004 to little uptake. Interactive CD-ROMs had dropped off the map. We had Wikipedia, blogs, and the internet, but the mythological Future Book—some electric slab that would somehow both be like and not like the quartos of yore—had yet to materialize. Peter Meirs, head of technology at Time, hedged his bets perfectly, proclaiming: “Ultimately, there will be some sort of device!”

And then there was. Several devices, actually. The iPhone launched in June 2007, the Kindle that November. Then, in 2010, the iPad arrived. High-resolution screens were suddenly in everyone’s hands and bags. And for a brief moment during the early 2010s, it seemed like it might finally be here: the glorious Future Book."



"Yet here’s the surprise: We were looking for the Future Book in the wrong place. It’s not the form, necessarily, that needed to evolve—I think we can agree that, in an age of infinite distraction, one of the strongest assets of a “book” as a book is its singular, sustained, distraction-free, blissfully immutable voice. Instead, technology changed everything that enables a book, fomenting a quiet revolution. Funding, printing, fulfillment, community-building—everything leading up to and supporting a book has shifted meaningfully, even if the containers haven’t. Perhaps the form and interactivity of what we consider a “standard book” will change in the future, as screens become as cheap and durable as paper. But the books made today, held in our hands, digital or print, are Future Books, unfuturistic and inert may they seem."

[sections on self-publishing, crowdfunding, email newsletters, social media, audiobooks and podcasts, etc.]



"It turns out smartphones aren’t the best digital book reading devices (too many seductions, real-time travesties, notifications just behind the words), but they make excellent audiobook players, stowed away in pockets while commuting. Top-tier podcasts like Serial, S-Town, and Homecoming have normalized listening to audio or (nonfiction) booklike productions on smartphones."



"Last August, a box arrived on my doorstep that seemed to embody the apotheosis of contemporary publishing. The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition was published via a crowdfunding campaign. The edition includes a book of images, three records, and a small poster packaged in an exquisite box set with supplementary online material. When I held it, I didn’t think about how futuristic it felt, nor did I lament the lack of digital paper or interactivity. I thought: What a strange miracle to be able to publish an object like this today. Something independently produced, complex and beautiful, with foil stamping and thick pages, full-color, in multiple volumes, made into a box set, with an accompanying record and other shimmering artifacts, for a weirdly niche audience, funded by geeks like me who are turned on by the romance of space.

We have arrived to the once imagined Future Book in piecemeal truths.

Moving images were often espoused to be a core part of our Future Book. While rarely found inside of an iBooks or Kindle book, they are here. If you want to learn the ukulele, you don’t search Amazon for a Kindle how-to book, you go to YouTube and binge on hours of lessons, stopping when you need to, rewinding as necessary, learning at your own pace.

Vannevar Bush's “Memex” essentially described Wikipedia built into a desk.

The "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an iPhone.

In The Book of Sand, Borges wrote of an infinite book: "It was then that the stranger told me: 'Study the page well. You will never see it again.'" Describing in many ways what it feels like to browse the internet or peek at Twitter.

Our Future Book is composed of email, tweets, YouTube videos, mailing lists, crowdfunding campaigns, PDF to .mobi converters, Amazon warehouses, and a surge of hyper-affordable offset printers in places like Hong Kong.

For a “book” is just the endpoint of a latticework of complex infrastructure, made increasingly accessible. Even if the endpoint stays stubbornly the same—either as an unchanging Kindle edition or simple paperback—the universe that produces, breathes life into, and supports books is changing in positive, inclusive ways, year by year. The Future Book is here and continues to evolve. You’re holding it. It’s exciting. It’s boring. It’s more important than it has ever been.

But temper some of those flight-of-fancy expectations. In many ways, it’s still a potato."
craigmod  ebooks  reading  howweread  2018  kindle  eink  print  publishing  selfpublishing  blurb  lulu  amazon  ibooks  apple  digital  bookfuturism  hypertext  hypercard  history  vannevarbush  borges  twitter  animation  video  newsletters  email  pdf  mobi  epub  infrastructure  systems  economics  goldenrecord  voyager  audio  audiobooks  smarthphones  connectivity  ereaders  podcasts  socialmedia  kevinkelly  benthompson  robinsloan  mailchimp  timbuktulabs  elenafavilli  francescacavallo  jackcheng  funding  kickstarter  crowdfunding  blogs  blogging  wikipedia  internet  web  online  writing  howwewrite  self-publishing  youtube 
january 2019 by robertogreco
The Color Gradient Reader BeeLine Shows Promise for Speed and Attention in Reading - The Atlantic
"In the era of attention deficits, the new text will not be black and white."



"The colors in this text are rendered in a precise and strategic way, designed to help people read quickly and accurately.

The most important feature is that each line begins with a different color than the line above or below. As Matthew Schneps, director of the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, explained it to me, the color gradients also pull our eyes long from one character to the next—and then from the end of one line to the beginning of the next, minimizing any chance of skipping lines or making anything less than an optimally efficient word-to-word or line-to-line transition.

Improving the ease and accuracy of the return sweep is a promising idea for readers of all skill levels. And yet it’s one that’s gone largely ignored in the milieu of media technologies. Today many of us read primarily on screens–and we have for years–yet most platforms have focused on using technology to attempt to recreate text as it appears in books (or in newspapers or magazines), instead of trying to create an optimal reading experience.

The format—black text on white lines of 12 to 15 words of equal size—is a relic of the way that books were most easily printed on early printing presses. It persists today out of tradition, not because of some innate tendency of the human brain to process information in this way.

Meanwhile, people who aren’t especially skilled at intake of text in the traditional format are systematically penalized. People who don’t read well in this one particular way tend to fall behind scholastically early in life. They might be told they’re not as bright as other people, or at least come to assume it. They might even be diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, or a learning disability, or overlooked as academically mediocre.

“The book format was effective, but not for everyone,” said Schneps. “This is not just technology that could help people who are struggling with reading; this is technology that could help a lot of people.”

* * *

Our minds are not as uniform as our text. We all take in information in different ways. Some people read more quickly and retain more information when lines are shorter, or when fonts are bolder, or in different colors. The color-gradient pattern above is rendered by a product called BeeLine, developed by armchair linguist Nick Lum. He got the idea after learning about the Stroop Effect, the famous phenomenon where it becomes difficult to read words like “yellow” and “red” when they are written in different colors. Lum thought, “What if instead of screwing people up, we tried to use color in a way that helps people?”

After he won the Stanford Social Entrepreneurship and Dell Education startup competitions with the idea in 2014, Lum took to developing the technology full time. So far, the response from people tends to be binary: for some it’s a shrug, but for others, particularly people with dyslexias, it’s like turning on a light bulb. As Lum describes it, people tell him “Holy cow, this is how everybody else reads.”

The idea has been well received by reading experts, too.

“Most of the academic research is figuring out entirely what your eyes are going to do on one line,” said psychologist and Microsoft researcher Kevin Larson. “That has been such a challenge that it's rare for anyone to pay much attention to what happens during that line return movement.”

At the University of Texas at Austin, Randolph Bias has studied the optimal length of lines of text for reading comprehension and speed. The two are generally at odds: Short lines make for a quick and accurate return (the movement is easier because it allows our eyes to take a greater downward angle than if the line were longer.) The downside is that because our brains process information during return sweeps, shorter lines don't afford us that time. We also don’t get to take full advantage of peripheral vision – which is key. (He cites this as the problem with Spritz, the reading technology where single words rapidly flash before a reader.)"



"The other big opportunity for the technology is in educational settings. Later this year, BeeLine will be rolling out in libraries across California, as part of a licensing partnership. This is how Lum sees the company growing. The basic Google Chrome extension and iPhone app are free. But large-scale licensing deals with platforms and institutions like school systems could be more lucrative—and make the option accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise think to try reading in color.

In early experiments, some students do seem to benefit from the color gradients. Last year, first-grade students in two general-education classrooms in San Bernardino, California, tried out Beeline, and many did better with comprehension tests afterword. “Because of my background in visual processing, I immediately wanted to check it out,” said Michael Dominguez, an applied behavioral analyst who directs the San Bernardino school district’s special education program. “Based on everything I know, it should work great.”"

[See also (referenced in the article):
http://www.beelinereader.com/
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ie/2014/03/04/introducing-reading-view-in-ie-11/ ]
howweread  reading  dyslexia  education  cyborgs  adhd  color  text  jameshamblin  kevinlarson  via:ayjay  michaeldominguez  beeline  chrome  browser  browsers  extensions  accessibility  assistivetechnology  microsoft  attention  technology  edtech  nicklum  linguistics  randolphbias  spritz  ereading  kindle  pdfs  epub  pdf 
july 2016 by robertogreco
In Search of the Long Wow — Between Shelves — Medium
"What happened to the e-reading revolution that would shape the way we think about text?

If it’s possible to draw my life onto a timeline then every major event would be accompanied by a book. Although, despite what my shelves might tell you, I certainly don’t hoard them. It’s the books that are infatuated with me.

In hope of spending a weekend by my side, or even just a moment in my bag, books will call out from the shops in airport terminals and reveal themselves along riverbank market stalls. Likewise, I’ve found so many books waiting for me on the midnight trains that slowly criss-cross their way along the English towns near my home that I’ve begun to imagine a conspiracy of books at work; they’ve heard reports of my forbidden touch, or the color of my eyes, or my prolonged contact with the naked bodies of their friends. And so, hidden in jackets and sheathed in purses, the books plan their approach as they hope to try their luck with me instead.

I find them everywhere, at all times, and they respond to my body like a magnet; jumping into my bag, clinging onto me for dear life. What is it about these books, these inky sponges, I wonder, that make them act so desperately?

That’s not to say that the relationship is all one-way however; over the past year or so the buildings and faces around me have swirled into an incomprehensible blur and it’s only when I think about these books that the events lost in that swirl begin to make a little sense. I vividly remember the the final scenes as I turn these books over in my hands; they reveal a collage of where I was, and who I was, when I read them.

Yet in the foreseeable future my library can no longer be brought along for the ride, and I can no longer continue my affairs with the strange books that whisper my name in the dark. This year I’ll be attempting to avoid those flirting temptations by reading everything on the new Kindle Paperwhite.

I’ve always been fascinated by e-reading devices but I’ve been continuously frustrated by my expectations of them. Several years ago I owned a Kindle with physical buttons and a keyboard, and I remember how the experience was much like trying to read a novel from an Etch-a-Sketch.

During that time I tried to ignore how the designers appeared oblivious to centuries of typographic discipline, yet the hardware itself was unavoidably primitive and frustrating in every regard. No matter how many reviews I watched or how many friends recommended them I couldn’t understand where this wellspring of sentiment came from. Ultimately I felt that ebooks, and e-readers, showed so much promise but it was a promise that couldn’t be kept, which is why I was so very hesitant when I thought of returning to the Kindle again.

Yet I didn’t know anything about the latest models at all. I hadn’t picked apart the reviews or carefully watched an unboxing video, and my bookish friends appeared oblivious to the developments in the ebook world, too.

I believe this is for two reasons: one, no-one appears to believe anymore that ebooks will annihilate the print world any time soon, and two, the Kindle Paperwhite is remarkably boring.

And that’s the first thing you discover when you open the box and setup your account — it dawns on you just how truly boring the Kindle now is. So much so that whenever I’ve tried to bring up a conversation about my latest reading adventures I watch as faces droop and eyes roll, it’s impossible not to yawn in reply. Where are the Watch apps and the VR simulations that will let me read Moby Dick whilst sitting on the Moon or tumbling down a roller coaster, I hear you ask.

Back in 2007, when the Kindle debuted, there was so much hope for a literary and technological revolution of some kind. But eight years later, surely we ought to have replaced this antiquated ebook technology by now.

If this is the future that we’ve been promised from the very start, then where is the revolution? Where are the new forms of reading?

And where is the Kindle?

After opening the Kindle Paperwhite for the first time my impression was that I had somehow been tricked — I discovered that time had slipped forward by an hour in what felt like a second. Hmmm…, I thought. Shortly afterwards, I visited my Kindle library and found that it had automatically downloaded everything from my previous device. Hmm…, I thought again. Next, I tried to buy a book and found just how cheap the Kindle versions are, easily saving 50% of the cost of a physical book. This encouraged me to double the size of my library in a matter of minutes. Subsequently they appeared onto the device silently, without any procession, just like magic.

Hmmm… I continued to think.

It slowly dawned on me that the Kindle is such an interesting device today precisely because it is so very boring. It looks and feels like a machine that’s finally reached maturity; it’s part of a greater ecosystem that cannot sustain itself by flashy gimmicks or tropes. Instead, it just quietly, expertly, does a very simple job, and does it extraordinarily well.

A string of Hmmm’s and Oooh’s occur with each passing moment spent with the Kindle, and this reminded me of an old post about design by Craig Mod. Somewhere deep in his vast archive of book design is a note about two experiences: the Long Wow vs. the Small Wow. Yet I can’t seem to retrieve the quote from search terms or keyword strings, and this leads me to think that I am garbling the original idea in some horrible manner. Perhaps it wasn’t on Craig’s website that I first heard of this idea at all.

But here’s how I remember it.

The Long Wow vs. the Small Wow

The Long Wow is the sort of action that continues to impress, long after someone’s first experienced it. But the Long Wow is never really an individual sound, image, graphic element or feature of a product that we can point to. Instead, it’s a collection of features and experiences: it’s how they snap together, and how the seams between these features are then hidden away from view. It’s made up of lots of tiny moments, and identifiable features, but it’s difficult to point to a Long Wow with any certainty.

For instance, the first time we saw magazines on the iPad — all those animations and diagrams and Minority Report-like features! — these could each be described as a Small Wow. But the gimmicks fade quickly and then you’re left wondering how the blasted thing works. (Is this the app where I have to swipe right and then down into the article, or is the one where I have to pinch-zoom out to get to the contents page etc etc.)

However, both types of Wow are possible outside the realm of the e-reader, too. I remember a physical book that was surely capable of both. After years of looking at it, I still gawp at its shape and texture. I think about the custom typeface, about the quality of the paper, about the delicate woodcut illustrations, each a Small Wow in their own right, and each leading to a more satisfying reading experience overall.

In other words, there are Small Wows that contribute to better experiences, and then there are Small Wows that prevent them. This is why designing a reading device is so frustratingly difficult. But in order to understand the Long Wow of the Kindle, we have to break it up into each of its component parts, the tiny features that continue to impress and surprise:

• The prices of ebooks are astoundingly cheap.

• You can throw the Paperwhite into a bag and not worry for a second whether or not it could be damaged in the process; its plastic body feels durable rather than cheap.

• The screen has a coarseness to it that resembles another material entirely. On the iPad you swipe your finger along a slippery plane of ever-present, fragile glass but on the Paperwhite your finger tracks along a groove that resembles thick card.

• The network connection always feels predictable: you know when you’re offline and which features you can access. A notification doesn’t pop up when you walk away from your WiFi hotspot. Bonus points: you rarely need to be online anyway.

• The battery life appears to be nigh-on infinite.

• The screen/format/process is perfect for text-only works: novels, short stories, collections of talks, etc.

• The common design of most Kindle books has now overtaken their physical counterparts.

• Typographically speaking, the Kindle has reached an a-ok position for me. Every book I’ve read is still poorly justified but somehow I forgive them. Although, it should go without saying that the text of every ebook should be left aligned, ragged right.

• The custom-made Bookerly typeface, made by Dalton Maag, is a solid foundation for future typographic experiments on the Kindle platform.

• The refresh rate is very responsive: in the previous model that I owned whenever you turned a page or selected an option the screen would judder very slowly. But now, the way that the whole screen refreshes when you tap to reveal the menu or turn to swipe a page leaves a pleasant, old-school computer feeling in its wake, one that isn’t annoying in the slightest.

• The lack of physical buttons is a very good thing. I’d heard terrible moans about previous models having touch screens but this one seems to be immediately responsive and fast.

• Tiny gestures, like highlighting the text or calling the main menu by touching the top of the screen, are elegant, consistent and memorable. There are effectively three “buttons”: tap the top part of the screen for the menu or tap left/right to turn the pages.

These features aren’t thrilling, and they can’t easily be made into an advert that sparkles or grabs the reader’s attention; it’s difficult to imagine Zooey Deschanel or Samuel Jackson sitting in a brightly lit room and talking into a camera whilst they Oooh and Aaah about the highlighting gesture or the battery life of a Kindle.

Yet amidst that … [more]
robinrendle  kindle  longwow  technology  edtech  utility  ebooks  ereaders  paperwhite  2016  reading  howweread  smallwow  books 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Highlights - Sawyer Hollenshead
[About: https://medium.com/@sawyerh/how-i-m-exporting-my-highlights-from-the-grasps-of-ibooks-and-kindle-ce6a6031b298#.a4fg98jq2

"How I’m exporting my highlights from the grasps of iBooks and Kindle
Using email, AWS, Siteleaf, and GitHub

A few years ago there was a little startup called Readmill that gave a glimpse at what an open, independent reading platform could look like. You could import your books into their beautiful reading app and highlight text as you read. Your highlights would sync with your Readmill account and other people could follow along to see what you were highlighting (and vice-versa). I discovered a bunch of new books and met some new faces this way. I even built a product that tied in with their API. Then Readmill got acquired by Dropbox. The open, independent reading platform was no longer open or independent, and shutdown in July 2014. Since their shutdown, the state of digital reading platforms has been pretty sad.

Now, my reading takes place in a train on my phone (iBooks) or in sunny Prospect Park on my Kindle. I still highlight as I read, but they don’t sync anywhere. They’re typically scattered between two walled gardens, and 99% of the time I don’t come back to reflect on what I’ve highlighted. I might as well be posting screenshots of the text to Twitter like a buffoon (✋guilty).

So after stewing in frustration for quite awhile about the current state of digital reading platforms, I decided to do what any sane programmer would do: Devise an overly complex solution on AWS for a seemingly simple problem (that two companies with a combined market cap of close to a trillion fucking dollars can’t be bothered to solve).

The ultimate product was highlights.sawyerhollenshead.com. (Skip to the bottom for links to the code).

The problem: How do I gather all of my highlights from iBooks and Kindle and put them into one collection, preferably online, where I can share, browse, and reflect on everything I’ve read?
The solution: Email.

Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than just “Email”. Yes, I suppose I could just email the highlights to myself and be done with it. Now that I think about it, maybe I should have started there. But I didn’t, I jumped right to this: I created a new email address (eg. add-highlight@example.com) and hooked it up to Amazon Simple Email Service (SES). Using SES, my email address receives email I send to it and stores the email as essentially a text file in Amazon S3 (aka an online folder that stores files). Amazon S3 is smart though and can notify other services when a new file is added to it. So I setup my S3 folder to notify another Amazon service, Amazon Lambda, whenever a new email is received. Lambda is the “brains” of this whole flow. It’s given an input, the email S3 just stored, and runs code on that input."

Sending and parsing highlight emails

The code that I setup Lambda to run does a few things: First, it reads the email and identifies the source of the highlights as either iBooks or Kindle. Emails with iBooks highlights contain the highlights in the body and Kindle highlights are sent as attachments. Why?

iBooks provides a fairly nice user experience for emailing your highlights, so all I have to do is select the highlights I want to share and email them to my add-highlights@example.com address.

Kindle is a bit more of a monster. For books that I’ve purchased through Amazon, my highlights get synced to the Kindle highlights page, possibly one of Amazon’s most neglected pages. Using a bookmarklet, I export all these highlights as a JSON file. Next, I email the JSON file as an attachment to my SES address.

Publishing the highlights online

Now that my Lambda code knows the source of the highlights, it parses the highlights from the email and we proceed on to the next step: Saving the highlights to Siteleaf. Siteleaf is a content management system that myself and the team at Oak have been working on. Siteleaf allows you to manage your website’s content in the cloud and then publish your site as static HTML to a web host of your choice. Siteleaf also has an API, which I’m using to save my highlights. Once my highlights are saved to Siteleaf, Siteleaf automatically syncs the new highlights to GitHub as Markdown files. At this point, my highlights are saved to Siteleaf and accessible through the CMS and API. They’re also saved as Markdown files in a GitHub repo. Pretty cool. With one more click in Siteleaf, I then publish these highlights to my website, hosted on GitHub Pages. Now they’re also saved as HTML pages and accessible to everyone online. Even cooler.

(Note: The Siteleaf functionality mentioned above is currently in beta and not yet open to everyone. You can apply for access though — I know a guy.)

Drink
The irony that I’m using all of these Amazon services to solve a problem that Amazon itself is a part of isn’t lost on me. Like I said at the beginning, this is an overly complex solution to a problem that seems so simple — but it works for me. Now that I have all the pipes connected, when I finish reading a book, I send one email and my highlights are ready to be published to my site. Whether or not Apple, Amazon, or some other company ever makes browsing your ebook highlights and notes easier, I hope to always have a method of my own. If you have your own workflow, I’d love to hear about it.

View the code on GitHub
Instructions and code for the Lambda function can be found on GitHub. Additionally, the code for highlights.sawyerh.com is also available GitHub."]
via:caseygollan  sawyerhollenshead  books  libraries  digital  digitallibraries  readmill  kindle  ibooks  webdev  siteleaf  html  annotation  webdesign 
march 2016 by robertogreco
GrokReader
"Dual Language Interactive Alternating Chapter books offer a new way to read and learn a foreign language. The patent pending (GrokReader) interwoven and overlapping book format compels you to read the complete chapter in the original foreign language. When you make it to the end of each chapter, there is a link to re-read the chapter in English to help you understand what you read, or a link to jump to the next chapter in English or Original Language. For a Spanish English book, you choose whether to read the Spanish language chapter first, covering new territory, or take the easier route and read it in English first, followed by the same chapter in Spanish. No matter which path you take, you will come out having read a classic book in its original language, improving your Spanish (or English) chapter by chapter.

As you improve, you can choose to read more chapters in the foreign language first, which studies show is a key way to "strain the brain", forcing you out of your comfort-zone, and facilitating improved retention of vocabulary and meaning."
kindle  applications  translation  reading  languages  languageacquisition 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Will digital books ever replace print? – Craig Mod – Aeon
[See also: http://kottke.org/15/10/on-the-declining-ebook-reading-experience

"The Kindle is a book reading machine, but it's also a portable book store. 1 Which is of great benefit to Amazon but also of some small benefit to readers...if I want to read, say, To Kill A Mockingbird right now, the Kindle would have it to me in less than a minute. But what if, instead, the Kindle was more of a book club than a store? Or a reading buddy? I bet something like that done well would encourage reading even more than instantaneous book delivery.

To me, Amazon seems exactly the wrong sort of company to make an ebook reader 2 with a really great reading experience. They don't have the right culture and they don't have the design-oriented mindset. They're a low-margin business focused on products and customers, not books and readers. There's no one with any real influence at Amazon who is passionately advocating for the reader. Amazon is leaving an incredible opportunity on the table here, which is a real bummer for the millions of people who don't think of themselves as customers and turn to books for delight, escape, enrichment, transformation, and many other things. No wonder they're turning back to paper books, which have a 500-year track record for providing such experiences."]
amazon  kindle  ebooks  books  publishing  bookfuturism  craigmod  2015  print  paper  bretvictor  alankay  dynabook  materiality  marshallmcluhan  vannevarbush  borges 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Book to the Future - a book liberation manifesto
"The Book Liberation Manifesto is an exploration of publishing outside of current corporate constraints and beyond the confines of book piracy. We believe that knowledge should be in free circulation to benefit humankind, which means an equitable and vibrant economy to support publishing, instead of the prevailing capitalist hand-me-down system of Sisyphean economic sustainability. Readers and books have been forced into pirate libraries, while sales channels have been monopolised by the big Internet giants which exact extortionate fees from publishers. We have three proposals. First, publications should be free-at-the-point-of-reading under a variety of open intellectual property regimes. Second, they should become fully digital — in order to facilitate ready reuse, distribution, algorithmic and computational use. Finally, Open Source software for publishing should be treated as public infrastructure, with sustained research and investment. The result of such robust infrastructures will mean lower costs for manufacturing and faster publishing lifecycles, so that publishers and publics will be more readily able to afford to invent new futures.

For more information on the Hybrid Publishing Consortium see http://consortium.io "



"1. Introduction ᙠooʞ ƚo ƚʜɘ ᖷuƚuɿɘ – ɒ mɒnifɘƨƚo for book libɘɿɒƚio∩ Book to the Future front cover

The Hybrid Publishing Consortium (HPC) is a research network which is part of the Hybrid Publishing Lab and works to support Open Source software infrastructures. The HPC wishes to present practical solutions to the problems with the current stage of the evolution of the book. The HPC sees a glaring necessity for new types of publications, books which are enhanced with interfaces in order to take advantage of computation and digital networks. The initial sections of this manifesto will outline the current problems with the digital development of the book, with reference to stages in its historical evolution. We will then go on to present a framework for dealing with the problems in the later sections.

Now that there are floods of Open Access content for users to sort through, the book must develop to take on fresh interface design challenges – for improving reading, but also to support a wide range of communities. The latter include art, design, museums and the Digital Humanities groups, for all of whom video, audio, hyper-images, code, text, simulations and game sequences are needed.

HPC’s view is that current technology provisions in publishing are costly, inefficient and need a step-up in R&D. To support technical, open source infrastructures for publishing we have identified the ‘Platform Independent Document Type’ as key. Our objective is to contribute to the working implementation of an open standards based and transmedia structured document for multi-format publishing. With structured documents and accompanying systems publishers can lower costs, increase revenues and support innovation.

HPC is about building public open source software infrastructures for publishing to support the free-flow of knowledge – aka book liberation. Our mission statement is:
‘Every publication, in a universal format, available for free in real-time.’

This is our reworking of Amazon’s mission statement for its Kindle product:
‘Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.’

Currently digital publishing is dead in the water because for digital multi-format publications prohibitive amounts of time and costs are needed for rights clearance: the permissions required for each new format, the necessary signed contracts etc. So something has to give. For the scholarly community, Open Access academic publishing has fixed these problems with open licences, but other publishing sectors outside of academia remain frozen by restrictive licensing designed for print media.

Our efforts in building technical infrastructures will be wasted if content continues to be locked in, and this is where HPC's issue becomes as much a political as a technical problem. Open intellectual property licences, such as Creative Commons, are not enough on their own. Something else is needed if we want to support the free flow of knowledge: a way to financially support the publishers and the chain of skilled workers who are involved in publication productions. This can be either by a form of market metrics or by fair collections and redistribution methods, with the latter involving a little less fussing around than some market measurement. Open Access has meant publishers are still paid; it is simply that the point of payment has moved away from the reader to another point in the publishing process, where the free flow of knowledge is not hampered."
books  bookfuturism  2015  publishing  archives  bookliberation  copyright  copyleft  manifestoes  oer  libraries  technology  digital  ebooks  openlearning  repositories  creativecommons  print  amazon  kindle  universality  transmedia  hpc 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Bat, Bean, Beam: The broken book
"The book weighs only 170 grams but has a potentially very large – although not infinite – number of pages. It is made of plastic and rubber, and a translucent sheet at the front that acts like a window for reading its contents.

The book is portable, durable and robust, but not robust enough that you should sit on it. Which unfortunately is what I did with mine. It bent under my weight and something inside made a crunching sound. When I looked again, the black case of plastic and rubber looked intact but I could tell that the book had been damaged. The bottom half of the page I was reading when I put the book down was badly smudged, as if the text had been drawn it pencil and someone had hastily rubbed it with an eraser. Otherwise, the book was fine. I could still turn the pages and view the top half of each one.

Given the very low energy consumption and lack of significant moving parts, I could preserve the book in this state for quite a long time, there to uselessly collect the top half of a few dozen books and many more articles and essays.

What I chose to do instead was open the book and look inside. This proved a surprisingly difficult task, as the back rubber panel of my damaged Amazon Kindle was held in place by eight very tight clips and took a lot of prying. I wasn’t just driven by curiosity: seeing as I possess an older keyboard model with the screen still intact, I thought I could carry out a little transplant, in the off chance that parts were compatible. I found websites dedicated to replacing a screen on those older models, but nothing for my relatively more recent Kindle 5.

Once I finally removed the back cover, the book looked like this.

[…]

Those marks are a concrete reminder that there is something very particular about these book machines.

Words can be rearranged on a computer screen at will, but they remain virtual, and when I turn the screen off they vanish as if they had never existed. To bring them into the analogue world of inert objects, I need to print them on paper, and then they behave in every way like the old technology. Electronic books straddle those two worlds, typesetting at each turn the ordinary page of a book, only on a special plastic instead of paper. And if the book machine breaks, as it could do at any moment (and eventually will, since the battery cannot be replaced), that last page will become permanent, as if out of your whole library you had chosen to print that one alone.

I enjoyed tinkering with my broken book, although I am not sure what I learned from the experience. It seems likely to me, as it does to many historians and scholars, that the form of the technologies in which our words are written and read affects our psychology as writers and readers, therefore the character that textuality takes in any given epoch. It’s just too early to say exactly what those effects will be for ours. All the same I occasionally worry that books without physical dimensions will entail a loss; that their ghost materiality will make them mean less. As I peer within the layers of the screen of my dead Kindle I am reminded that this is not quite so, and that aspects of that history survive –for history is always the hardest to die."
kindle  giovannitiso  2015  electronics  eink  ebooks  publishing  digital  technology  computers  screens  computing  displays 
may 2015 by robertogreco
56 Broken Kindle Screens | silviolorusso.com
"56 Broken Kindle Screens is a print on demand paperback that consists of found photos depicting broken Kindle screens. The Kindle is Amazon’s e-reading device which is by default connected to the company’s book store.

The book takes as its starting point the peculiar aesthetic of broken E Ink displays and serves as an examination into the reading device’s materiality. As the screens break, they become collages composed of different pages, cover illustrations and interface elements."

See also:
http://sebastianschmieg.com/56brokenkindlescreens/
https://vimeo.com/48643156
http://www.lulu.com/shop/silvio-lorusso-and-sebastian-schmieg/56-broken-kindle-screens/paperback/product-20329031.html ]
kindle  ebooks  glitchart  silviolorusso  sebastianschmieg  books  2012  broken 
december 2013 by robertogreco
How to Make a Book with PressBooks | PressBooks
"How to Make a Book with PressBooks

PressBooks is a simple book publishing tool. Put your book content into PressBooks, edit as you like, and export into ebook and PDF/print-on-demand formats. Here’s how it works:

Short 4-Step Guide to Making a Book with PressBooks

1. Add Book Information (title, author name etc).
2. Add/Organize Text (your chapters etc)
3. Choose Book Design Theme (what your book will look like)
4. Export your book (in MOBI {for Kindle}, EPUB {for Nook/iBooks etc), PDF {for print-on-demand}"
ebooks  publishing  tools  howto  pressbooks  epub  epubs  mobi  pdf  kindle  nook  epublishing  digitalpublishing 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Big Red & Shiny: Did someone say 'Adhocracy'? An interview with Ethel Baraona Pohl
"…how are you working with Joseph Grima…around the idea of 'adhocracy', something that "captures opportunities, self-organizes and develops new and unexpected methods of production. ""

"…the concept of adhocracy is almost inherent in design. Work tools, new technologies and forms of communication, and strategies that facilitate self-organization—like DIY projects—are readily developable, urban actions that have a real impact on our environment."

"…there was some confusion on the part of the participants on the topic 'imperfection'—the overall theme of the Biennial—and the concept of adhocracy was brought up as a response to the proposals."

"…Peter Gadanho…recently said…"curating is the new criticism""

"…the most beautiful aspect of our times (and this is also related to the adhocracy), is that there is room and respect for all."

"multi-connected society can be very saturating for some people, but it also allows them, from their loneliness and isolation, to find what they need…"
ebooks  print  kindle  bottomup  bottom-up  hierarchy  tumblr  paufaus  laciudadjubilada  wikitankers  mascontext  quaderns  postopolisdf  postopolis  openconversation  conversation  stories  dpr-barcelona  anamaríaleón  klaus  tiagomotasaravia  nereacalvillo  claranubiola  amazon  booki  github  publishing  epub  domus  léopoldlambert  aurasma  communication  online  internet  digital  books  crowdfunding  douglascoupland  linkedin  pinterest  vimeo  twitter  youtube  facebook  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  socialmedia  society  networkedsociety  networks  web  loneliness  cv  isolation  shumonbasar  markusmiessen  opencalls  collaboration  curating  curation  diy  participation  petergadanho  josephgrima  ethelbaraona  2012  istanbulbiennial  istanbul  adhocracy  adhoc  epubs 
november 2012 by robertogreco
The Art of Underlining: Amazon Kindle’s “Popular Highlights” « the jsomers.net blog
"That is, most students seemed to underline things that begged to be underlined. In nonfiction their pencils would anchor to the edges of paragraphs—to "topic sentences" or conclusory sentences—instead of middle-stuff (examples, anecdotes). In short stories they would inevitably underline the first and last sentences, the short one-sentence "money shot" paragraphs, and so on—the most epiphanic, purple prose. …

There is a feature on the Amazon Kindle called Popular Highlights…

This e-pluribus-unum-ing of reading—this intelligent bubbling-up of disparate readerly attentions—lets us answer questions about the private discourse of literate minds that just ten years ago would have been discarded for being too dreamy. …

Watching what people underline is a small example. What happens when you record someone write? Or when you record them talk?

If you think that searching a big index of web pages is cool, you haven't seen anything yet."
howwewrite  howweread  writinginpublic  readinginpublic  2012  socialreading  readingonline  digitaltools  writing  reading  attention  jamessomers  underlining  highlighting  kindle 
october 2012 by robertogreco
One on One: Robin Sloan, Author and 'Media Inventor' - NYTimes.com
"Q. In your book you talk about content overload. How do we solve that?

A. The problem is, all of this content is good. The vision of the Internet as a vast digital wasteland isn’t correct. Everything is awesome and we have more stuff to read than we ever have in history. I think part of the answer comes with devices and interfaces: we need to create more devices without distractions, like Kindles.

…A. I think there is a tradeoff inherent in contemporary references. The cost is that the book becomes dated very quickly. The benefit is that people reading it right now feel a dizzying present.

"Q. So I notice you have an old Nokia phone. Why?
A. I realized that for me, the iPhone had gone beyond just being a habit. I decided that with the job I have now, which is a full-time writer, it’s actually more important and more productive for me to be daydreaming and jotting down notes than it is for me to e-mail or read all my tweets."
distraction  writing  focus  reading  attention  mrpenumbra  penumbra  nickbilton  interviews  kindle  infooverload  dumbphones  books  technology  robinsloan  2012 
october 2012 by robertogreco
The Heroic Kindle Of The People – Andy Ihnatko's Celestial Waste of Bandwidth (BETA)
"Every year, Apple updates the iPad and magically delivers a device that’s twice as good as the previous edition, at exactly the same price. Good. But they’ve done next to nothing to put iPads within reach of a broader economic range of consumers.

…Apple’s whole business is based on high markups. And at the same time, their whole brand is based on high-quality products. A+B equals a company that isn’t in any position to make things for people who are on a tight budget. Apple is set up to build the slimmest, slickest, and most elegant $999 notebook on the market. They can’t build a chunky, $399 plastic notebook that’s reasonably well-made and will competently suit the needs of most users.

Those $399 notebooks are important to a lot of people. The device that they can afford is way more useful than the device they can only dream about owning.

Amazon keeps finding ways to get the price down."
price  technology  accessibility  affordability  2012  andyihnatko  audience  money  ipad  apple  kindle  amazon 
october 2012 by robertogreco
An e-reader is more like a book than you think | Books | The Observer
"I broke my book. …

The new e-reader is not like the old one. It doesn't have the scars of the old one – the coffee stain on the corner, the crack in the casing where I fell off my bike – and I have yet to rim it with gaffer tape to cover the logo of the Large Corporation (it's not personal, it's just a bit much having its logo at the top of every page). I haven't meddled with the code yet either. I must do that soon. It's a little like writing your name in the front of a book, setting the screensaver. I hate Harriet Beecher Stowe – I need to change that.

My e-reader is more like a book than I expected, in all the ways I know books to be special. For their role as bearers of memory, companions on adventures, for the experiences we encode – sometimes quite literally engrave – into them. And losing the e-reader felt something like losing a book too."
hacking  memoty  personalization  humantouch  customization  fingerprints  traces  kindle  ereaders  ebooks  2012  jamesbridle 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Platforming Books — by Craig Mod
"Transitions from physical to digital don't need to be one-to-one forced representations. A defining quality of good design is one in which the essence of a thing can be transmitted between mediums while staying true to the new medium. Or, in Mr. Chimero's words, "What is the marker of good design? It moves." 13

Is everything perfect? No. But it's pretty good. Certainly acceptable. These platforms are still young and evolving. As they mature, we'll be watching and making more beautiful, better formatted digital editions."

"The massive shifts in publishing in the past two years have been those of adoption and distribution. Crowd funding can help provide publishing capital. If you create just one file — one file — an EPUB, you can publish to nearly every single mobile device in the world."

"If you’re a publisher wondering what to do, the lowest investment, highest return action in this liminal stage of digital publishing is to embrace open EPUB standards."
epub3  artspacetokyo  design  2010  2012  ipad  iphone  ipod  kindle  digital  books  publishing  epub  ebooks  craigmod  html  html5  epublishing  digitalpublishing  epubs 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Chrome Web Store - Send to Kindle for Google Chrome™
"Sending and reading web content such as news articles and blog posts to your Kindle device or reading app is now easier than ever.
[Official Amazon.com extension.]

Send to Kindle for Google Chrome makes web articles easier to read - we send just the content you want and not the distractions.

Key features include:
• Send news articles, blog posts and other web content to Kindle.
• Send web content to Kindle in one step or preview before you send.
• Select text from the web page and send it to your Kindle.
• Read anytime, everywhere on your Kindle devices and reading apps.
• Choose to archive content in your Kindle library, where you can re-download it conveniently at any time."
bookmarking  readlater  reading  plugins  extensions  chrome  pocket  readability  instapaper  kindle  amazon 
august 2012 by robertogreco
How To Strip DRM from Kindle E-Books and Others | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
"You love your Kindle, but you hate the DRM. What do you do? Well, if you like, we’ll tell you how to strip the copy-protection from your e-books, leaving a plain, vanilla e-book file in the format of your choice. This doesn’t just work for Kindle book, either. The method, detailed by Apprentice Alf [http://apprenticealf.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/ebooks-formats-drm-and-you-%E2%80%94-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/ ], will also remove DRM from Mobipocket, Barnes and Noble, Adobe Digital Editions and Fictionwise books, making these stores much more attractive to buyers.

For the meat of the how-to, you should visit Apprentice Alf’s blog post, which is both straightforward and detailed. I managed to get it up and running in a couple minutes. For a quick version – focussing on the Kindle, read on."
via:caseygollan  ereaders  books  amazon  calibre  howto  drm  ebooks  kindle 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Choice of Games
"Choice of Games is a small partnership dedicated to producing high-quality, text-based, multiple-choice games. We produce games in house, beginning with Choice of the Dragon and Choice of Broadsides. We have also developed a simple scripting language for writing text-based games, ChoiceScript, which we make available to others for use in their projects, and we host games produced by other designers using ChoiceScript on our website. All of our games are available for free on the web. We also produce mobile versions of our games that can be played on iPhones, Android phones, and other smartphones."
coding  choicescript  interactivefiction  if  interactive  free  online  ios  iphone  edg  srg  applications  android  gaming  games  text-basedgames  text-basedadventures  choiceofgames  cyoa  kindle  appstore 
may 2012 by robertogreco
A Whip to Beat Us With
"For too long, publishers have been worrying about the wrong thing, chasing pie-in-the-sky DRM that has never worked at stopping piracy, and will never work. In the process, they’ve fashioned a scourge for their own industry—a multimillion-dollar liability that their customers will have to absorb in order for publishers to get back any leverage at the bargaining table. And every book you allow a tech company to sell with DRM only increases that liability."
1998  dmca  jimhines  technology  ebooks  books  apple  kindle  publishers  2012  corydoctorow  amazon  publishing  copyright 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Dyslexia and Kindles | Drew Wagar: Author, Astronomer, Anachronism, Ashford.
"This got me to thinking – can I do something similar on the Kindle? A brief google indicated it was impossible to change fonts or underline things throughout without hacking the device -which I could do, but it would have all the usual warrantee problems, and I risked ‘bricking’ Mark’s Kindle which would certainly be an ‘Epic Fail’ – This is a shame. With very little extra R&D; Amazon (and the other ebook reader manufacturers) could make these devices increasingly more useful for folks with Dyslexia.

So I resorted to a lower tech solution. I had a bunch of old OHP (remember them?) printable slides in my drawer, so with rather of a lot of trial and error, managed to make an overlay for the Kindle and attach it with a bit of accurately placed sellotape. Beforehand Mark set it up with his favourite font and line spacing. It’s not a long term fix, more a prototype to see if the idea works – click on the first pic to see the results up close."
fonts  2011  drewagar  reading  kindle  dyslexia 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Getting the News — Robin Sloan | News.me
"Is anything missing from your news consumption pattern now or in the tools/sites that you use? Anything you wish you had?

Memory. It’s too easy to read something great… and then forget it in a week. So I’d like an easy way to return to articles that I truly loved, maybe six months or a year later—some sort of time-shifting tool that could politely present them to me again."
robinsloan  news  memory  discovery  rss  sms  twitter  iphone  kindle  fiction  2011  timeshiftedreading  timeshifting 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Flickr: STML's stuff tagged with ereaderfeelings
"An occasional series dedicated to emotional responses to ereaders."
jamesbridle  twitter  ebooks  ereaders  kindle  emotion  technology  books 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Kindle Specific Map Style
"One of the great things about Open Data and OpenStreetMap is that you can control what the map looks like. You are not limited to just what the data looks like and you can customise it yourself.

I have made a custom Mapnik style file that's optimized for Amazon Kindle display.

Here's a sample image of the new Kindle OpenStreetMap style:<

[image]

As you can see it's all greyscale (like the Kindle display) and it's very sparse, so it's easy to see the roads and the streets. The default OpenStreetMap Mapnik style is great for the web, but the colour scheme isn't suited for the Kindle. Since we're making a book of pages (rather than a slippy map where you can zoom in), I tried to show as much street names as possible, and used Mapnik's dynamic label text resizing. Once the new Mapnik Text Placement stuff is in trunk, it'll allow some really nice new stuff."
maps  mapping  osm  openstreetmap  kindle  2011  slippymaps 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Twitter / @Bopuc: I hate books as a consumpt ...
"I hate books as a consumption medium. I find them cumbersome to hold; page turning disruptive of reading flow. Love my Kindle."]

[See also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stml/6115218755/ ]
kindle  borisanthony  books  consumption  flow  reading  userexperience  2011 
september 2011 by robertogreco
We Can't Teach Students to Love Reading - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education [Too much to quote]
"I don't think of the distinction btwn readers & nonreaders—better, those who love reading & those who don't so much—in terms of class, which may be a function of my being a teacher of literature rather than a sociologist, but may also be a function of my knowledge that readers can be found at all social stations…much of the anxiety about American reading habits…arises from frustration at not being able to sustain a permanent expansion of "the reading class" beyond what may be its natural limits…

American universities are largely populated by people who don't fit either category [readers & extreme readers]—often really smart people for whom the prospect of several hours attending to words on pages (pages of a single text) is not attractive…

All this is to say that the idea that many teachers hold today, that one of the purposes of education is to teach students to love reading—or at least to appreciate & enjoy whole books—is largely alien to the history of education."
teaching  reading  learning  attention  alanjacobs  nicholascarr  books  academia  extremereaders  autodidacts  concentration  joyofreading  unschooling  deschooling  allsorts  allkindsofminds  2011  clayshirky  stevenpinker  staugustine  virgil  cicero  georgesteiner  annblair  studying  children  sirfrancisbacon  francisbacon  infooverload  filterfailure  text  texts  mariccasaubon  peternorvig  jonathanrose  homer  dante  shakespeare  attentiveness  kindle  hyperattention 
august 2011 by robertogreco
The New Atlantis » The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction
"Alan Jacobs…The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction…argues that, contrary to doomsayers, reading is alive & well in America. His interactions w/ students & readers of his own books, however, suggest that many readers lack confidence; they wonder whether they are reading well, w/ proper focus & attentiveness, w/ due discretion & discernment. Many have absorbed the puritanical message that reading is, first & foremost, good for you—intellectual equivalent of eating Brussels sprouts.

For such people, indeed for all readers, Jacobs offers some simple, powerful, & much needed advice: read at whim, read what gives you delight, & do so w/out shame, whether it be Stephen King or King James Bible. Jacobs offers an insightful, accessible, & playfully irreverent guide for aspiring readers. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of approaching literary fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, & the book explores everything from invention of silent reading…"
literature  reading  distraction  alanjacobs  2011  classideas  elitism  engagement  pleasure  guilt  obligation  virtue  teaching  books  motorresponse  kindle  attention  ebooks  twitching  fidgeting  concentration 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Penumbra has a posse > Robin Sloan
"…another char­ac­ter in this story…Sean McDonald.

…an edi­tor at Far­rar, Straus & Giroux. He’s worked with writ­ers as diverse as Junot Díaz (n.b.), John Hodg­man, and the RZA…also a Snark­mar­ket reader (!) & he’s been an impor­tant vec­tor of enthu­si­asm & encour­age­ment…because his mes­sages have always been two-​​fold. First: this is so cool. Then: it can be even better.

& that gets exactly to the heart of why I’m work­ing with Sarah & Sean to pub­lish Penum­bra. You know me: I am a cham­pion of new modes & meth­ods. I love Kick­starter projects & remix con­tests…not going to stop doing any of that stuff.

…when…shop­ping the Penum­bra man­u­script around…I told [publishers] all the same thing: I’m look­ing for a posse…a smart, cre­ative crew who will help me make this book bet­ter than I could make it on my own.

…isn’t just text on a scree…It’s the design, the phys­i­cal arti­fact…press…events we’ll dream up…real books in real book­stores…"
robinsloan  mrpenumbra  publishing  2011  farrarstraus&giroux  seanmcdonald  sarahburnes  posses  books  events  kickstarter  kindle  gernertcompany  remixing  teamwork  snarkmarket  creativity  collaboration  tcsnmy  classideas  remixculture 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Send to Kindle - Chrome Web Store
"Send to Kindle is a Browser extension for Kindle owners who prefer reading web content on their devices. It’s designed to offer a quick way for pushing web content to Kindle, so you can read articles or news later on your device."
iphone  software  google  chrome  extensions  web  reading  kindle  online  instapaper  evernote  wikipedia  quora  stackoverflow  sendlater  safari  opera  firefox  everread  android  mobile  applications  bookmarks  bookmarking  ios 
may 2011 by robertogreco
The Kindle abroad « Snarkmarket
"Honestly, even if you are not ever going to read an e-book, but want a device to help you stay connected and organized while traveling—especially if you’re going a bit off the beaten track—the investment in a Kindle (barely more than a hundred bucks at this point) can’t be beat."
travel  ipad  kindle  robinsloan  snarkmarket  ebooks  connectivity  instapaper  2011  future 
may 2011 by robertogreco
best websites for kindle - kinstant
"The Kindle includes a built-in web browser, but most websites are not easily viewed on the Kindle's grayscale e-Ink screen. Kinstant helps Kindle owners get more mileage out of their devices: by connecting them to Kindle-compatible websites, and by filtering sites to achieve faster download speeds."
kindle  browser  internet  online  books  web  mobile  2011  kinstant  optimization  via:preoccupations  browsers 
may 2011 by robertogreco
The social life of marginalia - Bobulate
"Even if we can capture intention and overcome sharing, we might come back to consider what was formerly known as the commonplace book. How might new book designers — of any format — replicate its sense of wholeness and real-time cataloging online? Do we need to?

It’s critical that the new book designer consider how and where these marks might be shared. I’m not suggesting that all annotations be social lest we become self-conscious in our book-relationships. One of the principal pleasures of taking notes is the intimacy with a passage, the outright honesty with which one might scribble, “Gasp!” or “Hogwash,” or “True that,” for later reminding. But there will need to be equal consideration given to what to keep personal as to what to make shareable.

After all, some sentiments are best left between you and your margins."
books  annotation  reading  notetaking  marginalrevolution  commonplacebooks  via:russelldavies  sharing  lizdanzico  robinsloan  jamesbridle  cv  memory  organization  notes  bookmarks  kindle  amazon  meaning  makingmeaning  meaningmaking 
may 2011 by robertogreco
The Setup: Frank Chimero
"I’d like a more flexible, faster all-in-one inbox for my digital detritus. For some reason, DevonThink, Yojimbo, & Evernote aren’t cutting it for me. Tumblr is close, but not quite it. I’d like something that successfully handles images in tandem w/ text, because that’s how my brain works. I have this dream of having a management interface very similar to a hybrid of LittleSnapper & Yojimbo, & then a “serendipity engine” application for iPad. It’d be a bit like Flipboard where things are served up at random from your collection for browsing. That’s the flaw of all of these things, in my mind: they encourage you to get things in, but aren’t optimized for revisiting it in a way that lacks linearity or classification. If you’re looking to make constellations of content, I think the way your collection is presented back to you matters. I guess what I’m asking for is a digital rendition of the commonplace book, & serious rethinking of what advantages digital could provide…"
frankchimero  hardware  software  thesetup  tools  howwework  commonplacebooks  dropbox  devonthink  yojimbo  evernote  macbookair  photoshop  illustrator  muji  notebooks  tumblr  serendipity  discovery  iphone  kindle  lumixgf1  appletv  netflix  texteditor  gmail  instapaper  simplenote  rdio  itunes  reeder  2011  usesthis 
april 2011 by robertogreco
The Technium: Simultanology
"Right now simulatnology is rampant on the web. Anything that can be communicated can be communicated instantly. Thats' good news for intangible goods and services. But it wasn't always that way. In the pre-web days of internet, documents used to be stored in public at ftp sites. There was a period of several years when folks would go to a ftp site & download all the files, because like books, you never knew when you might need them. It took a while to realize that having continuous immediate access to the files was better than downloading them before hand. You only downloaded them when you were ready to.

While the media has been very well served by simultanology, there's much in the rest of our lives that has yet to become real time. Medicine…Why the delay in diagonstics, test results, & applying remedies? Education is not real time enough, although that is changing (see Khan Academy). Most of governance & politics…And we need more simmultanology in science and discovery."
technology  web  realitime  justintimeju  justinintimelearning  netflix  instantgratification  instantplay  business  amazon  kindle  books  ebooks  immediacy  kevinkelly  medicine  education  learning  change  schools  online  internet  kindlewishlist  media  intangibles  2011  consumption  reading  watching  film  khanacademy 
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Very Rich Indie Writer – Novelr - Making People Read
"Amanda Hocking is 27 years old. She has 9 self-published books to her name, and sells 100,000+ copies of those ebooks per month. She has never been traditionally published. This is her blog. And it’s no stretch to say – at $9 per book/70% per sale for the Kindle store – that she makes a lot of money from her monthly book sales. (Perhaps more importantly: a publisher on the private Reading2.0 mailing list has said, to effect: there is no traditional publisher in the world right now that can offer Amanda Hocking terms that are better than what she’s currently getting, right now on the Kindle store, all on her own.)

And that is stunning news."
books  ebooks  selfpublishing  indie  writing  publishing  kindle  amazon  self-publishing 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Atavist
"The Atavist is a boutique publishing house producing original nonfiction stories for digital, mobile reading devices. We like to think of Atavist pieces as a new genre of nonfiction, a digital form that lies in the space between long narrative magazine articles and traditional books and e-books. Publishing them digitally and offering them individually — a bit like music singles in iTunes — allows us to present stories longer and in more depth than typical magazines, less expensive and more dynamic than traditional books.

Most importantly, it gives us new ways to tell some inventive, captivating, cinematic journalism — and new ways for you to experience it."
journalism  media  storytelling  publishing  kindle  ipad  books  ebooks  theatavist  nonfiction 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Is Mobile Affecting When We Read? « Read It Later Blog
"When a reader is given a choice about how to consume their content, a major shift in behavior occurs.  They no longer consume the majority of their content during the day, on their computer.  Instead they shift that content to prime time and onto a device better suited for consumption.

Initially, it appears that the devices users prefer for reading are mobile devices, most notably the iPad.  It’s the iPad leading the jailbreak from consuming content in our desk chairs.

As better mobile experiences become more accessible to more readers, this movement will continue to grow.  Readers want to consume content in a comfortable place, on their own time and mobile devices are making it possible for readers to take control once more."

[via: http://www.preoccupations.org/2011/01/delicious-i.html ]
ipad  mobile  reading  statistics  research  2011  readitlater  instapaper  timeshifting  timeshiftedreading  via:preoccupations  bookmarks  bookmarking  trends  mobilecomputing  kindle 
january 2011 by robertogreco
russell davies: a this for a that
"There are three things I really want to see.

1. Stories written for the the kindle - that use 'kindleyness' the way novels use 'bookiness'.

2. Music made for the shuffle - pieces designed to appear randomly but still hang together. More than a bunch of songs. And long too, filling up a shuffle, hours worth of it.

3. Comics made for an iPad. Something that's not just a port of a comic, that combines words and pictures in a way that exploits the iPad's capabilities."
russelldavies  kindle  ipad  comics  stories  media  creativity  newcanvasesneednewcontent  music  shuffle  flow  books  novellas 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Walter Benjamin’s Aura: Open Bookmarks and the future eBook | booktwo.org
"Everyone is going to be bookmarking & annotating more…your bookmarks, your reading experience should – must – belong to you & not to Apple or Amazon or whoever. This information should be open & available so we can create…ecosystems…Benjamin writes about the aura of a work, & how that aura is diminished by the process of copying, because the highest quality of art is its place in the here and now. But I think that, 80 years on, we are building the tools to reclaim that aura and make it more valuable again. Business models, even social models, get broken all the time, and they get broken before we figure out how to replace them. Likewise, the aura model of art got broken 80 years ago, but we just might be figuring out how to fix it. What kills industries now is the same storm out of paradise that broke businesses before – but might just fix them in the future…The long-form text is not dead, but the physical book is, and the digital copy does not have value in the same way."
bookmarks  books  ebooks  history  literature  publishing  openbookmarks  reading  social  ipad  iphone  walterbenjamin  etexts  bookmarking  annotation  notetaking  amazon  kindle  apple  via:preoccupations 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Text Patterns: ways of jesting
"I wonder, therefore, how well I will adjust to this new model of reading, and whether, even if I become a better reader in some ways, whether I will become a worse one in others."
alanjacobs  infinitejest  reading  davidfosterwallace  ebooks  kindle  ereaders  technology  annotation  spatial  spatialawareness  ipad 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Text Patterns: infinite gestures
"I’ve had the big paperback version for a while, and I was expecting to read that. I got myself a bookmark, and then stuck a Post-it note in the endnotes for rapid reference; I even printed out a list of significant characters and taped it to the inside back cover. I sharpened my pencils, and then plunged in.

But darn, that book is big and awkward. Also, it has a lot of words per page, and per line — understandable, given the novel’s length, but not ideal for readability. And then I started thinking that I might want to blog about it, and in that case, being able to access underlined passages online for quick & easy copying & pasting would be a large plus. . . .

So I bought the Kindle version. All the above problems solved . . . but . . ."
alanjacobs  davidfosterwallace  infinitejest  reading  kindle  codex  print  books  ebooks 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Kindle and iPad Displays: Up close and personal. | BIT-101
Updated with microscope images of newsprint, magazine and book too.
microscope  ipad  kindle  ebook  ebooks  display  comparison  screen  eink 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Cool Tools: Long Form * Instapaper
"Longer than a newspaper item but shorter than a book, a magazine article is the ideal length for my attention span. I'd rather spend an hour with a great magazine article rather than read a book any day. Ditto for hopscotching through shallow blogs and newspaper bits. But there are fewer print publications running long form journalism. Ironically, a new website, called Long Form, points to the best long form articles appearing anywhere in print, and also collects the great magazine articles from the past. Long Form fits perfectly into a small ecosystem whereby you can read these great pieces of writing on a Kindle, iPad, or phone. I've found the easy-reading portable screens of these tablet devices fit a 1 to 2-hour window perfectly."
kevinkelly  longform  instapaper  givemesomethingtoread  toread  magazines  ipad  ereaders  kindle  reading 
august 2010 by robertogreco
a m l - want to look ahead? look around instead.
"when new high-tech & high-priced gizmos like kindle & its much hipper cousin ipad came out, the blogosphere was very excited. nevermind that hacker websites from russia to south america have been scanning & posting pdfs for consumption of rest of the world that does not have a library around the corner nor easy access to jstor et al. the ipad is not the revolution, digital text is. it is less important how you read it, than the possibility of being able to read it at all! ingenuity finds uses for technology other than those originally intended, & this often happens because of need. think of cell phones used as micro loan mechanisms in india. think of the development of the bus rapid transit system in curitiba, transforming the bus into a dedicated line system resulting in an affordable mass transportation system that has been replicated in several cities in south america. christopher hawtorne thinks we should look at medellin… he is, of course, a bit late, but hey, we’ll take it."
thestreetwillfindause  medellin  colombia  india  streetuse  technology  ipad  kindle  libraries  text  digitaltext  anamaríaleón  cities  suburbia  travel  jetset  sustainability  green  latinamerica  southamerica  jaimelerner  pdf  learning  information  hacks  hacking  microloans  rapidtransit  christopherhawthorne  architecture  urban  urbanism  planning  future  decline  invention  thefutureishere  medellín 
may 2010 by robertogreco
From space to time « Snarkmarket
"Bri­dle says read­ers don’t value what pub­lish­ers do because all of the time involved in edit­ing, for­mat­ting, mar­ket­ing, etc., is invis­i­ble to reader when they encounter final prod­uct. Maybe. But mak­ing that time/labor vis­i­ble CAN’T just mean brusquely insist­ing that pub­lish­ers really are impor­tant & that they really do do valu­able work. It needs to mean some­thing like find­ing new ways for read­ers to engage with that work, & mak­ing that time mean­ing­ful as THEIR time.

In short, it means that writ­ers & pro­duc­ers of read­ing mate­r­ial prob­a­bly ought to con­sider tak­ing them­selves a lit­tle less seri­ously & read­ers & read­ing a lit­tle more seri­ously. Let’s actu­ally BUILD that body of knowl­edge about read­ers and their prac­tices — let’s even start by look­ing at TIME as a key deter­mi­nant, espe­cially as we move from print to dig­i­tal read­ing — & try to offer a bet­ter, more tai­lored yet more vari­able range of expe­ri­ences accordingly."
reading  writing  snarkmarket  comments  thebookworks  books  publishing  annotation  quotations  interactivity  experience  time  space  data  amazon  penguin  jamesbridle  robinsloan  respect  ebooks  kindle  ipad  bookfuturism  attention  timcarmody  edting  formatting  value  understanding  commonplacebooks  transparency  visibility  patterns  patternrecognition  friends  lisastefanacci  bookselling  npr  practice 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Reading on iPad before bed can affect sleep habits | Technology | Los Angeles Times
"Apple's iPad can do movies, music, e-mail, apps and rich Web browsing. And of course, e-books. Should Amazon just put its comparably basic e-reader, the Kindle, to sleep?
books  ebooks  ereaders  ipad  iphone  kindle  health  sleep  reading  mentalhealth  insomnia  reasonstostayawayfromtheipad  technology  light 
april 2010 by robertogreco
What Do We Want? Our Data. When Do We Want It? Now! | Epicenter | Wired.com
"Data portability is a rapidly growing movement among cloud-computing supporters. The idea that the online services we’ve herded ourselves into should let us at least pass from one pen to the next is key, although the nuts and bolts of how open standards will work are still being hammered out.
dataportability  cloud-computing  cloud  privacy  socialmedia  google  data  portability  gmail  googledocs  picasa  youtube  amazon  kindle  itunes  apple  kodak 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Joho the Blog » The iPad is the future of the past of books
"The iPad definitely ups the Kindle’s ante. Unfortunately, it ups the Kindle ante by making an e-book more like a television set. Will it do well? I dunno. Probably. But is it the future of reading? Nope. It’s the high-def, full-color, animated version of the past of reading. The future of reading is social. The future of reading blurs reading and writing. The future of reading is the networking of readers, writers, content, comments, and metadata, all in one continuous-on mash."
via:preoccupations  kindle  ipad  creativity  apple  consumption  ebooks  2010  books  reading  writing  contentcreation  commenting  metadata  readwriteweb  networking 
january 2010 by robertogreco
here comes 2010 (tecznotes)
"I read fewer non-fiction books and more non-fiction long-form online writings, the kind of stuff that fits into Instapaper. I'm not unhappy with this change in my intake, but I do like to be a little more demonstrative with the things I'm interested in, so I'm unhappy the change in my output. If there was a way to make the Kindle pump the clippings file back out on some schedule, that would be good. Having to plug it into a computer does not cut it. ... I decided early this year that it was important and healthy to be more of a fan, so I've made a special effort to point out things that are awesome and worthy of attention. Early in the year, that meant moving pictures of the sky. More recently, that meant moving pictures of hands and drawings. Along the way, that's meant everyone I know who is doing awesome shit, with all the design and technology and music and video work that my friends have produced. Awesome awesome awesome."
kindle  instapaper  iphone  reading  books  michalmigurski  2009  astronomy  stars  beauty  interested  beingafan  attention  interestedness 
january 2010 by robertogreco
BBC - BBC World Service Programmes - Business Daily, Is The Book Dead?
"Will eBooks push volumes with paper pages off the shelves for good? They're defined as "an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a personal computer or hand-held device designed specifically for this purpose". So, they have the weight of one book but contain hundreds of volumes - but they don't feel like a book.
books  ebooks  kindle  future  technology  bookfuturism  booksellers  print 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: It's not the rats you need to worry about
"Amazon and the Kindle have killed the bookstore. Why? Because people who buy 100 or 300 books a year are gone forever. The typical American buys just one book a year for pleasure. Those people are meaningless to a bookstore. It's the heavy users that matter, and now officially, as 2009 ends, they have abandoned the bookstore. It's over. When law firms started switching to fax machines, Fedex realized that the cash cow part of their business (100 or 1000 or more envelopes per firm per day) was over and switched fast to packages. Good for them."
books  kindle  fedex  booksellers  sethgodin  bookstores  marketing  itunes  ebooks  amazon 
december 2009 by robertogreco
The iTunes-ization of short fiction is here | Books | guardian.co.uk
"As short stories are released for individual download, impress a potential partner with your mix-tape of love literature – by putting a Haruki Murakami, say, next to a Stefan Zweig" [via: http://bookfuturism.com/?q=content/itunes-ization-short-fiction-here-short-stories-are-released-individual-download-impress-pot]
readinglists  readlists  shortstories  tcsnmy  harukimurakami  ebooks  kindle  downloads  literature  fiction  writing  editing  itunes 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Subscription and stand-alone models for e-books « Snarkmarket
"We think that we know, that every­one agrees, what we mean when we think of a book, a reader, read­ing, a book­store. But we don’t. Oth­er­wise Jeff Bezos could never say, “The key fea­ture of a book is that it dis­ap­pears” — as if it were an intrin­sic func­tion of the tech­nol­ogy, as if it could be solved through tech­no­log­i­cal means alone.
books  ebooks  kindle  nook  timcarmody  kottke  snarkmarket  publishing  jeffbezos  amazon  oreilly  timoreilly  physical 
november 2009 by robertogreco
vook
"A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story.
books  vook  application  iphone  multimedia  publishing  storytelling  reading  writing  utilities  kindle  video  mobile  ebooks 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: Institutions Of Reading
"In short, when it comes to electronic reading machines, there is no equivalent to the library stacks or the computer workstation. There is also no real equivalent to the newsstand or bulletin board, the teacher’s chalkboard, or the family message board. Everything is geared towards the individual reader-owner."
kindle  books  ebooks  libraries  schools  sharing 
september 2009 by robertogreco
sigil - Project Hosting on Google Code
"Sigil is a multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format."
opensource  editors  ebooks  software  freeware  publishing  kindle  books  wysiwyg 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Trojan Horse Yourself: XO not Kindle
"If we're giving every kid a "laptop," people will start worrying about whether they can do video editing on it, etc and all of a sudden it costs $600. And if it is a "laptop project" it will be expected to provide a significant return on investment in the form of test scores, and the evidence for that is, well, not conclusive enough to convince those who aren't inclined to believe it.
tomhoffman  olpc  laptops  kindle  ebooks  education  technology  schools 
july 2009 by robertogreco
James Wolcott on Cultural Snobbery | vanityfair.com
"Pity the culture snob, as Kindles, iPods, and flash drives swallow up the visible markers of superior taste and intelligence. With the digitization of books, music, and movies, how will the highbrow distinguish him- or herself from the masses?"
kindle  electronics  ipod  technology  culture  books  snobbery  posturing  publishing  conspicuousconsumption  marketing  media 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: Why Books Are Great, In One Link
"What’s great about this? The full-bleed-ness. There is no full-bleed on the web. And that totally sucks! It’s such a crucial, powerful tool. Books & magazines get full-bleed. TVs and video game consoles get full-bleed. Even the Kindle and iPhone get full-bleed! But not the web. You don’t ever get the full screen, the entire page, the total experience. In fact—the way browsers are going—you get less and less.
books  storytelling  surprise  full-bleed  reading  kindle  web  iphone  pageturning 
july 2009 by robertogreco
ScrollMotion - Iceberg
"Iceberg is our revolutionary new electronic reader. Iceberg brings the timeless experience of reading books to the mobile space, wedding the functionality of the iPhone to the feel and familiarity of books.
iceberg  iphone  ebooks  kindle  applications  books  multimedia  entertainment  csiap  ios 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Talking Points Memo | Frightful Kindle
"Kindle software, was now available for iPhone ... Even at that small size the system provided me what you need from a book, which is that you fall into the writing and forget the book. Or in this case, the imitation of a book. ... in our living room we have two big inset shelves where I keep all the books I feel like I need or want ready at hand. And last night, sitting in front of them, I had this dark epiphany. How much longer are these things going to be around? Not my books, though maybe them too. But just books. Physical, paper books. The few hundred or so I was looking at suddenly seemed like they were taking up an awful lot of space, like the whole business could dealt with a lot more cleanly and efficiently, if at some moral loss."
kindle  iphone  books  ebooks  reading  amazon  print  newspapers  technology  future 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The iPhone e-book readers' guide | Software | iPhone Central | Macworld
"the iPhone still has a very readable display. More important, readers don’t lack for app options if they’d like to crack open a good book on their mobile device. Here’s an overview of the many good reading options on the iPhone and iPod touch."
iphone  applications  ebooks  reading  instapaper  stanza  kindle  ios 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Kindle for the iPhone: The fatal threshold? « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"So oddly enough, Kindle for iPhone winds up selling me not on Kindle, and not on anything provided by Amazon at all, but on an idea I’ve been resisting since June 29th, 2007: reading on my phone. I’ll definitely be doing more of that. I’m not at all sure Amazon will factor in the equation. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’ve planted the seed of an idea in a great many heads that turns out to be injurious to their longer-term prospects."
iphone  kindle  applications  ebooks  reading  amazon  adamgreenfield  books  drm  ios 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Amazon to Sell E-Books to Read on the iPhone and iPod Touch - NYTimes.com
"Shaking up the nascent market for electronic books for the second time in two months, Amazon.com will begin selling e-books for reading on Apple’s popular iPhone and iPod Touch. Starting Wednesday, owners of these Apple devices can download a free application, Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch, from Apple’s App Store. The software will give them full access to the 240,000 e-books for sale on Amazon.com, which include a majority of best sellers."
iphone  applications  amazon  kindle  ebooks  apple  via:adamgreenfield  ios 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Why TV Lost
"[1] the Internet is an open platform... [2] Moore's Law, which has worked its usual magic on Internet bandwidth... [3] piracy. Users prefer it not just because it's free, but because it's more convenient." ... "After decades of running an IV drip right into their audience, people in the entertainment business had understandably come to think of them as rather passive. They thought they'd be able to dictate the way shows reached audiences. But they underestimated the force of their desire to connect with one another."
internet  web  online  paulgraham  broadcast  tv  television  technology  convergence  bittorrent  distribution  piracy  kindle  facebook  media  information  future 
march 2009 by robertogreco
iPod, Kindle, Facebook — and a Nomad Called Me
"These days, we want to carry the contents of our homes with us wherever we go. Photos, once housed in beautiful frames and curated in albums, are now stuffed into our iPhones, and our relationships are nurtured on social networks via electronic address books from anywhere on the planet. I know Coltrane, Miles, Dizzy, Ella and Thievery all come for a walk with me whenever I pull the door behind me. Thanks to the rise of place-shifting and devices such as Sling Media’s SlingBox, even my television travels with me. And when that’s not possible, I just buy and download shows from either Amazon or Apple. I even took my favorite television show, “Criminal Minds,” for a ride across the country (or rather, the planet) last week.

Now I want to carry all my books with me, too."
ommalik  kindle  nomads  neo-nomads  data  music  mobility  facebook  ambientintimacy  streams  news  books  kinde  iphone 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Beware of trade guilds maintaining the status quo
"Whenever a trade association raises the barricades and tries to lobby their way into maintaining the status quo, they are doing their members a disservice. Instead of spending time and insight and effort reinventing what they do and organizing for a better future, the members are lulled into a sense of security that somehow, somehow, the future will be just like today."
progress  sethgodin  kindle  regulation  lobbying  marketing  politics  business  change  innovation  reinvention  future  publishing  guilds  tradeguilds  unions  reform 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Feedbooks: Food for the mind
"“Feedbooks is a universal e-reading platform compatible with all mobile devices where you can download thousands of free e-books, publish and share your own content, and create customized newspapers from RSS feeds and widgets.” "
ebooks  free  kindle  olpc  library  libraries 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Will Amazon bring Kindle to the iPhone? | iPhone Central | Macworld
"Somewhat obscured in the hubbub about Google announcing Thursday a mobile version of its public-domain book library was a separate announcement that may be much bigger: an Amazon spokeman told the New York Times that the company is working on a way to make books formatted for its Kindle e-book reader available “on a range on mobile phones.”"
amazon  kindle  iphone  books  ebooks  reading  applications  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The New Atlantis » People of the Screen
"In truth, though, what Steiner’s vision most suggests is something sadder and much more mundane: depressing and dwindling gated communities, ramshackle and creaking with neglect, forgotten in the shadow of shining skyscrapers. Such is the end of the tragedy we are now witness to: Literacy, the most empowering achievement of our civilization, is to be replaced by a vague and ill-defined screen savvy. The paper book, the tool that built modernity, is to be phased out in favor of fractured, unfixed information. All in the name of progress."
books  ebooks  kindle  technology  culture  reading  writing  literacy 
january 2009 by robertogreco
A Kindle trick changes the reading experience - Good Experience
"This is how Follett described a character who was nervous or anxious or frightened. It's not the most refined metaphor to begin with, but there it was - and then a few pages later, someone else's heart was in his mouth - and then, next chapter, another heart in another mouth - and again - more hearts, more mouths - until I finally finished the book and thought, just how many times did Follett use that ONE metaphor in a single book?

Which brings me back to the Kindle.

Digital technology changes the experience of reading books. What might otherwise have taken hours, to scour the text for an irritating phrase, now takes just a few seconds."
books  reading  ebooks  search  kindle  publishing  writing  words  literature 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Nascent: The Future Is A Foreign Country
"To be clear, my point is not whether the Kindle really is better than the printed book – that's just my opinion. My point is that the existence of this new device forced me to reassess something I love – something that I've been using since before I can remember and that seemed close to flawless – and I found it wanting."
communication  immigration  japan  future  science  publishing  internet  culture  ebooks  kindle  business  via:preoccupations  adaptability  cities 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Amazon To Target $5.5 Billion Textbook Market With New Kindle?
"Earlier this week Crunchgear broke the news on two new upcoming Kindle models: a smaller form factor Kindle to be released this year ahead of the holidays, and a large screen (probably 8.5×11) to come sometime next year. A couple of commenters in that post have pointed out that the large screen Kindle is perfect to target the college/university textbook market, a $5.5 billion market annually in the U.S. alone."
amazon  kindle  textbooks  education  ebooks  usability  business  books  markets  colleges  universities  schools  publishing 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Let me see..."map of my town with the location of pedestrian accidents highlighted by color...
"listing of all houses in my city sorted by (value of house/taxes paid)...Sort car models by crash & repair data...When I watch TV online, recognize the pundit & flash historical accuracy rates on screen while she talks...Blank out comments on posts that
sethgodin  data  metadata  statistics  usability  kindle  information  web 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Justin Blanton | Amazon Kindle [yes, reading in bed is more comfy with an ebook]
"With a paper book you have to constantly hold the book to keep it open and to move it slightly depending on whether you’re reading the right or left page; with the Kindle, you can just let it rest on the bed and then tap the next-page button as needed.
kindle  ebooks  amazon 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Put Not Your Faith In Ebook Readers
"When Nintendo can't get line-time for the Wii, what hope does a niche item like an e-book reader have?...[until we're all desktop fabberrs] put not your faith in hardware readers — take the easy way out and hack bits, not atoms."
kindle  ebooks  technology  manufacturing  nintendo  wii  literature  reading  corydoctorow  books 
march 2008 by robertogreco
OLPC and the Kindle
"The bottom line: Both of these devices are going to be around for along time. I hope that Amazon sees the potential of their device and realizes that OPEN is going to get it more consumers laying down $399 than a closed proprietary device. It will also e
olpc  kindle  ebooks  reviews  usability 
january 2008 by robertogreco
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