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a vision of the eBook future

posted in Media on August 1st, 2007

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about eBooks is this entry about a possible usage scenario of eBooks in the future:

editis.com latest work, called “Possible ou probable” is a clip that shows off some very interesting ways of utilizing ePaper and eBooks:

According to this vision, ePaper will not only be used for reading in the future, but also for navigation, content creation / content remixing and rich media browsing. The interface looks like a mashup of the iPhone interface (note the pinching to zoom in and out) and Microsoft Surface and it looks like this kind of thing actually works.

While the clip is in French, you should be able to make out most of the important things based on the (visual) context. Enjoy!

Virtual hat-tip to Bill McCoy

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The First Commandment

posted in Media on July 31st, 2007

Since January 2005, I have read some 80 eBooks. I love all the advantages those books have and I have no immediate plans to go back to reading “dead trees”, as Richard Scoble called it so appropriately, but all of that is secondary.

The real reason for this post is that my favourite suspense author, Brad Thor, recently released his newest book from the Scott Harvath series, called The First Commandement.

Fictionwise, luckily, was very quick in picking it up for digital distribution, with a turnaround time of about a week after the paperback was released and thanks to Josef, who gifted me with a copy, I can actually immerse myself in the book right now.

That said, if you are looking for a great thriller / action movie for your mind, head on over here and get yourself a copy, I’m outta here, time for some quality time with the other Scot in my life ;-)

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2006 - a (readable) year in review

posted in Media, personal stuff on December 27th, 2006

Based on a series I started back in 2004 and didn’t continue in 2005, I’d like to post some thoughts on media in 2006.

Let’s start out with readable media - printed books, eBooks, magazines, anything non-digital really. I managed to continue my stream of eBooks this year, even though I didn’t succeed in reading as much as I did in 2005. Nearly two years after I bought my first eBooks, I still believe that this is the future, at least for me and a few more people who are openminded enough to accept a new form of content delivery.

I read about 30 books this year (which is 40% less than last year) and the three that made my charts are, in no specific order:

Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner - Freakonomics:
Freakonomics talks about the hidden side just about everyone has and gives plenty of examples to elaborate on the special view of the world the authors craft. While at first you might think that it’s just rambling, the authors are actually on to something…

James Surowiecki - The Wisdom of Crowds:
Surowiecki uses “The Wisdom of Crowds” to explain how great masses of people can be and actually are smarter than a small flock of higly intelligent, business driven people. With easy to understand examples, the author explains the various types of wisdom found in a crowd and then analyzes the elements that are “required” for a crowd to be considered smart. The book also contains a good explanation why sometimes “crowd wisdom” fails and how we can prevent it from failing. Funnily enough, Surowiecki recommends people to keep their ties loose and expose oneself to as many different sources of information as possible - his statements link up nicely with a recent blog post

Brad Thor - Takedown:
Thor once again delivers a kick-ass (excuse my excitement) thriller. I-clean-up-and-get-things-done-agent Scott Harvath once again is tapped to solve the problems that arise when a group of terrorists decide to cut off Manhattan from the outside world in any way possible. It’s a great read and other than a handful of references to previous adventures, you won’t miss anything if you haven’t read the other books. Certainly worth buying if you’re looking for a good action movie for your mind (yes, Thor is capable of writing THAT vividly).

Other than great reads, I also picked up my new favorite magazine, BRIGHT - a mix of technology, lifestyle, gadgets and high quality journalism. No it’s not FHM, it’s better and less sexist. Worth checking out if you live in the Netherlands or Belgium and speak Dutch and feel like staying on top of the information flow.

Read part 2 of this series here and part 3 right here.

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techy Shirts, catchy slogans and pirates!

posted in Projects on August 26th, 2006

A few weeks ago I submitted a few design ideas to GottaBeMobile for a t-shirt design for a contest they ran (which didn’t create enough buzz in the first place) and I managed to convince the judges with my catchy slogan.

You can watch their post about their GearShop here, or just head over to CafePress and check out the stuff that’s available.

Making the t-shirt for them was a blast. Rob is a very kind guy and he rewarded my input with a FictionWise.com gift certificate (which translates into many hours of reading).

Now that this t-shirt is done, I’m thinking of creating one for “Talk like a pirate day“. Yup, that’s right. Tuesday, 19th of September marks the 11th birthday of this parodic holiday.

We’ll see how it turns out…

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eBooks Goodness - the verdict

posted in Media, Tech Talk on February 26th, 2005

As discussed earlier, I ordered quite a few eBooks recently. Here’s the verdict:

eBooks are awesome. I love the way you can carry them with you all the time (on your Pocket PC) and read when it suits you best - in the train, while you’re waiting for a teacher …

But that’s not the only thing, after all - you could carry your average paperback with you as well, what you can’t do though is carry 15 paperbacks with you, not if you care about your back at least. You can however carry 15 eBooks with you. Since the books are just files on a storage card, you don’t add any weight to your package.

You’ll also experience trouble when trying to read a paperback in the dark, you will however be able to read any eBook in the darkest cave, since eBook reading devices have a back lit display.

Not enough to convince you? Let’s focus on some other aspects then:
eBooks are cheaper than paperbacks most of them time and you don’t need half a tree to print 100 books. Ever lost your bookmark and cursed about not being able to find the right page? You won’t experience that with eBooks - digital bookmarks don’t get lost.

Naturally, like everything, there are two sides to it:
eBooks don’t stack up nicely in your shelf, so you can’t show off your library and reading an eBook depends on a battery needed to power your reading device, you don’t have those problems with paperbacks.

All in all, reading eBooks is awesome. I’m certain that I’ll be reading a lot more in the future.

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