On the day of the iPad launch, but prior to the exact hour announcing the name and specs officially, I wrote a little about why I thought the iPad would become a significant presence at colleges and universities. While we have yet to set the conditions for winning or losing, I have an unofficial bet with my boss that in 5 years, the iPad will be all over campuses. Let's just say for the record, 15% of student-owned computers on campus will be iPads (or maybe at that point, at least iPad-inspired tablets). Part of my thinking on that can be seen in this story: "99 Year Old Lady Buys Her First Computer, An iPad." The story clearly shows that the iPad represents a major advance in ease-of-use, at least equal to the creation of the graphical user interface, and the mouse as an input device. As others have noted already, it's a device that adapts to the user, not vice-versa. While I don't see the downside my colleague here does (in his last post on the iPad) I think there's no doubt that, whether Apple continues to own the category or not, or the accompanying publishing models for some traditional content providers are changed for better or worse, the form is one that will be here to stay.
Fending Off Digital Decay, Bit by Bit - NY Times
"Among the archival material from Salman Rushdie currently on display at Emory University in Atlanta are inked book covers, handwritten journals and four Apple computers (one ruined by a spilled Coke). The 18 gigabytes of data they contain seemed to promise future biographers and literary scholars a digital wonderland: comprehensive, organized and searchable files, quickly accessible with a few clicks."
"We live at a time when friendship has become both all and nothing at
all. Already the characteristically modern relationship, it has in
recent decades become the universal one: the form of connection in
terms of which all others are understood, against which they are all
measured, into which they have all dissolved."
"If people were just more aggressive about deleting irrelevant things
and relevant things aren't that important, they would probably be
happier. Because I'm happier. So there must be something to it.
Emails only take up virtual space, not literal square footage, so it's
easy to let them pile up. But have you ever scrolled through your inbox
and realized what a monstrous mess of random messages you've
accumulated? It can be pretty overwhelming. I, for one, have been
terrible about keeping things in order, even with dozens of folders and
subfolders in my Apple mail"
rapid growth of the mobile web is a force that could be disruptive to
Google, a company who built their search engine for a desktop-based
world. On the handheld, all bets are off. Anyone with an innovative
concept for improving mobile search could gain ground, possibly even
overtaking Google as the top search provider for mobile devices. But
don't worry - Google hasn't been ignoring this trend. The company has
been busy prepping various initiatives designed to get people googling
from their mobile phones. From scannable barcodes to an innovative
visual search app that lets you perform searches by taking photos,
Google is slowly revealing how they plan dominate search in the real
Applying Quantitative Analysis to Classic Lit
from Wired Top Stories by Douglas McGray
"Stanford English professor Franco Moretti, famous in bookish circles
for graphing, mapping and charting novels by hand, is going digital. He
hopes to soon be flying through the creative output of entire eras,
ultimately changing the way we look at literary history."
reports that "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is widely expected to announce during a speech on Monday at the Brookings
Institution" asking the FCC to make a ruling to turn the "net neutrality" principles into "formal rules."
If ultimately successful, these rules would prohibit ISPs from blocking (or assigning slower transfer rates) to
sites that deal in higher bandwidth requirements (such as peer-to-peer file transfer). Advocates for the net
neutrality principles feared that without such rules, companies would effectively divide the internet, and see
the anticipated announcement as supporting a future internet open to all content.
Or in slightly less dramatic terms, Sony is releasing new Reader hardware that will surely challenge the Amazon Kindle. The Reader allows users to download content from just about anywhere. Users can borrow e-books from their local library and download them to their Reader for 21 days. The New York Public Library has already signed on to offer this service. Sony also plans to have the Reader on display at many retail locations so people can try them out. Read the full article here.
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tool for preserving and authenticating digital records. "The researchers’ solution is to create a publicly available digital
fingerprint, known as a cryptographic hash mark, that will make it
possible for anyone to determine that the documents are authentic and
have not been tampered with." While it has been relatively easy to tamper with analog and digital information to change dates, etc. the objective of this tool is to span generations to preserve history and create a record for problems that are not easily solved within one lifetime. The article can be read here, in the New York Times.
Interesting article in the New York Times about how The National Archives is going to preserve all the digital files from the Bush presidency. The Archives have apparently purchased a $144 million "futuristic" computer system to archive all of the data, which they estimate will be 100 terabytes of information. The Archives are concerned that not all of the electronic files will be turned over to them, but even so, this will be an interesting, and definitely challenging, project for digital preservation.
I haven't followed developments regarding Europeana too much, but found this article in the NY Times interesting. It reminds me a little about speaking for others. How can an outsider be a a voice for another community? When does it become evident that their tones are overshadowing the community's? Perhaps, what this article really illustrates is how collaboration can be skewed when one partner exerts more energy or effort. In this massive digital library the other countries must play catch up to have their culture as well represented as France.