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Colorado, USA
There was a blogger went forth...
Recent Activity
The digital man making announcements at Sky Harbor airport has clearly been drinking. Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2010 at flashes & specs
The dust has settled following Apple's iPad announcement and maybe it's best to let it stay that way until the thing actually goes on sale. But before I give it a rest, I want to follow up on one implication of the style of computing that the iPad implies: the increasing relevance of the stack over the device. The "stack" is IT jargon for a set of interconnected technologies that are used to create a computing environment and, ultimately, a user experience. For years enterprise IT managers have debated whether it's better to stick with one vendor that can deliver... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2010 at flashes & specs
Hope you like the new look at flashes & specs. But don't get too used to it, as there's more (and let's hope better!) to come. Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2010 at flashes & specs
As I learn the art of blogging, I realize I can draw lessons from every medium. Like TV news: (Via: Andrew Sullivan) Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2010 at flashes & specs
Wentforth is now following Joshua Kim
Jan 29, 2010
I agree and hope v2 will correct that lacuna. Multitasking will be essential too because it's hard to picture modern mashup-style creation without it. There is also the question of "free as in freedom." I'm something of a F/OSS skeptic, but still it's worrisome that you can't load apps on the device from any source other than Apple's store.
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2010 on Apples in the clouds at flashes & specs
Facebook has changed its privacy regime again. Good news: post-level privacy controls. Bad news: basic profile demographics are declared publicly accessible information (PAI in Facebook-speak), and assorted defaults push the unwary toward massive exposure. Bad wins. As I think it inevitably will. I deleted my Facebook account last year after my initially hazy misgivings about the People You May Know feature finally gelled. The catalyst was Facebook's successful attempt to connect me with a high school acquaintance I had deliberately had nothing to do with for decades. Facebook's algorithm seemed to be: you went to high school together! You're not... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2010 at flashes & specs
Sometimes you want to image a galaxy, but you don't actually own a telescope. Or it happens to be daytime, or you're in the wrong hemisphere. No problem; rent! Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at flashes & specs
IBM found a lot more than 3 ways to screw up the PC Jr! 26 years later the word "chiclet" still makes me giggle. Sure, TV in particular has had some moments like this. I can remember us all waiting impatiently for color TVs to become affordable (my family got one in time for the moon landing) and cable was supposed to bring a renaissance in television--finally TV would achieve its promise for education and culture. Instead we got a two orders of magnitude increase in the junk we already had. I'm pretty confident you would find similar inflated expectations and disappointed hopes for every media technology going back to papyrus and ink. Still, picture me last week after I had discovered a course I was really interested in on Academic Earth, downloaded the lectures and syllabus from iTunesU, and went to Amazon to order the textbook, only to discover that it was backordered. Physicality is a bitch. The tablet utopia you mention in your post is still alluring.
Don't you wish these guys would keep up better with the blogosphere? Anyway, this sentence caught my attention: "Ever since the non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child showed how cute a small version of the laptop could be when it unveiled the first prototype of its XO machine in 2005, tablet computers have been one of the fastest growing areas of the computer market." Putting aside the author's conflation of tablets and netbooks, this was my introduction to the idea, now evidently something of an Internet meme, that OLPC was a deadly threat to Wintel, which responded with concessions that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2010 at flashes & specs
Apple's rumored tablet device has already become that dangerous thing, a hook to hang your dreams on. Lately I've been dreaming about integrating two universes that have defined my adult life: the universes of reading and surfing. So I hope that Mr. Jobs and his worker bees won't do any of these things that they've done before: 1) Close it down. This threat comes in two forms, a lesser and a greater. The lesser is the danger of High Concept Design Derangement Syndrome, aka monobuttonism, which is the tendency to persist doggedly in a design maxim even in the face... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2010 at flashes & specs
We used up 1.3 billion IP addresses in the Naughties and only have 700 million and change left. Talk about the era of deficit spending. We can't even responsibly manage free imaginary goods whose supply is theoretically inexhaustible. Still, I kind of like these occasional factoids that belie the myth of the Internet as a God-like resource of infinite majesty. No, sir, you cannot start that blog dedicated to proving that Goldman Sachs masterminded 9/11... we have run out of numbers. Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2010 at flashes & specs
As my last post made clear, I hope that Apple's rumored tablet will be at least in part an improved, perhaps even a breakthrough digital book reader. Surely it will be an improvement over a laptop and over the surprisingly good, but necessarily limited reader app that runs on my iPhone. But will it be a Kindle snuffer? I don't know, but I hope it at least presents a serious alternative. Notwithstanding accolades from people I respect, Kindle leaves me unkonvinced. Let's put aside the unsettling criticisms described in Nicholson Baker's recent New Yorker piece. There's a more fundamental problem:... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2009 at flashes & specs
Everyone else has been weighing in about the rumored Apple pad-tablet-slate, and now it's my turn. While traveling over the holidays, I've been reading David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed, a colonial history classic I should have read long ago, certainly before teaching the US history survey (sorry about that, kids). Albion's Seed is a finger-bending 900-pager that pushes--in fact, exceeds--the technological limits of the paperback book. The spine of my copy cracked between pages 574 and 575, where Fischer tells us how the Quakers substituted the plain and simple handshake for older, more deferential gestures such as bowing and curtsying.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2009 at flashes & specs
You know those ultracool Mac power adapters that make you say, the day you buy your Mac, "Now that's why I'm doing this"?--because after all those years of ugly stupid thick black plastic bricks built without any regard for being taken somewhere, you now possess a slim white objet d'art with a magnetic connector, a folding plug and gull-winged cord holders? Yeah, that one: Well, who knew that when you're in a hurry to pack and you go into the office and grab the power adapter from the socket, and wrap that slender cord around those handy hubs and chuck... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2009 at flashes & specs
Last week I checked into a little inn on Sanibel Island, Florida for my first ever screw-personal-improvement, just-lie-on-the-beach vacation. I arrived after dark, dropped my bag in my room and walked down an unlit sandy path toward the sound of the waves. I stopped when the sand changed from powdery dry to wet and packed. As the waves whooshed in I looked up to see a glorious deep black starry sky. A pale white meteor slipped from straight above down toward Mexico. Then another, and another. (Geminids, I soon realized.) First I laughed with pure existential pleasure. Then I said... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2009 at flashes & specs
Wentforth is now following The Typepad Team
Dec 20, 2009