Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    I nominate the iSay, although I don't know yet what it would actually do or look like.

    iFry surely.

    “It emits a blue light, which is one of the most stimulating lights to the little receptors we all have in the back of our eyeballs, which send messages to the brain to say whether it’s day or night and whether we should be awake or go to sleep.”

    I read in black and white personally. Although there is most likely some blue in that white. And it's totally soporific, particularly if you turn out the lights. I speculate that looking at a light surrounded by darkness is like sitting around a campfire, and the message to the brain is 'sleeeeeep'.

    Naturally, when it's time to sleep, I read different things - I don't try reading cerebral stuff (when I converted Gio's thesis (I sought permission only slightly after the fact) I had a crap night's sleep, brain churning with postmodernism for hours. A very troubled imaginary, perhaps ;-)). I go for stuff that's simple and evocative. Arabian Nights gave me dozens of excellent sleeps when I was a bit insomniac once. But I could see the iPad might be good for things that are a bit longer that you do need to use your brain for.

    I don't feel bitter at Apple the way some here do. They do tend to make good things, they're just a bit pricey for someone whose geek budget is limited to either tax-deductibles or things for the family. So the iPhone stayed on the iWish list, pipped at the post by a hugely revamped entertainment unit. Maybe this year.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    Well we'll see. Apple's a good solid designer label, it's sure to sell just about anything to the fan base, and there's nothing wrong with someone trying to make a sci-fi-esque reading device. If it dies in Apple's hands we can be pretty sure the idea is bad. I'll still be reading the odd e-book no matter what, and not giving a crap whether it's cool. If a plethora of devices come out like that and one of them retails somewhere around $100NZ, I'd probably get it. That's about how much I'd be prepared to pay for something I would never want to carry around because it's too big, and would never want to use much in the house because my workstation's screen is about 40 times the size, and wouldn't write on because I like keyboards, and wouldn't use in bed because it appears to require both hands. But it could make a neat picture frame, or you could hand it to people so they could look at photos, or, yes, it might be OK for reading things on. At worst, it could be an expensive toy for the kids to play with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Towards a realistic drug policy,

    Yes, I have to suck on my sticky stinky skunk. That alone is enough to make a man psychotic, not even knowing an organic gardener.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    Steve B

    I shall wait for the cheap Chinese knock off.

    Were we twins in another life? Can I be the older twin and say "You don't have to wait, brother". Get a second hand PDA for $50 and you can be reading e-books tonight.

    Lucy

    In computer science, publication is pretty much a good indication of irrelevance. By the time you've written it up, submitted it to a journal, had it reviewed, and had it published, it's usually out of date. Which doesn't mean it's totally useless, but..

    Yes, I can't remember the last carbon based technical manual I read.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    The control there would be to give him some other consumer electronics devices and see if he was any better with those.

    Very tech savvy, and no stranger to Apples either. But yes, most likely far too proud to ask his Mum for help. I believe was indeed new to iTunes, there never having been any reason earlier to bother with it.

    Like Apple or not, they've revolutionised mobile applications -- brought down prices and massively expanded both the range and the developer base. And their phone is fun to use.

    Six hours of random play fun for you and your friends.

    brought down prices

    </splutters coffee>Eh? Brought their prices down maybe. Every other vendor was just relieved that the price war was finally over. No longer did they have to say "Cheaper than a Palm". Everyone was "Cheaper than an Apple".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Towards a realistic drug policy,

    Hard to get Bush Weed though. The Tragedy of the Commons.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    Still not convinced about reading a whole book on such a device (still paper, for me).

    I've pretty much gone the other way - I can't face extended reading sessions where I've got to hold the thing up, tilt it to the light, move it around, turn the pages, hold the thing open. E-book reading is very lazy. Laze back and look at it, and press a button every x seconds. Or put it on autoscroll, and use the buttons to adjust the speed. I don't use autoscroll myself, because if I fall asleep, I lose my place.

    I don't think I've ever been walking along and thought 'I must read the Austerlitz chapters in War and Peace!'

    No, I don't read when I'm walking, either :-)

    I do always have a book with me in my satchel

    I will forever imagine you as a satchel kind of guy now.

    but I can't imagine ever needing a device with several thousand books on it

    How about maybe a dozen? The enormous capacity is totally surplus, of course, a mere consequence of the fact that books have tiny data footprints. You'd have thousands not because you needed them, but because you don't need the space for anything else.

    I'm not pushing the idea of e-books, btw. I'm just relaying my experiences of them over 7 years. They just become another thing you could have, not 'the one big thing'. Sometimes they're magic, like during air travel. A good paper book is too, but sometimes you're carrying a lemon, and you're stuck for the next 20 hours. Hasn't happened to me since I got e-books, there's usually something out of the couple of hundred titles that I can enjoy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    Sure, for some people. But since it's always touted as one of the major benefits the assumption seems to be that it must be desirable for the large majority of people. I don't believe that's true.

    It's not going to be as big a selling point as it is for music. It's not a negative though, it is at best something you don't care about having. Indeed, I'd agree that the large majority of people don't care to carry even one book with them most of the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    One key to the iPhone OS is that Apple has focused on masking complexity -- you don't even get file system access. That's not going to suit people who want to engage with complexity, but it does work for people who use the devices.

    Experiences differ on that. My mate was showing off his amazing new iPhone to me so I got him to plug it in in my car, and he couldn't find any of the music he wanted to play, and we got stuck with random play in the end. He reckoned it took him about 6 hours to work out how to use the player. If you've already bought into the metaphor years ago, maybe it's easier. The same most likely goes for your negative experiences with Blackberry.

    Certainly people will buy something that is slickly marketed, simple in design and light on power for $, like the iPod was and still is. I'm as bemused by that phenomenon as I always have been.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Do Want?,

    Me too. I also don't feel the need to be able to carry my entire library around - it's a very different situation to when it became possible to mobilise your music collection, for example, but it seems that that solution is being applied as being automatically desirable for books also.

    For some people it is desirable. I'm usually reading about 25 books at once, switching between when I get bored. Ebook readers automatically remember exactly where you were up to. The device is smaller than one quite small book.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8897 posts Report Reply

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