Friday Link Day

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Natural user interface is a red herring, what we really need is a Dyson sphere

I would argue that instead of attempting to make our computer interaction look more like “real life” or be more “physical,” the UX designer should attempt to make humans more efficient by capturing and utilizing a larger portion of the user’s existing output (through new and existing sensors in our devices), instead of just capturing a different, contrived sort of output.

iPad Head Girl

From the comments:

Four ipads on her head and she was reading a real book? Shows just how useful iPads are.

How to Build a Newsroom Time Machine

Florida Atlantic University student newspaper, the University Press recently created an entire issue, the ‘old’ way.

“Manual typewriters didn’t have a number 1 key. They used a lower-case L instead.”

Magazines on the iPad

For New Yorker on iPad, Words Are the Thing – NYTimes

The New Yorker magazine takes a lot of heat for using Adobe’s iPad publishing tool. It outputs files with large footprints, unselectable copy, and little support for native iPad features, like pinch and zoom. Their numbers show though, that in the end, the bells and whistles matter much less than you may think.

Offering the first detailed glimpse into iPad magazine sales since subscriptions became available in the spring, The New Yorker said that it now had 100,000 iPad readers, including about 20,000 people who bought subscriptions at $59.99 a year.

The New Yorker, a magazine that has always been heavy on text, took a different tack from its peers. Instead of loading its iPad app with interactive features, the magazine focused on presenting its articles in a clean, readable format.

And then there’s the ability for print subscribers to download any issue on the iPad. This is the direction all print publications need to head.

…More than 75,000 people have taken advantage of the magazine’s offer to allow print subscribers to download the app free.

Give me great content and a usable delivery platform and I’ll give you my money. Plain and simple.

And from an interview with David Remnick in November 2010:

He said there are vast possibilities for interactive reading that will appear on the New Yorker’s iPad, but those will come when he establishes a proper subscription model so that there is a critical mass of people consuming the materal;

You can’t force a new medium. Take Wired magazine for example, also owned by New Yorker parents, Conde-Nast; their content has consistently declined while they’ve revamped layout and interactivity in both their print and iPad versions.


Google’s dropping H.264 from Chrome a step backward for openness

Maybe Google views themselves as adept as Apple, and are convinced that cutting off any “weaker alternatives” is the only way to get, what they believe to be, the superior WebM codec into the real world. I bet they even believe that someday this decision will be heralded as a great step forward. Like Apple with the floppy drive.

A nice tidbit on Google’s “openness” stance:

If openness is so important that Google is willing to remove features from Chrome, there is no way that the company should be shipping Flash in Chrome.


… <video> will now become: the iOS fallback tag. Flash will remain the preferred solution for “real” browsers, and the only people using <video> will be those catering to iOS.

Fallback tag? With the way things are going, iOS will NOT be considered the fallback!