June 11th, 2010

AAAAAA, angry


I can sleep through earthquakes and storms at sea. I can sleep through my car getting demolished by a drunk driver out on the curb in front of my house. I plug Rush and Meat Loaf into my CD player to rock myself to sleep.

I cannot sleep through the sound of mice rustling around my room.

The bottle of Melatonin with Theamine that I picked up at CostCo on Wednesday is supposed to be for "Stress Relief and a Sounder Sleep". It is not supposed to give me super-hearing.

When I've taken Melatonin in the past, I've consistently gotten six hours of sound sleep, and then snapped awake. I was hoping to get more useful hours in the morning, since evening shift in the comics store has made it increasingly difficult to get started.

I'm on less than four hours of low-grade sleep, but after snapping awake to rustle rustle rustle and Dawn's Early Light, I'm pretty much done for.

I need to tidy up in here.

Eye of the Dragon

The Computer Is Your Friend: SHINY TOY WANT MODE

The Kno: A giant double-screen tablet to replace giant textbooks.

Kno Movie from Kno, Inc. on Vimeo.

I'm not much of a tech-fiend or an early adopter. My usual reaction at the Shiny Tech Toy of the Minute is, "huh, that's kinda cool", but it's seldom if ever "OMG I GOTTA HAVE IT".

Even now, as I'm looking at the Kno, my reaction is, "Yes, this is finally getting to what I want in the elusive 'electronic book' -- something that retains the utility of a hardcopy book while simultaneously taking advantage of the new medium."

Up until now, the ebook readers I've seen haven't done either. They've been the Worst of Both Worlds: a static page without any of the convenient features that let the spine-bound book render the continuous scroll obsolete. That's fine for a novel, but for any kind of reference work at all, it's useless. If I'm, say, playing an RPG, and trying to run combat, even the best-organized rulebooks I've seen have me flipping back and forth between three or more widely-separated sections at once.

A reader-tablet that's set up to properly display two-page spreads, to let me jot notes, to let me flip back and forth casually between sections? One that's ALSO set up to hyperlink and cross-reference? And, of course, to have animated illustrations and even embedded video? To have two books open at once, or a full-on web browser on one screen with a textbook on the other?

This is the frakkin' Diamond Age, boys and girls. Or the first real stab at it, anyway.

halfelf is holding out for a tablet that has both a capacitive and a resistive screen, so you can do both the Cool iPhone Multi-Touch Tricks and the Pressure-sensitive Drawing Tablet Tricks. Call it the "fingerpaint interface".

It would be NICE to be able to use something like the Kno as a full-fledged graphics tablet, but it's not a deal-breaker for me. I can live without that. After all, I can't use my laptop as one, either.

In short: WANT. If this thing isn't just vaporware, I'll be eagerly awaiting announcements of price points.

Even if it is ... this is the interface of the future. This is what an "ebook reader" will have to look like to be as useful as a spine-bound book. It doesn't have to be this large, but it's going to have to be this flexible.

Take a good look, people. This could be the printkiller.
hope, science, green hills of earth

To sail on a dream, on a crystal clear ocean ...

I got home just in time to make a post in celebration of Jacques Cousteau's 100th birthday.

I, of course, grew up on The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, and his work as always been an inspiration to me. I know I owe some part of my love of the sea to his work and his words.

As part of the celebration, they are re-launching Calypso.

A better monument to the man, I cannot conceive.

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Happy Centennial, Dr. Cousteau, wherever you may be.