"“The book will never die. But the textbook probably will,” says Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis. Inkling is working directly with textbook publishers. First, they’ll port their existing tomes onto Apple’s iPad as interactive, socialized objects. Then, they’ll create all-new learning modules — interactive, social, and mobile — that leave ink-on-paper textbooks in the dust."
I don't think this is for building social networking services (front end), but very sure this is for plumbing the depths of all social networking services (data end). With the gang that is either at Google or gone through Google, it's about opening up our social graphs to the Machine that is Google.
Cool article on using slime molds to model best connections in complex networks. Key thing is that the molds do as well as engineers, so therefore, there must be some simple principles governing the building of these networks. And we won't need engineers anymore?
"Tokyo’s is not the first transport network to be modelled in this way. A study published in December by Andrew Adamatzky and Jeff Jones of the University of the West of England used oat flakes to represent Britain’s principal cities. Slime moulds modelled the motorway network of the island quite accurately, with the exception of the M6/M74 into Scotland (the creatures chose to go through Newcastle rather than past Carlisle)."
"My gut feeling is that the model of journalism as a craft will end up more like astronomy, where amateur astronomers are a vital part of the progress of the subject as a whole. Amateur astronomers produce vital data that the professionals use and build upon, as well as creating the odd “exclusive” themselves." [via @moleitau]
I think the astronomy community is a good model, not only for journalism, but for the way DIYBio can go. Similar balance between working together with main-stream-practitioners and striking out on one's own to gain insights and such.
"The new BIOFAB: International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology (BIOFAB), with two years of funding from NSF and matching support from founding partners, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the BioBricks Foundation (BBF), aims to produce thousands of free standardized DNA parts to shorten the development time and lower the cost of synthetic biology for academic or biotech laboratories." [via @thisischristina]
If 2009 was the Year of the Netbook, it's getting to be pretty clear that 2010 is the Year of the Digital Book Reader.
The Kindle and Nook are simple readers with whole bookstores inside them. Indeed, the Kindle has hit on a formula that I think everyone will riff off of (as opposed to exploring other potential biz models).
Now we hear of big magazine publishers exploringlayouts that are digital reader friendly. And the amazing BERG worked on a project called Mag+ (video below), showing the future of digital magazines.
It's been really interesting to see the traditional publishing industry drooling at a way out of their downward spiral (being drawn down by their 20th Century biz models). Equally interesting is to see that what was old is new again.
I'm reminded that the early days of the Web was about converting traditional print publications into digital facsimiles. And stretching my memory pre-Web, all this digital book reader talk reminds me of Alan Kay's Dynabook, Jack Scully's Knowledge Navigator, and, my favorite, Hypercard.
So, we're back to creating digital facsimiles of print pubs (albeit better than before). But, when viewing Mag+, I think we could go a wee bit further.
Nah, I don't think we need to turn digital book readers into full-fledged, 'net-connected, hyper-linked information devices (can you say "tablet"?). I'd like to see traditional publishers extend into a third hyper-linked dimension to take advantage of digital formats, rather than just a flat, though pretty, book or magazine. Mag+ does show that, but I am left wanting a tad more.
Yeah, print pubs are mostly flat, but let's not reproduce that flatness in a digital world.
"THE HISTORY of scientific research is littered with failures that did not deliver the expected outcomes. Here I present: Scientific and Technological Predictions that Didn’t Come True." [via @wendypedia]
Mobile and philanthropy – the reminds me of something…
"Early yesterday evening, the American Red Cross announced it had received more than $5 Million in texts, $10 at a time. That means more than 500,000 people from all over America have texted "HAITI" to 90999. Although they are still raising much more through other forms ($35 million so far in total), this is a record for the organization and for mobile giving."
"I hope Americans see China’s rise as the 21st-century equivalent of Russia launching the Sputnik satellite — a challenge to which we responded with a huge national effort that revived our education, infrastructure and science and propelled us for 50 years. Unfortunately, the Cheneyites want to make fighting Al Qaeda our Sputnik."
Hear hear! "It is all a bit coded but he is saying that it is his critics and those who thought Bush got it right who are really soft on terrorism, giving al-Qaeda what they desire: a terrified United States that dances to their tune." [via @alfie]
Bravo. Each item full of meaning – what the describe, what hasn't changed, what they forebode. But the kicker is the B Dalton executive, full of passion but out of a job – the bookseller is gone, despite his belief in "inevitability."
Nothing new, but all in one place, I suppose. "The emergence of synthetic biology, and off-shoots such as DIYbio, make the need for a rigorous, sustained and mature approach for assessing, and preparing for, the broad range of associated dangers and risks all the more pressing."