October 3rd, 2006
- The Newsnight book club publishes an extract from Richard Dawkins’ new book, The God Delusion. It sounds hilarious. Dawkins on claims that Katrina was God’s retribution:
You’d think an omnipotent God would adopt a slightly more targeted approach to zapping sinners: a judicious heart attack, perhaps, rather than the wholesale destruction of an entire city just because it happened to be the domicile of one lesbian comedian.
It is clearly a must, must buy.
- The Sony Reader electronic book is now available. $350. It will be interesting to see it in person so I can judge how fine the e-ink is. Unlikely though it sounds, I’m particularly excited by the resize text function. I’ll be getting my wallet out when it can do colour and I’m able to download my (cheaper) electronic magazine subs to it directly. Douglas Adams would be pleased.
- Robert X Cringlely has some interesting thoughts on the strategy underpinning Microsoft’s new iPod wannabe, the Zune media player (scroll down, “Why Zune?” subheading):
…we’ll all carry some mobile device and it will eventually be only ONE mobile device, so there will be a consolidation of features among phones, cameras, media players, and navigation devices. We’re seeing this already. Advertising will support a lot of content over time … It’s the broadcast radio / TV model that worked well for 80 years. But this time the effect will be amplified by social networking and GPS location information. A device that is always on and knows where it is can be a powerful advertising device — so powerful that it might be worth giving away for free. Is Apple even the competition in this model? Microsoft doesn’t think so. Microsoft sees Google as the competition and possibly Amazon. But if Microsoft can direct the advertising and control the transactions, heck they’ll own the market, which could be VERY important if people stop buying desktop computers.
- Wow. Friends Reunited have redesigned their logged-in homepage and it’s even more hideously overwrought than before. Stuffed to the gunwhales with links, adds, buttons, and calls-to-action. Where am I supposed to look? What am I supposed to click? It’s like they loaded their content inventory into a shotgun and fired it at the screen.
- Great piece on Icon Analysis at Boxes and Arrows, including some interesting info on how different vision channels in the eye perceive different qualities of an object we’re focussing on. Interesting tidbit: peripheral vision is not in colour.