2010: The Year of the Tablet, How Publishers Shape It

The following Sports Illustrated concept piece by The Wonderfactory for Time Inc shows some of the key themes that will shape tablet-based consumption of information:

  • customize the layout to suit your tastes or keep the editor’s view;
  • verticalize the content to suit your interest areas;
  • easily curate ‘finds’ to your networks
  • inclusion of social gaming, but absent were meta game mechanics.

Sports Illustrated – Tablet Demo 1.5 from The Wonderfactory on Vimeo.

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Grassroots, open source, replicable 3-d printing: RepRap

I’ve been enjoying reading Cory Doctorow’s latest novel, Makers, which tracks the growth of a grassroots 3-d printing revolution in a post-GFC-like world. You can follow the novel in parts here.

A real life example is the RepRap movement. A group of people have come together to develop an open source 3-d printer that can replicate itself. Check out the video below:

RepRap from Adrian Bowyer on Vimeo.

Bored: Customize Your Keys

Introducing the customizable keyboard from Ergodex.

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Is it just another cool gadget or the ultimate resolution to the repetitive strain injuries that plague programmers, gamers, writers and other keyboard tappers?

It works with any program and has 25 buttons that stick to the Tray in any configuration. Label buttons, slide in artwork or customize a key on the fly in-game.

[via Gagdgettastic]

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Mobile GPS as standard – privacy versus safety

Your choice – lose your loved one or your privacy.

South Korea is looking into equipping new mobile phones with a chip that will allow users to be located via satellite-based positioning technology.

The argument being put forward in a bill before their National Assembly is that this move will assist in reducing kidnapping and other increasingly violent crimes against women and children.

I know there is the slippery slope argument of benevolent versus big brother government and in no other region of the world is this better illustrated – South Korea doing this versus North Korea ….shudder.

However, where we have the technology to eradicate location-based crimes this, to me, far outweighs privacy issues.

DNA tracking would be optimal – this is not that far off.

[via China View]

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Robots: Life-Size versus Life-Like

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I  showed my 10 & 11 year old sons the Today show clip of Ross Dawson stroking his Pleo and thought this is my answer to their continuous requests for a pet. They were both instantly besotted with this ultra cute, life-like baby dinosaur. Compared to the plastic coldness of the Sony Aibo, the Pleo exudes cuddliness. Out of the box, its big blue eyes form an emotional tie in a nanosecond.

But what I hadn’t factored in was my 10 year old’s deep connection with anything and everything Star Wars-related. He took one look at the life-size reproduction of C-3PO and was instantly torn: life-size versus life-like.

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The human connection will win out in the end. A cold-hearted fibreglass replica is neat, but it has no chance against a cute pet… that doesn’t need toilet training.

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