An economic crisis changes the way you think about gadgets. Is a $400 game console bundle really what you want to be spending your hard-earned money on, considering that you could be out of a job in six months?
Maybe not — though we’re sympathetic to the idea that the recently unemployed might need to blow off steam with a few rounds of Wii Boxing.… Read the rest
I’m quoted in Folio magazine’s annual survey of editors and publishers, making an uncharacteristically wild-eyed prediction about how great things are going to be in 2009:
In 2009, we’ll see even more magazine startups, as entrepreneurs with funding (or un-maxed-out credit cards) seize the twin opportunities of cheap journalistic labor and lower competitive barriers to start up publications of their own.
… Read the rest
Forty years ago Tuesday, a Silicon Valley engineer named Douglas Engelbart made a presentation so influential that computer scientists now call it "the mother of all demos." More than a mere product demo, it was a down payment on an ambitious idea: that networked computers could help groups of people work together more effectively, raising the collective intelligence of the human race and making it possible to solve some of our most pressing problems, including pollution, famine, disease, and war.… Read the rest
1968: Computer scientist Douglas Engelbart kicks off the personal computer revolution with a product demonstration that is so amazing it inspires a generation of technologists. It will become known as “the mother of all demos.”
The presentation included the debut of the computer mouse, which Engelbart used to control an onscreen pointer in exactly the same way we do today.… Read the rest
1894: Norbert Wiener is born in Columbia, Missouri. A child prodigy, he goes on to become one of the 20th century’s most famous mathematicians and the founder of the discipline of cybernetics, the study of self-regulating systems.
Norbert’s father, Leo Wiener, was a lecturer (and later professor) of Slavic languages at Harvard University, where the family moved shortly after Norbert’s birth.… Read the rest
As the publishing industry collapses, it’s becoming clear that both journalists and public relations people need to change the way they work.
Amazingly, it’s still possible to find journalists throwing hissy fits about email blasts or blacklisting PR people for showing insufficient deference.… Read the rest
If anyone doubted the power and importance of online social networks, the election of Barack Obama should have put that to rest.
Much has been made of the Obama campaign’s use of the internet as an organizing, fundraising and marketing tool.… Read the rest
Imagine that news stories and blog posts could be tied to a geographic area. If lots of news publishers and bloggers did this, you could:
- Search Google News for stories from a specific neighborhood, like “Hyde Park in Chicago,” or a general region, like “within 50 miles of Three Mile Island.”
- Find all the blog posts about your block within the last week, and know that when you posted a response on your own blog, that other people living on your block would be able to find it.
… Read the rest
While I was on vacation, a feature story I wrote earlier in the month got published on Wired. It’s about the technological progress in CMOS imaging chips, and why the tech is making it possible, for the first time, to record video on a digital single-lens reflex camera.… Read the rest