There’s always a settling-in period for new technology. Always.



I’m sure it started before Socrates, who thought that once everyone learnt to write we would stop relying upon our memories. Looking at the Maori people as an example of a culture who have lost the ability (or the want) to memorise and pass on poems of great length, Socrates was probably right. Yet few would argue for pre-literate era.

socrates and the written word



Then there were doubters of the Gutenberg printing press.

It was thought that novels would corrupt the minds of young women: Many young girls, from morning to night, hang over this pestiferous reading, to the neglect of industry, health, proper exercise, and to the ruin both of body and of soul. …The increase of novels will help to account for the increase of prostitution and for the numerous adulteries and elopements that we hear of in the different parts of the kingdom.

Initially, many people were opposed to talkies, in the belief that they sullied the purity of silent film.

Then there was opposition to colour talkies:

I hate technicolour. Everybody in a technicolour movie seems to feel obliged to wear a lurid new costume in each new scene and to stand around like a clothes-horse with a lot of very green trees or very yellow wheat or very blue ocean rolling away for miles and miles in every direction.

– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

There was — and still is — doubt about the decision to have a television set in the home. My parents tell me that TV antennae were colloquially referred to as ‘skite sticks’ in New Zealand, when only the richest could afford them.

Douglas Adams said once:

“I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

So, how’s everybody feeling about the Apple Watch today?

Guesses About Future Sizes Of iOS Touch Screens

A bunch of people are guessing that we have reached ‘peak iPad’, which is kind of ridiculous, especially since the iPad is still the more reliable and fastest working tablet computer available at the moment.

But having last week updated The Artifacts (rather belatedly, but better late than never) for the longer iPhone 5 screen, this had us wondering how long it would be before we need to revisit that app again in order to support yet another screen size.

This author believes that:

…You can argue that as phones get bigger, they veer too close to tablets for a tablet purchase to still be justified. But I do believe we’ll see phone sizes eventually settle in the 4 to 5-inch range, while tablets go the other way: larger, as they embrace their destiny.

In the meantime, we hope screen sizes don’t change again any time soon. It took a week of work for Dan to upgrade to retina and prepare a storybook for the iPhone 5. While it won’t take that long next time, it’s worth pointing out that putting out a book app isn’t like putting out a book. Apps are really much more like (adult) children in that they do require ongoing support.

A Stack Of Printed Pages… Held Together By A Lover

A number of questions are starting to get boring. The first is ‘What does it mean to be human?’ Seriously, didn’t we work that one out with the Human Genome Project?

For those of us making storybook apps/enhanced books/interactive reading material, whatever marketing term you prefer, another pretty uninspiring question keeps cropping up in my feed: ‘What Is A Book?’

But I did like this article. Mainly for the sort-of-infographic:

I don’t know about you, but I kept reading ‘cover’ as ‘lover’, marveling at the poetic beauty of such a phrase. From here on in, all of my book covers shall answer to ‘lover’.