The End of History (Books)

Yes, it’s stunning to watch the spinning images in the table of elements ebook that comes with the iPad.  But what does the brave new world of ebooks hold for educational and nonfiction authors? In order for electronic books to live up to their billing, we have to fix a system that is broken: getting permission to use copyrighted material in new work. Either we change the way we deal…

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For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path

The digital photography course that SHU’s journalism students are supposed to take typically fills up, so that students can’t take the course until they are seniors.  That rather defeats the purpose of requiring the course — I was hoping that students who take the course will be able to take photos for the student paper for a couple years before they graduate.  That hasn’t really been happening, and right now…

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Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either)

Doctorow is a do-it-yourself tech maven who hates the iPad, specifically because it makes it so easy to access online content on Apple’s terms. We don’t own the content we pay for on the iPad, and we aren’t trusted with owning the insides. The way you improve your iPad isn’t to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps.…

Indie Filmmakers, Meet Interactive Fiction

It’s a scary time. After all, people are learning to make their own iPhone apps to help their films stand out (something Who Shot Mamba by Brian Spaeth is actually doing really well.) Many filmmakers groan at the thought of learning such a complicated skill, or paying someone who has the skill a lot of money. After all, the code to program an iPhone looks like this: @interface JNBRequest :…

"How to Play IF" card

At PAX we debuted the “How to Play Interactive Fiction” postcard. If somebody is sitting down in front of an IF game for the very first time, this card should give him or her an idea of what commands are likely to work — and what commands are *likely* to work. It’s not trying to teach everything an IF expert would know; it’s just conveying the pattern.–Andrew Plotkin, rec.arts.int-fiction