What is going on at Twitter? Twitter CEO Dick Costolo discusses the company and the product.
The Amazing Spider Man Looks Amazing!
Once upon a time, children watched Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and dreamed about all the fantastical things they had seen. Many of those children, who grew into bibliophiles, wished that one day they could have a library like the one from the movie.
Today, that dream seams more of a stretch of the imagination than say, oh a man trapped in the form of THE BEAST!
If you haven’t yet heard the news, Boarders is closing all of it’s remaining 399 bookstores. After filing for bankruptcy in February, the company hoped that it would be able to right its sinking ship by reducing the number of stores and praying to (as Ricky Bobby does) God, Jewish God, Allah, and Tom Cruise, that some investor would buy the company and douse the embers burning their books. Instead, it just prolonged the inevitable. And complete liquidation of Boarders could be complete by September.
So what does this mean for us?
Would the Twilight Zones’s Henry Bemis, The Last Bibliophile on Earth, not have any reason to cry out when his glasses broke at the end? Would he simply just drag his fingers over his nook to enlarge the print on the page?
Actually it is more like an inevitability.
What this means is that hardcover and paper back copies of books are going to become a rarer and rarer thing. If you see how Barnes and Noble has managed to avoid boarding the same doomed vessel as Boarders it is because they have charted a path in the digital seas with their Nook!
But it doesn’t end there. In June, DC comics made headlines by announcing that it will soon release new comics digitally the same day the print versions hit the shelves. So I ask, why would the cyberpunked, comic book geek drive to the store, waste his gas, sit in traffic, to get new issues, when he could simply download it to his ipad in 2 seconds? The answer is that he wouldn’t!
What is even more startling/awesome, is that most text books have a digital copy available. And the real kicker is that the younger generation is learning to read on these iPads, Nooks, and what ever else the techy parents use. The young are being exposed more to digital reading than to physically holding a book in their hands. And while it is innovative and a salute to our time, it has a consequence.
The young people will be the death of the Beauty and the Beast Library Dream. So I plead to parents and educators across the world, please do not let your children hit the nail in the coffin of all book stores. Some of my best memories and most tranquil experiences are just browsing through the endless isles of books in a bookstore. Or participating in a reading circle in the children’s section. These are things that we must not lose to the digital revolution. Take action now, before it is too late.
A 3D Printer? More like a Star Trek replicator!
The official Dark Knight Rises trailer!
I am sure many of you have already spent some time on google+ and if you haven’t yet, I am sure you have at least read some reviews in one way or another. Some of these techy reviews are a bit confusing to understand if you haven’t actually messed around with the interface so let me, as Lupe Fiasco suggests, dumb it down. I will not go into everything. Just what I think matters.
The home page is like the twitter home page, the facebook news feed, and the tumblr dashboard. It resembles tumblr more than anything with the features it offers but in physical appearance looks a lot like a facebook news feed. From here you can share what is on your mind, pictures, videos, links, or even your physical location (if you are into that lack of privacy sort of thing). Here you also see the updates of your circles (friends). I will get more into circles in a second.
Profiles on google+ just seem like googalized facebook profiles but one quickly learns they are not. There is no wall. If you know one of those people that has a super private facebook profile where you cannot interact with them in any way shape or form, then you know what google+ profiles are on the dot.
But it goes beyond that because you can’t even leave them messages. Your only option to message some one is to email that person. To me this is an invasion of social networking into my private life as I tend to use my email for more important things than social networking. But perhaps the idea that the two should remain separated is antiquated philosophy as many people use facebook as an email any way.
Profiles also offer a feature I wish they would expand. It is called BUZZ. From here you can view what that person has tweeted, checked into, and other 3rd party things. Why I say I wish this was expanded is because I would rather some of that stuff be on the home page instead having to go to that person’s profile to see what they tweeted. I’d rather just go to twitter.
Google+ has a few features that are unique, even though they really are just reshaped features from other sites. All have potential but currently are flawed. These are the ones that I use the most:
Circles - The ability to organize your friends into specific groups. When posting you can easily select a specific group to post to or to go public and post to all. Also, friends do not have to accept you like on facebook. It is more like twitter in the fact that you can follow some one without having them follow you back.
Sparks - This is kind of like trending topics on twitter or things you follow on tumblr. You can search for specific interests and get updates about them in your sparks. However, I do wish your sparks would post to the home page instead of having to select that specific spark to see what is happening.
Hang Out - Like a social networking version of ichat. The ability to have group video chatrooms is a nice feature, especially since you can share YouTube videos. However, I wish it was more like ichat and that you could share photos and documents in this chat room to have it be more like a video conference than simply friends “hanging out.”
All and all it’s not a bad site. My biggest problem with it, other than the fact it transmits my personal information to the world wide web like I’m some enemy fighter crossing unannounced into allied airspace signaling a red alert, is the fact that the top tabs (gmail, google+, docs, etc.) always open new windows. A few times I have been on gchat in 2 places and it gets rather confusing and annoying.
Also, it feels like a confusing version of facebook and I think this will keep many people off of it, or from becoming prolific users on it. But not having every one and their moms using it like facebook isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I currently have 2 friends moms as FB friends, I felt bad rejecting them).
That to me is the gist of google+. It’s not everything it has to offer, just what I think is worth mentioning. Like I said before, it’s a sushi roll of other social networking sites. But that does not mean it will replace any of them.
Google+ is not the facebook killer. But it could be. But just correcting the few issues I mentioned above will not do it. Facebook’s gaming will keep it leaps and bounds ahead of google+ in terms of it’s stickiness as a website.