Submitted by Jason Griffey on March 1, 2013 - 11:10am
I've seen some interesting alternative inputs technologies that will be coming to computer users this year. I'll share video demos of two that I’m most excited about are: the Leap Motion and the Myo armband.
The Leap Motion is a small camera-based sensor that connects to your computer and “watches” an area above your desk for hand movement, translating that movement into control of your computer. You can, for example, wave your hand to scroll a page, turn your fingers to control volume, and pinch and zoom images by literally pinching the air. Most of the gestures seem to be translated from current touchscreen technology, but I’m very excited about the opportunity to develop a new language of interface with a product like this. The Leap Motion should be available for purchase this May, for $79.
Here’s a quick video to demonstrate how it looks and works. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on October 31, 2012 - 9:53am
We thought that September was a big month for technology announcements, well... then October happened. I would bet that there hasn’t been a busier month for new tech hitting the streets in a long, long time. Here’s the rough summary of what came out this month.
Apple announced a 7.9-inch version of the iPad, dubbed the iPad mini. A smaller screen brings a smaller price: the lowest priced version of the mini coming in at only $329...but even with the smaller screen, it has the same resolution as the iPad 1 and 2, which means that it will run all 275,000 iPad apps without any modification. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on September 28, 2012 - 8:56am
September has become the keystone month in the US for technology announcements. This eventful month featured two major and one minor (but interesting!) announcement: Apple and the iPhone5, Amazon with their new set of Kindles, and Makerbot Industries with the announcement of the Replicator 2. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on July 25, 2012 - 1:04pm
I have a not-entirely-undeserved reputation as a fan of Apple’s hardware and software. And it’s true that I think that Apple is charting the future of computing with the iPhone and iPad, and that no one has built a tablet that I could possibly recommend that ran anything except iOS.
Yes, you can collect whatever wagers there were on the table as to when I’d like an Android device. Because I really, really like the Nexus 7, the 7 inch, Google-backed-and-Asus-built Android 4.1 tablet. It’s fast, it’s pretty, and Android 4.1 puts it far ahead of other Android tablets for the time being. Did I mention that it’s also $199?
Read on for my full review... Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 18, 2012 - 8:25am
Once a year, Apple holds its World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the highlight of which for non-developers is the Monday keynote. In prior years, the keynote was the Steve Jobs show, where Steve got to be his most Steve-ish, taking digs at competitors and talking about how awesome things are and will be for Apple over the coming year. This year there is no Jobs, but there was an absolutely deluge of news from the keynote, hosted by CEO Tim Cook and starring the main players in Apple’s current corporate structure.
Practically every news outlet in the world will have a summary of the news coming out of WWDC, so I’m going to focus on the things that I think are important to libraries. Apple had three main announcements: updates to their laptop line, which is their most popular type of computer sold; and what to expect in the two new operating systems launching this year, OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 4, 2012 - 12:48pm
Editor's note: This post is adapted from the introduction to Jason Griffey’s new Library Technology Report “Gadgets and Gizmos: Libraries and the Post-PC Era.” Jason revisits the technologies that he highlighted in his 2010 report. And he beats himself up a bit over it. Help him let go of the past; excuse him from predicting the future; and join him in discussing the gadgets your patrons are using today: Jason will be presenting a two-part workshop on May 10 and May 24.
Way back in April 2010, Library Technology Reports published “Gadgets and Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the Library,” but it was January of the same year when I turned in the manuscript for editing and effectively locked down the content. Nearly every single thing about it is now irrelevant at best, and downright ridiculous at worst. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on April 30, 2012 - 11:07am
During the past few months, I’ve been lucky enough to give a handful of presentations with a similar theme: What does the Post-PC world mean for libraries? In the talks, I cover a lot of ground, ranging from why we should care about shifts in information consumption on devices, how we should determine where to focus our attention when we have limited resources (and we always have limited resources in libraries), and what we can expect from the next 3-5 years when it comes to delivering information to our patrons. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on February 27, 2012 - 11:41am
Way back at the first of February I posted a short blog entry about Storybundle, a new ebook distribution platform/model being spearheaded by Jason Chen (formerly of Gizmodo and Lifehacker). Over the next couple of weeks we traded a few emails, resulting in the following interview about his thoughts on how Storybundle will work and whether or not it might be something that Libraries should watch. Here’s the interview, reconstructed from the emails (italics are me):
I clearly see the benefit for readers here…DRM free + name your price. But what is the draw for authors, given that Amazon will give them 70% + it’s clearly the 800 pound gorilla of eyeballs on books. Why would an author choose to list their book with StoryBundle? Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on January 26, 2012 - 10:20pm
Apple has decided to attempt yet another media disruption, this time focusing on reinventing the textbook market. This move was foretold in the biography of Steve Jobs, where Walter Isaacson wrote about Jobs:
“He wanted to disrupt the textbook industry, and save the spines of spavined students bearing backpacks by creating electronic texts and curriculum material for the iPad." Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 21, 2011 - 9:01am
Way back in mid-2010, Gina Trapani (founder of Lifehacker, host of This Week in Google, all around brilliant awesome coder) announced that she was developing a piece of software then called ThinkTank, the purpose of which was to archive and analyze her twitter stream. Since Twitter doesn’t give you unlimited access to your own tweets, she wanted to ensure that she had control of her own content and could analyze it any way she wished. Now, over a year later that project is called ThinkUp, is being developed by dozens of coders and the help of Expert Labs, and is being used by the White House to analyze it’s social media presence.
ThinkUp just came out of Beta, and the 1.0 is really an amazing piece of software. It installs on your LAMP server (or on Amazon EC2) with about as much effort as a Wordpress install: unzip, upload, enter some database information, and hit go. It’s a bit more work to get the various websites feeding your database. ThinkUp currently has built-in connections for Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, but in order to connect them to your ThinkUp install you have to follow some simple directions that create a link between your install and the API in question. It’s not difficult, and if you can read and push buttons there shouldn’t be any issues. Read More »