Now animated graphic novels are stepping up to the plate

Friday, 27 April, 2012

Bottom of the Ninth is a baseball themed animated graphic novel, for the iPad. Creator Ryan Woodward is also pretty confident it is a world first. Whether you agree or disagree with the claim, I’d say we’re going to see a lot more of these.

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My intergalactic planetary music collection goes interstellar

Thursday, 5 May, 2011

Planetary is an iPad app that allows you to visualise your music collection as a galaxy… stars represent artists or bands, planets orbiting said star their albums, while album tracks will consist of moons around each planet.

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Sounding out the night sky, see constellations by hearing them

Wednesday, 13 October, 2010

Austin Seraphin, who is blind, was frustrated by the often vague descriptions sighted people offered him of the night sky, has now been able to develop a sense of the night sky and constellations by way of an iPhone/iPad app called Go Skywatch Planetarium, that effectively allows him to “hear” the cosmos when he points his iPad at a section of the sky.

It feels exhilarating to actually get a sense for these different stellar bodies, feeling the angles and imagining the distances between them. I can also get some idea of the constant change taking place within the night sky. While this does not actually give me a better idea of what the night sky looks like, it does, for the first time, give me a way to relate to its contents. Besides, a lot of constellations have cool names, so you can always use your imagination.

How would I describe the night sky? Awesome, is the word that springs to mind – though I realise that is far from descriptive – and all the more awesome when seen from say the NSW Central Coast, rather than light polluted inner Sydney.

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From 1910, and some one hundred years in the making, iPhones

Wednesday, 18 August, 2010

Writing in 1910, Robert Sloss spoke of a device he called a “wireless telegraph”, which was capable of performing an array of functions similar to an iPhone or iPad.

In what was a truly inspired and long-sighted article, Stoll predicted the wireless telegraph would act as a mobile telephone, music player, camera, would be able to access newspapers, and could also connect users to their bank accounts and allow them to perform transactions.

This all happened in 1910, or is some time traveller having us on?

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iPad usability not so rad according to Jakob Nielsen

Wednesday, 12 May, 2010

Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen subjects the iPad to usability testing and finds the device wanting

iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with frequent user errors due to accidental gestures. An overly strong print metaphor and weird interaction styles cause further usability problems.

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Surely everything you wanted to know about the iPad…

Wednesday, 14 April, 2010

From Daring Fireball: coming in at 7, 300 words this has to be a fairly extensive evaluation of the iPad.

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Now that tablet has arrived are laptops an endangered species?

Wednesday, 7 April, 2010

While I can see phone cameras possibly bringing about the end of point-and-shoot cameras, I’m not so sure that devices such as the iPad will have the same impact on laptops.

Sure the iPad can do a few things, but it has nowhere near the computing power, or functionality, of a contemporary laptop.

A “computer” that is (so far) only up to tasks such as reading and composing email, displaying e-books, surfing the net, storing photos, and playing music and movies, while useful, is still quite someway from rendering laptops obsolete.

Mind you, so long as the iPad has, or can support, a text editor (yes, that’s a serious statement) then I could just about ditch the laptop. I’d still need a spreadsheet app though, I don’t want all my data in the cloud.

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There are 22 definitions of pad, so why the fixation with just one?

Tuesday, 2 February, 2010

I know we’re sick to death of the hype and non-stop chatter surrounding new Apple iPad, so I’ll try and be brief, but the furore over the name quite frankly has me puzzled.

It seems Apple has shown very poor judgement in including the word “pad” in the name of their new product, but I can’t figure out why.

Since when has the use of the word pad become unacceptable? For example I don’t know of any instances of stationery sellers being ostracised for selling writing and note pads, nor have I have heard of any retribution against the users of such products either.

Such controversy concerns me personally though, given the tag-line for this very website is “notepad two point zero”. Yet, aside from a couple of tongue-in-cheek emails regarding the “two point zero” part, nary a word has otherwise been said.

So what’s with the brouhaha being directed at Apple?

A look at only adds to the mystery, where no fewer than 22 definitions of pad turn up. Let me throw a few at you:

  • a soft, stuffed cushion used as a saddle; a padded leather saddle without a tree.
  • any fleshy mass of tissue that cushions a weight-bearing part of the body, as on the underside of a paw.
  • one’s living quarters, as an apartment or room.
  • money paid as a bribe to and shared among police officers, as for ignoring law violations.
  • a small deposit of weld metal, as for building up a worn surface.

But did you notice anything missing? For my part, I didn’t see a single mention of sanitary items, which is especially surprising considering draws its references from a wide range of sources.

So what’s going on, and what are we supposed to do next? Purge the language of every ambiguously defined word least someone take offence? Is that what it takes?

In short the world is going to pieces over the use of the word pad. Is this for real? If this is a nightmare, someone please wake me right now.

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