Archive for the 'Technology' Category


Where is our history going?

So, one of the most interesting things in the new PC Magazine digital version (see previous post on first impressions of the new format)  is a column by John Dvorak. I’d give you a link but since this is the newly released issue, it’s not available for free yet. I’ll summarize some of his main points.

Dvorak points out that we risk losing our history to digital technology. A particularly apropos topic given it’s in the first digital version of the mag. He was doing some research on articles from the 1990s on U.K. sites and found they were no longer there. All he got was 404 errors. Is this going to become the norm? Should users start to save complete web pages, fearing the shelf-life of Internet information is going to get shorter and shorter?

Compounding this is the perceived extinction of newspapers, which if they survive in some form, will probably let bean counters decide the cost of keeping an archive may offer no payback.

Dvorak ponders that at some point we will look back and find a giant hole in our historical records. Also, he wonders what will become of books when they have all been scanned in by Google, and he considers when companies merge or are bought out, how often publishers don’t know exactly what they own or where it is.

It’s an important area to consider. We are losing part of our history now. Will it get worse? Indications are it will and that will be regrettable.

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


Digital PC Magazine

PC Magazine is no longer printing a hard copy, but because I have a subscription that  runs until later this year I received an e-mail informing me I have access to the new digital version of it.

pcmagI was a little underwhelmed at first, although it’s slowly getting better as I adjust. Using a Zinio Reader, which you need to download, or a browser version of the program, PC Mag digital seems like the real thing but doesn’t feel like it. It looks how it probably does to the designers creating it on a computer. It’s easy to use, fast, searchable and sharp looking. Is it easy to read? No. You have to get used to it.

My biggest problem with the reader is that you are limited to four magnifications, unlike the Adobe Reader, which has many percantages to choose from. At 100 percent, it’s basically unreadable. You have to put your face about two inches from your computer screen to make anything out, which is very little. At 200 percent it’s readable, but for my preference, it’s a little too big. I want to see more of the page, although I am getting used to focusing on one paragraph, which is what you have to do.

Suffice to say 400 and 800 percent are completely useless and I have no idea why they are in the program. Zinio needs percentages between 100 and 200 percent to make the experience both easier on the eyes and the pysche. It’s hard enough doing extended reading on the web, particularly when you’re reading something you are used to having in your hands.

A Kindle may be a better vehicle although you would lose a lot of color and graphics that a magazine needs. Right now, Zinio is perhaps one of the better technologies for it but it needs to be improved.


Gone baby

In a previous post, I mentioned PC Magazine was not publishing a print product anymore and would be only available online. Earlier this month Ziff-Davis, which published PC Mag, announced it was out of the print business completely. As this news item mentions, Z-D was responsible for many magazines over its 82-year history, many that I read at one time or another.

Ziff-Davis gone.


Interview with a …

No, not that. A journalist in her 20s. An interesting street interview by JD Lasica, touching on most of the social media sites and newspapers to some extent.



Does it matter?

Whether newspapers die, that is. Well, I’m sure many of us would say yes. But maybe it’s not about how the news is delivered, but rather that we are concerned about journalism, the stories, the ones that matter. Will they die or fade away?

A couple of viewpoints:

Seth Godin’s take.

One from a social media site. Are social media sites in competition with newspapers? Yeah, actually, I believe they are.


A dying breed

pcmagFor some reason I wasn’t aware, but I just read a long editor’s note stating PC magazine will no longer be printed and will only be available online. This is the last remnant of a bunch of subscriptions I started to stay on top of the industry when I was reviewing software in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

It doesn’t surprise me although I believed most magazines were faring better than newspapers. Obviously not this one. I’m coming around to accepting all the new media and saying farewell to the printed page, probably because I’m not involved in the production of the printed page anymore. We are obviously in a period of transition. It just seems to be happening faster and faster.

I’m adjusting to news on my cell phone and other devices. A year ago I was pretty resistant to the Kindle, now I’m looking forward to version 2. The big problem with reading a mag online is that many of us work on PCs, browse for new info and research with PCs, store, copy and manipulate photos with PCs, rip, listen and manage music collections with PCs, so it’s nice to take a break from the eye strain of the PC screen, sit back and hold something in your hands and just relax and read. Always being in front of that PC screen is one of the biggest obstacles to a full-blown wipeout of the print industry. The Kindle offers a more eye-friendly screen, but I’m still waiting for the Japanese prototype of a thin Kindle-like device I can get a newspaper on and roll up and put in my pocket that was promised in the late ’90s.

PC mag is a good one. Because it was printed, slightly dated, but it has some interesting columnists, decent hardware reviews, good free utilities and indepth features. I’ll read it but probably not as much until it’s delivered onto something easier on the eyes.

Connecticut is a prime battleground for new media. Two papers about to go out of business in January, a bunch of Shoreline papers wiped out just the other day, the two largest dailies apparently going bankrupt.

July 2018
« Apr    

Flickr Photos