Blogless: Blog of Design Less Better.

Posts tagged Kindle.

Four Design Links: July 28, 2009

Surprise! Four Links hits on Tuesday this week. Come and get them.

1. New Media Artworks: Prequels to Everyday Life

In a story related to Paul's piece last week, Golan Levin writes:

some of today’s most commonplace and widely-appreciated technologies were initially conceived and prototyped, years ago, by new-media artists.

Golan Levin -- Comparison of Aspen Movie Map and Google Street View
Comparison of Aspen Movie Map (1978-1980) and Google Street View (2007).
Image arranged by Golan Levin

2. Lessons from a failed meeting with a Social Media Guru

Matt Daniels chronicles how not to pitch a client your expertise.

3. Making Money with Flash Games

Lost Garden has an extensive article about revenue streams for independent game publishers. Even if you're not into selling Flash games, there are some good thoughts to consider.

Ads are a good secondary source of revenue, but surely there are richer sources …? There is an obvious one, used for decades by all other game industries...why not ask the players for money?

4. The New Yorker Critiques the Kindle

Those used to reading blogs don't often see design criticism of this magnitude: Nicholson Baker of the New Yorker has 6,300 words on the Amazon Kindle.

I forced myself to read the book on the Kindle 2. It was like going from a Mini Cooper to a white 1982 Impala with blown shocks. But never mind: at that point, I was locked into the plot and it didn’t matter. Poof, the Kindle disappeared, just as Jeff Bezos had promised it would.

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NickJul 28, 2009

Why wasn’t the iPhone 3G released last year?

Apparently, the new iPhone 3G is much better and cheaper than its predecessor. But these now-clunky first-gen iPhones are only a year old; doesn't it stand to reason that they were crippled on purpose?

What's up with the iPhone?

As of Friday, the Apple iPhone 3G was available in stores. Apparently they received 300,000 pre-orders, which contributed to an estimated 1,000,000 total sales.

This means that some 1 million people – within two days – took advantage of Apple's swell offer, which was, and I quote: "Twice as fast. Half the price."

Now, way back when Nick was Not Keen on Kindle, he diagnosed what he thought was a developing trend in the release strategies of the lifestyle technology market. Namely, that the companies that manufacture these devices – the Kindle, the Nintendo Gameboy DS, and, I'm going to add, the iPhone – "lead with a subpar, feature-crippled design only to follow it with the design they should of come up with in the first place..."

I'm asking now: Can anybody out there give me any reason that the first-generation iPhone should ever have been mass produced? I mean, aside from the obvious fact that a handful or two million Apple fanboys and gadget-lifestyle types are going to buy whatever Apple comes out with? (Not that this isn't a good reason, from Apple's perspective.)

The first-gen iPhone was not only plagued by activation problems – which would by itself seem to indicate a premature release, at least in some sense – it has been alleged that "something like one in ten of the initial iPhones bought was defective," (and if you don't strictly believe that number, you can still get the point by browsing the comments on that last post).

So here's my question: Short of the first-gen iPhone being defective by design, what changed so much this year as to allow Apple to come up with such a substantially better phone, so much cheaper?

And here's what I'm concerned is the answer: Nothing.

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PaulJul 14, 2008

Not Keen on Kindle

Thibaut Sailly does not like the Amazon Kindle. Not the whole ebook-DRM thing (which is also broken), but the form factor itself. For example:

Kindle Assymetry

I don't have anything against asymmetrical designs... the volume itself is ok to me. But having symmetric elements (the keyboard and the screen) that give the most visual weight to an un-centered (left aligned) element in an asymmetric shape can only result as a mess. If you choose asymmetry, stick with it. For example, don't make a symmetric keyboard when you can do an asymmetric one. But first, don't choose it when the purpose of the object is to display a book page that looks like it has a center line (apparently they acknowledged this fact by placing the logo centered under the screen).
(Note: Edited a few words-- his English is not perfect.)

I’m inclined to agree with the guy, not only because of the clear arguments he makes with his visuals, but also because he follows a posting about the gorgeous video game Bioshock with a video about Paul Rand (“hero” tag, indeed!).

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NickDec 8, 2007