Is all reading important?

I love to read. Thanks to my Mother I’ve been around books most of my life. So to this day I love being engrossed in a real paper book or periodical that I can hold in my hands.

Today’s New York Times has a article called Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?. Ironically I found it on my iPhone. There’s a new New York Times iPhone app that helps me browse and discover. So I read the entire article on my iPhone. Something I’m only now getting used too. Further weirdness is that I have a hardbound paper book next to me waiting to be read. I woke up this morning determined to stay away from my laptop for a few hours. But the call to create and share online was stronger. I’ll get to the book I promise.

The short version of my feelings about online reading vs paper reading is this: ITS ALL GOOD. That would be modern parlance for, ‘Both online and traditional reading of books is a good idea’. I grew up with both. I love both. But I’ll admit that its getting harder and harder for me to read some books all the way through. My difficulty in finishing certain reading, online or offline, is determined by writing style. Not the medium with which the knowledge reaches my brain. If the author’s words don’t grab me and force me like an obsession to continue turning pages often times I can’t. This isn’t a hard and fast rule though. I slog thorough all kinds of stuff.

Authors who’s books I wasn’t able to put down: William Gibson, Philip K. Dick, J.K. Rowling, and the graphic novels of Allan Moore. There is a thread there. They’re all fiction writers.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to read biography and non-fiction political books. Philosophy often engages me. Yes I’m a geek and I read computer manuals and how-to books. But less so as time goes on. Much of that info is at my finger tips via web browser. Should I blame the Internet? Sure. But I just don’t find it a bad thing. Its an evolution of our minds.

So excuse me I gota find a book on how to use Quickbooks business software.

The iPhone Hearings – Free the iPhone

Free the iPhone

Sign the petition!

The iPhone has set the stage for the future of mobile Internet — but bad policies allow companies like AT&T and Verizon to shackle great gadgets to their closed networks.

To free wireless Internet, the FCC and Congress must use the 700MHz spectrum auction to create an open network that gives consumers:

1. The freedom to use whatever device we want on any network.

2. The freedom to choose among many providers in a competitive wholesale marketplace.

3. The freedom to access any content or services we want through our devices.

These true open access standards should apply to the entire wireless market.

WWDC announcements

Lots of announcements at Apple WWDC 2007. They showed off Leopard. That was cool… Here are the parts that stood out to me.

4) Time Machine – Looks like this backup application may work magic for Apple users. Especially the non-geeky type that don’t back up but really should. Making it simple to find stuff is key. I can think of a few million academic users who will be ecstatic this exists. Does Time Machine save files in a proprietary compression scheme like other backup software?

3) iPhone Ships on June 29th at 6pm – We already knew Apple and AT&T were going to wait until the very end of the month to release the iPhone. Now we know when iPhone nerds have to camp out. Sometime 24 to 48 hours before 6pm on June 29. How much is the unlimited data and voice plan going to be for the iPhone?

2) Safari 3 Public Beta for Windows – This is a big deal. As a web developer I’m concerned that we’re headed for another browser war. This time with three real fronts instead of two. But its possible that Safari will still be marginalized and not pickup a big Windows user base. But if the number of iTunes for Windows installs is any indicator we’re in for some serious change. Maybe real web standards will win the day and developing for them will cause your sites to work on all browsers. Argggg… I am not looking forward to a return of the early Nineties when every browser responded to different code…. If Safari 3 isn’t strictly compliant to web standards then Flash/ActionScript *could* kick html/JavaScript in the ass!

1) iPhone Applications are really Web Standard Applications – Seems that developing for the iPhone may be as simple as writing AJAX and HTML. Will we be able to quickly port our web based apps to the iPhone? Will we be able to cut and paste apps like we can for Dashboard on leopard? This news seems to confirm my speculation about making iPhone application app development like Dashboard widget dev. Its so amazing to see the blurring of the lines between web app and desktop app. When will we realize that line is really gone? I think it’ll happen when anyone using the web can make a powerfull application for the planet in ten minutes.

Will the iPhone have Flash?

This ZDnet article says that a Wall Street Journal article, behind pay wall, quotes this dude Avi that the iPhone will have flash. (Check out Avi Greengart’s iPhone First Impressions article) If true that’s a really big deal. Independent phone app development via the Safari mini web browser could be really innovative.

I’m saving up the $ for a iPhone… but all this wait is giving me second thoughts. That Nokia N800 is might sweet looking. As far as independent app dev goes Nokia’s Linux based OS kicks Apple’s ass! (so far) The Maemo development community is diverse and successful. Check out all the applications already available for the Nokia 770 and 800.