Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Okay, let me first explain the joke…when my brother and I were working latenights at an Atlanta TV station on design stuff, along about three am they’d rerun episodes of The Fugitive, and over several cycles, we became very familiar with Barry Morse’s oft-spoken line of dialog, bellowed in desperation as David Janssen excaped him yet again.


And now, on to the reading device that is all the talk since its introduction yesterday. My take on it is short and sweet: I’m glad they’re experimenting, trying things out, but the DRM protection and the restrictions on use/sale/trade fly in the face of everything that Jeff Bezos has historically said about the nature of books (stuff said when he was trying to rationalize Amazon’s selling used books.) The device itself seems a bit clunky for a reading-only tablet…you’d think that it wouldn’t need full alphanumeric keyboard if all you were doing was navigating a well-designed interface.

It kinda looks like the 1960s Star Trek reading tablets (‘PADD‘s), where I’d want something more like the 1990s-era Star Trek the Next Generation reading devices. Although the 1968 reading tablets from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 would do nicely as well.

And I think once folks do the math (including paying for ‘selected’ RSS feeds), you’ll find out that the cost of the tablet’s EVDO-like cellular connection is no great bargain. Just like Apple with AT&T, doesn’t seem like Amazon has made much headway in breaking the broadband wireless providers’ stranglelock.

All that said, I think I’ll hold out (not that I’m really gasping in anticipation or anything) for a small tablet-computer, about the size of a large paperback book, that reads web pages and PDFs and Word documents and connects to wifi and…well, you know, like my phone, but with a bit larger screen.

Mooove it on over.

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Ah, wait a moment and someone will cobble together the gem of an experience that had occurred to you and take it and run with it up there on the internet.

For some reason, on a cold grey Michigan morning a few years back, the breakfast spread at my in-laws just cracked me up: “Move over Butter”, with a pissed off cow, surely akin to the arrogant chicken that served (still serves?) as the University of Delaware mascot (who, yes, I just checked, used to look like an actual, if aggrieved, chicken..uh, in a sweatshirt, but now looks a lot more like Woody Woodpecker’s spawn.) Cartoon ad animals…they’re just more fun when they’re…upset.

And of course, the fact that it’s just one attempt out of dozens to create and market artificial stuff that is not no way no how butter…and yet, you still want those magic six letters up there. Reminds me of this current trend of frustrated advertising copywriters who boldly banner the words “legally, we cannot say…” and then go on to make the most outrageous claims in hopes that you’ll chuckle at their little lawyer evasion and get sucked in by the claim.

Hey, move over, copywriters.

Moments of picket-line zen.

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

As you may have heard, television writers are on strike. This means, among other things, that we’re deprived of topical political writing. It also means we’re deprived of witty Daily Show-like coverage of the strike itself.

But wait, not so fast:

What I get from this video: the writers deserve what they’re asking for (of course I thought that before the strike), and two or b, when you strip away the TV production hoohah, the core of what makes anything funny, interesting, great, entertaining is the writing. It’s right there.

And, of course, I love the over-the-shoulder graphics.