Friday, November 28, 2014

CNET Transcends Digital into Print


CNET has been a mainstay of digital news, video and podcasts that covers the entire tech world since 1994. Whenever there is a big launch from Apple or Amazon these guys are on the front lines giving the complete lowdown. The company is transcending the digital realm and is going to be releasing an annual print edition.

CNET Magazine, a quarterly, will retail for $5.99 at all the usual outlets. The first issue landed Monday with LL Cool J on the cover. Stories will range from thought-leader profiles to hands-on solutions to thorny tech challenges, the company says. CNET will move 200,000 copies and says all the content between its covers will be original and specific to the magazine, rather than being borrowed from the website.

“The future for this brand is multiplatform,” said Jim Lanzone, president and chief executive of CNET parent company CBS Interactive. “We know the audience wants to experience CNET in multiple ways. This is a project we talked about for a number of years, and it got momentum in 2013, the best year in the history of CNET.”

It will be interesting to see how well the CNET magazine does on the shelves. It does enjoy a ravenous following and might be an impulse buy when you are browsing the local stand at the drugstore, supermarket or bookstore.

CNET Transcends Digital into Print is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top e-Reader News Stories of the Week


Today we look back at the top news items of the week! Make sense of the shifting climates of digital publishing, eBooks and e-Readers in one concise video!

Some of the news stories we follow this week are updates to the Amazon Kindle Fire Silk Browser for better security and the Sony Digital Paper available in a few stores in California and New York.

Top e-Reader News Stories of the Week is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Future of Computer Generated Novel Writing Begins Here


National Novel Writing Month is an annual tradition for writers looking to compete a body of work within one month. Former winners have actually secured lucrative publishing contracts and its an interesting way to force yourself to write a torrent of prose everyday. Last year, a small alternative movement has been gaining momentum called NaNoGenMo, for National Novel Generation Month.

The premise of NaNoGenMo is to spend all of November writing code that will allow a 50,000 page novel to be automatically generated by a computer program. Organizer Darius Kazemi started the project, not knowing how many people would find this idea strangely compelling. “I got a ton of people responding saying 'Oh my god, I'd totally do that,'” Kazemi says. The next day, he opened up a repository on Github where people could post their projects.

Twide and Twejudice is one of the most interesting projects. It basically is a rendition of  Pride and Prejudice, but with each word of dialogue substituted for a word used in a similar context on Twitter. The result is delightfully absurd, a normal-seeming Austen novel where characters break out in almost-intelligible gobbledegook. For instance, here is Mr. Bennett telling Mrs. Bennett that plenty more wealthy young men will move to town for their daughters to marry.

I think this idea is very interesting, but the idea of a computer generated novel is nothing new. These sort of automated bots have been writing scientific research reports for years and likely you have received a Blackhat SEO email to you inbox that that has a story, that does not make any sense at all. Maybe one day authors can sit back, enter a few plot points, establish the dynamics of the heroes journey and just kick back and play video games all day.

The Future of Computer Generated Novel Writing Begins Here is a post from: Good e-Reader

Art Showcase: A Knight’s Peril

Rachel here! This week we came across a fantastic application of Raspberry Pi to make a National Trust medieval castle come alive undead. I’ll hand you over to the National Trust and Splash and Ripple, the creative agency behind the work, who explain more about what they’re doing.

Medieval castle haunted using technology with a twist

With its world-first adventure experience "A Knight's Peril', Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is quietly revolutionising what people expect from a day out at a National Trust property.

When a company that describes itself as 'Architects of Extraordinary Adventures' claims to have revolutionised history interpretation through haunting a 14th century castle, you would expect some kind of technical wizardry to be centre stage. It would be easy to assume they've come up with another smartphone app or gamified tablet experience.


Intriguingly however, they have chosen an opposite track. Splash & Ripple have taken Arthur C Clarke's declaration that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" as a guiding principal in creating their latest adventure.

The result is digital heritage interpretation turned on its head. They've taken the magical abilities of pioneering technology and housed them in the theatrical disguise of a beautifully crafted 'Echo Horn'.

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The extra 'magic' of an Echo Horn actually creates a more convincing experience, in a medieval castle, than a distracting tablet app or audio guide ever could. It intuitively fits the feel of the beautiful 14th century Bodiam castle as you cross its moat and gaze at its stony ramparts, listening to the echoes you've caught with it. The beautiful sounds create a deeply evocative group experience, which enhances rather than distracts from the experience of being in the castle.

Visitors carry the Echo Horn with them around the castle in an interactive audio investigation. They must use it to listen in on medieval conversations trapped in the castle walls in order to identify and stop a murderer before it's too late.


It's effectively a choose-your-own adventure radio play where visitors' actions, defined by who they follow and who they accuse, affect the ending of their story. This encourages an active exploration of the historical content, which requires visitors to think about what life was like, rather than passively accept an authoritative interpretation.

New historical research on the castle, which informed the creation of the script, was done in partnership with University of West of England History department.

The experience is being specially showcased at Bodiam castle by the creative team on 4th Dec. It has been a year in the making, and is now available to the castle's 180,000 yearly visitors for at least the next 12 months.

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Players use an ancient map to navigate the castle, searching for seals that have emerged from the castle walls. These seals contain hidden RFID chips. Each echo horn contains a Raspberry Pi, a Mini Rig and RFID reader.


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Rachel again: thanks guys! We love it – I’m looking at organising an office awayday so we can play with the horns ourselves.



Kobo Black Friday Sale: $99 Kobo Aura; up to 75% off Bestsellers

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