Sunday, April 29, 2012

"[...] slabs of plastic [...]"

The 1989 Atari Portfolio [...] "a marvel of miniaturization" (from: Retro Thing)

"[...] E-readers are uninspired. They're slabs of plastic with fiddly controls and display a badly-formatted, typographically impoverished rendering of a paper book. That's not the electronic book I want. I want a gorgeous physical object, with paper pages, that can transform into any story I choose, perfectly presented on the page. I want a device from a fairytale, not a bargain bucket. Although, sure, I'd like it to be affordable, too. And that will not happen if one company controls the market. Why should it?
     Digitization was supposed to lead to a great democratisation of access to creative work. The putative business model of the internet age is the garage band, the plucky underdog cottage business that can, by canny use of information technology, compete with the big boys and win. What we're getting is the opposite, a great centralisation of access and, ultimately, control. It turns out that if you want to sell your garage-made product these days, you need a watering hole, a place with many visitors who may want what you're selling, because the hardest enemy is obscurity. Amid the babble of new voices, distinctive ones can be missed even by those looking for them."
― Nick Harkaway, The Guardian

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