The evolution of books

With the first iPad applications hitting the market, it really looks like interactive books are about to enter the mainstream:

From what is presented in the video, I really like the graphical design and how motion of the reader device can manipulate graphical elements on screen. It looks like a well thought out concept and I am sure there will be much more inspiring interactive books appearing in the next months. In this regard, I don’t think Apple promised too much when they presented the iPad as a game changer for the publishing industry, despite what many critics are saying about apparent hardware limitations.

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Pandora’s Box

At the conference, I ran across a new book called “Pandora’s Box: Social and Professional Issues of the Information Age” (ISBN 978-0470065532). It covers a large number of issues facing societies around the world in the light of the continuing spread of information technology. The topics range from censorship issues, including those triggered by the rarely rationally led discussions about child pornography on the Internet, to topics such as patent and copyright issues as well the implications of IT on privacy.

The book is aimed at undergraduate students and from flipping through the book, I would agree. However, it might also make for an interesting read, for those who would like to get an up-to-date introduction on a variety of IT-related issues in today’s societies. I’d recommend this book if one or both criteria apply to you and in effect, Pandora’s Box provides an introduction to most of the topics I would also like to cover in this blog. In my opinion, the social changes and pressures covered in Pandora’s Box are also the perfect example of Bill Buxton’s statement that products cannot be released without affecting a society.

In addition, I found the small promotion package nicely designed. It consists of an envelope out of which you can pull out a folded cube. The cube contains an elastic band connected diagonally between two of the cube’s edges, so once the folded cube is pulled out of the envelope, it immediately assumes the cube shape.