Imagine an industry that
sells something inherently non-physical but makes 85% of its revenue
from selling physical goods. What is that industry to do? How about
embrace non-physical media, scale back production and move forward into
the next century. Well, no, they don't think they will.
"The CD, as it is right now, is dead."
That's blatant honesty
from Alain Levy, CEO of EMI. And, as far as we're concerned, very good
news. Less is more, right. If I can fit the entire works of the Beatles on
less than a square millimeter of my hard drive, then this is definitely
good news. No shipping, no plastic, just electrons being pushed around
for my listening pleasure.
I wish I could leave this story at that. "The CD is dead, EMI
isn't going to sell them anymore, and we're all just gonna have to
trade in our Discmen for iPods." But, no. Instead, Levy let us know
that the CD is dead, so they will be including more 'special features.'
Yes, he means more paper. More easily digitizable stuff to create, and
ship across the world.
EMI: Seeing the big picture... and then pretending it isn't there.
is releasing a new version of it's ultra-portable UX Vaio completely
without a traditional hard drive. Instead, this UX simply has 32 gigs
of solid state flash memory. I'm fairly certain that this marks the
occasion of the first commercial PC that uses only flash memory. Of
course, the UX is barely a PC, and the price is somewhat ridiculous at
But anything that brings solid state drives closer to market
is worth notice, as solid state drives boot windows as much as five
times faster and consume far less energy than traditional hard drives.
Deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, 2.5 hours by motorized canoe from the nearest
small city, people are happily checking their email, conducting research for
school projects and taking hotel reservations.
The Foundation for Integrated Education and Development (FUNEDESIN)
uses a 3.5kw solar panel array to run the wireless mesh that distributes
broadband internet through their extensive site in Yachana located in the
Amazonian jungle. Designed and installed by Bruce Schulte, an American who has
been working on wireless networking projects in Ecuador for many years, the mesh
distributes broadband from a satellite link between the various sites on the
river up to 5km away.
Further connecting this corner of the world, VOIP (Voice Over IP) applications like
Skype run well on the network. The
foundation plans to set up their own VOIP server too which would allow them to link
into the cell phone network, currently only accessible from the foundation's
tower. In addition, this would allow incoming and outgoing calls via
An impressive bunch benefit from the network. The Yachana High School,
founded in 2005, offers a degree in Ecotourism and Sustainable Development. Being
online provides an incredible educational benefit for the students and teachers
in every subject and helps them to bridge the digital divide.
The Medical Clinic that FUNEDESIN, built in 1997, benefits as well. Through
Tele-Medicine, medical residents who spend a year doing rural service can now conduct
live consultations from this remote clinic with experts in the Metropolitano Hospital
in the capital city of Quito,
or anywhere in the world.
Guests who stay at the Yachana Lodge, an award winning eco-tourism
destination, can stay connected during their time in the hotel. Historically,
FUNEDESIN and Yachana have run an office in Quito to handle their administration,
bookings, accounts and other functions. Now that there is an internet
connection throughout the jungle site, all of these functions are moving from Quito to Yachana, saving
money, time and travel costs. Having universal internet access lets the
foundation run all of their office functions from Yachana.
Further down the river the Bio Science Field Station is run by Global Vision
International. Recently a new species of frog was discovered at the GVI Bio
Station. Being online allowed the centre to confirm their discovery and upload
photos to the internet whereas without being online these activities would have
Via Jon Anderson at Locust World
I'm probably abnormally excited about the Sony Reader. Possibly because I was so in love with my beloved, but now departed, Librie. So it is with considerable fanboyism that I present to you several sweet photos of the Reader from Gizmodo
, as well as some accessories that will accompany the release of the Sony Reader.
We've been waiting for those
numbers for quite a long time. The Sony Reader was supposed to be the
next e-ink reader more than six months ago. In the meantime, my Librie
broke and the iRex iLiad debuted with a $600 pricetag and I have found
myself entirely e-readerless.
Well, there's still a bit more waiting to do, but the wait to find
out how much waiting I'd have to do is over. The Sony Reader, a
high-quality, non-DRM-crippled ebook reader will be available on or
before Halloween. The device looks spectacular, and the Sony Connect
Store (already used for Music Downloads) will be launching a book
download services at the same time. The prices we've seen (saving
about $4 on the cover price of a new hardback) isn't inspiring much
confidence. But the book's ability to read any text, PDF, or Word document more than makes up for that.
Some shots of accessories are on their way. Boy do I wish they could get the Times Reader
running on this thing. Soon enough, I imagine.
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