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by Lara Killian

3 Dec 2007

Amazon's Jeff Bezos with the Kindle.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos with the Kindle.

Download current bestsellers as well as the latest release of your favorite not-so-mainstream author. Plus everything ever published, ever. Coming soon.

Last week’s cover of Newsweek magazine (11.26.07 issue) displays a nearly life size photo of the device Amazon.com is betting will finally offer a serviceable alternative to that bastion of civilization, the book. The ‘Kindle’, as it’s called, is a far more exciting product than electronic readers I’ve seen so far, and halfway through Steven Levy’s feature article I found myself enthusiastically describing the benefits to anyone who would listen.

Not only can the Kindle hold a library-worth of books (200 or so) at any given time in the palm of your hand, but it has a screen you can actually read them on without inducing migraines, and additional books are accessible at any time without hooking up to a computer. Using cell phone type broadband technology, the Kindle exists independently of your computer, which makes it even cooler than an iPod for bookish types. There are no connectivity fees.

Forget packing a carry on full of books for your beach vacation, you can decide what you feel like reading when you get there.

Your grandmother wants to know what you’re reading about? Instantly change the font size of the text. Plus get the daily paper and top bloglines instantly without carting along your wi-fi ready laptop.

Imagine having mobile access to your favorite blogs, newspapers (hot off the press), magazines (latest issues before they hit newsstands) and even being able to read freshly released chapters of that new crime novel as the author finishes writing them. Errata can be corrected instantly—because the Kindle remains accessible to publishers even after your download is finished. Rather than a static printed page, the book becomes a link that connects the reader with the entire publishing community.

All using a device that has been designed to look and feel like a book, with a six inch screen and about 10 ounces of heft in your hand. Can readers move both forward and backward at the same time, reading serialized fiction in the manner of Dickens on a device that can also access his entire oeuvre at any given moment?

The larger goal, as Amazon adds to its offerings (currently approaching the 100,000 mark, including books, blogs, magazines and newspapers) is to make instantly available everything ever published. Say what? Get in line if you want to talk about copyright infringement, but the potential is exciting. Texts are totally searchable, which has great implications for scholarship. Nothing ever goes out of print. First chapters are free, so you can try before you buy.

No wonder it costs the same as an iPhone currently does.

by Sarah Zupko

2 Dec 2007

For the musician or hard core music fan with a shelf or desk to decorate, come these amazingly realistic mini Fender guitars. About one-third the size of the real thing, they can also be wall-mounted to show the works of art they truly are. The guitars come in a multitude of colors and you can also pick up a display case for six of the nine models if you’re a serious Fender aficionado. Oh, and they only look playable with their genuine wood necks, steel strings, and movable switches, so don’t drive yourself nuts trying.

by Bill Gibron

2 Dec 2007

Encased in a miniaturized replica of the famous boy wizard’s traveling trunk, this delightful DVD set should make any movie loving muggle more than happy. J.K Rowling’s hugely successful literary series is one of the few franchises to be carefully reconfigured to film (the author oversees all cinematic decisions). After the first two Chris Columbus helmed efforts, a real sense of artistry and depth has since been achieved. Half of the fun here is watching stars Daniel Radcliff, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson grow up right before your eyes. It adds a melancholy realism to all the flights of fancy.

by Mike Schiller

2 Dec 2007

Most of the things that some people find utterly annoying about Naruto are things that his fans tend to like: he’s loud, he’s motivated, and he’s also loud. Did I mention loud? Even so, his latest PSP outing Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes manages to quiet him down a bit while offering a surprisingly entertaining fighting experience on Sony’s little machine. The team-based aspects of the game are solid, and if you have PSP-owning friends around, you could have fun with this thing for hours—even the download mode is solid fun. The addiction, however, will hit as you try to ascend through the ranks of ninja prowess, collecting scrolls and completing tests to try and attain the title of hokage. For a game that’s ostensibly based on a chidren’s television program, completing these tasks is incredibly difficult, and if you don’t throw your PSP clear across the room at least once before you do (hint: aim for the sofa), more power to you. Much like he of last year’s underrated Uzumaki Chronicles, the Naruto of Ultimate Ninja Heroes is one you can get behind, in a game you’re bound to enjoy.

by Patrick Schabe

2 Dec 2007

Within the comics community, Flight is something special. It’s the equivalent of the undeniable classic album or brilliant film. It’s something that draws from all corners of the medium and unites some of the best talents of each in one place, and it’s adored both critically and by graphic fiction audiences. And its gradual accrual of fame and respect has almost made the anthology series eclipse the material that it compiles. If you need an example of the continued relevance of comics as a medium, there’s Flight.  If you want to discuss comics and their place in literature, there’s Flight. If you want to see what’s happening in the contemporary world of art and illustration, there’s Flight. These artists have each added to the visual storytelling arena in spectacular fashion, while Flight itself has helped enrich the place that graphic novels have established in bridging the gap between comics and books.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Moving Pixels Podcast: Unearthing the 'Charnel House'

// Moving Pixels

"This week we discuss Owl Creek Games's follow up to Sepulchre, the triptych of tales called The Charnel House Trilogy.

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