Future | Solid Foundations | NEED magazine

NEED magazine has published its latest issue featuring a story of mine about an American aid and development organisation called CHF International that works, among many other places, in the Balkans.

See the whole reportage here. Read the story here (Synopsis only, full story available soon). All pictures by Maciej Dakowicz.

Squatteurs De Luxe — SPRAY

Million Dollar Squatters get published again, this time with a French touch on up and coming style magazine SPRAY.

All pictures by Alex Masi, for English or Italian text contact me. Both available to be syndicated for further commercial use.

So easy even a moron could use it!

The future of reading is just a click away according to the founder and CEO of Amazon, the Internet retailer riding a year-long success of the gadget that might change the way we read books, magazines and newspapers, the Kindle.

Jeff Bezos is still as enthusiastic today about Amazon's pretty creation as he was when it was first launched in the US in November 2007. See what he and a number of American authors have to say about it in the video below.

The Kindle is a wireless reading device, in many respect similar to other devices already available such as mobile phones, PDAs and laptops; their point being to bypass the ageing publishing and printing industries and tend to all our reading necessities in a digitised version.

Why is the Kindle being hailed as such a revolutionary innovation then? Well, because it is.

We've all seen and tried e-books and audio-books before, and most of us have the possibilty today to use these media on a daily basis instead of the old-fashioned paper books and newspapers. No more messying around on public transport, no more cumbersome tomes to carry with us, no more cheap ink on our fingers. Heaven, right? Not exactly. For many reasons, some technical some definitely Freudian, none of the solutions we have been sold works for us, and so we kept to our beloved dog-eared pages.

But the Kindle is different. Its developers seemed to have worked harder to tweak those features that really would make Amazon's gadget more similar to a book than any other reading device before. Paper-like screen, light weight, and ergonomic design that resembles the appearance and readability of a book; wireless capabilities, a huge memory, online back-up, and built-in dictionary makes it stand out. Read the full specs here, plus reviews and interviews, a list of titles already available, and much more.

Watch this for an independent review of the Kindle.

So is the future of reading really a click away?

A New York's City Journal article — whose author is admittedly already in love with the Kindle — asks: "Will the Kindle replace books as we have known them since the beginning of Western civilization? Will downloading replace browsing at the bookstore? Will books follow the vanishing species of CDs and DVDs?"

Good questions. The answer I believe is no, it won't. Or not entirely at least. Maybe new books in a near future will only have digital versions, perhaps many old titles will go out of print, and surely any new way of reading — be it the Kindle or soon-to-appear even better devices — that finally improves on printed paper will take hold.

But I believe we are still very far from a total replacement because of the simple pleasures that make reading a book, a magazine or a newspaper so unique: the feel of different types of paper, the smell of it, the hand-written notes on the margins, the cover artworks, browsing a bookstore, etc., etc. Call me a reactionary fool, but wasn't supposed to be the same story with records, tapes, and why not, also banknotes, and bicycles? Sure, they might not be the devices of choice anymore, but they are still around, and I dare say, prosper as niche products.

Dani's final word: don't wait for the moment in which Kindle owners will roam victorious the world's airports, train coaches and waiting rooms, as it will be easier than what you expect to still hear the rustling of pages and scribbling of pencils.
Current Location: