Razan Khatib's commentary on life on/off the web

Archive for August, 2008

On the future of books 2

I have stumbled upon two new developments that tackle the future of books and of course the two have the web at the center of the experience.

The first is Amazon’s Kindle, the wireless reading device is more like the iPod for books, where you can buy a book at a cheaper price and get it delivered wirelessly to the device it self so you can read it.  You can also read magazines and newspapers.

The second is the Unbook experiment by Jay Cross and Dave Gray (who I know of), the concept lies in trying to make books into living objects and not timestamped into versions that become obsolete when the next one comes along. Books that evolve.

The concept is explained better in this slide show:
[slideshare id=569866&doc=theunbook0012003-1219747524880688-9&w=425]

(Jay’s book is called “Learnscape Architecture“)

The Kindle enables me to take as many books as I want anywhere without worrying about weight I have to carry. mmmmm but i love the feel of real books, turning the pages…

While the Unbook enables me -the reader- who’s interested in the subject help bring the next version through discussion over blogs and still be able to read the paperback version!

Anyway, being the web 2.0 geek I am, I had to Google “Books 2.0″, and found a blog -shockingly- called The book is dead with a post about Books 2.0! Turned out to be the online blog associated with a book called “The book is dead” by Sherman Young. The post is about an article on BusinessWeek called Book Publishers: Learn From Digg, Yelp—Even Gawker where the author talks about how publishers need to embrace Web 2.0 concepts.

Guess I am going to buy Jay’s and Sherman’s books before I go and say anything more on this subject!

The power of webware 1

I got a new laptop last week and it was just amazing how fast I could transfer all my stuff to it, it was fully ready in less than 3 hours. Nope it didn’t have to do with what “transfer” method I used or what was pre-installed on it.

It was simply how the move into webware instead of software made things much easier.

Things I didn’t have to move:

  1. My emails were all stored on Google Apps (except for SYNTAX since it has 20MB limit)
  2. My project data was all stored on Basecamp
  3. My tasks were all listed on HighRise/Basecamp
  4. My RSS feeds were all on Google Reader.

In the old days, you had to worry about installing all the software you use over again, but thanks to webware that also speeded up how fast I set up everything I needed which came from two main suppliers Microsoft and Adobe!

The things I had to move were:

  1. Pictures, which I could put on Flickr or Ikbis but i still worry about privacy issues.
  2. Documents, which I could have put on Google Docs (Part of Google Apps) or acrobat.com. But still I somehow can’t make the move to web office tools yet.
  3. Music, which I could have Synchronized with my iPod (had i had one).
  4. Contacts, will since my i-mate (mobile) can’t sync with my laptop anymore I had to copy them.

Yep, you can tell very easily that I love webware :D Wonder when will I be able to use the term more often like we say software!

Blue Lemon – الليمون الأزرق 3

We went to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and registered a trade name for Questler, since it had to be Arabic and we couldn’t use “كويستلر” then we had to come up with a unique name and we didn’t want it to take ages to check against their database. Our first option was “Blue Star” – “النجمة الزرقاء”, and oups, it was taken.  The next option was Blue Lemon – “الليمون الأزرق”  and the registrant lady wents into a big laugh, sayine “come on guys, Blue Lemon!!! what kind of software company gets called Blue Lemon. Then she made sure we sign that “we will not translate that name when we write it in English” Here is to you lady, a blog post called Blue Lemon!

So the company behind questler is -so far- called “Sharekat Al-laymoun Al-azraq lilbarmajeyat” – “شركة الليمون الأزرق للبرمجيات”.

And much to our surprise later, is our icon!

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