Refreshing news! E-ink is improving.

E-ink is the display technology that drives ereaders such as the Kindle Keyboard or Kobo Touch. As with display technologies before it, e-ink‘s full potential has yet to be realised. Nate Hoffelder reports on a hack of Barnes and Noble’s Nook Touch ereader that dramatically increases its refresh rate .

Interaction with information that doesn’t happen in real-time is a terrible jolt to the user experience. We experience this frustration when web pages load slowly, video stutters, Google Earth view lags…

Even for non internet-based products, such as head-mounted displays for virtual reality or a PC application that’s just taking an age to respond, this delayed response thoroughly confounds us.

If you’re familiar with e-ink displays, you’ll know their limitations are related to their refresh rate. The video you see demonstrates a step closer to real-time interaction with e-ink displays. Since colour e-ink displays are being produced, this leads to the possibility of low-power, durable and sun-friendly displays that have the capabilities we expect from media tablets: touch interaction, responsive applications and video.

Maybe I’m making too much of a deal of a hack. Yet, I’m excited about low-power technology (anyone living in South Africa during Eskom’s “load shedding” debacle can attest to this!).




The mushrooming public interest in ebooks and their corresponding technology is heralding the dramatic return of the serial novel, or so I’ve heard. There’s been talk of a literary throwback with a modern kick. In proper steampunk fashion, the buzz surrounding this revival has been awash with a bizarre mixture of techy excitement and Old World nostalgia.

It should not be surprising that Charles Dickens, whose works helped to popularize the genre during the Victorian period, was resurrected as the poster child for the neo-serial novel.

In a December 2011 Forbes article, “From Dickens To iPads To Harry Potter: Why Backlit Is Bullish On Teen Reading” Michael Humphrey explores new publishing developments geared toward the YA market. He introduces Backlit Fiction, a California-based digital media publishing company that publishes digital novels in serial installments designated as “episodes.”

“Episodes!” I thought, cringing. “Isn’t that for…you know…television?”


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Libraries that lend out toys, bikes and plant seeds! Keira Lyons from Appazoogle presents cases of libraries doing things differently in an article that considers makeovers for public libraries.