Archive for March, 2010
So, in case you’re wondering what’s going on with the first book (since you’re visiting this site I’m assuming you’re at least somewhat interested, otherwise you wouldn’t be here) here’s the quick scoop:Being Made Free at More Places:
Thanks to the awesome folks at Smashwords, the eBook version (which is free, as you all know) will soon be available for free at even more places. This includes Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Sony, and Amazon. (The current version that’s for sale there will be removed soon.) In addition to all these places, Smashwords just sent out an email notification that it will also soon be available on Apple’s iBookstore for the iPad at or close to launch day. You all might not think it’s that cool, but it’s awesome and pretty exciting. I’ll let you all know as soon as it’s up at each site.A Few New Reviews:
Though I’ve been meaning to make a review page containing links to several reviews, I’ve not gotten around to it just yet. Meanwhile, the copy that’s up on Smashwords has gotten a couple of reviews I’d like to take the time to share:
Review from Mike Collins on March 13, 2010, 3/5 stars:
I liked it … quite a More >
Story by Marshall Grey, Op-Ed Writer
A local woman, exasperated and running out of other options, is bringing her story to the media, and it’s quite a story. Joann–Jo, as her friends call her–Willman is a sixty-one year old widow who has lived in this city her entire life. Don’t let her age fool you: she’s still as spry as she used to be, and is determined to fight this “sad circumstance” as long as she can. You see, a little over thirty years ago, Jo’s husband Rex passed away.
“He was always so into technology,” she said, looking at a picture of him forlornly. “He was a first adopter for everything.” It was true. Rex worked hard and saved his money so he could afford the latest and greatest offerings from the world of technology. As she showed me around her apartment on the upper east side, I spotted all sorts of devices that were top-of-the-line when released. Rex had collected several versions of different DNA and memory backup systems, both of the memory disk players put out during the studio wars More >
While I don’t usually take a lot of time to read eBooks (I prefer traditional, dead tree books) I stumbled across an interesting looking book on Smashwords last week when I was getting my own book put up on there. At the time, it was simply titled “Twinkle”. With the name and cover being an obvious play on the Twilight series (no, I’ve not read them, but have seen the cover image on the top of both the “Worst Books Ever” and “Best Books Ever” lists over on Goodreads simultaneously) it intrigued me. Initially I thought it must be some sort of fan fiction, but didn’t think fan fiction was allowed. After reading the first review, I decided it was definitely worth a shot, and downloaded it.
I just finished it last night, and I must say I really enjoyed it. Quite funny, and well worth the small amount of time it takes to get through it. I think I’m going to have to check out some other things by the author (Dan McGirt, blog here) when I get the chance…
For this week’s Teaser Tuesday I bring you two paragraphs from a chapter that has a brief discussion on cloning (why, specifically, I will not reveal). This is only part of the narration from this section, and is part of my efforts to make more of the revelations about future life and tech come from the narrator and/or the character’s personal experiences rather than having Darin, Lyla or someone else explain things directly. Enjoy!
The major problem with clones is not so much the feelings of deja vu one experiences after encountering several of them in rapid succession, but rather in the semantics involved with keeping track of them. When the technology to clone first came into use, the scientists involved briefly experimented with numbering, lettering, even code-naming each clone to try and distinguish them from one another. This practice was quickly discovered to be rather ineffective due to the fact that as soon as the clones moved around the room, it was impossible to know which of them was ‘Alpha’ and which of them was ‘Beta’. It was rather disheartening for the scientists because the idea had seemed so good on paper, but in use was rather futile. This realization More >
We’ve probably all seen it. The vintage, iconic images from the fifties and sixties showing the people of the future flying around using “rocket belts” “rocket packs” or “jet packs”, depending on when and who was talking about it. Take this snippet from a January 1969 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine:
“….the average commuter may, at last, have the long-awaited individual commuting vehicle that would whisk him from his front porch to his office entrance in minutes….”
Big claims, and sadly, ones that failed to come true… Until now:
The Martin Jetpack by New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft is the closest thing to bringing my childhood fantasies to life. If I place an order now and put down a 10 percent deposit, it could be mine in 12 months. The problem is coming up with the other 90 percent. No license is required to fly this in the U.S., though regulations may differ in other countries.
The jetpack itself is 5 feet tall and 5.5 feet wide and made of a carbon fiber composite with a pinch of Kevlar for the rotor. It uses regular gasoline and will travel a grand distance of 31.5 miles at a maximum speed of 63 mph, which should comfortably take you More >
This is one of the last new features that I’ll be adding to the site for the time being: News from a Strange Future is a look into Vera’s scrapbook containing “clippings” that she printed from the News Portal. Enjoy!New VR Movie Takes Bollywood by Storm Opening of the sci-fi action movie Portal Chase sees strong gains at the Box Office
Story by Adelina Macey
The opening of the Virtual Reality flick Portal Chase took movie goers on the ride of a lifetime this weekend, but those in the theaters weren’t the only ones taken on an incredible journey. Bollywood insiders who had predicted the movie was “too big, too expensive, and too campy” were stunned as the movie exceeded all expectations, taking in nearly half a billion viewers in the first weekend.
“It’s simply amazing to see the reception that the movie has received,” explained Carl Conrad, Manager of Intellectual Property for Virtual Adventures Ltd., the company that produced the film. “VR movies have been slammed in the media, but public interest is clearly there,” he added.
This isn’t the first virtual reality film to be released, but it is the first one to do so well. Previous VR releases were either over budget, underperformed More >
Today, whilst checking up on my favorite nerd news websites, I had a thought: it would be kind of cool to share some of these stories on my own site as well, but with a Strange Future twist… Thus, “Technology Time” was born! Occasionally, I’ll post a link to an interesting bit of technology and science news, share my viewpoints, and how it relates to the world of technology described in the book. This week, we have one of my favorite kinds of stories: X is dead, long live Y! This week, the role of X will be played by the desktop computer, and the role of Y will be played by mobile computing devices, such as smart phones. I happen to be very fond of these kinds of stories because more often than not, they’re utterly and completely wrong. Today’s article can be found at MediaPost. Here’s a quote from the article in question:
…Then consider this statement from Google Europe boss John Herlihy: “In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant.”
Google’s VP of Global Ad Operations says that cloud-computing will soon guarantee that every mobile device will be capable of handling the most advanced applications, thus demoting desktops to doorstop More >