From paper journal to digital note – is this finally convenient enough to do on a regular?
My big project last week was writing a piece on melding analog handwriting tools with digital ones. While doing the research and testing all the different methods a tidbit of information kept surfacing in my thoughts. Years ago I read an interview with actor/poet/artist/musician Viggo Mortensen where he recounted the time he lost three years worth of journals when some jerk broke into his car. I can’t find the original interview, but he talks about it in his introduction to The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004:
“As I was in the process of moving from one house to another… someone broke into the passenger side window of my car and grabbed the backpack containing several notebooks I’d filled, since early 2001, with handwritten stories and poems. The backpack also contained a couple of journals, two screenplays, my passport, and two half-read books. The hardest losses were the stories and poems in the notebooks. I had been looking forward, in particular, to reviewing and fine-tuning hundreds of pages of, for me, uncharacteristically long and unguarded poetry that had been written during a series of very quiet nights spent in the Sahara Desert in late 2002.
“…I spent a lot of time and effort in the following weeks scouring my part of town, looking through trash cans and alleyways, offering no-questions-asked rewards, doing anything I could think of to find what was irreplaceable for me and probably completely useless to whoever had stolen it. Finally, I let most of it go…”
As writer who keeps a journal, this story makes me ill on so many levels. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost years worth of notebooks all at once. Eventually, I suppose, I’d get tot he same point as Viggo: letting it go because I’d have to. Still, just the thought makes me shudder.
The specific thing that made me recall that story was testing Evernote’s Page Capture feature. You might have heard of this in connection with the Evernote Moleskine notebooks made specifically to work with said feature. Page Capture lets you snap a picture of a handwritten journal page and save it as a high-res digital image. The service will attempt to recognize your handwriting and indexes the words it finds so you can search for them later. The idea is pretty awesome.
You do not need to buy one of the special Moleskines to get Page Capture to work. However, that paper has special dots and markings that help Evernote align the shots correctly. Otherwise, you need a steady hand or one of those smartphone scanner stand things. (Those are not a bad purchase if you have a phone with a good quality camera. No more needing a scanner or spending money on copies at the library.) The Moleskines also come with stickers for auto-tagging that are useful if your notes fall into those five narrow categories. Instead of those, I just use the area at the top of my journal page as a Tag Space where I write my own tags in my clearest handwriting. That way, even if I don’t digitally tag the notes I have a better chance of finding what I want via search.
The idea of scanning a paper journal to a digital file isn’t exactly new. But with smartphones being so wide-spread and the cameras in them getting better and better, I wonder if it’s now just convenient enough that writers would spend a couple of minutes every day adding their journals to Evernote and if that would end up being an effective backup system? I don’t want to give up my paper journal, but I do like the idea of having a copy of it somewhere just in case tragedy strikes. How about you?
via My Blog: http://bit.ly/1607GU9
Months after it was introduced, HP’s Slate 7 is available in the U.S. for $169.99. That’s not a bad price for a 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, but to keep costs down HP h …
Despite myself, I’m intrigued by HP’s new Android tablet. Especially since it’s so pretty.
I JUST noticed something strange on Wikipedia. It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too. The intention appears to be to create a list of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia that is made up almost entirely of men. The category lists 3,837 authors, and the first few hundred of them are mainly men. The explanation at the top of the page is that the list of “American Novelists” is too long, and therefore the novelists have to be put in subcategories whenever possible. Too bad there isn’t a subcategory for “American Men Novelists.
Instead Of Taking Your Daughters To Work, Introduce Them To Technology
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. No doubt, it is a fantastic initiative. However, in 2013 many freelancers and entrepreneurs work from home. And many employees don’t work in offices anymore.
For workers who remain in office environments, it seems that exposing our kids to the drudgery of cubicles, mind-numbing meetings, and dull cafeteria food is not very inspiring.
Besides, many coveted tech jobs that exist today—for example, in social media—weren’t even conceived of a decade ago. Our kids won’t be doing same jobs anyway.
Although future jobs will continue to change, one thing is for sure: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) will be pervasive in everything we do.
So rather than going to work, why don’t you set aside a day and take your daughter to tech? Here are a few ideas to swap for hauling your kids to your desk:
Learn about women in tech and science: WITI (Women in Technology International) is sponsoring a social media scavenger hunt for high school girls to learn about female role models. In this contest, girls can name their favorite role model, grab fun badges such as “I’m a WITI girl” (love the pun), and create Pinterest boards with their favorite women in tech and science. Winners will get free tickets to meet inspirational women in tech and science at the annual WITI Hall of Fame Ceremony in June and other prizes.
Visit a tech or science museum: If you’re in the Bay area, the Exploratorium in San Francisco just re-opened on Pier 15 with 150 new exhibits.
Join the Worldwide #WITI Wave celebration: Let’s show our kids that women work in tech and science careers around the world by posting your video to the WITI Wavepage or tweeting your support for women in tech at #WITIWave.
Read about important women in STEM careers at the 2013 Women’s History Month website. STEM is the focus in 2013.
Sign your kids up for a technology or science summer camp such as iD Tech Campsheld at many U.S. universities.
Set aside time to help them participate in science events such as Google’s Science Fair.
Let’s share technology and science careers with our daughters and sons and let them experience the possibilities before it’s too late.
[Image: Flickr user D. Sharon Pruitt]
Finding The Spike Lee Of Video Games
Joseph Saulter, the African American video game entrepreneur and educator, wants to see a gaming industry that reflects its customer base - not to mention the country.
Few industries are as disconnected from their customers as the video game industry. Gamers are disproportionately African-American or Hispanic, according to a survey by the Kaiser Foundation. Yet these are precisely the demographics that are underrepresented within the industry itself: both among the developers of games, only 2% of whom are black, and among the characters presented in the games they make. Most game protagonists are white males, and a USC survey revealed that a measly tenth of characters were black, and most of these were either athletes or gangsters.
Joseph Saulter wants to change all this. The entrepreneur behind Entertainment Arts Research, Inc., which Ebony Magazine recently singled out as one of the first black-owned publicly traded gaming companies, has made it his quest to make the gaming industry more reflective of its audience.
Now is a big moment for Saulter, whose company is set to release a major game in July (a parkour game for iOS, discussed below). Several other ambitious projects are in the works, including a game that takes place in Chicago’s South Side in the mid-20th century. “It’s a history of the black community, it’s a history of jazz, it’s a history of the arts and of the revolutions that went on in that period of time,” Saulter says of the game, Bronzeville Etudes & Riffs, a project of artist Philip Mallory Jones, who based much of the material off of oral histories with his mother.
Fast Company caught up with Saulter to learn more about his vision of the future of video games, and what it will take to launch a “Spike Lee of video games”—a black game designer who’s also a household name.
Wearable technology isn’t a new concept, but Google Glass is one of the latest pieces of innovation that has the potential to make a significant impact on society. These smart glasses use a heads-up display to create a futuristic experience by overlaying digital images onto reality. But how do they work?
At the hub of Google Glass there is a micro computer embedded into the frame, connecting directly to a glass prism that cleverly diffracts a light beam directly onto your retina - enabling the user to see what’s on display by casually glancing up and right at any time. Glass also incorporates a camera, microphone (for voice activated control), GPS and uses bone-induction for sound (meaning when it reads you the weather forecast, you’ll be the only one who hears it!). Voice recognition is used to control the device; you say ‘OK Glass’ to navigate the menu which includes taking pictures, videos, messages, video conferencing or even getting directions. For all those moments when saying ‘OK Glass’ loudly might be slightly embarrassing, however, there is a touch sensitive pad on the frame.
Most of this functionality is extremely intuitive, which Google has done very well to achieve. They have been able to combine technological innovation with a streamlined interface that is so simple to use, it’s almost as if it isn’t there. In addition, the use of voice-activated control has enabled Glass to move one step closer to total integration with our daily lives – which is either very scary, or very exciting!
Check back this time next week for Part 2, when we’ll be discussing whether Glass will take off like Google hope!
By Luke Pennifold – A Level Student Contributor