Wired magazine for tablets

wired_miniWired Magazine has arrived for the iPad.  Initial reports indicate each issue is ~500MB and will be $4.99/episode app via iTunes.  Wired will be shipping additional tablet formats in the coming weeks.

As initial reports are indicate this is a new, in depth re-birth of magazines for the digital world.  By exploiting the iPad’s technologies the premier issue is loaded with interactive multimedia extras simply not available in print.

So now comes the business end of the release:  $5 an for each app issue while you can get a full year print subscription for just $10.
–Since I have a print subscription — can get all my back issues on the iPad?  Doubt it.  Lets not be foolish – publishers are setting elegant revenue models for their print to iPad app conversions…..

Wired’s internal review (duh) – Wall Street Journal review – Business Insider review – Gizmodo review

Tags: iPad, publishing, design, trends,

Google’s Learning Management System

Google has released their internal learning platform, CloudCourse under an open source license. Built entirely on Google’s own App Engine, CloudCourse is a new entry into a crowded LMS arena.  CloudCourse provides calendaring, waitlist management and approval features.

google cloudcourse LMS
Google CloudCourse LMS

To no surprise CloudCourse is fully integrated with Google Calendar.  Google has also made CloudCourse customizable for schools by supporting service provider interfaces:

Sync services – Sync CloudCourse data with school’s internal systems
Room services – Schedule classes in school locations
User info services – Support for school profiles (employee title, picture, etc)

CloudCourse was built in Python and uses Django (web application framework) and the Closure Javascript library.
code site and wiki link

Tags: CloudCourse, open source, Learning Management System, LMS, education, python, django, trends

Latest read: The Next 100 Years

I was looking forward to George Friedman‘s The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century.  I found this to be a very compelling read due to the simple nature that predictions in general are always horribly incorrect.

the next 100 yearsFriedman’s background provides a true global, military view of the world’s future and his role at Stratfor, a global intelligence service provides direction to his book.

Yet I could not help but think twice about some of the aspects of his work.  I agree with his points that in the future countries including Poland can become a superpower, but at the same time to predict in 40 years America will be at war with Mexico after fighting Japan and Turkey are a bit…on the surface, a stretch.

For the strangest reason Friedman seems to be able to tie some of his predication today.  Following the fall of the USSR and the Orange Revolution not many would predict that Ukraine and Russia would sign a joint agreement in April 2010 to keep Russian Naval forces in their former communist republic in Sevastopol.

At the same time his prediction of Poland’s coming success as a global power could not have taken into account the April 2010 tragedy in Katyn. I do not believe this will stop Poland from gaining power in the future, but it appears to be slowing down (potentially) the process by a decade.
I do feel the first half of the book hold chapters that are solid and well written:

Chapter 1: The Dawn of the American Age
Chapter 2: Earthquake: The US – Jihadist War
Chapter 3: Population, Computers and Culture Wars
Chapter 4: The New Fault Lines
Chapter 5: China 2020: The Paper Tiger

However Chapters 6 – 13 layout the world order from 2020 to 2080.  Again the further out the more difficult to predict IMHO.  Interesting reading for sure since most today would never foresee Mexico winning a war against America.

Tags: The Next 100 years, George Friedman, 21st Century, America, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, future, reading, trends