Moving along at a steady clip

John
John Gushue
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I've been reading plenty about the iPad and the expected slate (no pun intended) of tablets expected to launch in the months and years ahead, and how life as we know it is about to ... blah blah blah.

You can fill in the hyperbole by yourself. That said, a lot of it is ringing true. And some of it has been coming from some unexpected types. Like Martha Stewart, for instance.

Surf's up -

I've been reading plenty about the iPad and the expected slate (no pun intended) of tablets expected to launch in the months and years ahead, and how life as we know it is about to ... blah blah blah.

You can fill in the hyperbole by yourself. That said, a lot of it is ringing true. And some of it has been coming from some unexpected types. Like Martha Stewart, for instance.

Now, I know I should not be so tough on Martha; sure, she may be a domestic diva of the first order, but she's also been a technological innovator. (Don't forget, for instance, that she came to St. John's once as part of a collaboration with the ill-fated Microsoft online magazine Mungo Park.)

Stewart was one of the first publishers to "get" the web, that it required a different approach to content beyond what was in her printed products. So, I suppose, it wasn't that surprising that Wired, for its comprehensive takeout on iPads and tablets (on why they will ... you know, blah blah blah) asked Stewart for her take.

Apart from her expectation that tablets will make magazines much easier to enjoy (she practically drools over what could happen with National Geographic), she made a point that should resonate with packrats everywhere.

"We all have so much to read these days, and having the ability to pick and choose and save and file and send digitally is really exciting," she said. "I have a bag full of torn-out magazine pages that I distribute to various people for creative ideas. I'll be able to do that much more effectively if I have access to a digital version of those magazines rather than having to destroy them."

Well, that kind of hit home with me. Let me explain.

In my home office, I have scores of magazines - hundreds of them, actually.

I've clipped pages out of some of them, but what will likely happen (as it has in the past) is that I will sooner or later get tired and send a large pile of them out for recycling. One of my wife's long-running to-do projects is to clip preferred features and layouts from her own collection of magazines.

So, the idea of digital clipping sounds quite appealing.

It's not entirely new, of course. In the grand old days, when online databases like InfoGlobe were strictly text-based and you paid by the minute, and even before the web as we knew it didn't exist, I kept directories of "clippings," or news stories I wanted for reference. That migrated with the web, and I found that copying and pasting text was useful. In these pages, I extolled products like AskSam, which made warehousing text possible, and searchable.

But what's been missing is the ability to extract full-resolution "clippings," distribute them, share them, store them and retrieve them - pretty much as Martha Stewart described above.

Managing a personal library with a few taps of the finger. Trust me ... there'll be an app for that.

Elsewhere this week ...

Monty Python Video Wall

monty.python.videowall.sytes.org/



When I was much younger, I developed a thing for Monty Python, from sneaking into a screening of the "Holy Grail" to staying up late for "Flying Circus" repeats. The "wall" presented here is a vast array of screens, each one taking you to a howling moment from the Python canon.

forLater

forlater.net/



Do you know something that you'll need to do in the future? Keep forLater on hand, for sending an e-mail that will arrive with a reminder, just when you need it.

Laundry symbols

www.textileaffairs.com/c-common.htm



Trust me: I can be trusted with the laundry.

That doesn't mean, though, that I can identify on sight what each and every one of those washing symbols means.

Here's precisely the tool for the most obscure icons you'll find on laundry day.

John Gushue is a writer and editor with CBC News Online in St. John's. Twitter: @johngushue. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: Microsoft online magazine, National Geographic, CBC News Online

Geographic location: St. John's

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