Saturday, September 20, 2008

plastic logic

Now this looks more like it. (The article is somewhat oddly and sketchily written but it has an image gallery that's worth a thousand couple of hundred words.)

Startup company Plastic Logic on Monday demonstrated an e-book reader that it hopes will give business users the same document-reading convenience that theAmazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Kindle gave to consumers.

"I've been reading, writing, and talking about the paperless office for 20 years," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMOFall 08 conference, introducing Plastic Logic. "You know the joke -- the paperless office will happen when the paperless bathroom does."

Plastic Logic is looking to bring the paperless office closer -- or, at least, reduce the amount of paper that that business users have to carry around with them -- with the introduction of its e-book reader.

I admit to being one of those people who prints long web articles to read over breakfast or while drinking tea outside in the sun. Anything over 1500 words is beyond my ability to focus on at my computer. Then there are all those periodicals I subscribe to; manuscripts I'm sent for blurbs (which I rarely feel able to give, alas); my own mss. to review...

Assuming this slice of tech is priced reasonably (< $150) and has some kind of annotation function, this would let me save many, many trees. Yes, I recycle, yes, I print on both sides of the paper but, still, that's a lot of ink, a lot of energy. And think of all the littering I can avoid, e.g. when those pages fly off into the ravine as I see a flock of hot needle birds (tiny things, some kind of nuthatch or chickadee, possibly, with a call so high it goes through me like a hot needle) and gawp at them happily and forget to hold down the pile. (Okay, I'm lying, my papers have never flown into the ravine, but they have fluttered off over the fence into the garden; much grumpiness ensued.)

So what do you think? Plastic logic? Kindle? Sony Reader? iRex? Tablet PC? What I want, of course, is the unnatural spawn of an unnatural mating between the above. I want something to read books, periodicals, blogs, that I can access wirelessly. I want this device to be able to access my own network wirelessly and upload and download. I'd like to be able to annotate, or create whole documents, with both stylus and keyboard. It would be beyond awesome if the screen functioned as a kind of graphix pad. Oh, the blogs I would make! Oh, and it has to weight next to nothing. A few ounces.

So what should our super slate look like, what should it do?

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