Newspapers

This cracks me up:

Devices were judged on a variety criteria to see how each functioned given a set of circumstances. The criteria themselves were weighted for the final score; individual and final grades were assigned on a curve.

Each device had its strengths. For some it was speed; for others it was capacity. Some were better with shorter articles; others with longer works. And cost, as always, was a factor. But in the end, one e-reader stood out.

The Newspaper.

The most obvious advantage of The Newspaper was the size of its display, which outclassed its rivals both in terms of size and elasticity. The Newspaper display could be read at full size or, when flipped open, twice its normal width. We also had no trouble reading copy when the display was flipped to half or even quarter size. One of our engineers even figured out how to make a hat.

I do love newspapers. There’s something about finding an article serendipitously in a paper that you just can’t replicate online with keywords (“if you like this, you may also like this”). Simply by it’s physical layout, you can find something interesting that you’d never have known about otherwise. (I feel the same way about visiting a library. Yes, you can search a library catalog and order a bunch of books. But if you browse the shelves, you’re likely to find books that your search missed).

I try to read the Plain Dealer everyday (either before work or on my breaks) but the paper has been getting thinner and thinner as the years go on (and the Akron Beacon Journal has gotten quite tiny). Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly cranky, I write letters to the editor (I’m secretly an old man).

People still read newspapers, they just do it online. That’s the issue. It’s the same content as the actual paper… but free. The papers don’t make nearly enough money from online ads (shocking, I know) and Craigslist killed one of their big revenue streams so eventually the content will suffer (hence the thin paper). The internet is awesome but no one really knows how to make money off it.

Finally, this sequence of strips from Doonesbury is fantastic:

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