Posts Tagged With: technology

Science or Science Fiction?

When new technology looks like it came right out of Science Fiction, does the science influence the fiction or does the fiction influence the science? The answer is … yes! Both are true, according to an article in The Guardian, The real science of science fiction. Authors get ideas from science and dream ahead to what it will become. Scientists read Science Fiction and become inspired with new ideas. Often, the two groups merge and scientists write Science Fiction.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/jan/21/real-science-science-fiction-sf-scholar

Whether you write the stories or create the reality, you’re both important to innovation and progress! Go you!

Categories: Science Fiction Byte | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Source of Power and Technology Withdrawal

My trip was amazing! It was nothing like what I expected. I expected mountains, yes. That was a no-brainer. What I didn’t expect was technology withdrawal! 45 minutes before we got to our rental cabin, my phone service cut out. I had hopes that their website was correct and that they had wifi. But the page, last updated in 2009, was wrong. No email, no voicemail, no Facebook, no Google. It was a whistling vacuum of information. It was relaxing once I got over the struggle to reconnect.

Even the pay phone didn’t cooperate with me. I felt transported back in time standing in that booth, wrestling with the clunky cord and trying to follow the instructions of that female voice, pushing scratched metal buttons. The spider in the corner was not impressed.

So we explored, and it was great! The region was a mixture of small-town charm and spectacular views.

There were three dams up there, all lined up along the river: Gorge Dam, Diablo Dam, and Ross Dam. We drove along roads chipped into the mountainside and walked trails surrounded by metal rails so we wouldn’t plunge into the ravine. There was a sense that gravity was different here.

 

This is where my family gets 18% of our power. (That’s what the plaques and brochures said). This is why I headed up here in the first place, to show my kids where their tech gets its juice.

Tuesday evening came and my 11-year-old was giddy with excitement. He was overjoyed to return home in the morning to his internet connection, his cable TV, and his computer games. He’s getting to be that age. So we came home to use that 18% as much as possible (and they have been). I sure hope they remember though!

 

Categories: Reading | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Internet is Forever

Yes, this is the first picture ever posted online. I wonder if these ladies still hang out. They definitely don’t have the same hairdos or wear the same clothes. Does this picture embarrass them or are they proud to be the first?

Our culture is focused more and more through the internet. On my Facebook today I saw a friend’s current progress painting a robot figurine, the coffee another friend was drinking, and the political views of yet another friend. Will these photos and statements disappear into the cyberworld or will they live on there “forever”, just waiting for someone to dig them up?

Well, as scary as this feels, this phenomenon of media lasting virtually forever is really a bonus for me, an author. My works, nestled into their pages on the web, will live there forever. I will always be able to make money on them, or at least get  the credit for them if they become free. If someone claims them as their work, I can point to multiple places where my work lives and has lived for a long time. There is no “out of print” online. There is no time limit for my work to survive other than the time limit of how long it interests people.

Yes, in case of apocalyptic failure of everything technological, I do have paper copies of all of it, including the copyright certificates. But after we’ve recovered and have the internet back, provided the Giant Ant Overlords allow it, I’ll put them all back up.

What do you have online that will live forever? How do you feel about that?

Categories: Self-Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

15 Reasons Tablet Reading is Better

Some of you will turn over in your graves, and you’re not even dead yet! I think e-reading is far superior to the old ink and print, and I’m not ashamed to natter on about it.

  1. Instant Access. I don’t have to drag my kids to the bookstore or the library and try to hurry and pick out my book at 87% stress capacity. I don’t have to buy one book each for them too and say “no” to the 20 toys each they somehow find even though it’s a BOOK store. I don’t have to buy a cookie at the Starbucks that seems like the best idea ever when you’re alone but like the fourth circle of hell (the one for the greedy) when you have three sugar monsters in tow. I don’t have to keep anyone quiet or return anything after a week (after finding it wedged between the couch and the wall after 3 hours of searching). Instant access is big on my list.
  2. My tablet has a clock right on the screen. I don’t have to fumble around to find out how much longer I get to read before bath time or even lift my head. It’s right there.
  3. Night mode. I pretty much use this feature all the time because I live in Seattle in a house with almost no Southern exposure. (Think cave dwelling. All my plants are yellow.) Plus, I can read at night in bed. With a print book I have to turn on a light and hubby will not endure that.
  4. Multiple e-reader platforms = freedom.  This isn’t a goofy old e-reader. This is a tablet. I can put Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Aldiko, and the library’s reader software on here and read it all, picking the best price online and using the reader that goes with it.
  5. Staying Connected. Reading a book doesn’t mean I go off the grid for an extended amount of time. I can see my emails there.
  6. Saving money. Yes, I said it! E-reading saves you money. Instead of buying a paperback or driving to the library, you tap your way to another book. The library loans books for free. All the e-reader sites have plenty of free books. If you buy new release copies at $11 apiece you only need to buy 30 books to add up to a top-of-the-line tablet. I read that many books easy in 6 months, so there you go.
  7. Games. I have a secret. Don’t tell anyone. I sometimes don’t want to read. Sometimes I want to play Solitaire, or cut fruit with a sword or, do a crossword puzzle. All those things are on the tablet too. I can look all intellectual and technologically hip while playing Easy Mode Sudoku.
  8. Web Browser.  I can look up words I find curious in an instant without logging on somewhere else or finding a big dusty book (and the dustingI should have done). I can see what this slang from Australia or the Millenial Generation means. I’m getting older and more un-hip as the years past, but I don’t have to look like a doofus about slang.
  9. MyFitnessPal. This needs explanation – weight loss while reading instead of weight gain. My Fitness Pal is a calorie counting database and diary online. I am completely in love with this app and website. It’s taken 12 pounds off my book-nerd butt and I can pause in my reading to enter the granola bar I just ate in my food diary whenever I want. I’m going for my goal weight!
  10. The Environment. I know this is important to some people and some people feel like it’s over-preached. Still,  e-readers are friendlier to the environment. No trees have to die. No oil necessary in shipping books or driving to the store to get them. There will be no waste in eliminating the book when you’re done with it.
  11. Storage. My bookshelf is the same physical size whether I have 5 books or 50000. You can even add zeroes to that. No book bugs, no dust, no shelves that melt inside after 6 months, sag, and then fall apart when you move them. No wall-space cluttered with bookshelves. No temptation to decorate said bookshelves with cute but pointless knickknacks (ooh! double K!).
  12. Variety. I can get books from all over the world written by countless people. I’m not limited to the book supplier’s choices nestled on the shelves of the bookstore or the library. (Yes, you are limited by the book supplier.)
  13. International Versatility. As long as I have the little plug adapter thingie and travel to a place with electricity, I can get books in my own language wherever I go. There will be no searching bookstores for a few scattered English copies. There will be no explaining to bookstore owners in my broken excuse for their language what I am looking for. That’s because I don’t really travel, but it could also be because I have an e-reader and downloaded the book instead.
  14. Emergency Child Distraction. In case of emergency, my tablet can entertain one or more children. Don’t even tell me your 2005 movie edition paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice can do that. Wile it should only be an emergency resort and under full supervision (which I recently discovered in the screen-crack incident of July 2012) it is an option.
  15. One other reason I’m not going to say because it’s a secret. Well, Ok, I just got tired of thinking of reasons, but I wanted 15 instead of 14. I thought it looked better. So this one’s a secret. By the time you call me on it I’ll probably have thought of number 15. But that doesn’t mean I’ll tell it to you.

No, your print book doesn’t require electricity or crack when it is dropped, but when you spray Dr.Pepper out your nose because the book was so funny, your pages get all wrinkly and stained FOREVER. Mine won’t. If my tablet gets ruined, I have a protection plan and can re-download my books instantly for free. Your book is just as sensitive to fire, water, and four-year-olds as my tablet too. In case of global electromagnetic pulse, my tablet will be a hunk of plastic, metal and glass, but I think we’ll be more interested in surviving than reading if that happens.

OK, Now you can post your comment why I am wrong or how you agree with me. Let me have it!

Categories: Reading | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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