TKC 176 Sven Birkerts

News – 1) Jakob Nielsen pans the usability of the Kindle Fire and elaborates in an interview with David Streitfeld of The New York Times. Click here for Nielsen’s review of the second-generation Kindle back in 2009. 2) Meanwhile, Amazon reports that Kindles — Fire and others — are selling more than a million a week. Bloomberg/Businessweek tracks how the market reacts.

Tech Tip – Sorry about my mixup last week on WiFi security. The one you want is WPA, not WEP. I had them reversed, but George from Tulsa set me straight. Also, be mindful of where you tap your Kindle Touch screen, or you may go skittering off to some web site you had no intention of visiting.

Interview (Starts at 13:22)Sven Birkerts, editor of the literary journal AGNI and author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age, sees the Kindle as a step back from the cultural commonality of the book. I spoke with Sven by phone and Skype on December 12. His latest book of essays is titled The Other Walk, and his 2009 Atlantic essay is titled “Resisting the Kindle.”  As director of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he sees little evidence of Kindles among students earning their MFAs in creative writing in the program. Also mentioned: “The Machine Stops,” a prescient 1909 short story by E.M. Forster.

Content – Music: Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. Movies: Return of the Pink Panther and Fahrenheit 451. Apps: Bufo Calvin’s overview includes ColorNote and WiFi Explorer. I also like, a To Do list maker. Books, etc.: Sven’s books and Eric Loss’s latest blog post.  Plus my essay titled “Visual Intensity of Words” in the Winter 2001 2011 issue of Nieman Reports.

Other links mentioned: Mark Roberts on “Will E-Books Destroy the Democratizing Effects of Reading?

Next Google Plus video hangout: Wednesday, December 21 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please e-mail your Google Plus profile URL to PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com if you’d like an invitation to participate.

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Comments 3

  1. Shirley wrote:

    Just a question. I noticed on the website for Kapersky Antivirus that they are selling an antivirus for web browsing with tablets. Have you installed any such software on your Kindle Fire? What software are you using?

    Thanks for your help.

    Posted 22 Dec 2011 at 6:56 pm
  2. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Good question. I’m not using any antivirus software on my Kindle Fire – yet. I’ll keep an eye out for info on this.

    Posted 22 Dec 2011 at 10:42 pm
  3. Tom Semple wrote:

    Another way to avoid unintentional hyperlink ‘teleportation’ is to use a swipe gesture instead of a tap gesture.

    Actually I wish they would make the tap zone for hyperlinks a little bit larger. Endnote links can be a little tricky to locate particularly at the smaller text sizes I like to use.

    Posted 28 Dec 2011 at 7:32 pm