More than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months. And although their library usage patterns may often be influenced by the requirements of school assignments, their interest in the possibilities of mobile technology may also point the way toward opportunities of further engagement with libraries later in life. Continue Reading →
Pew Releases Study on Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits
Why You Should Build Your Apps on a Cloud Platform
At Unlimited Priorities we’re strong believers in cloud-based computing. We’ve said “It’s transforming the way computing services are delivered by providing unheard of flexibility, increased reliability and drastically decreasing costs.” (See our Cloud Computing page.)
A post today by Scott Fulton on ReadWriteWeb argues that most apps today should be built in the cloud.
A key point of the article is this. As an application provider your business is to deliver service. Traditionally, applications delivered that functionality running on clients’ platforms. Running there, it becomes a slave to the browser and the operating system. Two major changes now make it possible to remove these constraints:
- Low cost highly available bandwidth makes it possible to run major parts of an application on a server.
- There’s a healthy and growing cloud platform market, with many players offering innovative and inexpensive services to support these applictions.
These two changes make it much easier for development teams in small to medium sized companies to focus their skills on the application not the platform it runs on.
The entire article, along with a list of platform service providers is here:
Why You Should Build Your Apps on a Cloud Platform – And How to Choose the Right One
The Internet without Google or Facebook
Make even general predictions about the future is hard. Making predictions about the future of technology is very hard. Making predictions about the future of the Internet is, well, extremely hard. This piece by Eric Jackson on Forbes goes for the extremely hard, and tries to be specific as well.
We think of Google and Facebook as Web gorillas. They’ll be around forever. Yet, with the rate that the tech world is moving these days, there are good reasons to think both might be gone completely in 5 – 8 years.
The brief history of Internet companies has many examples of companies that were Web Gorillas, but failed to adapt the the rapid changes: Netscape, MySpace and Yahoo.
With each succeeding generation in tech the Internet, it seems the prior generation can’t quite wrap its head around the subtle changes that the next generation brings.
We’re now in the middle of a mobile revolution where the current Web gorillas are talking about mobile while doing little to embrace it.
Mobile companies born since 2010 have a very different view of the world. These companies – and Instagram is the most topical example at the moment – view the mobile smartphone as the primary (and oftentimes exclusive) platform for their application. They don’t even think of launching via a web site. They assume, over time, people will use their mobile applications almost entirely instead of websites.
Like all predictions about the future, there’s a good chance this one is wrong, but before concluding that, if you remember, think back to the days of Netscape, Alta Vista and AOL. Predicting their demise would have met lots of skepticism as well.
The key of course is to innovate, stay flexible, stay close to your users, and ride the technical wave as it moves forward. Small to medium sized companies have a distinct advantage over the current gorillas. A few of them are in fact likely to displace the current set.
Cambridge University puts Isaac Newton material online
Cambridge University Library has just released a new website with more than 4,000 pages of its most important Isaac Newton material. The Library plans to upload thousands of additional pages over the next few months until almost all of its Newton collection is available to view and download anywhere in the world.
Isaac Newton’s own annotated copy of his Principia Mathematica is among his notebooks and manuscripts being made available. In addition, the site includes Newton’s Trinity College Notebook acquired while he was an undergraduate at Trinity College and used from about 1661 to 1665. One of the most interesting works is the Newton’s Waste Book a large notebook where he developed much of his important work on calculus which he began using in 1664 when he was away from Cambridge due to the plague.
The Newton collection was photographed over the summer of 2011 at about 200 pages per day. All of the works are presented in high resolution with an interface that allows users to zoom in to each page to explore the text, diagrams and annotations in detail. In addition to the high-resolution facsimiles, the site also links to the Newton Project to provide transcriptions of many of the pages.