Video and screengrabs in this post: a first hands-on experience of the free Marvel Comics app for iPad, produced with Comixology (who produced a popular iPhone app). Word is that more than 500 titles will be available through the application at time of launch on Saturday. The pre-launch copy of the application I'm testing shows many titles offered at $1.99, and a number of selections also available for free. All the Marvel classics are here: Avengers, X-Men, Hulk, Spider Man, IronMan, Captain America, and a number of newer titles. User interface details of note: the ability to finger-flip through, page by page; scrollable bar of thumbs for all pages at the bottom of the page view, so you can skip ahead easily; double-click to zoom into an individual frame and finger-flip forward to advance frame by frame instead of page by page.
First impression: I like it. Scrolling is intuitive, brisk, and elegant. I'm amazed at how smooth. The store interface makes sense to anyone familiar with iTunes and App store. Flipping and reading, one luminous full-color page at a time, I do not miss paper. When zooming deeper into single frames, to scroll frame-by-frame, transitions (with "animated" option selected) feel almost cinematic— but sometimes zoomed-in art is not as crisp and high-res as I'd like (it varies by title). Unless I'm missing something, no way to view two pages at a time, as you might with a paper comic. I didn't miss that detail, but others might. And some comics were designed and drawn by the artist with that view option in mind. I'll be interested to see how the app and the content available for it evolve.
In 2012, Kim Stanley Robinson published 2312, imagining how the world and its neighbors might look in 300 years, loosely coupled with the seminal Red Mars books, a futuristically pastoral novel about the way that technology can celebrate the glories of nature; in 2015, Robinson followed it up with Aurora, the best book I read that year, which used 2312’s futures to demolish the idea that we can treat space colonization (and other muscular technological projects) as Plan B for climate change — a belief that is very comforting to those who don’t or can’t imagine transforming capitalism into a political system that doesn’t demolish the planet. Now, with New York 2140, Robinson starts to connect the dots between these different futures with a bold, exhilarating story of life in a permanent climate crisis, where most people come together in adversity, but where a small rump of greedy, powerful people get in their way.
Last December, I published my review of Andrew “bunnie” Huang’s astoundingly great book The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware — without realizing that the book’s release had been delayed because the published decided to do some very fancy and cool stuff with the printing process.
It’s been fifteen years since the first edition of educator Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabes was published; now in its third edition — updated with current, timely material about social media and other fast-moving subjects, as well as reflections from girls who were raised on the techniques in the previous editions — the book is a compassionate, aware, and intensely practical guide to navigating the toxic, gendered lives of young girls in a diverse, politicized world.
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]