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SlowTV-TimFlannery Have a look/listen to “After Copenhagen” a SlowTV recording of Tim Flannery in conversation with Robert Manne.  It’s wonderful to hear Tim’s realistic optimism in the wake of 6 months of bad news for the world’s climate future. It is also interesting to see how well this format works.

We’re blessed with a new medium – recordings of public meetings where interesting people speak, enabled by the new economics of low cost video recording and the Internet. It gives speakers the time to expand on their views without relying on the quick grabs demanded by impatient “Old Media”. Credit to The Monthly for using this new medium, showing that it’s possible for the old media (magazines) to reinvent themselves

Mind you, I still think it is better suited to Radio (Podcast) rather than Television (YouTube, etc). So I was relieved to discover that a podcast version is available. A small criticism: the audio is unnecessarily split into three sections. It manages to reverse the order in which it ends up on my iPod. It would be good to have the podcast as a single file or alternatively reverse the order in which the podcast sections are syndicated.

After Copenhagen Conversation with Tim Flannery on SlowTV.
The Monthly

Long Time Olden Time

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Cover of Long Time Olden Time CD-ROM A friend "innocently" pointed me to this Ars Technica article on e-books, in the full knowledge that it would destroy the rest of my day. He knew that I could not leave some article, which seemed to pretend that the e-book started when the writer joined Palm Media in 2002, alone without reply. The article is more a 5 page rant from a frustrated e-book publisher, rather than a balanced perspective on the history (and challenges) of the e-book.

The Voyager Company  developed an e-book format (called Expanded Books) in the early 1990's. I read Jurasic Park by Michael Crichton on my Powerbook in 1991. It had no DRM and a superb user interface which did not get in the way of the reader. It came compressed on a floppy disk, which installed on a Macintosh and ran on top of Apple's Hypercard.

Usage Instructions of Long Time Olden Time CD-ROMFirmware Design (our company) published an oral history project on CD in 1993 using the Voyager Expanded Book Toolkit. Long Time Olden Time was an oral history of Aboriginal experiences in the Northern Territory, collected by Peter and Jay Read. Originally published as a book and separate audiotapes, it could be read on screen with its synchronised audio track.

Bob Stein, co-founder of the Voyager Company, is a professional maniac, who deserves (but probably isn't interested in) a lot credit for the first practical e-book. His connections with the Book Publishing Industry convinced Publishers to experiment. He is now the founder and a director of The Institute for the Future of the Book.