Sunday 29 November 2009

Offline media

Today I went Magazine shopping to one of the 24H open Eslite stores in Taipei. It's a fun place to go, in a multitude of ways:

One big floor for books & magazines.
Two big floors for designer stuff, gadgets and artsy things....
Two big floors for food, with one of the ever best cake stores I have every eaten (Awfully Chocolate).
One final floor with music, stationery and toys....
(Oh, and today a concert in front of the store by a band Wonfu Loves You [旺福爱你])

Anyway, went there to get my monthly / quarterly dose of magazine, since we still love offline media, even if most of my knowledge comes from online.

Make Magazine - Volume 20

This was the primary objective was this one, the new issue of Make. The last one was about DIY Drones (automatic planes:) and got me fired up enough. Didn't get too much done about them, but definitely made a few entries to my Someday/Maybe list. Hopefully with some time it will be even better, it's all a process... Anyway, how can I resist if one of my heros is on the frontpage: Adam Savage from MythBusters. :) He's someone who can really spread the love for science and critical thinking and tinkering... 

You know about the "20% time" at Google? All the developers having 20% of their time to develope their own ideas, completely free. How about having something like for physics researchers? 20% of the time for tinkering and developing things that are necessary connected to the current project of the research group, but worthwhile anyway?
Maybe a bit tougher sell, because we (should) already do our own ideas - that's what research is about, isn't it? But still, there are always room to improve....

Anyway, if one is interested, there's also Instructables, no more excuse to be idle. Coming up later: reviews of Make: content.

Wired UK - Ideas Issue

In the section where Make: was I found some other goodies too... Wired is one of my favorite only magazines, but couldn't really justify buying the paper version if I have already read most of the online contents. But! Behold, there's a new UK edition as well! And they had a special issue on big ideas.... Well, really couldn't justify getting all 3 of them, but let's get one. Always looking for inspiration from those people cleverer than me. :)

Reading through it, I really admire the whole design and execution. Still "magazine" meaning relatively disposable content, so it's not going to be very long-lasting for me, but definitely high quality brainfood. Gadgets that I start yearning at first sight, architecture, everyday chemistry, technology, company insights, people profiles, and much more... And a lot of advertisement that (almost) works on me... :P

Not surprised about the awesomeness... After all, being a writer for Wired is one of the entries on my Dream Jobs list... And you know what, this still can be done. Astronaut, probably not anymore.

The Celebrity Twitter Directory

However there are magazines there that feel like a complete ripoff. How about The Celebrity Twitter Directory? Didn't people know about e.g. WeFollow, or Twitter Lists? Why would someone pay more for this thing more than my Make: and Wired combined is beyond me... But certainly Twitter is one of the hottest thing out there right now: Wired had at least 2 proper articles in connection with it  (about 6 pages), while the only Facebook related thing I could find was the page-bottom tiny text  ticker of the biggest FB groups this month...

There are still some magazines that I would have chosen on an unlimited budget.... The Economist, Nature, Science, Newsweek, Scientific American... Have to check out the library, maybe they have them. And at the university campus where my office is, seem to have quite a few "magazine ladies" who try to sell subscriptions to a large number of these. Pretty good deals as well. Maybe treat myself for Christmas? Got to think about it....
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