Public Information Kiosk's book vending machine.

Paper trumps tech at national library conference

I went looking for the digital future of libraries at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting this week. Conveniently, the conference was held in Seattle, near a couple of very forward-looking library systems that make eBooks, mobile apps and digital downloads expected, almost routine. But if the exhibit hall represented the near future for libraries,… Read More

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Ask the Productivity Geek: 6 questions, 6 answers

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a periodic column where we’ve asked Matt Heinz, who has been writing an occasional column on productivity for GeekWire, to answer questions on topics related to productivity, work/life balance and time management practices.  If you have questions, email Matt directly or leave them in the comments below. When taking… Read More

FurtherPeterRabbit

3 ways digital media is turning us into 2nd graders

We are all regressing. And I have proof from an authoritative source: the state of children’s books. The underlying reasons lie in the digital means by which we communicate, forcing increased — and often unreasonable — expectations of speed and brevity, no matter how complicated the concept. My evidence for declaring this probable cause and… Read More

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GeekWire’s Gift Guide: 13 great geeky gifts from Seattle

We asked, you answered, and here’s the result. From cheap to whoooooa pricey, here are our picks for 13 great local gifts for geeks … Geocaching premium membership – $10 for 3 months If your geek is the adventurous type, she might appreciate being introduced to this growing community of treasure hunters. Geocaching, powered by… Read More

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Hey, Seattle – want to wiki?

So. Seattle. Do we wiki or what? Seth Vincent thinks it’d be fun. The recent Olympia transplant started SeattleWiki and has spent the last couple months knocking on digital doors, asking for help, support, collaboration — whatever it takes to make this Seattle city wiki the that finally, actually, works. Why? Because maybe we’d like… Read More

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Am I nuts if I don’t want a tablet?

I have a confession to make. The Surface is here, the iPad is everywhere, Jeff Bezos is promoting Kindle Fires again and tablets of all kinds are guaranteed to fly off the shelves on Black Friday and beyond. But I still don’t want one. Am I nuts? I’ve heard the arguments for a couple years… Read More

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UW policy restricting reporter tweets is not just claiming rights, but taking turf

In 2009, the Southeastern Conference, one of the most powerful in college sports, tried something stupid. In a hopeless and short-lived social media policy, it banned fans from tweeting, updating Facebook or sharing in any way live posts from its games. Many are calling the University of Washington’s athletic department just as ignorant this week… Read More

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Do you binge-watch TV? 6 ways to justify your habit

You finish a great episode of a great show. You want to watch the next one, but you’ve already seen three of these and it’s getting late. Do you press play? If so, you’ve developed the tech-enabled entertainment habit known as binge viewing. And some people think you’re doing it wrong. “Slow down,” wrote Jim… Read More

Flickr photo via Justin D. Miller

Here comes another tech bubble — in education

I’m the kind of guy who worries when something gets too popular. I looked askance at novels (especially science fiction) that made it to mainstream bestseller lists when written by otherwise mediocre authors. I avoided buying any footwear or polo shirt that was named for, or sported images of, long-jawed fast-crawling reptiles. When anything rapidly… Read More

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Apple Maps vs. my brain

Damn you, Apple Maps. But not for the reasons you think. “So, right now, if I asked you what direction Portland was, you really don’t know?” my husband asked me the other day. I smiled and shook my head. He’s plumbed the depths of my directional incompetence for five years and still can’t believe it…. Read More

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Why eBooks won’t rule the Earth

The certainty in the headlines is almost palpable. “eBooks Now ‘Dominant Single Format’ in Adult Fiction Sales,” shouted book publishing site GalleyCat. “Kindle ebook sales have overtaken Amazon print sales,” trumpeted UK’s The Guardian. “E-book revenue outstrips hardbacks in first quarter,” trembled The Bookseller. But if these stories led to you to believe that the… Read More