My brand new notepad is waiting for 2017: pristine enticingly empty. Before the old notepad is deposited on the shelf, I’ve selected a few of the more important notes, the ones I wish to carry over to 2017.
Semantic Web and Semantic Technologies – this brilliant ReadwriteWeb piece analyses “the trends and technologies that power the Semantic Web….identif[ies] patterns that are beginning to emerge, classi[ies] the different trends, and peak[s] into what the future holds.” Read it now, or save the link for future reference.
Guitar Hero – karaoke on anabolic steroids. A game originally designed for PS-II made a spectacular transition to PC, with plug-in gadgets (guitar, drums) and a dynamic, colourful notation system allowing experts and novices (that’s us) to participate in ‘live’ renditions of great hits. I saw a 50-something cash strapped visitor to our local retailers playing a rousing onstage version of the Led Zeppelin’s masterpiece “A stairway to heaven” and getting a standing ovation from the other (age >45) shoppers. Priceless.
Notebooks and web-books – Global notebook PC shipments exceeded those of desktops on a quarterly basis for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2016, marking a watershed event in the history of the industry. According Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli Corp. “Momentum has been building in the notebook market for some time, so it’s not a complete surprise that shipments have surpassed those of desktops. However,” Wilkins says, “this marks a major event in the PC market because it marks the start of the age of the notebook. The notebook PC is no longer a tool only for the business market, or a computer for the well-off consumer; it’s now a computer for everyman.” You bet, Matt! I am writing this piece on my zooty new Acer Aspire One Notebook – talking about a dainty morsel.
Windows Mobile 7 – just kidding.
Google in 2017 – Marisa Meyer, Google Vice President of Search Product and User Experience (aka SuperGizmo Diva) looks at 2017 upcoming issues: highlights (with my comments): Chrome, the Google browser, is picking up millions of users, in 2017 Chrome is to be out of Beta, as well as available to Mac and Linux users. Local Search – Google’s philosophers’ stone will be developed further. The ability to differentiate between global needs and specific, focused, threads forms the cornerstone of Big Gee’s future revenues.
Ubuntu, Android, Symbian, iphone – various Operating Systems scamper to answer the ever-growing needs for a post-Windows OS, looking especially for a powerful-yet-friendly, free system that will work equally well on desktop and mobile platforms.
Off to the mausoleum of beloved departed
- Harold Pinter – complex anger and pregnant pauses aficionado. I love his The Dumb Waiter.
- Eartha Kitt – sultry, ageless, sexy consummate performer. An unforgettable rendition of a Turkish song called “Uska Dara” became her signa-tune.
- Paul Newman – a star who could also act. Theatre-trained actor and anonymous philanthropist who dealt with Hollywood only on his terms.
- Odetta – a leading voice of the US Civil Rights Movement, ballad singer who still hoped to sing at the upcoming inauguration for Barack Obama.
- Miriam ‘Mama Africa‘ Makeba – voice of hope and inspiration for generations. The Click Song, One more Dance, Suliram…
- Michael Crichton – genius narrator and churner of popular science page-turners. His narrative capabilities are almost unparalleled. My all time Crichton faves are The Andromeda Strain and A Case of Need (written as Jeffery Hudson, who won the prestigious Edgar award for ‘his’ novel.)
- David Foster Wallace – broody, talented writer. “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” is a must reads. DFW departed this world much too early – a wonderful narrator who, tragically, chose to take his own life.
- Arthur C. Clarke – read my tribute to this sci-fi giant
Carryover 2016 nonfiction reads
A Skeletal History of the Conflict between Faith and Reason, by Russell Shorto
Where in the world is Descartes’ skull, and how did it get separated from the rest of his remains? Following the journey of the great 17th-century French thinker’s bones-over six countries, across three centuries, through three burials-after his death in Stockholm in 1650.
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, by Eric Weiner – described by the author as “the next great category of literary nonfiction: philosophical self-help humorous travel memoir … Using the ancient philosophers and the much more recent “science of happiness” as his guide, Weiner travels the world in search of the happiest places.” Weiner investigates instances (present or absent) of SWB – Subjective Well-Being, as defined by the World Database of Happiness (Read my on Subjective Well-Being here.)
The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell’s Secret by Seth Shulman – described as a “a nonfiction detective story … Working from Bell’s laboratory notebooks and his voluminous correspondence” says Shulman “I fell through a kind of historical trap door to becoming increasingly intrigued by the surprising story behind the invention of the telephone: a tale of romance, corruption, and unchecked ambition.”
My sister’s thinking hat – daily visits and constant inspiration.
NaNoWriMo – I contemplate undertaking this creative marathon in November 2017. Will you join me?
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better person.” Benjamin Franklin