The Null Device
The next must-have gadget for the laptop musician could be the OP-1:
It's made of plastic, Nintendo-white, with rounded buttons and a colour OLED display, and works as a controller for music software and a standalone synthesiser/sequencer. It's still under development, by an outfit named Teenage Engineering (who appear to be a bunch of Stockholm hipsters, with a tendency to use conspicuous Japanese translations on their web site; they also make modular studio lights and downloadable papercraft models of Yamaha motorbikes). The product is said to be 10-12 months from release, with no price yet known.
(via Boing Boing Gadgets)
The rise of Wikipedia and its open-source, collaborative content model has claimed a scalp among its traditional, proprietary competition: Microsoft's online encyclopedia Encarta will be shut down on 31 October. Encarta was launched in the 1990s as a savvier Britannica for the CD-ROM age.
I wonder how long Britannica has left. Will it survive indefinitely, sustained by the niche market for expensive, impressive-looking leather-bound volumes, fetishised by those to whom such things still suggest wisdom more than decrepitude? Will the brand name be snapped up by a manufacturer of prestige E-paper Wikipedia browsers? Or will it just sink without a trace, as a relic of a past age of informational scarcity?