Out of Print eBook Tablet Jackets


Listeners of last week’s episode of Bionic will remember that both Mr. Hurley and myself have come to rely upon the Nexus 7 our respective reading devices. For me, further solidifying this scenario, the Nexus 7 has rarely left the bedside whilst I’ve been in London. Picked up primarily for light-hearted web browsing, email, and reading in the mornings and evenings, the Nexus 7 has ostensibly earned a spot as a (relatively) affordable, competent, and attractive device upon my nightstand. (More on that soon.)

Complementing this use-case, Out of Print has a great Kickstarter campaign to produce out-of-print book covers for various tablets. Jackets cost $40 each, and will begin shipping in September.



Jim Giles (of The Atlantic and The Economist) and Bobbie Johnson (of GigaOM) have launched a fantastic Kickstarter project, MATTER. Built with the focus of doing one thing "exceptionally well," MATTER seeks to reignite the Internet's collective interest in unique and wonderful long-form journalism and writing. From the Kickstarter page:

MATTER will focus on doing one thing, and doing it exceptionally well. Every week, we will publish a single piece of top-tier long-form journalism about big issues in technology and science. That means no cheap reviews, no snarky opinion pieces, no top ten lists. Just one unmissable story.

MATTER is about brilliant ideas from all around the world, whether they come from professors at MIT or the minds of mad people. But most of all, it’s about getting amazing investigative reporters to tell compelling stories.

MATTER will be available across most major devices (i.e., Web, Kindle, iOS and Android) and will cost roughly $0.99 per story.

The project raised 100 percent of its funding within 38 hours but that's not to say they're done. With their initial funding achieved, the duo are looking to truly expand upon their idea and bring it to the masses in short order.

From my perspective, long-form journalism is certainly lacking on the Internet, but that's not to say there's not significant interest. On Tuesday, for instance, I published two lengthy articles - Negativity and Forgetting the Operating System - that brought record traffic to the site. People are clearly interested in longer pieces, but independent outlets for such content are evidently in small supply.

If nothing else, MATTER is a worthwhile experiment. Delving into the nature of the average Internet reader, MATTER will shed light upon the viability of the Internet as a source for serious, lengthy journalism rather than simply providing useful skimming material.

I, for one, am deeply interested (and invested) in the outcome.

You can back MATTER here.

The Hidden Radio

Belinda Lanks:

Not too long ago, when it came to hi-fi systems, bigger was better. But now that we can squeeze our entire music collection into a device that fits into our palm, why would we want hulking black boxes for speakers? Rather, these days, the objective is to design systems that are as unobtrusive as possible. If they don’t blend in like upholstered furniture, they should at least be small. That’s the thinking behind the Hidden Radio & Bluetooth Speaker, a Kickstarter project that packs booming sound into a minimalist package about the size of an ordinary light bulb.

Although this product isn't quite reality yet, it looks very promising. As with the Nest Thermostat, it's great to see unique, attractive takes on otherwise dull products.