Monday, April 24, 2006


Ryan Sholin's blog yesterday about e-paper struck me.

Not because it's such a revolutionary concept or technology - the idea is engrained in much science fiction, as the New York Times article about the Belgian business paper going hi-tech said today.

image courtesy of

What's significant about e-paper is the possibility for massive convergences. For those of you not total geeks, I'm talking about the coming together of a whole bunch of mediums and technologies to make life more interactive - and open.

Sound far-fetched? Think again.

Imagine a world where wireless networks update citizens' (and students', ahem...ahem...Knight Ridder... *cough*cough* Spartan Daily) e-papers automatically, where
citizens can submit updates, modifications and fact-checks to the papers instantly as they read with pens like those used on palm pilots.

Citizen Journalism would take on a whole new meaning. Collectively channeling the brainpower of the readership would also cut the number of actual writers needed, increasing the newspaper'$ profitability.

This would lead to an expansion in the actual number of newspapers that operate independantly.

Plus, local news would become much more in-depth, detailed, and accurate - with comment sections and links only the web could provide.

image courtesy of The New York Times

This same principal was applied to Wikipedia and Craigslist, which both became hugely successful and largely accurate. Not to mention Blogger, which I'm currently publishing on.

Tim O'Reilly of the tech magazine MAKE recently spoke about this phenomenon in a podcast on IT Conversations. The podcast is definitely worth the listen. Technologies that incorporate opensource and mass-cooperation, he says in the podcast, are the future.

I see e-paper as having these possibilities and potential, worthy of notice by the University.

Bush in San Jose

(first published as a comment on The Spartan Daily website by Andrew Venegas)

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The Spartan Daily: media content by Daniel Esch

The President visited SJSU yesterday to talk about the need for math and science education to enable the U.S. to compete in a global economy.

This visit comes at a choice time for the President; while his domestic policies are waning and his presidency seems hopelessly tied to his troubles in Iraq, small strides towards recovering the still ailing economy shine through as his only hope at stalling his plummeting approval ratings.

Well Well... That's All Right and Good, But -

Unfortunately, the use of a San Jose State student seems more of a political photo-op than concrete evidence that the President means to increase education spending in Washington.

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The Spartan Daily: media content by Daniel Esch

The very notion seems absurd with wartime spending spiraling out of control, and the largest national debt in history continuing to grow.

Even if the President were serious about focusing on education, the Republican Congress has lost much of the political capital they had to recent scandals, and are now scurrying to secure their base of voters for the upcoming Senate elections.

An increase in spending for these Senators would be unwise.

All said, the President's visit smells of political window-dressing - lacking of true