Monday News: Harlequin + A&E, Apple’s 40th, distraction, and book art
A&E Networks Partners With Harlequin – A&E Networks, which includes Lifetime, is going to be working with Harlequin to create both new (original) content and content based on existing books and series. Although not a lot of details have been released regarding titles and specific projects, the deal sounds similar to the Aurora Teagarden series produced by the Hallmark Channel. Whatever the details, I’m somewhat relieved to see Harlequin expanding as a brand, and not merely being folded into Harper Collins.
A+E Networks and Harlequin have formed a creative partnership to produce a slate of original scripted movies, web series, books and digital content. Harlequin, of course, is a leading publisher of women’s fiction, and in the deal with A&E will franchise several scripted dramatic movies based on original stories and bestselling novels that will include a narrative of mystery, romance, thriller, suspense and more. Content will be made available across A+E Networks’ channels and content partners globally. – Programming Insider + press release
Apple at 40: can walled garden thrive in the new digital era? – Interesting post from Mark Skilton on Apple’s place in the new “Internet of Things.” I wish Skilton had expounded on his central assertion that Apple is primarily revising their own products rather than creating anything new at this point, especially when compared to this piece at Computerworld, in which Jonny Evans argues that iOS 9 is revolutionary in its ability to run on all iPhone models.
Apple’s success has been based on redefining existing products, but when it comes to new technology markets it has little to no track record. While Apple Watch and Apple TV are potentially leading products in their markets, they still aren’t radical compositions of technologies that can produce the kind of popularity and “wow factor” we saw with the iPhone and iPad. Even with the firm’s reported move into driverless cars or other possible difficult, high-risk “moon shot” projects, the question remains whether it can create a critical mass for the new category of connected computing.
The other issue for Apple is that the Internet of Things involves connecting many different types of products, appliances and content services from not just one company but potentially hundreds, including rival system manufacturers. This differs significantly from Apple’s previous “walled garden” approach that has involved working with app developers, but making core technology incompatible with that of competitors – right down to its charging cables. The question is whether the firm’s home, health and car development platforms will also remain closed to rival companies, preventing customers from picking and choosing from different systems. – The Conversation (h/t The Digital Reader)
The ages of distraction – Frank Furedi’s very good chronicle of how distraction has been treated from the 18th C on, first as a “moral failing,” then as a medical condition, and now as a function of the way things are, reinforced by education’s catering to shortened attention spans with what Furedi refers to as “fatalistic” assumptions about the inevitability of distraction. Furedi is interested in debunking the assumption that distraction is a product of technological ubiquity, circling back to the idea of moral education as a means of developing the characteristic of attentiveness.
The recent decades have seen a dramatic reversal in the conceptualisation of inattention. Unlike in the 18th century when it was perceived as abnormal, today inattention is often presented as the normal state. The current era is frequently characterised as the Age of Distraction, and inattention is no longer depicted as a condition that afflicts a few. Nowadays, the erosion of humanity’s capacity for attention is portrayed as an existential problem, linked with the allegedly corrosive effects of digitally driven streams of information relentlessly flowing our way. ‘The net seizes our attention only to scatter it,’ contends Nicholas Carr in The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Read, Think and Remember (2010). According to the US neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, the distractions of the modern world can literally damage our brains.
Yet the moral concerns that have always underpinned society’s preoccupation with inattention still lurk in the background. As the US literary critic Sven Birkerts recently acknowledged: ‘What I do know is that the words attention and moral came together for me with an electric immediacy.’ – Aeon
Book Art- How to Fold a Book into a Word. – I ran across this recently, and not having seen it before, figured you might not have either. And what’s really cool is that you don’t have to permanently harm the book to create the art (for those who dislike the destructive element of much book art). – Instructables