Metavalent Stigmergy

How New Default Consensus Realities Instantiate

First Look - TimesReader - Sneak Peek 01

0My surprising initial reaction to First Look - TimesReader - Sneak Peek 01.

My system: Two year old Acer Travelmate C111ti; heavily battered and worn. 1GHz / 1GB / 60GB; XP, always patched to the gills, etc. :) Lots of garbage installed all over the place, because I’m always trying out new desktop and network applications.

If first impressions count, after about 30 minutes reading articles, I’m literally blown away by the TimesReader. I’ve been using a tabletpc for a couple of years, and the forethought that has gone into navigation by both keyboard and stylus, including ink annotations is MIND BLOWING! This is SMART software development at NYT. If the NYT keeps this up, it could become a better software company than Microsoft or Google! Who’duh’thunk’it? The NYT a WEB APPLICATIONS SHOP??!!

The ads are extremely well done, however, when an annotation note pops up over an ad, any mouse click or stylus click IN THE NOTE also launches the ad that it’s hovering over. As a reader, I’m happy to see the ads, but I want to decide when and what to click on. This is especially prevalent for any kind of stylus or touch screen user, because the moment you touch stylus to screen, it’s also a click. The effect is that the note area acts as if it’s “transparent” to clicks … the clicks fall right through them. HIGHLY recommend that notes act as notes, regardless of where they hover on the screen.

I’m looking forward to getting more acquainted with the interface. The arrow key navigation is nothing short or BRILLIANT and very much feels like thumbing through the paper. I’ve used a lot of readers (most notably Zinio) and none even come close to this new TimesReader approach. Will write later if anything else jumps out at me.

While other bugs might emerge over time, for now, it’s a rare occasion worthy of sending a hearty WELL DONE, even at this early beta stage!

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Written on September 15, 2006