Worth Reading: Ragging on Apple’s Retina display, CIOs tempted by Windows 8, inside Flipboard & more

June 10, 2012

Ah there he goes again. Tech curmudgeon John C. Dvorak published a classic rant in his latest PCMag column that brings Apple’s much-hyped Retina display back to earth. 

Full disclosure, Dvorak was my boss back when I was first starting out as a tech reporter at Infoworld. He was cranky then and (thankfully, as far as I’m concerned) hasn’t changed. 

Like many great opinionated columnists Dvorak knows how to exaggerate to get your attention and make a point. 

Sure “The Worst Thing Ever: Retina Display” headline is over the top, but you want to read such an audacious premise

“I put my AMOLED Android screen next to Apple's Retina display all the time and my display looks better,” he says. “Nobody denies it.” 

And my favorite bit: 

‘You know, if you want genuine super-high resolution, you can go outside and look at a nature, right? I wonder if anyone realizes that anymore. Does anyone go outdoors and see a tree and remark, ‘Wow, look at the resolution of that bark! How many pixels do you think this is?’

CIOs tempted by Windows 8? 

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Clint Boulton has a nice roundup and analysis of the many reasons CIOs may get on the WIndows 8 tablet bandwagon early. 

Microsoft may have a lot more luck pitching Windows 8 tablets than desktop and notebook computers to enterprises, Boulton says, because they are still migrating those systems from Windows XP to Windows 7.

“On the other hand, Windows 8 tablets may be attractive right away because they will be easier and cheaper to manage than the tablets employees are bringing into the workplace.”

Solid article (paid subscription to WSJ's online site may be required) and a nice companion read to my colleague Steven Lang’s column earlier this week “All I’m saying is, give Windows 8 a chance” for anyone charged with buying tablets. 

Why does Flipboard look so great? 

If you ever wondered what goes into the beautiful look of Flipboard’s magazine app for the iPad, check out Mashable’s interview with Flipboard’s head of design Marcos Weskamp. 

Flipboard isn’t Weskamp’s first rodeo. As the article reveals, Weskamp was previously an experience designer at  Adobe for two and a half years, where he focused on new technologies. Weskamp says that one of his favorite projects was a mass visualization he and a team developed for the Encyclopedia of Life Project, which was inspired by biologist E.O. Wilson’s call for the creation of “an electronic page for each species of organism on Earth.” 

Using a raw database file, Weskamp and team were able to create a touch-enabled visualization for each of the 1.8 million species in the database.

So how did he approach Flipboard’s design? 

“On the web, we’ve placed too much emphasis on navigation, on giving you a thousand options of different places to go after each article. The sense of a large composition is lost,” says Weskamp. 

“On Flipboard, we encourage readers to do just one thing: flip,” he adds. “Just open the app, and flip from left to right. By minimizing friction and encouraging readers to focus on the content, we become transparent. And that, we believe, is the secret of great design.”

An iPad for Father’s Day? 

I was amused by the infographic Techbargains posted earlier this week breaking out results of a survey it did asking dads what they “really” want for Father’s Day. 

Heading the this-versus-that list is the iPad. When asked, 84% of the dads said they’d rather get an iPad as a Father’s day gift versus only 16% who’d rather get to golf at Pebble Beach. 


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