VideoGoes Full Circle: The earliest video screens were very tiny. In the eighteen nineties when commercial videos made their debut; viewers had to watch small videos on very small screens housed inside cabinets called Kinetoscopes. And as time went on video technology advanced and people could go to the movies and watch larger than life characters on the big screen. And of course today, large HDTVs are found in almost every home. And yet more people today are watching smaller videos than at anytime since the pre-cinema, Kinetoscope era. They are watching videos on the go on their tablets and smart phones – and so in a sense watching video has come full circle from the solitary experience of early video watchers who had to squint at the small characters on the screen inside a cabinet, to the communal experience of watching films on the big screen, through the television era and now to an era that combines huge HDTVs in homes with portable small screens to go!

The New York Times has a cool article today that relays the history of video watching from its beginnings in the Victorian Era through today. It is titled Yes, Norma Desmond, the Pictures Are Getting Small Again – here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/technology/movie-screens-small-to-big-to-small-again-digital-domain.html?_r=1&ref=technology

Where Are The Paper Maps? Anyone over the age of, oh, say about 35; will probably remember going on family vacations, back in the day, and pouring over paper maps to see what sites you were going to see in advance or simply using them as a guide to find  your way. Paper maps were plentiful then and seemed to be available free of charge at every gas station and National Park. Fast forward to today and paper maps are scarce and cost money to obtain. And the reason for the coming obsolescence of paper maps is two-fold: A. paper maps cost money to print and B. fewer people than ever before are using paper maps in the smart phone, tablet & GPS era. And that latter point is the larger one of the two! When you can take out your smart phone or tablet or access the GPS system in your car and see exactly where you are, and correspondingly where you want to go – you probably aren’t going to be looking to purchase paper maps; unless of course the maps are for your sixth grader’s geography project!

Here’s a link to an NPR/Associated Press article titled GPS, Apps Make Paper Maps Harder To Find that offers a cool history of American map usage in recent years – and how it has changed!

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/03/156181268/gps-apps-make-paper-maps-harder-to-find

Linda R.

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