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Towards a well-thumbed internet
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When looking for information in bulk, I am struck by the speed and efficiency of a paper catalogue over the 'on-line' version. Moreover, the book is an excellent, intuitive user interface, understood by billions of people.

I propose a new input device - the USB-enabled book. Once calibrated, the index 'position' can be calculated just by flicking through pages of the book, rather like the mouse-wheel. To achieve this the front and back covers would provide the anode and cathode for a capacitance sensor with specially treated paper adjusting the amount of conductivity.

Executives would require a hardback edition in the form of a leather-bound folio, replete with caligraphic illumination on crisp, white pages and BlueTooth[tm]. More accurate calibration would be afforded using a small amout of radioactive source to measure page thickness (note, this approach is used successfully in Bank ATMs to count the number of banknotes). The hardback would certainly be a weighty tome, due, in no small part, to the lead plates sewn into the flyleaves...

riposte, Jul 10 2003


       At least it would be easy to bookmark...
riposte, Jul 10 2003

       I always loved library index cards over online searches when looking for library information. Just getting any feedback, even if I'm searching using terrible criteria, in the form of 'here's something that's in the same shelf' is always much more helpful than staring at a blinking cursor, drumming its fingers while you desperately try to think of alternatives. Too much performance anxiety.
RayfordSteele, Jul 10 2003

       Hmmm, now how would I implement an eBookshelf...?
riposte, Jul 11 2003


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