Monday, July 21, 2008

The Blink Tag's Revenge

I don't want to go all reminiscent about the early days of the Internet, but remember the good old HTML blink tag? Apparently it was a non-standard and much loathed HTML element. Initially supported in Netscape Navigator, the tag was unduly used in many ugly personal homepages. It would also make unwelcome appearances in early forums and chat boards where trouble-making nerds would insert unclosed blink tags which would cause all following text to blink -- all the way to the end of the page. No laughing matter. Blinking text can cause seizures in some people.

The technology world still has a fascination with blinky stuff. What better way to show that something is working than by making it blink in your face?

And now for the news flash (pun intended). To celebrate its 75th year, Esquire magazine will have a blinking magazine cover! The cover will be produced by E Ink. The company's innovative technology has been used in the Amazon Kindle (which I wrote about here and here).

I'm sure the experimental Esquire cover will get plenty of attention when it hits the stands in September, but something about E Ink's move seems contradictory. I don't think their future involves making paper magazines more flashy and expensive. Their future is in devices such as the Kindle that deliver magazines and newspapers without any paper at all.

So while we still don't have those flying cars that the Jetsons promised us, we'll soon enough have those creepy cereal boxes from Minority Report.

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