Microsoft and the NY Time’s new reader

I always find it amusing (and a little frightening) when reality imitates parody. Does anybody remember a SNL skit about wearing a VR helmet and reading a virtual book, which was Moby Dick? In effect, somebody sat in a chair, donned this huge awkward helmet, which gave the experience of sitting in a chair, and reading a book.

Now, Microsoft and the NY Times have come perilously close to this with their new on screen News Reader.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8H9AJC8B.htm?campaign_id=alerts

The idea is to simulate the experience of reading a newspaper online, to more fully engage the reader. There is a cost. Apparently, the reader costs more than a year’s subscription to the Times.

Is it just me, or is this really dumb? We choose to read our news online because the online format gives us a different experience and more functionality. We are rapidly adapting to a new online way of assimilating information, and this includes news. To me, this is kind of like buying a car, but then getting a horse to pull it.

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