NPR: High-Tech Pen Makes Note-Taking Easier

I have just tested the LiveScribe SmartPen and might be in love.

This pen is a digital audio recorder and camera built into a large ballpoint pen. It timestamps every note I take using the special spiral-bound notebook with almost imperceptible dot-matrixed paper.

After I finish taking notes, i click the pen on the part of the image or text and the audio recorder plays back whatever was being recorded at that time.

Now, if they can just come out with a 4' x 8' whiteboard version with multiple colors and a portable Aeron chair with lumbar support, I'd be set!

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Morning Edition, April 21, 2008 · A California company has invented a new pen. It features a camera mounted on the nib and a microphone that records audio, along with a docking cradle that allows uploads to a computer. But some note-takers still prefer quiet, old-fashioned pens and paper.

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Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain

In working with many diverse groups of people, coming together to solve complex problems, I am absolutely flummoxed by this paradox: young minds struggle with complex, inter-related problems, while "more mature" minds struggle to learn new concepts.

Rather than throw both brains out with the bathwater (what a badly mixed metaphor!) how best do we design collaborative projects and discussions that accommodate all brains, whether wily, worldly or wise?

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Yarek Waszul

When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong.

Instead, the research finds, the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit.

The studies are analyzed in a new edition of a neurology book, “Progress in Brain Research.”

For example, in studies where subjects are asked to read passages that are interrupted with unexpected words or phrases, adults 60 and older work much more slowly than college students. Although the students plow through the texts at a consistent speed regardless of what the out-of-place words mean, older people slow down even more when the words are related to the topic at hand. That indicates that they are not just stumbling over the extra information, but are taking it in and processing it.

Podcast for Christopher Fuller @ VizThink

Using Design Visuals To Communicate Ideas: A Podcast from Vizthink '08 by Jeff Parks

In late January I had the pleasure of attending the VizThink conference in San Francisco. As an Information Architect I wanted to learn how to use different ideas around design to assist me with “big IA” and “little IA” projects. The folks kind enough to join me in this conversation include: