Freedom of Speech

Free speech? Speech is NEVER free. There is always a cost involved in any communication, from the careful consideration of what to say or the effort to listen to understand – to the careless, thoughtless comment and the effort to not be overloaded with information every day. Never mind causing offence, that it easy, even in a freely liberal western society. Just attach a few labels to whom you are talking to and it’s easy to insult people and take away from the value of what you are saying, to that audience, while at the same time adding value to a group who does not like that audience like so much political entertainment comedy in America at the moment, such as John Stewart and Bill Maher or Bill O-Reily which purely preach to their choirs. When speech is designed to inflame; simply to insult out of anger or ignorance to further promote discord, the cost is simply different from when speech is thoughtfully designed to connect, inform and create harmony. Let’s stop talking about censorship, let’s start talking about how we want to invest in our speech to make it more effective communication rather than barriers and attacks. After all communication is about brining minds together, not further apart, right?

Author iOS submitted to Apple.

A word about Liquid | Author iOS, which as submitted to Apple for review for the App Store yesterday. Author was not designed to be a traditional word processor. There is very little in the way of page layout, you cannot even change fonts. Author is designed to help you convey meaning, not mess with fonts and layout. It attempts to do this with a better reading and writing experience and with the way you can assign Tags. Author was designed for iOS from the ground up. There is hardly anything by the way of visible interfaces. You can even tap and hold on the top and bottom bars to hide them. If you use a bluetooth keyboard your page is entirely your text and nothing else. Much of the interaction is through the iOS pop-up menu when you select text or keyboard shortcuts if you use a bluetooth keyboard. Author let’s you read your own documents like an eBook; you can tap on the sides to advance, you can even tap on words to search and look up references, with results right inside Author. When you swipe to scroll you won’t even have broken lines at the top of the screen since Author works to keep your text looking good and looking good at whatever size you prefer – pinch to scale your text from tiny text for editing to large text for presentation. You can tap on any heading and you get the Table of Contents which you can tap on to move to any section. Pinch to change the levels of headings visible. To assign a heading simply tap on the page to go into Edit Mode, then select the text you want to be a heading and choose Tag/Heading and choose the level you want. This tagging is also how you assign other meaning to your text, such as emphasis and so on. You can of course link your text but you also have the option to assign citations to your text; select text, choose Tag/Citation and here you can add relevant information about your citation. If you use the built-in browser for research and come across a page you want to cite, select the text you want to cite and choose ‘Copy As Citation’. You can now paste the text in your document and the citation dialog will automatically open, with Web Address and Title automatically added. When you Cut in Author, Author remembers. Choose Cuttings from the pop-up menu to see a list of all the text you have cut but not pasted. When you are done working you can either copy your text to another application or do the low-priced in-app upgrade to Share your documents, as PDF or RTF, complete with a Bibliography for your citations. Anyway, just a few ‘tasting notes’ :-)