The Manga Man Premiere – Winksite teams up with Sci-Fi Author Alexander Besher In Meta-Multimedia First

QR Code T-shirt platform to feature physical hyperlink to Besher’s new novel published direct to mobile “Manga Man,” original music soundtrack, book trailer, short film, .mp4 anthology of Japanese avant-garde Butoh dance performances, plus audio book and graphic novel excerpts.

New York, NY, October 18, 2008 — Winksite, a leading mobile content management and social networking software company whose solutions connect publishers to their audiences and audience members to each other, announced plans to team up with novelist Alexander Besher, Philip K. Dick Award nominated author, to launch direct to mobile “The Manga Man,” the San Francisco-based journalist, author, and futurist’s first novel since his celebrated “Rim Trilogy” (“Rim,” “Mir,” and “Chi;” HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster). Debut date is October 31st at http://www.mangaman.mobi.

Besher’s tome is a 600-page alternative fantasy noir epic that’s set in the mid-21st century when the speed of media has overtaken the speed of light. The story features a half-digital, half-human “post-Zen” Butoh dancer-assassin whose mission is “to stop the warlords who plan to clone the universe.”

Dave Harper, Founder & CEO of Winksite, says “Working with Besher and his creative team is a natural fit for us. In the past, we’ve collaborated with a wide group of writers and progressive thinkers including Stanford law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig who inspired us to launch the Creative Commons Library, sci-fi author Cory Doctorow, horror meister David Wellington, and Internet ‘Smart Mobs’ guru Howard Rheingold. Besher’s futuristic vision strikes us as being not only timely but timeless.”

Besher’s multimedia ‘Manga Man’ is the first work of literature in history to appear on a QR/2D-coded T-shirt designed by the prize-winning Italian graphic novel artist Daniele Serra.

For his part, Besher is equally thrilled to be working with Winksite. “I’m convinced that the media platform of the future lies in mobile phone technology. It’s a market that’s growing by leaps and bounds. Just witness the advances represented by Apple’s iPhone and companies like Nokia which is bringing out its multimedia monster, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone. Not to mention the first handheld projectors that are due out this year, and the advent of A4-size screens. I can only say that we’ve truly entered the post-Gutenberg, post-McLuhan age. Our credo is ‘You are the Media.’”

“Dave Harper is that rare breed of visionary and entrepreneur,” Besher declares. “We chose to go with Winksite over other proprietary QR-code gatekeepers and mobile platform sites because Dave is open source and his hands-on passion for pushing the envelope on mobile content knocked me out. He’s been an invaluable partner in helping us bring our vision to life.”

“I also deeply relate to Winksite’s motto: ‘One World. No Borders. 3 Billion Connected People,’” Besher says. “That’s what all my novels have been about—erasing the interface between the human body and the outside world. I hope that everyone will wear my book. We can all meet on the dust jacket on the other side of the Milky Way.”

Advance praise for “The Manga Man”:

“A hidden SF master.”

Rudy Rucker, Philip K. Dick Award winning author of Postsingular, Spaceland, and The Ware Tetralogy (great-grandson of Hegel)

“Pure Superfuture cooked down in sf’s last mad scientist’s lab. Enough ideas for thirty other books blistered down into a sharp little drug that’ll reengineer the front of your head. You want a hit of this. Trust me.”

Warren Ellis, author of the Transmetropolitan and Global Frequency series of graphic novels

“Fascinating! Great!”

China Miéville, author of Iron Council and Perdido Street Station, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Fantasy Award

“This book would make Philip K. Dick delirious with joy. Nobody else in science fiction has ever pushed the envelope this hard—or with better success.”

Spider Robinson, best selling novelist and Robert A. Heinlein Estate-appointed completer of sequels to Heinlein’s novels.

THE MANGA MAN PREMIERE (INVITE TO AN EVENT)

Butoh Without Borders Multimedia party and launch for Alexander Besher’s QR Code sentient T-shirt novel THE MANGA MAN this Halloween. All proceeds to benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Date: October 31, 2008
Time: 6 – 9pm
Location: UPDATED: Arte Movimiento SUB Mission, 2183 Mission at 18th Street, San Francisco

About Alexander Besher
Born in China, raised and educated in Japan, Alexander Besher is a San Francisco-based author, journalist and novelist. He is the author of “The Pacific Rim Almanac” (HarperCollins, ’91), and the “Rim” trilogy of futuristic thrillers including the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated “Rim” (HarperCollins ’94; HarperPrism, ’95); “Mir,” and “Chi” (Simon & Schuster, ’98 and ’99). He served as editor of the Chicago Review literary quarterly at the University of Chicago , was contributing editor to InfoWorld magazine, and wrote “Pacific Rim” (Chronicle Features), an internationally syndicated weekly column covering business, technological and social trends in the Asia-Pacific region. His forthcoming novel “The Manga Man” is the first title in his new “Dance of Darkness” trilogy of alternative noir fantasy novels. His novels have been translated into over a dozen languages and film-optioned. Recently, he has been writing screenplays and television scripts.

About Winksite
Winksite is a leading mobile content management and social networking software company whose solutions connect publishers to their audiences and audience members to each other. For more information visit winksite.com

Winksite in the NYT: Software Out There. The Internet is entering its Lego era.

Woke up this morning to discover this in the New York Times.
(Contained in it’s entirety below for our mobile readers.)

Published April 05. 2006 6:01AM

 

SOFTWARE OUT THERE

 

By JOHN MARKOFF
New York Times

 

THE Internet is entering its Lego era.

 

Indeed, blocks of interchangeable software components are proliferating on the Web and developers are joining them together to create a potentially infinite array of useful new programs. This new software represents a marked departure from the inflexible, at times unwieldy, programs of the past, which were designed to run on individual computers.

 

As a result, computer industry innovation is rapidly becoming decentralized. In the place of large, intricate and self-contained programs like Microsoft Word, written and maintained by armies of programmers, smaller companies, with just a handful of developers, are now producing pioneering software and Web-based services. These new services can be delivered directly to PC’s or even to cellphones. Bigger companies are taking note.

 

For example, Google last month bought Writely, a Web-based word-processing program created by three Silicon Valley programmers. Eric Schmidt, the Google chief executive, said that Google did not buy the program to compete against Microsoft Word. Rather, he said, it viewed Writely as a key component in hundreds of products it is now developing.

 

These days, there are inexpensive or free software components speeding the process. Amazon recently introduced an online storage service called S3, which offers data storage for a monthly fee of 15 cents a gigabyte. That frees a programmer building a new application or service on the Internet from having to create a potentially costly data storage system.

 

Google now offers eight programmable components elements that other programmers can turn into new Web services including Web search, maps, chat and advertising. Yahoo offers a competing lineup of programmable services, including financial information and photo storage. Microsoft has followed quickly with its own offerings through its new Windows Live Web service.

 

Smaller companies are also beginning to share their technology with outside programmers to leverage their competitive positions. Salesforce.com, a fast-growing company that until recently simply offered a Web-based support application for sales personnel, published standards for interconnecting to its software not too long ago. That made it possible for developers inside and outside the company to add powerful abilities to its core products and create new ones from scratch.

 

One result is that sales representatives using Salesforce’s customer relationship management software to organize their workday can now make telephone calls using Skype, the popular Internet service, without leaving the Salesforce software.

 

The idea of modular software, where standard components can be easily linked together to build more elaborate systems, first emerged in Europe during the 1960’s and spread to Silicon Valley in the 70’s.

 

Despite its promise, however, modular software has generally been limited by corporate strategies that have held customers and other programmers hostage to proprietary systems.

 

Those limitations have eased almost overnight, mostly because of the open-source software movement, which promotes making information available to everyone.

 

The shift toward sharing, which in its grandest conception has been termed Web 2.0, has touched off a frenzy of software design and start-up activity not seen since the demise of the dot-com era six years ago.

 

“These tools are changing the basic core economics of software development,” said Tim Bray, director of Web technologies at Sun Microsystems and one of the designers of a powerful set of Internet conventions known as Extensible Markup Language, or XML, which make it simple and efficient to exchange digital data over the Internet.

 

By lowering the cost of software development and thus the barriers to entering both existing and new markets, modular software is putting tremendous pressure on the corporations that have dominated the software industry.

 

It is also affecting Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists. Start-ups have begun to bypass the venture capital firms, relying instead on individual investors, called “angels,” or out-of-pocket financing, largely because new ventures are not as expensive.

 

In many cases, the start-ups do not even require the traditional Silicon Valley garage. The new companies are “virtual,” and programmers work from home, relying on nothing more than a personal computer and a broadband Internet connection.

 

Early examples of the trend were tiny companies with significant ideas, like the consumer Internet software start-ups Flickr, a Web-based photo-sharing site, and Del .icio.us, which makes it possible for Web surfers to categorize and share things they find on the Internet. Both were acquired last year by Yahoo.

 

For some, the new era of lightweight, lightning-fast software design is akin to a guerrilla movement rattling the walls of stodgy corporate development organizations.

 

“They stole our revolution and now we’re stealing it back and selling it to Yahoo,” said Bruce Sterling, an author and Internet commentator.

 

Even more striking is the suggestion that a broad transformation of software development might reverse the trend of outsourcing to India, where highly skilled but low-paid programmers are plentiful.

 

“Transforming the economics of software development completely transforms the rationales for outsourcing,” Michael Schrage, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher, wrote in the current issue of CIO magazine.

 

The new economics of software development poses a fresh challenge to the dominant players in the industry. In 1995, when Microsoft realized that the Netscape Internet browser created a threat to its Windows operating system business, it responded by introducing its own free browser, Internet Explorer. By doing so, Microsoft, which already held a monopoly on desktop software, blunted Netscape’s momentum.

 

Last November, Microsoft introduced a Web services portal called Windows Live and Office Live.

 

But as the world’s largest software publisher, it still faces the delicate challenge of creating free Web services. Many of Microsoft’s standard PC applications, in the new world of on-demand software, are migrating to the Internet.

 

At the Emerging Technologies Conference, held in San Diego last month, Ray Ozzie, one of Microsoft’s three chief technical officers, showed a prototype effort that uses the Windows clipboard, which moves data among different desktop PC programs, to perform the same function for copying and transferring Web information.

 

Mr. Ozzie, who used the Firefox browser (an open-source rival to Internet Explorer) during his demonstration, said, “I’m pretty pumped up with the potential for R.S.S. to be the DNA for wiring the Web.”

 

He was referring to Really Simple Syndication, an increasingly popular, free standard used for Internet publishing. Mr. Ozzie’s statement was remarkable for a chief technical officer whose company has just spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars investing in a proprietary alternative referred to as .Net.

 

Moreover, the balance of power is shifting, Mr. Ozzie said. “For years, vendors like Microsoft have put huge resources into tools to build composite applications,” he said. “With mash-ups, the real power becomes the people who can weave the applications together.”

 

Microsoft is not the only company threatened by the simple tools of the Web 2.0 movement. Adobe Systems, which recently acquired Macromedia, publisher of the widely used Flash graphics standard, is under pressure from Ajax, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, a new development technique for creating interactive Web applications that look and function like desktop programs.

 

At the technology conference, Adobe showed a bridge between Ajax and Flash, making it possible for Ajax programmers to easily add Flash graphical abilities.

 

America Online has made a similar strategic shift by adding a set of “programmers’ hooks” to its AOL Instant Messaging service to attract independent software developers to connect to its previously proprietary messaging platform.

 

Many technologists agree that as software development moves online, the risk will be particularly intense for large software development organizations like I.B.M.’s Global Services, the consulting arm to the company, according to Mr. Bray of Sun.

 

I.B.M. is testing a faster development system based on Ajax, Web services and XML, said Rod Smith, the company’s vice president for emerging technologies.

 

“We’re testing it with customers now to see how disruptive it is,” he said.

 

Mr. Smith acknowledged that the new software development trends present challenges. “Inside I.B.M., do-it-yourself software is an oxymoron,” he said.

 

Another new idea comes from Amazon, whose Web Services group recently introduced a service called the Mechanical Turk, an homage to an 18th-century chess-playing machine that was actually governed by a hidden human chess player.

 

The idea behind the service is to find a simple way to organize and commercialize human brain power.

 

“You can see how this enables massively parallel human computing,” said Felipe Cabrera, vice president for software development at Amazon Web Services.

 

One new start-up, Casting Words, is taking advantage of the Amazon service, known as Mturk, to offer automated transcription using human transcribers for less than half the cost of typical commercial online services.

 

Mturk allows vendors to post what it calls “human intelligence tasks,” which may vary from simple transcription to identifying objects in photos.

 

Amazon takes a 10 percent commission above what a service like Casting Words pays a human transcriber. People who are willing to work as transcribers simply download audio files and then post text files when they have completed the transcription. Casting Words is currently charging 42 cents a minute for the service.

 

Other examples are also intriguing. A9, Amazon’s search engine, is using Mturk to automate a system for determining the quality of photos, using human checkers. Other companies are using the Web service as a simple mechanism to build polling systems for market research.

 

The impact of modular software will certainly accelerate as the Internet becomes more accessible from wireless handsets.

 

Scott Rafer, who was formerly the chief executive of Feedster, a Weblog search engine, has recently become chairman of Wireless Ink, a Web-based service that allows wireless users to quickly establish mobile Web sites from anywhere via Web-enabled cellphones.

 

Using modular software technologies, they have created a service called WINKsite, which makes it possible to use cellphones to chat, blog, read news and keep a personal calendar. These systems are typically used by young urban professionals who are tied together in loosely affiliated social networks. In London, where cellphone text messaging is nearly ubiquitous, they are used to organize impromptu gatherings at nightclubs.

 

Recently, Wireless Ink struck a deal with Metroblogging, a wireless blogging service, to use its technology. Metroblogging, which already has blogs in 43 cities around the world, lets bloggers quickly post first-person accounts of news events like the July 2005 London bombings.

 

“Here are two tiny start-ups in California that care about Karachi and Islamabad,” Mr. Rafer said. “It’s weird, I’ll grant you, but it is becoming increasingly common.”

Create Your Own Mobile Blog (Windows Mobile Review)

Tips for Mobile Beginners: Create Your Own Mobile Blog by Suzanne Ross | View Full Article Here

Tested on: Windows Mobile-based Smartphone

“There are several types of mobile blogging. One is simply using your Smartphone to post to your regular blog. The blog doesn't have a mobile version. Most major blog sites offer some way to post to your blog with your phone.

Another type of mobile blogging is using your camera to snap a picture, and then posting it to your mobile blog with MMS or e-mail. You can then view your pictures on a mobile version of your site. Textamerica is one popular Web host that does this. They also put car ads on the free sites. It's probably worth it to pay to have your site ad-free, but it's up to you.

There is a text only, bare bones site designed for mobile device viewing. The only company I've seen offer this is Winksite. You can bring in your favorite mobile feeds, add a forum, add a survey, add announcements, and add a chat. The developers put in a lot of functionality, but kept the user interface simple. If you have a forum on a mobile phone, you probably don't worry about color and style. However, it may discourage some from posting, as they're used to mobile sites with photos. I think Winksite would be great for poets – especially those who write Haiku.”

“…I liked the extra features of a forum and survey offered by Winksite”

Note: Thanks Suzanne.

KDDI Ready to Roll-Out Free Mobile Blog (MoBlog) Service

By Gail Nakada, 17 May 2005 | View Original Article Here

Word to the Wireless — Japan's KDDI will launch a free mobile weblog system, dubbed Duoblog, for subscribers to its 3G WIN EZ Web service on 19 May. In a first from Japan cellcos, users can access and update these mobile blogs directly from their handset or PC through the KDDI Duogate portal. Duoblog sites will be fully customizable with backgrounds (skins), emoticons, images, and applications. Maybe your humble scribes here at WWJ should sign-up and join in the fun..!?!! Overseas mobile sites like WinkSite and Hip-Top Nation (to name a few) already provide tools to create free moblogs (mobile blogs) or mobile editions of web logs that can be accessed worldwide from Web enabled cell phones, PDAs and PCs.

At press time, NTT DoCoMo spokesperson Tomoko Tsuda stated that the company has “no immediate plans” to launch a mobile blogging site. Vodafone Japan, too, is taking a wait-and-see attitude, saying they would “monitor market developments in this regard.”

The New York Times: A Library And Cinema In Your Pocket

The New York Times takes notice of Wireless Ink’s mobile publishing efforts with”A Library And Cinema In Your Pocket” – by Doreen Carvajal (Article also appeared in The International Herald Tribune on Dec, 5th. under the title, “Plot Heats Up On Cellphone As ‘Mobi-Lit’ Tests A Pulse“.)

The article describes in broad strokes the efforts of various companies (including Wireless Ink/WINKsite) pioneering the publishing of media to be consumed on mobile devices.

The folks over at MocoNews also noticed our mobile book publishing efforts commenting, “This makes a welcome change from the normal content on mobile phones, which the carriers and other content providers are trying to keep as restrictive as possible.”

Read the full articles:

  • A Library And Cinema In Your Pocket, The New York Times
  • Plot Heats Up On Cellphone As ‘Mobi-Lit’ Tests A Pulse, International Herald Tribune
  • Books To Your Mobile Via WINKsite, MocoNews.net
  • Mobile Content “Almost Like Early Television”, paidContent.org

Read more about Wireless Ink’s thoughts and efforts: