Putting Your Favorite Mobile Device Under the (Literal) Microscope

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ipad_375x.jpg

A tech blogger was messing around with a USB microscope when he turned it on his mobile devices. The results are oddly beautiful. What you see above is the iPad's display at 375x magnification. Paul Biba at Teleread did a nice follow-up, too, giving the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 the extreme close-up treatment.


While playing a bit more with it, I held it up to my computer screen and my Nexus One screen and could clearly see the pixels. Neat. Then I wondered what the Kindle's screen looks like close up. Quite different! I then compared the Kindle's screen at roughly 26x and 400x with the iPad's screen at approximately the same resolution.

Read the full story at BIT-101.

Robin Sloan has a really nice gloss on the allure of these images at Snarkmarket, too.

I find the Kindle's star­tling resem­blance to real ink on real paper really appeal­ing, and it makes me want to get my Kin­dle out again. I've been all-iPad for awhile now, but under the micro­scope, it's revealed for what it is: a very, very clever imposter...

I'm also quite moved--no exaggeration--by the images of real ink at 400X mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. Ah, right: it's tree-parts down there. It's a sticky black sub­stance slathered across the fis­sures of a flat­tened web of fiber. It's stuff. The words are the soul; the book is the body.



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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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