Last night I couldn’t sleep–Esquire‘s new intermittently flashing E-Ink cover kept me awake. I felt as though I was in one of those 1940s B-movie noir hotel rooms with a neon sign glowing right outside my window. Framed by a black background with shiny, spot-gloss laminated rays emanating from the E-Ink panel, this is the most senseless magazine cover I’ve seen in years, all in the name of being first with new technology. Esquire has a history of innovative covers, from George Lois’ conceptual masterpieces of the 1960s to the current crop of exquisite typographic wallpapers, which are the smartest type/image covers on the newsstand today. Although this month’s 75th anniversary cover may be a first, it might also be the last. The New York Times notes: “Using admittedlyrudimentary technology that will flash ‘The 21st Century Begins Now,’ David Granger, Esquire‘s editor in chief says, ‘I hope it will be inthe Smithsonian.'” One hitch: The power for the panel only lasts 90 days. Frankly, I much prefer the old-fashioned 3D lenticular covers that precede this digital one, like the Rolling Stone cover here.