Thursday, May 27, 2010

Acer's eReader scans any book to find the digital version

Acer's new eReader - Lumiread - has a very neat feature: It can scan ISBN numbers of bookshelf books and search for the digital equivalent.

An excellent article on the subject over at Fast Company.

WiwkiReader - Wikipedia in your pocket

This is old news that I somehow missed. WikiReader puts over 3 million topics in your pocket available anytime, anyplace because it doesn't require any internet connection at all.

WikiReader is about the size of a box of Altoids. Navigation is simple - there are only three buttons and a touch screen. You can search, browse or just request a randon topic for fun. It is powered by 2 standard AAA batteries and can be updated by simply copying the most recent update to its built-in SD memory card. Pretty cool

iPad + Velcro: Brilliant!!

iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

A beautiful collection of home libraries

More at this link.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BookMooch: Exchange your old books for new ones!

BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books. The service lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want. Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you've read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish. You can request books from other countries, in other languages. Very interesting and seemingly needed service!

Today's infographic: The ingredients of a "Hot Pocket"

Click to enlarge
From BoingBoing

Martin Gardner is dead

I just found out that Martin Gardner died last Saturday. What a loss. His monthly "Mathematical Games" article which ran in Scientific American from 1956 to 1981 was something I looked forward to each month. Though Martin was not a mathematician himself, his lucid explanation of puzzles and other mathematical phenomena seduced a generation of youngsters into the field. He will be missed.

The IPad Revolution

Sue Halpern wrote an article, The IPad Revolution, in the most recent edition of The New York Review of Books, in which she discusses and compares the Nook, Kindle and IPad as reading devices. While rather critical of Apple in both style, e.g. she says the IPad is "revolutionary" within quotes, and content, her article is very honest and factual in its presentation.
She does recognize some of the hooks of the IPad as a reading device, including the sound of the pages turning as one reads, but also extols the idea of the dedicated reading device, such as Kindle and Nook, as preferable to the serious reader who doesn't want to get distracted with the urge to check e-mail, etc.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Everything you need to know about fast food: Infographic

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food
Via: Online Schools

Mark Twain's autobiography to be released after the requested 100 year wait

One of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published. Twain left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century.

Why Twain wanted the first-hand account of his life kept under wraps for so long is the subject of much scholarly debate. Some believe it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Others argue that the time lag prevented him from having to worry about offending friends. Whatever the reason, I can't wait as I am an avid Twain fan.

Read the entire article over at The Independent

Infographic: Friends, Lovers and Family

"Everyone who was anyone knew everybody who was anybody."

Click to enlarge

Found at Lapham's Quarterly via Coudal Partners

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Editions Bookstore

The Library Journal has a good new article, Google Editions, Bookstore in the Cloud, will Go Live By July, which covers the exciting flux of recent e-book developments. Google's new bookstore, coming out this Summer, promises to shake up the e-book world even more.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pew Research on The Millenials

The Pew Research Center has released a study of "Millenials" - people who are currently aged 18-29 in America. The study finds them "confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change."

Below are a couple of images from the report. Much more at the link.

Infographic - Facebook's Labyrinth of Security Settings

Click to enlarge

Found at The New York Times - more at the link.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gravity wells, humorously and graphically explained

Fun cartoon explains the gravity wells in our solar system created by various orbiting bodies. Humorously and accurately explains a complicated bit of physics in one simple cartoon strip.

"You could escape Diemos with a bike and a ramp"

The future of reading.

An interesting little article on the future of reading and the impact of the iPad:

Thanks Alicia.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Free Library - 19,000,000+ articles and books

Since 2003, The Free Library has offered free, full-text versions of classic literary works from hundreds of celebrated authors, whose biographies, images, and famous quotations can also be found on the site. Recently, The Free Library has been expanded to include a massive collection of periodicals from hundreds of leading publications covering Business and Industry, Communications, Entertainment, Health, Humanities, Law, Government, Politics, Recreation and Leisure, Science and Technology, and Social Sciences. This collection includes more than 19 million articles and books dating back to 1984 as well as newly-published articles that are added to the site daily.

100+ Amazing Google Tricks

Eternal Code has posted an amazing collection of Google tricks and hacks that will make your research and classwork go so much easier!!

From the site:
"With classes, homework, and projects–not to mention your social life–time is truly at a premium for you, so why not latch onto the wide world that Google has to offer? From super-effective search tricks to Google hacks specifically for education to tricks and tips for using Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar, these tricks will surely save you some precious time."

Monday, May 10, 2010

40 sources for more free books online

The following websites offer free unabridged books online. Book options include fiction, nonfiction, verse, classic works and reference books.

  • Bartleby - Bartleby has one of the best collections of literature, verse and reference books that can be accessed online for no charge.

  • Biblomania - A great collection of classic texts, reference books, articles and study guides.

  • Books-On-Line - A directory of more than 50,000 (mostly free) books that are posted on the Internet. Browse by author, subject or keyword.

  • Bookstacks - This site has nearly 100 free books from 36 different authors. The books can be read online or downloaded as a PDF.

  • - Read thousands of classic books and other ebooks online or transfer files to your computer. Special topics include music, games, cooking, science and travel.

  • Classic Book Library - A free online library containing historical fiction, romance, mysteries, science fiction and children's literature.

  • Classic Bookshelf - Electronic library of classic books with a special Java eBook reading program for easy viewing.

  • Classic Reader - An expanding collection of classic fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children's stories and plays--more than 4,000 works by hundreds of authors.

  • Ebook Lobby - Hundreds of free ebooks in categories that range from business and art to computing and education.

  • EtextCenter - More than 2,000 free ebooks from the University of Virginia Library's Etext Center. Books include classic fiction, children's literature, historical texts and bibles.

  • Fiction eBooks Online - Hundreds of plays, poems, short stories, picture books and classic novels.

  • Fiction Wise - Free works of fiction from the top independent ebook seller in the world.

  • Full Books - Thousands of full-text books sorted by title--both fiction and nonfiction.

  • Get Free Books - Thousands of free books on nearly every topic imaginable. All books are available for instant download.

  • Great Literature Online - Free, HTML formatted e-text from A links page for each author makes this site a great resource for college students.

  • Hans Christian Andersen - A wonderful collection of stories and fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen (translated into English.)

  • Internet Public Library - Online collection with more than 20,000 titles.

  • Literature of the Fantastic - Small collection of science fiction and fantasy books with links to discussions.

  • Literature Project - Free library of classic books, poems, speeches and plays with optional speech-to-text software.

  • Magic Keys - Free illustrated children's stories for people of all ages.

  • Many Books - More than 20,000 free ebooks for your ebook reader, PDA or iPod.

  • Master Texts - Database of free, full-text literary masterpieces searchable by title, subject and author.

  • Open Book Project This site, geared towards the educational community, provides free textbooks and other educational materials online.

  • Page By Page Books - Hundreds of classic books that can be read in the Page By Page e-Library.

  • Project Gutenberg - More than 25,000 free books are available from Project Gutenberg. An additional 100,000 titles are accessible through Project Gutenberg's partners and affiliates.

  • Public Literature - A huge collection of fine literature that showcases classic authors and modern works from around the world.

  • Read Print - Free online library with thousands of books, poems and plays for students and teachers.

  • Ref Desk - Tons of free encyclopedias and other reference books from the best reference site on the web.

  • The Online Books Page - A listing of over 30,000 free books on the web from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • The Perseus Digital Library - An evolving digital library from Tufts University that features texts from the classical and Renaissance world.

Found at The Education Portal

Google DocTranslator translates Office docs into 50 languages and preserves formatting.

DocTranslator accepts Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in both the standard formats and the 2007 variations (.docx, .xlsx, etc.), along with text documents. After picking your file, DocTranslator guesses at the language, then offers more than 50 languages to translate the document to. The languages and services come from Google Translate, so the offerings are likely to grow in the future. That's about all there is to the app—no file size limits, no sign-up or download needed.

Excellent large collection of American automobile brochures

Hans Tore Tangerud has published an extensive collection of American car brochures. Going back to the turn of the century, the collection is browsable by manufacturer and year. Fun!

Goodreads - a social site for booklovers

Goodreads is a free website for book lovers. Imagine it as a large library that you can wander through and see everyone's bookshelves, their reviews, and their ratings. You can also post your own reviews and catalog what you have read, are currently reading, and plan to read in the future.

With more than 3,200,000 members who have added more than 94,000,000 books to their shelves, Goodreads is a place for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike. Goodreads members recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they've read and would like to read, form book clubs and much more.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

1000s of free eBooks

Fullbooks offers literally thousands of free on-line eBooks. It seems to be all public domain and the site is not searchable. Still, a good resource....I found several things I had not before seen.

Academic Earth - free online courses from only the best institutions

Offering on-line lectures on a very wide variety of subjects from Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, the London School of Economics, Michigan, MIT, Northeastern, NYU, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA, UMass and Yale, Academic Earth has built a user-friendly educational ecosystem that will give internet users around the world the ability to easily find, interact with, and learn from full video courses and lectures from the world’s leading scholars.

There are even on-line degree programs from many of the institutions including Harvard, UMass and the London School of Economics. Their Playlists section offers a variety of thematic lecture series on subjects as diverse as music, finance and ethics.

Brontë Sisters Power Dolls

Offered just for some fun:

Thanks to Coudal Partners for the link.

Google Maps - cooler than ever

This article on Like Hacker is called Top 10 Things You Didn't Know Google Maps Could Do. It's wonderful. I knew some of them, but still learned many new things. It's worth a look. The "show you are here" marker and "directions via SMS" are my favorites.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Google to sell eBooks starting this summer

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google will begin in early summer to offer "Google Editions" of books discovered through its book-search service. It will also allow book retailers to sell Google Editions on their own sites, taking the bulk of the revenue. Google has yet to release details about pricing and which publishers are expected to participate.

Chris Palma, Google's manager for strategic-partner development, announced the timetable at a panel on Google's plans sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group in New York. The event, held at Random House's Manhattan offices, was entitled: "The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud?"

The move pits Google against Inc., Apple Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. who have already entered the eBook market in a big way.

Need to Meet: Exchange-like scheduling without Exchange is a simple tool that helps you effortlessly find a time to meet. The service is obviously web-based so you can schedule meeting times with anyone or any group as long as they have access to the web.

The design principle used in creating this service is simplicity. Meetings can be created in just two simple steps. There is no need to register for an account or provide any information not pertinent to the task.

Its unique calendar interface allows you to select meeting times in an intuitive and user-friendly manner and to see at a glance which times work best for your group.

So go ahead - schedule that meeting, organize that event, book that trip, or set up that conference - all with the convenience of a few clicks and an easy to use and uncluttered interface.

Great iPhone app - Top 100 songs each year since 1947

Bing has published an iPhone/Touch application that is so cool I felt it needed to be posted here. Pick any year from 1947 through 2009 and the app will play tunes from that year's playlist. The tunes seem to pop up in no particular order, but you can skip to the next song at any time. There are also annoying "get Bing" ads that pop up much too often, but rediscovering long forgotten gems makes it worth it.

The app is free for a limited time and will soon be offered for $1.99 (minus the ads I hope).

You can snag it here.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Infographic

Image by T. Farrant and used under a Creative Commons license. Click to enlarge.

WiFi - enabled televisions

According to a recent study by In-Stat WiFi enabled televisions are about to explode onto the market. Last year, fewer than 5 million TV sets shipped in the US had Wi-Fi connectivity features. That number is set to grow to over 60 million units in the next 4 years, according to the report.

TVs will account for only a part of the Wi-Fi device market. By 2013, there will be more than 3 billion devices with Wi-Fi connectivity, says the report.

Laptops and desktop computers now have Wi-Fi as a standard feature, and "that same consumer desire is now resulting in Wi-Fi adoption across the entire range of connected consumer electronics," said In-Stat VP of research Frank Dickson.

The newest digital TVs can stream Youtube videos, connect with Facebook, and access a Netflix account without the need for any additional hardware. That connectivity is resonating with consumers who want the same connectivity in their home entertainment devices that they enjoy in their laptops, desktops and smart-phones.

Fortune Magazine Covers from 1956 to 2009

Nicely done by Linda Rube

Found at Coudal Partners

Movie Trailers from Hell

From the site:
Trailers -- you know -- those fast-paced 2-to-4 minute theatrical promo shorts that have preceded the Feature Attraction since the dawn of sound? An exciting montage of all The Best Parts of a movie the exhibitors want you to NEED to see! Full of swirling letters screaming hyperbolic promises of THRILLS! ACTION! MYSTERY! ROMANCE! Packing all the highlights of a whole picture into its own mini-movie in just a few minutes!

TRAILERS FROM HELL is the brainchild of film director Joe Dante, new media entrepreneur Jonas Hudson, graphic artist Charlie Largent and producer Elizabeth Stanley. The series was born out of their mutual love of classic films of all types, but particularly horror and exploitation films.

TFH is the premier showcase for a breathtakingly eclectic assortment of trailers from classic era films both in their original form and punctuated with informative and amusing commentary by contemporary filmmakers. This content is syndicated across web and mobile partners including AOL Video, AT&T, Sprint, You Tube, Babelgum, Shorts TV, Yahoo and on cable television, as well as on the net at Fireworks International, a division of ContentFilm, serves as TFH's international sales agent.