“Later this summer, Google plans to introduce its long-awaited push into electronic books, called Google Editions. The company has revealed little about the venture thus far, describing it generally as an effort to sell digital books that will be readable within a Web browser and accessible from any Internet-connected computing device.”—Small Stores See Google as Ally in E-Book Market - NYTimes.com
“It seems to me that there are now more blades in your local Boots than there are at a gang fight in a US Federal Prison. I usually use a Gillette Mach 3, which I grudgingly purchased when people stopped selling refills for my old reliable two-blade from 1996. Why I would need a piece of high-tech blade engineering with multiple straight edges to do something which my less intelligent ancestors managed perfectly well with a wobbly iron knife is beyond me. On the other hand, my less intelligent ancestors also believed that pregnant women caused earthquakes and that eating with your left hand turned you into a werewolf, so fuck them. Rock on, technology.”—Please, Mr Wilkinson, on my knees, Mr Wilkinson… | Nick Harkaway
“AskAway, the province‐wide virtual reference service, will close for public library patrons on June 30, 2010 at 5 p.m. Public library service was funded by the B.C. Ministry of Education, and this funding ended on March 31, 2010. Public libraries have been able to continue the service until June with existing funds by making staffing adjustments and reducing service hours.”—
“Starting Tuesday, a group of libraries led by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library, are joining forces to create a one-stop website for checking out e-books, including access to more than a million scanned public domain books and a catalog of thousands of contemporary e-book titles available at many public libraries.”—Geoffrey A. Fowler - Libraries Have a Novel Idea - Wall Street Journal
“Today, in acknowledgment of Library Advocacy Day, Sony revealed its new Reader Library Program. The program aims to support the expansion of public libraries into eBooks and will be available to all public libraries with a growing eBooks collection.”—HuffPost: Sony Launches Reader Library Program
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a new report, “Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025,” to prompt academic librarians to consider what trends may impact the future of higher education in order to take strategic action now.
“Barnes & Noble has cleaned up and improved the Nook, which now has a range of nifty features to counter Amazon’s aggressiveness on e-book prices and the brand power of the Kindle. Barnes & Noble allows Nook owners to read entire e-books within stores, lend e-books to friends for up to two weeks and now, with yet another software upgrade, Nook owners have free access to AT&T’s nationwide Wi-Fi network.”—
Those are some nifty features, especially being able to “lend” your ebooks…
Television emerged just as people had more free time—cognitive energy they didn’t know what to do with, he says—and so people watched. And watched. And watched.
"Desperate Housewives basically functions as a kind of cognitive heat sink, dissipating thinking that might otherwise have built up and caused society to overheat," he argued in the talk, getting a hearty laugh from the audience of assorted geeks and business leaders.
But aren’t heatsinks necessary, to some extent? Even this one?
“For the last three years, I.B.M. scientists have been developing what they expect will be the world’s most advanced “question answering” machine, able to understand a question posed in everyday human elocution — “natural language,” as computer scientists call it — and respond with a precise, factual answer. In other words, it must do more than what search engines like Google and Bing do, which is merely point to a document where you might find the answer. It has to pluck out the correct answer itself. Technologists have long regarded this sort of artificial intelligence as a holy grail, because it would allow machines to converse more naturally with people, letting us ask questions instead of typing keywords. Software firms and university scientists have produced question-answering systems for years, but these have mostly been limited to simply phrased questions. Nobody ever tackled “Jeopardy!” because experts assumed that even for the latest artificial intelligence, the game was simply too hard: the clues are too puzzling and allusive, and the breadth of trivia is too wide.”—
This is crazy, and could change the reference and information landscape in the coming years.
“On the negative side, there is the wedding night, during which the bride must pay the piper, so to speak, by facing for the first time the terrible experience of sex. At this point, dear reader, let me concede one shocking truth. Some young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure! Beware such an attitude! A selfish and sensual husband can easily take advantage of such a bride. One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.”—Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride