Bibliofuture's blog

Confessions of an Alien Hunter

April 30 book on

Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Includes video interview with author Seth Shostak.

Seth Shostak is a scientist, author, and frequent commentator on TV and radio. He writes a monthly column on, and often lectures on his work at SETI. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

TheBookCalendar / Twitter has added Twitter as another way to find out the book of the day. There is a link to Twitter on the bottom of their page.

Macs Aren’t Safer, Just a Smaller Target

Researchers found 26 vulnerabilities in OSX in 2008, about the same as in Windows Vista (27), according to security software maker Symantec. If its market share rises enough, the Mac will become a target and attacks will succeed.

Full story here

Tweaking the Cable Model, to Avoid Newspapers’ Fate

Story in the New York Times

Ever since the rise of Napster, discussions among movie and television executives have included a vow not to let happen to Hollywood what happened to the music industry. After spending a few days last week at the Cable Show in Washington, I’m starting to hear a new worst-case scenario: that Hollywood goes the way of newspapers.

“The biggest risk is so much stuff gets on the Internet for free that we turn into the newspaper business,” Stephen B. Burke, Comcast’s chief operating officer, said in an interview last week.

Ironically, this new fear results from the partial success of Hollywood’s attempt to fight piracy. Sure, like the music labels, studios sue file traders and push for draconian copyright laws. But what is really making a difference is that they are making a good chunk of their content available digitally through services like iTunes and Hulu. This gives the early adopters an alternative to stealing shows, and it gives the studios a promise of profit from digital distribution.

Full article here.

Light and Cheap, Netbooks Are Poised to Reshape PC Industry

Get ready for the next stage in the personal computer revolution: ultrathin and dirt cheap.

But this revolution is not just about falling prices. Personal computers — and the companies that make their crucial components — are about to go through their biggest upheaval since the rise of the laptop. By the end of the year, consumers are likely to see laptops the size of thin paperback books that can run all day on a single charge and are equipped with touch screens or slide-out keyboards.

Full article in the NYT

Improved E-Mail Service From a Dedicated Device

When the Peek e-mail device was released last summer, no one thought it would succeed. The hand-held e-mail-only device charged a flat rate of $20 a month and is now selling quite briskly.

Full article in the NYT

Peek Pronto Mobile Messaging Device (Grey)

Old-School Keyboard Makes Comeback Of Sorts

Almost all keyboards made since the early 1990s are, frankly, no good. A tiny group of writers and hackers know better. They use vintage IBM keyboards. Ugly, built like tanks, and, most importantly, with a spring under each key, and which clicks when you press it.

Full story at NPR


Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge

Includes video of talk by author, Cass Sunstein.

Seinfeld - The Complete Series

If your library was thinking of buying Seinfeld - The Complete Series now is the time. The complete series is going for $99.

Bezos on "The Daily Show"

Jeff Bezos was on "The Daily Show" discussing the Kindle 2. Piece has several good laughs in it.



A friend of mine who is a librarian has the following line in the signature to her email. I really like the quote.

I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

-- Thomas Carlyle

Wikipedia entry about Carlyle.

Amazon Kindle: A Road Warrior's Best Friend

In the vein of Every Executive Should Have a Kindle comes this PC World article: Amazon Kindle: A Road Warrior's Best Friend

Library to host wedding expo

In an effort to change with the times, public libraries have become places where you can sip a latte, search for a job or see an art exhibit.

Next week, Corona's library will be transformed into a marketplace for the marriage-minded.

The library's first-ever wedding expo Thursday will unite 40 vendors of wedding cakes, catering, clothes and coiffures, with potential customers and the curious public.

Grant may propel Library borrowing

In the next few years, library patrons may be able to walk right past the check-out desk with their borrowed materials, with books and CDs checking themselves out as the patron walks through an electronic gate.

That’s the vision for a new radio frequency identification program underway at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System, which received a vote of approval from the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority Feb. 4 in the form of a $1.7 million efficiency grant.

Story in the Buffalo BusinessFirst

Did Rap, Crack or TV Kill Reading?

Opinion piece in the Washington Post

Book mentioned in opinion piece: Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap

E-books and the cuddle myth

Story at Teleread

The Teleread story is a link to a LISNEWS story but the comments at Teleread I find interesting.

Obama must manage big expectations

Many people have high hopes that President-elect Obama will be able to fix our nation's biggest problems. Bob Moon speaks with behavioral economist Dan Ariely about how to manage those expectations.

Seeing Beyond Sight: Photographs by Blind Teenagers

Seeing Beyond Sight: Photographs by Blind Teenagers is the book selection for January 9 at The Book Calendar

Netflix "Watch Instantly" quality

Netflix has a section called "Watch Instantly" where you can watch movies on your laptop or PC. The movies are a real mixed bag. There are numerous dregs but there are some real gems in there. I will sit on the couch and watch a movie on my laptop from the "Watch Instantly" selection. Over the past week I have noticed that the display quality of the movies has really gone down. I thought something was wrong with my eyes for a little while because some of the scenes seemed blurry. But I was noticing that movies were loading much quicker so I had a suspicion that Netflix was removing quality to make the files smaller so that they would transfer quicker.

Today my suspicion was confirmed. They sent me a survey email that asked:

Survey: How Was the Picture and Audio Quality?

You recently watched The Bridge at Remagen. To help us ensure a great experience for all members, would you take a moment to tell us about the picture and audio quality?

The quality was very good

The quality was acceptable

The quality was unacceptable

Thanks for your help!

-Your friends at Netflix

This email confirmed for me that they are playing with the quality. I responded to the survey by saying that quality was unacceptable. Just wanted to point this out in case anyone else was experiencing the same thing.


MGM put the entire movie Koyaanisqatsi on YouTube. Because it is an official upload the quality is good.

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