Bibliofuture's blog

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

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
http://www.thebookcalendar.com/Mar12.html

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.

See: http://nonstopbooks.blogspot.com/2009/02/bezos-on-daily-show.html

Quote

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.

http://www.pe.com/localnews/corona/stories/PE_News_Local_W_wwedding07.49968b1.html

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
http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2009/02/02/daily57.html

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.

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/01/19/pm_expectations_q/

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 http://www.thebookcalendar.com

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.

Koyaanisqatsi

MGM put the entire movie Koyaanisqatsi on YouTube. Because it is an official upload the quality is good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sps6C9u7ras

Los Angeles' LED Billboards Draw Opposition

Story on NPR:
Hundreds of Los Angeles' 11,000 billboards are going digital — lighting up neighborhoods with flashing LED ads selling Coke, sitcoms and designer clothing. Some are, however, complaining about light pollution. Now the City Council is considering the billboards' environmental impact. Listen to full piece here.

Some articles to consider when debating the banning of billboards:

Menthe, D. Writing on the Wall: The Impending Demise of Modern Sign Regulation Under the First Amendment and State Constitutions. George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal v. 18 no. 1 (Fall 2007) p. 1-50

Burnett, D., student author Judging the Aesthetics of Billboards. The Journal of Law & Politics v. 23 no. 2 (Spring 2007) p. 171-231

Calo, M. R., Scylla or Charybdis: Navigating the Jurisprudence of Visual Clutter. Michigan Law Review v. 103 no. 7 (June 2005) p. 1877-98

Thirteen Books that Shaped America

On Nov.11 the book Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America is being released. More information here:
http://nonstopbooks.blogspot.com/2008/11/thirteen-books-that-shaped-america.html

GOP Viewpoint: We Got The Thumping We Deserve

Opinion piece on NPR:

Barack Obama's smashing triumph is a victory for the idea that Not Being a Republican is a grand and glorious thing.

That's not to take anything away from the magnitude of his win or the excellence of his campaign, with its distinctly Reaganesque panache. I mean, I am a Republican, and I've had it with my side, who got the thumping we deserve. And all credit to the president-elect for magnanimously reaching out to us bruised and battered conservatives in his victory address, quoting Abraham Lincoln's hauntingly beautiful line, "We are not enemies, but friends." Yep, he's my president too. And I'm fine with that.

Full piece here.

Additional excerpt from piece: Think about it: the most left-wing presidential candidate since George McGovern ran on tax cuts! Yes, he was against the war, but he did not campaign on taking U.S. foreign policy in a dramatic new direction

Yes we can!!!!!

Yes we can!!! I have heard this somewhere before but I can't remember where.

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