Follow us on
Connect
More on TechnologyTell: Gadget News | Apple News

Five things my mother had which I don’t
September 18, 2014 | 10:25 am

KnowledgeI'm back to school now, and as usual I spent some of my summer vacation time 'spring cleaning.' I always feel like since I am not working and the Beloved is, I need to have something to show for my day, so I clean like a fiend. And I have been busily working some family heirlooms into our home since the passing of my grandfather. It struck me, as I made my finishing touches for back-to-school, how much things have changed since my mother's time. There are products, services and routines my parents considered par for the course which people my...

Morning Roundup: Amazon releases new Kindles. Ultimate reading spreadsheet
September 18, 2014 | 9:00 am

amazonFirst impressions of the new Kindle lineup (The Kindle Chronicles) As my flight from New York approaches Denver International and the media embargo ends, I want to share impressions from today’s Amazon’s media demonstration of the new Kindles. *** Why Amazon has no profits, and why it works (Andreessen Horowitz) Amazon has a tendency to polarize people. On one hand, there is the ruthless, relentless, ferociously efficient company that’s building the Sears Roebuck of the 21st Century. But on the other, there is the fact that almost 20 years after it was launched, it has yet to report a meaningful profit. This chart captures the...

Step on up, Lovecraftians, for the S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship
September 17, 2014 | 2:25 pm

An interesting opportunity has arisen for horror, dark fiction, and Lovecraftian writers and aficionados: The S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, "for research relating to H.P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs," is being offered by Brown University. The Fellowship "was established by The Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press," and is "named for S. T. Joshi, Brown alumnus (’80, MA ’82)  and prominent Lovecraft scholar," and is designed to support a six-week research period at the John Hay Library, "home to the largest collection of H. P. Lovecraft materials in the world," with a $2,500 stipend. "Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island...

A strange little copyright story
September 17, 2014 | 12:25 pm

copyrightTechdirt has a great write-up about one of the strangest little copyright stories I've read this week. The story involves an anti-litter campaign launched in my own fair city recently, which cleverly used the letters on brand-name packages to spell out messages. From the article: "The campaign slogan was, “Littering says a lot about you.” The ads featured discarded candy boxes, plastic bottles and other packaging arranged to spell the unflattering message that littering conveys. The combinations included a bag of Lay’s potato chips and a Krazy Glue package arranged to spell “Lazy”; Reese’s Pieces and a bottle of Gatorade put together...

Styluses in the cheap seats
September 17, 2014 | 10:25 am

IMG_20140916_180514As I reported a while ago, premium brand pen manufacturers are at last catching on to the message that styluses are an increasingly popular, and stylish, commodity. Luckily for those of us not in the One Percent, though, they also seem to be improving at the bottom end of the market, with increasingly cheaper and better choices available for the normal user. I'm not getting paid anything for endorsing these, because who would do that for such cheap items? Rather, they're just stylus options that I found outclassed the opposition as anything other than status symbols. One option is the Bic...

Morning Roundup: Estate asks SCOTUS to put Holmes back under copyright. Mourning B&N?
September 17, 2014 | 9:00 am

sherlock holmesOn Mourning the Passing of Barnes & Noble (An American Editor) After this week’s news that Barnes & Noble has lost money yet again, I decided that perhaps I should begin thinking about writing B&N’s obituary. After all, I am a B&N member and I buy a lot of books from B&N and I will miss it when the last store and website is finally shuttered. *** Conan Doyle Estate Asks Supreme Court to Put Sherlock Holmes Back Under Copyright (Techdirt) Back in June the 7th Circuit appeals court ruled that Holmes was in the public domain, followed up by a more thorough slamming...

Two month with Kindle Unlimited. It rocks for readers
September 16, 2014 | 2:25 pm

kindle unlimitedMy Kindle Unlimited subscription expires tomorrow, and I'm going to let it lapse, for now. I'm not letting it lapse because I don't like it or don't think it's a great value. I'm letting it lapse because I still have eight months on my free-for-being-a-Smashwords-author Scribd subscription. Right now it doesn't make sense to pay twice for comparable services. However, if you know how much I love Scribd, you'll understand that I don't say it lightly when I note that come May of next year, however, I'll be revisiting which service I'm using. If you don't have the advantage of a...

Tablets, books and readers, oh my! Reflections on the first week of school
September 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

technology in schoolI just finished my first full week of teaching for the new school year, and it's been so interesting to watch my students react to some of the changes I have implemented this year. In no particular order, here are some points of interest from my first teaching week. 1) God Bless the Internet Like many teachers, I use the internet heavily---be it Google Images clipart to illustrate a worksheet or Google Translate to double-check my grammar when I am writing notes or instructions in French. Two websites my school seems to be particularly relying on this year: Reading A-z.com, a scubscription...

Are Books Really Like Any Other Consumer Good?
September 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

booksIn today's Morning Links, I highlighted a GigaOM writeup on the latest Authors United tomfoolery: a letter to Amazon where they assert, among other things, that while Amazon does have the perfect right to refuse to stock or carry any 'commercial good' they want, they should not exercise this right on books because books are a special snowflake and not just a regular consumer good. Their letter says this: "Amazon has every right to refuse to sell consumer goods in response to a pricing disagreement with a wholesaler. We all appreciate discounted razor blades and cheaper shoes. But books are not...

Morning Roundup: Yes, books are consumer goods. Amazon accounts hacked through Kindle books
September 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

amazonYour Amazon Account Can be Hacked Via a Kindle Book (The Digital Reader) Amazon might not have a security issue at Audible but they do have one on their main website. *** Free Samples of NBA's Young People's Literature Longlist (GalleyCat) The National Book Foundation has revealed its first ever Young People’s Literature Longlist for the National Book Award (NBA). *** HarperCollins Adds Security Layer to eBook Files (Digital Book World) The anti-piracy solution embeds unique, imperceptible and traceable digital watermarks into e-books, enabling distributors and publishers to track where their content is appearing online and identify the sources of leakage and unauthorized distribution. *** Authors United May...

The 2014 Forbes sick list – or, why shit pays
September 15, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Let's kick this off with one comment from a writer - a fairly successful and well-respected one. As H.L. Mencken said: "No one in this world, so far as I know ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." And if you needed proof, here it is: The 2014 Forbes list of the World's Top-Earning Authors. "The top-earning authors list is perhaps the world’s most exclusive book club, with very few paths to entry," writes Forbes staffer Natalie Robehmed. Oops, silly me: There was I thinking the Nobel Prize in Literature was...

Movies work their magic with cli fi
September 15, 2014 | 2:27 pm

cli fiWith films like "Noah" and "Into the Storm" and "Snowpiercer" – and "Interstellar" coming in the late fall -- Hollywood has seen the handwriting on the wall and embraced climate themes in full technicolor. Call the movies ''cli fi'' or disaster thrillers, whatever. There's more to come in the film world. But while Hollywood and studio marketing people (and online social media reporters covering new film releases) have welcomed ''cli fi'' into the fold, the book world seems to be aloof to all this and show little interest in the rise of the cli fi genre term. I am not sure why,...