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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:12 am 
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Maru wrote:
The thing I love the best about my kindle is all of the free downloads of public domain books that I can get. This week's haul included Fanny Burney, Tacitus and the Venerable Bede. Been in nerd heaven on my sofa all weekend except for a short and ultimately embarrassing trip to the grocery store.


St. Bede!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:34 pm 
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When Tom Rob Smith's political thriller Child 44 came out to much praise in 2008, I wanted to read it, but didn't, because I have a hard time with books with child victims and here were a lot off them. Child 44 was Smith's first book and last month he came out with the third in this series, Agent 6. It's priced at $12.99 for the Kindle. I make it a general policy of not paying that kind of money for an e-book, so I put it on my wish list. I'll probably buy it, though.

I was finally going to buy Child 44 at $7.99. Meanwhile, in looking at his author page, I found this omnibus edition of the first two books for $9.99 and bought it.

I've only finished Child 44 last night, but I want to say it is a terrific novel, as a thriller and as literary fiction, and I highly recommend it.

The story is based on a Russian serial killer, who operated in the late-Stalinist era, the system closed up so tight, nobody is allowed to even admit there could be such a thing. Eventually, a security agent becomes a hunted dissident in order to catch the killer, with his wife as his partner, and the help of ordinary Russian villagers. The claustrophobic atmosphere and naked fear in the society really grabs you. My single criticism is the ending seems contrived and not all that believable, but this is a first book, so I think he can slide on that since the rest of it is fantastic.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Pluto posted a Jon Stewart video a few posts back in this thread about working conditions in computer factories in China, which should really make our stomachs turn, and there is the ongoing petition drive against Apple. I don't quite see why Apple takes the heat for the entire computer gadget industry, but they are responding, as they well should, and so should the rest.

Today at the BBC:

Quote:

Apple factories to face independent inspections

The working conditions in factories which produce Apple products are to be inspected, the computing giant has announced.

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) will audit several suppliers, including Foxconn in China, at Apple's request.

Safety at the factories has come under scrutiny after a series of fatal accidents and suicides in recent years.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said: "Workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment." ...

Apple said results of the first assessments will be published in early March.

Further inspections will take place at factories run by Quanta and Pegatron later this year. In total, the audit will cover suppliers responsible for 90% of Apple products.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Factories producing Dell products and Microsoft's Xbox deserve equal scrutiny. I think that what drew attention to Apple is the somewhat counterculture reputation that they have tried to cultivate. They are operating fully in accord with the basest instincts of the capitalist culture.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:41 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Any reader here familiar with a British author named Jonathan Coe? He wrote The Rotters Club. Turns out he has been a friend of mine's best bud since college and they even played in a spectacularly unsuccessful pop band together.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:57 am 
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I haven't read Coe's books, but a friend who spent Thanksgiving weekend with me was talking about The Closed Circle and recommended it to me. He's an architect and was sent to Birmingham last year by his firm for a couple of months. He had intended to read The Rotters' Club, actually, but a friend of ours in London gave him The Closed Circle. I've been meaning to download one of Coe's books, though I have quite a backlog just now. I just put the two on my wish list. Thanks for the reminder, Maru.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Watergate: A Novel [Kindle Edition]
Thomas Mallon (Author)

This book was released today. The LA Times has a review:

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Book review: 'Watergate'
Thomas Mallon's novel deftly paints a picture of 1970s America and adds an imaginative back story to the characters. ...

In "Watergate," Mallon adeptly converts the real into fiction. This is Mallon's eighth novel, including 1994's "Henry and Clara," about a couple that President Abraham Lincoln invited to sit in the presidential box at Ford Theater that fateful night he was assassinated, and 2007's "Fellow Travelers," about a gay romance in McCarthy-era Washington.

So Mallon has the experience, both in fictionalizing history and in plumbing the depths of Washington, where he lives. In "Watergate," he adroitly captures the banal venality of Nixon, the loyal scheming of his political intimates and the complex interactions among shadowy ex-CIA agents and others that ended in criminal acts.

Mallon also conjures up back stories for some of the characters and frames others from a more humane perspective than history has bestowed upon them. Fred LaRue, the prison-bound bagman who delivered about $300,000 to the Watergate burglars to ensure their silence, picks up a liberal girlfriend. Nixon's loyal and long-serving secretary Rosemary Woods drunkenly erases more than 18 minutes of a secret White House tape. Burglar E. Howard Hunt's world collapses around him with the Watergate exposé and the death of his wife in a plane crash. ...

Still, for the knowledgeable, Mallon renders the era, the people and the place in vivid detail. He's particularly good at imagining an internal landscape for Woods, and weaves in a romantic affair for First Lady Pat Nixon. His portrayal of Alice Longworth is brilliant, with biting quip rolling from the nonagenarian daughter of Teddy Roosevelt in a withering stream.


The author:

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Thomas Mallon (born November 2, 1951) is a novelist and critic. He was born in Glen Cove, New York. He attended Brown University as an undergraduate and earned a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He received the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in 1994 and won a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1987. Mallon taught English at Vassar College from 1979-1991. Mallon is the author of the novels Henry and Clara, Two Moons, Dewey Defeats Truman, Aurora 7, Bandbox, and most recently Fellow Travelers; as well as writing four works of nonfiction. He is a former literary editor of GQ, where he wrote the "Doubting Thomas" column for ten years, and has contributed frequently to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Scholar, and Harper's. He was appointed a member of the National Council on the Humanities in 2002 and became Director of Preservation and Access…

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:19 am 
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Download the Universe: The Science E-Book Review
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Download the Universe was born out of a conversation in January 2012. A group of writers and scientists had gathered at a meeting called Science Online to talk about the startling growth of ebooks. It was clear that ebooks were becoming an extraordinary new medium, rivalling print books in the marketplace and offering opportunities that printed books could not. We saw great things in the future of science books. There was just one thing missing: a way for readers to find out about new science books. Book reviews were showing little interest; blogs offered scant, diffuse attention. We agreed that what was needed was a science ebook review. Here it is.

Our mission is to give readers a growing guide to the world of science ebooks. We review books about science that only exist in the digital world--Download the Universe doesn't include reviews of the automatic spin-offs of print books. But we define ebooks broadly. They may be self-published pdf manuscripts. They may be Kindle Singles about science. They can even be apps that have games embedded in them. We hope that we will eventually review new kinds of ebooks that we can't even imagine yet. And we hope that you will find Download the Universe a useful doorway into that future.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:18 am 
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CNET
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So how much is a fair price to pay for an e-book?

This issue is going nuclear and a lot of people believe that charging $10 or more for the portability and convenience of an e-book is ridiculous.

Remember how much money e-readers were supposed to save book buyers? It was among the big reasons why 20 million Americans decided to take the plunge.

So why is it that consumers are still paying through the nose for e-book titles that ought to cost a fraction of the price charged for the used hardcover version?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:38 am 
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Adelante wrote:
So why is it that consumers are still paying through the nose for e-book titles that ought to cost a fraction of the price charged for the used hardcover version?

Amazon notes that the publisher has set the price of the e-book. Publishers seem to think that a high percentage of the new hardcover price is reasonable.

This is symptomatic of the decline of what I think became a rip-off industry, the publishing industry. I would not be sad to see the big book publishers go the way of the dodo. In the meantime, all sorts of alternative publishing houses are being developed. This will open a path to publication for authors whose work would not be considered by the big houses because it would not sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

What must come next is a professional review service that does not seek to sell books but instead to inform potential readers. There are some early steps towards this, but the reviewers seem not to be professional at that task. There may come a day when the NYT Book Review is almost entirely devoted to e-books, some of which will also be available in print. And Elsevier might have vanished.

I have started consolidating my collection of unsolicited copies of textbooks. The collection from the last two years now consists of two stacks of books, each three feet tall. Each of those books has added to the price to students. Above the stacks is a sign: I'll consider your textbook if you provide me and my students access to an e-book edition at a reasonable price.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Today's Ebook Friendly Kindle Deal consists of seven "Best American..." books, each for $1.99. AT $14 for the set, it could be a bargain. On the other hand, I'm not sure that I would care for most of this writing. On the other hand, Geraldine Brooks is one of the editors. On the same hand, Dave Eggers is another editor. Decisions, decisions.


So I just bought five of the seven.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:44 am 
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Similar CNET review with video and lots of screenshots.

This app will also be made available in a slightly different form for Android, Mac, PC, smartphone, and monitor/TV.

This is cloud computing. The app is basically a high-speed connection to the Onlive servers. That draws into play the security and reliability concerns that have often been expressed about cloud computing. In addition, weak wireless networks have sometimes caused Online to declare that the network is incapable of Online service. I am curious whether Online will work as well on the iPad 1 as it does on the iPad 2. For that reason, I'll try the free version before springing for the $5.00/month Online Pro version.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:32 pm 
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iPad 3 and iOS 6 spotted in Server Logs: The iPad 3 is possibly launching with a whole new iOS.
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Apple will unveil the iPad 3 on March 7. A new report by Ars Technica suggests that Apple is also already close to relese iOS 6 . This would be a major surprise. Ars Technica found artefacts in their server access logs of device running on the 2,048x,1536px resolution. In addition they also found iOS 6 in several user agent entries. If iOS 6 will be already announced next week is not that certain.

That a web site can already track iOS 6 devices is though a strong indicator that the iOS 6 release is around the corner.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:49 pm 
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TollandRCR wrote:
iPad 3 and iOS 6 spotted in Server Logs: The iPad 3 is possibly launching with a whole new iOS.
Quote:
Apple will unveil the iPad 3 on March 7. A new report by Ars Technica suggests that Apple is also already close to relese iOS 6 . This would be a major surprise. Ars Technica found artefacts in their server access logs of device running on the 2,048x,1536px resolution. In addition they also found iOS 6 in several user agent entries. If iOS 6 will be already announced next week is not that certain.

That a web site can already track iOS 6 devices is though a strong indicator that the iOS 6 release is around the corner.

Announcement, maybe. But I would be surprised if it were ready to release.

Apple developers get pre-release Betas of the new OSs, several months before they're released. That has to happen if the apps are to be tested with the new OS, and especially if the new OS has any features you'd like app developers to take a look at.

We're Apple developers, and we haven't been told anything about iOS 6 yet.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:46 am 
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NJ.com: It takes a fine-tuned recipe of events, books and eBooks to keep the doors open, say N.J.'s independent booksellers

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:51 pm 
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New York Times

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Finding Your Book Interrupted ... By the Tablet You Read It On

Can you concentrate on Flaubert when Facebook is only a swipe away, or give your true devotion to Mr. Darcy while Twitter beckons?

People who read e-books on tablets like the iPad are realizing that while a book in print or on a black-and-white Kindle is straightforward and immersive, a tablet offers a menu of distractions that can fragment the reading experience, or stop it in its tracks.

E-mail lurks tantalizingly within reach. Looking up a tricky word or unknown fact in the book is easily accomplished through a quick Google search. And if a book starts to drag, giving up on it to stream a movie over Netflix or scroll through your Twitter feed is only a few taps away.

That adds up to a reading experience that is more like a 21st-century cacophony than a traditional solitary activity. And some of the millions of consumers who have bought tablets and sampled e-books on apps from Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble have come away with a conclusion: It’s harder then ever to sit down and focus on reading. ...

For book publishers, who have already seen many consumers convert from print books to e-readers, the rise of tablets poses a potential danger: that book buyers may switch to tablets and then discover that they just aren’t very amenable to reading.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Adelante wrote:
New York Times

Quote:
Finding Your Book Interrupted ... By the Tablet You Read It On

Can you concentrate on Flaubert when Facebook is only a swipe away, or give your true devotion to Mr. Darcy while Twitter beckons?


Totally. I tried reading a book on the iPad. Swiping actually takes me out of the experience. (Plus that nasty shine. Hate that.) With the kindle, looking up a word takes a couple of thumb twitches and back to the book. There's nothing to switch to except another book. The iPad is also a bit heavy for a comfortable read.

iPad is great for many things, the desktop is much better for some things (especially since my bestest sister Ducktape clued me in on how to get 2 monitors to work with my Mac mini! :xo ), the Kindle is the magic bullet for reading (as I need the font bumped up to a huge degree). There's no one-device-fits-all for me.

Oh -- I use this guy with the iPad -- works perfectly.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:43 am 
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Very sweet :-bd

Whatever4 wrote:

Oh -- I use this guy with the iPad -- works perfectly.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:08 pm 
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One of my cousins mentioned this site...anybody brought it up yet?

http://ereadernewstoday.com/free-kindle ... 2/6711504/

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:25 pm 
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The site's new to me, Pluto. But every so often I search on Amazon for "$0.00" and find free books I download. It takes time going through the list, but there's always a few good ones that make it worthwhile. The list changes all the time.


Plutodog wrote:
One of my cousins mentioned this site...anybody brought it up yet?

http://ereadernewstoday.com/free-kindle ... 2/6711504/

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:34 am 
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Wow. :shock:
Edit: http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/ibm-debuts-swiss-bank-tested-secure-mobile-desktop-via-usb.php


Off Topic? :-?

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  • My friends, it is solidarity of labor we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: “We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing.”
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:44 am 
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I want to get one of these and to start banging away on it at the office.

http://www.usbtypewriter.com/


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:48 am 
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:lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:11 pm 
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This is amazing, even if not true. We've had children's toys for years (cubes) that could detect and react to the presence of one of their kind, as by a figure jumping from one cube to another. This is an extension of that idea.



iPad 3 concept video shows off holographic edge-to-edge Retina Display

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