“A new patent granted this week aims to stop students from sharing textbooks, both off and online. … Under [this] proposal, students can only participate in courses when they buy an online access code which allows them to use the course book. No access code means a lower grade…”—Anti-Piracy Patent Stops Students From Sharing Textbooks | TorrentFreak via @jafurtado
“All of the computers on Ebay are mine. In fact, everything on Ebay is already mine. All of those things are just in long term storage that I pay nothing for. Storage is free. When I want to take something out of storage, I just pay the for the storage costs for that particular thing up to that point, plus a nominal shipping fee, and my things are delivered to me so I can use them. When I am done with them, I return them to storage via Craigslist or Ebay, and I am given a fee as compensation for freeing up the storage facilities resources. This is also the case with all of my stuff that Amazon and Walmart are holding for me. I have antiques, priceless art, cars, estates, and jewels beyond the dreams of avarice. The world is my museum, displaying my collections on loan. The James Savages of the world are merely curators.”—Collect ‘em all! | MetaFilter
“[I told the fourth-graders] I was thinking of a number between 1 and 10,000. They still cling stubbornly to the idea that the only good answer is a yes answer. This, of course, is the result of miseducation in which ‘right answers’ are the only ones that pay off. They have not learned how to learn from a mistake, or even that learning from mistakes is possible. If they say, ‘Is the number between 5,000 and 10,000?’ and I say yes, they cheer; if I say no, they groan, even though they get exactly the same amount of information in either case. The more anxious ones will, over and over again, ask questions that have already been answered, just for the satisfaction of hearing a yes.”—John Holt (via maxistentialist)
“An 18th-century Christmas dish, Hannah Glasse’s Good Goose Pye, is described in ”The Literary Gourmet” by Linda Wolfe (Harmony Books, 1985): a pickled tongue is placed inside a fowl, the fowl inside a goose, and then the goose inside a giant pie crust. This awesome creation was described by the creator as ”a pretty little side-dish for supper.”—A Festive Menu Even a Cook Can Love
“Every time a book comes up in conversation, your dude friends will ask “Did you listen to that on audio book?,” and then they will laugh. Less dude-like people, people less invested in making fun of you, will just cock their heads to the side and ask you why you do it. As if liking books were not enough! As if it weren’t the best thing in the world to have someone read to you! As if you had something better to do!”—n 1: Listening to Books
We are very happy to announce the second installment of “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto,” (published by O’Reilly and edited by Hugh McGuire of PressBooks and Brian O’Leary), with new essays from Eli James, Erin McKean, Terry Jones, Aaron Miller and Travis Alber, Brett Sandursky, Ron Martinez, Peter Brantley, Kassia Krozser and Hugh McGuire.
While Part One defined the current state of publishing as it moves to digital, Part Two opens up new ground about what we can now do with books — if we choose to be bold. We explore web literature, books as data sets, social reading, obscurity, and the reader’s role in the new digital world. You can buy the book here, or read it online for free: Part 1:
“15. If you open a (book)store in a college town, and maybe even if you don’t, you will find yourself as the main human contact for some strange and very socially awkward men who were science and math majors way back when. Be nice and talk to them, and ignore that their fly is open”—
“…The thing about jail is that there are bars on the windows and they won’t let you out. This simple truth governs all the others. What prisoners try to convey to the free is how the presence of time as something being done to you, instead of something you do things with, alters the mind at every moment. For American prisoners, huge numbers of whom are serving sentences much longer than those given for similar crimes anywhere else in the civilized world—Texas alone has sentenced more than four hundred teen-agers to life imprisonment—time becomes in every sense this thing you serve.”—Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in America : The New Yorker
Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.
That’s one reason we want to fund startups that will compete with movies and TV, but not the main reason. The main reason we want to fund such startups is not to protect the world from more SOPAs, but because SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying. They must be dying if they’re resorting to such tactics. If movies and TV were growing rapidly, that growth would take up all their attention. When a striker is fouled in the penalty area, he doesn’t stop as long as he still has control of the ball; it’s only when he’s beaten that he turns to appeal to the ref. SOPA shows Hollywood is beaten. And yet the audiences to be captured from movies and TV are still huge. There is a lot of potential energy to be liberated there.
“People die in America because people die in America. And people make poor decisions with respect to their health and their healthcare. And they don’t go to the emergency room or they don’t go to the doctor when they need to,” he said. “And it’s not the fault of the government for not providing some sort of universal benefit.”—Rick Santorum: No One Has Ever Died Because They Didn’t Have Health Care
Our son recently chose to read a book for English class that is way over his reading level: Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. He needs to finish the book by tomorrow morning.
A few days ago, I began by asking him to switch reading sections with me; then it became clear I would need to read the whole text to him. The book is long and I tired easily. With 200 plus pages to go, I stumbled onto [LibriVox]: a community in which volunteers read books out loud and turn them into podcsts for the rest of us. All the books, more than 1500 [ed’s note: more than 5,000!] are in the public domain which means they were published before 1923.
The readers are people like me, people who love literature and want to share it with others, amateurs who sometimes stumble on a word or two. This site is a gift to parents who are homeschooling, to children like mine who are dyslexic, to older people without the eyesight to read, to anyone who wants to hear instead of read a book. Did I mention this is a free resource?
Right now our son is on the sofa, eating frozen coffee beans and reading the words of Twain’s book as he listens to the LibriVox podcast on my MacBook. He’s happy. I’m incredibly less stressed. He can pause the podcast, ask me what a word means, and continue.
“This used to be funny, but now it’s really just terrifying. We’re dealing with legislation that will completely change the face of the internet and free speech for years to come. Yet here we are, still at the mercy of underachieving Congressional know-nothings that have more in common with the slacker students sitting in the back of math class than elected representatives. The fact that some of the people charged with representing us must be dragged kicking and screaming out of their complacency on such matters is no longer endearing — it’s just pathetic and sad.”—Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works