Friday, July 31, 2009

Google Engineering Director Spells Out Vision for the Future of Digital Books - BayNewser

Google Engineering Director Spells Out Vision for the Future of Digital Books - BayNewser

This is quite interesting because it goes far beyond Google's plans for out-of-copyright and OOP books. I like the idea of having the book files in the cloud, but I don't see why they have to be on Google's servers. There's no reason they couldn't reside on other servers. The main idea, though, is that readers would have permanent rights to their e-books, and that they could read their books on any hardware platform. This would solve a big problem and prevent monopolistic companies from dominating the e-book market. The other good idea is that with the spread of the Espresso Book Machine and similar instant book printing devices, this model would support rather than undermine independent bookstores.

Two big questions about e-book licensing remain unanswered: can these books be re-sold and can they be bequeathed as part of an estate? I think the answer for e-books will always be negative because publishers will not want to lose control of the content or to allow a used e-book market to open up.

Review of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book confirmed a lot of what I have thought about the necessary confluence of opportunity, ability and dedication that seems to be the necessary and sufficient condition for success; however, I think Gladwell's strongest point has to do with education and the possibility of modifying social institutions in order to provide opportunities to succeed to the millions of people around the world who, no matter how talented and dedicated they may be, are shut out because of their location, their birth date or some other factor that could be compensated for. As a global culture, we do not need to continue allowing such factors to become disabilities. Relatively simple steps, such as providing year-round schooling for children so that children from uneducated families do not fall increasingly behind their middle- and upper-class peers (who benefit from formal and informal instruction during the long US summer break while the lower-class students are left to entertain themselves), could give millions of young people the opportunity to succeed. Likewise, grouping students by the quarter in which they were born rather than by the year would reduce the unfair inequity of having children nearly a year younger than some of their classmates compete against the older children.

I was more impressed by Outliers than I was by Tipping Point, though I thought it was a great book, too. Outliers was, as Gladwell said, a very personal book for him. Had he not benefited from a series of happy coincidences that led him to excel professionally, he would have been yet another bright, under-employed adult. Anyone with an interest in social justice and education should definitely read this book. Even more so, anyone who is working to improve society should read it for its inspiring ideas.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, July 30, 2009

LinkedIn | Publishing and editing professionals Group News

LinkedIn | Publishing and editing professionals Group News

This is amazing. They have created an online expert AI platform so that anyone can build an expert system and market it. I haven't tried it, yet, but plan to when I get some down time, next month.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fake online reviews draw NY suit - DMNews

Fake online reviews draw NY suit - DMNews

I was wondering when something like this would happen. Combine this with the controversy at Wikipedia about how to handle the Church of Scientology entries and earlier accounts of corporate PR people massaging any user-editable content about their companies, and I think we will see a whole new level of deceptiveness develop in social network advertising, as PR and ad agencies try to work around the basic problem of telling the truth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Message in Spanish, and Now I Can Read It


to Peyton
show details 6:27 PM (2 hours ago)

Follow up message

View translated message
Learn more
Edmundo Dantes sent a message to the members of FonoLibro - Audiolibros en Español.

Subject: Joachim de Posada fue seleccionado entre los 25 mejores oradores profesionales

Estimadas Amigas y Amigos,

Nos da mucho gusto en informarles que Joachim de Posada autor de nuestros audiolibros “Sobrevivir entre Pirañas” y “No te comas el marshmallow…¡Todavía! Fue seleccionado entre los 25 mejores oradores profesionales por la revista de Julio y agosto de SPEAKER “The Art and Business Speaking” (Orador – El Arte y negocio de Hablar) publicación oficial de la Asociación Nacional de Oradores Profesionales (;

La portada de la revista lo dice todo “Who is Hot? 25 men & women who are shaping our profession” (¿Quién está Caliente? 25 hombres y mujeres quienes están dando forma a nuestra profesión). Esta asociación creó un comité donde evaluó a más de los mejores 100 oradores profesionales que habían sido pre-seleccionados bajo varios criterios y encuestas y obtuvieron a los 25 mejores oradores profesionales.

Estamos orgullosos de contar con Joachim como autor y lo felicitamos en FonoLibro por seguir cosechando éxitos. Sus audiolibros “Sobrevivir entre Pirañas” narrado completamente por Joachim, y “No te comas el marshmallow…¡Todavía!” el que cuenta una parábola al mejor estilo que ¿Quién se llevo mi queso? Están disponibles en nuestra página Web; en versiones digitales para descarga en;

No dejen de escucharlos ya que Joachim en uno de ellos dice la fórmula para hacer millones de dólares en sus vidas.



That was the message that came in as an email. I use Gmail, and had recently turned on the Google Labs translation feature. I clicked the View Translated Message link, and this is what came up:

Edmundo Dantes sent a message to the members of Fonolibro - Books in Spanish.

Subject: Joachim de Posada was selected among the top 25 professional speakers

Dear friends,

We're very pleased to announce that author Joachim de Posada of our audiobooks "Surviving between Piranhas" and "Do not eat the Marshmallow ... Yet! Was selected among the 25 best speakers by the professional magazine of July and August SPEAKER "The Art and Business Speaking" (Speaker - The Art and Business Talk) official publication of the National Association of Professional Speakers;

The cover of the magazine says it all "Who is Hot? 25 men & women who are shaping our profession "(Who's Hot? 25 men and women who are shaping our profession). This association created a committee which evaluated over 100 of the best professional speakers who had been pre-selected under various criteria and surveys, and obtained the top 25 professional speakers.

We are proud to have Joachim as the author and congratulate him on Fonolibro for continuing success. His audiobooks "Surviving between Piranhas" narrated entirely by Joachim, and "Do not eat the Marshmallow ... Yet!" Which tells a parable to the best style Who took my cheese? Are available on our website; in digital versions for download on;

Do not forget to listen and to Joachim on one of them said the formula to make millions of dollars in their lives.



Of course, I don't know how accurate the translation is, but it reads well. I'm impressed! This marks a major step toward machine translation, a technology that could go a long way toward reducing the conflict and increasing the harmony among different peoples in our world.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell reviews Free by Chris Anderson:

Malcolm Gladwell reviews Free by Chris Anderson:

Shared via AddThis

I haven't had a chance to read Anderson's new book, so I will just pass along Gladwell's review with a general statement that Gladwell's points seem accurate. Free can be a good price if a business is making money elsewhere, but most of the time Free is an illusion, as in free open source software. It's free because the people who create it donae their time or work for organizations that pay them to donate their time. I would be curious how an ecologist would react to Anderson, since if anyone knows that there's no free lunch, it's the people who study biological systems.