Mary Sue Coleman, the President of the University of Michigan, gave an unbelievably wonderful speech about Google Book Search to the American Association of Publishers, who are suing Google for making card-catalogs of all the books in several major libraries available. The speech ranges from the university's mission, the place of libraries in society, the impact that Book Search will have on book sales, and there's an incredible piece on scholarship in the developing world and Google Book Search that gave me goosebumps. This is must-read stuff.
Just as powerful as the preservation aspect of Google Book Search is the fact our venture
will result in a magnitude of discovery that seems almost incomprehensible. I could not
have imagined that in my lifetime so much diffuse information literally would be at my
It is an educator’s dream, knowing that the vast body of information held in the libraries
of Michigan, Stanford, Harvard, Oxford and the New York Public Library will be
universally searchable and, in the case of public domain works, accessible.
My parents were both teachers. My mother would take me and my two sisters to the
public library in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and I remember it was like opening the doors to a
different world with each trip we made. I was forever discovering entire new veins of
titles, books that were simply enchanting to impressionable young girls.
Later on, as an undergraduate in college, I all but lived in the library. If I wasn’t holed up
and reading in a carrel, I was simply roaming the stacks and uncovering new subjects and
I cannot tell you how exhilarating – and how humbling – it is to know that this digital
enterprise, with our university’s books, will provide that same joy of discovery for people
everywhere, from Iowa to Indonesia.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]