Now This Log

« 8 October 2002 « - Back Archives Next - » 15 October 2002 »

day permlink Thursday, 10 October 2002

permlink Swartz on bookmobile

More on the bookmobile from Mr. Swartz Goes to Washington [Aaron Swartz: The Weblog]
Brewster talks about how he sat down with book industry executives. He points out that they have thousands of out-of-print books, which they aren't selling and are making no money off of. He pulls out his checkbook. "How much do I have to pay to be able to make these books and give them to children?" he asks. They refuse, they will not let him make their books for any price.

Everywhere he went, he found the kids loved it. They would stay after making books, helping the other kids with getting the cover just right... "People have a hard time understanding the public domain," Brewster says. "It's an abstract concept; it's hard to grasp. The bookmobile changes that."
permlink     1 comment(s)  
It's a good story, but doesn't match the facts in one case I personally know of. One of my own books is out of print, and a trainer wants to use it in a class, making his own PDF copies to do so. My publisher (Sybex) was happy to quote him a price for a PDF license for a specific number of copies. I would bet that if Kahle sat down to seriously negotiate reprint rights on any single title, the publisher would come up with a price.
      ...posted by Mike Gunderloy on October 11, 2002 9:51 AM
Add a comment...

permlink internet bookmobile

Awesome: Riding along with the Internet Bookmobile [Salon]
Kahle cooked up his mission of insta-book freedom just one month ago. Working with a few of the 6,000 texts on Project Gutenberg -- Michael Hart's 30-year-long effort to publish on the Net the public domain classics of Western literature -- Kahle, his wife Mary Austin, and employees of the Internet Archive formatted books such as "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in Microsoft Word and designed covers for them, complete with the Internet Archive logo.

A $1,200 binding machine turns the printouts into finished books. "These don't look like books; they are books," a visitor to the Belle Haven event said. The books aren't perfect: There are a few typos, some bad line breaks, and straight quotes instead of curly quotes, but they still look remarkably good. With a MotoSAT dish on top of the van, Kahle was able to cram a remarkable message into the back seat of a 10-year-old minivan: The Internet can be a digital library filled with the full array of human knowledge.

permlink TiVo... doomed?

Slate's dubious article TiVo, We Hardly Knew Ye argues that TiVo will inevitably fail in the marketplace, to be replaced by devices from other companies with more functions. It even specifically mentions the Xbox.

I skip over it so much that I forget it's there, but I went back and looked... yup, that's MSN's logo up there in the corner. Funny. permlink  

permlink Tab-files w/AppleScript

I will need this someday: AppleScript: Reading and Parsing Tab-delimited Text Files [Studio Log]

I'm still in the kiddie pool of AppleScript but would like to know more, especially about string manipulation. Where is there a decent ('rigorous' being too much to hope for) language reference for it?

All the easily-read samples in the world aren't useful when I want to generate code, unless the examples I see already use all the verbs and properties I want to. Fat chance. Where do I look up how to @t = split '\.', $field; in AppleScript?

That's what I'd really love: AppleScript for Perl Programmers (my specific example isn't important, just the principle). Is this as good as string manipulation gets without installing nonstandard bits? It rankles to have to include a raw subroutine in every little routine I write.

Or maybe I just need to combine AppleScript with other languages all the time. Hey, I bet Aaron's got some useful links. Hmm. permlink     1 comment(s)  
I can't say where to look up the split thing, but I notice that it's in the article on Reading and Parsing Tab-Delimited Text files. You set the text delimiter, and then iterate over the text items of the string you want to split. Apple does have an AppleScript Language Reference available (both online, and as part of the Dev Tools installation. The problem is that it's like having a Java or Smalltalk language reference -- the magic is in the class library, and I haven't seen a reference for the class library (and opening the dictionaries of all the apps using the Script Editor doesn't really make it clear). For these reasons, I've limited by AppleScript programming, although I am sorely tempted by AppleScript Studio.
      ...posted by Pete on October 10, 2002 11:32 AM
Add a comment...

permlink Color money

Color Money! Woo!: U.S. currency is changing colors in 2003 to thwart counterfeiters. [, via Mr. Barrett]
"There will also be some other security features embedded in the notes that we haven't disclosed ... We have to assume that if we're going to redesign our currency, we're going to add more than one thing to it."

« 8 October 2002 « - Back Next - » 15 October 2002 »

Home - Log - NowThis Consulting - Writing - Media - Links - About
© MCMXCVII-MMVI Steve Bogart