Links for 1st April 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Phrase Net Shows the Secret Life of Words

    "Upload a body of text and choose connecting words like and or the and the Phrase Net provides a network of words that shows these connections. For example, the above is a Phrase Net for Pride and Prejudice with "and" selected as the connecting phrase. We see a relationships between Jane and Elizabeth, Caterhie and Lydia, and mother and sister. Choose "at" as the connecting word, and you see the places where a lot of things took place… " Data visualisation pr0n for word-nerds. Nice.

    Tagged with: datavisualisationwordsbooksrelationshipslanguageplotstoryconnections

  2. MagCloud

    HP's just-in-time magazine-on-demand service. Looks like it could be a gamechanger if used right.

    "MagCloud uses HP Indigo technology, so every issue is custom-printed when it’s ordered. Printing on demand means no big print runs, which means no pre-publishing expense. Magazines are brilliant full color on 80lb paper with saddle-stitched covers. They look awesome."

    Tagged with: MagCloudprint-on-demandpublishingmagazinesprintweb2.0self-publishing

  3. Why Ebooks Must Fail

    "What this means is that unless a very different model evolves, ebooks can never become the dominant version of content sold by book publishers. It means that ebooks will always be priced to sell, but sold as an afterthought, not as the primary version of a work. It means that the need for blended e plus p models will evolve, in order to take advantage of all the great qualities of ebooks, while providing the financial support and structure that print offers. It means that consumer ebooks, as a stand-alone version of an intellectual property, must fail."

    Tagged with: ebooksbookspublishingbusinessmodelconsumercosting

  4. Honda unveils helmet that controls robot via thought

    "To control the robot, the person wearing the helmet only had to think about making the movement. Its inventors hope that one day the mind-control technology will allow people to do things like turn air conditioning on or off and open their car boot without putting their shopping down.

    The helmet is the first "brain-machine interface" to combine two different techniques for picking up activity in the brain. Sensors in the helmet detect electrical signals through the scalp in the same way as a standard EEG (electroencephalogram). The scientists combined this with another technique called near-infrared spectroscopy, which can be used to monitor changes in blood flow in the brain."

    Tagged with: mindcontrolmachineinterfacebrainspectroscopytranshumanism

  5. Guide for Bloggers and Non-Profit Organizations About Writing With Libel in Mind

    "This is a guide for bloggers and non-profit organizations about writing with libel considerations in mind. The guide discusses the elementary principles of libel law and explains how to prepare for and conduct a pre-publication libel review. It is particularly important to have a third party, not otherwise involved in the preparation of a report or blog post that criticizes individuals or organizations, compare all possibly-defamatory statements with the sources for those statements." US-centric, but probably still worth a read.

    Tagged with: bloggingwritingjournalismUSlibellawdefamation

  6. HesitantJourneytotheWest

    "And so writers of science fiction began testing the Party’s tolerance for social criticism. In 1979, Zheng Wenguang wrote “Mirror Image of Earth” (I have not been able to trace the Chinese title), a story about aliens who have produced holographic images documenting the horrors of the Cultural Revolution (Laris 25). In 1983, conservatives cracked down on sf as a part of the “Campaign Against Spiritual Pollution,” ridiculing writers of sf for “propagating quack science” (Ye 2). Ye Yonglie—probably the only sf writer of that period whose name is still well-known today (a statement based on my own discussions of sf with a large number of Chinese people in Beijing)—was severely criticized by a paleontologist during this period." Interesting history of sf lit in China.

    Tagged with: sfsciencefictionChinahistoryliteratureCommunismcriticism

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