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Four short links: 16 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2014

morris.js — pretty time-series line graphs. Open Source CT Scanner — all the awesome. Alan Kay’s Reading List — in case you’re wondering what to add to the pile beside your bed. (via Alex Dong) Foldscope — origami optical microscope, …

Four short links: 26 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 25, 2014

brick — uncompressed versions of popular web fonts. The difference between compressed and uncompressed is noticeable. Speaking Javascript — free online version of the new O’Reilly book by Axel Rauschmayer. micio.js — clever hack to communicate between Arduino and mobile …

Four short links: 13 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 13, 2014

Is Parallel Programming Hard? And, If So, What Can You Do About It? — book by Paul E. McKenney, on single-machine multi-CPU parallel programming. Malignant Computation — The bitcoin mining network would work just as well if it had far …

Four short links: 31 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 31, 2014

Bolts — Facebook’s library of small, low-level utility classes in iOS and Android. Python Idioms (PDF) — useful cheatsheet. Michael Abrash’s Graphics Programming Black Book — Markdown source in github. Notable for elegance and instructive for those learning to optimise. …

Four short links: 13 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 13, 2013

Bunnie Huang Live (YouTube) — talk given at the Make:Live Stage at Maker Faire NYC, covering his experiences and advice for getting hardware made. (via Makezine) Bill Gates’s Best Books of 2013 — interesting list! The Robots are Here (Tyler …

Four short links: 6 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 6, 2013

Society of Mind — Marvin Minsky’s book now Creative-Commons licensed. Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing Organization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary Biology — The concentration of research output is declining at the department level but increasing at the individual level. …

Four short links: 15 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 15, 2013

Google Wins Book Scanning Case (Giga Om) — will probably be appealed, though many authors will fear it’s good money after bad tilting at the fair use windmill. IBM Watson To Be A Platform (IBM) — press release indicates you’ll …

Four short links: 10 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 10, 2013

ActiveLit — interactive fiction as literacy tool. (via Text Adventures blog) Your Car is About to go Open Source (ComputerWorld) — an open-source IVI operating system would create a reusable platform consisting of core services, middleware and open application layer …

Four short links: 10 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 8, 2013

Sparkey — Spotify’s open-sourced simple constant key/value storage library, for read-heavy systems with infrequent large bulk inserts. The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling (Ted Chiang) — story about what happens when lifelogs become searchable. Now with Remem, finding …

Four short links: 14 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 12, 2013

bookcision — bookmarklet to download your Kindle highlights. (via Nelson Minar) Algorithm for a Perfectly Balanced Photo Gallery — remember this when it comes time to lay out your 2013 “Happy Holidays!” card. Long Stories (Fast Company Labs) — Our …

Four short links: 17 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 17, 2013

Hideout — augmented reality books. (via Hacker News) Patterns and Practices for Open Source Software Success (Stephen Walli) — Successful FOSS projects grow their communities outward to drive contribution to the core project. To build that community, a project needs …

Really Understanding Computation

By Mike Loukides
June 14, 2013

It’s great to see that Tom Stuart’s Understanding Computation has made it out. I’ve been excited about this book ever since we signed it. Understanding Computation started from Tom’s talk Programming with Nothing, which he presented at Ruby Manor in …

Really Understanding Computation

By Mike Loukides
June 4, 2013

It’s great to see that Tom Stuart’s Understanding Computation has made it out. I’ve been excited about this book ever since we signed it. Understanding Computation started from Tom’s talk Programming with Nothing, which he presented at Ruby Manor in …

Four short links: 29 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 29, 2013

Quick Reads of Notable New Zealanders — notable for two reasons: (a) CC-NC-BY licensed, and (b) gorgeous gorgeous web design. Not what one normally associates with Government web sites! svg.js — Javascript library for making and munging SVG images. (via …

Why ebooks & why green e-publishing?

By Deborah Emin
May 2, 2013

Perhaps you’ve also wondered why the publishing industry produces and distributes all the major climate science information available but doesn’t read it. If it did, publishing could become the standard bearer for global reduction of carbon footprints. This business challenge …

Four short links: 17 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2013

Computer Software Archive (Jason Scott) — The Internet Archive is the largest collection of historical software online in the world. Find me someone bigger. Through these terabytes (!) of software, the whole of the software landscape of the last 50 …

Three years of TOC at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

By Sarah Towle
April 11, 2013

O’Reilly Media took its Tools of Change in Publishing Conference to Italy for the first time in 2011, teaming up with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair organizers to focus on opportunities for children’s content in digital publishing. That year the …

Digital publishing and the loss of intimacy

By François Joseph de Kermadec
April 9, 2013

Reading used to be an intimate experience. Even Amazon, the pioneer in digital publishing, branded its Kindle with a child reading alone under a tree. Books were specially designed to disappear into the background as much as possible, helped by …

The future of educational publishing

By Joe Wikert
April 9, 2013

The ebook revolution started with the launch of the original Kindle back in late 2007. More than 5 years later the world is now moving away from dedicated e-readers to multifunction tablets. Despite the dramatic rise in ebook sales most …

Libraries to become community publishing portals

By Mark Coker
April 1, 2013

[Ed. note: The following first appeared on The Huffington Post. It has been reposted here with the author's permission.] Public libraries provide an essential community service by promoting literacy and a culture of reading. With the rise of ebooks, public …

Four short links: 21 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 21, 2013

The Obfuscation of Culture — Tumblr and LJ users sep ar ate w ords thr ou gh o dd spacin g in o rde r to fo ol sea rc h en g i nes. Chinese users hide political messages …

Building an ebook business around analytics

By Hugh McGuire
March 20, 2013

AskMen, “the leading online magazine for men,” has just launched an ebook publishing program, using the PressBooks Publisher Platform to manage the front-end catalog/website, and back-end ebook production. In the year-and-a-bit since PressBooks launched publicly, we’ve worked with many traditional …

The book as a standard of quality

By François Joseph de Kermadec
March 13, 2013

Publishers have long commandeered respect for the quality of their work. Traditional processes may be cumbersome, reliant as they are on an infinity of minute, specialised steps, but they have helped maintain consistently high standards, at ever-lower prices. Authors may …

Used ebooks: Why your assumptions are wrong and the opportunity is huge

By Joe Wikert
March 11, 2013

Amazon has a patent and now Apple does too. I’m talking about the techniques both companies might use to let you resell your digital content. They join ReDigi, who already offers a platform to resell your digital music. Ebooks are next, of course, …

Four short links: 8 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 8, 2013

mlcomp — a free website for objectively comparing machine learning programs across various datasets for multiple problem domains. Printing Code: Programming and the Visual Arts (Vimeo) — Rune Madsen’s talk from Heroku’s Waza. (via Andrew Odewahn) What Data Brokers Know …

PlayTales one year later

By Kate Shoaf
March 5, 2013

In March 2012, Joe Wikert posted an interview with a new bookstore app startup called PlayTales. Since then the app market has continued to grow, and PlayTales along with it.  My name is Kate Shoaf, PlayTales’ PR and communications manager, and I’d …

How can we redefine the book?

By François Joseph de Kermadec
March 4, 2013

A book may no longer be a physical object, but its ordinary definition remains straightforward as a “written composition that is intended for publication”. Traditional or digital, we feel confident in our ability to recognise a book. We barely remember …

The People’s EBook

By Kat Meyer
March 1, 2013

“What the photocopier was to zines, we hope the People’s E-Book will be to digital books.” – Greg Albers Working for TOC, I meet and talk to people from all over the world who are doing incredible things to transform …

Four short links: 1 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 1, 2013

Drone Journalism — two universities in the US have already incorporated drone use in their journalism programs. The Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska and the Missouri Drone Journalism Program at the University of Missouri both teach journalism …

The publishing industry has a problem, and EPUB is not the solution

By Jani Patokallio
February 26, 2013

This article contains my personal views, not those of my employer Lonely Planet. I’ll be blunt. Ebooks and EPUB are to the publishing industry what Blu-Ray is to the movie industry: a solution to yesterday’s problem made irrelevant by broader …

Losing the book as a symbol

By François Joseph de Kermadec
February 20, 2013

Transitioning the publishing industry to digital technologies involves lifting the words out of printed pages, and pouring them into the amorphous containers we call ebooks. Books are no longer the tangible, brick-shaped presence they were: they must, instead, be stretched …

…and along with EPUB 3: New CSS!

By Nellie McKesson
February 11, 2013

Hopefully you all read Sanders Kleinfeld’s great writeup about O’Reilly’s move to EPUB 3, and the changes and challenges that brings. Along with updating our toolchain, we also revisited our EPUB design and took a stab at improving the user …

Book Publishing Unbound

By Neil Ayres
February 6, 2013

Brand Perfect’s new report looks at how traditional publishers are contending with the challenges being brought about by increasingly fragmentary digital publishing, and highlights some of the most successful commercial projects that are responding to them. On the state of …

Ebooks and the future of research

By François Joseph de Kermadec
February 6, 2013

Knowledge cannot progress unless it is aware of its past: a knowledge-seeker must reference the works of previous generations. Literary scholars return to manuscripts, musicians to partitions, artists to museums… The continued availability of reference works underpins our entire research …

The four stages of the “Spotify for eBooks” adoption model

By Justo Hidalgo
February 5, 2013

During the 2013 edition of the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference in New York City, I will be participating in a panel that has been called ‘The Elusive Netflix of eBooks‘. The title implies the notion that a subscription service …

Four short links: 5 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 5, 2013

toolbar — tooltips in jQuery, cf hint.css which is tooltips in CSS. Security Engineering — 2ed now available online for free. (via /r/netsec) Economics of Netflix’s $100M New Show (The Atlantic) — Up until now, Netflix’s strategy has involved paying …

Borne Digital: TOC Startup Showcase Finalist

By Kat Meyer
February 4, 2013

We’re giving our readers a chance to get to know our TOC Startup Showcase Finalists a little bit better before the big showdown in NYC. We’re featuring the startups with a personality profile here on our website. Our next profile …

A Publisher’s Job Is to Provide a Good API for Books

By Hugh McGuire
February 1, 2013

Intro Here is a radical statement: A publisher’s job is to provide good APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for their books. Now that almost all books are made into digital products (that is, ebooks), good publishers of the future will be …

PDF is still “better”

By Nellie McKesson
January 30, 2013

A few weeks ago, I surprised myself. I had decided to learn a new code language, and O’Reilly of course has a great little book about this particular language, so I pulled up the eBook files, and almost without thinking, …

Speakaboos: TOC Startup Showcase Finalist

By Kat Meyer
January 30, 2013

We’re giving our readers a chance to get to know our TOC Startup Showcase Finalists a little bit better before the big showdown in NYC. We’re featuring the startups with a personality profile here on our website. Our next profile …

Four short links: 22 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 22, 2013

Design Like Nobody’s Patenting Anything (Wired) — profile of Maker favourites Sparkfun. Instead of relying on patents for protection, the team prefers to outrace other entrants in the field. “The open source model just forces us to innovate,” says Boudreaux. …

Four short links: 17 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 17, 2013

Free Book Sifter — lists all the free books on Amazon, has RSS feeds and newsletters. (via BoingBoing) Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Give Realtime Analytics — a few key reasons why truly real-time analytics can open the …

Publishing News: Amazon AutoRip — where’s the book version?

By Jenn Webb
January 11, 2013

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week. Why book lovers can’t have nice things Amazon announced a new service this week called Amazon AutoRip. According to the press release, consumers who buy …

Outthink Inc. believes learning should be fun

By Andrea Sheehan
January 3, 2013

Most of us who pursued careers in publishing did so because reading, in some way, impacted us as kids. But kids today live in a vastly changed world, and tablets have now taken over. One in four adults owns a …

Four short links: 1 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 1, 2013

Robots Will Take Our Jobs (Wired) — I agree with Kevin Kelly that (in my words) software and hardware are eating wetware, but disagree that This is not a race against the machines. If we race against them, we lose. …

Publishing News: Penguin settles, Macmillan holds its ground

By Jenn Webb
December 21, 2012

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week. And then there were two In headline news this week, the Penguin Group announced it had reached a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice. …

Publishing News: Tech industry history could inform bookstores’ road to recovery

By Jenn Webb
December 7, 2012

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week. Bookstore lessons and opportunities from the tech industry Brick-and-mortar bookstores arguably have taken the biggest hit thus far as the publishing industry struggles through its …

Are we solving customer problems?

By Gus Balbontin
December 4, 2012

This article contains my personal views, not those of my employer Lonely Planet. The challenge the publishing industry faces today is complex. Against centuries of industry inertia and decades of business momentum, the job of transforming publishing is demanding to …

Four short links: 26 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 26, 2012

High Levels of Burnout in US Drone Pilots (NPR) — 17 percent of active duty drone pilots surveyed are thought to be “clinically distressed.” The Air Force says this means the pilots’ stress level has crossed a threshold where it’s …

Four short links: 22 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 22, 2012

Mark Your Territory — Urine integration for Foursquare. (via Beta Knowledge) TL;DR — news summaries. Finally. Zombie Ideas and Online Instruction — The repeated return of mistaken ideas captures well my experiences with technologies in schools and what I have …

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