Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is it protected by copyright?

Here is a screenshot of the Digital Copyright Slider from the American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy:
Copyright laws are complex and can be very confusing! Is a work in the public domain? Do you need permission to use it? When does copyright expire? Find these answers and more online. This is a great tool for librarians, teachers, artists, students, researchers, attorneys and anyone who needs clear, concise information on copyright terms and conditions.

The Digital Copyright Slider was created by Michael Brewer, OITP Copyright Advisory Committee member and designer of the original Copyright Slider.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner and At Risk by Patricia Cornwell

Certain Girls (cloth edition)

Good for light summer reading.
Now Cannie's back. After her debut novel—a fictionalized (and highly sexualized) version of her life—became an overnight bestseller, she dropped out of the public eye and turned to writing science fiction under a pseudonym. She's happily married to the tall, charming diet doctor Peter Krushelevansky and has settled into a life that she finds wonderfully predictable—knitting in the front row of her daughter Joy's drama rehearsals, volunteering at the library, and taking over-forty yoga classes with her best friend Samantha.
It was interesting to see how things turned out for Cannie and the effects of her actions (from earlier novel Good in Bed) on the rest of her life. However, she was sometimes too wimpy for my tastes, particularly when dealing with her daughter. Also, I didn't really care for the ending—it was just too much.

At Risk (ebook)

I have not yet found a Cornwell book that I really like, but I can't put my finger on what it is that doesn't work for me. I think I'll go back and try the early Scarpetta books (I'm pretty sure my mom has them all).
A Massachusetts state investigator is called home from Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing a course at the National Forensic Academy. His boss, the district attorney, attractive but hard-charging, is planning to run for governor, and as a showcase she's planning to use a new crime initiative called At Riskits motto: "Any crime, any time." In particular, she's been looking for a way to employ cutting-edge DNA technology, and she thinks she's found the perfect subject in an unsolved twenty-year-old murderin Tennessee. If her office solves the case, it ought to make them all look pretty good, right?

Her investigator is not so surenot sure about anything to do with this woman, reallybut before he can open his mouth, a shocking piece of violence intervenes, an act that shakes up not only both their lives but the lives of everyone around them. It's not a random event. Is it personal? Is it professional? Whatever it is, the implications are very, very bad indeed . . . and they're about to get much worse.

If I was an author I would be so addicted to Booklert

screenshot from "my books" on Booklert
Booklert lets you keep track of the Amazon rank of your (or anyone else's) books. You get an email or a tweet of the latest ranks at regular intervals. And you choose how often - anything from every hour, to once a week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zoomii Screenshots

Here are a few screenshots to give you a sense of what Zoomii is like:

This is after I've zoomed in a bit using my mouse's scroll wheel

and this is Zoomed out a little

Zoomed out all the way, or "home"

Monday, July 14, 2008


Zoomii is a cool way to browse books. if:book says:
It's the most bookshop-like experience I've encountered online. Within seconds I'd been reminded of several books I've been meaning to read. And arguably the proximity of a diverse selection of titles could help strikes a blow for browsing and against the homophily that characterizes much Web browsing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Magazine Page Design Video

From magCulture.com
Matt Willey recently recorded his decision-making on a feature design for the Royal Academy magazine. It provides a very useful insight into how page designs get arrived at, one that anyone who’s ever designed a magazine will recognise.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Fun. Silly and ridiculous. Just what I expect from this series. The secondary characters are what make or break the books in this series for me. For example, I really can only take a tiny bit of Albert Kloughn. In Fearless Fourteen, however, I liked the secondary characters so all was well.
Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.

The Crime:
Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars
Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money and did the time. His family couldn't be more proud. He always was the smart one.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I finished The Learners by Chip Kidd

I didn't know anything about this when I picked it up. It sucked me right in, though. I thought it was interesting and original and very funny. Here is a review of it from the New York Times.

From the jacket:
Fresh out of college in the summer of 1961, Happy lands his first job as a graphic designer (okay, art assistant) at a small Connecticut advertising agency populated by a cast of endearing eccentrics. Life for Happy seems to be—well, happy. But when he's assigned to design a newspaper ad recruiting participants for an experiment in the Yale Psychology Department, Happy can't resist responding to the ad himself. Little does he know that the experience will devastate him, forcing a reexamination of his past, his soul, and the nature of human cruelty—chiefly, his own.
Here is a video showing off some of the design features of The Learners