Taking the cue from Hannah, I am posting my summer reading list. During the school year, I almost never have time to read. Fortunately, I have about 1 hour after work where I go the park and read to my heart’s content. So far, this is the favorite time of my summer and I really value the opportunity to reflect upon a good book in the beautiful outdoors. I have been meaning to read many of these books for months, but never got the opportunity. Without further ado, I present to you my meager list:
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This review has been cross-posted from the Unofficial Dreamhost Blog, which graciously provided me with a free review copy.
With the nitty-gritty technical aspects out of the way, the rest of the book is devoted to various case studies. This is where the true value is found: the examples are both practical and exciting. With the mundane form validation and autosuggest out of the way, even more exciting case studies are introduced. In Chapter 5, we learn about building an AJAX-based web chat application. In Chapter 7, we are introduced to the power of SVG (scalable vector graphics) and how it can be combined with AJAX. For me, the most interesting chapter was chapter 8 which addresses a critical issue in our data-rich world: presenting long tables in an eye-catching and usable manner. Here, we are given a primer on XSLT and grid-based display. Throughout the book, you find sprinkles of useful examples which will certainly come in handy with the continual emphasis upon cloud computing in today’s marketplace.
In a dramatic move, the pioneer of the (new) way we get reading material has stepped up the game in how we read. Amazon has announced a revolutionary e-book reader, called Kindle. Though many have tried to revolutionize reading before, I think Amazon has a far greater chance of doing so. After all, Amazon does run the best book store in the world. There’s all the great features you would expect from an electronic book, including mobile purchasing, search, and annotating. (Video) Most important of all, Kindle is just plain readable. By using E Ink, which actually manipulates chemicals to reduce eye strain, one can sit down and read through the entirety of War and Peace without having to get glasses. (Especially since text size is resizable for you aging baby boomers and you can get about 30 hours of battery life to a charge).
Newsweek does a very good job of summarizing what is amazing & scary about Kindle. I think the most important thing to see is that the loop is finally completed - every step of the writing/publishing/reading process can now be done digitally (easily):
Computers may have taken over every other stage of the process—the tools of research, composition and production—but that final mile of the process, where the reader mind-melds with the author in an exquisite asynchronous tango, would always be sacrosanct, said the holdouts.
However, the article does lead into some ideas which I don’t necessarily agree with - that writing will become a collaborative, wikized effort.
“The possibility of interaction will redefine authorship,” says Peter Brantley, executive director of the Digital Library Federation, an association of libraries and institutions. Unlike some writing-in-public advocates, he doesn’t spare the novelists. “Michael Chabon will have to rethink how he writes for this medium,” he says. Brantley envisions wiki-style collaborations where the author, instead of being the sole authority, is a “superuser,” the lead wolf of a creative pack.
The reason that I buy books is that they are blatantly one person’s thoughts upon a subject or one person’s story-one lone person’s perspective. I enjoy curling up with a book and reading what a lone crusader has written. However, I do see lots of potential in the annotation of our reading - contrasting/additional thoughts clearly marked as contrasting/additional thoughts:
Jim Gerber, Google’s content-partnerships director, suggests that it might be an interesting idea, for example, for someone on the liberal side of the fence to annotate an Ann Coulter book, providing refuting links for every contention that the critic thought was an inaccurate representation. That commentary, perhaps bolstered and updated by anyone who wants to chime in, could be woven into the book itself, if you chose to include it.
Despite all this, I don’t believe that Kindle will be the device to truly revolutionize reading. Instead, I think a more all-around device will prove to be the future of reading. Perhaps the XO? (Especially/already in Africa) What do you think? Will the Kindle become the “iPod of reading?”