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Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies.
In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.
Roger Ebert's journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime's adventures. -- Read More
Through July 27 Amazon has 900 books Kindle books for sale from .99 - $3.99
Cites & Insights 11:7 (August 2011) is now available.
The 18-page issue, PDF as usual, includes three sections, each also available in HTML form (and, for two of them, with live links as appropriate):
Bibs & Blather pp. 1-2
The state of the ejournal, such as it is.
A mixed bag of notes on relatively recent items related to the growth (or non-growth) of the public domain.
Notes on movies (and early TV shows) on discs 18-24 of the 60-disc, 250-movie Mystery Collection.
Analysts estimate that thousands of jobs will be eliminated with the federal government’s plan to shut 40 percent of its computer centers over the next four years.
Some readers like to see portraits of authors they admire, study their personal histories or hear them read aloud. I like to know whether an author can spell. Nabokov spelled beautifully. Fitzgerald was crummy at spelling, bedeviled by entry-level traps like “definate.” Bad spellers, of course, can be sublime writers and good spellers punctilious duds. But it’s still intriguing that Fitzgerald, for all his gifts, didn’t perceive the word “finite” in definite, the way good spellers automatically do. Did this oversight color his impression of infinity? Infinaty?
Bad spellers are a breed apart from good ones. A writer with a mind that doesn’t register how words are spelled tends to see through the words he encounters — straight to the things, characters, ideas, images and emotions they conjure. A good speller, by contrast — the kind who never fails to clock the idiosyncratic orthography of “algorithm” or “Albert Pujols” — tends to see language as a system. Good spellers are often drawn to poetry and wordplay, while bad spellers, for whom language is a conduit and not an end in itself, can excel at representation and reportage.
On July 1, 2011, The Central Falls Free Public Library closed for an indefinite amount of time. Twelve staffers–six part-time and six full-time were laid off. Central Falls is a 1.5 mile square city with 18,000 residents in the state of Rhode Island, and it is often referred to as the poorest city in the state. Central Falls has also been in the national news lately for firing all of its public school teachers. Now that that drama is (mostly) resolved, the city is in receivership, looking at probable bankruptcy and has now lost its library.
Full Story: http://www.closedstacks.com/?p=3344
An upturn in graffiti nationwide has renewed debates about whether its glorification contributes to urban blight or is a sign of despair in a struggling economy.
Story on NPR
Scholars at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have spent 11 years combing through early New Testament manuscripts, looking at how they've evolved over the centuries. And what they found may surprise some believers.
Pogue at NYT has this piece on Netflix: Why Netflix Raised Its Prices
Netflix advertised the change as a new choice for consumers, but thousands of the company’s customers complained online.
I do not have cable so I make a lot of use of my Netflix account. I have the $9.99 plan that allows for one DVD in the mail and unlimited streaming. If you mail back the one DVD in a timely manner you can get 3-4 DVDs in the mail each month in addition to the streaming.
It is this plan that is going to $16. I think I am going to shut down my DVD by mail and use the $7.99 streaming only option. I easily watch ten things per month on the streaming that I find useful. At under $1 per viewing I think it is worthwhile. Do wish that Netflix had not messed with the $9.99 plan that allowed both streaming and DVD by mail. I will use Redbox at $1 per movie to subsidize what I cannot get from Netflix streaming.
Plus for libraries: There are going to be movies that are not available via streaming. Netflix is clearly pushing people more towards the streaming model. This will leave a pocket of movies that are harder to get hold of. Libraries may have an opportunity to fill this niche.
A digital pioneer questions what technology has wrought
You cannot read the full article without a subscription. Don't have a subscription? Consider going to the library.
Book by Lanier mentioned in article: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (Vintage)
You can purchase this issue on Amazon for $3.99.
See: The New Yorker
You can also subscribe for $2.99 per month. It is less than $1 per issue if you subscribe. Amazon has a free 14 day trial for the Kindle version. You could subscribe read the article about Lanier and if unimpressed with the magazine could end your subscription without paying anything. To end the subscription you just click a button in your Amazon settings so you do not have to call or write to cancel.
I don't know about you all but I'm so tired of sacrificing computer program dependability for supposed ease of use , apps on top of apps, spyware, etc...Is it just me or is the Windows desktop circle spinning more slowly and longer than ever? Oh for the days of DOS and WordPerfect 5.0..(my new-old computer is a ThinkPad with Windows 7, Office 2010, etc.)
So I don't know if you've noticed, but there seems to be a digital divide. The reason why I ask is because I don't know what the digital divide is supposed to be. I thought the digital divide was about access to digital and electronic resources. But if that's the case, then why are libraries working to make access to information even more difficult for anyone without the technology to access it?
I don't understand how it happened, but libraries are actually, make that ACTUALLY, widening the digital divide.
First, a little simple understanding: I feel, and I feel this is a truth, that the more steps it takes to reach a goal, the farther that goal is from achieving.
So if information is shared from person to person, the steps are small. We should speak the same language and not be insane or not eating food or any other logical thing that normally happens when people communicate. Remove idiotic barriers and we communicate.
If we print out the information, similar rules apply. We don't print the information in the sand inches from the rising tide that begins to wash it away; we don't spell it out with breadcrumbs so that birds eat it; we don't brand symbols into another person's skin with hot iron, unless they've signed a release, and we don't intentionally scribble the text in characters that others can't understand.
So in this world, we print with inks onto sheets of paper and we share those ideas with others who understand the languages we use. And that, I think, is a very short path between having information and sharing it with others. -- Read More
The Seattle Mystery bookshop was asked by an author if they could have a signing at the bookshop. Problem was the book was being published by Amazon. The answer was "no".
Blog post discussing incident: Can't Shake the Devil's Hand and Say You're Only Kidding
In a feat that even the best-selling writers might envy, young-adult author John Green's latest novel is No. 1 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com even though he's still working on it from his comfy La-Z-Boy in Indianapolis.
With "The Fault in Our Stars," the author has overtaken hot books by Suzanne Collins and Laura Hillenbrand. His book won't be published until the spring of next year.
Full article in the WSJ
Book on Amazon: The Fault in Our Stars
Another article that mentions the book: Book industry balance continues to tilt towards the author
Amazon.com Inc. agreed to buy U.K.-based online book retailer Book Depository International for an undisclosed sum.
Amazon's move to buy Book Depository came six months after the U.S. company acquired European movie-rental site Lovefilm International Ltd.
Book Depository's founder, Andrew Crawford, said in a prepared statement Monday that his company looks "forward to continuing our growth and providing an ever-improving service for readers globally" with Amazon's support.
Shatzkin comments on this Amazon acquisition.
There will be an episode of LISTen: An LISNews.org Program released on 4 July 2011 notwithstanding the holiday in the United States of America.
After working in a public library for several years I have accumulated all kinds of crazy stories to tell. After my animated re-tellings, friends and family often joke with me about how I should create a website to share some of my funny, crazy, and touching experiences from work - so this blog has been long overdue!
Please feel free to submit some of your own "tales from the library" - whether you are a patron or an employee! The good, the bad, the unexpected, scary, hilarious, horrendous, enlightening - you can email them all to me, along with your name, at email@example.com
(Neither your email nor your last name will be published - only your first name or screen name.)
I look forward to hearing from you all, and to sharing some of my own experiences with the world as well!
Article in the NYT: Netflix Helps People Cut Cable Cord, Report Says
Summary: A new survey notes that customers who use Netflix streaming video are twice as likely to cancel or slim down their cable services as they were this time last year.
Comment: I cancelled cable this year. Netflix combined with over the air television has worked good for us. Having a device like a Roku or Wii that will allow you to put the content on your tv instead of just watching on laptop I think really pushes this idea over the tipping point.