Keeping up with technology

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A few news items on electronic media:

  • Amazon is now renting textbooks for Kindle readers. After the rental expires, students can still keep any notes they make in the margins while reading. Amazon is promoting rental as a better option than buying books and selling them back to the store.
  • NPR has launched a Twitter feed that will update followers on job opportunities. Follow them at @NPRJobs. NPR also introduced a hashtag for job seekers. When you’re on Twitter, search for #PubJobs to find open positions nationwide at public media outlets.
  • An internet startup, BookLamp, will provide book recommendations based on content, not sales. The company is scanning about 20,000 books to start. They then catalog them according to a broad range of characteristics that readers can select and search. Revenue is expected to come from the publishers, not readers or advertising.
  • Finally, an artificial intelligence technologist describes how leaving his job to pursue a PhD in the Humanities enriched his thinking and, paradoxically, his technical career. Damon Horowitz makes a good point that, "The technology issues facing us today -- issues of identity, communication, privacy, regulation -- require a humanistic perspective if we are to deal with them adequately."