Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Book sites and more

Please delve some more into some of the treasures I have found on the internet -- accumulated while I was away. Blog metablog. This link is to a posting on an ultra cool, tecchy blog that seems to be called Unqualified offerings. You must scroll down the comments on the linked post to get the full effect (well, maybe not all 1046 comments to date, the first 10 or 20 will probably be enough), but it is just so much the wittiest comment on blogging that I've yet seen. Is it dry or is it dry? Another site I have discovered, and I am afraid I have forgotten how, is Armchair Interviews (TM symbol-- yes, really!), a site that is a "fun, convenient way to access your favourite author or learn more about those who write in a specific genre" (I quote). Despite this marketing air, the site is a really useful resource, though I think still rather nascent. It is a searchable index of book reviews by genre -- 181 for mystery/suspense, for example. The reviews are listed alphabetically by book, which is a bit odd: if you are like me you are more likely to remember the author than the book title. There are also audio interviews, publishing news for authors and readers, rss feed, etc. Well worth a look for the bookaholic of whatever persuasion. Here's an article from the BBC about the virtues of offline life -- er? and they might be what? I like the parts in the piece about how the author Bill Thompson and his daughter coordinated their calendars despite different platforms. Malcolm and I coordinate our calendars each weekend to arrange who takes Jenny to school and who picks her up (a lot of logistical challenges re. work meetings and so on). I always get out my battered A5 office diary and pen; he gets out his latest notebooky palmy thingy and accesses his online calendar -- if the internet is there! Despite the many advantages of fast connections and the plethora of associated new products that add to the joys of life, Bill says, "while these new services are clearly exciting, and the sorts of integration they offer are providing a great example of how standards and openness encourage innovation, I'm not convinced that the time is right to move my entire life online. The most obvious problem is what to do when connectivity is limited, since if your e-mail is all on a server somewhere in the continental US, it is rather hard to get your hands on it without a reliable internet connection." He's also concerned about the confidentiality of information one uploads into social services such as Flickr and so on. You can see his point, as many of us have struggled recently with Blogger (I find gmail less reliable now than it was when I first signed up to it). Use the internet as a toy rather than something you have to rely on to run your life, is Bill's message. Here is a site, sudoku craving , that claims to be sudoku for web 2.0 but I don't see how it is more 2.0 than other sudoku sites. Sudoku craving is a free daily puzzle by Australian web developer Adam Lyttle. It is great of Adam to provide this site, but I don't really "get" the 2.0 angle. I have had Wayne Gould (Sudoku king)'s programme downloaded onto my computer since November 2005, and it is great. Well worth the very low price (a few dollars) . Adam's site is free, and might be good for those of us who don't think sudoku is for creatives (yes, Minx!) to try it out. However, I see that you can also link to a daily sudoku puzzle now via Deblog -- a brilliant blog in which Debra Hamel links to some daily puzzles and keeps you posted as to her scores. Note to said creatives: you don't have to be able to add up to play sudoku. It is a game that you do best at if you are good at intuitive pattern recognition -- which is a description that certainly fits creatives, I think.......see what you think, Minx, give it a whirl! (Deblog's link is to a pretty fearsome level of puzzle, I warn you, though.) Finally, for this post, here is a link to Lee Lowe's blog "into the lowelands" (good title), which goes by the description "original and eccentric fictions for young adults of all ages". Lee was kind enough to comment on my posting about InfoNeoGnostic's futuristic visions (Evolution of Books) , and I'm now going to keep an eye on his blog for any fiction he (she?) writes about this vision of books as evolving organisms in their own right. I'm also going to ask Cathy, my favourite young adult, what she thinks of Lee's blog.