Have you heard about the latest Web 2.0 service?
bq.Online Book Rental Library. Stop buying books when you can borrow new releases and classics with free shipping! Netflix has popularized online DVD Rental. We`re doing it for books! BookSwim is the first online BOOK RENTAL LIBRARY CLUB lending you paperbacks and hardcovers direct to your house WITHOUT THE NEED TO PURCHASE! Whether it’s New Releases, Bestsellers, or Classics, we’ve got 150,000 titles to choose from, with FREE SHIPPING BOTH WAYS! Read your books as long as you want. — no late fees! Even choose to purchase and keep the titles you love! – “Bookswim(BookSwim Online Book Rental Library Club)”:http://www.bookswim.com/ Instead of pointing our the obvious, I will let someone else do it for me.
bq.BookSwim – paid membership required. Public library – no membership required. BookSwim – unlimited “rentals”. Public library – unlimited “rental” (return by due date – usually 30 days). – “Derek Punsalan(BookSwim, think Netflix for real books)”:http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2007/05/10697/
bq.Or you could, you know, go to your local library. They might not have 150,000 titles, but that’s what interlibrary loan is for. – “Brad Linder”:http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/05/16/bookswim-just-like-the-public-library-but-24-per-month/ It isn’t impossible that it might work, though. After all, Netflix has worked successfully even when a lot of libraries circulation materials in DVD format these days. One disadvantage I see though: Netflix, as I understand it, actually licenses the content and produces their own versions of the discs to mail out. BookSwim will be forced to purchase a copy of the book they are sending out. I am not sure if the economies of scale are going to work out the same way. But it is an interesting experiment to watch.
Does this sound cheap to you?
bq.Microsoft will be announcing plans later today to offer a bargain basement $3 version of Windows as well as Office 2007 exclusively to people in developing countries as part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program. The program aims to double the amount of worldwide PC users by 2015 and thinks one of the keys to doing that is cheap software. – “Emily Price(Microsoft to offer $3 version of Windows)”:http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/04/19/microsoft-to-offer-3-version-of-windows/ It does to me. But some people know how to make that even cheaper.
bq.Chasing after software pirates in the US is one thing, but China’s a whole other ballgame. Pirated copies of Windows Vista are widely available throughout the country, for as little as $1. – “Brad Linder(Microsoft sells just 244 copies of Vista in China)”:http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/04/19/microsoft-sells-just-244-copies-of-vista-in-china/ I am afraid that charging triple what the pirates are charging is not going to have much impact.
Have you ever been to “irs.com(Whois for irs.com)”:http://whois.domaintools.com/irs.com?
bq.Bad news for everyone out there pretending to be the IRS online: party’s over. The hammer is coming down. Gone are the carefree days when every man, woman, and child could run wild through cyberspace pretending to be Treasury Department without fear of repercussion. ‘Wait’, you ask. ‘Wasn’t this illegal before?’ Apparently not illegal enough, since the House of Representatives voted 407-7 in favor of expanding the the prohibition against using the Treasury names and symbols online. – “Peter White(House votes to punish false IRS portrayals)”:http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/04/18/house-votes-to-punish-false-irs-portrayals/ I narrowly prevented a patron on one of our public stations from making a $39.95 purchase of a “Form 4868(Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return)”:http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf?portlet=3 late Monday afternoon. So I consider this a very good thing, if not something that should have already been done.
Microsoft had a problem. They wanted people in the blogosphere to review their new operating system, Vista, and presumably say nice things about it. The problem lay in that fact they most people either do not have a PC capable of running Vista in Ultimate mode, or aren’t willing to sacrifice their personal computer at the moment to do an upgrade. Eventually, they figured out a solution: offer free laptops to their specially chosen set of reviewers. But wait… it gets better.
bq.This would be a review machine, so I’d love to hear your opinion on the machine and OS. Full disclosure, while I hope you will blog about your experience with the pc, you don’t have to. Also, you are welcome to send the machine back to us after you are done playing with it, or you can give it away to your community, or you can hold onto it for as long as you’d like. Just let me know what you plan to do with it when the time comes. And if you run into any problems let me know. A few of the drivers aren’t quite final, but are very close. – “Unknown Microsoft Employee(The Microsoft ‘Scandal’)”:http://www.crunchnotes.com/?p=331 So… take the laptop and blog about it or not. Then decide if you want to keep it for yourself or not. Apparently, though, the one thing you shouldn’t do is annoy them.
bq.I strongly recommend you disclose that we sent you this machine for review, and I hope you give your honest opinions. Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding of our intentions I’m going to ask that you either give the pc away or send it back when you no longer need it for product reviews. “Unknown Microsoft Employee(Now Microsoft Wants Its Laptop Back’)”:http://marshallk.com/microsoft-wants-its-laptops-back I had been trying to decide how I was going to deal with Vista. My first choice would be to buy 5 copies (1 for my home computer, 1 each for my parents, 1 for my homebrew pvr, and 1 to run inside parallels on my macbook). But since I haven’t figured out if I need home basic or enterprise or ultimate or whatever yet, I have no idea how much I am going to spend or if I should just wait. Or forget the whole thing. And now I have to look at every review with that much more scrutiny. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but right now, I am definitely leaning toward putting Vista off indefinitely. After a year of Sony gaffes and mistakes, it would have been hard to predict that Microsoft was capable of surpassing them with four days left in the year. But I guess we should never understimate their ability to do stupid things. Note: At work, I am still happily operating on a workstation running Windows 2000. I am planning to upgrade soon just so I can test web designs in IE7. Since Microsoft is “playing games(Microsoft leaving Windows 2000 users out in the cold)”:http://www.downloadsquad.com/2006/12/18/microsoft-leaving-windows-2000-users-out-in-the-cold/ in that regard as well.
I don’t always keep up with Library Journal like I should, but our Director was pointing out something that caused me to notice “Google is Not the Net(Google is Not the Net)”:http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6370224.html a few hours ago. Apparently, even Google would agree with that title.
bq.A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device that identifies a particular company’s products or services. Google is a trademark identifying Google Inc. and our search technology and services. While we’re pleased that so many people think of us when they think of searching the web, let’s face it, we do have a brand to protect, so we’d like to make clear that you should please only use “Google” when you’re actually referring to Google Inc. and our services. – “Michael Krantz(Do you Google?)”:http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/do-you-google.html “Steve Rubel(You Can’t Google on Yahoo, But You Can from Yahoo)”:http://www.micropersuasion.com/2006/10/you_cant_google.html and “Eric Rice(Google for Legos on Yahoo)”:http://www.ericrice.com/blog/?p=163 point out how silly this whole thing is. And, of course, this isn’t even a new story as Google has been “complaining(Google Me This, Batman!)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2003/02/25/google to “no avail(Twelve Things about Google)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2003/11/14/google about this for years. Do try in the future to remember that Google is neither the Internet nor a verb but is instead a trademark. You never know when that sort of information may come in handy.
Tuesday Night I was involved in a discussion about how Second Life would soon exceed One Million residents. Someone said it would happen before the end of the year. I predicted it would be before the end of the week. It turns out we were both right and both pretty wrong.
bq.”When *precisely* did we hit 1 million Residents?” – “Pathfinder Linden(When *precisely* did we hit 1 million Residents?)”:http://blog.secondlife.com/2006/10/18/when-precisely-did-we-hit-1-million-residents/ The number of new accounts registered yesterday but was about equal to half of all the new accounts that had been registered when I logged in back in March. I would definitely say that critical mass has been reached.
I attended an appearance by Amazon’s “Jeff Barr(http://www.jeff-barr.com/)”:http://www.syndic8.com/weblog/ tonight in Second Life. It really showed me once again how amazing SL can be: a group of people from who knows where gathered together virtually to listen to a speaker and have a real-time Q&A session. Jeff was a “great speaker(Jeff Barr on Info Island)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelkpate/sets/72157594322288563/ and the audience was both large and enthused. Personally, I had a great time. If you ever get the chance to see him speak (either in Second Life or Real Life), definitely take advantage of it.
I have reached the point in life where I am spend more time divesting myself of material possessions rather than adding new ones. In the past few years, I have donated more than a few books either here to our library or to our local friends. In some cases, when it got to be too much, I donated them to the friends group for one of our local libraries just so I didn’t have to watch them go. I know some people have used “BookCrossing(BookCrossing – The World’s Biggest Free Book Club)”:http://www.bookcrossing.com/ but it never really interested me. A new alternative is “BookMooch(BookMooch: a community for exchanging used books)”:http://bookmooch.com/. To learn more, you can listen to “Inside the Net 33(BookMooch)”:http://www.twit.tv/itn33. If you don’t have a robust “Friends(Friends of Libraries U.S.A.)”:http://www.folusa.org/ group in your area, it is definitely something to consider. But do read this “counter-argument(BookMooch and your public library)”:http://westxdesign.com/libgrl/?p=62 first.
bq.If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flickr, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace. Given that most of their traffic comes from us, If we build adequate if not superior competitors, I think we ought to be able to match them if not exceed them. – “Peter Chernin(MySpace: We don’t need Web 2.0)”:http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/09/12/myspace-we-dont-need-web-20/ I think in three years, when no one uses MySpace anymore, everyone is going to think that quote extremely funny.
bq.And yesterday I learned, as most of you have probably also learned, that Movable Type 3.0 comes with a new licensing plan. 1 author and 3 sites is free. Up to 3 authors and 5 sites: $100. Up to 6 authors and 8 sites: $150. Up to 9 authors and 10 sites: $190. I have 11 Movable Type sites. To upgrade to Movable Type 3.0 would cost me $700. But wait! If I act now, I can take advantage of the special introductory price of $600. Also, all the voluntary donations I’ve made over the years also count towards my purchase. That was $20, and later $45. That brings the price down to $535. $535 for comment moderation. And what about Movable Type 4? How much will that cost? – “Mark Pilgrim(Freedom 0)”:http://diveintomark.org/archives/2004/05/14/freedom-0 Things have changed.
bq.Movable Type 3.3 is free for your personal blog. For as many authors as you want, as many blogs as you want, you can just go get it. As always, you can have affiliate links or AdSense or a tip jar on your personal blog. And there’s dozens of new capabilities in Movable Type 3.3 that make it well worth the upgrade, including support for tags, widgets, huge improvements to the templating language, and activity feeds that let you manage all of your blog’s activity right from a single feed. – “Anil Dash(Movable Type is Free for Personal Bloggers)”:http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/news/2006/08/movable-type-free.html If you follow the link in Anil’s post, you will find this is the second announcement as the first came on July 13th. The thing is, at this point, I am not sure “how many care(Another CMS)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2004/05/15/cms. Once you destroy a community on the Internet, it seems just about impossible to put one back together.