Google Street View Now Offers Digital Travelers Historical Photos

eBookNewser - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 22:53

The joy of Google maps can only be augmented by more than just 3D buildings – they also show users how those spaces looked as a different space in history. The new update to the navigation service is not a ground breaker. Rather, it’s a simple way to see things differently, with new photographs submitted by other users.

Google’s Street View’s new timeline is conceptually similar to Bing’s historical mapping, which also use old photos. Unlike Google, Bing has been advancing its digital maps as smashups of old and new maps. Bing maps have also used user-submitted photos, but has failed to include a nice time machine interface like Google Maps. continued…

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Rocki: A Wireless Device to Make Your Speakers Work Wirelessly

eBookNewser - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 20:12

The branding gurus behind this new wireless speaker accessory has aptly named their product Rocki. The wireless adapter is a colorful, rock-shaped device that can connect any pre-internet speakers with a phone or computer that can connect to Wi-Fi. If you have a speaker with a 3.5mm or RCA auxiliary input, this is an easy solution to get it to talk sweet music.
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'Mobile reading revolution' takes off in developing world

Guardian Books - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 17:21
Unesco study reports huge growth in adults and children reading books on phones in Africa and the Indian subcontinent

Unesco is pointing to a "mobile reading revolution" in developing countries after a year-long study found that adults and children are increasingly reading multiple books and stories on their phones.

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Visiting libraries makes us as happy as a £1,359 pay rise

Guardian Books - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 16:10
Well, that's what a study from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport seems to say. Strange, then, that it's not reversing its policies on closing libraries

Great news for book lovers. The results of a study commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to measure which activities make us happier are in and the top joy-inducing spots are occupied by dancing, swimming and wait for it, wait for it ... going to the library. Apparently, the uplift it gives people is equivalent to a £1,359 pay rise.

I know. It's fantastic. Faced with figures like that, especially from research it demanded and paid for its very own self, a ministerial department would have to be mad not to look again at any policy that had, since last year, resulted in an estimated 493 libraries around the country being closed, palmed off to volunteers or facing closure. It would have to be stuffed to the gills with fools, or people who are so unfeeling that they remain unmoved in the face of increasing, quantifiable human unhappiness.

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Admit it: most of us don't understand Shakespeare

Telegraph - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 16:00
As the world celebrates Shakespeare's 450th birthday, Dominic Cavendish explains why seeing the plays in performance is not enough






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Scientists Can Now Charge Smartphones Over Longer Distances

eBookNewser - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 16:00

The research behind smartphones has progressed across staggering distances, material and various forms of waves. All of the new ways scientists are charging smartphones are impressive, but the method originating from South Korea can charge 40 at the same time.
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Shakespeare's dictionary is a possibility that makes me look up

Guardian Books - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 15:55
Claims that a rediscovered copy of John Baret's Quadruple Dictionarie belonged to the playwright are unproven but very exciting

If ever there was a claim which I would love to see be proved true, it is this one. In time for Shakespeare's 450th birthday marked on Wednesday with a wealth of quizzes and "10 things you didn't know about"s and idiotic "Shakespeare would have liked Twitter" press releases rare booksellers in New York have announced that they believe they have purchased the playwright's own dictionary.

Before we go into the whys and wherefores of it all: just imagine if it turns out to be true. Shakespeare's dictionary! It doesn't seem possible; it makes him seem all too human.

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Anesthesia Devices Can Fail When Connected to Cell Phones

eBookNewser - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 15:00

Medical professionals and patients should be warned a potentially deadly bug in anesthesia machines. Problem can be found in version 2.0 of the AKRON anesthesia delivery system. When a device such as a phone is plugged into the anesthesia machine, it can cause lethal failure while delivering oxygen and/or medicine to surgical patients.
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Gabriel García Márquez: readers' tributes

Guardian Books - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 14:30

We asked you to tell us what the Colombian writer meant to you and which life stories you associate with his tales. Here is a selection of your memories of travels, loves and hopes

See all the contributions and submit your own on GuardianWitness

The more I read Gabo, the more I felt very close to him; almost like a paternal figure. Me, as journalist, was very influenced by his work, but I guess that almost every journalist in Colombia and Latin America has been influenced by the great Gabo. I love that guy, he wasn't just a great writer, but a great human being.

by Samuel Losada

García Márquez: Forty years of Companionship. Towards the end of 1975, soon after I turned 20, the beautiful colombian girl who had been my lover for a few precious months, gave me by way of consolation for ending our relationship One Hundred Years of Solitude. "Read this", she said, "and you will understand my country and why everyone at home is talking about Gabo".

At first the book did little to comfort my insatiable longing for her. Its narrative seemed as impenetrable as the mountains and swamps that José Arcadio Buendía tries to cross in search of the sea before founding Macondo.

I had not the patience for this journey except that in the final pages, an erotic encounter between Amaranta Ursula and Aureliano evoked a peculiar yearning which still troubles my memory nearly 40 years on. I could not at the time face the fact that this writer had the power to reveal my soul's longing in a way which felt too unsafe for me to admit.

I read nothing more until he published Love in the Time of Cholera which miraculously described further my experience of romantic love. I have not stopped reading Gabriel García Márquez ever since. He understands love better than William Shakespeare.

I found One Hundred Years of Solitude in the guest library of a hotel I was working at in Mexico. It was one of the few books in English I had found, so I swooped on it and shoved it up my shirt. It was truly magical and enhanced my experience of Mexico and Latin America and led me to other great Latin American works. This enhanced love of all things Latino meant that my six-month work placement in Mexico turned into 7 amazing years, not quite 100 and certainly not in solitude, as I met my husband here also!

A small town with a couple of hundred inhabitants, in the Bolivian Yungas where I lived for three months in 1997 and read a lot of books. Including "The General in his Labyrinth" and "Love in the Time of Cholera", haunting novels that I associate with the warm tropical air, the banana trees, coca leaves, and the fireflies at night. Magical writing, and a very happy time.

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18 April 2014, 21:37


When I left Chile in 1976, One Hundred Years of Solitude came with me. Living in a foreign land has been hard, reading about Macondo in the middle of the night has helped me to survive my own solitude and this very old book with stay near me for ever. There is hope.

On a hot and lazy Sunday afternoon in August, 1997, during one of the most painful periods in my life, I sat down and read Love In The Time Of Cholera and all the ugliness in my life and all the pain just melted away...

When I finished the book, I drifted off to sleep to the sound of Ry Cooder's Cancion Mixteca a beautiful novel, followed by a beautiful song a perfect end to a perfect day.

I read One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1996, while my mother and I nursed her mother through the final months of terminal cancer. I had grown up with my grandmother and her stories. She was born in 1912 and did not go to school, instead she rode wild horses through prickly pear on the central western Queensland cattle property her father had built from scrub. She grew up with tribal Aborigines, with the Depression, self-sufficiency, but also dressing for dinner and having books sent out from England by boat.

The experience of reading One Hundred Years of Solitude at this time changed my life. My grandmother died about the same time I finished the book, and I returned to my inner city bohemian share house in Sydney and sold all my possessions. I then began four years of constant travel around Australia and around the world. I earned my money by being a street musician, boat builder, farm laborer and smuggler. I had entered the world of possibility and coincidence.

whilst living in different countries, my partner and I would send each other passages we liked from the books we were reading.

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20 April 2014, 4:48

I have never been surrounded by journalists, so I still question myself about how or why did I become one of them. Nevertheless, there is a secret in my family that could reveal the truth. One of my uncles is Jose Mejia Garzon, a tailor whose profession was passed on by my grandpa. Jose became the man chosen by highly reputed politicians, entrepreneurs and journalists to design and make up their suits. One of those personalities was Gabriel García Márquez.

My godmother, Mariela, as well as other relatives joined the business. She was in charge of sewing by hand the pieces of fabric to be tried on by clients before the suits were finalized. She used to work at my grandmother's place, a big house in Chapinero neighborhood in Bogotá that now is used as a storage unit.

I wrote my uni thesis on his works, after a lefty Spanish ex-girlfriend got me into his writings during our relationship.

Although most revere One Hundred Years of Solitude, in my opinion Love in the Time of Cholera is by far the better, sweeter and more memorable novel. But it's his short story in the Strange Pilgrims collection about the young Madrid boys who drowned themselves in light that still raises goosebumps to recall it decades later...

I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude as I was backpacking around the world in the late 1970s. In the days before the internet, iPads and Kindles books were precious commodities on the backpackers' trail. One carried two or three books (generally 2 novels, one copy of South-East Asia on a Shoestring), selected them carefully to get the best reading value, and exchanged them equally carefully to get the best value from the trade. I can't remember the book I traded to get One Hundred Years of Solitude (one of the most prized books among backpackers at the time) or what I passed it along for. But I will never forget the impact the book had on me. I had just finished a literature degree, and my whole literary education through high school and university was based firmly on the English-language (particularly English) classics, supplemented by a few Russian greats. One Hundred Years of Solitude was the first book I had read from Latin/South American/Spanish-language culture and it was mind-expanding. The beauty, magic and sensuality of the writing came at a time when my mind was opening to new cultures and ways of thinking through the experience of travel, and this book (followed by Love in the Time of Cholera my favourite, too) was a key part of this process. Literature can't be more valuable than this.

I read One Hundred Years of Solitude with my mother in Chinese. We live in a city deep inland in China. I bought the book from a contraband bookselling vendor (as it is a rampant establishment in China.) We were both very moved by the story. As I was taking courses on Latin America, I became especially appreciative of the history of struggle with the country's fate the book illuminates, whereas my mother became more drawn to the fate of the protagonists as individuals. As always, I enjoyed reading the book with my mother, who is a literary aficionado, with her interest confined by the cultural revolution happened in China between 1966 and 1976. The book resonates with her because her longed individual freedom in expressions and feelings, the book resonates with me because my awareness of my own country's fate and the concern for its future.

Our readings of the book mirror two generations' journeys of emotion and consciousness under a changing totalitarian country. I feel closer to my mother, through our common appreciation of the book, and the shared feelings the book arose. We are both saddened by the Garcia Marquez's death. I am currently living in a country thousands miles away from China, and have been away from home for two years. I got the news from my mom via the internet. A sudden but profound loneliness crept into my consciousness again. I miss my mother. I miss the hot summer night, where we were lying in bed discussing the Garcia Marquez, cultural revolution, and the fate of China...

I was in Norway, aged 18, and falling head over heels in love with an incredible girl when I first heard of Gabriel García Márquez. My love was unrequited, and in my gloom someone I met in the pub recommended Love in the Time of Cholera to me. Thank you that man it made my heart sing and sing. Ten years later I suffered again from agonising unrequited love, and once again I read this beautiful book. It somehow turns the unbearable into the beautiful.

Reading aloud: One Hundred Years of Solitude was the first adult book I read in its entirety when I was around 12 years old. I read it again later and loved it even more but then travelling in the US I met this amazing man and we cycled around the Washington state, and he read the book aloud in the evening, while we were camping under the stars.

He has been my umbilical cord: When I left Chile in 1976, One Hundred Years of Solitude came with me. During all these years, this book , the same copy, has been my contact with my roots, my family, my past life. When nights are too long, too dark and too far, I open the draw to take it out and reading any page a familiar place comes to my memory and help me to survive the night. With him, something has died inside me.

At our wedding one of our daughters, Danica, read from Love in the Time of Cholera--the section about loves when you are no longer young. And we are having a life of fulfillment and love and respect and honour. I am thankful. And Marquez' voice is still with us.

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21 April 2014, 0:09

I went back to reading Márquez recently, after reading One Hundred Years of Solitude in high school. It was so impressive to a young mind that I still talk about it to my daughter, who is becoming an avid reader though too young for Márquez right now.

I read A Chronicle of a Death Foretold and it blew my mind. It is a unique book, a story told with such precision, speed and ability. As with other books that stand out, it shows once more that it is not always what happens to the characters we know what happens from the title but how the story is told.

I read my brothers copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude when I was 17 years old. As I got confused with the characters, I made a genealogy that continued to be consulted by those who read the book afterward. It is still in its pages.

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19 April 2014, 23:34

I did Spanish 'A' Level in 1989. I was quite a book reader at the time at least for a 17 year-old football fan/boy. Then she (the teacher, Ms Morris) got us to read El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba. And I was gone. To South America. Into the heady concoction of dreams, reality, Catholicism, exotic birds, oppressive weather, coffee, parades, tradition, blooming colours... And then I read page 2. And I've never returned since.

I visited my dad's cousin in London soon after, as I was wont to do. She had a floor-to-ceiling wall of books from around the world. Her three daughters at that time in their early/mid 20s, up to whom I looked with great affection and awe were living in South and Central America (one still does, in Colombia) and had influenced the book choices in that London household. I spotted more García Márquez, asked to borrow and became lost in his world for a second time: this time The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings. Intense feelings gripped me then and still do to-day upon re-reading this, or indeed any of his incomparable work.

One Hundred Years of Solitude: there were two scenes from the book that made me cry so much that I had to close the book to recover. One of them was when Ursula' s older son returns to the village with his body covered in tattoos. When his mother goes to meet him and appears among the crowd that greets him, he barely looks at her.

I began 'Love in the Time of Cholera' a few months ago as part of an insistence that I should independently study a Spanish-language novel for my A Level Spanish cultural topic. Having heard the name of Marquez only vaguely in the past, this choice was little more than a search through famous Spanish-language novels to find one that might appeal, especially for a student who had never made it beyond the realm of English literature. I never imagined that I would end up falling for a book so entirely. I loved every minute of reading it, but the really ground-breaking point for me must have been the quote: 'once he had told her something that she could not imagine: that amputees suffer pains, cramps, itches, in the leg that is no longer there. That is how she felt without him, feeling his presence where he no longer was.' At that moment, the relationships within the novel really clicked and I firmly understood that I had stumbled upon a brilliant author.

Gabo gave my student paper a story: in the late eighties I helped run a student Spanish-language paper called 'El Otro' at the now merged Westfield College, University of London, with Ana Clavell. We discussed our lack of heavyweight contributions to the paper and I said we needed a South-American short story writer, but how would we ever afford their fee? Ana somehow found out Gabo's number (she had that great knack for people's numbers), phoned him and he gave us The Airplane of the Sleeping Beauty for publication after a five-minute chat with her.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is epic, and Love in the Time of Cholera is haunting, but my favorite García Márquez book is the slender masterpiece Chronicle of a Death Foretold. All his patent literary and stylistic tropes are here, but more refined, trimmed of its fat, and presented in much, much more human terms. I was 20 years old, studying in the art college, when I first read it. There is a strange fragile elegance to it which I've been looking for in all other books I've read since, without success.

I'm a youngish mother of two. I'm reading Cien Años de Soledad on the narrow geraniumed balcony of our home in La Elipa, Madrid. It was hot. Summer hot. Little Ones and their dad were having siesta. I was keeping a certain independence of spirit through this time of my own. Trying to understand an imagination that was difficult for me. I will now leave that flowered balcony and read again those Cien Años de Soledad with a further thirty years of moons. Surely it will be another book.

It took me 10 years to finish Love In The Time Of Cholera because I hated the idea of finishing it and no longer being part of an adventure like any other. To read a few pages every month let me believe I was part of a fantastic journey of the human spirit.

I just returned from my first trip to South America seven years ago.. totally in love with the place and its people, and heartbroken for being back in Europe.. I borrowed the book in our local library.. some Czechoslovakian socialist edition from the 70-ties.. I locked myself with it in my then little rent countryside flat.. staying in bed, reading, crying, smiling.. being touched by magic and beauty.. enjoying the solitude..

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DARPA Developing Drones Into Wireless Hotspots

eBookNewser - Wed, 23/04/2014 - 14:00

The US Department of Defense is seeking to deploy an army of drones as wireless hot spots: the DARPA project of drones as hot spots appear to be similar in scope to that of Google’s Balloons and Facebook’s UAVs but it will be funded by the Department of Defense.

The project has been progressing since 2012 and is now entering its second phase of testing. Once completed, DARPA’s UAVs will fly and distribute Wi-Fi to military personnel or another computer while performing surveillance. The UAVs will be used in locations during military missions, potentially with other drones when in remote or desert areas. continued…

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