I have a confession to make. Earlier this year I got my hands on an audiobook CD version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic Dune, which I used to research a segment on how to rip audiobook CDs to an iPod. But what started as research became an obsession. For several weeks, I stopped listening to music or my regular rotation of podcasts and devoted all of my recreational listening hours to Dune (mind you, it's a long book). When it was done...I listened to the whole thing all over again! A month of my life got sucked … Read more
If you're an avid reader, and you don't want to pick up a Kindle or a book from your local library, several Web sites let you read while you're surfing the Web.
Admittedly, the experience is less than ideal. Those of us who already spend time staring at a computer screen for work don't necessarily want to stare at a screen to read a book. I should also note that not all the books the sites offer will feature the kind of content you love. Many of the services offer many out-of-print books or classics due to copyright disputes. That said, using these sites, I still think you will find at least some titles that will suit your fancy.Start reading
Alex Catalogue of Electronic Books: As someone who focuses much of my time reading history and philosophy works, Alex Catalogue of Electronic Books is an ideal site for me.
The majority of titles on Alex Catalogue of Electronic Books includes great literary works over the past few hundred years. The site also has prominent titles on Western history and philosophy. They range from books by Niccolo Machiavelli to Ralph Waldo Emerson. When you click on a title you're interested in, the site quickly delivers the text.
I was generally impressed by the Alex Catalogue. Although I would have liked to see more historical content on the site, the books that are available were worth checking out. And thanks to a quick load time, it made the site all the more useful. You can also print the texts so you don't need to sit at your computer screen to read them.
AskSam: AskSam is an interesting site. It doesn't feature nearly as many books as I would have liked (in fact, it has just a handful of classics), but it makes several documents available that make it a viable alternative for those who aren't necessarily looking to read an e-book online.
When you first get to AskSam, you'll see a listing of some of the "classics" it has available. When you click on those titles, you can typically read them on the site. A few books require you to download the text, but those are few and far between. Overall, the selection is poor. I would have liked to see more books. But in the end, it didn't detract too much from the service.
I found that AskSam's extras provided the most value. They include several interesting documents, like a collection of all the speeches President Barack Obama has recited, legislative texts, transcripts on important political events, and more. It's a nice collection to sift through. And if you don't want to read them online, they can all be printed out from your browser.… Read more
Small Library Organizer Pro is a database program for keeping track of the contents of libraries. Although the program works fine, there are likely more sophisticated options available to accomplish this task.
The program's interface looks very dated: it's reminiscent of Windows 95. Not surprisingly, it's not particularly intuitive, and in general its layout feels somewhat cluttered and clunky. To its credit, the program does open with a brief explanation of its features, allowing users to get started without too much trouble. The program offers five different database templates to choose from; Borrowers, Library, Loans, and Fines. … Read more
Some people have set up iTunes to keep the library files and other resources in a shared location so they can access them from multiple accounts. When updating iTunes; however, you may lose this functionality.… Read more
Manage Your Videos 2009 provides users with a simple program to catalog their movie collection. While we would have liked to see a few tweaks, this is an easy program that practically anyone can utilize.
The program's interface will surely require a trip to the Help file. There isn't much onscreen direction about the command icons or the cluttered video library screen. Thankfully, a little experimenting will make this program feel like second nature. In order to populate their library, users must input a lot of data, which is our only gripe with the program. Users must fill … Read more
A security hole in Internet Explorer that opened the browser to hackers since early July was caused by a single typo in Microsoft's code.
An errant ampersand ("&") took the blame for the exploit, admitted Microsoft in a blog published Tuesday at its Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) Web site.
Michael Howard, a security program manager at Microsoft, explained in his blog that the typo corrupted the code of an ActiveX control used by the browser. The control was created by Microsoft using an older library of code, which Howard admitted has flaws. Because of those flaws, the … Read more
Delicious Monster's Library for iPhone app--introduced as a companion to the company's popular Mac Delicious Library 2 application--was removed from the iTunes App Store on Tuesday due to conflicts with Amazon's Product Advertising API License agreement terms.
The announcement came from Delicious Monster CEO Wil Shipley, who relayed the bad news via Twitter. Apparently, the company was forced to remove the app because it uses Amazon application programming interfaces (APIs), thus giving it access to information stored in Amazon's database. Amazon prohibits this type of use in section 4e of the terms governing the use of … Read more
I couldn't pick just one deal today, so here are five to jump-start your weekend:
Much as I'm loving the iPhone version of Peggle, I think it's a little pricey at $4.99. Good news: Right now it's on sale for just 99 cents [iTunes link]. No-brainer. Buy it. Thanks to reader Harold for the tip!
I'm not loving Amazon MP3's current selection of $5 albums, but there's one standout: Holst's The Planets, one of my all-time classical favorites. ("Mars" gets all the attention, but "Jupiter" is really … Read more
News junkies can rejoice over Magnesium: RSS Ticker 7. This unique download allows Web surfers to keep an eye on the news while doing almost anything.
This program comes to users in the form of a classic news ticker, a scrolling line of information that never stops. This one appears at the bottom of a user's screen and stays on top of all open items. A small line of text scrolls from right to left and details some of the biggest headlines around the world. Users can roll their mouse over a headline to get a description of the … Read more
Got plans tonight? Want to talk tech with yours truly? Live within a reasonable distance of the Wayne Public Library here in Michigan? If so, I'll be there at 7 p.m.
On the playbill for this evening: gadgets, gear, and, of course, how to score cheap deals on stuff. It's a free program, and I might just have something neat to raffle off.
Sorry for the late notice, but I hope you can make it! (Here's a map to the library in case you need directions.)