Four short links: 28 January 2010

ISP Lockin, Warped Priorities, Government Data, and Book Piracy

  1. TrueSwitch — “the de facto proprietary API that all the big ISPs use to help users switch, a market opportunity that wouldn’t exist if they just opened up access to each other” in the words of Pete Warden.
  2. Free Publicity: Who Do We Help? (Anil Dash) — I love cool stuff as much as the next guy. What leaves me at a loss, though, is how many otherwise sane and sensible people give their time and energy freely to help support a company like Apple that, despite its elegant designs and generally excellent products (I use many of them), certainly doesn’t need free PR from some of the most talented people on the web.
  3. World Government Data — the Guardian build a meta-index to open government data from four countries and will add more as other countries build sites.
  4. Confessions of a Book Pirate — lots of insights into how guerilla book piracy happens. The scanning process takes about 1 hour per 100 scans. Mass market paperbacks can be scanned two pages at a time flat on the scanner bed, while large trades and hardcovers usually need to be scanned one page at a time. I’m sure that some of the more hardcore scanners disassemble the book and run it through an automatic feeder or something, but I prefer the manual approach because I’d like to save the book, and don’t want to invest in the tools. Usually I can scan a book while watching a movie or two. (via waxy)
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  • perihell

    A very warm THANK YOU for not mentioning the iPad.

    Probably even the “Osservatore Romano” the Vatican’s newspaper had that message.

  • bowerbird

    i saw no “insights” into “guerilla book piracy” in that interview.

    so i’m wondering why you (and tim o’reilly himself) praised it.

    if you guys didn’t know that most “pirates” are _book-lovers_,
    then you didn’t know the very first thing about such “pirates”.

    here’s another news flash: the women who share recipes
    love to cook. (cue craig ferguson: “i know! who knew?)


  • Alex Tolley

    Re: piracy.

    So who is hurt if you substitute pirated books for used books? Clearly both the author and publisher are not benefiting from the sale of used books. Neither are they hurt for books that are old and out of print, with no intention of doing reprints.

    My sense is that Google’s book scanning is going to meet most people’s needs. Free to read excerpts and costs a few bucks to buy a complete copy. Buying a POD would be even nicer for a lot of us, and I suspect the pirate too.

    Bowerbird – sometimes the “obvious” just needs to be stated as a prophylactic :)

  • Nat Torkington

    @perihell: you’re welcome :) I try not to cover “weather report” type news, but to post things that aren’t what everyone’s talking about. Sometimes I include funny things, sometimes I do cover the breaking news, but for the most part “no transient news” is my guide.