Four short links: 8 February 2010

Kindle SDK, Javascript eBook Reader, Peer Review Review, eBook Moments

  1. Kindle Development Kit APIs — Amazon will release a Kindle SDK. These are the API docs. (via obra on Twitter)
  2. rePublish — all-Javascript ebook reader. (via kellan on Twitter)
  3. Peer Review: What’s it Good For? (Cameron Neylon) — harsh and honest review of peer review with some important questions for the future of science. But there is perhaps an even more important procedural issue around peer review. Whatever value it might have we largely throw away. Few journals make referee’s reports available, virtually none track the changes made in response to referee’s comments enabling a reader to make their own judgement as to whether a paper was improved or made worse. Referees get no public credit for good work, and no public opprobrium for poor or even malicious work. And in most cases a paper rejected from one journal starts completely afresh when submitted to a new journal, the work of the previous referees simply thrown out of the window. Some lessons in here for social software, too.
  4. Analog IMDBThe transition is moving slowly, but it’s moving. It’s a fascinating thing to watch. The technology is the dull part: what’s interesting is the shift in perception. You know how sometimes you turn off a certain section of your brain and force yourself to see a word not as a piece of language with meaning, but as a sequence of black shapes and white spaces? It’s like you’re seeing that image for the very first time and suddenly “bird” seems like a very odd thing. I’ve been buying all of my in-print books electronically for a couple of years. Physical books aren’t weird to me yet. But damn, that old copy of the Maltin guide was a freaky and bizarre object. It’s the first time I looked at a book and didn’t see a container for information. I saw dead wood.
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