- Jirafe — open source e-commerce analytics for Magento platform.
- iModela — a $1000 3D milling machine. (via BoingBoing)
- It’s Too Late to Save The Common Web (Robert Scoble) — paraphrased: “Four years ago, I told you all that Google and Facebook were evil. You did nothing, which is why I must now use Google and Facebook.” His list of reasons that Facebook beats the Open Web gives new shallows to the phrase “vanity metrics”. Yes, the open web does not go out of its way to give you an inflated sense of popularity and importance. On the other hand, the things you do put there are in your control and will stay as long as you want them to. But that’s obviously not a killer feature compared to a bottle of Astroglide and an autorefreshing page showing your Klout score and the number of Google+ circles you’re in.
- iBooks Author EULA Clarified (MacObserver) — important to note that it doesn’t say you can’t use the content you’ve written, only that you can’t sell .ibook files through anyone but Apple. Less obnoxious than the “we own all your stuff, dude” interpretation, but still a bit crap. I wonder how anticompetitive this will be seen as. Apple’s vertical integration is ripe for Justice Department investigation.
The NoSQL movement, a victory for the web, and it's time to end DRM and embrace a unified ebook format.
This week on O'Reilly: Mike Loukides surveyed the NoSQL database landscape, the open web scored an important victory in court, and Joe Wikert said it's time to embrace a unified ebook format and abandon DRM.
B&N shuns Amazon, Goodreads shuns Amazon, Jonathan Franzen shuns ebooks.
Barnes & Noble ramped up its battle with Amazon this week by shutting it out of its stores. Elsewhere, Goodreads broke up with Amazon’s data API and Jonathan Franzen declared ebooks will be the downfall of civilization.
Hosting Jurisdiction, Net Serendipity, Kindle Autographs, and Text Box Hackery
- Data Jurisdiction — information from the NineFold hosting company in Australia. Has some Aussie-specific content, but would be great to see this internationalized. (via Lachlan Hardy)
- Anatomy of an Idea (Steven Johnson) — people who think the Web is killing off serendipity are not using it correctly. Lovely glimpse at how he works, chasing trails of ideas down and using Google and Twitter for research. (via Maria Popova)
- Autograph Stickers for Kindle Books (Clay Johnson) — clever solution to the “but I can’t get my Kindle book autographed!”.
Publishing startups, data, and ebook quality are among TOC 2012's key topics.
Tools of Change for Publishing chairs Kat Meyer and Joe Wikert reveal their top recommendations for things to see, do and watch at the upcoming conference.
Gurvinder Batra on KiwiTech's publishing-specific approach.
In this TOC Podcast, KiwiTech founder and CTO Gurvinder Batra talks about how his company masters the challenges of developing apps for the publishing industry. He also says native apps are a better option than EPUB.
Internet in Culture, Flash Security Tool, Haptic E-Books, and Facebook Mining Private Updates
- How The Internet Gets Inside Us (The New Yorker) — at any given moment, our most complicated machine will be taken as a model of human intelligence, and whatever media kids favor will be identified as the cause of our stupidity. When there were automatic looms, the mind was like an automatic loom; and, since young people in the loom period liked novels, it was the cheap novel that was degrading our minds. When there were telephone exchanges, the mind was like a telephone exchange, and, in the same period, since the nickelodeon reigned, moving pictures were making us dumb. When mainframe computers arrived and television was what kids liked, the mind was like a mainframe and television was the engine of our idiocy. Some machine is always showing us Mind; some entertainment derived from the machine is always showing us Non-Mind. (via Tom Armitage)
- SWFScan — Windows-only Flash decompiler to find hardcoded credentials, keys, and URLs. (via Mauricio Freitas)
- Paranga — haptic interface for flipping through an ebook. (via Ben Bashford)
- Facebook Gives Politico Deep Access to Users Political Sentiments (All Things D) — Facebook will analyse all public and private updates that mention candidates and an exclusive partner will “use” the results. Remember, if you’re not paying for it then you’re the product and not the customer.
Emotional Phone, Standup Desk, Mobile Sensors, and eBook Travails
- Samsung Develops Emotion-Sensing Smartphone (ExtremeTech) — By analyzing how fast you type, how much the phone shakes, how often you backspace mistakes, and how many special symbols are used, the special Galaxy S II can work out whether you’re angry, surprised, happy, sad, fearful, or disgusted, with an accuracy of 67.5% From a research paper from a research group on an unannounced product. Nice idea and clever use of incidental data, though 2/3 accuracy isn’t something to write home about. Reminds me of Sandy Pentland‘s Reality Mining. (via James Governor)
- The $40 Standup Desk — we’ve solved the usability of software, but hardware remains stubbornly dangerous to use. There’s a reason nobody refers to “laptops” any more (if you use them on your lap, you might as well call them “wristkillers”).
- funf — an extensible sensing and data processing framework for mobile devices being developed at the MIT Media Lab […] an open source, reusable set of functionalities, enabling the collection, uploading, and configuration of a wide range of data types. LGPL, Android.
- eBook Publishing Isn’t That Easy — list of the things you have to worry about when you self-publish. This line is gold: Locating a distributor. Amazon pays me 17 bucks for a 50-dollar book. Can you say “assholes?” LuLu pays me 43 bucks, but only if you buy on their site. Do the math. Platform vendors own authors and small publishers. (via Josh Clark)
Why no-questions-asked ebook refund policies work.
Joe Wikert says if you trust your customers with a generous ebook returns policy, they'll pay you back with loyalty and future business.