E-books and paper books
Sep 23rd, 2012 by Ken Hagler

I’ve been box­ing up my stacks of books, and thought it would be inter­est­ing to see just how many there were. For some time now I’ve been using an appli­ca­tion called Deli­cious Library to keep track of my paper library, and it shows that I cur­rent­ly have 639 books. Since I bought my first Kin­dle in 2009, the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of my new book pur­chas­es have been e-books, with the excep­tions being cer­tain for­mats that don’t trans­late well into a Kin­dle title: pho­tog­ra­phy books, cer­tain com­put­er books, and graph­ic nov­els. I looked at my e-book library for com­par­i­son.

I use an open-source appli­ca­tion called Cal­i­bre to store my e-book library, and it shows that I cur­rent­ly have 713 e-books. This total has in less than four years passed the num­ber of print­ed books I’ve accu­mu­lat­ed in my life. Fur­ther, most of those titles were not actu­al­ly pur­chased. I’ve bought 130 titles from Ama­zon, and per­haps a dozen or so from oth­er online book­sellers, but the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of my e-books were pub­lished free of charge–either orig­i­nal works or pre-Mickey Mouse titles released by orga­ni­za­tions like Project Guten­berg. I’ve gen­er­al­ly avoid­ed buy­ing e-books from the lega­cy New York pub­lish­ing com­pa­nies, which have adopt­ed a pol­i­cy of delib­er­ate­ly over­pric­ing e-books in an attempt to dis­cour­age peo­ple from adopt­ing the tech­nol­o­gy (under­stand­ably so, since e-books ren­der them not just obso­lete, but actu­al­ly coun­ter­pro­duc­tive).

Big Brother technology
Sep 2nd, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Your car, tracked: the rapid rise of license plate read­ers [Ars Tech­ni­ca]

A look at one of the less-known tech­nolo­gies that the gov­ern­ment uses to spy on peo­ple.

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