Weekend Digital Catalog Suggested Reading, Viewing & Listening

Here is the list of suggested digital reading, viewing and listening titles for this weekend!

Suggested E-Books:

The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin: Onetime underground journalist Sandy Blair has come a long way from his radical roots in the ’60s–until something unexpectedly draws him back: the bizarre and brutal murder of a rock promoter who made millions with a band called the Nazgûl. Now, as Sandy sets out to investigate the crime, he finds himself drawn back into his own past–a magical mystery tour of the pent-up passions of his generation. For a new messiah has resurrected the Nazgûl and the mad new rhythm may be more than anyone bargained for–a requiem of demonism, mind control, and death, whose apocalyptic tune only Sandy may be able to change in time . . . before everyone follows the beat.

Edwin of the Iron Shoes: Sharon McCone Mystery Series, Book 1 by Marcia Muller: The book that launched the massively popular series! It’s Sharon McCone’s first case as staff investigator for All Souls Legal Cooperative. She knows nothing about antiques, yet she has an affection for Salem Street with its charming mix of antique and curio shops. Now elderly dealer Joan Albritton has been found dead, stabbed with an antique dagger. Her neighbors are shocked. Recurring vandalism has them frightened. And McCone’s introduction to Lieutenant Gregory Marcus doesn’t help matters. Ferreting out the facts will take Sharon from the chaotic jumble of the junk dealer’s establishment to a museum where San Francisco’s most elegant socialites gather.

Silverlock: Silverlock Series, Book 1 by John Myers Myers: Clarence Shandon was just an MBA from Wisconsin before a shipwreck transported him to the shores of the fantastic Commonwealth of Letters. He journeys through history and myth, meeting unforgettable names from Circe to Robin Hood along the way. But the journey changes him from the studious, conceited academic to a legend in his own right: Silverlock.

Suggested Album:

Almanac Singers: Talking Union (1941-1942) by various artists including Millard Lampell, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, et. al. (Note: this is classic American folk music!)

Digital download includes the following songs:

1 The Strange Death of John Doe

2 Plow Under

3 Ballad of October 16th

4 Liza Jane

5 Billy Boy

6 C for Conscription: ‘C’ for Conscription

7 Washington Breakdown

8 Talking Union

9 Union Train

10 Which Side Are You On?

11 Get Thee Behind Me, Satan

12 Union Maid

13 All I Want

14 Song for Bridges

15 Babe O’ Mine

16 Dear Mr. President

17 Belt-Line Girl

18 Round and Round Hitler’s Grave

19 Side by Side

20 Deliver The Goods

21 The Sinking of the Reuben James

Suggested Audio Book:

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History (unabridged) by Antonio Mendez, Matt Baglio, Dylan Baker: “The true account of the 1979 rescue of six American hostages from Iran

On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there’s a little-known footnote to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a midlevel agent named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them. Armed with foreign film visas, Mendez and an unlikely team of CIA agents and Hollywood insiders—directors, producers, and actors—traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect scenery and backdrops, the team succeeded in contacting the escapees and smuggling them out of Iran without a single shot being fired.

Antonio Mendez finally details the mind-bogglingly complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A true story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of this history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage.”

Suggested Video:

The Lost World (1925): A world wide sensation when it opened on February 15, 1925, “The Lost World” is a story of living dinosaurs from the Jurassic age written by the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and starring a cast of stegosaurus, allosaurus, brontosaurus, triceratops, and pterodactyl under the technical direction of Willis H. O’Brien (King Kong, Mighty Joe Young) and a cast of actors under the direction of Harry O. Hoyt.

The STLS Digital Catalog may be found on the library’s homepage of SSCLIBRARY.ORG

Or via the following link:


And if you have an app device look for the OverDrive Media Console app in your app store – it is the app that will allow you to check out free library e-books and audio books.

Digital Catalog music and video titles must currently be downloaded to a Windows computer to enjoy.

Have a great weekend!

Linda R. 

New Flipboard App Update Allows You To Create Your Own Magazines & Penguin Decides To Allow Public Libraries To “Buy” Their E-Books Again – With A Catch

New Flipboard App Update Allows You To Create Your Own Magazines: Flipboard, which was already a really cool news app available for both Apple and Android devices, just got even cooler! If you’re not familiar with it Flipboard is an app that allows you to customize the news stories you see – you can select categories like sports, business, food and dining, books or technology or specific journals or news sites like Forbes Sports and Money, CNET or Bloomberg news. So in essence you select only the categories and or journals that you want to see stories from – so if you love to read business and sports articles but aren’t in the least interested in articles on interior design or cooking you can tailor the app so that  you’ll only see stories in categories that you like. For example, being a fan of technology, books and history I’ve got categories on my version of Flipboard for history, CNET, Mashable and NPR Books but since I’m not in the least interested sports (apologies to the incredulous sports fans out there!) you won’t find any sports stories in my version of Flipboard.

And customizing Flipboard to suit your taste and interests is already cool but Flipboard has just updated the app and made it cooler still because now you can create your own magazines based upon articles that you’ve read; basically you select articles that you like and place them in a magazine that you title whatever you wish and then you can read the magazine at your leisure and even share it with friends, family or other Flipboard users.

Here’s a link to a review of the new app by the Wall Street Journal personal tech columnist Walt Mossberg:


Penguin Decides To Allow Public Libraries To “Buy” Their E-Books Again – With A Catch: As you may recall last year the Penguin, which is one of the largest publishers in the United States, discontinued offering their e-books for sale through the OverDrive platform. OverDrive is the largest e-book platform vendor for public libraries in the United States. Now it seems Penguin has reconsidered at least a little bit. As of April 2, 2013 Penguin will again start selling e-books to public libraries through two other content vendors 3M and Baker & Taylor but with a catch – these e-books really won’t be sold to public libraries that use those two content providers – they will be licensed at prices comparable to the hard cover list price of the same title – for a year. And after a year the public libraries will either have to pay Penguin again to license the books for another year or their patrons will lose access to those e-books.

Just of note in relation, the STLS Digital Catalog uses the OverDrive vendor to provide e-books and digital videos and audios for our patrons so at the present time we will not be able to purchase Penguin e-books for the Digital Catalog.

Here’s a link to a paidContent article on the subject titled Penguin will offer its new ebooks to libraries again as of April 2:


Have a great day!

Linda R.

P.S. just a quick reminder the library will be closed tomorrow, Friday, March 29 for a combination library cleaning and staff development day. We will also be closed on Sunday, March 31 in observance of Easter. However, we will be open our usual hours on Saturday, March 30 – 10 AM – 4 PM – so if you’re out and about on Saturday stop by the library for some spring break reading or viewing material.


Mossberg, Walt. (2013, March 27). New Flipboard: News and Posts Handpicked and Shared. Wall Street Journal. Online.

Owen, Laura Hazard. (2013, March 28). Penguin will offer its new ebooks to libraries again as of April 2. paidContent. Online.

How Cloud Computing Is Becoming Ubiquitous & Stream Past Mad Men Seasons Before Season Six Premiers

How Cloud Computing Is Becoming Ubiquitous: I came across a neat Gizmag article today that discusses how the cloud – defined as meaning accessing content that is stored online – is becoming ubiquitous. Basically the article chronicles the changes that have occurred over the last few years due to cloud computing and the fact that most people today own multiple devices that connect to the cloud and use those devices to access content on all their Internet connecting devices. The cloud  content  includes items like e-books, streaming music and videos they’ve purchase via their PCs, smartphones and tablets; this in contrast to the status quo even just five or six short years ago that found most people had a single desktop or laptop PC and then maybe a cell phone but did not own an iPad, a smart phone, a laptop and an iPod Touch that they used a various times to access the same online content.

And the fact that most people use multiple Internet connecting devices today where ever they are today, instead of owning just one desktop Internet connecting computer at home, has made the cloud more a part of our every-day lives than we could have imagined just five years ago.  

The Gizmag article is titled Revisiting cloud computing: how has it changed – and changed us? And offers a more in-depth look at the recent history of cloud computing. It can be accessed via the following link:


Stream Past Mad Men Seasons Before Season Six Premiers: And for all the Mad Men fans out there who know that season six premiers on April 7 – just FYI in case you’d like to refresh your memory or previous plot points or story lines – you can stream all the previous seasons of Mad Men from Amazon, Netflix or iTunes with a few other more traditional (aka Cable Network) options available to watch them too – so you’ll be all caught up before the two-hour premier on April 7th!

And you haven’t watched any Mad Men episodes before – it deals with a cast of characters – and I do mean CHARACTERS that work at an Adverting Agency in New York during the nineteen sixties with clothing and music to match – you might want to check it out!

Here’s a link to an aptly titled Mashable article (How to Catch Up on ‘Mad Men’ Before Season 6) that relays even more ways you watch past seasons of Mad Men:


Have a great day!



Hernandez, Brian Anthony. (2013, March 26).  How to Catch Up on ‘Mad Men’ Before Season 6. Mashable. Online.

Shanklin, Will. (2013, March 26).  Revisiting cloud computing: how has it changed – and changed us?. Gizmag. Online.


T-Mobile Discontinues Cell Phone Contracts & Mainstream Media Discusses The Television Revolution

T-Mobile Discontinues Cell Phone Contracts: T-Mobile, the fourth largest cell phone carrier in the United States, just dropped all its contract plans and has moved to a pay-by-the-month becoming the first large carrier in the U.S. to do so. Cell phone users can now transfer their old phones to T-Mobile, or obtain a new phone from T-Mobile and pay a monthly fee for the phone for a certain period of time until the phone is paid off. However, cell phone users will also have the option to pay off their phones early, without penalty, and will be able to switch carriers or obtain new phones whenever they want to as of course there will no longer be a contract to adhere to. Monthly service plans are called “Simple Choice” plans and the entry level package costs $50 per month for unlimited texting and voice and 500 MB of data. Customers can also pay $70 per month for an unlimited texting, talking and data plan.

Here’s a link to a Ars Technica article titled After months of speculation, T-Mobile finally ditches cellphone contracts on the subject:


And another link to a New York Times article on the subject titled T-Mobile Unveils Aggressive Phone Pricing With No Contracts:


Mainstream Media Discusses The Television Revolution: I keep talking about the Television Revolution and how more and more people are streaming television shows and movies over the Internet and now mainstream television is beginning to cover this very cool story as it unfolds! More specifically NBC’s Night News offered a news story on Sunday regarding how the Netflix production of the hit Kevin Spacey series House of Cards is very popular. NBC also notes that when Netflix debut the first season of the series for its customers they offered the entire season all at once so eager viewers can have House of Cards marathons and watch the series in either one long weekend sitting or each night over the course of two weeks – basically they can watch all of the series whenever they want to. And that so called “binge” or marathon streaming of shows by television and movie fans is a large facet of the unfolding TV Revolution.

Here’s a link to the NBC video clip titled Netflix Changing TV


Have a great day!

Linda R.


Chen, Brian. (2013, March 26). T-Mobile Unveils Aggressive Phone Pricing With No Contracts. The New York Times. Online.

Farivar, Cyrus. (2013, March 25). After months of speculation, T-Mobile finally ditches cellphone contracts: Firm’s new plans start at $50/month for unlimited voice/texting and 500MB data. Ars Technica. Online.

Netflix Changing TV. (2013, March 24). Nightly News. NBC. Online. 

New E-Books, Albums, Videos & Audio Books Available In Digital Catalog Today!

Hi everyone, just a quick FYI our new order of titles for the Digital Catalog has been placed and processed! So you’ll find new e-books, album, music and videos available in the Digital Catalog this afternoon.

Check them out!

Here’s a direct link to the catalog, which you can browse on your PC as well as via your tablet or smartphone (via the OverDrive Media Console app):


If aren’t familiar with the Digital Catalog let me know!

If you’re interested in reading e-books in languages other than English – please let me know that too and I’ll check into what titles are available for the Digital Catalog.

Have a great day!

Linda R. 

Weekend Digital Catalog Suggested Reading, Viewing & Listening For The Weekend of March 22-24, 2013

If you haven’t checked out the Digital Catalog recently – the platform software has been updated and it has a whole new and more modern look so check it out!

And without further ado here’s the list of suggested listening, reading and viewing digital titles for the weekend.

Albums: Perfect relaxation tunes for the weekend!

Mad Men Music from The TV Series by Various Artists

Digital Audio Download Includes:

1. On The Street Where You Live (Vic Damone)

2. Volare (The McGuire Sisters)

3. Lipstick (David Carbonara)

4. P.S. I Love You (Bobby Vinton)

5. Botch-A-Me (2004 Digital Remaster) (Rosemary Clooney)

6. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) (Julie London)

7. Caravan (Instrumental) (1996 Digital Remaster) (Gordon Jenkins)

8. Manhattan (Ella Fitzgerald & The Buddy Bregman Orchestra)

9. I Can Dream, Can’t I? (The Andrews Sisters)

10. Shangri-La (Robert Maxwell)

11. Babylon (David Carbonara)

12. Mad Men Suite (David Carbonara)

13. A Beautiful Mine (Aceyalone & RJD2)

Symphonic Sixties by 101 Strings Orchestra

Digital Audio Download Includes:

1. Stop! In The Name Of Love (101 Strings Orchestra)

2. I Hear A Symphony (101 Strings Orchestra)

3. Mrs. Robinson (101 Strings Orchestra)

4. California Dreamin’ (101 Strings Orchestra)

5. Yesterday (101 Strings Orchestra)

6. Scarborough Fair (101 Strings Orchestra)

7. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (101 Strings Orchestra)

8. My Cherie Amour (101 Strings Orchestra)

9. Up, Up And Away (101 Strings Orchestra)

10. Wichita Lineman (101 Strings Orchestra)

11. Close To You (101 Strings Orchestra)

12. Good Vibrations (101 Strings Orchestra)

13. I Want To Hold Your Hand (101 Strings Orchestra)

14. Hawaii Five-O (101 Strings Orchestra)

15. Baby Elephant Walk (101 Strings Orchestra)

16. Spinning Wheel (101 Strings Orchestra)

17. Eleanor Rigby (101 Strings Orchestra)

18. The Sound Of Silence (101 Strings Orchestra)

19. King Of The Road (101 Strings Orchestra)

20. California Girls (101 Strings Orchestra)

Audio Books: A character study and fun filled romance!

Among The Missing by Morag Joss: A pregnant woman, believed killed in a bridge accident in the Scottish Highlands, seizes her chance to disappear from her uncaring husband. Determined to safeguard her baby’s future and reinvent herself, she befriends illegal immigrant Silva, whose husband Stefan and daughter Anna, as she alone knows, have died in her place. As the bridge is rebuilt, the two women build a precarious existence in a makeshift home by the river. While Silva waits for Stefan and Anna’s return and the pregnant woman awaits the birth of her child, they are helped by the boatman, Ron, whose devotion to them masks his guilt for a past disaster for which he must atone.

Each of them having crossed some bridge in retreat from the world, each seeking an ever-elusive peace of mind and struggling with displacement and grief, together the three exiles conjure an unstable mix of trust and distrust, compounded by love and jealousy, both parental and sexual. With the discovery of Stefan’s and Anna’s bodies in the river, the tension in their uneasy triangle mounts inexorably and unbearably. With the birth of the new baby only days, then hours away, it finally breaks.

Love In A Nutshell by Janet Evanovich: Number one bestselling author Janet Evanovich teams up with award-winning author Dorien Kelly to deliver a sparkling novel of romantic suspense, small-town antics, secretive sabotage, and lots and lots of beer Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory. Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that she can insert herself into Culhane’s business and snoop around for him. If Kate finds the culprit, Matt will pay her a $20,000 bonus. Needless to say, Kate is highly motivated. But several problems present themselves. Kate despises beer. No one seems to trust her. And she is falling hard for her boss. Can these two smoke out a saboteur, save Kate’s family home, and keep a killer from closing in…all while resisting their undeniable attraction to one another? Filled with humor, heart, and loveable characters, Love in a Nutshell is delicious fun.


Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: Now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

Includes a new Afterword by David Mitchell

A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles and genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Haruki Murakami, Umberto Eco, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

Headhunters by Jo Nesbo: With Headhunters, Jo Nesbø has crafted a funny, dark, and twisted caper story worthy of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. FIRST TIME PUBLISHED IN THE U.S. NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM MAGNOLIA PICTURES.

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II–and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft. But when he breaks into Greve’s apartment, he finds more than just the painting. And Clas Greve may turn out to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to Roger Brown.

Mystic Island, Nikki O’Connor Series Book 1 by Jan Evan Whitford: Looking for mystery, romance, humor and a category-5 hurricane? Nikki O’Connor, an attractive single mom – who also happens to be an intelligent and resourceful environmental cop-competes with a U.S. Presidential candidate in the search for a valuable letter FDR sent to Hitler back in 1945. During her quest, she encounters lobster rustlers, passionate romance, betrayal, murder, a catastrophic hurricane, self-awareness and plenty of laughs.

Silent Fall, Sanders Brothers Series, Book 2 by Barbara Freethy: Dylan Sanders is attending a wedding in the mountains when his trip takes a terrible turn. A former lover appears out of nowhere, demands a private conversation, and lures him into the woods, then leaves him there, drugged and disoriented. The next morning, the woman has disappeared, and Dylan is accused of her murder.

Catherine Hilliard, a beautiful psychi haunted by her own dark past, is reluctant to offer up her cryptic visions to help skeptical Dylan figure out what’s going on, but she can’t leave her best friend’s brother-in-law on his own … or deny the powerful, inexplicable connection between them.

It soon becomes clear that a wily and ruthless mastermind has targeted both of them, with a motive that’s very personal. Soon their race to expose the truth is no longer about staying out of jail but about staying alive …

E-Books for Children: Some new adventures just for kids!

The Emerald Atlas, The Books of Beginning Series, Book 1 by John Stephens: Called “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times and perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials series, The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma’s extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.

These three siblings have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey through time to dangerous and secret corners of the world…a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And–if an ancient prophesy is correct–what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right. (Ages 8 and up).

Lexie by Audrey Couloumbis: Ten-year-old Lexie used to love going to the shore. For as long as she can remember, she’s spent every summer there with her parents, eating hamburgers, swimming in the ocean, and combing the beach for treasure. This summer is going to be different though. Lexie’s Mom and Daddy are divorced, and for the first time Mom won’t be there. To make matters worse, Daddy has a surprise–his new girlfriend, Vicky, and her two sons are coming to stay with them for a week! Now Lexie has to share her house with perky Vicky, Vicky’s moody teenage son Ben, and messy three-year-old Harris. The little beach house just doesn’t seem big enough for so many people. Is there still room for Lexie?

In a voice that’s sharp, funny, and sincere, Newbery Honor-winning author Audrey Couloumbis tells the story of a girl discovering that if you pay attention, sometimes you can find treasure in the most unlikely places. (Ages 8 and up)

Sky Lights, A Tale of Magic, Mystery and Mayhem by Barclay Baker: When characters from a well-loved book appear in the real world, Jack is confused. Fact and fiction can’t mix. Can they?

His sister’s chance remark on Facebook sparks a chain of events that sucks them into a plot involving celestial travel, blood-thirsty pirates seeking revenge, a brilliant scientist who performs miracles, a man-eating crocodile under investigation, and a life and death kidnapping situation.

Add a touch of fairy dust and the merest trace of gunpowder for an explosive mix that will have you turning the pages so fast, sparks will fly.

That’s Sky Lights.

Videos: Learn about dinosaurs or check out some relaxation and yoga tips!

Absolute Beginners: Guitar: This easy-to-follow guitar video tutor will take you step by step from first day exercises to playing along with a professional backing track. Learn how to tune your guitar, develop techniques using fingers or a pick, practice your sense of rhythm, play essential chord shapes, and perform your first complete guitar solo. Includes a 32-page booklet matching the exercises on the video.

All About Dinosaurs: Want to learn more about dinosaurs and what paleontologists do? Paleontologists are people who dig for fossils and study them in a lab. Dinosaurs lived for millions of years. Learn about the first dinosaurs in the Triassic Period, 230 million years ago. What kind of dinosaurs lived in the Jurassic Period? Not the Tyrannosaurus Rex or the Triceratops! They came much later in the Cretaceous Period. Dinosaurs vanished around 65 million years ago and no one knows for sure what happened to them. They may be gone, but they are not forgotten. As we dig deeper in the past, what we know about them will grow! Learn how you can unlock the hidden answer found in fossils.

Guided Relaxation for Sleep: Guided Relaxation for Sleep offers quick relief to help you achieve a restorative, restful night’s sleep. Through calm, soothing instruction, you’ll learn to let go of the day’s frustrations, quiet your mind and focus on the moment to fall into a deep, sound sleep.

Healing Yoga: The healing art of yoga has been practiced for millennia to enhance both physical and mental well-being. Filmed on the serene island of Maui, Healing Yoga features internationally acclaimed yoga teacher Rodney Yee, who offers you five yoga solutions that use restorative poses to help relieve stress, back pain, indigestion, fatigue and headache. Take time for yourself and discover the healing power of yoga and the rewards it brings to your life.

All descriptions are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

The STLS Digital Catalog may be found on the library’s homepage of http://ssclibrary.org/

Or via the following link:


And if you have an app device look for the OverDrive Media Console app in your app store – it is the app that will allow you to check out free library e-books and audio books.

Digital Catalog music and video titles must currently be downloaded to a Windows computer to enjoy.

Have a great weekend!

Linda R.

Google’s Eric Schmidt On The Benefits of Internet Privacy, Google Glass Glasses Will Allow Us To Send Commands To Household Appliances, Tiny Self-Driving Cars & Saying Goodbye To GUI

Google’s Eric Schmidt On The Benefits of Internet Privacy: Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave an interview with The Guardian today and in the interview he discusses both the benefits of personal and business Internet privacy and the dangers of the lack thereof. He specifically discusses China and other like-minded countries that want to both censor the Internet and block their citizen’s access to it. Additionally, Schmidt highlights the dangers to personal safety dissenters in Internet censoring countries face and the reasons why the attempts of China to hack into American computer networks, as they did recently with the New York Times computer system, are also dangerous.

You can read part of the interview, found in an article, titled Google’s Eric Schmidt warns on China’s attempts to control the internet, on the Guardian website. Here’s the link:


And look for Eric Schmidt’s new book on how technology is changing and will change our lives. It is called The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business and is being published on April 23 – the library will have a copy!

Google Glass Glasses Will Allow Us To Send Commands To Household Appliances: Google is working on an aspect of Google Glass glasses that could one day let you control smart appliances by simply using the Google glasses. The idea is that in the future you’ll be able to communicate with your smart Internet connecting appliances by using the smart Internet connecting Google Glass glasses. So you might tell your refrigerator to turn down the temperature in the refrigerator, tell your thermostat to turn up the temperature so your heat comes on just before you get home or tell your garage door opener to open or close your garage door so you can get in or out of your garage when you want to you! This is cool upcoming technology that we’ll be seeing in all our homes eventually; however, as smart Internet connecting appliances are still rather pricey it will probably be a few years before smart appliances start being bought in earnest by consumers. But even so – this is cool technology! Here’s a link to a CNET article on the subject, titled Google Glass could one day let you control objects around you, on the subject:


Tiny Self Driving Cars: Popular Science published an article yesterday about a very small one-person self-driving car that can drive on pedestrian walkways. The car was introduced in Japan this week by Hitachi and is called the “Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System” or “Ropits” for short; and it uses sensors and GPS to navigate sidewalks and offer its rider a smooth ride. This too is cool upcoming technology and should eventually open doors to many people who cannot drive cars themselves. And of course, it may also be a cheaper form of alternative transportation for some of us who live and work in the same town. And I know I wouldn’t mind being able to sip coffee and read the news on my iPad as my self-driving car drives me to work in the morning!

Here’s a link to the article which is titled This Tiny Car Drives Itself:


Saying Goodbye To GUI: GUI stands for Graphical User Interface and that fancy computer speak really just means the way you use traditional computers – that is how you use your mouse and/or touchpad and keyboard to open and close programs and documents on a computer and just basically take care of any computer tasks you have to get done.

I found an interesting article on the Wired site today that puts forth the idea that the traditional Graphical User Interface is not keeping up with the demands of our quickly evolving technology and should be replaced with a Conversational User Interface. The term Conversational User Interface, or CUI, is another fancy computerese term that simply means that if you use a computer with this type of interface you instruct the computer do what you want it to do via voice command instead of by using a keyboard and mouse. The example of a CUI the author Robert Kaplan gives is one that anyone who has ever seen many episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation will be familiar with – when Captain Picard walks to the replicator station and gives the computer his order for “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot;” and presto a cup of hot Earl Grey tea materializes in front of him.

Voice activated computers and computing systems using CUI will be easier to use than the traditional point, click and keyboard GUIs we are currently using – we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes for this technology to become ubiquitous and my bet is not more than 10 years.

Here’s a link to the Wired article titled Forget the GUI: It’s Time for a Conversational User Interface:


Have a great day!

Linda R.


Halliday, Josh., O’Carroll, Lisa. (2013, March 21). Google’s Eric Schmidt warns on China’s attempts to control the internet. The Guardian. Online.

Kaplan, Robert. (2013, March 21). Forget the GUI: It’s Time for a Conversational User Interface. Wired. Online.

Lecher, Colin. (2013, March 21). This Tiny Car Drives Itself. POPSCI. Online.

Whitney, Lance. Google Glass could one day let you control objects around you. CNET. Online

Printing Your Own Clothes, Verizon Wants To Pay Cable Companies Only For Channels Their Customers Actually Watch & Book Publishers And The Digital Revolution

Printing Your Own Clothes: Can you imagine a future in which clothes washers and dryers are a thing of the past? A future that has us printing our own clothes at home via 3 D clothing printers? Designer Joshua Harris can! He has designed an award winning 3 D clothing printer which takes cartridges of different colored thread instead of cartridges of ink and actually prints clothes. So in the future instead of going out to a brick and mortar store to shop you’ll shop for clothing designs online at home. You’ll be able to browse shirt designs via the Eagle Outfitters or Gap or your other favorite stores online to your hearts’ content and then select your favorite shirt pattern, pay for it of course, and print it off at home. And after you’re finished wearing the shirt you’ll feed it back into the printer where the threads will be cleaned and then returned to their respective color cartridge cases to await your next clothes printing!

I came across an article, titled The Future of Clothing: 3D Printing Your Own Clothes, on Joshua Harris’s 3 D Clothing Printer on the Nanowerk website – here’s the link:


And the 3-D Clothing Printer designer Joshua Harris, who incidentally is a 2011 Syracuse University graduate, also features information about his printer on his website found at:


Verizon Wants To Pay Cable Companies Only For Channels Their Customers Actually Watch: We are truly in the midst of what is starting to be called the TV Revolution – a time during which how consumers watch television shows and movies is evolving from the more traditional way of getting cable TV from a cable service provider and sitting on your couch to watch broadcast television at the time the cable company broadcasts it – to a time where we are able to access television shows and movies on demand via the Internet on smartphones, tablets and via media streaming players or smart TVs via television sets at home.

And in the midst of this revolution some media companies are challenging the traditional way networks have sold them television channels – in bundles of channels. This traditional bundled channel business model the networks favor has media companies that provide cable TV, like Verizon, Time Warner, Cablevision & Comcast, offering their customers bundles of channels that include popular channels like CNN, ESPN, Disney and Nickelodeon but that also features niche channels that few mainstream viewers watch. Currently media companies have no other option than to purchase the bundled channel packages networks provide which they then must offer to their subscribers in the same bundled format.  And this bundled channel business model is the reason that when you subscribe to a cable TV package you must pick a package from your cable provider to get some of your favorite channels and must also take, and pay for as part of the bundle, some channels that you never watch.

 And yesterday Verizon added fuel to the Television Revolution fire by announcing that it is trying to break away from the old outdated bundled channel business model and wants, instead, to pay the networks only for the channels its customers actually watch. Verizon plans to tabulate what channels viewers watch by data they retrieve from their customer’s cable boxes – which will actually show them which channels their customers watch and for how long they watch them (shades of Big Brother is watching us…). This is the second time in a month a large media company has challenged the network cable channel bundle business model. Last month Cablevision actually brought an anti-trust lawsuit against the network Viacom charging that Viacom’s insistence that Cablevision take all the bundled packages of channels Viacom offers, which it then must also sell to its customers as bundled packages, violates anti-competitive anti-trusts laws. Cablevision, like Verizon, would rather be able to sell its customers channels they do want to watch instead of bundles of channels the majority of which their customers don’t want to watch.

And while we aren’t at an al la care channel business model yet; the actions of Verizon and Cablevision on this issue takes us several steps further down the road that will one day allow us to buy access only to television/video content we want to watch. And I do see the unbundling of cable channels as inevitable in the future because as more and more people access video content on demand via the Internet on portable and home bound Internet connecting devices and as more content is produced by non-traditional networks for streaming, i.e. Netflix & their House of Cards series – well, that is where consumer demand is and will continue to go – for video content people can stream when they want and where they want so that will correspondingly be the market where money will be made.

Here are links to three articles on the Television Revolution:

Article 1 is titled Verizon Considers Only Paying Cable Providers for What You Watch:


Article 2 is titled Cablevision Viacom Suit Aims To Shake Up 170B Industry:


And article 3 is from the New Yorker and is titled House of Cards and the Death of Cable:


Book Publishers And The Digital Revolution: I came across another interesting article about the Digital Revolution this morning on the Wired website. The article is titled Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future and the author discusses how the publishing industry is changing. Specifically the article focus is on the rise of self-published e-book authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke (the non-philosopher author!) and the speculation that if traditional publishing companies want to stay in business in the future they’ll have change their entrenched traditional business models or they may go the way of the dinosaurs.

Here’s the link:


Have a great day!

Linda R.


Design for 2050 Clothing Printer. Joshua Harris Industrial Interaction Design. Online. Accessed March 20, 2013.

Future of Clothing: 3D Printing Your Own Clothes. Nanowerk. Online. Accessed March 20, 2013.

Hughes, Evan. (2013, March 19). Book Publishers Scramble To Re-Write Their Future. Wired. Online. 

Sherman, Alex., Lee, Edmund. (2013, February 27). Cablevision-Viacom Suit Aims to Shake Up $170B Industry. Bloomberg. Online.

Smith, Andrea. (2013, March 20). Verizon Considers Only Paying Cable Providers for What You Watch. Mashable. Online.

Siri & iBooks E-Books = Audio Books & Digital Buyers Rights Are Not Just About E-Books

Siri & iBooks E-Books = Audio Books: Public libraries (and their staffs!) are of course big proponents of the practice of life-long learning. After all public libraries are places you can go, either in the real world or online, to learn more about a subject whether that subject is how to write a better resume, how to cook a dish with exotic spices, how to fix a car or leaky faucet or to discover what were the causes of World War I.

And since I’m a public librarian working in a public library I am always pleased both to assist patrons in learning something new and to learn something new myself. With that in mind, I was thrilled last evening after owning three different iPad models since 2010 to discover something I didn’t know about the iPad! And what I discovered it that if you own a Siri equipped iPad (3rd of 4th generation models) and buy e-books through the iBooks app (that is Apple’s e-book store app); you can go into settings and turn on the Speak Selection option which will in turn allow you to highlight any text in the e-books in your iBooks library and have the Siri personal assistant voice read the highlighted text to you! So in essence you can turn all printed e-books purchased from Apple’s iBook store into audio books. And I thought that was cool! You can even slow down the Siri voice to suit your taste.

To do this, that is to turn this function on which incidentally you can do not just with the iPad but with Siri equipped iPhones and iPods too, you:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select the General option
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the General settings option and tap the word Accessibility to open the Accessibility options
  4. Under the Vision section that displays turn on the Speak Selection option
  5. Then open the iBooks app, open a book, select the text you wish to have read aloud and you’ll now see an option that says “Speak” (it is the option on the far right hand side of the highlighted text menu”; tap Speak and presto – the Siri voice will read the highlighted text!

Now granted Siri will only read a page at a time – so you might want to make the text really tiny before you select it and instruct Siri to read it – but still it is a cool that we have this option with our newer Apple devices.

And not surprisingly I found out about the Siri reading option by reading an article! The article, which also features an accompanying step-by-step instructional video, is titled Siri Trick Turns iBooks into Audio Books, here’s the link:


Digital Buyers Rights Are Not Just About E-Books: Digital buyers rights might also be described as consumer’s “Digital Property Rights;” and I did know, as does anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis, that at the present time consumers don’t have the ability to actually buy and own e-books or digital music, audios or videos. We can purchase a license to access the content but we don’t own it and thus we can’t give it away, lend it to a friend or bequeath it to our heirs. And I did know that – however, I was astonished to read an article yesterday that illustrates how colossal an issue the lack of ownership of digital content is because in fact the term “digital ownership” doesn’t just apply to e-books, e-videos and e-audios it also applies to the propriety computer and software systems built into new high-tech cars and other vehicles.

And with that in mind, did you know that you can buy certain new high tech cars and other vehicles that require computer software and hardware to run properly but that even if you “buy” one of those cars or other vehicles you don’t own the proprietary software and/or hardware that runs that vehicle? So if your high tech car or other vehicle breaks down and needs to be fixed you don’t have the authority to fix it! Instead you have to pay the manufacturer more money for one of their technicians to come and fix it!

I came across an article in Wired on this subject yesterday titled Forget the Cellphone Fight – We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own, and the author Kyle Weins gives two excellent examples of how manufacturers are in essence using outdated copyright laws to infringing on the property rights of consumers – essentially blocking us from actually owning things we buy and making more money in the process– in the case of his examples – the items are cars and farm vehicles.

In the first example, Weins discusses a small farmer in California named Kerry Adams who purchased two high tech transplanter machines at round $100,000 each for his farm. These high-tech computerized machines broke down shortly after he purchased them and he didn’t have the right to fix them because the software that runs them is proprietary– so the manufacturer required that he pay one of their approved technicians to fly out to his farm to fix the machines. And naturally the machines have subsequently broken down again and are now sitting idle on his farm because he cannot afford to keep paying the manufacturer’s technicians to keep traveling out to his farm to fix the equipment that he isn’t allowed to fix himself and he isn’t allowed to take the machines to a local business to be serviced.

And consider the second example, new high tech cars that break down. Now if my 2004 Ford broke down I’d take it to Kapral’s Auto & Tire over on Pulteney Street and have them fix it – which they could do because it isn’t a high tech car with a built in computer system.

However, with todays’ new high-tech cars – ones that have proprietary software built into them and for which the diagnostic tools are copyrighted by the manufacturers  – consumers are finding that independent auto repair shops either cannot fix those cars because the manufacturers won’t allow the independent auto repair shops to buy the copyrighted car manuals or the shops cannot fix them without charging their customers more money because they have to pay for the car manuals for these complex high tech cars which are too complex for auto mechanics to fix without accessing the manufacturer copyrighted car manuals.   


You buy a new high tech car or a pricey farm machine and you don’t really own it!

We better all hope that our cars and other high end vehicles we purchase don’t break down because otherwise we’ll have to pay the manufacturer more money to send one of their approved technicians out to fix our vehicles or we’ll have to pay more at our local auto repair shops – that is always assuming that the manufacturer will graciously allow our local independent auto repair shops to purchase the manuals for the model cars we “own” so they can fix them. I highly suspect the manufactures would rather force consumers who purchase new high tech cars into by-passing using their local repair shops. I am quite certain they’d rather we all drive our vehicles, or have them towed, to manufacturer approved regional service centers where approved technicians and mechanics will no doubt charge us even more money to fix our vehicles than we would have paid at our local repair shops – that is if we had been allowed to take our high tech cars that needed repair to those shops; but apparently that is yet another consumer property right that modern manufacturers would rather consumers not have – the choice of where to take your car to have it repaired.  

And I certainly hope that our government catches up with the rapidly-advancing-technology-copyright versus Consumer Property Rights issue soon. And further that Consumer Property Rights legislation or Supreme Court rulings, as the case may be,  should cover all physical and digital materials and all hybrid materials like cellphones and high end, high tech cars – and all the consumer rights we’ve always had previously in our democratic society – to actually own all the items we buy – and own them in their entirety – so if our high end car breaks down we should be able to access the tools we need to fix it ourselves or have our favorite local auto mechanic fix it for us without paying the car manufacturer more money or being told where to take the car for approved repairs. And of course, we should also be able to own our e-books too and read them on any device we wish, loan or give them to anyone we wish or even donated them to our public libraries for their next cyber book sale if we wish.

And in the meantime, while the manufacturers of high tech vehicles and appliances and producers of digital content (e-books etc.) are blocking the traditional consumer right to buy and own items and the government is sloooowly working to catch up copyright law wise – I’ll be keeping my 2004 Ford for as long as I can!

And here’s the link to the Wired article:


Have a great day!

Linda R.



Sande, Steven. (2013, March 18). Siri trick turns iBooks into audiobooks. TUAW. Online.  

Wiens, Kyle. (2013, March 18). Forget the Cellphone Fight – We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own. Wired. Online. 

Weekend Digital Catalog Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening

Here is the list of suggested reading, viewing and listening titles for this weekend!

Suggested E-Book:

Acceleration by Graham McNamee: It’s a hot, hot summer, and in the depths of the Toronto Transit Authority’s Lost and Found, 17-year-old Duncan is cataloging lost things and sifting through accumulated junk. And between Jacob, the cranky old man who runs the place, and the endless dusty boxes overflowing with stuff no one will ever claim, Duncan’s just about had enough. Then he finds a little leather book. It’s a diary filled with the dark and dirty secrets of a twisted mind, a serial killer stalking his prey in the subway. And Duncan can’t make himself stop reading.

What would you do with a book like that? How far would you go to catch a madman?

And what if time was running out. . . .

Suggested Album:

Book of Dreams by The Steve Miller Band

Digital Audio Download Includes:

1. Threshold (Steve Miller)

2. Jet Airliner (Steve Miller)

3. Winter Time (Steve Miller)

4. Swingtown (Steve Miller)

5. True Fine Love (Steve Miller)

6. Wish Upon A Star (Steve Miller)

7. Jungle Love (Steve Miller)

8. Electro Lux Imbroglio (Instrumental) (Steve Miller)

9. Sacrifice (Steve Miller)

10. The Stake (Steve Miller)

11. My Own Space (Steve Miller)

12. Babes In The Wood (Instrumental) (Steve Miller)

Suggested Audio Book: A classic work of horror just in time for the weekend!

Carrie by Stephen King: Overview: Stephen King’s legendary debut, about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates.

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act—of ferocious cruelty—turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget.

Suggested Video:

Africa’s Incredible Hulks, Part 1 of 2: Unforgettable Elephants Description: Unforgettable Elephants – Award-winning wildlife cameraman Martyn Colbeck has filmed African elephants for more than fifteen years, learning to anticipate their every move as he follows them across plains and deserts and into jungles. In this retrospective of his work, he shares his spectacular footage along with his unique insights about these unforgettable elephants, including their exceptional ability to communicate and cooperate, and their complex emotions and strong loyalty to one another. After years of sharing their company, he earned their trust, and they stole his heart.

Note: This is part one of a series of two parts. Part 2 is also available via the STLS Digital Catalog

The STLS Digital Catalog may be found on the library’s homepage of SSCLIBRARY.ORG

Or via the following link:


And if you have an app device look for the OverDrive Media Console app in your app store – it is the app that will allow you to check out free library e-books and audio books.

Digital Catalog music and video titles must currently be downloaded to a Windows computer to enjoy.

Have a great weekend!

Linda R.