Page 2 of 3

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.

Link To Cool Article On Used E-Books

Here’s a link to a cool article titled Reselling E-Books and the One Penny Problem that focuses on the possibility of Amazon and Apple selling used e-books – from the New York Times tech guru David Pogue

And here’s a link to the Owners’ Rights Initiative website – their logo is “You bought it. You own it. You have a right to re-sell it.” And the American Library Association is, not surprisingly, one of the members of the group. And the organization of course focuses on the fact although you can own printed books; albums on vinyl and CD and videos on DVD and you can’t own the very same titles in the digital format…

Have a great evening!

Linda R.



Television Revolution Overview & Steps To Take To Be Healthier If You Sit In Front Of A Computer All Day

Television Revolution Overview: I came across a cool article yesterday that offers an easily accessible overview of the Television Revolution currently underway. The article is both easy to read and very informative offering information regarding streaming video subscription services, streaming video on demand and much more. If you’re interested in the ways television viewing is changing – and how, in the near future, it might change the way you view television shows too– you may want to check out the article. The article is aptly titled Crash Course Understanding The TV Revolution – here’s the link:

Steps To Take To Be Healthier If You Sit In Front Of A Computer All Day: I’ve come across a number of news articles recently that discuss the sedentary life-style that for most people comes with our modern high tech way of life. The basics gist of all the articles is that we tend to do less physical activity today than people did in times past and that although everyone should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day that all by itself isn’t enough to promote optimum health. It seems that just being sedentary during the work day– as those of us who do a great deal of computer work during the work day tend to be – is also bad for your health. And if you do work that has you sit for hours in front of a computer screen you should get up and move around at regular intervals – like those micro stretch breaks Wegmans is always prompting staff and shoppers to do! So you don’t have to do a work-out in the middle of the day; instead you can do little things like walk up stairs instead of taking elevators, park farther away from the grocery store entrance than you need to or even just buy a pedometer or electronic device (like the Jawbone Up) that tracks how many steps you take each day – and shoot for taking 10,000 steps a day instead of the average 5,000 steps a day most of us take.

And I think the writers of the articles are right to place an emphasis on increasing what the Wall Street Journal article author Sumathi Reddy describes as our “non-scheduled physical activities;” because, really, how many of go out and chop wood on a regular basis, walk to work or spend our days on our feet running around? Granted some people still do some type of physically demanding work or just work that requires one to be on one’s feet all day. However, many, many people also spend their days sitting in front of a computer doing work and thus they aren’t up and on their feet as much as is best to promote optimal health. So tech fans that we are – we should pay attention to how much non-scheduled physical activity we do each day and try and do more of it – or just buy a Jawbone Up for $129 as it will send information to your iPhone or iPod Touch regarding how many steps you take each day, how many calories you burn and if you wear it 24 hours a day – it will even let you know how well you are sleeping! And I digress. The Jawbone Up is a cool health gadget and you can check out the product review on Amazon if you’d like although a pedometer, which is can be purchased for about $20, would work too. Having said that here are links to two articles that discuss the importance of increasing our non-scheduled physical activity during the day:

Article 1 is from the Lifehacker site and is titled Why Walking Throughout the Day Is Just as Important as Vigorous Exercise – here’s the link

And article 2 is from the Wall Street Journal and is titled Hard Math: Adding Up Just How Little We Actually Move – here’s the link

 Have a great day!

Linda R.


Klosowski, Thorin. (2013, March 13). Why Walking Throughout the Day Is Just as Important as Exercise. Lifehacker. Online.

Manis, Aimee. (2013, March 11). Crash Course: Understanding the TV Revolution. Studio System News. Online.

Reddy, Sumathi. (2013, March 11). Hard Math: Adding Up Just How Little We Actually Move. Wall Street Journal. Online. 

Prescription Google Glass Glasses, Controlling Your Computer With Hand Motion & A You Bet Your Life Story

Prescription Google Glass Glasses: If you’re like me and are both a tech fan and someone who wears glasses and you have heard about the Google Glass glasses; they are the glasses that connect to the Internet and display information, emails and webpages in front of your eyes via voice control, you may have wondered if you’d be able to use them if in conjunction with prescription lenses. And as it turns out you will be able to wear prescription Google Glass glasses. The tech site Ars Technica offers a brief article on the subject of Google Glass prescription glasses, titled Google shows off a prescription version of Google Glass. And although I’m pleased to hear this new and cool gadget will be available for people who wear prescription glasses I have to say – I just hope they work for those of us who have bifocals!

Here is the link to the article:

Controlling Your Computer With a Wave of Your Hand: May 13, 2013 is a day that may usher a new computing era in – it is the day that the Leap Motion Controller, which will list for $79, will go on sale. And the Leap Motion Controller will literally allow you to control your computer not with a mouse but with by the motion of your fingers or your hand. Want to scroll up a webpage? You’ll be able to do so just by moving your finger in a vertical line in front of you! And if you’re playing Angry Birds you’ll be able to pull back that sling shot with the swipe of your finger and let that bird fly!  How cool is that!

Here’s a link to a Business Insider article on the new Leap Motion Controller titled Watch How This Gadget Lets You Control Your Computer With A Wave Of Your Hand:

And here’s a link to the Leap Motion product page if you’d like to learn more about the product from the horse’s mouth as it were:

And here’s a final Leap Motion Controller related link to a CNET article which has a title that is almost as cool as the controller itself! It is called Leap Motion Gives You Jedi Powers!

A You Bet Your Life Story: This is one of those side-ways topics that really doesn’t have much to do with technology unless of course you count the fact that the television series You Bet Your Life which starred Groucho Marx was saved by his grandson Andy. Andy Marx also wrote the article which relays the story of how in the early seventies as a recent college graduate he saved all the film reels of the You Bet Your Life series by simply picking up the telephone! One day Andy was having lunch at his grandfather’s house with esteemed guest including Jack Nicholson, Marcel Marceau and Elliot Gould and the phone rang and Groucho asked Andy to answer it. When Andy picked up the phone he found that an NBC employee was on the phone inquiring whether or not Groucho wanted the reel to reel copies of You Bet Your Life – it seems NBC was clearing out their warehouse and wanted to get rid of the reels – Groucho was reluctant to take them but Andy convinced him and two weeks later five truck loads full of reels of the show arrives at Groucho’s house! Subsequently, Andy was hired to watch all the episodes and write down a description of each episode so that the shows could be aired as reruns a task that took him two months to accomplish. However, his hard work and effort paid off – because he was chiefly responsible for saving the thousands of reels of the show which would otherwise have vanished in the mists of television history. And now we can watch You Bet Your Life episodes on Netflix 33 years after Groucho’s death – Thanks Andy!

Here’s a link to the article titled The Day My Grandfather Grouch & I Saved ‘You Bet Your Life’

Have a great day!

Linda R.


Brodkin, Jon. (2013, March 13). Google shows off a prescription version of Google Glass. Ars Technica. Online.

Mack, Eric. (2013, March 12). Leap Motion creator: It gives you Jedi powers. CNET. Online.

Marx, Andy. (2013, March 13). The Day My Grandfather Groucho & I Saved ‘You Bet Your Life.’ Boing Boing. Online.

Product. Leap Motion. Online. Accessed March 13, 2013.

Smith, Kevin. (2013, March 12). Watch How This Tiny Gadget Lets You Control Your Computer With A Wave Of Your Hand. Business Insider. Online.

Wi-Fi Range Extenders

And you might well be thinking “What on Earth is a Wi-Fi range extender?”

And the answer is that a Wi-Fi range extender is well, pretty much what it sounds like!

A Wi-Fi range extender is a reasonable small device about the size of a Wi-Fi router (about 7-8” square) and its purpose is to extend the range of your wireless network. And if you have Wi-Fi installed in your house and your house is a cozy one like mine then you may not need a Wi-Fi Range Extender because you can use your iPad or laptop in any room of your hour house and easily connect to the Internet, download music and stream movies and videos to your iPad or laptop or listen to Pandora whenever via you want seamlessly.

However, if you have a large house and your router is located in your study on the first floor in the front of the house you may find that when you are in a room of your house that is far away from your router; say in a bedroom on the third floor and in the back of the house– that you either receive a weak Wi-Fi signal or you have what is known as a Wi-Fi dead zone and you simply cannot connect to the Internet in that room or that part of the house. So if you have a situation like that then you either can’t connect to the Internet in that room or your connection is so slow that it takes long minutes for emails to come through and if you try and stream Netflix content to your laptop or television via your Roku player than your videos frequently stop and you have to wait for video buffering…if that is the case than you might want to consider buying a Wi-Fi range extender as that should fix the problem! After you install a Wi-Fi range extender in your house you should be able to easily connect to the Internet in the portion of your house where you were having trouble connecting to the Internet before; thus you’d be able to easily stream Netflix videos to that bedroom on the third floor of your house and get your send and receive emails in the usual quick fashion.

Not surprisingly my Wi-Fi range extender ponderings this morning were prompted by a news story on the subject – this one in the New York Times. David Pogue, the New York Times tech guru, offers a neat practical example of how a Wi-Fi range extender can improve your Internet connecting life in an article tilted Wi-Fi for Every Room in the Apartment. Here’s the link:

And if you want to know even more about the technical side of Wi-Fi range extenders here’s a link to a CNET article, titled Home Networking Explained Part 2 Optimizing Your Wi-Fi Network, on that subject:

And as you’ll note that last link is for part 2 of an article from CNET regarding Home Networking basics – so here, just FYI, is the link to the first article titled Home networking explained: Here’s the URL for you CNET:

Have a great day!

Linda R.


Ngo, Dong. (2013, February 13). Home networking explained: Here’s the URL for you CNET editor Dong Ngo gives all his answers to questions about the basics of home networking. CNET. Revised Edition. Online.

Ngo, Dong. (2012, August 17). CNET News Crave Home networking explained, Part 2: Optimizing your Wi-Fi …Home networking explained, Part 2: Optimizing your Wi-Fi network. CNET. Online.

Pogue, David. (2013, March 7). Wi-Fi for Every Room in the House. New York Times. Online.