A MILLION FREE BOOKS NEXT MONTH
Mark L: “Looks like Ray Kurzweil has been busy. Check out the video on Blio and the blio site itself. I love my Kindle, but this stuff looks pretty cool. Making books more interactive is the way to go. Books improved.”
☞ Kurzweil says that Blio (pronounced like Bibliophile without the ib and the phile) will be available for free download next month – and will come with a million free books. (And just who is Mark L, who clued us in to this? He signs his emails: “I am nobody. Nobody is perfect. Therefore, I am perfect!”)
FREE BUSINESS 411
I just added 800-466-4411 to the “favorites” on my cell phone. Now if I touch that number and wait a few seconds, Google asks me to say the name of the business, city, and state, and then connects me. (Click for a demo.) I can also say “map it” or “text” and – presto! – a map or details about the business show up on my phone even as I’m being connected. Not bad for free.*
Gordon Thompson: “I was just gearing up to buy yet another flash drive when Dropbox etc. came up in your column, seeming like a great alternative to piles of key chains. So I mentioned Dropbox, Sugarsync, and Jungledisk to my iPhone-wielding friend, who said, ‘MobileMe does all that and more.’ Now I’m baffled as to which service to choose, and am hoping your readers might offer advice.”
☞ My guess is that they’re all good. But . . . Readers, over to you.
TED OLSON ON MARRIAGE
The man who took George Bush’s side in “Bush v. Gore” writes in Newsweek:
Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one’s own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.
Legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation’s commitment to equal rights. It is, some have said, the last major civil-rights milestone yet to be surpassed in our two-century struggle to attain the goals we set for this nation at its formation.
☞ If you can find the time, read his whole argument. E.g., “So there are now three classes of Californians: heterosexual couples who can get married, divorced, and remarried, if they wish; same-sex couples who cannot get married but can live together in domestic partnerships; and same-sex couples who are now married but who, if they divorce, cannot remarry. This is an irrational system, it is discriminatory, and it cannot stand.”
DÉJÀ VU YESTERDAY
I don’t post Sunday columns, but one appeared yesterday anyway. In case you saw it, and wondered at the references to anthrax and such, here’s what happened. Eight and some years ago I was posting the October 11, 2001, column, which should have been entered in my little contraption as 011011 (“year/month/day”). I must sleepily have entered 100110 instead (month/year/day) and – when it didn’t “take” – just gone back and reentered it properly. Well, apparently the first attempt sat patiently inside some digital brain until, sure enough, on 100110 – yesterday – up it popped.
*Tomorrow or soon: Beware Free Stuff
Quote of the Day
The Beardstown Ladies’ Common-Sense Investment Guide. A classic from the investment club that has outperformed Wall Street gurus three to one. ("It’s easy to get investment advice these days. But in this volatile market, it’s important to separate the faddish from the trustworthy.” The Beardstown Ladies, it turned out, had widely underperformed Wall Street.)~American Bookseller's December 1997 list of recommended investment books.
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