http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjQ9JL5E9gc Minecraft 12x12x11 15 color 3D printer (by Moofius2)

Minecraft 12x12x11 15 color 3D printer (by Moofius2)

This is an incredible creation using the free-form digital world of Minecraft to produce a 3D printer capable of “printing” 3D objects using the standard set of Minecraft blocks. 

The easiest way to think of Minecraft is as a computer-based lego set, if you aren’t familiar with the game/world. This is an insane amount of work!

Amazon just announced the availability of textbook rental through their Kindle service, which allows students to “rent” a textbook for any device that runs the Kindle software. The rental length can be between 30-360 days (you pay on a sliding scale depending on how long you need it) and can be extended after the original rental if needed.  In conjunction they now have a Textbook portal for searching out what you need, including the ability to search an entire list of ISBN numbers at once.  It will be interesting to see how popular this service becomes as we move into the start of school in a few weeks.

Kindle Textbook Rental launches

Here’s yet another example of how we are currently living in the cyberpunk future that William Gibson warned us about…networks are now inserting new advertisements into reruns/existing video products. This is a great argument for libraries owning content and acting as archives for preservation purposes. Future research on advertising/fashion/video production could be rendered impossible if there’s no saved version prior to digital manipulation. When streaming is the norm, there may BE no “canonical” version of a broadcast, since each stream could be individually tailored to the recipient. 

Living in the cyberpunk advertising age

Given that Deathly Hallows was available as an ebook online before it was even for sale in print form, Rowling has certainly taken her sweet time on this. But it will be good to have “official” versions of the books electronically. My favorite quote from the article:
Henwood said: “We want to make sure anyone who buys it, can read it on any device, we are talking to the Kindles, the Apples, the Googles, Barnes & Noble to make sure they are compatible.
At the books are now available on The Internets.

Rowling to finally allow official Potter ebooks

ICANN, the international organization responsible for coordinating the Domain structure of the Internet, just voted to allow generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) to be created. This means that instead of being stuck with .com, .net. .org, etc…organizations can request and be granted the ability to oversee their own TLD. A group of automakers could band together and register .car, for example, and you could have ford.car, honda.car, and so on. On the other hand, Ford could theoretically register .car, and prevent other companies from using it. The methodology that ICANN is going to use to prevent this sort of meta-cybersquatting isn’t really apparent at this time. The Draft version of the application guidebook is now available, and among the details is the application fee. It will cost $185,000 to apply for a new gTLD…a fee which ICANN will keep, even if your application is denied. Even with that, I think that serious thought should be given by ALA and IFLA to a joint application for a top level domain of .lib or .library (I did not know that there was already a TLD for .museum). Given the relative failure of the use of non-standard TLDs, I’m not sure a .library TLD would be used. But it’s far better that ALA and IFLA control it than Microsoft or Google. 

ICANN approves custom Top Level Domains

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past…” – Thomas Jefferson