Wednesday, March 28, 2007

MUSIC: A Nice Instrumental Piece

Here is a nice piano piece for you to enjoy:

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Monday, March 26, 2007

ADMIN: Announcing Debut of Commons Press

This is the big project that has kept me silent all week :) I started my own tiny little e-press. I wanted to give something back to the Creative Commons community after becoming such an avid consumer, and I wanted to have a place to allow other quality authors to share their work. If you have something you want me to consider adding to my index (with a resultant pimp on this blog, of course) just publish it at Scribd or the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons license, and if I like it, I will add it to my Commons Press index here.

As for my first title, it's a cookbook/idea book called The Lunchbox Gourmet. I have become more and more creative with my packed lunches ever since food allergies made buying food on the go more difficult. I have amassed a large collection of quick and easy, allergy-friendly, mostly vegetarian sandwich/wrap ideas, freezeable treats ready to go with minimal prep work, quick to assemble pack and go items, snacks, side dishes, thermos recipes and canned soup substititutes. At Scribd, you can download it in a variety of formats, order a printed copy or read it on-line. And share the link! It is commons-licensed and wants to be free.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

OTHER: Interactive Jewish Calendar

Call this a cross between a software rec and a website rec :) This interactive Jewish calendar is a browser-based appelet that lets you view the Jewish holidays for a given month. You can also view candle lighting times and weekly parsha titles.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

WEBSITE: Scribd Documents Community

Scribd is a new-ish web community marketing itself as a YouTube for readers. Users can register for a free account and upload any document. Viewers can read it in the browser itself, download it in a variety of formats, export it as an mp3, rate, review or save to favourites. Some but not all of the documents are available under a Creative Commons license. For example, this story by Cory Doctorow. I did some experimenting and tried the MP3 save. It produced a clean file, but the robot woman was a little stilted and mechanical. The feature is a cool idea, though, and I look forward to seeing how it develops. I also like that all documents get a link to a print-on-demand service embedded in as part of the formatting. The authors get $1 if you order a printed copy.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

MUSIC: Another Fun Instrumental Tune

Found this one via Black Sweater, White Cat.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

MISC: yBook Ebook Reader

This is my first software post to this blog, but it's such a perfect download for avid e-book readers that I couldn't resist! yBook is a freeware e-reader program from "Spacejock Software" which has a few interesting features, It can display more than one page at a time to better simulate the feel of a paper book, for example. And it has integration with Project Gutenberg: you can download the entire Gutengerg catalogue, browse it, search it and load any title into the program with one click. Handy! View screenshots here or fo straight to the download. Thanks to Lifehacker for clueing me in to this one.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

MUSIC: The Lovely Festival Companion

Black Sweater, White Cat has been posting a Commons song a day, and while their tastes tend to run a littl etehcno for me, I have been keeping en eye on them for the occasional tip. One of their most recent finds, the Lovely Festival Companion, is a compilation album to promote what appears to be some sort of Belgian rock festival. The tracks are all generally solid efforts, but a few to me were especially standout:

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

E-BOOK: Stories by Peter Watts

Sci-fi authorPeter Watts has made his entore backlist available on-line for free under a Creative Commons license. The short stories are regrettably only available as PDF files, but the novels can be read on-line or downloaded ad PDF or zipped HTML. I am reading Blindsight right now, and so far, so good. I will be keeping on eye on this guy!

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

WEBSITE: Wikibooks Open-Source Textbooks

Sorry for the quiet this week. I'm back, I promise! My link for today is Wikibooks, a Wikipedia-based collection of nearly 25,000 open-source textbooks which can be both browsed and edited by visitors. You can search by category, Dewey decimal number, Library of Congress number or alphabetically. I browsed the cookbook section, and its small but growing collection of recipes of a variety of types was supplemented by links to Wikipedia entries on cooking techniques, nutrition topics and more.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

ADMIN: Index of Old Posts

I set up a page on the website to index all the old blog posts. Figured it was a bit more accessible than the old monthly round-ups :) Get it here.