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Books

In Myst, the successful graphic adventure video game released by Cyan back in 1993, linking books are written by the D'Ni people using a process known simply as "the Art." The purpose of these linking books is to transport people to other worlds known to the D'Ni as Ages. Linking books play an integral part in Myst and its sequels, and now a working replica of one has been created. Not "working" in the sense that it can transport the reader to other ages, but working in the sense that the Cyan games can be played using this real-life version of the linking book. Read More
Almost ten years after the project began, a new public library described as "a magnificent shop window for knowledge, information and culture that unambiguously promotes the idea of reading day and night" has been officially opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. Designed by MVRDV (which was the cause of some controversy a couple of years back when plans were released for its Cloud skyscraper), Book Mountain in Spijkenisse near Rotterdam features a huge glass and timber outer shell that's home to a five-story, tiered pyramid-like structure with thousands of books stacked on shelves that snake around the outside of its brick walls. Read More
While the Kindle and Nook are busy adding HD displays and more storage, at least one company is focusing on making eReaders as portable as possible. German developer, txtr, recently revealed the Beagle, which it claims is the smallest eReader in the world, with a 5-inch screen and a weight of 128 grams (about 4.5 ounces). Read More

Science fiction has lost one of its great heroes. It was revealed today that widely revered author Ray Bradbury passed away in his Los Angeles home on Tuesday at the age of 91. Bradbury's groundbreaking works, such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, influenced the science fiction genre as a whole and placed him among the ranks of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark. Read More

Luminous Airplanes by Paul La Farge is a book that tries to answer the question of how to adapt the traditional paper and pasteboard book to the digital age. How do you take what is essentially a static collection of words and turn it into something open ended and interactive? How do you give it a new digital dimension? Mr. La Farge's answer is to turn his novel about a content manager returning to his boyhood home in the Catskills into an experiment in hypertexting or, as he prefers to call it, "immersive" text. Read More
A collection of revered mathematical works will soon be put to auction in New York, including significant pieces of the Liber Abaci or Book of Calculation by Fibonacci. Esteemed as one of the most brilliant mathematicians in Western history, Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (Fibonacci) was one of the first to explain Arabic numerals, the superiority of these numerals and the importance of zero. Above all it was Fibonacci's work that has helped modern day mathematicians find breakthroughs in mathematical equations, whilst also defining sequences used for computer programming and the financial markets. Read More
If you like gadgets, and you like the ocean, then you must like ROVs – it’s just that simple. For the uninitiated, ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles) are small unmanned submarines that are used for underwater operations deemed too deep, dangerous or difficult for human divers. They’re tethered to a support ship, from which a human operator controls them in real time, watching a live video feed from an onboard camera. It’s all incredibly appealing to those of us who are fascinated by the prospect of what secrets lurk beneath the surface of the ocean... or of the local pond. A few dedicated souls go so far as to trying to create their own homebuilt ROVs, many of them turning to what has become the bible on the subject, Build Your Own Underwater Robot and other Wet Projects. Gizmag had a chance to talk to the two authors of the book, and found out what inspired them to pursue such an unlikely project. Read More
You may have Facebook friends who have done the “Here are the top words from my Facebook status messages!” thing, where it lists the words they’ve most commonly used in telling the world about their lives. Interesting as that may or may not be, imagine something similar being done with four percent of all books ever published. That’s what a team of researchers from Harvard University, Google, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the American Heritage Dictionary have done. The resulting dataset is made up of the full text of about 5.2 million books, 72 percent of that text being in English, with French, German, Chinese, Russian, and Hebrew making up the rest. Analyzing that dataset, a practice that the researchers call “culturomics” (a play on genomics), has revealed some fascinating things about the history of our species. Read More
When is an eBook reader not merely an eBook reader? When it’s an enTourage eDGE reader. Unveiled this week at CES the clamshell designed reader is billed as the world’s first dualbook, with a 9.7” black and white E-ink screen on the one side and 10.1” LCD color touchscreen on the other. Along with 4GB of internal memory and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability, the unit functions as a mini-netbook, notepad and audio/video recorder. Read More
There’s been a definite buzz around eBooks and eBook readers in recent times, and despite Asus challenging the price point last year we’re yet to see what we’d guess to be an affordable enough solution to break the mass-market. There are some pretty tidy devices on the shelves though, with Amazon’s Kindle proving popular enough to ‘go global’ last October, a move that has now been repeated with the spacious Kindle DX. Read More
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