Category Archives: ebooks

eBook Shop that rescues out of print sci-fi books from copyright

image source: singularityand.co/

Singularity & Co. is a eBook store that tries to rescue sci-fi books that are gone out of print and could fall in a copyright limbo. So the Singularity & Co.’s mission is to buy the rights of these sci-fi books in order to publish them as ebooks, which i find is an excellent idea. Singularity & Co. got around 50K $ startup funding by their popular Kickstarter pledge. They even try to build an open source desktop book scanner.

We’ve seen too many sci-fi books that are out of print, out of circulation, and, worst of all (given the subject matter) unavailable in any digital format. Meaning, as of now, these books may never be seen in the future imagined in their pages. That’s just not right.

Segway Unicycle Lego Bot

image source: robotsquare.com

Laurens Valk, the author of several Lego Mindstorm Engineering books (The Unofficial Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0 Inventor’s Guide and The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book), recently published an update for his Segway Lego Mindstorm bot. The new design is running with one wheel only: an Unicycle. It uses the standard drivers from his previous design with some minor modifications. Beside his Mechanical Engineering studies, Laurens published a number of robotic books as well as some really amazing Lego designs.

The MagPi – Free Raspberry Pi Magazine

ISSUE 03 - JUL 2012

This is the third issue of the free Raspberry Pi community magazine MagPi, that you can download for free. This issue includes articles on Debian essentials, GPIO interfacing for beginners, making ribbon cable and more.

You can find all available issues of the MagPi on the MagPi magsite.

The team around the MagPi searches for people who are interested to help with the magazine, so if you love your Raspberry Pi and you are able to write good quality articles, feel free to contact the editors here: editor@themagpi.com

Publish your own e-book

I just came across a really cool article by James Altucher, who ic the author of several self published books and a really successful blog on technology. He is primarily writing about why today you simply have to publish your own book in order to make some marketing on your own person. He also argues that traditional publishers are squeezing authors because the electronic book market kills the traditional publisher market in these days. He gives some very nice examples how you can do your own publishing and how to get the books into the market. I wrote several chapters of books for myself in the last years and i have to admit that the publishers are not giving you any real useful royalties as well as the publishers are not really marketing your products.

Szymon Klimek’s Miniature Mechanical Creations

By Craig Couden

Photo by Szymon Klimek

Without an everyday reference for a sense of scale, Szymon Klimek’s intricate mechanical creations could easily be mistaken for twice their true size. Made from 0.1 millimeter sheets of brass and bronze, Klimek’s miniature machines dance effortlessly in wine-glass enclosures that measure little more than 4 inches across.

Klimek’s latest creation, Sponge, is a steam engine-like machine named for the latticework of tiny, interconnected brass pieces that expands and contracts as the engine runs. Sitting in a wine glass about a foot tall, a small silicon solar cell powers a concealed electric motor, which drives the 3-inch flywheel. He doesn’t work to a specific scale, but customizes his designs for each glass: the opening of Sponge’s wine glass and the diameter of its flywheel differed by less than a millimeter. CAD programs assist with design, and Klimek, 57, assembles most of the machinery outside of the enclosures, cutting and shaping the pieces by hand. He says the wine glasses lend a bit of elegance to the display, and the spherical shape allows viewers to see the work from any angle. Sealing the top and gluing the machines down with clear resin also protects the delicate pieces from dust and curious fingers.

Living in Poznan, Poland, Klimek entered into the world of small-scale making in 2004 with a miniature steam locomotive and coal wagon, measuring about 3 inches. He’s built close to a hundred handcrafted brass and bronze miniatures, including ornate carriages, early 20th-century roadsters, and yes, even a ship with billowing sails that fits in a wine glass. Since 2008 he’s created nine “active devices.”

Next, Klimek wants to tackle a more challenging material: steel.

Above is an excerpt from MAKE Volume 30.

 

From the pages of MAKE Volume 30:

MAKE Volume 30Until recently, home automation was gimmicky, finicky, and user-hostile. But today, thanks to a new crop of devices and technology standards, home automation is useful, fun, and maker-friendly. In the special section of MAKE Volume 30, we’ll show you: how to flip any switch in your home with a smartphone, home automation without programming, controlling your HVAC with an Arduino, a webcam security system, and a wall-mounted Notification Alert Generator (NAG) that plays timely reminders as you walk by. Plus, you’ll build a Yakitori Grill, a robust R/C flying-wing airplane, sturdy furnishings from PVC, and more!

BUY OR SUBSCRIBE!

Arduino Cookbook Author Michael Margolis gives a free Webcast

On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, the author of the O’Reilly Arduino Cookbook is offering a free webcast, Expanding the Capabilities of your Arduino Projects:

Michael Margolis is the author of Arduino Cookbook 2nd Edition, a collection of projects utilizing the physical computing platform of Arduino, the open source electronics prototyping platform. In this webcast Michael will discuss how to combine and apply multiple techniques from the Arduino Cookbook.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is a really good science-fiction novel with a fresh and innovative story, compared to other books i read in the last month.

The story plays in a nation called Panem, which was founded after the country formerly known as North America fell in a catastrophic war against each other. Out of the ruins of this epic war, 12 districts remained which are dictated by a shining and luxurious Capitol. The remaining districts that fought the war against the central Capitol were defeated and as a part of the surrender  terms agreed to hand over a yearly tribute fee of one girl and a boy to fight a deathmatch against the other ‘Tributes’ of the 12 districts of Panem. ‘The Hunger Games’ are arranged and choreographed in an artificial arena where every scene is filmed by hidden cameras and broadcasted to all districs as a symbol for their neverending defeat. the sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. However the rules of the games, the arena and the tributes change but all games have the same constant: kill all the other tributes or get killed by them, only one out of 24 young tributes is allowed to survive!

Make Volume 30: Smarter Homes

MAKE Volume 30Until recently, home automation was gimmicky, finicky, and user-hostile. But today, thanks to a new crop of devices and technology standards, home automation is useful, fun, and maker-friendly. In the special section of MAKE Volume 30, we’ll show you: how to flip any switch in your home with a smartphone, home automation without programming, controlling your HVAC with an Arduino, a webcam security system, and a wall-mounted Notification Alert Generator (NAG) that plays timely reminders as you walk by. Plus, you’ll build a Yakitori Grill, a robust R/C flying-wing airplane, sturdy furnishings from PVC, and more!

Booktype: Web 2.0 edit and publish ebooks

Today i would like to introduce Booktype, which realizes a Web 2.0 online editing and publishing platform for ebooks. With Booktype you can cooperatively create and edit a new ebook. At the current state of development Booktype hosts and published a large set of ebooks out of a broad spectrum of domains, from teaching to novels. Booktype is also published as open source project so that you are able to set up your own Booktype instance as a public or private solution within your company.

The WATT?



The WATT – In this Kickstarter pledge the team of entusiasts, lead by Ben Jervey, ask for a crowd funding in order to write an interactive ebook which explains the nature of energy for the broad masses. It should be an Energy 101 Primer. An interactive e-book to complement and enhance our user’s guide to energy in the 21st Century. Follow their funding request on Kickstarter, which is still running for around 8 hours.