Tag Archives: ebook

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneReady Player One, a science fiction novel written by Ernest Cline, is set in the year 2044 after a global energy breakdown and economic recession. As resources are rare these days, the remaining people live under poor conditions in crowded megacities, where they spend their time working and living in a virtual world called OASIS. OASIS is a massive multiplayer online simulation game created by computer game programmer genius James Halliday and his close friend Ogden Morrow. Halliday, with no heirs or other living family, dies suddenly and leaves a treasure hunt video will that promises the ownership of OASIS and his company to those who can solve puzzles hidden in OASIS. Three keys (Copper, Jade, and Crystal) are hidden throughout the universe of OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune and controlling the virtual  OASIS universe. As Halliday grew up during the 1980s pop culture, the treasure hunt is a funny retro story about the rise of arcade and computer game during the 80s.

Those of you who grew up during the late 1980s, playing arcade games and owning an Amiga or C64 computer, will definitely love this book as i did!

Onyx Smartphone with e-Ink Display

Onyx e-Ink Android Smartphone

Onyx e-Ink Android Smartphone, image source: blog.the-ebook-reader.com

The Chinese company Onyx, which is mainly known by their Onyx-Boox ebook readers, announced these days to publish an Android smartphone that integrates an e-Ink touch display. To use e-Ink displays has several advantages as well as some major negative aspects too. As many e-Ink based ebook readers already proved, e-Ink displays offer great readability in direct sunlight. The perfect contrast of e-Ink displays is not comparable with traditional displays. Also the fact that e-Ink displays can show and persist scenes over days without using energy is a really cool feature that helps to run the Onyx smartphone for at least a week without reloading. Negative aspects of e-Ink displays are the low update frequencies and very reduced color capabilities at best, which makes it hard or even impossible to use e-Inks for multimedia applications. This Onyx phone is definitely not the best choice for multimedia evangelists but it could prove a valuable design for outdoor purposes, passionate e-book readers, travelers or elderly people with debility of sight.

Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game, written by Orson Scott Card in 1985, for me belongs to the top 10 in modern science-fiction stories, due to a fantastic story that deals with computer games and human intelligence. The book, which is based on a initial short story, won several awards, such as the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin, the novel’s protagonist, lives with his kind parents and his sadistic elder brother Peter, until the government recruits him to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Since the human world barely survived two conflicts with the Formics, an insectoid alien species, which are called Buggers by most of the people, the government proactively recruits and trains children in an orbiting Battle School. The children are trained to fight against each other in strategic battles, where each battle group tries to score against other groups. Soon it becomes clear that, in spite of his youth, Ender is one outstanding strategic player that never looses a battle. It seems as if Ender could be a natural born player who could save the earth if the next wave of predominant alien Buggers appears to overrun mankind…

Book Review: Daniel Suarez, author of Daemon, Freedom and Kill Decision

Daniel Suarez became one of my favourite tech authors within the last years. Daniel Suarez, who was born on 21. Dezember 1964, is a US software developer, system consultant and primarily an amazingly cool science-fiction author. He started to write under an anonym Leinad Zeraus, before he wrote his three best selling thrillers Deamon in 2006, Freedom (TM) in 2010 and his newest title Kill Decision in 2012. You can find more about Daniel Suarez on his webpage.

Deamon 

Deamon, written by Daniel Suarez in 2006, is one of the best and most thrilling tech and science-fiction novels i have read within several years. The story begins with some misterious kills which are all somehow connected to the natural death of the great cyber game designer Matthew Sobol. Sobol, the genius owner and creator of one of the most successful, interconnected computer games, definitely had a plan for the world after he passes away. So it is detective Peter Sebeck who has to find all the parts of this genius puzzle to rescue the world from Matthew Sobol’s demonic plan.     

Freedom (TM)

Within the second part of his amazing debut title ‘Demon’, Daniel Suarez thrills his readers with continuing the story of an unstoppable computer virus that starts to blackmail banks and whole industries. This virus is the beginning of a public revolution against copyright industry, corrupt financial industries and even against police and governments. This story tells a tale about an artificial intelligence supported public revolution that frees our minds from trademarks, copyright and corrupt capitalism. All in all a really great finish for Daniel Suarez’s Deamon thriller.

Kill Decision

Kill Decision is Daniel Suarez recent book, which deals with drone war and swarm intelligence. It tells us a story on anonymous wars where swarms of machines pull the trigger against humans. Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her research results are stolen by an unknown force that tries to overrun the american homeland with a drone army. Together with Odin, a secretive Special Ops soldier who has detailed inside knowledge on this faceless enemy, McKinney has to arouse the world before it is too late to stop this machine intelligence.      

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.

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.

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.