Wikipedia The Missing Manual On Wikipedia

The Missing Manuals series, published by O’Reilly Media, today announced the migration of its book about Wikipedia to Wikipedia. As of today, the entire contents of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton is available for free online for editing and updating just like any other Wikipedia entry.

I posted a review of this book last March if you are interested in more information. I think this is pretty cool.

Posted under e-book, NonFiction, Social, Web Tags: ,


Have you ever been reading a book or watching a film and as the plot moves to involve some use of technology you begin to brace yourself, and the cringe as you are ripped out of the story by what is an obviously ignorant treatment of matters you know well? Do you find the idea of creating a “gui interface using visual basic” to see about tracking an ip address as more fit for a sitcom rather than crime drama? And if so, have you ever wondered what it would be like if one of us, a geek, wrote a techno-thriller? What if someone who grokked our culture and understood our tech wrote something? Would it be great, or would it just get bogged down in the techno babble?


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FBML Essentials

Facebook became the largest worldwide social site in the middle of last year. If their current pace holds they will pass MySpace as number one in the U.S. some time next year. Those numbers have led a number of people to strike out and develop Facebook applications, hoping to grab a piece of that huge audience. One aspect of writing such applications is knowing Facebook Markup Language, which has been described as the icing on the Facebook API cake. FBML Essentials aims to be the resource that provides hopeful app writers with what they need to use FBML successfully.


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Twitterzines – Micro Sci-Fi

Twitter, the home of microblogging is now also the home of microfiction. The first @thaumatrope presents speculative fiction in a 140 characters or less. When taking submissions thaumatrope pays $1.20 for each that is accepted. A new player launching on January 14th is @Outshine. They bill themselves as a twitterzine for “optimistic, near future prose poems.” and they pay $5 per accepted submission.

This is not a book review per se – but I’ve found thaumatrope to be very entertaining and have high hopes for Outshine. Just one more place for those who love to read to get a little fix.

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Free e-book: The Public Domain

Jame’s Boyle’s new book The Public Domain is available as a free download as a drm free pdf. Clicking on the picture of the cover there will take you to the download page. I haven’t read it yet, but I wanted to let you know about it now and hopefully later I’ll have a nice review for you. If you absolutely have to read a review of the book first, read this one by Doctorow.

Posted under e-book, NonFiction, Social Tags: , , ,

Zoe’s Tale

Zoe's Tale Cover

John Scalzi the author of Hugo Award nominated science fiction novel Old Man’s War has built what started as a story serialized in his blog into a series of full novels and short stories. The latest installment in the OMW universe, Zoe’s Tale is quite a departure from the previous three books. It is the first of Scalzi’s sci-fi novels written intentionally as young adult fiction. In a move that I am sure will continue to fuel Scalzi/Heinlein comparisons, Zoe is a precocious young woman thrust into a world of adventure and danger. In just three years Scalzi has built an impressive resume as an author of fiction and Zoe’s Tale will be no small part of what looks to be an influential and outstanding career.


Posted under Fiction, Sci-Fi Tags: , ,

The Manga Guide to Statistics

Many manga titles, popular in Japan are being translated into English and published in the United States. This trend continues with a book that puts a slightly different spin on manga. The Manga Guide to Statistics, part of a series already popular in Japan, seeks to entertain while it informs. There are many elements here that can be found in any manga; a young love struck girl, giant eyes, small noses and exagerated emotional responses. What many may have not seen in manga before are things like calculating the mean, median and deviation of bowling scores. And that is just the start. (more…)

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MySQL in a Nutshell

MySQL is frequently touted as the world’s most widely used relational database management system. Many of the worlds most well known web applications and web sites use MySQL as their data repository. The popularity of MySQL has continued to grow while at the same time many were taken aback by the lack of many features considered to be essential to a ‘real’ rdbms. Such naysayers have done little to impeed the growth or development of MySQL. The first edition of MySQL in a Nutshell, published in 2005 gave users a handy reference to using MySQL. The second edition published in 2008 with coverage of many new features that MySQL fans proudly proclaim as an answer to all those critics clamoring for a more well rounded rdbms.


Posted under MySQL, RDBMS Tags: , , ,

Learning Drupal 6 Module Development

I am extremely interested in building user driven sites that allow for scaling up communication and collaboration between individuals that share common goals. There are a number of approaches to this type of problem. Of course, as always – one can pick a platform, language, etc. and start building from scratch. Another option is to choose a framework and build from there. But what intrigues me most, and I am seeing a lot of people take this approach, is to find an existing solution that is extensible and using that as the platform. This means the jump to a working site is immediate. Many of these environments are being built on top of content management software.

Posted under PHP, Programming, Web Tags: , ,

Ender in Exile

Cover Ender In Exile

Orson Scott Card’s work Ender’s Game began as a novelette, that he says he wrote as a means of leading up to the full story he had developed, Speaker for the Dead. Ender’s Game was published as a full novel in 1985, won the Hugo and Nebula awards (as did Speaker for the Dead in ’86 and ’87). I think it is safe to say that Ender’s Game is ensconced in its position as a science fiction classic. Now, 23 years later, Card has finished the first direct sequel to Ender’s Game in his new novel Ender in Exile.


Posted under Fiction, Sci-Fi Tags: ,
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