If you like listening to audiobooks then I have some good news for you. Goodreads is in the process of adding audiobook excerpts to its website. Soon GR members will find free audio samples for 180,000 Audible titles on the book listing pages. Along with the option of reading a sample from the book, GR members can now also listen to an excerpt from the audiobook. The excerpt will (should) play in a pop up window the web browser, and if you like what you hear you can the title to your “want to read” list, or you can head over to Audible and acquire the audiobook directly.
Obviously this feature is not available for all titles listed on Goodreads, but when it is available you’ll find the listen button below the cover image on the left side of the page. Goodreads told me that the new feature is only available on the desktop site, but not GR’s mobile site or its Android and iDevice apps.
As accomplished as modern-day computers are, there are some very basic things even the smartest machines have yet to master: tough judgment calls, advanced image recognition, making goofy faces, conducting psychological surveys. These are an assortment of tasks we humans can still claim as our own. Or at least, that we can outsource to other, less fortunate humans. Like me.
In Amazons words, Mechanical Turk is “a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence.” But in reality its even simpler than that description implies: Its a job board where the pay is low and the jobs are dumb. If you have a functional cerebral cortex, an internet connection, and a few minutes to spare, you can pick up a handful of odd jobs—the oddest of jobs—and make a few bucks, pennies, and nickels at a time. But whats it like to be that “human intelligence?” As I found out last year, its weird, fascinating, perplexing, and a little depressing, all at once.
Bookshops are closing down like nobody’s business. So do they need rethinking for the electronic age? Rosanna de Lisle asks four firms of architects and designers to create the bookshop of their dreams
Amazon has begun discouraging customers from buying books by Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Colbert, J. D. Salinger and other popular writers, a flexing of its muscle as a battle with a publisher spills into the open. The Internet retailer, which controls more than a third of the book trade in the United States, is marking many books published by Hachette Book Group as not available for at least two or three weeks.
Amazon Prime Air drones revealed on 60 Minutes, aim to deliver in half an hour (video) | Engadget
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took to 60 Minutes to reveal the company’s latest delivery method: drones. In what is likely a cunning reminder of the e-tailer’s upcoming Cyber Monday sales, these bots will apparently be capable of delivering packages up to five pounds (86 percent of orders are apparently less than that), with the aim of getting them to your house in under half an hour. The system is called Prime Air and the octo-copter drones, which wait, ready to deliver, at the end of conveyor belts, have a range of 10 miles. As Amazon puts it, “Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rulesand regulations” and Bezos himself added in the TV segment that it won’t be before 2015 at the very earliest. While it sounds like they”ll take their time to get here (if they ever do), we’ve at least got a video of the drones in action — it’s right after the break.
‘City on Fire,’ a Debut Novel, Fetches Nearly $2 Million | TNYT
Donna Tartt’s novel “The Goldfinch” has 771 pages. “The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, is 834 pages long. And then there is “City on Fire,” the 900-page debut novel that took the publishing industry by storm last week. It was even more evidence that the long novel is experiencing a resurgence, as a dozen publishers competed for the rights to release the book, set in New York City in the 1970s.
Teen Poet Sparks New Debate on Islam in Denmark | WSJ
Hassan – the 18-year-old son of Palestinian immigrants who are Muslims – is now creating his own brand of controversy in Islamic circles and elsewhere with a new book of poetry that was published in Denmark last month. The writing student’s self-titled book contains around 150 poems, many of which are severely critical of the religious environment he grew up in.