libraries

Oyster for Android review

Touted as the Netflix of books, Oyster is an online service that serves up a buffet of books. For a monthly fee, you get access to Oyster's entire library of half a million books.

Pros

An expanding library: Over the course of a year, Oyster has quadrupled the amount of books in its library and, as of this review, has 500,000 titles. There's something for everybody, from lesser-known works to books from popular authors such as Orwell, Fitzgerald, and Tolkien.

Read anywhere: Now that the service has expanded support to Android, people with multiple gadgets can rejoice. … Read more

Library Monkey for Mac review

Library Monkey for Mac lists your media files and lets you organize them using flexible smart sets, which update their content to satisfy the set conditions. This premium app also offers conversion of media files to one of ten audio formats with customizable settings. Overall the software performs well and manages to produce output files of acceptable quality.

Library Monkey for Mac's accessible interface lets you organize files in libraries (folders), sets (playlists), smart sets (smart playlists), and bins, which can only be added while some media is playing. When creating a new smart set, you can mix and … Read more

Java Runtime Environment (JRE) review

Java Standard Edition (SE) is a free software bundle that provides the Java Runtime Environment and the libraries and components you need to display a wide range of programs and Web content on 32-bit Windows PCs. It includes the Java plug-in for Web browsers and Java Web Start for deploying standalone apps written in Java over the Internet or other networks. Java SE Version 7 Update 55 addresses 37 security vulnerabilities.

Pros

You probably need it: Lots of Web sites and programs depend on Java to run. Up-to-date Java libraries and components keep your content fresh.

Now with JavaFX: Java … Read more

Delicious Library for Mac review

Delicious Library for Mac gathers all your digital and physical goods in one place while adding additional information about each item from the Web. This premium app features a beautiful skeuomorphic design in the form of a bookshelf that houses your items. Objects can be added via a barcode scanner or by doing a search online. Another feature of note is the ability to add friends, see their bookshelves, and lend items to each other.

When started for the first time, Delicious Library for Mac requests your AddressBook so you can add contacts as friends. The app's main window … Read more

Manually transfer your iTunes library to a new Mac

If you use Apple's iTunes for your media library on your Mac, then you might at some point need to transfer the library to a new or different system. While you can always use Apple's Migration Assistant utility to transfer files and accounts to other computers, you might find it easier to simply copy your iTunes library folder, if that is the only thing you need to transfer.

The transfer of the iTunes library is relatively easy to do manually, and involves two mains components: the transfer, and the assignment of the library to iTunes on the new … Read more

How to check out library e-books on your Kindle Fire

These days I do most of my reading on my Kindle Fire, and whenever possible I grab e-books from my local library. Because, you know, they're free.

If you've never checked out a book this way, or you're still doing it the "old way," you may be surprised to learn it's quite easy. You don't need to download a file to your PC and "sideload" it into your Kindle or anything like that. In fact, you don't need your PC or Mac at all.

What you do need is a … Read more

Google-like data bank of kids' brain scans could aid docs

Say a doctor orders an MRI scan of a child's brain to try to determine what might be at the root of a list of troubling symptoms.

She eyeballs the results to look for abnormalities that might indicate certain diseases or disorders, but nothing seems terribly amiss. So she submits the scan anonymously to a database that includes thousands of other scans of children with healthy and abnormal brains to find matches. She then gets the medical records -- anonymously, of course -- of kids with similar scans and voila, she makes a diagnosis that involves a lot less … Read more

Authors Guild appeals decision in Google Books copyright suit

The Authors Guild has stuck to its word in promising to appeal a federal judge's decision to dismiss its copyright infringement lawsuit against Google Books. The trade association that represents book authors has filed an appeal to the Second Circuit court, according to Publishers Weekly.

This suit has dragged on for the last eight years. It involves the Authors Guild alleging that Google's scanning and digitizing of all or portions of books and publishing them on the Web in its Google Print Library Project constitutes a "massive" copyright infringement. These texts are searchable on Google Books … Read more

No books here: New Texas library is all digital

With the holidays approaching and families arriving from out of town, it's not always easy to find a little peace and quiet. It's also increasingly difficult to find the kind of place that often provided that quiet: a good, old-fashioned library.

It's not that libraries are going away. They're just changing dramatically.

Walk into the Bexar County digital library in San Antonio, Texas, and you'll see plenty of screens -- but zero books. It doesn't look like a library, and that's the point. … Read more

Library of Congress archive celebrates Sagan, of 'Cosmos'

The late astrobiologist Carl Sagan eloquently referred to Earth, in the view from Saturn, as a "Pale Blue Dot."

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us," he wrote in his 1994 "Pale Blue Dot" book. "On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives."

Sagan is known for making the complexities of space and the universe accessible to ordinary people. As a consultant to NASA, he helped lead the US space … Read more