Monday, January 31, 2011

Ebooks sales surpass paperback on Amazon

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
As reported on TechCrunch

Has the pixel to print tipping point been reached? Last July we reported that Amazon’s Kindle eReader books had surpassed hardcover books in terms of sales, selling 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books. Now that lead also holds for paperbacks as well with 115 Kindle books being sold for every hundred paperbacks.

The statistic for hardcover books itself has doubled, with three times as many Kindle books as sold as paperbacks in 2010. Free Kindle books are excluded from this number or it would be much higher.

The Kindle store now has over 810,000 books, with over 670,000 of them priced at $9.99 or less. This number includes 107 New York Times bestselllers.

Because of its aggressive focus on digital Amazon had its first ever $10 billion quarter. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos predicted this digital to print milestone would happen in the second quarter of this year, so it has come ahead of expectations but, in any case, was inevitable.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Citadel, Cairo, Twitter vs. Old Media

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
So, on January 24, I was at a meeting for digital libraries of the Maghreb (North Africa, minus Egypt). There were a number of Tunisian representatives at the meeting and with the ongoing Jasmine Revolution, I was even more highly aware of events in North Africa.

As events in Egypt began to unfold on January 24, I checked my online mainstream media; the BBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times. Little or no mention of events that were beginning to unfold in Egypt.

Twitter, however, was much different story. Already, on January 24, there were reports of protests, actions and other nation-changing events.

The next day, January 25, still, CNN and BBC were only covering the unfolding events in Egypt as "World News", not "Headline News". Twitter, meanwhile, was dominated (especially among those I followed) with minute by minute (despite the government's blocking of the InterTubz) updates of events in Tahir Square and beyond.

As my meeting ended on January 25, events in Egypt were still forming, but US State Department officers were following along as eagerly as I was.

Now, nearly a week since the protests began, the oldstream, mainstream media have finally caught up. CNN, BBC, etc. now have Egyptian events on their front pages. Twitter, however, continues to bring us the "eye/ear on the street view" as events, the meaning of which we don't know, unfold.

Speaking of which, I recall the events of November 1979 when Iranian students took over the US Embassy. A college freshman at the time, I recall sitting in the cafeteria and being asked to join a group that was heading to the Iranian embassy to protest (by a classmate, who, ironically, ?, later became a staffer at the CIA). I passed on that (through apathy or whatever).

But now, in 2011, I firmly wish that the US government (hey Hillary!) sees where the world is turning and continues to promote freedom and those ideals that America is founded on, and deals with them in the world at large.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cairo at night, 1987

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
From the Ramses Hilton. Tonight there are reports of attempted looting at the Egyptian Museum (staved off by citizens and the army)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cairo, 1987

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
Today, these bridges across the Nile leading to Tahir Square are the scene of battles between protesters and police. In 1987, it was different.


Aftermath of rain, snow, ice, snow

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
I got a Crock-Pot (tm) for Xmas and just now had a chance to fire it up.

Stuck with the basic "beef stew" option for starters (thanks to all the Twitter/Facebook friends who've offered suggestions - they're being stored in RAM for future use!).

Haven't really thought about Crock-Pots (tm) since, uh, the 1970s, but I think they're coming back (or are back). My question, what about pressure cookers!?!? The rockin' little steam doo-hickey, threat of explosion and kitchen mayhem ... don't we want that to come back too!?!?!

So the recipe:

- cubed beef (about 1.5 lbs, braised with flour in olive oil)
- two nice leeks
- some carrots
- a few little potatoes
- stalk or so of celery
- cup of red wine
- cup of beef stock
- 2 cups of frozen pees
- flavors (garlic, oregano, paprika, sea salt, pepper, basil, bay leaf)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

MBTA Green Line Copley

Where's Charlie?

Boston Public Library courtyard, snow

Cathy Norton 3.0

2011.01.14-IMG_1530I had the pleasure and honor this weekend to attend the semi-retirement party of Cathy Norton, outgoing Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanagrapphic Institution Library. I say "semi" because Cathy will remain in her role as Vice-Chair of the Biodiversity Heritage Library and also stay on at MBL as a "Library Scholar".

It was a great, if chilly, time in Woods Hole. A special thanks to Matt and the rest of the MBL WHOI staff for a wonderful stay.

Staff photo


Cathy speechifyin'


Wendy's Smile, Peter Pan-ing out of Woods Hole

Pie in the morning, Pie in the evening ...

Coffee O in between,  ah Woods Hole

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

HAL 9000 another year older!

HAL was "born" on on January 12, 1992. And his birth occured at the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois. Yes, on the same grounds (fictional in HAL's case) where, at the University of Illinois, Mosaic, the first graphical web-browser was born at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in April 1993 (or just shortly after HAL became operational).

Here's an earlier post for HAL's birthday last year. 

In the picture here is the plaque in Georgetown, Washington, DC, that marks the building where Herman Hollerith first created the punch card, the analog predecessor of HAL. 


A snowy Washington Monument

Monday, January 10, 2011

Operacaffe: duck papperdelle

Pacific Ocean Blue


At the Del Coronado

Seen in San Diego: Coronado Beach

Yummy Sushi

Coronado Beach, San Diego

Seen at ALA: Elsevier cupcakes

Seen at ALA: PETCO Field