All the World’s Knowledge

By Scribe8372

Nov 3, 2005 1:43pm

A quick mix of unrelated items… Google Print has gone live — eventually allowing you to search the text of perhaps 15 million books from five of the world’s largest libraries — and it will either cause a train wreck or make publishing obsolete. Or maybe something in between.  Bricks-and-mortar (or should we say ink-and-paper?) publishers have been at war with Google over the project; there are tremendous questions of who owns the rights to published material, even after the copyright has expired. For now, Google says it is only offering full access to older books, and snippets (the opening pages, for instance) of books that are still copyrighted. I tried searching a line from Shakespeare (“Now entertain conjecture of a time….”) and got 249 hits. The first four, predictably, were from texts of Henry V (don’t give me a hard time — my Mom took me to see the film when I was seven or eight, and I didn’t understand a word, but I was hooked). The next results were surprising: various works of literary criticism, not all of them of Shakespeare. It was a little like wandering through a library and finding you’re interested in the book next to the one you were looking for.  =========== Pluto appears to have two extra moons, in case you missed them.  The Hubble telescope took pictures in May. (Doube-click on the photo below on your left to enlarge the image.) Ideas for names are welcome.  For now, they’re labeled S/2005 P1 and S/2005 P2. ==========  Alzheimer’s disease, in the early stages, may have more effect on attention span than on memory.  There’s a paper by two psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis, and similar work was published in September by a group at the University of California at Berkeley.  This could make a difference, they say, for early detection, and perhaps new drugs.  Alzheimer’s is, sadly, a disease has to be caught early if any as-yet-undiscovered cure is to work; if too much time passes, the so-called plaques that form in the brain do irreparable damage. – Ned

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