Putting Smartphone Zombies In Their Place

Do we really need a special sidewalk for people to walk and read their cellphones at the same time?

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Fire Phone now 99 cents with two-year contract

amazon fire phoneThe Amazon Fire Phone has been reduced in price. It is now available for 99 cents with a two-year contract or for $449 for an outright purchase of the unlocked phone. The purchase includes a free one-year subscription to Amazon Prime. That’s a savings of $200 over the original price.

There have been a lot of rumors that the phone has not been selling well in the US, even among die-hard Amazon aficionados. The fact that this phone is only available for AT & T and the original sticker price of $649 for an unlocked version are the two most common reasons listed on the Amazon forums for passing on a purchase. I have also seen quite a few complaints about a lack of apps (and the Google Play store) for the phone.

Daily Deals: Iris Johansen mysteries and William Gibson’s Neuromancer

iris_Johansen_coverAmazon has a couple of great Daily Deals today.

First, there are twenty of New York Times best-selling author Iris Johansen mysteries and thrillers on sale at Amazon for $2.99 each. This is a super deal if you are trying to fill in some backlist titles. 🙂

Also, for sale today, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the now-classic book that started the cyberpunk genre for only $1.99.

An Online Historical Images Bonanza

14782842204_eaee417787_mThere have been an amazing number of historical images released for public viewing online. Here are just a few of the ones I have discovered recently:

The New York Public Library has released over a hundred and fifty years worth of restaurant menus that date from 1851 to 2008.

Yale University has launched an archive of over 170,000 images documenting the Great Depression. There is a informative article on the photos with links at Open Culture.

At Monoskop, a site for the study of arts, media and the humanities, there is a collection of avant-garde and modernist magazines from 1890 to 1939 available online.

Want to see what the Google Books project would look like if it scanned images? At Flickr, there is an archive of over  2 million images, all in the public domain,  The photos, from books, magazines and newspapers, span a 500 year period and were originally scanned as part of the Internet Archive project. Eventually, the archive will encompass over 14 million images.

 Image from the Internet Archive: Image from page 327 of “Handbook of the trees of the northern states and Canada east of the Rocky mountains. Photo-descriptive” (1907)