Category: "books"

Good Reading

08/06/06 | by JAdP | Categories: books

I just downloaded The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, in its entirety, from eReader [the link is to the series on].

Even though this is one of the best fantasy series ever written, I've only read two or three of the books. eBooks have given me the ability to find and read the entire series, which I hadn't found when I first started reading such books. I was reminded of the series as I was taking down my library to make way for a new built-in set of bookcases that I'm building around the stairwell and front wall of my living room.

With the first page I was struck by something that I had started to ignore. While there are some good authors today, most current authors write to a fifth grade level - the "average" reading level in America, I think. Anne McCaffrey is using "big words". She's showing the English language in all its wonderful richness. This is what made me an avid reader so long ago, when, before I started school, a retired teacher, a tenant of my parents, gave me a book to read. She knew that my maternal grandmother had already taught me to read. Not a day has gone by since, that I haven't read a novel for an hour or more before going to sleep.

And even though my arthritis is acting up, and my joints are throbbing from all the lugging and screwing that I've been doing today, installing my pre-fabricated bookcases, I had to get out of bed and blog this, because the words are so wondrous.

I like to add the hard bound edition of the eBook to library, as a collectors item - especially now that I don't have to crack the book to read it :>> I wonder if on Amazon or eBay or somewhere, I can find new or collectable hard bound editions of The Dragonriders of Pern. Sweet.

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Crunching Naked

02/18/06 | by JAdP | Categories: books, Computers and Internet, Entertainment

Once again, Mike Arrington's generosity led to a splendid party. Techcrunch and these parties have become the signature for Web2.0 events.

The Naked Conversations TechCrunch Party is now officially overend quotation
-- Mike Arrington at 2:01 a.m.

I left well before Mike posted that, but not before I got to hook up with some folk I knew and meet some folk for the first time. Mike's events are always great for networking.

  • Of course the whole point of the party was to pick up another copy of Naked Conversations [Buy the bookNaked Conversations] and have it signed by the authors, Shel Israel and Robert Scoble. Mine was signed by Shel, but Robert was out "checking on the food". While I had met Shel and Robert before, and exchanged email and blog comments with them, this was my first opportunity to talk to Shel for a bit. He is indeed as nice a guy as his card proclaims.
  • I saw Andrea and, later Ethan Stock of Zvents, both of whom I had met at the Riya Launch Party.
  • Buzz Bruggeman was there, as was Bill Daul, both of whom I had met at ANZA. Bill introduced me to Douglas Engelbart. Both Doug and my father were among the first radar men in World War II, though I don't think they knew each other then.
  • I was interviewed for a podcast by Michael Johnson of PodTech News - I'll link to it when it's released.
  • Alex Moskalyuk of Yahoo!Tech and I had a good talk about tagging analysis and corporate significance.
  • I met Andy of Microsoft, whom Bill describes as a bright young fellow.
  • And I chatted for a bit with Brad Meador from ClearContext who is seeking to change the way you use email.
  • Reintroduced myself to Scott Beale from Laughing Squid.
  • Waved to Marc Canter and spoke briefly with Dave Winer

It was a great time. Mike, thank you and your sponsors very much for your generosity.


Aging of the Publishing Business

10/26/05 | by JAdP | Categories: books, Computers and Internet

I'm a bit late to the party on this, but it speaks to something that's happening in my life right now. My partner and I have been invited to co-author a book, and being who we are, and what we do, we insisted that we prepare for, document research, create the proposal and write the book in a wiki, with an accompanying blog.

Joe Wikert writes in "This Aging Business"

I spent the better part of this past week attending a series of meetings in Redmond, WA...

"I don’t think anyone in the room was less than 30 years old. In fact, I’d estimate the average age at about 35, maybe closer to 40...

"I’m not trying to be dramatic, but if this trend doesn’t change we’ll simply continue to chase after an older and older (and shrinking) customer base. I see this with my own kids (ages 18, 16 and 11). When it comes to issues on the computer, they don’t look for a book, they turn to Google for the answer.

"At its core, this business isn’t so much about making books as it is about providing information. We’ve got to do a better job of providing that information in a manner that’s relevant to the next generation of customers. What’s your opinion?end quotation

I'll be 50 before this year is out, but I couldn't agree with Joe's children more. When I want the answer to a technical question, or even "where else have I seen that guest star", I turn to the web: to Google, to blogs, to wikipedia, to the search feature in my feed reader.

"This business" is indeed about providing information, and the relevancy of that information can change very quickly. More importantly, I may need that information when I'm no where near my library, whether for work, learning, curiosity or entertainment.

I collect books. I have over 3000, mostly hardbound. I read them on my Palm. I love eReader. &#59;)

I'm honored to be co-authoring a technical book. I'll be thrilled to add it to my collection, talk about it, promote it, and watch it sell. [yes, yes, optimistic to a fault] :>> But for the information to be relevant and useful to our audience, the wiki and blog are of paramount importance. They will have useful information before the book is published, they'll help to garner feedback and gather case studies, and they'll continually update what will be in the book. They'll help to build the community and share the knowledge. That's the best of both worlds. The goal is to serve the audience, as well as we can. That's what is important.

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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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