Category: Science & Technology

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS MAKES OVER 700 TEXTBOOKS FREE!

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambridge University Press has made textbooks free to access in HTML format until the end of May on Cambridge Core. 700 and counting published books are available on Cambridge Core to assist students and readers in their academic courses and pursuits. The following subjects are provided: economics, law, politics, science, and much more! Please do not wait to take advantage of this!

 

Cambridge University Press made this public via Twitter with a tweet that reads, “We are committed to supporting our global community of teachers, researchers and learners during the coronavirus pandemic. From free textbooks and research, to advice, guidance, blog and more, visit our website”.

80 more books and journal articles related to coronavirus are also be provided for free. If we are going to be quarantined for a while, it is best that we take advantage of those published writings on coronavirus and get educated!

 

Featured Image Via Facebook

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Larry Tesler, Creator of Cut, Copy, & Paste, Dead at 74

Fellow readers and writers!  How often do you use the cut, copy, and paste function on your computers?  Did you know that there was someone who invented that function, something that you may use every day?  His name was Larry Tesler!  Unfortunately, a new article by BBC states that Larry has just died at 74, while detailing his accomplishments as a computer scientist.

 

image via bbc

 

Tesler grew up in New York City and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1961.  He then went on to study computer science at Stanford University in the 1960s.  After he graduated, he worked as a consultant, offering his programming services in the area.  As this kind of work dried up, he began working at Midpeninsula Free University and Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  Eventually, Tesler worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

 

 

As he worked at various centers, he began to develop the idea that computer software should be modeless, where all actions are available to a user instead of the user having to switch modes to perform specific actions on a computer.  He also began to work alongside Tim Mott, writing down ideas for the future of computer software and designing easy-to-use graphic user interfaces with icons representing documents.

 

image via bbc

 

Tesler even worked for Apple in the 80s, working to help develop the Apple Lisa, which would soon become the first Apple Macintosh.  The cut, copy, and paste function that he invented had debuted on the first Macintosh that he was helping with.

 

 

Although Tesler is gone, his contributions as a computer scientist won’t be forgotten, and we can keep cutting, copying, and pasting things on our computers in his memory.

 

featured image via 9to5mac

 

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The Theory in This UFO Book Will Blow Your Mind

UFOs.  Some of us occasionally see them.  We don’t know what they are.  We’ve only ever seen them in the sky, floating in the darkness of the night sky, almost taunting us in ways unimaginable.  What are these things, and why do we have so many accounts of people seeing them?  In his new book, Identified Flying Objects: A Multidisciplinary Scientific Approach to the UFO Phenomenon, Dr. Michael P. Masters argues that UFOs are not piloted by aliens.  Interested, yet?

 

image via amazon

 

In his book, Masters “examines the premise that extraterrestrials may instead be our distant human descendants, using the anthropological tool of time travel to visit and study us in their own hominid evolutionary past.”

 

 

His new book goes into the detail of how it’s much more unlikely for aliens to know where we are in a universe as large as ours (looking past the Milky Way galaxy, here).  In fact, Masters states that the aliens that we think are piloting these UFOs could very well be humans!  He reasons this:

 

“We know we’re here.  We know humans exist.  We know that we’ve had a long evolutionary history on this planet.  And we know our technology is going to be more advanced in the future.  I think the simplest explanation, innately, is that it is us.  I’m just trying to offer what is likely the most parsimonious (resourceful) explanation.”

 

 

That is pretty wild.  Though it does make sense.  Human technology has come so far in just 100 years. Around 100 years ago, things like automobiles were beginning to develop, radios were rolling out, and even the television was being worked on.  Now we have flat screen TVs with flexible displays, smartphones with artificial intelligence software, right in our pockets, or even smart fridges.  Who’s to say that in another 1000 years, we won’t have personal aircraft capable of time travel?

 

image via nbc News

 

Also, what are the odds that an alien race has found humans on Earth and spying on us for years upon years?  What would they have to gain from just observing us so much?  If these aliens are in fact humans from the future, then it would make sense if these future humans are just observing a more primitive version of themselves (speaking in relation to time, of course).

 

This is all written in theory, but the arguments Masters presents are really interesting.  If you’re interested in his book, check out the Amazon link above!

 

Featured image via the daily beast

 


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Amazon Knows What You’re Reading and How You’re Reading It

In an article by The Guardian, Kari Paul discusses a new discovery she’s made about how Amazon has logged not only what books she’s read on her Amazon Kindle, but the things she’s highlighted, excerpts she’s copied from books into her iPhone’s clipboard, and even looking up definitions of words in the Kindle’s dictionary.  I am probably as shocked as she is.  Paul was only able to discover this, as she starts off in her article:

 

“When I requested my personal information from Amazon this month under California’s new privacy law, I received mostly what I expected my order history, shipping information, and customer support chat logs.  But tucked into the dozens of files were also two Excel spreadsheets, more than 20,000 lines each, with titles, timestamps and actions detailing my reading habits on the Kindle app on my iPhone.”

 

image via apple insider

 

This disturbing revelation, according to Paul, revealed the moments she highlighted excerpts from The Deeper the Water and Uglier the Fish on February 15, or another, Severance, started on November 3 of 2018.  She then states that she made highlights in an excerpt from the third installment of The Diary of Anais Nin on May 21, 2019, or an excerpt from Leslie Jamison’s The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath on August 23, 2018.  Amazon even recorded her changing the color of this excerpt!

 

 

You may be asking why Amazon even needs this information from you.  According to their privacy page, they collect things like search or shop for products in their stores, adding or removing items in your cart or placing orders, downloading, streaming, viewing, or using content on your device through their services, providing information in Your Account, and much more.  Amazon says that they use this to personalize your shopping experience and make proper recommendations to you when shopping (this would explain why if you search ‘phone cases’ and then buy one, you suddenly see Amazon recommending you tons of other phone cases “you may like”).

 

image via mage plaza

 

Paul states that “Amazon says it does not share what individual customers have highlighted with publishers or anyone else,” according to a spokeswoman.  “The highlights are logged to sync reading progress and actions across devices.”  This seems to make sense, but Amazon is logging almost everything done while reading on a Kindle.  What is all that extra data used for, then?

 

Paul has an answer through Alastair Mactaggart, someone who advocated for the California Consumer Privacy Act. Mactaggart states that “though Amazon says it is not currently sharing the insights gleaned from reading habits with anyone else, that the company holds on to the data shows it could be used in the future.”

 

 

For anyone who reads on a Kindle, this will be worrying for them.  It definitely doesn’t feel good knowing that everything you’re doing on a Kindle is being logged and recorded, all for no good reason. Amazon is just collecting all this data and holding onto it.  Paul quotes Evan Greer, the director at the privacy act group Fight For the Future.  He makes a good point when he says, “There is no reason Amazon or any other company needs to collect that kind of information to provide you with the service, which is simply reading a book.”

 

This discovery of data collection could be yet another drawback to using technology to read books.  Amazon definitely won’t be tracking what you read and what you mark through a good ol’ paper book.

 

Featured image via the verge

 


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First All Female Space Walk

Here at Bookstr, we praise diversity and celebrate brilliant achievements by all. We know you read Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures (Women of Action)but looks like they are going to have to add another chapter!

Today we honor the first all female space walk. Space walks were done with women but they are always accompanied by a man. But this morning that changed. It’s hard to believe that it has only been thirty-five years since the first America woman walked in space.

 

 Image Via New York Post

 

Footage of Christina Koch and Jessica Meir starting their walk can be viewed here    

It is still live so, I highly encourage you guys to check it out. It’s so cool to see more positive female role models for children. Koch and Meir’s knowledge, expertise and achievements, also promotes women and girl in STEM which is essential for young people still in school. It’s absolutely inspiring to see this.

Afterwards, if by chance you haven’t read Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures (Women of Action)clink on the link to celebrate women’s achievements!

 

Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures (Women of Action) by [Gibson, Karen Bush]
Image Via Amazon

 

Just imagine these women on the face of the newest version!

 

 

Featured Image Via Axios