A New Take on Self-Publishing Books

Here’s an interesting column from the Seattle Times on how to get self-published as a book author. The column details the author’s experience with a company called BookSurge, and the experience sounds reasonably reputable.


From time to time I wonder if I have a book in me. The opportunities have been less than I expected when finishing college with a degree in journalism, but there’s still a big part of me that enjoys the craft of writing.

The Accessibility Bar, Bar Code That Is

Here’s an interesting article that seems like it could be a boon for accessibility. The basic premise is that cell phones will be used to get more details on pretty much any object we encounter. Seems like a great match because if this catches on, then you’d be able to easily identify many more objects from the environment.


There are already accessibility solutions that use bar code readers to identify products. But those I’m familiar with require use of a computer and frequently a database of known objects or otherwise require the user to have or acquire knowledge about the object being identified.


The solution described in this article, while not aimed at the accessibility arena, would seem to place no requirement that the user know anything about the article in question. The bar code would contain all the descriptive details.


It sounds like something straight out of a futuristic film: House hunters, driving past a for-sale sign, stop and point their cellphone at the sign. With a click, their cellphone screen displays the asking price, the number of bedrooms and baths and lots of other details about the house.


Media experts say that cellphones, the Swiss army knives of technology, are quickly heading in this direction. New technology, already in use in parts of Asia but still in development in the United States, allows the phones to connect everyday objects with the Internet.