Free Encyclopaedia

Here’s a little trick to get you free access to Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The techcrunch article I am linking to explains how Encyclopaedia Britannica is often used as an example of how new technology can hurt traditional business models. After 250 years of dominating the encyclopaedia space, along came Wikipedia and suddenly, for every page viewed on Brittanica.com, 184 pages are being viewed on Wikipedia (3.8 billion v. 21 million pave views per month).

You can purchase the 32 volume Britannica, which has 65,000 articles and 44 million words, for just $1,400. Or you can access it on the web for $70 per year.

And now, you can get access to the online version for free through a new program called Britannica Webshare – provided that you are a “web publisher.”

The definition of a web publisher is rather squishy: “This program is intended for people who publish with some regularity on the Internet, be they bloggers, webmasters, or writers. We reserve the right to deny participation to anyone who in our judgment doesn’t qualify.” Basically, you sign up, tell them about your site URL and a description, and they review it and decide if you’ll get in. Once you’re in, you get to link to the full version of articles – people clicking the link can read that article but they can’t go and read other parts of the Britannica site. Participants can also embed widgets focussed on certain topics like, Presidents of the USA, etc.

If you have a blog or plan to start one to make use of this service, go to http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/04/18/encyclopedia-britannica-now-free-for-bloggers/.

Running tips
If you want to stay on top of winter flab, Cool Running Australia is worth a visit. It has a great array of forums covering all aspects of running along with a digest of running events around the country. Some examples from the forum include:

  • Running with dogs – users explore how to manage dogs on leads as you run. Seems most dogs don’t understand the harmony needed when they are on a lead and there are trees between them and their master
  • Brand new to running – users help each other out with tips and advice, they go into detail about heart rates and monitors
  • Running at 50 – users chip in with advice for a 53 year old wanting to improve his times. A common thread was to avoid books and join a running club with a coach for some personal attention
  • Breathing through your nose – users engage in a solid debate around breathing techniques

Join the conversation at http://www.coolrunning.com.au.

Adelaide JazzWhoops. I unsettled some Adelaide musos last time when I talked about a Canadian jazz trio, the Geoff Peters Trio, who had put their music online for all to enjoy. One listener, Anthony, took the extra step of pointing me towards a local site covering our local jazz scene. He said, “why listen to recorded jazz from Canada when you can check out local artists on the live scene?” For the record, the Hammond Eggs Trio is in residence at the Promethean until May 21, Les Millar does the John Coltrane songbook on June 14 at the Promethean, and Marmalade Circus heads to The Gov on July 13.If you want to be hip in town, visit http://www.jazz.adelaide.onau.net/jazzcord.htm, which is maintained by voluteers at Jazz SA. They even have a jazz archiving project underway to capture the development of jazz in South Australia on CD. I must find out more about my uncle, Ken Charlton, who played in jazz bands in South Australia!

Australia in Black and White
This is brilliant! It is a Flickr collection of Australian photos all shot or presented in Black and White. My tip, when you go to this link, look for the “slideshow” button in the top right of the main body of the screen. Click on it, let it load, then let it play.
There are 2400 photos in the “pool” at this stage and you can enter yours at any time.
The group rules say: “The beauty of Black & White Photography. The amazing textures, contrast and diversity of the Australian people and their environment captured or presented in Black & White. This group is exclusive to photographs taken in Australia. You can be a photographer from any where in the world, yet the image must be of a subject, landscape or situation which you photographed while being here, and in Black & White. Enjoy the expression of Life in the classic beauty of this artistic medium. Inspire and be inspired by our amazing country and it’s people.”
This slideshow starts with the grill of an FX Holden, then works through people and landscapes. It is hard not to hear the national anthem playing in the background as the slideshow slowly progresses past.
View the pool of photos at http://www.flickr.com/groups/australiablackwhite/pool/.

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