Story 2014-08-23

Calibre ebook reader/editor/creator reaches 2.0 milestone

in linux on (#40Z)
story imageAs a writer and avid reader, I find the Calibre ebook manager/editor invaluable. Not only does it allow you to produce, fix, or edit ebooks, but it's a good ebook reader app on its own if all you want to do is read an EPUB on your computer. When I wrote and published The Dictator's Handbook, Calibre played an important part of my workflow as I took LaTeX source code and turned it into an epub.

And it's just gotten better. Version 2.0 is out, with huge improvements and additions in functionality.
According to the changelog, Calibre now has an e-book editor capable of editing books in the EPUB and AZW3 (Kindle) formats, with many powerful tools and features specially designed for making editing e-books easier, users now have the ability to compare books, which allows them to see all the differences between two books, highlighted, side-by-side, and it's now possible to connect to any Android phone or tablet on OS X and the application should automatically detect and connect to it.

It's worth noting that Calibre has also switched to Qt 5, which means that the interface should look a lot more modern and it should integrate much better with the operating system. Also, a number of improvements have been added to the way the library is now organized, which should make the entire experience much more streamlined.
Last I checked, it runs on just about every major desktop OS platform. I run it on FreeBSD and Linux.

Where animation meets science

in science on (#40X)
story imageAnimation meets science in new and extraordinary ways.

Start with this artwork depicting the movement of Olympic athletes as they engage in their sports. A German artist has recreated the movement of Olympic artists in a series of surreal animations designed to show exactly how they move. Athletes including Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and gymnast Nadia Com─âneci were transformed into a series of flowing animations. The performances were captured in 3D then recreated electronically, substituting abstract lines and curves for the athlete's body.

Then check out this spectacular NASA creation: a fast, six second clip of six months' worth of weather, showing advance and retreat of massive cloud formations over the North Pole, and the frenetic movement of air masses over time. Imagine trying to model something as complex as that!

Finally, a historical clip in which Jim Henson (the famous Muppets puppeteer) animates some classic jazz. A paper-cut animation Henson created by hand, the work was just rediscovered and released: proof that science, art, and creativity blend in intriguing and often useful ways.