Wednesday various

  • A whole lot of talk today has been about Apple’s new iPad. (You shouldn’t have any trouble finding plenty of links on your own.) Almost despite myself, I’m guardedly optimistic about its future and genuinely interested in its application — in a way, I should add, that I generally wasn’t interested in the iPhone. I think I’m going to wait a little before I try to justify buying one for myself, at least until a few more in-depth reviews are in. As Brad Stone notes in the New York Times, “Nothing ages faster than the future when you get it in your hands.”
  • Rachel Swirsky: “Genre is a tool. It’s not a prophecy.
  • Here’s a fascinating article on confessions of a book pirate:

    TM: Do you have a sense of where these books are coming from and who is putting them online?

    [TRC:] I assume they are primarily produced by individuals like me – bibliophiles who want to share their favorite books with others. They likely own hundreds of books, and when asked what their favorite book is look at you like you are crazy before rattling of 10-15 authors, and then emailing you later with several more. The next time you see them, they have a bag of 5-10 books for you to borrow.

    I’m sure that there are others – the compulsive collectors who download and re-share without ever reading one, the habitual pirates who want to be the first to upload a new release, and people with some other weird agenda that only they understand. [via]

  • Meanwhile, the world’s largest book — it’s five feet tall by six feet wide, and it takes six people to lift it — will be displayed with its pages open for the first time. I like how the Guardian calls it “almost absurdly huge.” How big does a book have to be before they’d drop that “almost”? [via]
  • And finally, a movie made by chimpanzees. All the obvious jokes aside, I wonder if this is really as impressive as it may at first sound — since, as the BBC notes:

    The apes are unlikely to have actively tried to film any particular subject, or understand that by carrying Chimpcam around, they were making a film.

    This seems less like a film from the chimps’ perspective than footage they accidentally shot. Still, the study as a whole does sound intriguing. [via]