Mashable: 10 free audiobook sites for discovering your next literary obsession . “Great literature is closer than you think, and you don’t even need to visit a bookstore or pick up your e-reader to find it. If you haven’t got time to sit down with a book — or if you just like being read to — check out one of these sites, which allow access to thousands of free audiobooks. There’s the perfect one for you in the mix!”
The Next Web: Honor’s latest app helps the visually impaired read documents and roadsigns. “Honor announced PocketVision on Friday at a fringe event to the IFA consumer technology trade show. The app leans on Huawei’s expertise in AI and camera technology to make text easier to consume by those with limited vision.”
Digital Inspiration: Want to Read Faster? Change your Default Font In Google Docs. “Google has added a new font family – Lexend – that will help you read faster and better. The font is available inside Google Docs, Sheets and Google Slides or you can download it directly from the Google Fonts website and use it in offline apps like Microsoft Word.”
Lifehacker: Calculate How Many Books You Could Read If You Quit Social Media. “A new calculator from Omni Calculator shows you how many books you could read in one year, if you checked them instead of checking social media. Enter how often you check social media (or any time-wasting sites that you’re willing to give up), and how long you spend there each time you visit. Omni Calculator will turn that into a count of books, based on a typical page count and reading speed.” I don’t know if this should go into Useful or maybe I need a new category called Argh.
MIT Technology Review: Instead of practicing, this AI mastered chess by reading about it. “Chess fans love nothing more than discussing a masterful sacrifice by Bobby Fischer or an ingenious line of attack from current world champion Magnus Carlsen. It turns out that this chatter could help AI programs learn to play the game in a new way. One day, the same technique could allow machines to use the emotional content of our language to master various practical tasks.”
CBC: UBC prof helps create an online database of banned books. “A life-size replica of the Athenian Parthenon made of ‘banned books’ stands as a towering art installation in Kassel, Germany. The Parthenon of Book resides in the same spot where Nazi-sympathizers burned 2,000 prohibited books in 1933. Now, with the help of a UBC professor, the project has resulted in Die Kasseler Liste — an online searchable database of books that have been, or currently are, banned or censored somewhere in the world.”
The Sydney Morning Herald: World’s largest database uncovers Australia’s secret reading passions . “Researchers from the Australian National University’s literature school will launch this week the new Australian Common Reader website, giving a historical snapshot of the nation’s reading habits drawn from what the university says is the world’s largest database of library borrowing records. The records show borrowing habits – not catalogued books – from six Australian libraries between 1861 and 1928, not including the state libraries of Sydney and Melbourne.”