The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 30 July 2004]

O’Reilly reboots college textbook publishing

One of the curses of college instruction is the textbook–they tend to be expensive, and as a professor, it’s extremely hard to find one (or even several) that really mirror your course and teaching style.

O’Reilly is stepping into this space with Safari U, which looks like it could revolutionize this space. Safari U lets professors pull together materials from the Safari network, then outputs a book of those materials for a flat-rate of 16¢ per page. Brilliant.

But wait, it gets better: Safari U also uses network edge effects to let professors trade “learning objects.” This means that a customer can see books and syllabi put together by other professors and use those to hot-wire their own compendiums.

This is very cool stuff. At this point the materials naturally focus on O’Reilly’s core areas, but if this is successful, there is no reason–apart from stupidity on the part of publishers–why other fields of study can’t use the same mechanisms to create custom textbooks.

Safari U has the potential to change the college textbook experience in a profound way. Kudos to O’Reilly for taking point on this.

**Listening To: **“Broken Glass” by The Crystal Method itunes

« There are cars for sale!


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Impressions moving from an Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 5

Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?