I am a big fan of Tom Clancy novels and in particular the Jack Ryan series. A number of years ago I read all of the novels published in the series up until the time I moved house and so for the last 5 years I haven’t read any new ones. When I moved I decided I needed to clean out some of my books (and I have a huge library), so I figured the majority of my fiction books could be cleaned out. I always regretted moving the Tom Clancy novels along, though I figured that at some point I could reclaim them as ebooks, which I am now beginning to do.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to start reading the series again – right from the beginning. I hesitated as to what order I should read them, given that Patriot Games really was set before The Hunt for the Red October, but then settled on the order of the novel release order – so Patriot Games will be next. So I purchased a copy of The Hunt for Red October from Amazon. Of course I decided I might as well watch the movie again, as something of a comparison/contrast. That sort of thing intrigues me you see. I own a Kindle, so I purchased the Kindle version (which can be purchased via the link above).
So having read the first few chapters of the novel I decided to watch the DVD movie (which I have watched a number of times since purchasing the DVD some years ago) again. Now have refreshed my mind by re-reading the entire novel, it is not so much a comparison as a contrast. Certainly there are common threads and similar plots, but there are a large number of differences between the book and the movie. Still, both are quite good in their own right.
So Patriot Games was going to be the next book in the Jack Ryan series and this was to be read next. However, having read something about the 10th book in the Jason Bourne series of novels I thought I must read those also. So to break up the Tom Clancy books I’m going to be reading the Jason Bourne novels also. In fact I have just started the first in the series (again, quite different to the movie), The Bourne Identity (by Robert Ludlum).
Travian is another Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) browser game. It is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game in which you are up against thousands of other players building online villages at various levels of development. The game is set in Roman Times and your objective is to quickly build a village and then participate in defensive/offensive strategy/battles. Of course there is a lot more detail to the game than that. This game is also similar to Land of Destiny and Tribal Wars, but again it is a different experience to them both.
I play all three of the games that I have mentioned in the last couple of days and enjoy them all. I think if you like one, you would like them all also. I’m sure, like me, that there would be one you prefer above the rest. For me it is Tribal Wars, followed by Land of Destiny, then Travian – but I do not want to make it sound as though Travian is a poor game. It is a great game also.
OpenZine has now started a Blogging Platform called Ownzee, which seems to be similar to its magazine making platform. The problem from what I can see, is that there is a serious lack of documentation about ownzee. There is no ‘about’ section, no ‘how to’ section, etc. Have a look and see what you think.
Today’s link is to a site called ‘placebook.’ Sounds similar to another site called Facebook doesn’t it? Placebook is a place where all of your friends on facebook are plotted on a map of the world, along with various statistics about Facebook and your usage of it. Simply log in to placebook with your Facebook log in details and the site goes to work plotting your friends on the map. You could say the site is ‘cool,’ but I’m probably getting a little too old for such descriptions these days.
Milshk is a start up web application – a Blogging platform in fact – that will be opening soon. I already have a number of Blogs (the total is now in double figures), yet I will be adding a mlkshk Blog to the mix as soon as I am able to do so. Why is that? Because mlkshk is different to the other Blogs I already have set up.
Mlkshk will allow its users to save images from all over the web and then share them with others. It would seem that it will work in a similar way to Tumblr and Posterous.
Google Books have often had a lot of bad press. The bad press has been largely over issues relating to copyright and similar issues. However, as a concept I find the Google Books project to be a tremendous idea, especially making available so many books that are no longer in publication. I have found Google Books to be a tremendously important resource.
If you’re interested in setting up a group/community/social network, perhaps you might like to check out ‘The Fridge.’ The Fridge is a place where you can set up a free group/community/social network. There are plenty of places these days for setting up a group and/or a social network. You could of course try Google Groups, Grou.ps and/or Yahoo Groups. If you are happy to pay there are other possibilities including Ning. The Fridge is not a site I had even heard of until a few days ago, but it could be worth a look or worth experimenting with for a while.
A member of a Fridge group gets a personal profile, which has a wall similar to Facebook. You can also post a photo for your profile. It really is a very simple social network providing a very basic service. It really seems to be a way of having very basic communication with other members of the group. You can post a picture with a post. So basically it provides a secure and private place for communicating. I guess email really accomplishes the same thing to some degree.
If you’re a Twitter user or use a similar type of Blogging platform, you will know that it can be difficult to fit large URLs into 140 characters or less. Google has now created a URL shortener application. URL shorteners are certainly not new and there are plenty about, but if you already use Google a lot (like me), it is very convenient to have Google do this for also.