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- Coalition celebrates a religious Easter: 8 of 19 cabinet members are Catholic http://t.co/N6lRBMFdwa #auspol 18:27:06, 2014-04-20
- Copycat: Sydney is slowly turning into Melbourne http://t.co/KHUM3Wa0WJ 18:27:04, 2014-04-16
- Even more astounding than O’Farrell’s resignation is Abbott’s praise for his corruption http://t.co/uKNn3l3CSX #auspol 16:33:04, 2014-04-16
- Study reports that 4m Australians are vitamin D deficient. Darker-skinned people are most at risk. http://t.co/v3KW0X2Tfc 14:19:02, 2014-04-16
- Market failures stifling Australian startups: StartupAUS http://t.co/DrhtidMC67 14:19:00, 2014-04-15
- Australian graduates contribute $188b/year to the economy & pay $32b tax. Let’s keep Australia clever! http://t.co/CzF7DfDd5Z #keepitclever 20:32:12, 2014-04-14
I've always been a big fan of Shelfari, a book management/tracking website owned by Amazon. It's been very useful over the years keeping track of what books I want to read, what's coming next in the series' that I enjoy, and setting reading goals for the year. In fact, a little over a year ago I even posted I still prefer Shelfari after the Amazon acquisition of Goodreads was announced.
A year later and Shelfari hasn't changed. It's still slow, it's still buggy, 'Amanda' the liaison between users and developers has disappeared, and edits I requested to some books are still pending 7 months later. Contrast that with the new features in Goodreads (such as Kindle integration), and it's clear that Amazon is spending all their resources on Goodreads. It wouldn't surprise me if they bought Shelfari, tried to convince users to switch from Goodreads with little success, so they gave up and simply bought the competition as well.
What do I do now?
The big features in Shelfari that I used were the ability to keep track of books I want to read, and check what is coming next in the series that I like - so I can read the next book when it's released.
These are mostly covered by my Kindle directly and Luzme, a Kindle price watching alerts website. I download samples of books I want to read onto my Kindle, and make heavy use of a "To Read" collection, and Luzme keeps me informed when Authors I like have a new book out. I don't use it so much for the price as for the alerts of new books.
Given that I've been neglecting Shelfari for the past couple of months and only really using these options for a while now, I don't see myself missing Shelfari too much.
What about keeping track of what you've read?
Ok, yes, I do like to keep track of the books I've read. It's not critical to me, but it's important and useful to look back over the year. For this I'm going to give Goodreads a try, to see if it's still badly designed and clunky, or it can capture my interest and do what I want.
And the "next in series" feature?
Shelfari's killer feature, in my opinion, is the ability to list books coming next in the series' you've read. It uses it's extensive database of book series to easily figure it out. This is something Goodreads desperately needs - but unless it's quite new, they still don't support it. It may drag me back into Shelfari, although with the lack of approvals for edits, their information is going to get very out-dated very quickly. We shall see...
I'll report back when I've decided if it's going to work or not. I'm very interested in the Kindle integration, but that will have to wait until I upgrade my old Kindle Touch to a new model with support for it.
- Can Open Source Infrastructure Move the Education Market? http://t.co/n8CGxnKnBV #EduTech 14:19:14, 2014-04-11
- If you believe that higher education is important to Australia, sign the petition http://t.co/4t21IqYKsf 14:19:00, 2014-04-10
- Why Sydney is on course to lose its status as Australia’s biggest city http://t.co/S7nJqGecQ5 14:19:01, 2014-04-09
- The daily exodus from western Sydney http://t.co/ImuNJQNxt8 18:27:04, 2014-04-06
- RT @pharmagossip: Dept. of Irony http://t.co/EOPhsLCer3 13:15:18, 2014-04-05
- The police may be going after bikies, but it’s bicyclists who appear to be beyond the reach of law enforcement 13:19:01, 2014-04-02
- Japan’s whaling program not for scientific purposes, rules International Court of Justice http://t.co/OAOceA9vpH 20:42:17, 2014-03-31
So it turns out that doing Jury Duty leaves you with a bit of thinking to do afterwards.
For those who don't know I spent last week sitting on a jury that was dealing with a particularly not nice case. I won't go into details about which case, a) I'm not actually sure how much I am allowed to say and b) in a way, it's not really that important. Suffice to say, it wasn't a minor case and it dealt with areas that were very uncomfortable making.
First off I have to say I was massively impressed with the court staff. They were helpful, friendly and most important, understanding of the sort of pressures twelve people from very diverse backgrounds found themselves under.
Secondly, I probably couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be empanelled with. Each of us approached the case with what I could say is a "professional" outlook. We were very concious of the responsibility we bore and the possible consequences of our decision, whichever way it went.
Trying to look at the experience dispassionately, it was interesting. Turned up on Monday with about fifty other people, we were shown a video about jury duty and assigned a jury number. Then we all filed into the court for the jury selection process. This consists of the Judges assistant pulling 12 numbers from a box at random.
Once the jurors box is full the Defence and Prosecution teams get to challenge jurors they feel may not be the sort of person they want on the jury.
I was drawn early in the piece and "survived" the challenge process which meant that I was now committed to however long the trial was going to take.
The next four days was a mix of boredom (procedural faffing looks exciting on TV, but tends to lead to yawns in real life), avid interest as evidence was presented and finally apprehension as we were directed to retire to consider our verdict.
At the end of it, we delivered our verdict and being thanked by the Judge, were dismissed to rejoin the real world.
Except of course you can't just leave this sort of thing in the court house. For the last couple of days I've been swinging through a whole variety of emotions, ranging from relief that the experience was over through frustration, sadness, anger and pride that I was able to approach things dispassionately and with an eye to evidence over feeling.
Tomorrow I return to the real world, I'll be on the train at 6:42am and won't get back home until 6:50pm. In between then I'll be working with my colleagues, solving problems, writing code and generally getting back on track. However I think it's going to be a while before jury duty really fades from my mind.Blog Catagories: life