Showing posts from March, 2014

Book news: early release of The Undesirables: Inside Nauru by Mark Isaacs

Australian publisher Hardie Grant has moved forward the release of The Undesirables which is a whistle-blower's account from inside the asylum-seeker camp on Nauru. Available from March 17, 2014 the rushed release is in response to the recent violence and death of one asylum-seeker at Manus Island. Author Mark Isaacs was just 24 when, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, he was hired as a support worker for Naura detention centre on the strength of a single phone interview. He joined other untrained Salvation Army contractors who were quickly assembled to serve at the camp, re-opened in a desperate attempt by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard to solve her asylum seeker political problem. According to Hardie Grant's publicity of the book: 'His [Mark Isaacs'] unique voice and unbiased view allow readers to draw their own conclusions and holds up a mirror to the Australian government, and it's [sic] policies. This book is not a justification of the men's

Book review: The Tournament by Matthew Reilly

Probably the most interesting thing about The Tournament is how I received my copy. Which is not to say Reilly's departure into historical fiction is bland or boring, but that fact is often stranger then fiction, even when the fiction is by one of Australia's leading action authors. Returning from my favourite Sydney CBD coffee shop, Vella Nero on Clarence St, I saw relaxing in the sunshine on Druitt St, a young man, with all the indications of being homeless, and with this copy of The Tournament sitting next to him. He was hoping people would drop a few coins in a hat, as I recall, and as I did I asked what he thought of the book. 'It's a great read,' he said. I got it last night and have been reading it ever since. Just finished it.' 'That's good to know,' I replied and before I could move one, the young man continued our conversation. 'Would you like to read it? Here, take it.' I hesitated for a moment and will admit to wond

Spritz: new text streaming application which reinvents reading one word at a time

A patent-pending reading application included with two new Samsung products streams single words with an optimal recognition point and claims to increase reading speeds dramatically. Spritz was launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 23 after three years of 'stealth mode' research and development. Using a display called a 'Redicle', Spritz displays a single word at a time, with a red letter marking the optimal recongition point (ORP) and will be particularly useful on wearable technology such as Samsung's Gear 2 but can also be found on the Galaxy S5 smartphone. Spritz's original media release explains the technology and how it speeds up reading by saving the time usually spent by the eye moving to the next word and seeking the ORP:  'Spritz's technology streams individual words inside of a special display called the "Redicle," which helps the eyes to position themselves precisely at the recognition point for