Fellow Book Nerds, I Have Seen the Future!

And, I’m sorry to say, it wil be brought to you by Microsoft.

I’ll give you a moment for weeping and gnashing of teeth.  I know, but what can you do?  Some corporate giant is going to own your butt one way or another and unless the anarchists can consolodate power (ha), there’s not much you can do about it.

So, if we have to live in a world dominated by Microsoft, why not find some corner of it we can enjoy, right?

To that end, I bring you “Live Search Books.”  You need a hotmail or msn account to really make the most of it, but if you’re like most folks, you have one of those from way back in the day you just don’t use any more.

You may ask “How does this differ from Google books?”

Well, aside from a spiffier interface, the search engines appear to have two different sorting philosophies.  Say you’re searching for information about Bill Clinton.  Google books will bring you a list of books about Bill Clinton.  Microsoft will bring you a list of books containing the words “Bill Clinton.”

In other words, Google books points you to a specific object.  Microsoft serves you text from those objects as if those objects are just any other kind of text on the web.

In other, other words–with Google, the easiest thing you can do is search for books; with Microsoft, the easiest thing you can do is search in books.  And you can search all the books they have for specific things or, if you find an interesting book, you can search in that book for interesting things.

I defy you to not get the heebie jeebies about that once you start messing with it.

Edit:  I feel like I should point out two things.  1.  Certainly, once Google sees what Microsoft is up to, the Google search strategy will have to change.  This is simply too good–too exactly how folks want to be able to search books–for them not to.  2.  Google is way out ahead of Microsoft in terms of how many books they have available.  So, from that standpoint, as cool as the Microsoft interface is, it’s hampered by the lack of titles it has so far.

Why Bill Hurts the Clinton Campaign

Mark* (or whatever pseudonym he’s going by today… perhaps Manfred M. Manlington… hard saying) has said everything smart that needs to be said about Iowa last night.

Except one thing, which I am, of course, about to say.

Mark notes:

So, what went wrong with the Clinton campaign? I’ve mentioned one or two of their missteps @ Dork Nation already. Having Bill along seemed to carry little weight in Iowa. Normally democrats wet their shorts upon seeing him enter the room and spontaneously burst into chants of “F*** term limits!” Despite what Matthews sees as a “changing of the guard, the end of an era” with the Obama win in Iowa, democrats’ sentimental attitude towards the Clintons haven’t changed. [emphasis mine]

Yes, but did you see Bill last night?

Clinton was giving her speech and I glanced over at the TV and I was transfixed by how bad Bill looks.  He’s skinny and wane.  He looks old and kind of sickly.  Where is the charming, pudgy cad of my youth?

I’m kind of joking, but I’m kind of dead serious.

I know that people have been saying all along that Clinton is not Bill, that electing her would not be a return to the Clinton era of our youths (hell, I may have said something similar earlier this week.)

But the truth is that a lot of folks want to believe that Clinton is the second coming of her husband and that putting her in the White House will be ask close as we can come to putting him back in the White House.  Hell, there are days when I want to believe that.

But the truth is that, when you look at Bill now, you don’t see the man who was President–not that kind of uncontainable charm and smoothness.  He looks frail and vulnerable.

And so, I’m sorry to say, when folks see him, that’s the Bill Clinton people are associating Clinton with.  Not the man in his prime, but the old man.

Clinton’s problem isn’t that she’s not going to be the President Bill was; her problem is that, every time he stands next to her, he reminds people that he’s not going to be the President he was.


*I should note, for the Hobbsian conspiracy theorists out there that I have, on a couple of occassions, had chatted with Mark.  Because of my ties to Saudi Arabia (my money to TIRRC–their ties to Kasar Abdullah–her ties to the TSU chapter of the Muslim Student Association–the TSU chapter’s ties to the greater Muslim Student Association–the Muslim Student Association’s ties to Islam–Islam’s ties to Saudi Arabia–Saudi Arabia’s ties to the Bin Laden family–the Bin Laden family’s ties to Osama bin Laden) and terrorism, Mark now clearly supports terrorism, which means the Tennessean supports terrorism.  Egad!