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Review: aNobii for iPhone

Review: aNobii for iPhone

20091029-anobii

    aNobii.com

    is a cataloging and social networking website for booklovers. On aNobii you can catalog your book collection on a beautiful wooden shelf and meet people with similar reading tastes. aNobii has an international following with information on over 10 million books, including 200,000 book reviews spanning 15 languages.

    aNobii has just released an iphone app, and we’ve had a chance to try it out. The bottom line: this is the best iPhone app for booklovers we’ve seen so far.

    Let’s take a closer look at some of the features that set aNobii apart:

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    Barcode Scanning

    The barcode scanning feature is a major selling point. Rather than starting from scratch with their own system, aNobii has partnered with Barcode Monster, a startup that focuses on software that enables ordinary webcams to scan barcodes.

    The interface is intuitive. Click on the “Scan” button and you’ll go into camera mode, with a semi-transparent hint that helps you fit the barcode into the right spot. You don’t have to press any button; the app starts scanning automatically when your hand is steady (using iPhone’s accelerometer to detect movements), and stops when it recognizes a barcode. On our first try it took about 5 seconds. We quickly got the hang of it, though, and soon were averaging scans in about a second.

    barcode1
      barcode2
        One thing to note is that when it scans, it keeps making the standard shutter sound. aNobii’s explanation is that Apple does not allow real-time processing of video recording at the moment, so they have to resort to taking still pictures rapidly instead. If you are scanning a bunch of books, the shutter sound can get annoying. You can turn it off by muting your iPhone.

        Another caveat is that barcode scanning is only available to 3Gs users, probably because earlier models lack auto-focus. For those with a 3G or 2G phone, there’s a lite version that has the same features except barcode scanning.

        After a barcode is recognized, the cover and the title appears. Click on the cover to see the details of the book.

        Search

        search

          You can search for a book by entering the title, the ISBN, or by scanning its barcode. We’ve tried a dozen English titles from our office and aNobii has information for all of them.

          Book info

          details

            For each book, you can see reviews, basic details, and which online bookstores are selling it. Not every book we’ve tried had as many reviews as we would like, though. It would be more convenient if there are links to reviews from other websites as well.

            Wish List

            wishlist

              You can make a wish-list of books you want to read. This is a helpful reminder next time you visit a bookstore. This feature is simple and gets the job done.

              Shelf

              shelf

                Using your iPhone as a barcode scanner, you can build your collection quite quickly. While the wooden shelf looks very nice, there seems to be little need to have your collection in your pocket. On the other hand, your mobile shelf will sync with your shelf on the aNobii website, which is more useful as you can share your collection with friends and fellow booklovers.

                aNobii is $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.

                Pros

                • Barcode scanning is fast and easy
                • Intuitive interface to build your collection or wish list
                • Allows you to find reviews handily – great for shopping at bookstores
                • Work seamlessly with the website version (http://www.anobii.com)

                Cons

                • Barcode scanning is limited to 3Gs only (there’s a lite version for 3G and 2G)
                • Social network features available on website are not available on this iphone app

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                Last Updated on September 17, 2018

                Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

                Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

                Are you one of those people who are always suffering setbacks? Does little ever seem to go right for you? Do you sometimes feel that the universe is out to get you? Do you wonder:

                Why do I have bad luck?

                Let me let you into a secret:

                Your luck is no worse—and no better—than anyone else’s. It just feels that way. Better still, there are two simple things you can do which will reverse your feelings of being unlucky.

                1. Stop believing that what happens in your life is down to the vagaries of luck, destiny, supernatural forces, malevolent other people, or anything else outside your self.

                Psychologists call this “external locus of control.” It’s a kind of fatalism, where people believe that they can do little or nothing personally to change their lives.

                Because of this, they either merely hope for the best, focus on trying to change their luck by various kinds of superstition, or submit passively to whatever comes—while complaining that it doesn’t match their hopes.

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                Most successful people take the opposite view. They have “internal locus of control.” They believe that what happens in their life is nearly all down to them; and that even when chance events occur, what is important is not the event itself, but how you respond to it.

                This makes them pro-active, engaged, ready to try new things, and keen to find the means to change whatever in their lives they don’t like.

                They aren’t fatalistic and they don’t blame bad luck for what isn’t right in their world. They look for a way to make things better.

                Are they luckier than the others? Of course not.

                Luck is random—that’s what chance means—so they are just as likely to suffer setbacks as anyone else.

                What’s different is their response. When things go wrong, they quickly look for ways to put them right. They don’t whine, pity themselves, or complain about “bad luck.” They try to learn from what happened to avoid or correct it next time and get on with living their life as best they can.

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                No one is habitually luckier or unluckier than anyone else. It may seem so, over the short term (Random events often come in groups, just as random numbers often lie close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist).

                When you take a longer perspective, random chance is just . . . random. Yet those who feel that they are less lucky, typically pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.

                Your locus of control isn’t genetic. You learned it somehow. If it isn’t working for you, change it.

                2. Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows in your mind.

                If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.

                In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.

                Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything; sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.

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                They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.

                Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.

                To improve your fortune, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to you; then try focusing on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.

                Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?

                Thomas Jefferson is said to have used these words:

                “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

                Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

                “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

                Your luck, in the end, is pretty much what you choose it to be.

                Featured photo credit: LoboStudio Hamburg via unsplash.com

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