September 9th, 2016 by Michael Sauers

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

Posted in Books Tagged with: , ,

August 15th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The introduction of a “Maker Space” at the Beaufort, SC public library system marks a transition for libraries where content is no longer simply absorbed, but also created.

Originally from the Charleston, SC area, Melanie J. Florencio is a digital media lab instructor, adjunct art professor, and comic illustrator. She studied Sequential Art at the Savannah College of Art and Design for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Post graduation in 2011, she taught art and design at two Charleston colleges while freelancing comic book projects. Currently, Melanie enjoys sharing her artistic knowledge and talents with the Beaufort County, SC community through demonstrations, workshops, and lectures for the public library system as well as adjuncting art classes online for the local colleges. (Published on Jun 11, 2014)

Posted in Libraries Tagged with: , ,

May 1st, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Using Audio & Video in the Library from Michael Sauers

Presented at the Michigan Small & Rural Libraries Conference, Mackinac Island, MI, 1 May 2014

RLC Logo

Posted in Tech Tagged with: ,

July 3rd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

NSA/Verizon logoAttention all NSA recruiters: If you’re planning to pitch your agency at a college career fair anytime soon, be sure to bring your “A” game.

A duo showed up at the University of Wisconsin earlier this week, hoping to sell students of the school’s language program on the idea of working for the NSA. The audience — comprised mainly of grad students and a few members of a local high school class, according to Madiha Tahir at Mob and the Multitude — wasn’t buying.

Read the full article @ The Huffington Post. They’ve also posted the audio but I’ve got it here because it’s just amazing to listen to.

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with: , , ,

May 3rd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

wordpress logoI’m not sure this is actually a feature I’ll use since I like making my videos available through YouTube (which also saves sever space on my end,) but I do understand the appeal.

We’re all eagerly looking forward to WordPress 3.6 with its beautiful updates to Post Format UI and bright new default Twenty Thirteen theme. But there’s one feature that far and away surpasses all the others.

The upcoming WordPress 3.6 release will add native support for audio and video files. This one is a real game changer. We’re going to give you a full introduction to the new capabilities and show you how you can use them on your WordPress site. But first, let’s take a look at how we’ve previously been managing multimedia files.

Read the full article @

Posted in wordpress Tagged with: , ,

April 3rd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

I previously covered Coffitivity which allowed you to have all the noise of a coffee shop without the coffee or the shop. If you’d prefer the sound of the rain there’s the the Rainy Cafe Machine. There you can get the rain, or coffee shop, or both if you really want.

Rainy Cafe Machine

Posted in Internet Tagged with: ,

March 18th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

CoffitivityResearch shows it’s pretty hard to be creative in a quiet space.

But, the mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing.

Our team has delivered the vibe of a coffee shop right to your desktop, which means when your workspace just isn’t quite cutting it, we’ve got you covered.

Just head on over to and click play. Your mileage may vary. I sort of wonder what John Scalzi thinks of this idea.

Posted in Internet Tagged with: ,

January 19th, 2011 by Michael Sauers

ccc_logoI just listened to the The Copyright Clearance Center’s Beyond the Book podcast episode #205. Here’s the description:

The viability of the entertainment and media industry’s future rests on its ability to manage content and control distribution, while making it available to an ever larger customer base. At the November 2010 Digital Hollywood conference in New York City, Chris Kenneally explored the potential for Digital Rights Management (DRM) and content protection in the evolving media landscape with a panel of senior industry executives.

His guests were Mridula Palat, Director, RSG Media Systems; Michael Petricone, Sr. VP,Consumer Electronics Assoc.; Kent E. Sahin, President & CEO, REAL Software Systems; Alex Terpstra, CEO, Civolution; and Steve Tranter, VP, NDS.

If you’re interested in how the “content” folks view DRM and other rights-related issue this will be a well-spent 54 minutes.

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December 31st, 2010 by Michael Sauers

Just swap the male and female roles in this comic for me and either my wife or one of her girls…

Audiophiles [xkcd]

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December 30th, 2010 by Michael Sauers

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