Digital Archive of Vintage Television Commercials

adviewsThanks to Duke University, you can now access a digital archive of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. Eventually, this collection will feature close to 12,000 digitized commercials, and it will let you see how America's traditional brands (IBM, Maxwell House, American Express, Avis, etc) evolved through the medium of mainstream commercial television. You can learn more about this collection called Adviews with this introductory video or via the Adviews website, and you can watch the vintage commercials through iTunes. (Unfortunately, I don't see a way to access these clips via other means. Sorry about that.) Via @LibrarySecrets

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Sublime Photos of our Solar System

Smithsonian.com is featuring a series of photos taken by spacecraft that have traveled across our solar system, reaching other planets and approaching the sun. To see these images, you can enter the photo gallery here, and to view more photos, make sure that you click on the small dots located on the right-hand side of the page. And note that you can download these photos as well.

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Bob Dylan Christmas Preview

Here's a sneak preview of Bob Dylan's forthcoming Christmas album. It will hit the streets in October, and you can pre-order now. A safe assumption: this will be a "love it" or "hate it" album.

The Old Man & The Sea Animated

In 1999, Aleksandr Petrov won the Academy Award for Short Film (among other awards) for a film that follows the plot line of Ernest Hemingway's classic novella, The Old Man and the Sea (1952). As noted here, Petrov's technique involves painting pastels on glass, and he and his son painted a total of 29,000 images. Rather incredible. Above, we present the 20 minute short.

The Beatles Remastered: An Inside Look

bremasterOn September 9th, EMI released a remastered version of the entire Beatles catalogue -- the first remix since 1987. And now the Beatles are once again back on top of the charts. If you're wondering whether to buy the remastered versions at all, or whether to buy the stereo or mono box sets (or some combination of the two), or if you're simply wondering what goes into remastering the Fab Four's complete body of work, then you will be interested in this interview with Beatles historian Kevin Howlett, who helped write the liner notes for the new releases. In this conversation with NPR's All Songs Considered (MP3iTunes - RSS Feed), Howlett describes what the remastering involved, and then compares the old versions to the new versions (both mono and stereo). When you're done listening to this 20+ minute interview, you'll have a much better sense of what this long-awaited remastering delivers. You can listen with the player below, or via the links posted above.

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US Justice Department Looks to Restructure Google Books Settlement

The US Justice Department officially weighed in today on the Google Books settlement with publishers and authors. On the plus side for Google, the government wants to see the project continue because it has clear social benefits. On the downside, the DOJ has concerns about antitrust and copyright issues, and it's looking for the deal to get restructured. You can get more details in The Wall Street Journal. It's late. I'm out.

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A quick heads up: Lifehacker is highlighting today some new software (Windows only) that will let you download free access/public domain texts from Google Book Search and then turn them into neat PDF files. To get tips on how to use the software created by a third party, not Google, head on over to Lifehacker. I haven't personally used the Downloader, mainly because I work on a Mac. If you try it out, let us know how the software works for you.

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