Something Awful: State of the Nation is a thing of beauty. As much as I'm wary of SA, as a whole lot of asshats lurk there, there are strange gems to be found in the forums, and the Daily Kos has dredged up a whole thread's worth. Purportedly inside dirt from a staffer; it's a riot, whether truth or fiction.
Via the birthday fellow p_o_u_n_c_e_r: Print On Demand with the Espresso Book Machine: this is a thing of beauty, a joy forever, and will assuredly be improved on as well as having machines of that ilk become widespread. How much paper does the thing take? Will there be an upgrade for hardbacks?
I'm thinking of the application for textbooks. It would be so nice to cut out all the shipping and storage costs for textbooks, and be able to print them on demand. Though it would do weird things to the used textbook market. But all you'd have to do in the ordering department is make sure that the students had the right textbook to request to be printed, and make sure the machine was stocked. (I can see the hue and cry if someone forgets to order paper/toner for the textbook PoD.) This is far superior to the current common situation of professors not getting their textbook orders to the person who actually orders the textbooks on time, or ordering a wrong number of copies, or not ordering the teacher's edition, or what have you. As a safeguard against idiot students punching the wrong thing in, a college might have the print requests done automatically online, or make a book request card (similar to the copy machine cards) or some such.
But. Glee. This could be the end of hard-to-find books, so long as there's a copy of it electronically somewhere. Instead, there'll be more trade in rare editions, or pre-PoD copies, or hand-bound copies. I could see the art of hand-binding books coming back in style very big.