Microsoft Unveils New Tablets, Threat of Book-Burning Party Saves Library

In a move to compete with the Apple iPad, Microsoft has unveiled two new tablets, the Touch and the Type. Typically, Microsoft does not manufacture it’s own computing devices (they do a lot of peripherals and gaming consoles, though), so this is a bit of a departure for the company. There is not a lot known about the tablets at this point, but what we do know about the hardware seems impressive. The coolest feature of these tablets, and what might actually attract some die-hard Applethusiasts, is the “Smart Cover” for each of the devices. The Touch cover flips out to reveal virtual keys, while the Type cover features a tactile keyboard. Microsoft claims both Smart Covers are more efficient than typing on glass (a shot at the iPad). Both tablets are due by the end of the year. Read more about the tablets here and here.

BoingBoing reported Saturday on the efforts of the Troy, Michigan public library which, in short, was able to obtain the funding needed to keep their doors open by threatening a book-burning. Local residents refused to vote on a tax increase to keep the library open, so the library hired Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide Detroit to help with the problem:

Troy Public Library would close for good unless voters approved a tax increase. With little money, six weeks until the election, facing a well organized anti-tax group who’d managed to get two previous library-saving tax increases to fail, we had to be bold. We posed as a clandestine group who urged people to vote to close the library so they could have a book burning party. Public outcry over the idea drowned out the anti-tax opposition and created a ground-swell of support for the library, which won by a landslide.

Other web gems for this week: