Twitterings, layoffs and output of gorillas

My brain is blank and I have nothing of interest to write, so I'll mention a few items that caught my eye:

James Long reveals that Twitter has become mainstream. He knows this not only because use of the platform grew by 752 per cent last year, but because "Internet darling" Gwynneth Paltrow is reportedly considering using it to start a book reading group "with her famous pals like Madonna". Cue sarcastic comment about how convenient to choose a format that allows only 140 characters per post? (or "tweet"). You don't seem to be able to search Bryan Appleyard's Thought Experiments blog so I cannot provide a direct link to the matter, but if you go there you will find plenty of inside stories about Bryan and his soul-mate Gwynneth which explain the "Internet darling" label. Even if you don't find them, its a provocatively interesting place to spend a bit of time in any event.

There is an amazing graph at the Official Google Enterprise blog (new blog to me – is it a spin-off of Star Trek?) showing spam trends in 2008 – and most amazingly, what happened to those trends after one day in November when the McColo network was taken offline. The day of 2008 with the highest volume of spam was 23 April, a date that sticks in my mind as the shared birthday between Shakespeare and Hitler – and the day widely considered to be the day Shakespeare died, though without much evidence – and St George's day. Also my paternal grandfather's birthday. I wrote the birthday part without checking, so I am prepared to stand contradicted (apart from the bit about my grandfather, which I defy anyone to know better than I do).

And a bit of book news from the blogosphere today: Amazon has announced it is to stop offering e-books in the Adobe and Microsoft Reader formats. Martyn Daniels of the Booksellers' Association explains what it all means. And perhaps more shockingly, Sara Nelson, the editor-in-chief of Publishers' Weekly, has been laid off, says Sarah Weinman. What a pity. I rarely see a printed copy of the magazine in the office any more, sadly, but when I do I am usually favourably impressed by her column and by her editorship of the publication. One reaction: "it's a bit like firing John Lennon (and only John Lennon) from the Beatles". Sarah, inevitably, has all the links in her post.

Finally, I was shocked and saddened today to learn that naturalist David Attenborough has been receiving hate mail. (Will they turn on David Bellamy next?) Henry Gee picks up the baton in a characteristically excellent, trenchant and funny post: Let us all throw used gorilla poo at creationists.