The whole of the UK is culturally dead in August. I know, I know - there's the Proms and the Edinburgh Festival, but in the world I inhabit there's no chance of contacting anybody from publishing, media, universities, schools, or colleges. They're all camping in the Dordogne or driking that foul Retsina on Greek islands. The best of the BBC programmes announced last night that they would be 'back in the autumn'. So I'm not hanging around in Manchester waiting for the phone to ring. Instead, I've brought a bumper satchel of new (and old) publications to read and review during the coming weeks - which happens to also include my birthday. In fact I've already made a start with David Crystal's latest defense of linguistic liberalism Txtg: The Gr8 Db8 . I'll post my review here in a day or so - and it will be followed by two strands. The first includes cutting edge developments from the world of Open Sources and new eCommerce developments - the Web 2.0 innovations which have turned many business school theories upside down. The second is a series of books which were once best-sellers - hits from the past which may have something to tell us about cultural history.