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Chris Meadows

Diane Duane interview on our podcast this weekend, with a special prize!
July 22, 2015 | 5:02 pm

ywnmeDiane Duane has posted to her Tumblr about her forthcoming interview this weekend on the TeleRead podcast. I’m really looking forward to the chance to chat with her about her works and her e-book store. One other new thing is that Duane will be graciously donating a 9-volume e-book set of the Young Wizards New Millennium Editions (see my review here) to be given away by random drawing to one listener who calls or chats in to pose a listener question (or just to say hello) while we’re on the air. So please be sure to tune in at...

New report details book and e-book VAT rates around the world
July 22, 2015 | 4:38 pm

The International Publishers Association (IPA) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) have released a report (PDF) collecting the VAT rates for print books and e-books in every country that charges them. Publishing Perspectives summarizes the report’s findings, which reveal wide disparities in rates from country to country and region to region. Among the key findings: Denmark applies the highest VAT rate on printed books (25%). Hungary applies the highest VAT rate on e-books (27%). The...

TeleRead Links: Coffee and free NYT articles, anyone? Harper’s paywall. Soundtrack for reading? DMCA vs. anti-hacker tool to protect cars
July 22, 2015 | 1:13 pm

starbucksappSome New York Times Articles to Appear Free on Starbucks App (New York Times) Beginning in the first half of next year, Starbucks loyalty members will be able to read daily and weekend briefings from The Times, as well as other articles recommended by Starbucks, using the coffee company’s mobile app [shown here---link added]. The TeleRead Take: The Grey Lady has long been one of the big boosters of paywalls, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make some content available for free if they think it will gain them more readers. I’m personally a little dubious of their chances, though. People who read...

Who’s still buying iPods?
July 20, 2015 | 1:45 pm

ipod_touch_5_16_32_64The manager of a Target electronics department has written a blog essay discussing who buys iPods these days. It’s an interesting read, and makes a lot of sense, though is obviously not exactly a scientific sample, being the perspective of just one person. The iPod Touch was the most popular selling item, though as a rule it tended to sell either to the very young (kids too young for smartphones) or the very old (grandparents who didn’t want smartphones but wanted something they could use to Facetime with their kids and grandkids). An interesting thing is, when the iPad Mini came...

Orphan works copyright law controversy: Don’t panic!
July 20, 2015 | 9:30 am

It seemed important to lead with those two words, in large, friendly headline letters, based on the breathless “everybody panic!” takes that have been spreading around this matter lately. I’ve seen them popping up in my Facebook friends lists, and otherwise sensible people have been taken in—to the point where one of them ended up having to post a retraction after they read a more balanced take on the legislation involved. So let’s look at what’s going on. In June, the Registrar of Copyrights issued a 234-page report (PDF) on the problem of orphan works. Here’s a shorter article...

The anti-ad-blocker arms race
July 20, 2015 | 8:30 am

Web ads are an evil, but to some extent one that publishers consider necessary. Stratechery has an interesting post on the rise of programmatic ad networks—networks that track viewers across multiple web sites to build an interest profile, so that they can then serve ads targeted toward that profile on any site those users visit. The biggest problem with these networks is that the Javascript code they run on makes websites that use them obnoxiously clunky—but the publishers see them as just about the only way to make money on their content. Advertisers’ strong preference for...

TeleRead Links: Talking View-Master, Google Play Books gains note sync, and more
July 20, 2015 | 1:30 am

viewmasterThe Electronic Talking View-Master Was the Original Oculus Rift (Gizmodo) Seen here in an ad dating back to February of 1983, the Electronic Talking View-Master used the same slideshow discs as previous versions of the toy. But they were embedded in a special cartridge alongside a tiny vinyl record that would be played at the same time. The TeleRead Take: It’s interesting looking back at old iterations of technology, isn’t it? Back in the day, when they didn’t have anything like what they wanted to do, they had to invent something completely new. And so we got a...

The Internet as functional telepathy
July 19, 2015 | 4:56 pm

facebookmindreadingJust a few days ago I came across the Facebook meme you see at right. Today, Charlie Stross posted a blog comparing the Internet to “functional telepathy.” Maybe there really is no coincidence. At first glance, the Internet as functional telepathy seems like something out of science-fiction stories, but when you think about it, our life is increasingly like something out of science-fiction stories. We’re constantly being exposed to what other people are thinking—be they our friends and family who text us, the people we follow on Twitter or Facebook, or the people who write the blog posts we...

Simple English Wikipedia keeps it simple
July 19, 2015 | 4:01 pm

simplewikiHave you ever looked at a Wikipedia article and noticed the opening paragraph looks like it was written for somebody who knows a lot more than you do? Look up something like Planck’s Constant and you’ll see the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia version looks like it was intended for a physics major. But that’s why there’s something called the Simple English Wikipedia. Simple English Wikipedia is actually a subdomain of the regular Wikipedia, but it’s one where the content of articles is generally simpler. It uses Basic English words and grammar, and shorter sentences. (You...

TeleRead Links: Lower book sales, lost-phone retrieval, smartwatch success, and more
July 19, 2015 | 2:13 am

Book Sales Down 6.5% in Q1: AAP (GalleyCat) Though sales in Trade Books for the quarter were $1.53 billion, down only 2.2 percent from the same quarter in 2014. Adult book sales helped the category, with book sales up 12 percent in March, and 3.4 percent for the first quarter. Children’s & Young Adults and Religious presses, on the other hand, both saw sales decline during the quarter, down by 15.9 percent and 5.5 percent respectively. The TeleRead Take: Overall sales were $2.22 billion, as opposed to $2.38 billion for the same period in 2014. It’s hard to...

Why Sigil is like a screwdriver
July 18, 2015 | 5:05 pm

Digital Book World has an article from an advocate of the e-book development program Sigil. He compares the application to oXygen and explains in detail why (he believes) Sigil is the better program. His argument seems to rely largely on the fact that Sigil automates the process of editing XML code in ways that oXygen doesn’t, rather like InDesign. And Sigil was recently updated to allow creating EPUB3 files from its native EPUB2. We’re designers, we’re production people. We have jobs to ship. We want to just draw the damn text frame, or add wrap to...

TeleRead podcast: Sunday 7/19, 7 p.m. ET
July 18, 2015 | 2:57 pm

I’ve scheduled the next TeleRead podcast! We’ll be holding it tomorrow, Sunday, July 19th, at 7 p.m. Eastern. My co-host this week will be long-time TeleRead writer Susan Lulgjuraj. We will discuss recent news and events in the e-book world, and I’ll also talk about the new e-book I self-published this week. Remember, next weekend we also have another show scheduled, on Saturday, July 25th at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. On that show, my guest will be Diane Duane, and we will be talking about her upcoming new book and the changes to her store brought on by the...

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