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My Espresso Book Machine encounter
November 19, 2011 | 3:49 pm

GEDC0263I got to the Missouri State University Bookstore in Columbia, Missouri in the early afternoon, and went downstairs to where they kept their Espresso machine. As I had a book made, I spoke with Heather Tearney, the manager of the Mizzou Media section where the machine was kept, and Nic Maglio, one of the operators. The book I picked out was The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar, by Maurice Leblanc. (Here’s the Project Gutenberg version.) I’d hoped to get another Arsène Lupin book that I had myself contributed to Project Gutenberg, but they didn’t have it available from the catalog—though...

‘Princeton Shorts’ Tries to Lure Readers With Digital Excerpts From Full Books
November 2, 2011 | 9:09 am

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Attention spans are short. E-readers are plentiful. Digital delivery is fast and convenient. How can university presses turn those facts to their advantage and attract readers who want bite-sized morsels of content? Princeton University Press is about to test one approach with a new, e-only series. Called Princeton Shorts, it debuts November 9. The article explains that Princeton Shorts will not be new material, like Kindle Singles; rather, it will be excerpts only of backlist material from Princeton University Press.  The full books will be available through Kindle and Google Books. Princeton University Press considers this an experiment,...

Ruling in favor of UCLA right to rip DVDs may have implications for HathiTrust
October 5, 2011 | 12:01 pm

Did I just hear the DMCA’s anti-circumvention precisions creak a little? Ars Technica reports that a judge has ruled educational institutions are legally entitled to rip and stream DVDs that they have legally purchased. The case involves UCLA ripping and streaming some educational DVDs from Ambrose Video Publishing. Ambrose sued over the anti-circumvention provision violation, insisting its DVDs were sold under a licensing agreement that prohibits rebroadcast and public display. However, the UCLA insisted that fair use gave it the right to rip and stream, and that Ambrose’s catalog specifically says “All purchases by schools and libraries include...

Opposing viewpoints on HathiTrust orphaned works issue
September 17, 2011 | 1:17 pm

I’ve found a couple of more points of view on the HathiTrust lawsuit over the last couple of days, and given that they are diametrically opposed it seems like a good idea to present them together for contrast. First, SF and fantasy novelist Elizabeth Moon strongly opposes the use that the universities and HathiTrust are making of scanned works. Moon is up in arms over HathiTrust’s plans to allow unlimited free download of “orphaned” works from the trust (though she seems to be under the impression that it would allow download of all works, not just the orphaned ones)....

Authors Guild sues Google Books’s university partners
September 13, 2011 | 4:15 am

Lest we think that the lawsuit against Google that has been spinning its wheels for six years and gone precisely nowhere was the extent of the Authors Guilds efforts to fight the Google Books scanning projects, the Guild has struck again with a lawsuit against the universities that partnered with Google in the project, and the cooperative organization, HathiTrust, set up to manage those works. The Authors Guild, its counterparts from various Commonwealth countries, and a group of authors have filed suit to block the use of unauthorized scans of copyrighted works from the universities libraries as part...

Does e-reading hinder the learning process?
August 11, 2011 | 8:15 pm

The Kansas City Star is carrying a story by Nicholas Carr warning that e-books may not be as conducive to learning as printed books. Carr points to a pair of studies suggesting that e-books can lead to students paying less attention to the material they read, or being unable to adapt their print reading styles to make efficient use of digital texts. E-books are much more rigid [than print books]. Refreshing text on a screen is a far different, and far less flexible, process than flipping through pages. By necessity, a screen-based, software-powered reading device imposes...

Survey shows most college students hate lugging textbooks more than they like sex
July 28, 2011 | 11:48 am

product4_thumb[1]Kno, the company that had been designing a two-paned e-textbook tablet reader before deciding to get out of the hardware market and concentrate on software for existing tablets, has released a survey that states that American college students hate lugging books around so much that 73% of them would be willing to give up sex if it let them avoid carrying books. (Gee, I didn’t think a Kindle made you look that nerdy.) I find it a little ironic this study came from Kno, since their proposed (and abandoned) textbook reader would have been as heavy as a laptop,...

Lecture note posting harms academic publishing, publishers claim
July 4, 2011 | 11:51 pm

The closure of a half-century-old university bookstore in Ireland is raising questions about the propriety of lecturers posting class notes on-line, the Bookseller reports. The chairman of a UK academic publishing-industry lobby group claims the practice harms academic booksellers. The Bookshop at Queens, at the Queen’s University Belfast, has been in business for 53 years, but has hit tough times and is closing while it is still above water. Tim Smyth, manager of the Queen's bookshop, said the bookseller wanted to close before it "fell below the line". He also blamed internet competition and free...

Digital and Higher Education
May 27, 2011 | 9:42 am

A study sponsored by the Pearson Foundation for Harris Interactive surveyed 1,214 college students and 200 high-school seniors heading to college.  More than two-thirds of them showed overwhelming interest in tablet devices, and believed that tablets would transform higher education. Interestingly, this same pro-tablet group largely did not own tablets: Only 7 percent of college students had a tablet, and only 4 percent of the high school students owned one.  Yet almost half those surveyed believed that digital textbooks would replace print textbooks in colleges within five years. Of those who owned tablets, 73 percent liked digital formats over print; only 32...

Robots retrieve books in new library at University of Chicago
May 26, 2011 | 11:51 am

domelgPublishers are trying to make e-books act more like print books—but some future library concepts are making print books act more like e-books. In particular, the $81 million Joe and Rika Mansueto Library that has just opened at the University of Chicago. SingularityHub’s Peter Murray has a feature on this fascinating library that stores 3.5 million books and journal volumes in a five-story-tall system of bins that only needs one-seventh as much space to house the books as a normal library. The bins are organized by book size, not by category or other classification, and books are retrieved...

UK vote on cuts to higher education to be held Thursday
December 6, 2010 | 2:35 pm

th_9d47f81f.jpgFrom Matt Hayler's 4oh4 Words not Found blog. Matt is a PhD student in the UK and a regular contributor to TeleRead. This is an important issue and as we have a lot of UK readers I reprint Matt's blog post in full. Blockquotes omitted. _______________________ On Thursday the 9th of December 2010 the UK government will be voting on whether they ruin higher education in this country. This is a painful simple truth. The swathe of cuts that are proposed to university teaching budgets, to research budgets, and also to the support of 6th forms and further education...

iTunes U supports EPUB files
November 1, 2010 | 10:48 am

Screen shot 2010-11-01 at 10.47.02 AM.pngGot the following email from Frank Lowney that I thought I should pass on to you: I thought that other Teleread subscribers might be interested in Apple’s not yet widely publicized announcement that the iTunes U service (free to higher education) now supports .epub files which nicely complements the way the iTunes.app supports .epub in RSS feeds. I’ve written two posts to my blog that you may want to draw from should you choose to write this up: Announcement: http://frank-lowney.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-support-for-epub-in-itunes-u.html More Details: http://frank-lowney.blogspot.com/2010/10/more-details-on-itunes-u-support-for.html What is iTunes U? --> http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ For academic types, this is a major development. Of course there is...