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David’s Links: Scalzi’s $3.4M book deal. The struggles of small-town librarians. Chinese e-book market
May 27, 2015 | 11:50 am

John_ScalziJohn Scalzi signs 10-year, $3.4-million book deal with Tor (Los Angeles Times) The multimillion-dollar deal will last a decade. During that time, Scalzi will write 13 novels for Tor. They're partially mapped out: 10 novels for adults, plus three young adult novels; a sequel to "Lock In," his most recent book; a return to the "Old Man's War" universe; and an entirely new series set in the far future.. The TeleRead take: So happy to see merit rewarded. I still have the free e-book version of Scalzi’s first novel, Agent to the Stars, which...

‘Google and the World Brain’
May 27, 2015 | 11:14 am

  "The story of the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet. In 2002 Google began to scan millions of books in an effort to create a giant global library, containing every book in existence. They had an even greater purpose---to create a higher form of intelligence, something that HG Wells had predicted in his 1937 essay 'World Brain.' But over half the books Google scanned were in copyright, and authors across the world launched a campaign to stop Google, which climaxed in a New York courtroom in 2011. A film about the dreams, dilemmas and dangers of the Internet."...

Accessory Review: Inateck PU Leather Kindle Paperwhite Case
May 27, 2015 | 10:25 am

inateck pu leather kindle paperwhite caseIt's time for another Inteck review. As I've said in the past, I love their products, and they just sent me a new Kindle Paperwhite case. It's too bad I gave it to my husband, because I like this one as much, if not more than, the previous one I reviewed. This one is going for the smooth leather look, and the look and feel is reminiscent of the Amazon lighted case I had for my old Kindle Touch. The Inateck case is imitation leather, but you wouldn't know it on a quick look and feel. Granted I'm no expert, but...

Morning Links: No Google Tablet in 2015. Twitter to Acquire Flipboard?
May 27, 2015 | 9:00 am

Google tabletGoogle to launch two Nexus phones but no tablet this 2015 (Android Community) We've been saying that Google might release two new Nexus phones simultaneously but we're silent about the next Nexus tablet. Truth is, we haven't heard any information yet and looks like we know the reason why: there will be no Nexus tablet this year. *** Twitter Has Held Talks to Acquire Flipboard (re/code) Twitter has been engaged in an ongoing series of talks to acquire Flipboard, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, in an all-stock deal that would value the company at over $1 billion. *** Everything Google is rumored...

TeleRead eBook Site Sold Back to Founder David Rothman
May 27, 2015 | 8:20 am

David_Rothman_2TeleRead, the oldest Web site devoted to general-interest news and views on e-books and related topics, is again in the hands of its founder, David H. Rothman. Philadelphia-based NAPCO Media, the seller, has decided to focus on its core brands, markets and growth areas such as events, e-learning and video services. The Rothman-NAPCO deal closed May 19. "I am grateful to NAPCO for giving me a chance to preserve an important piece of Web and e-book history," Rothman says. "TeleRead in one form or another goes back to the mid 1990s and has been a major...

English courts gag child abuse victims
May 26, 2015 | 3:37 pm

91HpXAOP8hLBritain - or more accurately, England - is not a great place for freedom of speech, or freedom of any kind, right now. You have UK Home Secretary Theresa May pushing to pre-emptively censor British broadcasting in cases of "extremism." You have similar logic being spouted by Prime Minister David Cameron in moves to target supposed radicalization, arguing that: "For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone." And, alas, you have more private realms of English law being used to silence individuals...

A summer bookcation might be just what the doctor ordered
May 26, 2015 | 3:25 pm

bookcationThe world is full now of portmanteau words, those blended terms that have the power to surprise and ensorcell us. Think: brunch, climapocalypse, bleisure. Even the word "portmanteau" is a portmanteau in its French iteration. There's also a nice blended word I like this time of year -- "bookcation." A bookcation is when take a break from the real world and settle down for a few weeks in the summertime with a good book, or two or three. It's a time to rediscover the wonderful world of prose and storytelling. Now for your own summer vacation plans, you can take a Mediterranean bookcation...

Security Questions Are Pretty Insecure
May 26, 2015 | 1:24 pm

Beutler_Google_passwords-v6Google recently studied the security of security questions and found that they are a pretty poor approach. According to their findings, if a question is easy to remember, it's also fairly easy to guess. If a question is hard to guess (like a library card number), it's also hard to remember, which leads to frustration. This makes complete sense to me. I've had a number of instances where I had to call customer service to help me log in to a site because, not only could I not remember the answer to the question, I couldn't remember ever answering the question, so...

Library Renovations for the Win!
May 26, 2015 | 10:25 am

libraryAmidst all the coverage on how the library and retail books scenes are changing due to the eBook revolution, I was inspired to see two news stories pop up in my Feedly feed about library renovations. The first struck close to home, too---the Toronto Public Library just opened their 100th branch! The branch includes the requisite books---42,000 of them, in four languages!---and some cool techie stuff too. There is a 'Digital Innovation Hub' which includes a 3-D printer for public use, free wifi, a computer lab and so on. And on the non-techie side, an 'Early Literacy Centre; designed for children...

Morning Links: One bright future of color e-paper. End of free?
May 26, 2015 | 8:44 am

color e-inkThe once-bright future of color e-paper (Engadget) Still, even those predictions fall flat sometimes, and it can burn to look back at the track record of a horse we once bet on. For this editor, that stallion was known as color e-paper, a series of dimly hued electronic-paper technologies that teased a future of low-power gadgets with beautiful, sunlight-readable matte displays. *** We've hit the peak of 'free' on the Internet. It's time to pay up (Mashable) Yet the Internet won't survive until people start paying for the things they find on it, which cost money to produce and distribute. This is a particularly...

Book review: The Rhesus Chart, by Charles Stross, Little, Brown
May 26, 2015 | 7:42 am

contentSuccessors to the Lovecraftian legacy are many and variable, but Charles Stross's Laundry Files cycle is among the most distinguished. Scientific rigour combined with bleak pessimism would surely appeal to HPL himself, especially when seasoned with the same genre spice as Weird Tales days - updated to espionage potboilers and Tom Clancy. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, though, because Stross manages to play off the grubbiness of a UK civil service department (the dirty-linen-festooned Laundry) against the grim horror of its raison d'etre and the Kafkaesque irony of bureaucracies stacking card indices against annihilation, in a way...

Why can’t Google code? My Chrome browser still sucks. So does Gmail in major ways
May 25, 2015 | 7:10 am

New Orleans Carnival: Krewe du Vieux float satizing George W. Bush.  GNU Free Documentation License. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KdVWrongStuffDunceRocket.jpgLarry and Sergey, you can brag all you want about Moonshots---your driverless cars, your WiFi for developing countries, your other marvels; and sure, I’m also happy to hear about the new Literata font for e-books. But overall, compared to the past, you just don’t care as much about the people who made you billionaires. Us. Customers. End users. Pick the term. I’m running the latest nonbeta Chrome on my HP Pavilion and using the tips I shared earlier with TeleRead community members. And you know what? Chrome is still crashing far too often. While I realize you...

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