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Posts tagged Australia

FAA failure to keep up with commercial drone use could prevent innovation
February 25, 2014 | 5:59 pm

drone delivery At the risk of droning on, it seems like there has been a lot of news involving drones lately. We covered Amazon’s announcement of package delivery (someday) via drones, and some responses to it. Clearly, drone services could fill the middle range between snail-mail delivery and electronic downloading: a physical good that reaches you quickly. And that is not even considering the other potential uses, such as aerial photography. But that is in the nebulous future. What about now? Well, the problem with drone use right now is that commercial drone use is technically illegal—the...

How reading can bridge the social divide
January 12, 2014 | 4:28 pm

readingAustralian website Momentum Books has just shared a post listing "Nine reasons that being a book loving shut-in is better than being a social butterfly." And while it's always good to see quiet solitary reading defended, there are also plenty of reasons why reading can actually help your social life. And why ereading helps even more. And anyway, finger-wagging and us-and-them thinking isn't always that's positive. So let's go through the list. Reason 1 deals with the nasty accidents and spillages that can happen in a bar "you only went to because your friends made you." Well, what about all the...

Caution: Low-flying books Down Under as drone delivery service launches
October 16, 2013 | 10:30 am

drone delivery Aussies could soon be ducking to avoid more than low-flying kookaburras as New South Wales textbook rental and student services company Zookal ... ahem... launches an airborne book delivery service using drones. The service, called Flirtey, is a JV between Zookal CEO Ahmed Haider and Matthew Sweeny , CEO of software company Vimbra, and reportedly will... umm ... take to the air with six drones, initially delivering books and parcels around Sydney's Central Business District.  Zookal's largest service line is Textbook Rentals which provides a faster, easier and cheaper alternative to what is available disrupting the current textbook market. "We solve one...

Australia funds authors, publishers, in digital publishing, cultural exchanges
October 4, 2013 | 10:00 am

In an initiative that other countries might well envy, Australia's Copyright Agency Creative Industries Career Fund has just announced its latest series of career development grants to "Australian writers, artists and publishers." According to the official release, "fourteen recipients will share in over AUD$38,000 [$35,400] to build their skills through opportunities ranging from mentorships to experience at leading institutions."   Publishing industry recipients include publisher Tony Duke, who "will be undertaking mentorships whilst attending the UK Publishers Association Digital Publishing Forum seminar in the UK," and New South Wales publisher Jeanmarie Morosin, who "will undertake a workshop at the Eric Carle Museum...

Woman in Australia scammed for $1,335 for two apples rather than iPhones
August 6, 2013 | 8:06 pm

iPhonesBy Hammad Saleem If you're planning on buying an iPhone or any other device through classified ads or from websites like Craigslist, you should definitely read this: A woman in Australia paid AUS $1,500 (almost $1,335) for what she thought would be two shiny new iPhones in a sealed box. She never checked inside, as the boxes looked new. And guess what turned out to be inside the boxes? Actual apples. Yes, you read that right: actual apples. According to the story at Gizmodo UK, the Australian woman wanted to buy two iPhones, and placed an ad on the online classified website Gumtree. Another woman...

Kobo Goes Direct in Australia
July 31, 2013 | 9:15 am

Given the latest news about Australian moves to push down hardware and software prices, change copyright legislation to encourage resale of e-books, and generally break open the current restrictions on digital media, it's interesting to note that Kobo has just launched direct sales of its reader devices to customers Down Under, according to IT Wire. Aussie customers can already buy Kobo devices from retailers such as Bookworld—which right now is running a special promotion on the Kobo mini for just A$49 ($44). For now at least, the range and basic prices of the various Kobo devices in Australia seem likely to...

Australian government report urges its citizens to circumvent geographical restrictions, buy cheaper digital media from overseas
July 30, 2013 | 7:37 pm

That thud sound you just heard was my jaw hitting the floor. Nate Hoffelder on The Digital Reader just posted an article about a report issued by an Australian government committee officially recommending that Australian citizens ignore geographic restrictions and buy digital content from other countries because it’s so expensive to buy it in Australia proper. (Weird that it comes so soon after another Australian government commission said there was nothing wrong with Apple’s high e-book prices, but I guess nobody said every part of a government had to agree.) The report even recommended amending Australia’s copyright law to...

Australia says no worries on Apple e-book pricing
July 23, 2013 | 10:53 am

According to coverage in the Australian Financial Review, Australia's competition authority, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is taking a hands-off attitude to Apple's e-book pricing practices past and present, despite pressure from some quarters to act in a similar fashion to the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and bring a price-fixing case. Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon, one of the more outspoken and vocal advocates of consumer rights in Australia, issued a release earlier in July entitled "Rotten Apple?" calling on "the ACCC to initiate an urgent investigation into Apple, following the damning US Court decision. However,...

Pearson Pulls Back in Australian Education
July 18, 2013 | 1:00 pm

PearsonAn announcement from Pearson Australia, the Oz arm of Pearson PLC, ultimate part-owner of the new Big Five publishing behemoth Penguin Random House, indicates that the trade and educational publishing giant is not having things all its own way everywhere. Pearson Australia has decided to pull back from vocational training and trade education print work, as part of broader changes "being made in order to create a more nimble organisation that is able to respond more quickly to the needs of our customers"—with 75 announced redundancies. From the announcement: "The changes will take place across the business and include consolidating our print and...

The Book Salon opens in Australia for better writing Down Under
July 17, 2013 | 8:13 pm

The Book SalonSteph Little, author, publishing professional, and online and offline marketer, has launched a new website and resource center for Australia's authors, The Book Salon, offering them guidance, pointers, resources, information, or just straightforward encouragement, according to Australia's Books and Publishing. Herself a Brit, Steph relocated to Australia and now works as a marketing campaign manager at local independent publisher Hardie Grant, but her new initiative is purely personal. "I moved to Melbourne from the UK in 2010 in search of a better life. I found it," she says.  "My favourite writers are Roald Dahl, Geoff Dyer, Kate Atkinson, Emily Brontë, Matt Haig, Ian McEwan,...

Dust jacket envelopes make it easy to donate your books by mail
May 2, 2013 | 3:09 pm

books A social entrepreneurship company based in Australia, Mailbooks for Good, has recently launched a literary-minded project that combines good design and a simple but strong idea with the joy of philanthropy. The company's tagline, "Re-gift the gift of reading," does a decent job of explaining the concept. But here's the general idea, direct from the MFG website: Mailbooks For Good is an innovation in book publishing, which allows you to donate books directly to those who need it. When the books are finished, readers simply turn the covers inside out and the books become pre-paid and pre-addressed packages. Once posted they are...

E-Books means never having to say “excuse me”
December 17, 2012 | 8:42 pm

It’s the week before Christmas, and the post office and local stores are full of people I’ve never seen before. Where do they shop the rest of the year, these folk? Do they live in suspended animation till December? I can only surmise that the warmer weather here in Oz wakes them up, like locusts, just to clog the supermarket aisles and make buying a postage stamp a two-hour operation. But at least they got me thinking about one of the nicest and most often overlooked aspects of purchasing e-books—you don’t have to relate to the other customers. Not that bookstore...