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Weekend Links: Americans engaged with libraries, Joyland to be released as ebook and more
March 15, 2014 | 4:34 pm

librariesPew: Americans Are Actively Engaged with Public Libraries (Publishers Weekly) Just in time for the 2014 Public Library Association Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., the Pew Research Center Thursday released a long anticipated “typology” of Americans and their library use. *** Five Ways Startups Are Narrowing the Content Discovery Gap (GigaOM) The content you want is out there — somewhere. Fortunately, several innovative startups are helping you find that content faster and, in the process, are bringing the realm of content delivery and discovery closer to the Holy Grail of true, meaningful and accurate personalization. *** Stephen King's Joyland to be Released as an eBook (The Digital...

Morning Roundup: BookLikes integrates with Kindle, Nintendo kills functionality for Wii and DS titles and mor
March 6, 2014 | 8:53 am

BookLikes integrates with KindleBlog Platform for Book Lovers BookLikes Integrates With Kindle (Digital Book World) BookLikes, free and independent blog platform designed for book lovers, introduces reading progress synchronization for Amazon Kindle. *** Nintendo Kills Functionality for Wii, DS Titles, Highlighting the Need for Greater User Control Over Content (Techdirt) Whether it's music or games, we've seen countless examples of how the content you think you own can either be taken away from you entirely -- or can suddenly be greatly limited, often with little to no warning. *** eBook Subscriptions Part 3: The Future Should Be Significant (Brave New World) In the last two articles we looked at today’s...

Article reformatters and ad-blockers present ‘DVR problem’ for online content
December 4, 2013 | 7:49 pm

On Digiday, John McDermott calls attention to the impending “DVR problem” online content faces, in light of all the content-reformatting apps such as Readability that can automatically save web articles and cull advertising before consumers even have a chance to see it—just like DVRs allow consumers to skip over commercials in their shows. This has been an ongoing issue as long as the web has had ads. Ad blockers (both software and hardware) have made the web more reader-friendly for years (I use one myself), much as some content site owners rail against them. But what can...

Licensing vs. Owning Content
October 23, 2013 | 2:18 pm

licensingIt is a debate so common that I don't even need to pull up citations for this one. Do you own your ebooks? Or is what you are paying for merely a license to use the content in ways which the content seller pre-approves for you? On the 'it's only a license' side are the terms and conditions the ebook stores list in their fine print: only on X number of devices, only for the person listed on the account, only when first decrypted through an Adobe server or an Amazon download script and so on. And on the 'you bought it'...

Is the ‘Download’ Model For Technology Going to Become Obsolete?
October 19, 2013 | 12:19 pm

technologyThe Beloved and I have had many an amusing conversation about how we would explain the technology of our youths to the children in our lives. I think they will find the computer mouse hilariously quaint, and the notion that if you wanted to phone somebody and they were not home, that was it will I am sure shock and horrify them. Lately, I have been wondering if the notion of purchasing media and having a copy to 'own' might be going the way of the dodo bird too. We each have our little hobbies; when the Beloved is messing with...

Google Chromecast: One more thing to annoy the content providers
July 26, 2013 | 3:55 pm

All Things D has a great article today on the Google Chromecast and the probable reaction from content providers. Our own Paul St John Mackintosh has already written about Chromecast, so if you need to catch up, check out his excellent article. But if you're just joining us, know that for just $35, the Chromecast allows you to watch what you can see on your Chrome browser on your TV. The article points out, correctly, the issue this presents for services like Hulu, which would rather charge you monthly for the privilege of viewing content on your TV. And then they follow...

Even in the digital age, the quality and availability of content are still king
May 29, 2013 | 3:20 pm

availability and qualityIn all the fuss over digital vs. paper, cord cutters vs. subscribers, this format vs. that one, two stories crossed my inbox today that showed me, yet again, even in this digital age, the two most important things—quality and availability—remain the same. It doesn't matter what you're selling, in what format, via what technology or medium—quality and availability always come first. Exhibit A: Netflix Turfs Viacom Laura Hazard Owen is one of many who reported about Netflix declining to renew their contract with Viacom. The fallout? Millions of unhappy parents whose children enjoyed streaming episodes of Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. Amidst...

Cord Cutters, Digital Mooches and the Content Conundrum of the Future
March 29, 2013 | 2:15 pm

Cord Cutters Dan linked to a great article in today's Morning Links roundup about 'digital mooches,' aka the 20-somethings who may be leaving Mom and Dad's house in the coming years, yet seem to have no plans to leave their parents' cell phone contracts or Netflix subscriptions. I read this article with interest; I'd just read another about 'cord cutters,' aka the cable-free, and how the content industry is wringing their hands about what to do with these people. It seems these articles, read together, paint an ominous pattern: The kids aren't paying because they get it for 'free' at home. Then they turn...

Technology Overload In Education: Stop the Madness!
January 15, 2013 | 8:00 am

computer lab in an elementary schoolFresh off the heels of CES and the Polaroid Kids Tablet and the iThis and the iThat, I have a confession to make about technology in education. And here it is: We actually don't need any more technology. We don't, really! That might be a strange thing to say in this age of tech abundance, but the truth is, what we need right now is better content, not better gizmos to run them on. Let's do a roundup of the gadgets currently on hand in my school: Computer Lab This gets used—a lot—by teachers doing their prep. The older grades do have allotted...

Might a $150 ad-blocking proxy endanger web publishing?
November 12, 2012 | 11:42 pm

adtrap illoThe Internet has a love-hate relationship with advertising. Many users of the web consider web ads obnoxious. Many publishers of content on the web consider them vital. And as a result, there’s been an arms race between ad purveyors and ad blockers for as long as ads have been around, despite content publishers’ insistence that the lost revenue could cripple them. The latest shot fired in the war is a Kickstarter project for a device called AdTrap, Intended to retail for $150, available for $120 to early kickers, the AdTrap is a little open-source box with two Ethernet ports...

Should on-line news articles be broken up for customized reading?
May 31, 2012 | 12:29 am

On GigaOm, Mathew Ingram posits that the traditional structure of the news article may not be ideally serving today’s readers. Some articles discussing current events may be loaded with terminology that some readers can’t understand—but adding background would waste space from the point of those who know the subject well. In the current on-line era, of course, there are plenty of external sources of information that could be linked—such as Wikipedia, if nothing else—but many papers don’t bother with that sort of linking, and if they did link would rather link internally to their own sources in order to...

Newspapers should move to digital, rethink content strategies, says Independent Content CEO
February 26, 2012 | 4:39 pm

Here’s another of those “the print ship is sinking, hurry up and get off it” posts you see every so often, this one a guest post on TechCrunch by Jordan Kurzweil, co-CEO of digital business agency Independent Content. Kurzweil starts by recommending that newspapers “face reality”: - The audiences of traditional print brands on paper and pixel are aging. - Digital upstarts are capturing the new audiences, and stealing your least loyal current readers. - The cost structures of Old Print companies are out of whack with the times....