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Posts tagged E-book

Should public libraries give away e-book-friendly tablets to poor people? $38 tablet hints of possibilities
January 10, 2014 | 4:54 pm

NextYoung people love suitable paper books, ideally new, that they can own. Could the same idea work for econo-tablets that public libraries gave away to low-income families---with a big, fat, e-book-related icon smack in the middle of the home screens? Yes! Don’t just hand out gizmos, though. Let the tablets come with old-fashioned encouragement from public and school librarians. Technology is no panacea. Kids should be able to own paper books, too, in fact, not just gadgets. But e-book-capable tablets, especially with national digital library systems in place, could multiply the number of books matching students’ precise needs. Paper books could serve as gateways to...

Latest Apple filing in antitrust case requests removal of Michael Bromwich as monitor
January 8, 2014 | 5:21 am

Thanks go to Mike for alerting me to Apple’s latest filing, supporting its request for a stay and requesting the removal of Michael Bromwich from the duty of antitrust compliance monitor. Since the filing is too new to have been covered in detail by anyone else yet, I went to PACER and snagged the relevant filings. In Apple’s cover letter (PDF) and motion supporting its request for a stay (PDF), the company’s counsel lay out its objections to Bromwich’s continued tenure as a compliance monitor. It complains that, by filing the declaration laying out his problems getting to speak...

What do Apple executives and Bruce Banner have in common?
January 4, 2014 | 2:34 pm

425.the.incredible.hulk.033108Business Insider has another article on the enmity between Apple and Michael Bromwich, including PDFs of Apple’s filing requesting a stay and Bromwich’s declaration detailing his interactions with Apple over the last few months. According to Apple’s attorneys, the corporation apparently shares some characteristics with Bruce Banner. It’s angry, and you wouldn’t like it when it’s angry. Seriously, that is what Bromwich says Apple’s lawyers told him: that “Apple executives would ‘never get over the case’ and that they were still extremely angry.” And that it might be a good idea for Bromwich to wait to talk to them...

Ebooks and public libraries vs. cruise ship subsidies in Miami-Dade
December 25, 2013 | 10:42 am

ebooks and public librariesJessica Nunez and her family are just the kind of people who could benefit from well-financed physical libraries, paper books, the digital variety, loans of e-readers, and technical support along with old-fashioned inspiration from dedicated career-librarians. “A lot of parents don’t have computers at home or they can’t afford ’em,” she told a TV interviewer in September after the besieged  Miami-Dade library system won a temporary reprieve from massive cuts in hours and jobs. Ms. Nunez herself is among the millions of cash-strapped Americans counting on public libraries to help them. But will Miami-Dade come through for the Nunezes? That remains to be...

Amazon crackdown on monster erotica is a monster problem for its authors
December 23, 2013 | 4:54 am

bear-gods_1000x15002-200x300Business Insider is running a piece on Amazon’s latest crackdown: monster erotica. Yes, that’s right, if you write stories involving sex with Bigfoot, aliens, giant squids, etc., Amazon doesn’t want you around—even if your titles have been selling well. In the most recent purge, one author saw her income fall from $2,000 to $400 a month. Authors can try cleaning up the titles, covers, and descriptions of their books, but the problem is anything that makes them less “offensive” also makes them less likely to appeal to the people who like that sort of thing. There is, of...

Ricoh IT Strategies survey shows print hanging in there
December 11, 2013 | 12:20 pm

Just in, a survey by Ricoh Americas Corporation conducted with the University of Colorado and entitled "The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for US Book Manufacturers and Printers” has found that print is likely to enjoy a very long and loyal legacy tail. "Nearly 70 percent of consumers feel it is unlikely that they will give up on printed books by 2016," states the survey. " Consumers have an emotional and visceral/sensory attachment to printed books, potentially elevating them to a luxury item." As for the process that derived this conclusion, "we interviewed a triumvirate of stakeholders in the book...

Voice Dream reader app can now play audiobooks
December 8, 2013 | 12:15 pm

Voice Dream reader appThe new version of the Voice Dream reader app, a superb iOS text-to-speech app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, can now play audiobooks, too. Even at $10, costlier than the typical app, Voice Dream is a Buy, capital B, at the Apple App Store. Voice Dream 2.9.2 can handle zipped MP3s as well as audiobooks in Daisy, thanks to help from a Swiss library organization, and navigation and general usability are excellent, just as in the regular text-to-speech mode for ePub files and others. Dozen of optional voices in common languages work with the app, and my favorite is the UK-accented “Peter” voice...

National digital libraries for Carmela Hernandez and family—not just the American elite
December 6, 2013 | 2:15 pm

national digital librariesLibraryCity has just posted a major series telling how an initiative for national digital libraries could serve ordinary people here in the U.S., not merely the American elite. Sounds like a given. But it isn’t, alas. The Digital Public Library of America is a wonder, but judged by the Five Laws of Library Science, it is more for academics and others in the elite than for the country as a whole. I’m reminded of the old Literary Digest poll saying that Alf Landon would wallop FDR in the 1936 election. The Digest relied too much on well-off respondents and was out of...

iPad success secret: Building on the iPhone, and replacing laptops
November 5, 2013 | 10:47 pm

ipadWired is running an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Fred Vogelstein, looking at how Steve Jobs made the iPad successful when no other tablet ever had been. There’s an interesting parallel with e-readers in this story. No dedicated e-reader had ever been successful before Jeff Bezos pushed the Kindle, and likewise no prior tablet had ever worked until the iPad came along. The tablet computer was the most discredited category of consumer electronics in the world. Entrepreneurs had been trying to build tablet computers since before the invention of the PC. They had tried so many times that the conventional...

Fanfiction.net blocks FLAG fanfic e-book converter, disallows copying and pasting
November 5, 2013 | 8:47 pm

fanfictionWe’ve run a couple of articles about useful apps that can turn fanfiction posted at popular online fanfiction repositories into e-books readable on portable devices. But lately, it seems that one of the most popular fanfiction repositories, Fanfiction.net, has taken issue with one of the more popular downloading tools, the Fanfiction Lightweight Automated Grabber (FLAG). FLAG admin Steven Gilberd posts an email exchange he had with Fanfic.net’s administrators. When he originally developed the tool in 2008, Gilberd asked for and received permission from Fanfiction.net to allow the tool to operate. However, Fanfiction.net has suddenly changed its tune, saying, “Please note it...

Amazon data mining to find customer tastes
November 3, 2013 | 10:54 pm

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece on Amazon’s original television programming pilot selection process, in which it winnowed down a long list of pilots using user ratings and feedback to pick the ones that were most likely to succeed to base series on. The WSJ compares this approach to that taken by Netflix, who didn’t even require a pilot for shows like Orange is the New Black or House of Cards. While this doesn’t have a whole lot to do with books, it does bring up one of the most crucial aspects of Amazon as a process. I found...

BookBale offers eight big-name SF titles in pay-what-you-want book bundle
November 3, 2013 | 9:25 pm

9-CitizenIt seems that the pay-what-you-want book bundle has been getting more popular lately. They’re popping up all over the place. Here’s one called “BookBale” that features a number of major-name authors and books. The pay-what-you-want has a minimum price of at least $2.99, and includes six books: The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom Climbing Olympus by Kevin J. Anderson Birthright: The Book of Man by Mike Resnick Starplex by Robert J. Sawyer Future Perfect by Nancy Kress The Elvenbane by Mercedes Lackey & Andre Norton If you pay at least $10, you also get: The Hemingway Hoax by Joe Haldeman Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein The...