Cites & Insights August 2011 available

Cites & Insights 11:7 (August 2011) is now available.
The 18-page issue, PDF as usual, includes three sections, each also available in HTML form (and, for two of them, with live links as appropriate):
Bibs & Blather pp. 1-2

The state of the ejournal, such as it is.

Copyright Comments: Talking About the Public Domain pp. 2-10

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U.S. to Close 800 Computer Data Centers

Analysts estimate that thousands of jobs will be eliminated with the federal government’s plan to shut 40 percent of its computer centers over the next four years.

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The Price of Typos

Some readers like to see portraits of authors they admire, study their personal histories or hear them read aloud. I like to know whether an author can spell. Nabokov spelled beautifully. Fitzgerald was crummy at spelling, bedeviled by entry-level traps like “definate.” Bad spellers, of course, can be sublime writers and good spellers punctilious duds. But it’s still intriguing that Fitzgerald, for all his gifts, didn’t perceive the word “finite” in definite, the way good spellers automatically do. Did this oversight color his impression of infinity? Infinaty?

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Another Library Closes

On July 1, 2011, The Central Falls Free Public Library closed for an indefinite amount of time. Twelve staffers–six part-time and six full-time were laid off. Central Falls is a 1.5 mile square city with 18,000 residents in the state of Rhode Island, and it is often referred to as the poorest city in the state. Central Falls has also been in the national news lately for firing all of its public school teachers. Now that that drama is (mostly) resolved, the city is in receivership, looking at probable bankruptcy and has now lost its library.

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Cities Report Surge in Graffiti

An upturn in graffiti nationwide has renewed debates about whether its glorification contributes to urban blight or is a sign of despair in a struggling economy.

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How Bible Stories Evolved Over The Centuries

Story on NPR

Scholars at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have spent 11 years combing through early New Testament manuscripts, looking at how they've evolved over the centuries. And what they found may surprise some believers.

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Why Netflix Raised Its Prices

Pogue at NYT has this piece on Netflix: Why Netflix Raised Its Prices

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Netflix Raises Price of DVD and Online Movies Package by 60%

Netflix advertised the change as a new choice for consumers, but thousands of the company’s customers complained online.

Full article

I do not have cable so I make a lot of use of my Netflix account. I have the $9.99 plan that allows for one DVD in the mail and unlimited streaming. If you mail back the one DVD in a timely manner you can get 3-4 DVDs in the mail each month in addition to the streaming.

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A digital pioneer questions what technology has wrought Read more You cannot read the full article without a subscription. Don't have a subscription? Consider going to the library.
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It Wasn't Fancy But It Worked (most of the time)

I don't know about you all but I'm so tired of sacrificing computer program dependability for supposed ease of use , apps on top of apps, spyware, etc...Is it just me or is the Windows desktop circle spinning more slowly and longer than ever? Oh for the days of DOS and WordPerfect 5.0..(my new-old computer is a ThinkPad with Windows 7, Office 2010, etc.)

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New Books in Amazon Top 100

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Libraries: Widening the Digital Divide.

So I don't know if you've noticed, but there seems to be a digital divide. The reason why I ask is because I don't know what the digital divide is supposed to be. I thought the digital divide was about access to digital and electronic resources. But if that's the case, then why are libraries working to make access to information even more difficult for anyone without the technology to access it?

I don't understand how it happened, but libraries are actually, make that ACTUALLY, widening the digital divide.

First, a little simple understanding: I feel, and I feel this is a truth, that the more steps it takes to reach a goal, the farther that goal is from achieving.

So if information is shared from person to person, the steps are small. We should speak the same language and not be insane or not eating food or any other logical thing that normally happens when people communicate. Remove idiotic barriers and we communicate.

If we print out the information, similar rules apply. We don't print the information in the sand inches from the rising tide that begins to wash it away; we don't spell it out with breadcrumbs so that birds eat it; we don't brand symbols into another person's skin with hot iron, unless they've signed a release, and we don't intentionally scribble the text in characters that others can't understand.

So in this world, we print with inks onto sheets of paper and we share those ideas with others who understand the languages we use. And that, I think, is a very short path between having information and sharing it with others.

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Seattle Mystery Bookshop declines to work with Amazon

The Seattle Mystery bookshop was asked by an author if they could have a signing at the bookshop. Problem was the book was being published by Amazon. The answer was "no".

Blog post discussing incident: Can't Shake the Devil's Hand and Say You're Only Kidding

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How Twitter and YouTube Took Unfinished Book to No.1

In a feat that even the best-selling writers might envy, young-adult author John Green's latest novel is No. 1 on and Barnes & even though he's still working on it from his comfy La-Z-Boy in Indianapolis.

With "The Fault in Our Stars," the author has overtaken hot books by Suzanne Collins and Laura Hillenbrand. His book won't be published until the spring of next year.

Full article in the WSJ

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Amazon Buys U.K. Online Bookseller Inc. agreed to buy U.K.-based online book retailer Book Depository International for an undisclosed sum.

Amazon's move to buy Book Depository came six months after the U.S. company acquired European movie-rental site Lovefilm International Ltd.

Book Depository's founder, Andrew Crawford, said in a prepared statement Monday that his company looks "forward to continuing our growth and providing an ever-improving service for readers globally" with Amazon's support.

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Programming Note Relative To 4 July 2011

There will be an episode of LISTen: An Program released on 4 July 2011 notwithstanding the holiday in the United States of America.

Tales from the library...

After working in a public library for several years I have accumulated all kinds of crazy stories to tell. After my animated re-tellings, friends and family often joke with me about how I should create a website to share some of my funny, crazy, and touching experiences from work - so this blog has been long overdue!

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Netflix Helps People Cut Cable Cord, Report Says

Article in the NYT: Netflix Helps People Cut Cable Cord, Report Says

Summary: A new survey notes that customers who use Netflix streaming video are twice as likely to cancel or slim down their cable services as they were this time last year.

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Kindle price melts

In the comments to this story on LISNEWS there is a comment about buying the book Ice Diaries in print instead on ebook format because of price. Part of what the commentor said: "From what I have seen ebook buyers are very price conscious. When Amazon came out with the Kindle and said that they were going to try and set ebook prices at $9.99 I did not think that was cheap. I wanted ebook prices to range from .99 to $2.99."
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Pawn Stars

Rick Harrison of the History Channel show Pawn Stars has a book out. You can see the book here.

He was interviewed on the NPR radio show "Fresh Air". You can listen to the interview here.

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