Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 19, 2015 - 1:59pm
When It Comes To Book Sales, What Counts As Success Might Surprise You
Whenever you read about book awards you hear they help boost sales. But what you might not know is just how much those sales need boosting. Two prestigious awards announced nominees this week; in the U.K. the Man Booker unveiled its short list and in the U.S. the National Book Awards announced its long lists.
The awards news came on the heels of a survey from the Authors Guild about the sorry state of author incomes. So what happens to writers who never get anywhere near an awards ceremony?
Washington Post critic Ron Charles reviews the kinds of books that get nominated for literary awards. These are not the blockbusters, the books written by the likes of Stephen King and Nora Roberts that make millions.
Submitted by Blake on September 19, 2015 - 1:32pm
The underlying issue has little to do with whether one prefers the “free market” or government. The real question is how government organizes the market, and who has the most influence over its decisions. We are now in a new gilded age similar to the first Gilded Age, when the nation’s antitrust laws were enacted. As then, those with great power and resources are making the “free market” function on their behalf. Big Tech — along with the drug, insurance, agriculture and financial giants — dominates both our economy and our politics.
From Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful - NYTimes.com
Submitted by Blake on September 19, 2015 - 10:21am
Submitted by Blake on September 19, 2015 - 10:20am
Between them, Apple, Google, and Microsoft pretty much set the agenda for the entire consumer electronics industry. They employ a great number of the smartest and most creative technologists in the world and produce the most influential innovations. Whether it’s Windows, the iPhone, or Google’s titular search, these three American giants’ contributions have shaped our social and economic milieux as much as our technological one. Their futures promise to be as different as their pasts, however the present products and services on offer from each company show them to be closer than ever. They all seem to be solving the same problems.
From Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all solving the same problems | The Verge
Submitted by Blake on September 19, 2015 - 10:19am
Use of a light-emitting electronic book (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness and the circadian clock, which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, according to Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. These findings of the study that compared the biological effects of reading an LE-eBook to a printed book are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 22, 2014.
From E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep | HMS
Submitted by Blake on September 18, 2015 - 8:09pm
What would it look like to reimagine the book not as pages of text, but as a global distributed gallery of illustrations, drawings, charts, maps, and photographs that together comprise one of the world’s greatest art collections? In Fall 2013 I approached the Internet Archive with the idea of using computer algorithms to extract every image found on all 600 million pages of their digitized book collection, along with the text surrounding each image and the basic metadata about the book. In just over a month I did precisely that, creating a massive gallery that is slowly being uploaded to Flickr.
From History As Big Data: 500 Years Of Book Images And Mapping Millions Of Books - Forbes
Submitted by Blake on September 18, 2015 - 1:22pm
Every time you play a free to play game, you just build this giant online database of who you are, who your friends are and what you like and don’t like. This data is sold, bought and traded between large companies I have worked for. You want to put a stop to this? Stop playing free games. Buy a game for 4.99 or 9.99. We don’t want to be making games like this, and we don’t want another meeting about retention, cohorts or churn.
From "We Own You" - Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer | TouchArcade
Submitted by Blake on September 17, 2015 - 9:15pm
Speculation on the future of the book changes by the hour (the one that I’m working toward is a blended portfolio of digital, public libraries, and independent bookstores), but there is great opportunity in the midst of all of this chaos. Because of the digital disruption that continues to democratize the publishing industry, it is now entirely possible for independent authors, publishers, and readers to (quite literally) choose their own adventures without any involvement from an agent, a NYC publisher, or a big-box retailer (like Barnes & Noble).
From Buffalo and The Future of The Book | Buffalo Rising
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 17, 2015 - 3:03pm
Submitted by Blake on September 17, 2015 - 2:09pm
Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.
A memo from Harvard Library to the university's 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which bill the library around $3.5m a year.
From Harvard University says it can't afford journal publishers' prices | Science | The Guardian
Submitted by Blake on September 17, 2015 - 8:52am
The El Pueblo library evolved from a partnership that includes Reading Advantage, a Brentwood-based nonprofit, the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County, the county library and its Pittsburg branch, and the Grace Worship Center.
"They love being able to go home with books," said Terris Allen, a volunteer with Grace Worship Center, which also runs after-school and tutoring programs at the learning center that opened in June. "They can start their own personal library. This is something they can keep with them, and pass it down to a little brother or sister as they grow older so there is always a book in the house."
From Two East Contra Costa nonprofits set up libraries at public housing - ContraCostaTimes.com
Submitted by Blake on September 16, 2015 - 3:58pm
Researchers at the Dissent Project are building a new kind of anonymity tool that, when used in conjunction with the Tor anonymity network, could significantly improve online anonymity.
Unlike Tor's onion routing architecture, which routes internet traffic through a series of "onion layers" to obscure your identity, Dissent implements a dining cryptographers network, or DC-net, which makes possible cryptographically-provable anonymity.
From 'Dissent,' a New Type of Security Tool, Could Markedly Improve Online Anonymity | Motherboard
Submitted by Blake on September 16, 2015 - 3:35pm
The Kilton Public Library in West Lebanon had decided to use its spare bandwidth to serve as a relay for the network. New Hampshire Public Radio reports the library had turned off the relay node after police and Homeland Security warned the library that, among other bad things, the network could allow criminals to move child pornography anonymously.
From N.H. Public Library Resumes Support Of 'Tor' Internet Anonymizer : The Two-Way : NPR
Submitted by Blake on September 16, 2015 - 3:34pm
Half of the titles on this year’s National Book Awards longlist for Nonfiction can be classified as memoirs. But within that flexible category is immense variety: there’s Ta-Nehisi Coates’s open letter to his son, about how to “live free in this black body”; Sally Mann’s photo-filled account of her familial and artistic life in the American South; Carla Power’s story of friendship with Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi and their joint study of the Koran; Tracy K. Smith’s chronicle of “growing up in a bookish family and the dawning of her poetic vocation”; and Michael White’s record of travelling through Europe and the U.S. to see the paintings of Vermeer while going through a painful divorce.
From The National Book Awards Longlist: Nonfiction - The New Yorker
Submitted by Blake on September 16, 2015 - 3:33pm
Nicola, who lives in the south of England, said her daughter was looking for free books to download for a new Kindle which she was to be given as a present.
"I'm trying to protect my teenager in every way possible," she said.
"I'm doing all the things that I ought to do and a company like Amazon is not only allowing her to access it but is actually offering it to her when she's not even looking for it.
From Girl, 12, finds porn on Amazon search for teenage books - BBC News
Submitted by stevejzoo on September 16, 2015 - 2:52pm
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 10:02pm
Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Maine), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls (Lewiston, Maine), fishing rods (Grand Rapids, Minn.), Frisbees and Wiffle balls (Mesa, Ariz.), and mobile hot-spot devices (New York and Chicago).
From Libraries branch out into creative lending - SFGate
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 3:40pm
Anyone working at the forefront of technology knows just how difficult it is to keep up with the evolving digital world, and perhaps no one is better positioned to understand this than Bernard (Bud) Barton, Jr., who was just hired as the Library of Congress’s new chief information officer. Last week, Barton started his job as the person responsible for taking the keeper of America’s most prized documents and records into the digital age. The details of how he will achieve this are still in the making, but a lot is riding on his appointment as the Library of Congress struggles to modernize.
From Does this guy have the hardest job in tech? - Fortune
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 3:26pm
Popular Mechanics has been making predictions of technological innovations since it first started publishing in 1903. Greg Benford, a science fiction author, has collated some of them in a short book called The Wonderful Future that Never Was. They’re predictions on the future of cities, of transportation, of home life, and more, presented in short blurbs set with hand-drawn futurist art.
From Technological predictions: 1903 - 1970 | Dan Wang
Submitted by birdie on September 15, 2015 - 2:55pm
From today's New York Times:
(as we know quite well...) Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Me.), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls etc.