Do Open-Source Books Work?

Ben Crowell has written an excellent article on Open Source Books.

How will the internet change book publishing? This article examines a new crop of math and science textbooks that are available for free over the internet, and discusses what they have to tell us about whether the open-source software model can be translated into book publishing.

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Teachers Question Critical Study of Classroom Computers

NY Times has a Story on a new study underwritten by the Alliance for Childhood-- \"Fools Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood\" – says there is not enough research into the impact computers could have on the developing minds and bodies of young children. Not suprisingly, teachers are not too happy about the study.

\"With some kids, it\'s a way for them to get excited and learn,\" said Beth Lang who teaches second and third grades at Lakewood Elementary School in Overland Park, Kansas. \"To me, it\'s just like a book. It\'s such a part of our everyday use.\"


One of the Alliance for Childhood\'s objectives :\"To reduce children\'s growing dependance on electronic media\". Is that an indication of bias?

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Donate to the Clinton Library

MSNBC has a Story that looks at the new Presidental Library for outgoing President Clinton. Vinod Gupta, the Omaha, Nebraska-based president of InfoUSA had also pledged $1 million to the president’s library and got to stay in The White House.

\"One Democratic Party source tells NEWSWEEK that the Clintons have used Lincoln Bedroom overnight invitations for library donors even more than contributors to the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton’s campaign, although the source acknowledges that there was inevitably a large overlap among those groups.\"

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Studio B Buzz - E-Books & Piracy

Good morning. It\'s Buzz time. This morning it\'s Dick Brass on privacy and James Shaffer on p-books.

Dr. Laura\'s Tangled Web makeover

Will the Dr. Laura show makeover caused by ratings problems cause the show to appeal more or less to our base instincts? So, Dr. Laura, will the programmers ask you throw more prurient interest into your show? How does that square with your morality quest?

I read this quote from Robert Anton Wilson, in the Illuminatus trilogy recently:

\"Thus in preliterate societies taboos on spoken word are more numerous and more Draconic than at any more complex level of social organisation. With the invention of written speech -- hieroglyphic, ideographic, or alphabetical -- the taboos are shifted to this medium; there is less concern with what people SAY and more concern with what people WRITE. When a more efficient medium arrives, the taboos on television will decrease.\"

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Challenges face Library of Congress

Philly.com has
a short but sweet interview with curator Harry Katz at LOC on the troubles with preservation these days.

\"As society becomes more digitalized, the library is increasingly looking at computer capacity as much as warehouse space in planning its future needs. \"One problem is the hardware,\" Katz said. \"Technology moves so fast that in a few years today\'s computers may be obsolete. No use keeping the disks if they can\'t be read. How much equipment do we have to preserve, too?\"\"


Interesting point I never considered, now they must save computers in order to read the disks in the future.

COPA(A) Quickies

A trio of stories on COPA(A). It\'s either COPAA or COPA, I just can\'t figure out which is what is who. You get the point though.

An Ordeal: Copin\' With COPPA
from
Wired
that says the Children\'s Online Privacy Protection Act is a flawed piece of
legislation, and decides it\'s easier to help kids forge their ages
to set up email accounts than it is to submit a credit card number,



COPA: Peddle Smut, Go to Jail
from
Wired

Conservative members of the
Commission on Child Online Protection
suggested during a
meeting a week ago that the government should shield Junior from dirty pictures by
imprisoning owners of \"obscene\" websites.



Online Children\'s Section
from News.com
Telage said there is a \"50-50 shot\" that new Web domain categories could be created,
such as \".kids,\" reserved for child-friendly content. Others have advocated \".xxx\"
for adult sites, although Telage said the commission has free-speech reservations
about that suggestion.

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Banned Books, Weak

The Disinformation Company has a new page up about Banned Books Week, called Banned Books, Weak. There\'s an essay, copied here, and links to related articles and sites.


From September 23rd-30th, 2000, retailers and libraries have blown off the dust and moved the usual suspects, such as Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye, from their Literature sections to displays in the front of their buildings to show that they\'re in the vanguard on the fight against censorship. They\'re feeling righteous.


Only thing is, Banned Books Week is . . . well, weak. I like the general principle, but there are several problems with it in practice.

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Board Members Drop Insurance to Buy Library

I Almost started to cry after reading This One from the Fresnobee. In Fresno County, CA school board members have done \"a very noble thing.\" They voluntarily dropped the health insurance they got as a benefit and pumped it into a new school library. These folks deserve a medal. What has your shool board done for you lately?

\"\"We all knew there was a need,\" says board president Lupe Zuniga. \"We couldn\'t figure out why no one ever figured this out before.\"

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Mom buys books for prision

Here is an interesting article from the New Press. A mother of a prisioned man has bought 50 books for a section of the jail that is without them.\"Rocky Graziano, a spokesman for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, said mentally ill inmates are kept out of the jail’s general population for safety reasons.

Unfortunately, isolation meant to protect them also keeps those inmates out of the jail’s library, said Bette Scruggs, an education program coordinator at the jail.\"

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Man who hit King mysteriously dies

I did not how to categorize this article from Canoe. It seems that the man who hit Stephen King with his car has died, and the autopsy revealed nothing about the cause of death.\"The autopsy Monday also found no evidence of trauma but no conclusion was reached on the cause of death pending the outcome of toxicology tests, according to a statement from the state medical examiner\'s office. Those tests could take several months.\"

Trying to shut out the light by banning books

Freedomforum.
org
has a nice Story on banned books, starting
with the very first banned book. The author, Paul
McMasters, comes down hard on would be censors
throughout the past few centuries.

\"Two
centuries of
enlightenment brought on by the advent of the printing
press have failed
to ease our fear of the new and the different.
We still struggle vainly to resist change. It is
something of a miracle that our children do
learn and grow, despite our best efforts to shut
out the light, to dim and deny it.\"

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Few believe e-books will replace paper

CNN has a
Story on The \"Consumer Book
Buying Study 2000\" was sponsored by Publishers
Weekly and organizers of BookExpo America.
It turns out that not only do folks think EBooks are not
ready for prime time, tmost don\'t even know what the
heack they are.

\"The latest Rocket eBook
instrument is very good, better than sitting at your
computer, but it still pales next to the
500-year-old technology of the printed
book,\" said Nora Rawlinson, editor-in-chief of
the industry magazine
Publishers Weekly. \"However, the industry
remains in its infancy and I expect
the technology to improve very soon.\"

Ebook Quikies

A couple of Ebook stories:
Pirates Invade Book Publishing from Wired talks about Piracy of copyrighted material and a site called site called \"#bookwarez\" that seems to have been altered at least twice. They offered links to free downloads of entire texts of copyrighted books by famous authors, but now things have changed.
.


An E-Book in Every Stocking? from Businessweek is about how e-books are a tough sell this year. Christmas is just around the corner!

\"E-books may be the thing of the future. But this Christmas, someone curling up on the couch with their next great read is still much more likely to be turning pages made of old-fashioned paper.

ALA President Nancy Kranich discussion on Salon

Salon is hosting an Online Discussion with ALA President Nancy Kranich. You\'ll need to Register first.

Happy Banned Books Week!!

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Library denies police request

An ugly situation in IA. Ankeny Iowa police needed information on a missing teen-age girl and asked Ankeny\'s Kirkendall Public Library staff for help. The library staff refused, citing a state law that requires all library transactions to be confidential. Luckily the girl turned up a couple days later. The Full Story is at The Des Moines Register

\"Libraries are places for free intellectual inquiry. They\'re not places for you to be watched,\" said Barbara Mack, an Iowa State University journalism professor.


\"It seems like there\'s publication of just about everything: credit cards, bank accounts, you name it. If the library is still able to keep this stuff confidential, more power to them,\"
Library patron Elden Bucher
\"

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13-year-old honored for right to read about Harry campaign

Story from NJ.com on the young girl who put up a big fuss to help keep Harry on the books.

\"We think it\'s important to remind people that free speech has to be fought for on a daily basis,\" said Chris Finan, an organizer of the event and president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. \"It\'s often the best books that get attacked. If we can\'t use these books, we can\'t do a good job educating our children.\"

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Print Vs. The Web

A funny thing happened the other day. Business 2.0
profiled one of the services the company I work for
offers. This included a screen shot of our web site, and
a nice review of our service. That wasn\'t the funny part.
The funny part was the reaction the article received
around the office. “Giddy” best summarizes the
responses of these 20 something dot.com employees
to having the web site they designed in a magazine.
Strange, considering it probably is viewed by more
people in a single day on the web, than will ever see it
in the magazine. But being in print made it some how
different, some how more worthy and important.
“Interesting”, I said to myself. “Perhaps the printed
word isn’t as dead as they say”.

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Pennsylvania Libraries Improving

A Heart Warming
Story
from PA on how well the libaries are doing.
It\'s nice to see good news for a change.

\"Since 1999, the Ridge administration has more
than doubled state aid for libraries, to $62 million a
year. It has earmarked another $12 million for
computers, software and online resources for libraries.
State officials are rewriting Pennsylvania\'s 39-year-old
library code - the legal document governing public
libraries - to improve operations and reward local
governments that increase funding for their
libraries.\"

The Internet Archive

Bob Cox sen this in:Consider the plight of a
traditional librarian trying to
deal with the
Internet. Providing organized access to something as
volatile, dynamic, and
disorganized as the Internet is truly what they call in
business \'an
opportunity\'. Founded in 1996 as a public nonprofit and
located in the
Presidio of San Francisco, the Internet Archive is
tackling that
\'opportunity\' by taking snapshots of Internet sites at
various time
periods, in essence preserving the place as it was, and
making the
resulting archive available for scholars and
researchers. To gain
access to it, you must register and describe either a
project that requires
you to get your grubby virtual paws on the material or a
plan to deposit
material. As of March 2000, the Archive had 1billion
Web pages, 50,000 FTP
sites, and 16 million Usenet postings amounting to
well over 14 terabytes
of data. The site describes the challenges of
preserving digital
materials, how the snapshots (really Web crawls) are
taken, the limitations
to such automated processes, what plans for the future
are, and just why
digital libraries are important:
Archive.org


From: http://www.netsurf.com/nse/nse.02.08.html#SS4

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