Electronic Publications

EBSCO's exclusive content

Via Joyce Valenza's blog Neverendingsearch on School Library Journal:

"At two of the luncheons I attended, EBSCO revealed they now have an exclusive deal to provide the content of many of our most popular, popular magazines. [...]

The publishers of a number of popular magazines, concerned that library users were accessing their content for free and not subscribing to their publications, sought a strategy to recover lost revenue.

They told the database vendors they were going to go with one, and only one aggregator and that they wanted a substantial price for their content.

The publishers solicited RFPs (requests for proposals) and EBSCO, at a very substantial cost, won the bid."

Read the whole post (and see a partial list of affected titles)

Tablet Fever

Even though it's technically just a rumor, many are speculating that a new tablet computer from Apple could act as a savior to the newspaper and magazine industries. The tablet computer concept has been around for a long time, but with an Apple announcement expected at the end of the month, digital media consultant Mark Potts says it's for real this time.

Transcript here

Himachal Pradesh for first ever Hi-Tech Multilingual Braille Libraries

The salient features of the Braille Library System developed by Modular Infotech and ACE are that books in Hindi, and all Indian languages and English can be converted to Braille from their soft copies. After the conversion to Braille, these books can be indexed and stored in pen-drive storage devices in a compact manner.

Not Just Some National Geographic, All Of It

It's the bane of many a public librarian. The phone rings, you answer it, and then politely decline the caller's offer to donate the last 60 years of National Georgraphic magazine to your library.

"Yes, I'm sure they're in fine condition. Oh? Been in your mother-in-law's house for the last 60 years huh? Yes, I know you want to help out, but we've got several years of it already. Yes, sir I can tell you're happy she's dead but we just don't have any use for that many magazines. No, actually they're not all that valuable - you do realize they print several hundred thousand at a time, right? Yes, so they're not exactly rare or anything."

Now there's a much easier way to get every single issue of National Geographic from the last 120 years and it doesn't involve any donations. You can buy it on its very own hard drive. That's right, you can get every issue of National Geographic since the dawn of humankind on a 160 GB external drive. As a bonus, the collection only takes up 60 GB, so you've got another 100GB to do with as you please.

I wonder if that'd be enough room for every issue of Popular Mechanics...

Amazon Says It Sold More Kindle Books Than Physical Books On Christmas

Amazon.com today announced that Kindle has become the most gifted item in Amazon's history. On Christmas Day, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books. The Kindle Store now includes over 390,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including New York TimesBestsellersand New Releases.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #98

This week's podcast looks forward into the past with a replay of archival audio of President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressing the US Congress after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The dateline for this episode is the 78th anniversary of the event.

Also presented in the podcast was a brief discussion of the late-breaking story of Comcast's attempt to acquire a controlling interest in NBC Universal. There was originally going to be discussion of remarks by Rupert Murdoch concerning why news online should never have been free in the first place. The Comcast-NBC matter took precedence.

Related links:
FDR's speech at Archive.org
This installment of Profile America
MSNBC reporting on the Comcast-NBC matter
Greg Sandoval at CNET discussing the Comcast-NBC matter
One Reuters story on the Comcast-NBC matter
Another Reuters story in the matter
Discussion at the Erie Looking Productions blog of the recent coverage of remarks by Rupert Murdoch
MSNBC relaying an AP report on Google's new attempt to restrict how users can reach news sites
Linux Outlaws, a show produced by Sixgun Productions

17:12 minutes (6.9 MB)
mp3
[audio-player]

Digital Library of India

Access: Digital Library of India http://dli.iiit.ac.in/index.html
The MBP when completed will produce approximately 250 million pages or 500 billion characters of information. The storage requirements for the image files will be approximately 50 terabytes an order of magnitude larger than any publicly available information base. Creating and managing such a vast information base poses many technological challenges and provides a fertile test bed for innovative research in many areas (described below). The MBP is a multi-agency, multi-national effort that will require the database to be globally distributed. For location independent access, this globally distributed database should appear to be a virtual central database from any place around the world. Mirroring the database in several countries will ensure security and availability. The network speeds at the various nodes would be different. Research in distributed caching and active networks would be needed to ensure that the look and feel of the database is the same from any location.

See: Million Book Project http://dli.iiit.ac.in/

Disney Storybook Time @ the Computer

Not sure how one can improve storybook time in a grownups lap or snuggling together before bed, but the Disney Company is giving it a try. A new digital subscription service allows families to access electronic replicas of hundreds of Disney books, from “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” to “Hannah Montana: Crush-tastic!”

DisneyDigitalBooks.com, which is aimed at children ages 3 to 12, is organized by reading level. In the “look and listen” section for beginning readers, the books will be read aloud by voice actors to accompanying music (with each word highlighted on the screen as it is spoken). Another area is dedicated to children who read on their own. Find an unfamiliar word? Click on it and a voice says it aloud. Chapter books for teenagers and trivia features round out the service.

A.P. Ready to Recieve Your Payments...Even For Articles in the Public Domain

Article in BoingBoing:
James Grimmelman sez,

The Associated Press -- which thinks you owe it a license fee if you quote more than four words from one of its articles -- doesn't even care if the words actually came from its article. They'll charge you anyway, even if you're quoting from the public domain.

I picked a random AP article and went to their "reuse options" site. Then, when they asked what I wanted to quote, I punched in Thomas Jefferson's famous argument against copyright. Their license fee: $12 for an educational 26-word quote. FROM THE PUBLIC FREAKING DOMAIN, and obviously, obviously not from the AP article. But the AP is too busy trying to squeeze the last few cents out of a dying business model to care about little things like free speech or the law.

Thanks to Bill Drew & Michael Sauers for the tip.

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