Electronic Publications

E-books catch on with children

After he's finished his homework and his chores for the day, 8-year-old Skye Vaughn-Perling likes to read Dr. Seuss. He's a particular fan of the hijinks that ensue when the elephant Horton hears strange voices emanating from a dust speck in "Horton Hears a Who."

He doesn't read from a dog-eared copy of the children's classic, though. Skye, who lives in Agoura Hills, often reads on his computer, pressing the arrow button when he wants to turn a page. Sometimes the characters move around on the screen like animated cartoons on TV. If he wants, Skye can have the computer read a book to him while he's curled up in bed.

Full article here.

E-books other then the Kindle

NPR has a story called No Happy Holidays For Publishing

There was this public comment with the story:

I find it interesting that every time someone in the media discusses e-books they only look to the specialized devices like the Kindle. I have been reading e-books for over 10 years, first on a Palm device and now on my iPhone. I find it very convenient, and in addition to carrying a number of books with me I also have the web, my music, maps, and a number of other useful applications.

I understand it is harder to track now many iPhone (or similar device) users take advantage of e-books, but you should at least acknowledge that there are those of us that do leverage this technology and love it.

App Developer Strikes E-Book Deals With Major Publishers

ScrollMotion, a New York mobile app developer, has concluded deals with a number of major publishing houses, and is in talks with several others, to produce newly released and best-selling e-books as applications for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Publishers now on board include Houghton Mifflin, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Hachette and Penguin Group USA.
Having these big names is a big step forward for iTunes itself in becoming an e-book shop and the iPhone in becoming a legitimate e-book reader and competitor to products like the Kindle and the Sony E-Reader.

The first official books will begin to roll out Monday and include titles such as Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight," Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass" and a number of others by Christopher Paolini, Brad Meltzer and Scott Westerfeld.

Full article here

Clueless book publishers miss huge opportunity

Facing a downturn in book buying, and competition from online e-books, publishers are increasingly turning to cell phones. No, they're not publishing new books on phones, as they obviously should. They're trying to market paper books via cell phones.

Full article here.

Apple should add books to the iTunes Store

With Tribune Company’s announcement yesterday that it is seeking bankruptcy protection it’s hard to find much good news in the world of print publishing these days. One glimmer of hope is the migration of traditional media from atoms to bits.

The combination of rising cost and the worldwide economic slowdown are forcing print publishers to find ways to reduce expenses and many are re-inventing themselves as digital publishers. Two major book publishers recently announced mobile phone initiatives as part of the transition to a digital future.

Penguin Group USA has launched Penguin Mobile (iTunes) a free iPhone application which enables users to read about new releases from the company and listen to the Penguin Podcast. Unfortunately the application falls short of being able to download and read full books, instead you’ll have to settle for downloading chapter excerpts of select titles.

Full article here.

Every Executive Should Have a Kindle

I think that every executive should have a Kindle. I don't think the Kindle is a complete solution to meeting the information needs of an executive but I think it can be extremely useful. There are currently 200,000 books available for the Kindle. With it's ability to download books over the Sprint EVDO network the Kindle provides quick access to the books that are not available on the Internet. When I talk about availability on the Internet I am not talking about the ability to purchase a paper copy online but the ability to read the full text online.

Full blog post at Nonstopbooks

Amazon Kindle 2 Slated For “Early Q1?

The images that surfaced of the new Kindle in October are real - it’s a longer device but not as thick as the original Kindle, and fixes some of the button issues that plague users (like accidental page turns). A larger-screen student version is still scheduled for the first half of 2009.

Full story at TechCrunch

On the Road: The Kindle, Barbecue Joints, and Lobster Shacks

There is a review on Amazon for the book Roadfood: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 700 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More.

The review is titled: "Roadfood Not Adapted to Kindle"

In the comments to the review there is a lively debate about whether the review of the format is appropriate.

I think the review does raise the issue that if books are converted to an electronic format they should at least be formatted so they can be used in a non frustrating way.

Creative Commons Tech Summit - December 12th

For those of you interested in the metadata production and use in web technologies:

Creative Commons will hold its second technology summit on December 12, 2008, in Cambridge, MA. The summit will focus on the application of Semantic Web technologies to Creative Commons', Science Commons' and ccLearn's missions. Topics covered will include ccREL/RDFa, the Neurocommons project and an update on the Universal Education Search (metadata-enhanced search) project.

Full program information and registration available here

"The Technology Summits are about connecting the larger developer and technical community that’s sprung up around Creative Commons licenses and technology, so we want to provide a venue where people doing interesting work can share it." - Nathan Yergler, CTO


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