Electronic Publications

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 <a href="http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Creative_Commons_Technology_Summit_2008-12-12">available here</a> "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

Cell phone or a Kindle?

Oprah discussed the Kindle on her show a couple weeks ago. See LISNEWS story about that here. At the Oprah.com website there is a posting from a user complaining that Oprah has on financial people that say not to spend money on things we want just on things we need and then has a show promoting the $350 Kindle. Other people have commented both pro and con to the point. I found one person's comments to be particularly interesting: I loved the show about the Kindle. My 12 year old daughter is such a huge reader..... when I saw the show I thought it would be a great christmas present for her. but since I was not working at the time I thought there would be no way that we could afford one. (actually two because I want one too). My daughter is always researching new books to read and is always nickle and diming us to death. We come from a small community and our library is 30 miles away. Also, they never have the new releases, so we are ordering books on line since we want to encourage her to keep reading. Tonight I asked her if she would rather have a Kindle or a cell phone. She has wanted a cell phone for the last 2 years, but just can't justify the monthly charges. But tonight, when I talked with her, she said she would rather have a Kindle which was wonderful.

Google Settlement Has A Few Unseen Wrinkles for Authors

The $125 million settlement between Google and a class-action group headed by the Author’s Guild and Association of American Publishers, at first glance looks like the perfect dream for authors. After a five-year court battle against Google, authors and publishers may at last see some compensation for books initially scanned without permission by the search mogul.

That’s the good news. However, a closer look at the 323-page legal tomb gives rise to some questions that publishers, authors and their agents may want to answer before unreservedly embracing the Google Book Search program.

Full article here.

LISNEWS on the Kindle

It was not Oprah that convinced me to get a Kindle
but the $50 off I got by using her discount code didn't hurt. (Use OPRAHWINFREY code at checkout for $50 off, good until Nov 1) My Kindle arrived in the mail today. I have used it for a couple hours and here are my initial impressions.

The e-ink screen is easy to read. Equal to reading a page out of a book in my opinion. There is the added plus that any book can be made into a large print book by changing the font size. With ebooks I also select a larger size font. I figure that since I can make things even easier on my eyes why not do it.

The Kindle has the ability to go on the Internet. I checked out LISNEWS and was able to read the site fine. You can follow the links out to other sites but not every site works great on the Kindle. Just like looking at the web on a PDA there are certain limitations to how well things display on a smaller screen. Sites that are formatted for PDAs display well on the Kindle. In fact they are better than on a PDA because the Kindle screen is significantly bigger than a PDA screen.

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Kindle on Oprah

Page at Oprah's website about the Kindle.

Here is a link to a video of Bezos and Oprah giving a presentation called Kindle Class.


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