Google plans 'buy anywhere, read anywhere' offer

Google is poised to launch its "buy anywhere, read anywhere" digital books programme Google Editions simultaneously in the US, UK and Europe within the first half of next year.

Speaking at the Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt, Amanda Edmonds, Google's director of strategic partnerships, said the programme would be rolled out by June. Edmonds said one of the strengths of Google's offering was that once bought, the e-book would exist in a "cloud library", which could be accessed from potentially any device, including laptops, "smart phones" or e-readers. "As long as you can get onto the library, you can access it," Edmonds said. "All books will live in the same library, so it doesn't matter where you buy it or where you read it."

Full story


Google Begins Fixing Usenet Archive

Wired Says Google has pulled its Google Groups development team out of the basement broom closet and begun patching up its long-broken Usenet library, in response to their story Wednesday highlighting the company’s neglect of the 700 million post archive.


A Library to Last Forever [NYT Op Ed]

Op Ed by SERGEY BRIN - Co-founder of Google

New York Times: “THE fundamental reasons why the electric car has not attained the popularity it deserves are (1) The failure of the manufacturers to properly educate the general public regarding the wonderful utility of the electric; (2) The failure of [power companies] to make it easy to own and operate the electric by an adequate distribution of charging and boosting stations. The early electrics of limited speed, range and utility produced popular impressions which still exist.”

This quotation would hardly surprise anyone who follows electric vehicles. But it may be surprising to hear that in the year when it was written thousands of electric cars were produced and that year was nearly a century ago. This appeared in a 1916 issue of the journal Electrical World, which I found in Google Books, our searchable repository of millions of books. It may seem strange to look back a hundred years on a topic that is so contemporary, yet I often find that the past has valuable lessons for the future. In this case, I was lucky — electric vehicles were studied and written about extensively early in the 20th century, and there are many books on the subject from which to choose. Because books published before 1923 are in the public domain, I am able to view them easily.


Google’s Abandoned Library of 700 Million Titles

That library is Usenet, a vast internet- and dial-up-based message board system erected in 1980. Though moribund today, for decades Usenet was the paper of record for the online world, and its hundreds of millions of “newsgroup” postings chronicle everything from the birth of the web to the rise of Microsoft, as well as more trivial matters.

Asked if the bugs are documented anywhere, or if Google planned on repairing its library, a company spokesman was noncommittal. “We’re aware of some problems with the way search is working in Google Groups,” said Jason Freidenfelds, in an e-mail. “We’re always working to improve our products.”

(See Also Andy Morton's Tweeted Comment)

The relationship between public libraries and Google: too much information

This article explores the implications of a shift from public to private provision of information through focusing on the relationship between Google and public libraries. This relationship has sparked controversy, with concerns expressed about the integrity of search results, the Google Book project, and Google the company. In this paper, these concerns are treated as symptoms of a deeper divide, the fundamentally different conceptions of information that underpin the stated aim of Google and libraries to provide access to information. The paper concludes with some principles necessary for the survival of public libraries and their contribution to a robust democracy in a rapidly expanding Googleverse.

The Status Conference re: Google Books

Here is a report of what happened this morning from someone who was in the front row of the court room. The real news: The parties are "targeting early November" to present an amended settlement. The parties would also propose a program for a “supplemental notice” to authors, publishers, and other rightholders in the class action.


Google Book Settlement Roster

ARL, ALA and ACRL have prepared a document to summarize key information about the hundreds of filings that have been submitted to the federal district court presiding over the Google Books litigation. After a summary of the case, the following half-dozen pages contain charts of who has filed in support of the settlement, and who has filed in opposition, along with brief notes about their reasons.


Essay: Advantage Google

Essay in the NYT about the Google book settlement and orphan works.

A Writer’s Plea: Figure Out How to Preserve Google Books

Author Alexis Madrigal posts this plea for Google Books on Wired's Epicenter blog and issues a challenge to libraries:

"The dispute over Google Books continues to rage in the courts and op-ed pages of the country. There are legitimate questions about Google, profit sharing and privacy. But let’s not let the litigation obscure that Google Books provides an unprecedented and irreproducible service to its users.

Google Unveils Tool to Annotate Web Sites

Google is rolling out a new service on Wednesday that will allow users to post notes alongside Web sites that can be read by other users. The service, called Sidewiki, will be a new feature of the Google Toolbar, a popular browser add-on.

Full post at NYT Bits Blog



Subscribe to Google