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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kindle 2 is not paying anyone for audio rights.

Op-Ed Contributor - The Kindle Swindle? - NYTimes.com
The Kindle 2 is a portable, wireless, paperback-size device onto which people can download a virtual library of digitalized titles. Amazon sells these downloads, and where the books are under copyright, it pays royalties to the authors and publishers.

Serves readers, pays writers: so far, so good. But there’s another thing about Kindle 2 — its heavily marketed text-to-speech function. Kindle 2 can read books aloud. And Kindle 2 is not paying anyone for audio rights.

True, you can already get software that will read aloud whatever is on your computer. But Kindle 2 is being sold specifically as a new, improved, multimedia version of books — every title is an e-book and an audio book rolled into one. And whereas e-books have yet to win mainstream enthusiasm, audio books are a billion-dollar market, and growing. Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights. Income from audio books helps not inconsiderably to keep authors, and publishers, afloat.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It’s all a thousand times more convenient ...

State of the Art - Amazon.com’s Kindle Goes From Good to Better - NYTimes.com
Kindles (dream on, Amazon), all of them remember where you stopped reading in each book. (This feature will be more useful if, as Amazon has hinted, you’ll soon be able to read your e-books on other machines, like your laptop or iPhone. And why not? The Kindle is just the razor. The books are the blades — ka-ching!)

The Kindle catalog is bigger, too; now 240,000 books are available. New York Times bestsellers are $10 each, which is less than the hardcover editions. Older books run $3 to $6.

That said, Amazon is still a long way from its “any book, any time” goal. You don’t have to look far to find important titles still among the missing; they include all Harry Potter books; “An Inconvenient Truth”; “The English Patient”; and “The Associate” (the No. 1 fiction best seller) or anything else by John Grisham.

You can have any of 30 newspapers, including this one, wirelessly beamed to your Kindle each morning ($10 to $14 a month) — minus ads, comics and crosswords. Magazines (22 so far, $1.50 to $3 monthly) and blogs ($2 a month) can arrive automatically, too.

Finally, you can send Word, text, PDF and JPEG documents to the Kindle using its private e-mail address — a huge blessing to publishers, lawyers, academics, script readers and so on — for 10 cents each. Or transfer them over a USB cable for nothing.

So, for the thousandth time: is this the end of the printed book?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

cloud computing, you rely on applications running on the Interne

When your files are online and you aren't - The Boston Globe
If you're a Google Docs user, get a copy of Gears. This free program, available at gears.google.com, lets you download your Google-generated documents onto your computer. Work with them even when you're offline, and when you log in again, Gears uploads your modified documents to the Google Docs Internet server, so your up-to-date document is available on any Internet-connected machine.

Gears isn't just for Google Docs fans; it works with other cloud computing services, including Zoho, a rival online document editing service, and Google's Gmail messaging service. You can plow through your e-mail on the plane, write up replies, then transmit them once you're back onlin

Monday, February 16, 2009

librarians believe that literacy includes, but also exceeds, books.

The Future of Reading - In Web Age, Library Job Gets Update - Series - NYTimes.com
Some of these new librarians teach children how to develop PowerPoint presentations or create online videos. Others get students to use social networking sites to debate topics from history or comment on classmates’ creative writing. Yet as school librarians increasingly teach students crucial skills needed not only in school, but also on the job and in daily life, they are often the first casualties of school budget crunches.

"More than 90 percent of American public schools have libraries, according to federal statistics, but less than two-thirds employ full-time certified librarians."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

new ways to get the message across

Media entrepreneurs test new ways to get the message across - The Boston Globe
"was home to the first American newspaper. A Medford radio station was among the first to try selling advertising to support its programming, in the early 1920s. Researcher Ray Tomlinson was working in Cambridge when he sent the first e-mail over the Arpanet, the predecessor to the Internet, in 1971."

"Each innovation created a huge industry, and changed the way we communicate."

"Now, at this moment of tumult in the media world, entrepreneurs in Boston and the wider New England region are trying to develop the next successful models for conveying information. But even as advertisers and consumers spend an increasing amount of money and time on the Internet, building a profitable digital media business isn't exactly a cinch."