Researchers at the University of Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley have been experimenting with a dual display e-book reader.
Instead of my describing it to you, take a look at the video below.
As the expiration of the Screen Actors Guild contract approaches this Monday, the actors' union finds itself with two battles on its hands: one against the major studios it is negotiating with, and one with itself. How the 120,000- member union resolves its own civil war will determine how and when Hollywood's latest labor showdown gets settled . . .
But resolution isn't expected until more than a week later because of an escalating intramural fight among actors and their unions. A second actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists [AFTRA], reached a tentative deal with the studios in late May, and the results of the ratification vote by members, going on now, will arrive July 8. The deal was the first time in 27 years that the two unions have negotiated separately. The Screen Actors Guild -- which shares about 44,000 members with AFTRA -- has gone on the attack against its sister union, criticizing its new contract for alleged deficiencies in areas such as actor compensation and jurisdiction over online content.
On Thursday afternoon, George Clooney positioned himself as a peacemaker, releasing a two-page missive that asked for a compromise between the two unions. "Both are, of course, right," Mr. Clooney writes. "What we can't do is pit artist against artist," he adds, "because the one thing you can be sure of is that stories about Jack Nicholson vs. Tom Hanks only strengthens the negotiating power of" the studios. SAG's attack on its sister union has sparked such internal strife among its own ranks that getting strike authorization, which requires approval from 75% of its members who vote, seems like a longshot.
First I want to apologize for having to take a publisher grievance public. Unfortunately New Concepts Publishing has recently released a book I did not write, or I should say that I did not complete. I only wrote three chapters of a proposed full length novel entitled HOWL FOR ME a year and a half ago and was contracted by NCP last summer. Today NCP has released a novella of my full length story as an anthology of somekind with two authors I don't know and never worked with. I have no idea what these authors did with my story and characters and implore my readers not to buy this release assuming it to be a finished project of mine. I encourage anyone who may have already purchased the book because they enjoy my stories to complain to NCP for intentionally misleading their customers. I will have more information on this very frustrating situation in my next newsletter.
Google Book Search has taken databases of pre-1978 copyright renewal records compiled by Carnegie Mellon's Universal Library Project and digitized by Project Gutenberg and the Distributed Proofreaders and combined them into a downloadable XML file.
Early in the novel the young daughter of the protagonist, Mack, is abducted. Four years later he visits the shack where evidence of the girl’s murder was discovered. He spends a weekend there in a kind of spiritual therapy session with God, who calls herself “Papa”; Jesus, who appears as a Jewish workman; and Sarayu, an indeterminately Asian woman who incarnates the Holy Spirit.
4) Niche Market: The writer has produced a work on a subject that is not commercially viable for a traditional publisher. There is a market for this work, but it is very limited in size or scope. This frequently involves academic works in some arcane subject.
5) Cross-Genre: The writer has produced a work that traditional publishers simply do not know how to market. This is usually a work that crosses multiple genres.
[Young's writer friend] showed [The Shack] manuscript to several publishers, but it was rejected everywhere — both by Christian publishers, who found it too controversial, and secular publishers, who thought it was too Christian.
Along with Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, George Carlin was one of the most influential, respected and controversial stand-up comics of the late 20th century. His humor was built on the vagaries of human behavior – the truth behind words and phrases, the quandaries presented in everyday life, and the hypocrisies of authority . . .
I grew up with George Carlin. No, I didn't know the man personally, but I've never known a world in which he wasn't doing routines. The guy first appeared on Jack Paar's show in 1960 when he was only twenty-three and debuted his solo act on The Tonight Show in 1962 when he was twenty-five.
When I was younger, Carlin appealed to my wide anti-authority streak.
Now that I'm older--and hopefully, a little more thoughtful--I recognize that while he used adult language in his act, he also addressed "questions about religion, societal trends, politics, and oddities in American and Western culture."
Although he dropped out of school in ninth grade, he was a literate man, a man who loved words. Listening to an interview with him, you'd hear an articulate, extremely well-read man who truly believed no word should have any more or any less value than another--they are all meant to facilitate communication.
In 1972, he got arrested multiple times for his use of "The Seven Dirty Words" in his act. Those seven words were the ones not permitted on television. Of course, teenagers were titillated and older people were scandalized. Yahoo points out that Carlin's routine, ". . . sought to nullify the words’ power by making them seem both commonplace and foolish."
Carlin emphasized the silliness of our phobia about words in his routine. "You can say 'Don't prick your finger,' but you can't say 'Don't finger your prick.' Where's the sense in that?"
There's a part of me that responds strongly to that sentiment. When I began writing erotic romance, the rebel in me enjoyed deliberately flaunting the paternalistic system that makes women ashamed to speak frankly about their bodies and their sexual needs.
Below is the comic routine that got him arrested multiple times and eventually made him a footnote in legal annals.
WARNING: Adult content. There are seven words in this video that may offend you. Watch this clip at your own risk.
Symbiosis: (from the Greek: sym, "with;" and biosis, "living") commonly describes close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. It refers to "the living together of unlike organisms". . .
Blackwell is introducing an on-demand printer the Espresso Book Machine to its 60-store chain after signing an agreement with US owner On Demand Books.
The deal makes Blackwell the first UK retailer to install the EBM. The academic chain will trial the machine from this autumn at a yet-to-be-determined launch site, and will then roll it out across its stores. It is also looking at possible international retail sites and library supply for the machine.
. . . On Demand c.e.o. Dane Neller . . . said he expected that over time it would help to lower book prices, as it drove supply chain costs down: "But more importantly it means that no book will ever have to be out of print."
Get Saudi Arabia, our chief oil pusher, to up our dosage for a little while and bring down the oil price just enough so the renewable energy alternatives can’t totally take off. Then try to strong arm Congress into lifting the ban on drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
. . . a president who hasn’t lifted a finger to broker passage of legislation that has been stuck in Congress for a year, which could actually impact America’s energy profile right now — unlike offshore oil that would take years to flow — and create good tech jobs to boot.
That bill is H.R. 6049 — “The Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008,” which extends for another eight years the investment tax credit for installing solar energy and extends for one year the production tax credit for producing wind power and for three years the credits for geothermal, wave energy and other renewables.
. . . magazine audiences are getting bigger and often younger too, according to a Mediaedge:cia analysis of last month's benchmark spring MRI research report . . .
"For every magazine that is aging, there are magazines that are trending younger--and are gaining new readers at the same time," the Mediaedge analysis found.
Look across a longer period of time, and the trends take on new clarity.
Allure magazine's median reader age has fallen 1.1 years to 29.1 from 30.2 since the spring 2004 MRI report, while the size of its audience grew 67%. Wired saw its median age fall to 34.6 from 37 in the same span as its audience increased 47%.
Two small towns in the middle of nowhere: Hope and Despair. Between them, nothing but twelve miles of empty road. Jack Reacher can't find a ride, so he walks. All he wants is a cup of coffee. What he gets are four hostile locals, a vagrancy charge, and an order to move on. They're picking on the wrong guy.
Reacher is a hard man. No job, no address, no baggage. Nothing at all, except hardheaded curiosity. What are the secrets that Despair seems so desperate to hide?
Women are very offended by injustice and the story of each book is something very unjust, and by the end of the book Reacher has made it just, and women cheer that on.
It will be the first time that Yahoo has offered e-mail accounts under umbrellas other than its own company name since it became a correspondence conduit in 1997.
Yahoo began offering free e-mail shortly after its $80 million acquisition of Four11 Corp., which included the rocketmail domain. Rocketmail users at the time of the acquisition were allowed to keep their existing accounts, but Yahoo hadn't accepted any new addresses under that name until now.
The diversification into new e-mail designations is being driven by the difficulty that people are having as they try to find an appealing e-mail handle under the Yahoo domain . . .
E-mail under the ymail and rocketmail designations will offer all the same features as the Yahoo domain, including an unlimited amount of storage capacity.
Penguin proudly notes that its operations in Canada and Australia were simultaneously--but perhaps not coincidentally--named publisher of the year.
Penguin Canada was honored by the Canadian Booksellers Association at BookExpo Canada, the first time in 20 years it won the award and the third time overall. Penguin Canada president and publisher David Davidar thanked authors, agents, booksellers and staff.
Penguin Australia was honored at the Australian Book Industry Awards for the first time in nine years and the third overall, too. CEO Gabrielle Coyne thanked "the company's spirit of collaboration, with authors, illustrators and photographers as well as booksellers, suppliers, agents and the media."
The oldest of seven children, Sunderland is a lifelong sailor from a long line of yachtsmen—his Web site says his first home was a 55-foot Tradewind sailboat.
Zac has always loved the sea. His parents lived on a 55-foot boat when he was born; Marianne recalls spreading the news via single-sideband radio. The family spent three years cruising off California and Mexico. Laurence Sunderland, who transfers boats to various destinations, has often employed his son as night watch-captain.
"I'll have plenty of time to think about it during my trip. . . We'll see how it works out. You never know where life's going to take you."
At its heart, the 70-page ruling says that the detainees have the same rights as anyone else in custody in the United States to contest their detention before a judge. [Justice] Kennedy also said the system the administration has put in place to classify detainees as enemy combatants and review those decisions is not an adequate substitute for the right to go before a civilian judge . . .
[Justice] Souter wrote a separate opinion in which he emphasized the length of the detentions.
"A second fact insufficiently appreciated by the dissents is the length of the disputed imprisonments; some of the prisoners represented here today having been locked up for six years," Souter said. "Hence the hollow ring when the dissenters suggest that the court is somehow precipitating the judiciary into reviewing claims that the military ... could handle within some reasonable period of time" . . .
The court has ruled twice previously that people held at Guantanamo without charges can go into civilian courts to ask that the government justify their continued detention. Each time, the administration and Congress, then controlled by Republicans, changed the law to try to close the courthouse doors to the detainees.
The court specifically struck down a provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that denies Guantanamo detainees the right to file petitions of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus is a centuries-old legal principle, enshrined in the Constitution, that allows courts to determine whether a prisoner is being held illegally.
The head of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents dozens of prisoners at Guantanamo, welcomed the ruling.
"The Supreme Court has finally brought an end to one of our nation's most egregious injustices," said CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren. "By granting the writ of habeas corpus, the Supreme Court recognizes a rule of law established hundreds of years ago and essential to American jurisprudence since our nation's founding."
Technology has disrupted every industry. Now, it's book publishing's turn.
"On a book that costs $24.95, the author gets at most $1 to $1.50," says Eileen Gittins, chief executive of Blurb, an online print-on-demand publisher of photography books.
Of course, this siren song neglects to mention a few truths:
As for authors choosing to work with Amazon - well, if Amazon can guarantee that using their recommendation/
co-branding/merchandising system, they can sell a million copies of my book, why wouldn't I work with them exclusively? I don't know about you, but I certainly would.
Bezos admits that the Kindle can't "outbook the book." But it does have special features of its own:
But the feature that Bezos is most proud of is the fact that the built-in wireless capacity permits readers to purchase and download a book from Amazon's store within 60 seconds. Readers can also purchase access to newspapers, magazines and blogs. Or to email personal documents to the Kindle to be read at the reader's convenience.
Bezos is confident that the message overtakes the medium with the Kindle.
The Kindle price was recently lowered from $399 to $359.
Bezos assured the audience that people who purchase the Kindle continue to purchase physical books as well.
He was encouraged by the fact that, in only six months on the market, Kindle and the e-books now accounts for 6% of all books sold on Amazon.
When it was launched Kindle had access to 90,000 books; today Kindle has access to 125,000 books, including 100 of the 112 New York bestsellers.
Bezos' vision is to have every book ever printed in any language available on the Kindle within sixty seconds.
An ambitious goal for an ambitious man.
Today, about 1 billion people have PCs, about 3 billion have mobile phones, growing to 4 billion by 2010. A major driver is the growing popularity of Web-enabled devices such as the Apple iPhone.
One of the biggest challenges: dealing with the matchbox-size screens of cellphones and the other devices, which aren't hospitable to the ads that are the lifeblood of traditional search engines. Billions in potential ad revenue are at stake as social networks, location-based services and wireless search deliver instant answers to wireless users on the go . . .
The fledgling mobile search industry generated about $700 million in ad revenue in 2007, JupiterResearch estimates. By 2012, revenue is expected to hit $2.2 billion and keep rising. Jupiter analyst Julie Ask says mobile search could eventually eclipse the traditional Web, which currently generates about $20 billion in ad revenue.
Search engines, angling to win over mobile customers early, are racing to solve these problems. Their solutions, in some cases, are wildly different.
A platform, to computer people, is the software code on which third-party applications function. There are scores of big platforms out there . . .
. . .it's been riveting to watch three of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley--each representing a fundamental phase of the information era--battle it out. Apple, Google and Facebook are, respectively, an icon from the pioneering days of personal computers; the biggest, most profitable company yet born on the Web; and a feisty upstart whose name is synonymous with the current migration to social networks.
Google, for instance, advocates an "open" Web and tends to push for open standards and alliances among developers. Facebook, with its gated community of 70 million active users, offers a more controlled experience and, so far at least, wants to keep its users safely within its walls. Apple comes from the old world. Its elegant products cocoon customers from the chaos of the information age, but the Apple experience tends to be highly controlled, with Apple hardware at the end points and Apple software and services, like the iTunes Music Store, in between.
At Book Expo America, . . . attention focused on the fact that one of the few areas that is growing at a double digit--indeed, at an exponential--rate is e-book sales on the Kindle. And, according to the New York Times, the publishers are genuinely nervous. The Times pointed out that "...excitement about the Kindle, which was introduced in November, also worries some publishing executives, who fear Amazon’s still-growing power as a bookseller."
Worried they should be. Surprised they should not. They have had ten years to ponder the meaning of the soaring growth of e-book sales and spent half of that decade deriding the trend as a flash in the pan. Now they're rushing to put their backlists into e-book format even as they are haunted by the prospect that e-book sales undercut the profits they make from sales of traditional printed books . . .
But publishers are still missing the point, which is that profits from printed books are hamstrung by a wasteful retail system that takes back one copy for every two distributed. The beauty of e-books is minimal distribution costs and zero returns.
Amazon has removed from sale key front and backlist titles from across the Hachette Group: the UK's largest publisher and online retailer are believed to be locked in a dispute over terms.
Amazon's current sanctions against Hachette are "effectively creating a breach of trust between Amazon and its customers", Hachette Livre UK c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson has said in a strongly-worded letter to authors . . .
Hely Hutchinson's letter explains Hachette's position in its current terms dispute with Amazon, which has seen the retailer remove the "Buy New" button from key front and backlist titles from across the Hachette Group, and also take them away from promotional positions on the website. Titles such as Kate Mosse's Labyrinth (Orion), Stephen King's Duma Key (Hodder) and James Patterson's The 6th Target (Headline) continued to be affected this week, a fortnight after The Bookseller first reported the issue . . .
The letter says that despite advantageous terms, "Amazon seems each year to go from one publisher to another making increasing demands in order to achieve richer terms at our expense and sometimes at yours", and affirms Hachette's intention to stand firm against conceding additional terms.
Welcome to the future of publishing.
One persistent topic at the London Book Fair was Amazon's aggression towards publishers selling books directly from their own web sites at modest discounts. In a blog post, Tim O'Reilly expresses his own larger concern: "As Amazon's market power increases, it needs to be mindful of whether its moves, even those that may be good for the company in the short term, are ultimately destructive of the ecosystem on which they depend. I believe that they are heading in that direction, and if they succeed with some of their initiatives, they will wake up one day to discover that they've sown the seeds of their own destruction, just as Microsoft did in the 1990s."
About three weeks ago, Amazon declared a new policy that they would no longer ship as Amazon-sold product books printed on demand by another supplier . . . The legality of this approach is not yet clear, but many of the marketplace implications certainly are. Amazon has a commanding position among online book purchasers and they can use that as leverage to compel publishers to conform to their desires . . . This latest policy is a shot across Ingram’s bow -- at the very least; maybe it is a missile into the wheelhouse -- but it is also a sober reminder to publishers that their now second-largest vendor has a whip hand and will use it.
A MAJOR battle has erupted between Amazon and the UK's biggest publisher in the most public fallout yet between the powerful online retailer and the book world.
Amazon has removed several key Hachette Livre UK titles from sale on its British website in an effort to pressurise the publisher to give it a greater percentage of its profits, according to Hachette's group chief executive.
Amazon conducts yearly negotiations with publishers over the discounts it receives. The Hachette tussle comes in the wake of a similar dispute in January, when a number of Bloomsbury titles were temporarily removed from sale through Amazon's main channel.
Publishers are reacting angrily to what one senior executive described as a “crude” attempt by Amazon to increase its discount. “It is going from publisher to publisher with extortionate demands, and if it does manage to get a figure from one publisher it is then going back to the first house and saying x has agreed to such-and-such”. . .
What we see is Amazon attempting a strategy of world domination. In the US, we've already seen them demanding that publishers use their facility for print-on-demand. It seems that the only people who benefit in the value chain are Amazon. They already have 15% of the market in the UK.”
It is estimated that if Amazon carries on growing at this rate, it will have 30% in three years, and publishers believe there is a real danger that bookshops will start closing as a result. “Amazon will be in a position of such dominance that they will be able to dictate terms and destabilise the market” . . .
Bloomsbury recently had a terms dispute with the bookseller which resulted in Amazon removing the 'Buy Now' button from certain Bloomsbury titles on its site.
Amazon and Bloomsbury's dispute over terms appears to have been resolved, with titles that Amazon had removed from sale now back on offer from the online retailer.
Amazon had previously removed the "Buy New" button on a range of Bloomsbury titles . . . The titles, which earlier this week were only available via Amazon Marketplace [Note by MR: the third party market, mostly used books], are now all available to buy new on the site.
The move follows a letter sent by the Society of Authors to Amazon.co.uk . . . outlining its concerns about the situation.
Neither Bloomsbury nor Amazon would comment on the news. An Amazon spokesperson said: "We won't comment on rumour and speculation. The books mentioned do have Buy buttons. We won't comment on relationships with our suppliers."
By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own--demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. It's the only way to live, and the very way she'll die. For one day her demons will abandon her for her daughter to asssure their own survival--leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.
I have said repeatedly here that I think Amazon poses a threat to the publishing industry. But, increasingly, I believe that threat stems from Amazon's vertical integration of the book market, not because I think the Kindle will become the dominant e-reader. Go here to read about Amazon's vertical integration.