Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
In conjunction with the research, the National Literary Trust has launched a new campaign called Tell Me a Story to raise awareness in supporting children’s literacy.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As for the iPad, Norris said, “For the iPad to get any sort of dominance, it needs to become very popular very fast among the PC crowd and not necessarily the dedicated device crowd."
Monday, May 24, 2010
John Rose, the global leader of BCG’s Media practice, commented, “The survey suggests that e-readers and tablets are not a niche product for early adopters but could become the MP3 players of this decade. Grandmothers will soon be carrying them around.” However, in order for the devices to gain mass acceptance, the price of the devices will need to drop significantly.
The study also found that choice is an important factor for consumers. 80 percent of the respondents that were interested in purchasing an e-reader or tablet said that they would buy more content if multiple retailers were available.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
While the blog highlights many of the digital happenings affecting our industry, there is often more going on than we have a chance to cover each week. Here are some interesting stories and links from the past few days.
- An article from Campus Technology says that Abilene Christian University has received a grant to expand its mobile learning programs. This will include a mobile technology research program, an experimental lab, and a K-12 professional development initiative for teachers.
- In recent weeks, rumors about a possible Blackberry tablet have begun circulating.
- According to a posting on Mashable’s website, users can now create custom books from Wikipedia content.
- According to the Bookseller.com, the Booksellers Association (BA) has entered into an agreement with Google to allow BA members to start selling books via Google Editions when it launches this summer.
- Could the e-book revolution lead to a dramatic increase in hard cover prices? Daily Finance has an interesting article about this topic. Alberto Vitale, former chairman and chief executive of Random House, predicts the prices of hardcover books will increase by at least a third within the next five years while the prices of e-books could decline.
- This fall, the Illinois Institute of Technology will give first year students Apple iPads as part of a larger effort to integrate technology into learning. Seton Hill University, George Fox University and Rutgers University have also announced plans to experiment with iPads.
- Apple announced that it sold one million iPads in less than a month. In a statement CEO Steve Jobs noted, “One million iPads in 28 days -- that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone."
- A posting on Wired’s Gadget Lab discusses whether or not the iPad is driving e-book piracy.
- An analyst from DigiTimes expects that Apple will release a 5 to 7 inch version of the iPad in the first quarter of next year.
- According to Information Week, in an email response to a customer, Steve Jobs said that the iPad will eventually have print capabilities.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
According to Gartner, as the prices for touch and pen-enabled devices come down, the education market may be a significant adopter. Most school districts will likely look for a device that has both touch and pen capabilities so that they do not have to support multiple devices for different grade levels. Leslie Fiering, research vice president at Gartner noted, "Consensus among the Gartner client U.S. school districts is that over half, and possibly as many as 75 percent, will be specifying touch and/or pen input within the next five years. Consider this as the precursor to a major upcoming generational shift in how users relate to their computing devices."
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
In addition to the out-of-copyright newspapers, the partners are seeking to digitize in-copyright material after negotiations with rightsholders. The project aims to “build a critical mass of material for researchers – particularly in the fields of family history and genealogy.”
The digitized material will be available for free to users while on-site at the British Library.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Despite the results, the pilot was informative. Michael Koenig, director of MBA operations, commented, “We were very excited to be part of the experiment. We learned a lot and are much more prepared as a top tier business school to face the complex challenges of digital content distribution for all future Darden students.’’
Sunday, May 16, 2010
- 21.5% of book-buyers prefer to shop in local independent bookstores and 21.4% prefer to shop in chain bookstores however actual purchases do not reflect this. The effect is even more pronounced among avid book buyers.
- A hybrid market is developing. Many people will buy and read both e-books and printed books.
- E-reader penetration could reach 12-15% over two years. There is no near-term tipping point for e-reader adoption.
- The primary time that consumers use e-readers is: reading at home (27%), traveling or commuting (24%), reading in bed (14%), during breaks in the workday (9%), and studying or school reading (6%).
PowerPoint slides of the findings can be found at this link.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Here is a video demo of RepRap with more information about the technology.
Friday, May 14, 2010
The fairness hearing for the settlement was held in February but Judge Denny Chin has yet to rule. According to Publishers Weekly, it is not clear if he will rule due to a recent promotion. If another judge takes over the case, it will be the third judge since 2008.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Amazon recently added a new feature to the Kindle called “Popular Highlights.” On Amazon’s website it says that the new feature “identifies the passages that are most highlighted by the millions of Kindle customers." It goes on to explain, “We combine the highlights of all Kindle customers and identify the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers to focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people.”
An interesting article from MSNBC discusses the privacy concerns associated with this new feature. It points out that Amazon is not revealing the highlights of individual users but it is still collecting individual information which is a significant concern. Further, it is possible that Kindle users are not aware of this feature because it is turned on by default in the latest Kindle software. Users can opt out of Popular Highlights but it will disable another feature which automatically backs up notes and highlights in case the device crashes or is lost.
Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, noted that the U.S. has a tradition of carefully guarding the privacy of reading and there are laws which govern the release of library records. Stephens commented, “Librarians have been on the forefront of protecting people's privacy. This is an interesting paradigm change here, if electronic delivery of books becomes the norm. What is going to happen to this strongly held belief that what you read is entirely a private matter?"
A second article from BNET questions why Amazon would risk losing customer trust and sales for this feature. It also points out that any information that a user deems important in a book could potentially be used as ammunition against the reader and turned over to authorities if necessary.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Auletta points out that it is all about market share:
There are now an estimated three million Kindles in use, and Amazon lists more than four hundred and fifty thousand e-books. If the same book is available in paper and paperless form, Amazon says, forty per cent of its customers order the electronic version. Russ Grandinetti, the Amazon vice-president, says the Kindle has boosted book sales over all. “On average,” he says, Kindle users “buy 3.1 times as many books as they did twelve months ago.”
But publishers also recognize the similarity between Amazon’s strategy and that of iTunes. One publisher said, “Get market share, and when you get far ahead it is hard to catch up. Bezos’s game, like Jobs’s before him, is to get the device and get eighty-to-ninety-per-cent distribution on the device, and you own the game.”
In regards to the challenges ahead for bookstores, Auletta notes:
“The analogy of the music business goes only so far. What iTunes did was to replace the CD as the basic unit of commerce; rather than being forced to buy an entire album to get the song you really wanted, you could buy just the single track. But no one, with the possible exception of students, will want to buy a single chapter of most books. Publishers’ real concern is that the low price of digital books will destroy bookstores, which are their primary customers. Burdened with rent and electricity and other costs, bricks-and-mortar stores are unlikely to offer prices that can compete with those of online venders. Roxanne Coady, who owns R. J. Julia Booksellers, an independent bookstore in Madison, Connecticut, said, “Bookselling is an eight-inch pie that keeps getting more forks coming into it. For us, the first fork was the chains. The second fork was people reading less. The third fork was Amazon. Now it’s digital downloads.”
An Apple adviser and Jonathan Burnham, the senior vice-president and publisher of HarperCollins, commented on what consumers want from bookstores:
The Apple adviser said, “The Internet makes everything available and cheaper. I compare bookstores to video stores ten years ago. Now I use Netflix or I download movies.” Book buyers understandably want both the convenience of the Web site and the intimacy of the store. But this obliges publishers to essentially run two businesses at once: a traditional publisher that sells bound books to stores and an electronic business that sells e-books online. “I think consumers, like publishers, are living in parallel universes,” Burnham says. “Consumers are educated to have a multiplicity of choices. They still like to go to a bookstore, while they also want everything available online.”
Monday, May 10, 2010
In the press release, Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, commented on the exciting news, “Every person deserves the opportunity to enhance their lives through access to the books that teach, entertain and inspire. Bringing access to huge libraries of books to the blind and print disabled is truly one of benefits of the digital revolution.”
Individuals, organizations, libraries, and publishers can donate books to the effort via this link.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, partners that work with Google will receive “the bulk of the revenue.” It has not been announced which partners and publishers are planning to participate. In addition, Google has not made a decision yet if it will set the prices of the books or allow publishers to set the prices.
It is important to note that Google Editions is about new digital books and is separate from the ongoing Google Book Search settlement which deals with out-of-print books. However, the two initiatives are related because if the settlement is approved, it would allow Google to sell the in-copyright out-of-print titles through the Google Editions program.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Rutgers is currently working with Apple to customize the devices and programmers are developing custom applications for the course. Each of the devices will also come with all of the required materials for the course including: business cases, articles, chapters, and videos.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
To find out more about the models, Mashable.com has an interesting review that compares the 3G and WiFi versions.
Monday, May 3, 2010
In addition to the Courier, it is being reported that HP has cancelled its Slate tablet that was designed to run Windows 7. The device was announced at the Consumer Electronic Show in January and expected to hit the market this year. Tech Crunch says that HP may not be satisfied with Windows as the operating system and could be focusing its energy on its Google Android tablet.