Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bits and pieces - 9/8/09

Library w/o books
Re the Library Without Books story. A quick run of news column comments like the ones at Mashable indicate that many familiar with school libraries feel this is likely an ok decision because students today use the school libraries as a place to relax with their notebooks and they really don't use the stacks much.  People tend to feel differently if this had happened with a public library though.
And, it seems the coffee areas will be profit centers :-)

Google settlement
Alternet, quoting AFP's Roddy Thomson, reports that Google "will remove all European books currently on the market from a US agreement to digitise and sell online books that are out of print in the United States."  They'll have to negotiate agreements with European publishers and authors.

To see a good summary of the issues that have been problematical for other companies in connection with the much-discussed Google Settlement, see Bufo Calvin's article on this from Sunday.

Asus' coming dual-screened color e-reader
A lot of ink on this one. Endgadget discusses a prototype displayed at CeBIT last March (lots of photos from CeBIT).  In the comments to the first article, commenters question battery life, comfort in holding and using 2 screens at time in a portable -- but at the price of only about $160 and with color available, even if using more eye-straining LCD screens, this will be attractive to many.  They may offer budget and premium models once they release one of these end of the year.  No details yet. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. not sure why some people still want the two-screen thing. more to carry -- and who reads more than a page at a time? still. it will be interesting to see how the e-reader thing shakes out.

  2. Anonymous,
    What's interesting to me is I haven't heard one person say they wanted two screens, except to have the Pixel Qi that uses one reflexive, paper-like b&w screen (battery saver, eyesight saver) that alternates with the color transmissive one.

    I want just the page I'm reading, and I want it as light as possible, for the form factor.

    For those who just must have color, this will sell, at only $160 or so, and it means it will be able to handle video. The battery may not last more than 3 hours with two screens active at once but that may be enough for for some.

    To get the web access, outside the home/office, there will be expensive monthly wireless data-access data fees to consider too.

    I also think many Kindle owners will spring for it as an optional web-browser inside the house using WiFi and for looking at books that need color, including textbooks that use color to differentiate areas in illustratons, graphs (especially biology, geology, etc). And certainly if they ultimately offer magazine subscriptions, the color will be much more suitable.


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