a.m. [ORG]

Thoughts from a Technology Librarian

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E-Book Watch: April 15, 2012

Photo Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Its been another interesting week in the e-book world highlighted by the Department of Justice accusing Apple and several major publishers of colluding to fix e-book prices.

In a related post, Ars Technica has a review discussing the pros and cons of Apple’s retina display versus e-ink displays:

Speaking of e-book prices, we’re also beginning to see publishers revolt against pricing schemes set by hardware makers:

I believe we’re a long way from the conclusion of legal challenges levied against hardware makers and content owners. With the transition to e-books we’re losing the freedom of a format neutral, DRM free delivery mechanism: the centuries old book. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for electronic content. It’s very portable, environmentally friendly, and can be consumed on multiple platforms. However it remains in the interest of both hardware makers and publishers to lock content to specific devices and formats in order to maximize profits and have a “captive” audience. It’s certainly good for business but not so good for the average consumer, not to mention the idealistic belief of a better informed population.

Also be sure to see the “Book of the future” cartoon in the Sunday Book Review from the NYT. Watch out for those falling books!

Image courtesy of the New York Public Library

E-Book Roundup

The book reader of the future (April, 1935 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics – Via Retronaut)

Quite a lot has happened in the past several weeks in the e-book world. Here’s a recap of some of the stories:

“Google Begins to Scale Back Its Scanning of Books From University Libraries”- The Chronicle of Higher Education

“U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers” – WSJ

“Some e-book publishers begin settlement talk; Apple holding out” – Ars Technica

“Random House Raises Library E Books Through the Roof” – The Digital Reader

“Scholastic Launches E-Reading App for Kids” – PaidContent

“Rise in E-Book Readership Is Good News for Reading Over All, Report Says”- Wired Campus

The e-book format will clearly win over paper in the long run, however we’re still in the very early stages of this transition. One trend remains clear: consumers want simple and affordable access to e-books. The $.99 iTunes model has trained customers to expect reasonably priced content that is easy to use. Hopefully publishers will understand this in a much shorter time frame than their colleagues in the music industry did.

Sky Watch: The Moon, Venus, & Jupiter

This week look for a very dramatic showing of Venus, Jupiter and the waxing Moon in the eastern sky beginning at dusk. The Pleiades, an open star cluster, adds to the scene and will be directly above the Moon.

Learn more:

This Week’s Sky at a Glance – SkyandTelescope.com.

Update: see my photo below of the waxing Moon and Venus.

Moon & Jupiter – March 26, 2012

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