Submitted by Tom Peters on July 26, 2006 - 10:39am
Two news items that scurried across my attention in July have led me to conclude that, in this era of overlapping eras, we have entered yet another age.
The first item was an industry report that Apple shipped more than eight million iPod devices in the second quarter of 2006. That's almost three million per month or 100,000 per day, and the second quarter is not a big gift-giving quarter, unless Apple packaged all those iPods in large plastic Easter eggs. (Remember, you read it here first.)
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Submitted by Tom Peters on July 17, 2006 - 2:37pm
It's already mid-July and I'm still thinking about the programs, news, and events from the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans three weeks ago. This means either that it was an unusually important conference, or that I'm slow on the uptake and/or have serious conference closure issues.
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Submitted by Tom Peters on June 6, 2006 - 11:36am
About 250 years ago, soon after his dictionary of the English language had been published, Dr. Samuel Johnson was asked by a woman how the incorrect definition of a pastern had crept into the final, published product. According to James Boswell's biography of Johnson, "…instead of making an elaborate defence, as she expected, he at once answered, 'Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.'"
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Submitted by Tom Peters on January 6, 2006 - 2:11pm
Like a puny but feisty kid trying to grow up and gain respect in a blue-collar town, portable electronic devices designed primarily for reading digital-textual documents, such as ebooks, are about to re-enter the general U.S. consumer electronic fray.
When dedicated reading devices hit the U.S. market in the late 90s, they were soundly drubbed, or worse, laughed at and ignored. Will 2006 be just a re-match with the same, predictable result?
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Submitted by Karen G. Schneider on January 5, 2006 - 12:29pm
I am seeing some very good summaries about the year behind usâ€”everything from top-ten lists to Roy Tennant's powerful rumination in LJ, "What I Wish I Had Known."
But the date that popped into my head this morning as I huffed on the treadmill, working off the holiday gingerbread while my brain did the thirty-minute free-style, was January 1, 2007. I put myself there and asked, what do I want to look back on for the previous year? While my pudgy legs labored, I vanquished Google, fixed the library catalog, and brought the profession forward thirty years.
2006 in LibraryLand: A Brief History Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on December 5, 2005 - 1:15am
Google's Book Search Library Project, the massive digitization project involving the â€œG5 libraries" (Michigan, Stanford, Oxford, the New York Public Library, and Harvard), has really touched a cultural nerve.
Quite a few discussants have concentrated on the details of one or more facets of this project, i.e., fair use, the lawsuits, the digitization process and technology involved, Googleâ€™s business interests, and the G5 librariesâ€™ motives and anticipated benefits.
There also seem to be some deeper, inchoate fears lurking about...
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Submitted by Tom Peters on November 28, 2005 - 11:32am
December is almost here, which means that the calendar year as we know it is drawing to a close. This will unleash the urgeâ€”and the annual ritual of the popular pressâ€”to write reflective articles about the year just finishing and predictive articles about 2006. The top events in politics, the arts, athletics, and other areas will be rehashed and ranked. I predict that natural disasters will receive a lot more attention and ink than they have in the retrospectives of previous years.
Rather than look back on 2005, let's look forward to 2006. To get a jump on the competition, I'm going to stick my neck out and speculate a bit about what could be major developments in library and information technology in the coming year. I have two things in mind: Both technologies have been around for awhile, but 2006 could be the breakout year for both.
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Submitted by Tom Peters on November 18, 2005 - 11:31am
Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that Google and an unnamed publisher were having discussions about leasing access to e-books. The general idea is that users would pay approximately ten percent of the list price for the printed book to be able to read the e-book for one week. In other words, they're talking about a pay-per-circ digital lending library.
When it comes to new (and recycled) schemes for pricing e-books, November has been a "Katy-bar-the-door" month. Amazon and Random House announced separate plans to sell e-books in less-than-complete chunks, such as chapters. If we manage to get through the remainder of the month without any more turkey announcements like this, we'll have another cause for thanksgiving. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on November 2, 2005 - 12:38pm
Lots of folks are sour on snippets. Google has made lemonade out of the old word "snippet" by using it to describe what will be presented to users when they perform a full-text search in the Google Print Library and retrieve hits for the search term in a work still protected by copyright. Here is Google's brief (and a little vague) description of how this works on the "common questions" page about the Google Print Library Project (http://print.google.com/googleprint/common.html): "For library books still in copyright, you'll be able to find the book in your search result, but we will only display bibliographic information and a few short snippets of the book." Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on October 7, 2005 - 5:26pm
There are so many organizations involvedâ€”ten at the time of the initial press releaseâ€”in the Open Content Alliance that it's difficult to tell how each organization will be involved. At the very least, Yahoo probably will be a major financial backer and a major (if not the primary) distributor of the content. One way to understand the OCA is as Yahoo's response to the Google Library Project. Read More »