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The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published
Humanities editor Skinner, who is on the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, offers a highly entertaining and intelligent re-creation of events surrounding the 1961 publication of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary by G. & C. Merriam. The dictionary, assembled at a cost of $3.5 million, included a press release from Merriam’s president Gordon J. Gallan, which said the work contained “an avalanche of bewildering new verbal concepts.”
Starred review at Publisher's Weekly
Hachette returning e-book access to some libraries in pilot program
Libraries change with the digital times
Reddit debunks Wikipedia-fooling college class hoax in 26 minutes
As a Newsday journalist, Mr. McGrady led his colleagues in the creation of “Naked Came the Stranger,” a steamy parody novel.
About the book: As corporations and government agencies replace human employees with online customer service and automated phone systems, we become accustomed to doing business with nonhuman agents. If artificial intelligence (AI) technology advances as today’s leading researchers predict, these agents may soon function with such limited human input that they appear to act independently. When they achieve that level of autonomy, what legal status should they have?
Samir Chopra and Laurence F. White present a carefully reasoned discussion of how existing philosophy and legal theory can accommodate increasingly sophisticated AI technology. Arguing for the legal personhood of an artificial agent, the authors discuss what it means to say it has “knowledge” and the ability to make a decision. They consider key questions such as who must take responsibility for an agent’s actions, whom the agent serves, and whether it could face a conflict of interest.
Excerpt: If Amazon had wanted to go head-to-head with Apple a few years ago — a giant who enjoyed monopoly control over both the online music business and the market for related hardware like the iPod — it might have offered record labels the opportunity to cut a deal that would have guaranteed them higher prices, just as Apple has done with publishers and the agency-pricing model. And presumably Apple would have argued that it was trying to stimulate a burgeoning market, and Amazon would have protested to regulators about the horrible monopolist who was treating content producers so poorly.
Pocket Ref 4th Edition The concise all-purpose pocket-sized reference book featuring abundant information on many subjects, hundreds of tables, maps, formulas, constants and conversions. If you need to know it, it is in this book!
I’ll admit that I would have thought a few years ago that by the time we got to the point when more than a third of unit sales for major houses had gone digital — and perhaps more than half for fiction — that the future shape of the book business would be discernible. But, at least according to what I learned from one Big Six house last week, we have reached that level of ebook uptake and despite that, the business still looks very much as it has. It seems impossible to me that it will stay that way.
Opinion piece in the NYT - When a Parking Lot Is So Much More - by the author of ReThinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking
Is it worth it to buy the paid version of an app if you can download another version for free? If you value your battery life, it very well could be.
The story became the show's most popular podcast, but many of the aspects are fabricated.
OverDrive gets loan of up to $1M from Ohio county with budget-challenged libraries: Taxpayers unwittingly encouraging online privatization of U.S. library system?
Full piece at LibraryCity.org
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (Vintage) is now available in paperback. It came out on March 6.
The Kindle Single is not a promising name. It sounds like a new kind of prefabricated fire log, or a type of person you might meet on the dating service eHarmony — perhaps a lonely independent bookstore owner put out of business by Amazon.com.
Full article in the NYT: Miniature E-Books Let Journalists Stretch Legs
Pinterest: Trouble in Pin Paradise Over Photo Copyrights
See page 3 of the newsletter of the Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association.
Book story on NPR:
Space exploration will create a thriving culture of innovation, says scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The book discussed on the NPR piece: Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
It is one of the more peculiar aspects of scholarly publishing that although everyone expects that academic books will find a place in libraries, no one knows how many books actually get there. This doesn’t mean that every scholarly book can be found in every library; far from it. Nor does it mean that the books found in libraries are in great demand (the common estimate is that 40% of all books in academic libraries never circulate, but I would like to see more evidence of this). The problem is simply that when a book is published, it is sent into the marketplace where a host of intermediaries move it along until it gets to the ultimate user. Those intermediaries may or may not let publishers know where the books end up. I am reminded of Longfellow:
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where.