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Why Did Facebook Buy an e-Book Publisher?

Facebook announced Tuesday that it was acquiring Push Pop Press, an interactive digital e-book publisher, although Facebook said it did not plan to enter the book industry.

Link: http://nyti.ms/rbrMr4

Using the Cube To Bring Back the Book
A nonprofit group is planning to build custom-designed portable reading rooms in New York and Boston starting this fall, provided they can meet a fundraising goal by August. 15.

The Uni Project, a brainchild of Street Lab, aims to create "an institution in a box" that will complement the work of libraries and community centers. The lightweight modular structure will bring books and various programs to public spaces and underserved neighborhoods.

On its website, the group explains that it wants to provide librarians and others with a new way to showcase what they offer by using a more flexible and less expensive institutional framework.

"And the best part, once we fabricate this lightweight infrastructure, we can keep it running, serve multiple locations, and even replicate it," said Leslie Davol, who is a co-director of the project along with Sam Davol.

Full article: http://bit.ly/rsq8KC

OverDrive CEO drops hint that Kindle library lending launches in September
See: http://bit.ly/q86i8a

Netflix Sees Angry Clients Cutting Profit

Reaction to a price increase for DVDs by mail is expected to affect revenue for the third quarter.

Full article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/business/media/netflix-lowers-outlook-citing-disgruntled-c...

Life Itself: A Memoir (Roger Ebert)

Life Itself: A Memoir

Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies.

In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.

Roger Ebert's journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime's adventures. -- Read More

900 Kindle books on sale

Through July 27 Amazon has 900 books Kindle books for sale from .99 - $3.99

See: http://amzn.to/nYtb6H

U.S. to Close 800 Computer Data Centers

Analysts estimate that thousands of jobs will be eliminated with the federal government’s plan to shut 40 percent of its computer centers over the next four years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/technology/us-to-close-800-computer-data-centers.html?_r=1...

The Price of Typos

Some readers like to see portraits of authors they admire, study their personal histories or hear them read aloud. I like to know whether an author can spell. Nabokov spelled beautifully. Fitzgerald was crummy at spelling, bedeviled by entry-level traps like “definate.” Bad spellers, of course, can be sublime writers and good spellers punctilious duds. But it’s still intriguing that Fitzgerald, for all his gifts, didn’t perceive the word “finite” in definite, the way good spellers automatically do. Did this oversight color his impression of infinity? Infinaty?

Bad spellers are a breed apart from good ones. A writer with a mind that doesn’t register how words are spelled tends to see through the words he encounters — straight to the things, characters, ideas, images and emotions they conjure. A good speller, by contrast — the kind who never fails to clock the idiosyncratic orthography of “algorithm” or “Albert Pujols” — tends to see language as a system. Good spellers are often drawn to poetry and wordplay, while bad spellers, for whom language is a conduit and not an end in itself, can excel at representation and reportage.

Full piece: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/the-price-of-typos/

Cities Report Surge in Graffiti

An upturn in graffiti nationwide has renewed debates about whether its glorification contributes to urban blight or is a sign of despair in a struggling economy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/us/19graffiti.html?hp

How Bible Stories Evolved Over The Centuries

Story on NPR

Scholars at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have spent 11 years combing through early New Testament manuscripts, looking at how they've evolved over the centuries. And what they found may surprise some believers.

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/17/138281522/how-bible-stories-evolved-over-the-centuries

Why Netflix Raised Its Prices

Pogue at NYT has this piece on Netflix: Why Netflix Raised Its Prices

Netflix Raises Price of DVD and Online Movies Package by 60%

Netflix advertised the change as a new choice for consumers, but thousands of the company’s customers complained online.

Full article

I do not have cable so I make a lot of use of my Netflix account. I have the $9.99 plan that allows for one DVD in the mail and unlimited streaming. If you mail back the one DVD in a timely manner you can get 3-4 DVDs in the mail each month in addition to the streaming.

It is this plan that is going to $16. I think I am going to shut down my DVD by mail and use the $7.99 streaming only option. I easily watch ten things per month on the streaming that I find useful. At under $1 per viewing I think it is worthwhile. Do wish that Netflix had not messed with the $9.99 plan that allowed both streaming and DVD by mail. I will use Redbox at $1 per movie to subsidize what I cannot get from Netflix streaming.

Plus for libraries: There are going to be movies that are not available via streaming. Netflix is clearly pushing people more towards the streaming model. This will leave a pocket of movies that are harder to get hold of. Libraries may have an opportunity to fill this niche.

THE VISIONARY

A digital pioneer questions what technology has wrought

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/07/11/110711fa_fact_kahn#ixzz1Rx...

You cannot read the full article without a subscription. Don't have a subscription? Consider going to the library.

Book by Lanier mentioned in article: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (Vintage)

You can purchase this issue on Amazon for $3.99.
See: The New Yorker

You can also subscribe for $2.99 per month. It is less than $1 per issue if you subscribe. Amazon has a free 14 day trial for the Kindle version. You could subscribe read the article about Lanier and if unimpressed with the magazine could end your subscription without paying anything. To end the subscription you just click a button in your Amazon settings so you do not have to call or write to cancel.

New Books in Amazon Top 100

Seattle Mystery Bookshop declines to work with Amazon

The Seattle Mystery bookshop was asked by an author if they could have a signing at the bookshop. Problem was the book was being published by Amazon. The answer was "no".

Blog post discussing incident: Can't Shake the Devil's Hand and Say You're Only Kidding

How Twitter and YouTube Took Unfinished Book to No.1

In a feat that even the best-selling writers might envy, young-adult author John Green's latest novel is No. 1 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com even though he's still working on it from his comfy La-Z-Boy in Indianapolis.

With "The Fault in Our Stars," the author has overtaken hot books by Suzanne Collins and Laura Hillenbrand. His book won't be published until the spring of next year.

Full article in the WSJ

Book on Amazon: The Fault in Our Stars

Another article that mentions the book: Book industry balance continues to tilt towards the author

Amazon Buys U.K. Online Bookseller

Amazon.com Inc. agreed to buy U.K.-based online book retailer Book Depository International for an undisclosed sum.

Amazon's move to buy Book Depository came six months after the U.S. company acquired European movie-rental site Lovefilm International Ltd.

Book Depository's founder, Andrew Crawford, said in a prepared statement Monday that his company looks "forward to continuing our growth and providing an ever-improving service for readers globally" with Amazon's support.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304760604576425752950867920.html#ixzz1RCisjBip

Shatzkin comments on this Amazon acquisition.

Netflix Helps People Cut Cable Cord, Report Says

Article in the NYT: Netflix Helps People Cut Cable Cord, Report Says

Summary: A new survey notes that customers who use Netflix streaming video are twice as likely to cancel or slim down their cable services as they were this time last year.

Comment: I cancelled cable this year. Netflix combined with over the air television has worked good for us. Having a device like a Roku or Wii that will allow you to put the content on your tv instead of just watching on laptop I think really pushes this idea over the tipping point.

Kindle price melts

In the comments to this story on LISNEWS there is a comment about buying the book Ice Diaries in print instead on ebook format because of price.

Part of what the commentor said: "From what I have seen ebook buyers are very price conscious. When Amazon came out with the Kindle and said that they were going to try and set ebook prices at $9.99 I did not think that was cheap. I wanted ebook prices to range from .99 to $2.99."

Amazon is currently holding an ebook sale and they have the book The Ice Diaries: The True Story of One of Mankind's Greatest Adventures for $1.99 as an ebook. What is the range for the books in the Amazon sale? It is $0.99 to $2.99

I find it ironic that the book mentioned by the person ends up in a sale that had a price range that matches the range that they thought was fair. Here is a link to the sale.

Pawn Stars

Rick Harrison of the History Channel show Pawn Stars has a book out. You can see the book here.

He was interviewed on the NPR radio show "Fresh Air". You can listen to the interview here.

If you do not have speakers on your computer there is a button you can click at the NPR site that will give the entire transcript. Here is a direct link to the transcript.

Apple Patents Way to Prevent Concert Piracy

A new patent filed by Apple could help the music and movie industries thwart copyright violation by disabling mobile phone cameras that try to record concerts and movies.

Full story

Amazon Sunshine Deals

Amazon is having a sale on 600 Kindle books through June 15. The books are price from $0.99 to $2.99.
You can see them here.

A few selections:

Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure $1.99

Young Men and Fire $1.99

If a Pirate I Must Be...: The True Story of Black Bart, King of the Caribbean Pirates $1.99 -- Read More

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