Ebooks

eBook User’s Bill of Rights

It’s easy to see the eBook User’s Bill of Rights as a sign of the growing rift between libraries and content producers. Easy if you’re me, anyway. It connects very conveniently with Richard Stallman’s open letter to the Boston Public Library decrying what he summarizes as their complicity with DRM and abdication of their responsibilities […] » about 300 words

Scriblio Integrates Google Book Search Links

(crossposted at Scriblio.net) Using the newly released book viewability API in Google Book Search, Plymouth State University’s Lamson Library and Learning Commons is one of the first libraries to move beyond simply listing their books online and open them up to reading and searching via the web. Take a look at how this works with […] » about 200 words

Stephen King Doesn’t Hate Kindle

Stephen King writes at Entertainment Weekly.com that he doesn’t hate the Kindle:

Will Kindles replace books? No. And not just because books furnish a room, either. There’s a permanence to books that underlines the importance of the ideas and the stories we find inside them; books solidify an otherwise fragile medium.

But can a Kindle enrich any reader’s life? My own experience — so far limited to 1.5 books, I’ll admit — suggests that it can. For a while I was very aware that I was looking at a screen and bopping a button instead of turning pages. Then the story simply swallowed me, as the good ones always do. I wasn’t thinking about my Kindle anymore; I was rooting for someone to stop the evil Lady Powerstock. It became about the message instead of the medium, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Reminisce: My First Ebook

The first ebook I ever read was Bruce Sterling’s Hacker Crackdown on my Newton Message Pad 2000. It had a big and bright screen — “the best screen for reading eBooks on the (non-)market” says DJ Vollkasko — but it could get a bit little heavy at times.

Crackdown is available for free, along with perhaps 16,000 others, at Matthew McClintock’s ManyBooks.net. Downloads are available in 11 different formats, or you can read online.

TeleRead Spends Morning On Portable Computing Stories

…Well, not entirely, but I couldn’t help but read the posts on the PepperPad and history of the Newton. I’m a fan of computing devices that don’t fit the mold, so I eat up stuff like this. I noted the Pepper Pad previously, and written a few posts about the Newton and ultra-portable computing. Update: […] » about 100 words

Take A Picture, Get Hassled By The Man

Alan Wexelblat at Copyfight pointed out this story that talks about increasing limits on public photography.

If you’re standing on public property, you can shoot anything the naked eye can see, explains Ken Kobre, professor of photojournalism at San Francisco State University and author of one of the seminal textbooks on the subject.

…But that apparently doesn’t stop security guards, cops, and others from intimidating and sometimes arresting those who try it.

Lawrence Lessig had a little bit to say about this in Free Culture, though his real point there was about copyright issues related to photography. Here, at the bottom of page 33, he makes the point that I’m getting at:

[E]arly in the history of photography, there was a series of judicial decisions that could well have changed the course of photography[…]. Courts were asked whether the photographer, amateur or professional, required permission before he could capture and print whatever image he wanted. Their answer was no.

Various forces have been chipping away at this basic presumption of freedom to photograph ever since, but Lessig rightly credits this early decision with creating the cover necessary for consumer photography to emerge and boom as it did.