Wednesday Links 9-2-2009

While Nico’s on hiatus, we’ll try our best to keep up with the Wednesday links. We’ve been having some techinical troubles so far this week, so I’ve kept this one short (since I was worried I might not even be able to post it). Bear with us while we work out the kinks: we can’t all be all-star internet scourers of Nico’s caliber.

July Highlights from the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog

Each month I try and sort out some of the more accessible and interesting entries on the SEPW to share with readers interested in issues such as library digitization, open access, and electronic journals. You can check out my previous entries here.

This month I’ve got just a few quick items to share. First, I’ll draw attention to “Creating the Mark Twain Project Online” by Lisa Schiff. The MTPO is a neat little project I had never before heard of. Its aim is to make free to the public a wealth of the great author’s personal documents and correspondence by “providing access to more than 2,300 complete texts, over 28,000 records of other known items, and almost 100 facsimile images.”

The case study linked to above isn’t about Mark Twain itself, though it will provide an interesting bit of reading for those interested in digital archiving and techie site creation stuff. Readers interested in getting into the Twain papers made available by this ambitious project should check out the Mark Twain Project directly.
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Profiles in eBookery: Creative Commons

Copyright law is dastardly business, with more nickel-and-diming and squabbling over percentages than most people probably gather. The music and film industries have gone batshit with copyright law since the rise of the internet, as evidenced by all the tricky take down notices and bogus fair use violation actions taken against YouTubers and bloggers every day.

Imagine if everyone who contributed to the ingredients of a can of soup had a different stake in the overall profit of the can, then on top of that, the percentages paid out to the pea farmers and noodle makers changed depending on what side of the ocean the soup was purchased on. Same farmer; same soup. Once the soup gets old, and the farmers are dead no one can really claim the money anymore (unless they stick a new label on it and add a dash of salt). Books, more so than canned goods, have a tremendous shelf life.
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Profiles in eBookery: Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is one of the most aptly titled programs ever. Gutenberg, famously, invented the printing press, and in effect delivered affordable literature to the masses. Project Gutenberg (which began in 1971) not only invented the ebook, but aims to deliver literature back to the masses. Of course literature is easy to find in a bookstore, but believe it or not, you already own thousands of books, even if they aren’t currently in your possession.

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Fringe Magazine Interview Swap Part 2











The second half of our interview swap (at least part 1 of the second half–we have a lot to say) with online magazine Fringe is now available on the  Fringe blog. Thanks a lot to Lizzie Stark and the others at Fringe for doing the interviews and asking some great questions.  Check out their questions and our responses here.

April Highlights from the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog

Lately I’ve been poking around on a great directory called the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (located here), which compiles articles about ebooks published in scholarly journals. In general, scholarly journals don’t get very much love from non-scholars. The articles can be pretty dry, and the gists sometimes tough to parse without a filter. However there’s always a lot of interesting reading provided from some very smart people in them, and they’re usually the first places to learn of new trends, studies, etc., before they are disseminated through newsprint and the internet. 

I’ve filtered out some of the most intriguing and provided brief abstracts for them below, and I’ve only included articles that can be accessed for free in this post.

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Color Kindle 3.0 Ready By August 2009?

According to rumors stemming from Amazon’s design headquarters, the third version of the Kindle will be available as early as August of this year. It will reportedly have a touchscreen, backlight, full color display, and a host of new features and functions.

Purportedly among the “experimental” functions of Kindle 3 is Amazon’s new “Guess What Book I’m Thinking Of,” with which users will be able to find books they can’t remember the title of by giving Kindle “clues” such as “author probably Russian” and “think the grandmother dies.”

Reading will be easier and more pleasurable than ever, as Kindle 3 has 1024 shades of color, and will come with special Kindle contact lenses, which will display the text of books even while the user’s eyes are closed.
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Even More Links!: Shepard Fairey and Lawrence Lessig

Last night, Shepard Fairey and Lawrence Lessig and others gathered at a New York library to discuss copyright issues in relation to the AP suing Fairey for copyright infringement.

Today is evidently link day, so here are some links about it:

  • Here’s a post about it, with a video of a great talk by Lawrence Lessig, though not the one last night. That’s still unavailable, as far as I can tell.
  • And, from Wooster Collective, here’s a terrifying firsthand account of Shepard Fairey’s actual arrest at Boston’s ICA, including suspicions of the filthy politics that led to the bizarreness of it.