The best ebooks site I’ve found, by far, is the archive at the University of Adelaide in Australia. The selection is outstanding, but the presentation is even better.
Steve Thomas, the curator, takes tremendous care to ensure Adelaide’s e-books display their best on any device. Most e-books, even commercial books, pay little to no attention to formatting, and the result all too often is books that are difficult to read.
The Digital Public Library of America celebrated its first birthday this year. Their archive boasts more than 7 million public domain works.
In this era of over-extended copyrights, it’s good to see a massive collection that demonstrates the value of an active public domain.
Thanks to Tony’s Kansas City for the link this morning. Tony noted that “Security dude reminds us that Google Fiber could kill the software industry.”
That’s an interesting spin. I do think it will affect the software industry–but so long as Kansas City stays at the forefront and the rest of the country is content with being a technological backwater, the effect will be minimal. But “kill” is an awfully strong word, even if every major city in the country were to get affordable Gigabit Internet in the very near future.
I say that because of what I saw in college. Read more
There was talk on Slashdot on Friday about reselling digital media, and typical sky-is-falling predictions saying that secondhand sales will drive down prices and drive artists out of business. “Look!” some say. “There are used books on Amazon that sell for a penny!”
Yes there are. My book was one of those, until Windows 95 became old enough that retro computing enthusiasts became interested in it. Now when I want to buy a copy, I have to compete with those hipsters. But you know what? Copies of my book selling for a penny never bothered me. I’ll tell you why.
Ars Technica has a fascinating article on the trials and tribulations of building a book scanner from a kit.
They lament the lack of software support, however–namely, a program to convert the image files generated by the digital camera into a PDF. Should I point them in the right direction? Why not? The key is Imagemagick, of course.
Well, that was a disappointment. It was retracted nearly as quickly as it burst onto the scenes. Crud.
A reasoned, level-headed analysis of the problems that current copyright law creates rocked Slashdot yesterday. The amazing thing is, this thing came from Washington.
Here’s the highlight reel: Read more
From time to time on classic computing and/or videogaming forums, the question of how to track down the current copyright holder to a particular given title comes up. Sometimes someone knows the answer. Frequently they don’t.
This week, when George Lucas announced he’d sold Lucasfilm to Disney, illustrated precisely how this kind of thing happens.
I’m not sure that either Google or Oracle was the good guy in the Java patent/copyright case. But Google was less bad. And it’s hard for me to see how ruling in favor of Oracle could have done anything good for the industry.
Men at Work multi-instrumentalist Greg Ham died this week, aged 58, under circumstances still under investigation. At least in the United States, Men at Work is mostly remembered for the 1982-83 hit “Down Under,” on which Mr. Ham played the flute.
The song was the focus of a copyright battle a couple of years ago, which weighed on Mr. Ham. Read more
Lowe’s has a long license to link to its site.
Let it be known that if you want to link to me, you can just do it. Link to any page you want, as many times as you want. You’re doing me a favor if you do. In fact, I find it funny that a commercial site would tangle up something as important as linking in bureaucracy like that. As much as they worry about SEO, there’s still nothing in the world that improves your search results like good, old-fashioned 1994-era links.