Gary Wolf has a wonderful feature in this month's Wired about the parallel efforts to put texts, indices and images of books on the net (and to render them in cheap wood-pulp substrate) from the Internet Bookmobile to the Amazon Search Inside the Book system:
Kahle is happy to sidestep the problem of digitizing commercially successful books. He has no wish to antagonize the publishing industry. What he hates is that the Million Book Project cannot legally digitize countless books that aren't generating money for anybody. US libraries hold about 30 million unique volumes. No one knows how many of those books continue to be protected by copyright or are available from commercial publishers. Still, Kahle says, "they can't be digitized because the copyrights can't be cleared, and the copyrights can't be cleared because it's too much work to identify the copyright holders. Some people call them abandonware. I call them orphans."
"Amazon is taking a cut at the commercially available titles," continues Kahle. "We are going for the public domain titles. But who is taking care of the orphans? Nobody."
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]