Mary Sue Coleman, the President of the University of Michigan, gave an unbelievably wonderful speech about Google Book Search to the American Association of Publishers, who are suing Google for making card-catalogs of all the books in several major libraries available. The speech ranges from the university's mission, the place of libraries in society, the impact that Book Search will have on book sales, and there's an incredible piece on scholarship in the developing world and Google Book Search that gave me goosebumps. This is must-read stuff.
Just as powerful as the preservation aspect of Google Book Search is the fact our venture
will result in a magnitude of discovery that seems almost incomprehensible. I could not
have imagined that in my lifetime so much diffuse information literally would be at my
It is an educator’s dream, knowing that the vast body of information held in the libraries
of Michigan, Stanford, Harvard, Oxford and the New York Public Library will be
universally searchable and, in the case of public domain works, accessible.
My parents were both teachers. My mother would take me and my two sisters to the
public library in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and I remember it was like opening the doors to a
different world with each trip we made. I was forever discovering entire new veins of
titles, books that were simply enchanting to impressionable young girls.
Later on, as an undergraduate in college, I all but lived in the library. If I wasn’t holed up
and reading in a carrel, I was simply roaming the stacks and uncovering new subjects and
I cannot tell you how exhilarating – and how humbling – it is to know that this digital
enterprise, with our university’s books, will provide that same joy of discovery for people
everywhere, from Iowa to Indonesia.
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 In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete.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 […]