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Archives: April 2010

N+1 Goes Online

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The literary and culture journal N+1 has put a lot its content online on a sweet new Web site. Now you can read about everything from zombie novels to the social movement that is the Internet without ever having to turn a clunky old page. Though if you want old-fashioned paper, they’re still printing the journal up, and the Web site only displays previews of some of the print content, so if you want the full experience, go for print.

Here’s some info from the editors: “As we have since mid-2004, we will continue to post new essays, stories, and experiments here once a week at the minimum. They will be shorter and timelier than what appears in the print magazine, but they will advance the general ideas and mission of n+1, as well as, we hope, of a more just, thoughtful, and decent society. As always, we urge you to subscribe to the print magazine, which remains the center of gravity for the n+1 project as a whole.”

Join the editors for a launch party for the newest issue in Brooklyn on May 1.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally said that N+1 had put all of its content online. It was brought to our attention that in fact not all of its content in available on the new Web site--some of it is still print only. Sorry for the confusion.]

Amazon Launches “Most Highlighted Passages of All Time” List

kindlebeta.pngDo you want to share your digital book underlines with the world? Amazon is testing a new program that will tabulate and rank underline passages like a scoreboard.

Amazon recently launched a ““Most Highlighted Passages of All Time”” feature that showcases the book passages underlined by Kindle readers–a 21st Century twist on literary quotation. So far, the list has been dominated by bestselling books: The Shack by William P. Young, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

Here’s more about the program: “AmazonKindle also introduces a “Popular Highlights” feature that identifies the passages that are most highlighted by the millions of Kindle customers. We combine the highlights of all Kindle customers and identify the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers to focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people.”

After the jump, check out the Most Underlined Passage of All Time (at least since Amazon launched the program).

Read more

Doctorow Slam’s Apple’s iPad DRM

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Publishing provocateur Cory Doctorow has been doing a regular column for Publishers Weekly. In his most recent installment, he sounds off on Apple’s iPad DRM, and not just the software that locks down the music and eBooks, but also the locks down the whole device against non-Apple-approved apps. He says that given the buzz and the hopes surrounding iPad, the implications of Apple’s competition-killing DRM are big and bad.

Here’s an excerpt: “Does the company that makes your toaster get to tell you whose bread you can buy? Your dishwasher can wash anyone’s dishes, not just the ones sold by its manufacturer (who, by the way, takes a 30% cut along the way). What’s more, you can invent cool new things to do with your dishwasher. For example, you can cook salmon in it without needing permission from the manufacturer (check out the Surreal Gourmet for how). And you can even sell your dishwasher salmon recipe without violating some obscure law that lets dishwasher manufacturers dictate how you can use your machine.”

Mmmm…dishwasher cooked Salmon. There’s lots more smart stuff where that came from. You should read the whole article, quick!

99-Year-Old Writer Enjoys iPad

eBookNewser readers love viral iPad videos, and we’ve posted quite a few: iPad meets cat, iPad meets dog, and iPad meets toddler. Today, 99-year-old Virginia Campbell scored a viral hit with the video embedded above–capturing her experience of reading and writing poems on her brand new iPad.

Filmed inside Mary’s Woods Retirement Community in Oregon, this video shows the elderly reader exploring the iPad–apparently the device makes it easier for her to read despite glaucoma. As of this writing, the video earned more than 463,700 views.

Here’s more about the video: “Campbell, widow of former Lake Oswego Mayor C. Herald Campbell, has never owned a computer before–or a Kindle. But when she heard all the hype about the iPad she wanted one … Campbell has been writing and reading on it ever since. ‘She’s writing all of her poetry on her iPad now,’ [her daughter] said.”

Styron eBook Cover from Open Road Says “Old People” and “1960s”

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Open Road Integrated Media styron_sm.pngreleased the cover design for the eBook of William Styron’s Darkness Visible, and we asked you, eBookNewser readers, what you thought of the design. Overwhelmingly, you said this cover speaks to or for the past: 42 percent of respondents to our poll said the cover indicates that “this is an eBook for old people.” 30 percent though this art reminded them of book jackets from the 1960s.

Now, maybe our poll was a little skewed, and maybe Open Road isn’t marketing this particular title to the hipster crowd, but still–only 15 percent said the cover indicates a good eBook: that’s not what a publisher wants, is it?

Open Road, we’ve done some free market research for you–now it’s up to you to respond. Though how jazzed up should the cover of a book about depression be?

Next Generation E-Ink Screens Will Be Able to Display Animations

Perhaps we can’t count E-Ink out of the game quite yet. We forgot to show this to you the other day when we first saw it, but figure it’s better late than never. Here’s E-Ink Vice President of Marketing, Sriram Peruvemba demonstrating the next generation of E-Ink technology, which can do things like play animations! It actually looks pretty damn fast…

Take a look at the video, and if you want to know more, you can read this longer writeup from RedFerret.

A New Vook from Jeff Scher

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The new offerings from Vook are really beginning to get interesting. One new Vook, called Best of Times, by New York Times columnist, visual artist, and filmmaker Jeff Scher combines all of the above into one neat app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Scher writes for The Opinionator column in the NYT and his visual work resides in such museums as MoMA. Indeed this is the kind of thing that only Vook, or at least an app, can do. It costs $6.99.

NewspaperDirect Comes to Nook

NewspaperDirect, the digital newspaper distributor that’s been bringing newspapers to eReaders at a rapid rate, has added the Barnes & Noble Nook to its roster of eReaders, bringing the total number of devices it supports to 13: Aluratek Libre; Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; Barnes and Noble Nook; BlackBerry; enTourage eDGe; Interead COOL-ER; IREX 800SG and DR1000; Kindle2 and KindleDX; NUUT2 and NUUT3; and Sony Reader.

The company also announced that it now offers 1,500 newspapers for these devices. Click here for the press release.

Perseus Book Group Signs with Edelweiss for Digital Catalogs

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Edelweiss, the digital catalog service owned by Above the Treeline, is having a good run. Perseus Book Group has just signed on to have Edelweiss handle its digital catalogs. This follows Monday’s announcement that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has also signed on with Edelweiss. The Fall 2010 Perseus catalogs will be available on Edelweiss by the end of May.

MediaNet Introduces eBook Distribution Service

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MediaNet, a company that has had big success in distributing catalogs of digital music, announced today that it is entering the eBook market with MediaNet Open eBook, an eBook catalog and distribution platform that will allow application developers and Web sites to sell eBooks.

What this means in plainer English is that Web developers will now be able to use MediaNet’s eBookstore to sell eBooks through their site. As of today’s launch, MediaNet will offer eBooks in EPub and PDF formats.

Here’s more info from the press release: “New MediaNet customers can sign-up for the MN Open eBook service by going to www.mndigital.com. They will be able to incorporate a versatile and intelligent download manager to simplify the acquisition and management of eBooks for their end users. Once an eBook service is successfully launched, MediaNet customers will be given access to a sophisticated real-time reporting portal to monitor sales activity.”

While there’s probably no pressing need for another way to buy and sell eBooks right now, this is good news for the market–more eBookstores means Amazon and Apple don’t hold all the cards.

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