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What happens when an old law is updated for the digital age? - Attorney Dana Newman discusses a proposed update to the '80s-era Video Privacy Protection Act.

What happens when an old law is updated for the digital age? - Attorney Dana Newman discusses a proposed update to the '80s-era Video Privacy Protection Act.
By Jenn Webb
December 21, 2011

The '80s-era Video Privacy Protection Act had the unintended consequence of inhibiting consensual sharing of video viewing habits. Attorney Dana Newman weighs in on updated legislation.

Quid pro quo will define the author-publisher relationship - Peter Meyers on HTML5, ebook formats and the evolution of publishers and authors.

Quid pro quo will define the author-publisher relationship - Peter Meyers on HTML5, ebook formats and the evolution of publishers and authors.
By Jenn Webb
December 20, 2011

In this video interview, author and digital book producer Peter Meyers addresses the state of ebooks and book apps and weighs in on the changing relationship between authors and publishers.

Four short links: 19 December 2011 - Version Control, Web-based ID, Mobile Design, and Node.js Tools

By Nat Torkington
December 19, 2011

The History of Version Control (Francis Irving) -- concise history of the key advances in managing source code versions. Worth it just for the delicious apposition of "history" and "version control". BrowserID -- Mozilla's authentication solution. BrowserID aims to provide a secure way of proving your identity to servers across the Internet, without having to create separate usernames and...

Top Stories: November 28-December 2, 2011 - Info overload vs. consumption, how big data is shaping business, and why we need the "paperless book."

Top Stories: November 28-December 2, 2011 - Info overload vs. consumption, how big data is shaping business, and why we need the
By Mac Slocum
December 2, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Author Clay Johnson explained why information consumption, not overload, is what needs to be managed. Also, Alistair Croll looked at the relationship between business intelligence and big data, and Todd Sattersten made a case for the paperless book.

Visualization of the Week: Amazon book recommendations - Christopher Warnow's viz app reveals the network of recommendations surrounding a book.

Visualization of the Week: Amazon book recommendations - Christopher Warnow's viz app reveals the network of recommendations surrounding a book.
By Audrey Watters
December 2, 2011

A new tool takes a link from a book on Amazon and creates the network surrounding it. It shows up to 100 recommendations associated with the title.

Keeping Safari Books on top - Andrew Savikas on how Safari Books is evolving to meet customers' needs.

Keeping Safari Books on top - Andrew Savikas on how Safari Books is evolving to meet customers' needs.
By Joe Wikert
November 28, 2011

Safari Books Online CEO Andrew Savikas talks about Safari Books' success and how it's incorporating mobile technologies into its business model.

How Twitter helps a small bookstore thrive - Omnivore Books follows a simple Twitter rule: 1/3 personal, 2/3 professional.

How Twitter helps a small bookstore thrive - Omnivore Books follows a simple Twitter rule: 1/3 personal, 2/3 professional.
By Sarah Milstein
November 28, 2011

Learn how Omnivore Books, a cookbook store in San Francisco, uses Twitter to solidify relationships with customers and break through the publisher blockade.

Intellectual Property Strategy: a book, a panel, and a movement

By Andy Oram
November 23, 2011

The speakers, who included household names of the free culture movement such as Lawrence Lessig and Eric von Hippel, emphasized the culture shift that is breaking the seemingly iron grip of current policies that favor wealthy companies with portfolios of patents and copyrights. But I think even these speakers failed to convey how huge a sea change in underway.

Ebook refunds and absolute satisfaction - Why no-questions-asked ebook refund policies work.

By Joe Wikert
November 23, 2011

Joe Wikert says if you trust your customers with a generous ebook returns policy, they'll pay you back with loyalty and future business.

Strata Week: 4.74 degrees of Kevin Bacon - Facebook says we're closer than we thought, Gnip targets finance, and eBay grabs Hunch.

Strata Week: 4.74 degrees of Kevin Bacon - Facebook says we're closer than we thought, Gnip targets finance, and eBay grabs Hunch.
By Audrey Watters
November 22, 2011

Facebook research questions the "six degrees of separation" rule, Gnip gets into the real-time financial data business, and eBay looks to put Hunch's recommendation engine to use.

Four short links: 22 November 2011 - Facebook Encircles the Web, Async UIs, SimRedistricting, and Questioning the Flipped School

By Nat Torkington
November 22, 2011

Facebook is Gaslighting the Web (Anil Dash) -- interesting to see the way in which Facebook is attempting to embrace and extend the web, as opposed to AOL's doomed attempt to set itself up in competition and opposition to the web. As Molly's piece eloquently explains, what Facebook is calling "frictionless" sharing is actually placing an extremely high barrier...

Four short links: 17 November 2011 - University Relevance, Free as in Dom, Patent Trolls, and Facebook Teams

By Nat Torkington
November 17, 2011

Questioning University -- my take on the issue of whether a university education (particularly CS) is still relevant or whether kids should go straight to startups. So what do I tell my kids? Should I urge them to go to university? Should I tell them to jack it all in and run off and join a startup? This is...

Top Stories: November 7-11, 2011 - Tim O'Reilly on ebooks, confessions of a not-so-public speaker, and why social network analysis matters.

Top Stories: November 7-11, 2011 - Tim O'Reilly on ebooks, confessions of a not-so-public speaker, and why social network analysis matters.
By Mac Slocum
November 11, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Tim O'Reilly looked at the past and future of ebooks, Suzanne Axtell shared her first steps toward becoming a public speaker, and we learned that social network analysis goes far beyond social networks.

Four short links: 11 November 2011 - Technocracy's Blind Spot, Progressive Enhancement, Libraries and ebooks, and Library Fablab

By Nat Torkington
November 11, 2011

Nudge Policies Are Another Name for Coercion (New Scientist) -- This points to the key problem with "nudge" style paternalism: presuming that technocrats understand what ordinary people want better than the people themselves. There is no reason to think technocrats know better, especially since Thaler and Sunstein offer no means for ordinary people to comment on, let alone correct,...

Thoughts on ebooks triggered by the appointment of Andrew Savikas as CEO of Safari Books Online

Thoughts on ebooks triggered by the appointment of Andrew Savikas as CEO of Safari Books Online
By Tim O'Reilly
November 8, 2011

Subscription is the right model for heavy users, pay-per-view works for occasional users, ad-supported appears to be the best way to fund fast-changing current content, and of course, some content is better rendered as an app than a book.

Publishing News: Early response to the Kindle Lending Library - Amazon launched its Kindle Lending Library, and a publisher goes after BitTorrent users.

Publishing News: Early response to the Kindle Lending Library - Amazon launched its Kindle Lending Library, and a publisher goes after BitTorrent users.
By Jenn Webb
November 4, 2011

Amazon Prime became even more pervasive with the Kindle Lending Library, the publishing industry joined the piracy lawsuit fray, and presentation videos from the Books in Browsers conference are now available.

Top Stories: October 24-28, 2011 - 10/30/11 is Dennis Ritchie Day, post-PC and the new tech revolution, publishing's fundamental shift.

Top Stories: October 24-28, 2011 - 10/30/11 is Dennis Ritchie Day, post-PC and the new tech revolution, publishing's fundamental shift.
By Mac Slocum
October 28, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Tim O'Reilly called for a Dennis Ritchie Day to honor the computing pioneer, Mark Sigal examined the players and products in the post-PC revolution, and Hugh McGuire discussed the seismic shifts that are reshaping the publishing industry.

Publishing's tech and edit worlds converge - The Books in Browsers conference is underway.

Publishing's tech and edit worlds converge - The Books in Browsers conference is underway.
By Jenn Webb
October 27, 2011

The Books in Browsers conference kicked off this morning. Keynotes, interviews and presentations are being livestreamed today and tomorrow.

Four short links: 26 October 2011 - CPAN's Sweet 0x10, Social Reading, Questioning Polls, and 3D Manufacturing

By Nat Torkington
October 26, 2011

CPAN Turns 0x10 -- sixteenth anniversary of the creation of the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network. Now holds 480k objects. Subtext -- social bookreading by adding chat, links, etc. to a book. I haven't tried the implementation yet but I've wanted this for years. (Just haven't wanted to jump into the cesspool of rights negotiations enough to actually build it...

We're in the midst of a restructuring of the publishing universe (don't panic) - Hugh McGuire says the disruption publishing has endured is a mere hint of what's to come.

We're in the midst of a restructuring of the publishing universe (don't panic) - Hugh McGuire says the disruption publishing has endured is a mere hint of what's to come.
By Jenn Webb
October 26, 2011

Hugh McGuire, co-author of "Book: A Futurist's Manifesto," explains why publishing's digital transformation goes way beyond format shifts. He also reveals nine ways the publishing industry will change over the next five years.

FLOSS Manuals books published after three-day sprint

By Andy Oram
October 21, 2011

Joining the pilgrimage that all institutions are making toward wider data use, FLOSS Manuals is exposing more and more of the writing process.

Wrap-up from FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google

By Andy Oram
October 21, 2011

Mixtures of grassroots content generation and unique expertise have existed, and more models will be found. Understanding the points of commonality between the systems will help us develop such models.

Top Stories: October 17-21, 2011 - The joys of animated geo data, Angry Birds and the future of mobile testing, and a look inside The Guardian's creative process.

Top Stories: October 17-21, 2011 - The joys of animated geo data, Angry Birds and the future of mobile testing, and a look inside The Guardian's creative process.
By Mac Slocum
October 21, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Andy Kirk explained why data, maps and animation work so well together, we discovered the connection between a game-playing robot and the future of mobile app testing, and we learned how The Guardian develops its data journalism.

Building books for platforms, from the ground up - Jon Feldman on "Speakeasy Cocktails" and a new approach to content development.

Building books for platforms, from the ground up - Jon Feldman on
By Jenn Webb
October 19, 2011

In this interview, Open Air Publishing's Jon Feldman says publishers aren't truly embracing digital and are simply pushing out flat electronic versions of print books. He talks about the development of "Speakeasy Cocktails" and how it embraces the rich ebook experience.

Day one of FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 19, 2011

Four teams at Google launched into endeavors that will lead, less than 72 hours from now, to complete books on four open source projects.

Six ways to think about an "infinite canvas" - How would content look, feel and act in an unlimited space?

Six ways to think about an
By Peter Meyers
October 18, 2011

Imagine a canvas that's elastic and infinite. Now consider the content that could exist in this domain. How would it work? How would you interact with it? Pete Meyers considers these questions and more.

FLOSS Manuals sprint starts at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 18, 2011

Four free software projects have each sent three to five volunteers to write books about the projects this week. Along the way we'll all learn about the group writing process and the particular use of book sprints to make documentation for free software.

Top Stories: October 10-14, 2011 - The obstacles of indoor navigation, "Moneyball" for software engineers, and a call for hyperlinking restraint.

Top Stories: October 10-14, 2011 - The obstacles of indoor navigation,
By Mac Slocum
October 14, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Nick Farina explained why smartphones have yet to crack the indoor navigation problem, we explored the relationship between "Moneyball" and software engineering, and Pete Meyers looked at the pros and cons of links in ebooks.

When content customization is baked in, ownership trumps access - Corey Pressman addresses the digital-era quandary of ownership versus access.

When content customization is baked in, ownership trumps access - Corey Pressman addresses the digital-era quandary of ownership versus access.
By Jenn Webb
October 11, 2011

For existing ebook converts already untethered from the symbolic function of a book collection, access to content is quite compelling, says Exprima Media's Corey Pressman. But he says for personalization and customization, ownership is important.

Linking in ebooks: How much is too much? - Ebook hyperlinks don't always lead to a smooth reading experience.

Linking in ebooks: How much is too much? - Ebook hyperlinks don't always lead to a smooth reading experience.
By Peter Meyers
October 11, 2011

Ebook producers must decide if the destinations behind embedded links are worth the disruptions they might cause.

TOC Frankfurt launches with a global ebook market survey - Free report: "The Global eBook Market: Current Conditions & Future Projections"

TOC Frankfurt launches with a global ebook market survey - Free report:
By Jenn Webb
October 10, 2011

"The Global eBook Market" survey examines how the main drivers of digital change in the publishing industry impact emerging ebook markets across Europe, Brazil and China.

Four short links: 28 September 2011 - Future Tech, Book Lawsuits, Site Design, and Sundae Problems

By Nat Torkington
September 28, 2011

Russell Davies: Four Thought (audio) -- some very nice thinking on the future of technology. The Fight Over the Future of Digital Books (The Atlantic) -- Authors Guild v. HathiTrust is a strange legal twist. For an association of professional writers, the Guild seems to have forgotten some of the basic principles of its craft, such as not placing...

Pictures that propel prose - How illustrations and a clear path can enhance a story.

Pictures that propel prose - How illustrations and a clear path can enhance a story.
By Peter Meyers
September 27, 2011

A clear reading path isn't always a bad thing. Here's an example where imagery advances the narrative and guides the reader along a defined trajectory.

Four short links: 27 September 2011 - Source Code, SPDY Trials, Data from Facebook, and Voting Tools

By Nat Torkington
September 27, 2011

Phabricator -- Facebook-built web apps that make it easy to write, review, and share source code. (via Simon Gianoutsos) The Slow Way to SPDY -- attempting to actually try SPDY for yourself sounds like a nightmare as getting hold of a stable SPDY implementation at this point is not unlike an uphill climb on a slow mudslide - the...

Top Stories: September 19-23, 2011 - True data over big data, community building through data, and the choreography of digital design.

Top Stories: September 19-23, 2011 - True data over big data, community building through data, and the choreography of digital design.
By Mac Slocum
September 23, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Alistair Croll explained why true data is more important than big data, we looked at how BuzzData is building community around datasets, and Liza Daly explained the connection between digital content and choreography.

Publishing News: Survey says publishers continue to miss out on digital opportunities - Aptara’s latest survey is out, news organizations as ebook publishers, and a recipe site that works like I

Publishing News: Survey says publishers continue to miss out on digital opportunities - Aptara’s latest survey is out, news organizations as ebook publishers, and a recipe site that works like I
By Jenn Webb
September 23, 2011

The Third Annual eBook Survey of Publishers was released this week. Also, news organizations continue to venture into ebook publishing, and the KeepRecipes site may be the most useful online recipe organizer yet.

The problem with deep discount ebook deals - Deep discounts need to be associated with some sort of return.

The problem with deep discount ebook deals - Deep discounts need to be associated with some sort of return.
By Joe Wikert
September 23, 2011

Joe Wikert says publishers should move away from one-product deep discount campaigns and start thinking about how to build a much more extensive relationship with customers.

Textbooks should not be consumed in isolation - How Inkling brings a community of learners into the textbook experience.

Textbooks should not be consumed in isolation - How Inkling brings a community of learners into the textbook experience.
By Jenn Webb
September 22, 2011

In this TOC Podcast, Matt MacInnis, founder and CEO of Inkling, talks about how his company is designing textbooks to treat content as one of the ways to learn from the book.

Papercut has designs on a new storytelling genre - Papercut looks to create an experience that falls somewhere between text and a movie.

Papercut has designs on a new storytelling genre - Papercut looks to create an experience that falls somewhere between text and a movie.
By Jenn Webb
September 21, 2011

In this TOC podcast, ustwo head of publishing Jonas Lennermo says his company's new iPad product, Papercut, is a publishing platform, a storefront, and a storytelling experiment.

Five digital design ideas from Windows 8 - With Metro, it's clear Microsoft has put a lot of thought into touchscreen design.

Five digital design ideas from Windows 8 - With Metro, it's clear Microsoft has put a lot of thought into touchscreen design.
By Peter Meyers
September 20, 2011

Microsoft's Metro interface offers plenty for digital book designers to study. The best part? Whether or not Microsoft actually ships something that matches their demo, designers can benefit from the great thinking they've done.

If you're a content designer, the web browser will be your canvas - Peter Brantley on designing and thinking browser first.

If you're a content designer, the web browser will be your canvas - Peter Brantley on designing and thinking browser first.
By Jenn Webb
September 12, 2011

The Internet Archive's Peter Brantley discusses the influence of web browsers on content design and the challenges of complex media.

ePayments Week: Financial Times bets on its web app - Financial Times goes all-in on its web app, Flickr puts up fences, and daily deal fatigue sets in.

ePayments Week: Financial Times bets on its web app - Financial Times goes all-in on its web app, Flickr puts up fences, and daily deal fatigue sets in.
By David Sims
September 1, 2011

The Financial Times says subscriber data trumps Apple's reach, Flickr introduces geofencing to keep things private, and the cracks in the daily deal world start to show.

Digital copyright gets further complicated with "levels of rights" - How a freelancer ruling complicates copyright and affects the Google Books case.

Digital copyright gets further complicated with
By Jenn Webb
August 26, 2011

A recent ruling in a case between publishers and freelancers could complicate the Google Books settlement as well. Here, attorney and literary agent Dana Newman explains why.

Searching in ebooks: A unique use case that requires a unique approach - Ereader search tools need to limit disruption and incorporate web search best practices.

Searching in ebooks: A unique use case that requires a unique approach - Ereader search tools need to limit disruption and incorporate web search best practices.
By Peter Meyers
August 19, 2011

The current crop of ereaders handle ebook searching in a variety of ways — some are useful and creative, some aren't. Here, Pete Meyers looks at the state of ebook search and how it can be improved.

Strata Week: Cracking a book's genetic code - Decoding book DNA, parsing Wikipedia with WikiHadoop, and the rise of the "Data Civilization"

Strata Week: Cracking a book's genetic code - Decoding book DNA, parsing Wikipedia with WikiHadoop, and the rise of the
By Audrey Watters
August 18, 2011

BookLamp and the Book Genome Project look to book DNA for smarter recommendations, sorting through Wikipedia's vast data dump gets easier thanks to WikiHadoop, and a timeline from WolframAlpha charts major milestones in data knowledge.

Leaky paywalls and ads: What publishers can learn from the New York Times - How advertising and freemium apply to the book world.

Leaky paywalls and ads: What publishers can learn from the New York Times - How advertising and freemium apply to the book world.
By Joe Wikert
August 18, 2011

Recent analysis of the New York Times' online paywall has put emphasis on advertising and the freemium model. Book publishers may not realize it, but those same things can also apply to their content products.

Four short links: 16 August 2011 - Doctorovian Keynote, Bagcheck Tech, Render Webpages, and Science Reading

By Nat Torkington
August 16, 2011

Cory Doctorow's SIGGRAPH Keynote (BoingBoing) -- the latest from Cory on reforming copyright. Bagcheck Technology -- great list of services and systems used by the Bagcheck folks. Berkelium -- library to render webpages via Google's Chromium web browser. (via Joshua Schachter) Sci Foo Reading List -- Edd Dumbill shared his reading list from Science Foo Camp....

ePayments Week: Who do you trust for mobile payments? - Consumers trust Visa, MasterCard & American Express more than Web-native brands. Also, PayPal researches online game payments, and a quick look

ePayments Week: Who do you trust for mobile payments? - Consumers trust Visa, MasterCard & American Express more than Web-native brands. Also, PayPal researches online game payments, and a quick look
By David Sims
August 11, 2011

A survey by Ogilvy & Mather shows consumers trust Visa, MasterCard & American Express the most, but PayPal beats out Google and Apple. Also, PayPal researches online game payments, and a quick look at smart phone platform market share.

Top Stories: August 1-5, 2011 - Our fragile modern systems, the G+ Effect, and science gets democratized.

By Mac Slocum
August 5, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: The fragility of our modern systems was made clear to Tim O'Reilly during a recent trip, Jonathan Reichental defined the G+ Effect, and we learned what can happen when the barriers to scientific exploration come down.

Sometimes the questions are as enlightening as the answers - 10 digital book questions worth pondering.

Sometimes the questions are as enlightening as the answers - 10 digital book questions worth pondering.
By Peter Meyers
August 5, 2011

If you're willing to accept the ambiguity, an answer of "I don't know" can launch intriguing possibilities. Here, Peter Meyers offers 10 open-ended questions about the shift from print to screen.


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