Thursday, December 28, 2006

Deja Vu All Over Again: Updates on some items

Here are some of the items I was particularly interested in during the first six months of this blog and where applicable I have also looked to supply an update. Among my interests are, a few book announcements, newspapers, publishing supply chain, educational publishing and Steve McQueen.

The Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP) made its debut at the Frankfurt bookfair. ACAP is a protocol that is intended to transmit permissions information to be read by search engines. There were supposed to be pilots announced for by the end of 2006 but so far nothing.

I found in August and thought the model too good to be true. How to print a photo book of up to 240 pages for less than $100. I have now done two books and also finally made the switch to a digital camera so I expect to do many more. Blurb continue to add new features. In my informal tests with people I show the books to, no one has come within $100 of the actual cost and most are several hundred dollars higher. is just one of the companies that represent the individualistic future of publishing.

Book information - specifically book bibliographic data - becomes easier and easier to access without subscribing to a branded product and in August, OCLC launched in beta. The traffic to local library collections funneling through this search box represents excellent news for any local library looking for further exposure of their collection. Who wouldn't want that?

No recent word on John Cleese's History of Comedy that he spoke about in June.

Random House announced that President Bill Clinton would release a new book towards the end of 2007. I find no current reference to the title on although I was amused to see what title did come up on the list at number one (Left).

Rodale also announced that Chuck Schumer would release a new book in early 2007 and sure enough it will be released in late January. Good timing for him.

In June, I wrote that newspapers were the wave of the future. In the intervening months there has been significant upheaval in the newspaper world with the end of Knight Ridder and McClatchy, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times and others all trying to sort it out. I still think newspapers have a significant future as media outlets. The New York Times were represented in my predictions for 2007.

Gary Rautenstrauch was appointed CEO of AMS in May 2007 with the company under SEC investigation. At the time the OTC stock was trading at $4.00 and is now at $2.60 and no new filings have been made that shed 'official' light on the financial irregularities that came to light before Rautenstrauch joined the company. Recent announcements have included notification of an annual meeting scheduled for January 27, 2007 and the appointment of Rautenstrauch and dissident shareholder Robbotti to the board. The same PR also noted the conclusion of a anticipated proxy battle that Robbotti was to have launched at the annual meeting. (And an update 12/29 - AMS announced a bankruptcy filing. I must be clairvoyant).

Lordi, the Finnish winners of the Eurovision Song Fest have gone on to apparent ubiquitous name recognition throughout Europe with their 'monster' pyrotechnic shows. What made this winner unique was their material was not the typical bubbly pop music of old rather some hard core satanic inspired metal. In seeming contradiction to their image however, they had to cancel most of their late summer tour of Spain because some of the band members got the sniffles.

In May the New York times published an article about recently found diaries and a script by Steve McQueen. These will now form the basis of a movie written by Steven McQueen. The movie is produced by his son and god son. Yucatan is scheduled for release sometime in 2007. I can find no word on whether his son will publish any of the material created my McQueen.

During the year, I thought a little about supply chain issues and publishing:

Also, a little about educational publishing:

In November, I set myself a reading challenge; hoping to read five books between November and the end of January. By late December, I have completed The Road, The Emperors Children and The Power of the Dog. The Road was incredible. The Emperor's Children was slow to start but I enjoyed it. The Power of the Dog should have been 100 pages shorter. It was OK but not great.

In November, I also voted for the first time ever.

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