Sunday, May 03, 2009

Media Week 18: Amazon, OCLC, Springer, RFID launches subscription payments functionality for third parties (Amazon Blog via PB)
We are very excited to announce that more than 25 providers, including CardinalCommerce, Miva Merchant, Magento, ShopVisible, Mercantec, and Zoovy will be supporting Amazon Payments as part of their offerings. In addition, Convio, a software and services provider to the nonprofit community, is integrating Amazon Payments into its fundraising platform to enable its client base to accept alternate payment methods for online donations. Plug-ins for widely-used open source e-commerce platforms, such as osCommerce and ZenCart, are also now available for quick and easy integration with Amazon Payments.
Informa moves domicile for tax reasons and also looks to raise cash via rights issue (TimesOnline):

Informa, the publisher behind Lloyd's List, is to desert Britain for Switzerland to avoid “double taxation” controversially introduced by Alistair Darling for profits earned overseas.

The move, announced as the debt-laden company also said that it would tap shareholders in a £242 million rights issue, will save Informa an extra charge of about £10 million a year, based on last year's profits.

Discussion over RFID use in Libraries. Some commentary on placing bibliographic data on the RFID chip which seems to me to be a disastrous idea. RFID Blog:
The question of “what goes on the tag” has been occupying the list quite a bit this week. Prompted by an enquiry from Helen Jarvis at the University of Kent I wrote a short reply to try and explain my assertion that adding bibliographic data to tags was not necessarily a good idea. My invitation for someone to “tell me I’m an idiot” was enthusiastically accepted by Ivar Thyssen, Export Manager of PV Supa, who suggests that placing any bibliographic data on tags is, in fact, illegal.

I must confess that this came as something of a surprise to me but not as much of a surprise at it will be to those libraries that have already begun adding bibliographic data to tags. We’ll have to see how Ivar’s assertions stand up under scrutiny, since he has been invited to provide backing for this claim by Brian Green Executive Director of the ISBN agency but if he’s right the rules have just changed again.
OCLC announces a report: Online Catalogs, What Users and Librarians Want.. Selected key research findings:
  • The end user’s experience of the delivery of wanted items is as important, if not more important, than his or her discovery experience.
  • End users rely on and expect enhanced content including summaries/abstracts and tables of contents.
  • An advanced search option (supporting fielded searching) and facets help end users refi ne searches, navigate, browse and manage large result sets.
  • Important differences exist between the catalog data quality priorities of end users and those who work in libraries.
  • Librarians and library staff, like end users, approach catalogs and catalog data purposefully. End users generally want to fi nd and obtain needed information; librarians and library staff generally have work responsibilities to carry out. The work roles of librarians and staff infl uence their data quality preferences.
  • Librarians’ choice of data quality enhancements refl ects their understanding of the
    importance of accurate, structured data in the catalog.
The Economist reports on standards efforts in the Cloud Computing world:
Just as predictably, the leaders in cloud computing are absent from the list of supporters: Amazon, an online retailer that has successfully branched out into computing services; Google, which is not only a huge cloud unto itself but has built a cloud-computing platform for use by others;, the biggest provider of software-as-a-service; and Microsoft. Indeed, it was an executive at the world’s biggest software firm, Steven Martin, who first leaked the manifesto, complaining that it had been drawn up in secret. “It appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing,” he wrote in a blog.
Speculation on which Private Equity firms may be interested in an investment in Springer (FT):

Leading private equity groups are competing to inject about €400m ($530m) of equity into Springer Science and Business Media, the German academic publisher, which is looking to sell a stake of as much as 49 per cent.

Blackstone, CVC Capital Partners and TPG are all considering submitting first-round bids, due by next month.

Other groups mulling over a bid are: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Hellman & Friedman, Carlyle, EQT and Providence Equity Partners.

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