Tuesday, December 20, 2011

MediaWeek (Vol 4, No 51): ChromeBooks, Durrell eBooks, Hitchens & Dogs, Unbound & Vogue

Google's Chrome Lending program is set for a series of tests (DigitalTrends);
Google has been working with public libraries recently in order to circulate its Chromebook concept. At least three libraries have been working towards lending out Chromebooks to patrons for a period of time.
Most notably, the Palo Alto, California Library will begin making Chromebooks available for loan in January; patrons will be able to check-out the Google devices for up to one week. The pilot project is a first-of-its-kind, though the library had previously made Windows laptops as well as Chromebooks available to patrons in the Downtown, Main and Mitchell Park libraries for two-hour checkouts with library cards.
Along with Palo Alto, September brought Chromebooks to New Jersey’s Hillsborough Library where patrons were allowed to use the netbooks for four-hour time slots, with an additional two-hour renewal period. Also, Wired points out the Multnomah County Library has been testing 10 Chromebooks at five libraries in Portland, Oregon, though patron’s access has been limited and supervised.

I had to read a Gerald Durrell book in middle school (in Oz).  News his titles are being released in eBook format (Telegraph):
Pan Macmillan has launched a new digital imprint offering 10 Durrell titles as e-books, with five to follow in the New Year. The mixture of fiction and non-fiction includes Beasts In My Belfry, Catch Me A Colobus and Ark On The Move - the latter inspired a television series of the same name.
The advent of e-books could be a godsend for authors whose books are no longer in print. While reissuing backlists as physical books is a costly process, reviving them for Kindles and other e-readers is comparatively cheap.

Pan Macmillan is billing its new imprint, Bello, as a means of “reviving 20th century classics for a 21st century audience”. Other authors on the launch list include Vita Sackville-West and DJ Taylor.
Christopher Hitchens in quotes from The Telegraph: My favorite:
“[O]wners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realise that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” 
Is Unbound books the next big thing?  (Or was it based on all those stories last year?)  Here's the crux of the issue from the Observer:
So far, the company has had nine books funded (of which only Jones's and Fischer's have actually been published), with another 10 in the pledging phase, including a sci-fi novel by Red Dwarf star Robert Llewellyn. Traffic has been impressive: last month, the site attracted more than 200,000 unique users. Pollard reports that interest from authors has been "huge". And, surprisingly, agents have been enthusiastic.
If you are into fashion then perhaps you would want to subscribe to the new Vogue content database (NYT)
There are roughly 2,800 issues in the archive (Vogue was published weekly until 1912, and has been monthly, with the exception of some war years, only since 1973) and so it holds the potential for endless examination. The entire contents are searchable, so it is possible, for example, to see all of its Cher covers at once. (There were five, all published between 1972 and 1975.)
The covers alone provide a window into the evolving design of Vogue and its distinct looks under different editors: the elegant, iconic and occasionally abstract or surreal covers of Edna Woolman Chase; the frosted confections of Diana Vreeland; the peppy close-ups of models’ faces from the Grace Mirabella years; the celebrities in lavish settings from Anna Wintour.
Vogue, which developed the site with the trend-forecasting company WGSN, has positioned it for professional use, with an annual subscription price of $1,575. (Vogue provided temporary access for review purposes.) For designers or scholars researching fashion history, or, paradoxically, for those nostalgic for the way magazines used to be before the Internet, it may be worth the price. I could tell you more, but I am currently distracted by an article from Nov. 15, 1949, called “When I Entertain,” by Wallis Windsor.
From Twitter:

Georgia O'Keeffe's visit to Hawaii

Cal Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg proposes slashing textbook prices via legislation.LINK

OCLC Report: Libraries at Webscale, by Michael Cairns

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