Sony Announces New E-Book Reader, the Reader Daily Edition, Plus Library Finder Application

Posted in E-Books on August 25th, 2009

Sony has announced a new e-book reader, the Reader Daily Edition, and the Library Finder application.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Delivering on its promise to give consumers a variety of choices, Sony today announced the third member of its new Reader family – the Reader Daily Edition™, a highly-anticipated wireless model with 3G connectivity. The Daily Edition caps its new line of Reader products, joining the Reader Pocket Edition™ and the Reader Touch Edition™ which were announced earlier this month.

The Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition are available immediately, and the Reader Daily Edition will be available this December in time for the holidays at SonyStyle stores and SonyStyle.com. . . .

The Reader Pocket Edition sports a five-inch electronic paper display packaged in a stylish chassis and is available in a variety of colors, including navy blue, rose and silver. It is available for the ground-breaking price of $199, making it the most affordable dedicated reading device on the market.

The Reader Touch Edition features a responsive, menu-driven six-inch touch screen panel that enables quick, intuitive navigation, page turning, highlighting and note taking with the swipe of a finger or by using the included stylus pen. It comes in red, black or silver and retails for about $299.

The Reader Daily Edition gives consumers wireless access via AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network to Sony's eBook store from just about anywhere in the U.S. Book lovers will be able to browse, purchase and download books as well as select newspapers and magazines when and where they want. There are no monthly fees or transaction charges for the basic wireless connectivity and users still have the option to side load personal documents or content from other compatible sites via USB.

The seven-inch wide, touch screen display provides for intuitive navigation and comfortable layout of content, including newspapers and magazines, whether you're reading in portrait or landscape orientation. In portrait mode, about 30-35 lines of text are visible, making the experience very similar to that of a printed paperback book. A high contrast ratio with 16 levels of grayscale ensures that text and images are crisp and easy to read. The Daily Edition also boasts an attractive aluminum body with an integrated cover for durability. It has enough internal memory to hold more than one thousand standard eBooks and expansion slots for memory cards to hold even more. It will sell for about $399.

All three models feature Sony's award-winning industrial design and an E Ink® Vizplex™ electronic paper display that emulates the look of ink on paper. Sony's eBook Library software 3.0, which now includes support for many Apple® Macintosh® computers as well as PCs, makes it easy to transfer and read any Adobe® PDF (with reflow capability), EPUB, Microsoft® Word®, BBeB® files, or other text file formats on the Reader. . . .

Today also marks the launch of Sony's Library Finder application. Sony, working with OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and to libraries, will now offer visitors to the eBook Store by Sony easy access to their local library's collection of eBooks. Thousands of libraries in the OverDrive network offer eBooks optimized for the Sony Reader, and visitors can now find these libraries by typing their zip code into the Library Finder. Through the selected library's download website, visitors can check out eBooks with a valid library card, download them to a PC and transfer to their Reader. At the end of the library's lending period, eBooks simply expire, so there are never any late fees.

Read more about it at "Sony to Link Readers with Libraries, Allow E-Book Borrowing" and "Sony Unveils New High-End Reader Daily Edition, Expanded Library Partnership."

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    Six TexTreasures Digitization Grants Awarded

    Posted in Digitization, Grants on August 25th, 2009

    The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has awarded digitization grants to six TexShare member libraries.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release :

    The exciting projects that have been funded are:

    • "Houston Oral History Project" ($25,000) – The Houston Public Library is partnering with Houston Mayor Bill White to preserve and make the video-recordings of significant Houstonians available on the web. This grant will convert an additional 288 hours of audiotapes from cassette or reel-to-reel to digital format along with transcripts for the collection.
    • "The Bexar Archives" ($19,930) – The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin will create a research tool, called Bexar Archives Online, which joins digital images of the original Spanish documents with the corresponding English-language translations.
    • "Marion Butts Photography Negatives Project" ($17,571) – The Dallas Public Library will use the photographic records produced by Marion Butts, an African-American photographer and editor of the Dallas Express, as well as other primary source materials such as maps, Negro city directories and oral histories to develop a series of online Texas-focused, TEKS-based lesson plans targeting seventh grade students. The records chronicle Dallas and Texas history during the segregation and civil rights eras.
    • "Lady Bird Johnson Photo Collection Project" ($16,610) – The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin will digitize and provide access to a unique collection of photographs of Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson. She is the wife of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was born in Karnack, Texas. As the First Lady of the United States from 1963-69, she was an advocate for nature, beautification and conservation of natural resources. Most of the photographs in this collection date after her return to Texas.
    • "Itinerant Photographer Collection" ($14,389) – The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin will preserve and digitize a collection of glass plate negatives depicting local businesses owners and employees in Corpus Christi, which were taken by an unidentified photographer in February 1934 during the Depression. The center will provide an online finding aid, an online catalog record and an online exhibit of the fragile items now in danger of emulsion loss.
    • "Tejano Voices Project" ($6,500) – The University of Texas at Arlington Library will digitize and describe 13 oral history interviews from notable Tejanos and Tejanas from across Texas conducted in 1992-2003 by Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez, associate professor of political science at UT Arlington. Many of the interviews emphasize the personal struggles, from individuals of Mexican decent, who are the first in their communities elected or appointed to government offices. The interviews also reflect the history of the Tejano community as it pressed for an end to racial segregation in the state and access to political power in the post-WWII period.
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      Digital Archivist at Yale

      Posted in Digital Library Jobs on August 25th, 2009

      The Yale University Library is recruiting a Digital Archivist.

      Here's an excerpt from the ad (STARS Requisition number: 8022BR):

      Purpose: Reporting to the Senior Archivist for Digital Information Systems/Head of the University Archives, the Digital Archivist will join a dynamic group of archivists and helps to ensure effective acquisition, description, preservation, future migration, access to and security of digital component of manuscripts collections acquired by the department. Primary focus will be on the management, appraisal, description, and preservation of born-digital components of manuscripts collections.

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        Publishers Weekly Surveys on the Google Book Search Settlement

        Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 25th, 2009

        In "Unsettled: The PW Survey on the Google Book Settlement," Andrew Richard Albanese summarizes the findings of a survey of readers of Publishers Weekly newsletters about the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.

        Here's an excerpt:

        If there is good news for the architects of the deal, it is that net support for court approval outweighs opposition—overall, 41% of respondents supported approval of the settlement, while 23% opposed the deal. Just weeks before the September 4 deadline for opting out or objecting to the settlement, however, it is notable that more than a third (36%) remain unsure of or indifferent to the settlement. Publishers (52%) support the settlement in the greatest numbers, followed by authors (42%) and librarians (29%).

        In "PW Survey: Librarians On the Fence Regarding Google Settlement," Norman Oder summarizes the findings of a survey of 225 librarians about the settlement.

        Here's an excerpt:

        Regarding court approval of the settlement, 37% said they were unsure, while 29% supported the settlement and 21.5% said they opposed it.

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          Copenhagen Business School Adopts Open Access Policy

          Posted in Open Access, Self-Archiving on August 25th, 2009

          The Copenhagen Business School has adopted an open access policy.

          Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

          If articles are published in publication channels that are not readily accessible to the general public or that require a subscription, copies of the article must be made available through OpenArchive@CBS. If an embargo is required by the publishing house an embargo period of up to one year may be respected.

          In cases where the publisher refuses to allow open access depositing and / or further use of the scholarly work and where the publication in this specific channel is deemed necessary the Research Dean and the CBS Library will handle the demands for opting-out. The individual author must send a written notification to the library which proposes to the dean whether he should grant the opt-out possibility. The articles not archived for this reason must be registered in OpenArchive@CBS with bibliographical information, a short résumé and information about publication channel.

          In the first 3 year period of implementing this policy the questions of opting-out will be dealt with very carefully. The intention of the open access policy is to promote and disseminate as widely as possible the research form CBS not to prevent publishing.

          The Executive Management Team, Heads of Departments and Directors of Centers are expected to actively support and encourage faculty in living up to the principles in this policy.

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            EdSpace: An Educationally Focussed Repository for the University of Southampton. Final Report.

            Posted in Digital Repositories, EPrints, Institutional Repositories, Learning Objects on August 24th, 2009

            JISC has released EdSpace: An Educationally Focussed Repository for the University of Southampton. Final Report..

            Here's an excerpt:

            For some years, digital content has been stored in our VLE, but the VLE does not encourage sharing or re-use. EdShare is intended to act as the storage for the VLE, storing our everyday teaching materials such as presentations, hand-outs, reading lists, assignments etc., so that they can easily be viewed by others and re-used in whole or part as appropriate.

            Important design principles of this share were:

            • Ease of use The share should be open to anyone to access, whether logged-in or not; any logged in member of the university can upload resources and comment on others. The user interface should be simple to use and fully accessible
            • Minimal metadata We acknowledge that requiring metadata is a barrier to use, and that search engines do a large part of the job based on free text. Web 2.0 style recommendations complement the search engines
            • Permanent URLs Every share entered in EdShare, and the description of the resource, are allocated unique and permanent URLs, which can be used to refer to them from external programs – for example VLEs such as Blackboard
            • Open Access to the descriptions, but user controlled access to the content. Anyone in the world can browse or search to discover what items are in EdShare (i.e. they can see the description), but the depositing user can control the visibility of the actual resource. The default is to allow visibility within the university, but it is possible to make the visibility wider (the whole world) or narrower (only my school, or even only the depositor and named collaborators). . . .

            EdShare has been implemented as open source software on top of E-Prints, and the team are committed to working with others in supporting other institutions, or cross-institutional disciplinary consortia, to make both the technical and educational changes that we have benefited from.

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              Peter Sefton on ThesICE (ICE for Theses)

              Posted in Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), Self-Archiving on August 24th, 2009

              In "ICE for Theses (ThesICE), Where We Are We Up To?," Peter Sefton, Manage of Software Research and Development Laboratory at the Australian Digital Futures Institute, discusses ThesICE (ICE for Theses).

              Here's an excerpt:

              Assuming that you have the resources to support ICE, which I’ll cover below there are a few reasons why an institution might want to use it for theses specifically.

              • It provides a well tested general purpose way to design templates, with a standard set of style names, so even if none of the other features appeal ICE templates might. . . .

              • You can present theses in HTML as well as PDF. . . .

                It is possible to deposit from ICE into a repository via SWORD APP; we have plugins for ePrints and Fedora only at the moment, not for Dspace which is what they use at ANU.

              • It provides annotation services . . . If you are running ICE either from a desktop or the server version then you can collaborate via paragraph-level annotations, but at the moment we don’t have a way to do the workflow that would be required to allow examiners to do this. . . .

              • You can integrate data into a document via links, making it Linked Data at least, we have proved the concept on the ICE-TheOREM project, but this would need to be worked out discipline by discipline.

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                "Open Access Publishing on the Semantic Web"

                Posted in Open Access, Publishing on August 24th, 2009

                Richard Cave, PLos IT Director, has made his "Open Access Publishing on the Semantic Web" presentation available on SlideShare.

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                  German Government to File Brief Opposing Google Book Search Settlement

                  Posted in Copyright, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on August 24th, 2009

                  In "Europe Divided on Google Book Deal," The New York Times reports that the German government intends to file a brief in the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement case opposing the settlement as "illegal."

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                    National Diet Library to Digitize Around 920,000 Titles

                    Posted in Libraries, Mass Digitizaton on August 24th, 2009

                    The Japan Times reports that the National Diet Library will digitize around 920,000 titles.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    In Japan, the Copyright Law was revised June 12, enabling the National Diet Library to digitize its books. The fiscal 2009 supplementary budget allocates ¥12.6 billion for digitizing about 920,000 titles or about one-fourth the books owned by the library in one to two years' time.

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                      DigitalKoans Twitter and Digital Scholarship Facebook Updates

                      Posted in Digital Scholarship Publications, Social Media/Web 2.0 on August 23rd, 2009

                      DigitalKoans' tweets now include items from the RSS feeds of both DigitalKoans and Charles W. Bailey, Jr.'s open access Connotea bookmarks.

                      Digital Scholarship now has a Facebook page.

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                        PLoS Currents = E-Biomed 2.0?

                        Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Self-Archiving on August 23rd, 2009

                        In "E-Biomed 2.0?," Richard Poynder discusses PLoS Currents in the historical content of the National Institutes of Health's ill fated 1999 E-Biomed proposal.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        Looking back one is bound to ask: Was the E-Biomed proposal really so radical and, as some at the time argued, dangerous? As Varmus explained in his proposal, papers posted on E-Biomed would get there by one of two routes: "(i) Many reports would be submitted to editorial boards. These boards could be identical to those that represent current print journals or they might be composed of members of scientific societies or other groups approved by the E-biomed Governing Board. (ii) Other reports would be posted immediately in the E-biomed repository, prior to any conventional peer review, after passing a simple screen for appropriateness."

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