New Barnes & Noble Nooks & Streaming Video Service & Other Items of Tech Note!

New Barnes & Noble Nooks: On the tablet front, Barnes & Noble introduced two new Nooks on Wednesday; the Nook HD and the Nook HD+. The former is a 7” tablet and the later a 9” tablet. Both tablets have improved screen resolution over previous Nook models. In addition, they are family friendly because they have the capability of allowing up to six people to log in individually and personalize the Nook via their individual log ins. The tablets both have parental controls as well so parents can decide what their children can access e-book and app-wise. Both models will be coming out November 1st and can be pre-ordered from Barnes & Noble now.

Here’s a link to the B&N Nook description page if you’d like to see all the bells and whistles these new tablets offer:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook/379003208

New Barnes & Noble Streaming Video Service: On the video streaming front, B&N announced this week that it is rolling out a video streaming service. This new service will allow Nook owners to rent, buy and view television shows and movies from Barnes & Noble on their Nook tablets.  In addition, this new service, like Amazon’s Instant Video service, will allow people to purchase and view video content on other devices – so you’ll be able to watch B&N videos on your Nook and also, via apps or a software download, to your PC, smartphone, iPad, Galaxy Tab etc.

Here’s a link to a CNET article on the subject titled Nook Video Opens New Chapter for B&N e-Reader:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-57519573-251/nook-video-opens-new-chapter-for-b-n-e-reader/

California Approves Self Driving Cars: On Tuesday (9-25), California Governor Jerry Brown really did sign that law that will allow self-driving cars on California roads!

PC Magazine offers a nice article on the subject titled California Governor Signs Self-Driving Car Bill Into Law – here’s the link:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410180,00.asp

And if you’d rather watch your news – here’s a link to a YouTube video that shows the governor signing the bill with Google co-founder Sergey Brin looking on!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAHdX2I4fuE&feature=player_embedded#!

CNET Reports You Can Sign up for a Free Year of Sirius Internet Radio: CNET has an article on their site today titled Freebie Friday Get A Free Year of Sirius XM Internet Radio; it relays the news that the company know for its Car Satellite Radio service actually offers an Internet Radio service too. The service is similar to Pandora and Spotify in that you can access it via apps on your tablet or smartphone and also via the web. The service usually costs $14.99 per month but right now Sirius is offering a free one year subscription to the service – available for a limited time only. Here’s the link:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57522181-58/freebie-friday-get-a-free-year-of-siriusxm-internet-radio/

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R. 

The Issue of Personal Ownership of Digital Content

The issue of personal ownership of digital content is one of major league importance in my book. In fact, it is so important I’m only going to discuss that one topic today and leave a discussion about the introduction of new Barnes & Noble Nooks, a new Barnes & Noble video streaming service and the fact that the state of California really did pass that law I mentioned in a previous blog posting – the one allowing self-driving cars to drive on the roads of California!  I’m going to leave all those tantalizing tech subjects for tomorrow.

I found a great article on the British tech site onestopclick: Researching Technology Solutions today that discusses personal ownership of digital content which in my opinion is the largest part of the important digital rights pie puzzle today.

And when I use the terminology “digital rights” here I’m not referring to the digital rights management software that digital content creators or rights holders insist be incorporated into their e-books, e-audios (including audiobooks and music) and e-videos – and which blocks people that buy those e-books, e-videos and e-audio titles from being able to listen to or watch those items on any tech device they own – their smartphone, their iPad, their iPod touch, their Android tablet, their PC or Mac etc. instead, I mean the rights of individuals who “purchase” digital content to actually own that digital content.

I think this issue is completely overshadowed by other issues like the rivalry between Amazon, Apple and the Big Six publishers* and is frankly more important that the actual price of e-books. The essential crux of the matter is the fact you cannot currently buy digital content. Instead when you click or tap that buy button to “buy” an e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Apple via the iBook store etc. – you’re not really buying the content instead you’re buying access to it as it if were a piece of software and not a book, video or audio item.

And you’ll notice that I have the words “buy” and “purchase” in quotation marks in those previous two paragraphs…

And the reason for that is because I just want to re-iterate the fact that I’m not sure most people are aware of; but one that being intellectual property advocates those of us working in library land are acutely aware of — the fact that when you click or press the buy button to buy an e-book, an e-audio or an e-video you aren’t really buying that item. Instead, you are buying a license to access that item. So unlike physical formats – print books, DVDs, CDs, LPs etc. you are limited as to what you can do with that digital e-book, e-audio or e-videos. You don’t really own the digital items you buy and thus unlike the physical formats you can’t usually loan them to someone, give them to someone else, donated them to your local library or leave them to your heirs in your will.

This whole situation of the rights of the individual to access books, videos and audios in the digital format is a huge one and I see the licensing, as compared to the purchasing, of those formats to be a huge threat to intellectual freedom.

Think of it this way – say a great classic novel was written today and published in the e-format only – in other words, only as an e-book; and the rights to that work were owned by one large publishing company that decided later on, after a dispute with the estate of the great author who had sadly passed young (think Stieg Larsson) – to pull that e-book from being available for sale and pull e-book versions already purchased by the paying public right off their e-readers so that no one has access to that great work. So just like that – zap! That e-book disappears and the reading public cannot gain access to it.

If you think it can’t happen – it already has! In 2009 Amazon did just that – they deleted copies of the e-book 1984 from purchasers Kindles because Amazon’s didn’t have a license to sell those versions of the e-book titles – despite the fact that the titles were sold by Amazon through the Amazon website!

Now granted, George Orwell’s 1984 is a book that you can find multiple copies of at your public library; however, it still illustrates the point that we need changes in the way copyrights are interpreted in the digital age.

Why shouldn’t you be able to purchase an e-book, really buy it and own it instead of licensing a copy, and later give it to a friend or family member or read it on any device you own instead of being locked into a specific electronic platform?

And that question is the big one I see that doesn’t seem to be mentioned much when the press covers the subject of e-books and disputes over how much large media and publishing companies can charge consumers for them for comes up. The subjects of unfair prices that The Big Six Publishers and Apple claim that Amazon sets and/or the unfair pricing practices that Apple and the Big Six publishers offer customer in the in the U.S. according to the Department of Justice – those subject do frequently pop up in the news; however, if you do a Google news search for “e-book ownership” as I did to find the cool onestopclick article, which cites some solid scholarly sources*2, you’ll find only an occasional article that truly relates to issue of the rights of consumers to buy content print wise (and the so called “Fair Use” doctrine*3) versus digital wise.

And in the last few weeks a story broke that well highlighted this issue and one that, unfortunately, turns out to be untrue. It was reported that the actor Bruce Willis was going to sue Apple because he wanted to be able to bequeath the digital content he purchased from iTunes, in the form of music, videos and e-books, to his daughters and had been told he couldn’t – his license to the content would expire when he did…Now, that story is untrue but it does illustrate the point – you don’t own the digital content you buy – and we should all speak up and start telling publishers, media companies and our legislators that we the people want to own the e-books, e-audios and e-videos we buy when we click or tap on that buy button!

If you missed the 2009 story about Amazon deleting copies of 1984 from Kindle owner’s Kindles – here’s the link to a New York Times tech blog article on the subject:

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/some-e-books-are-more-equal-than-others/

And that onestocpclick article, the one that got me going on this subject today, is titled Digital Ownership: why you don’t own the content you buy; it was written by Kerry Butters and originally posted yesterday (9-25-12) on the onestopclick website.

Here’s the link:

http://www.onestopclick.com/topic/228/649/digital-ownership-why-you-dont-own-the-content-you-buy.html

Have a great day!

Linda R.

 *1) The Big Six Publishers are the six largest publishers in the United States today: Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan, HarperCollins & Hachette. And I have to briefly note that one of those Big Six Publishers offers e-books for unrestricted licensing sale to public libraries – Random House – of course they charge libraries about $85-$100 for new e-book best sellers but then that is another blog posting…

*2) The largest solid/scholarly report on the subject – which is cited in the onestopclick article is titled The Hargreaves Report and was done by Professor Ian Hargreaves of Cambridge University who offers justification as to why it is so necessary to intellectual freedom and economic growth to get copyright law caught up with the digital times…You might want to check it out – there is a link to it within the onestopclick article or you can access it at the following link:

 http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview-finalreport.pdf

*3) Here’s a link to an official explanation of what the term copyright related term“fair use” means – offered by the U.S. Copyright Office at the following link:

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

 

 

 

Tablets Gaining in Popularity & iPod Touch Gateway to Apple Product Adoption

Hi everyone, I’ve got two related tech subjects to bring to your attention today! The first subject is the growing adoption of tablets like the iPad, Galaxy Tab and Google Nexus 7 and the second, and related article, is on the subject of how purchasing an iPod Touch can be a gateway to purchasing additional Apple products.

On The Growing Adoption of Tablets: According to the tech site ZDNET one in four tablet owners say that their tablet is now their primary computer. And that fact is not surprising considering that PC sales are falling and tablet sales are growing by leaps and bounds. And I think tablet adoption makes sense for many, many people. Consider that many people only need to use a computer to do light web browsing and send email and tablets are ideal for that! And a tablet is also a Wi-Fi connecting device that can be easily picked up and carried with you which of course is not something you can do with a PC!

For more information click on the following link to access the ZDNET article titled 1 in 4 tablet owners say it is now their primary computer:

http://www.zdnet.com/1-in-4-tablet-owners-say-it-is-now-their-primary-computer-7000004770/

iPod Touch Gateway to Apple Product Adoption: If you follow the mainstream news a part of your day as I do you couldn’t have missed the fact that Apple introduced its new iPhone – the iPhone 5 last week. And tech fan that I am I’m going to publically disclose something non-tech about myself right now. As much as I love Apple products I have never owned an iPhone and I’m not going to by buying the iPhone 5 either. And in answer to the obvious question of “Why not?” it is because of cost. Oh, not the initially cost of the phone one can obtain an iPhone for the reasonable smartphone price of $199 with a cellular contract – my objection is to the price of that aforementioned cellular contract. Now of course I work in a public library surrounded by wired phones each day and I live in a house that is just across town from the library so I don’t need a cell phone to use in my working life*

Having said all of that I do have a device that is very much like an iPhone. It has all the iPhone capabilities except the ability to make cellular phone calls. You can make internet phone calls including Skype calls with it but you have to be in range of a Wi-Fi network. And of course the device I have is an iPod Touch. Now Apple also announced a new iPod Touch (5th generation model) on the same day that it announced the iPhone 5. And the new iPod touch which has a 4” Retina Display and more storage by far than my old 8 GB iPod touch – that is a device I will be buying as soon as it is released in October!

And you might wonder what any of that has to do, specifically, with people purchasing the iPod Touch and then that being a gateway to purchasing additional Apple products…And my answer to that is that I can clearly see why buying an iPod Touch could eventually lead someone to buy more Apple products.

Purchasing an iPod Touch opens up the Internet connected world to a person in a way that a PC really doesn’t. You can use an iPod Touch anywhere you have an Internet connection which is in most restaurants (local ones include McDonalds, Bob Evans & The Central), hotels, in many grocery stores (like Wegmans) and other places of business and you can set it up to be able to access your email, take photos, play your favorite app games, read free library e-books (you don’t need Internet connectivity either once you’ve downloaded the e-book to your iPod), listen to music, listen to audio books, watch videos and do many other things that honestly you can all do on a PC today at least not in the same way… and you can put an iPod in your pocket or purse and easily take it with you!

And then there is the money factor – an iPod Touch is of course a Wi-Fi only device so there is no monthly contract involved. You purchase an iPod Touch and that is it as far as shelling out money for that specific device goes. Granted if you don’t have Wi-Fi set up at home (which is easy to do by the way if you have wired Internet access) then you need to go somewhere else to use Wi-Fi but as I mentioned most restaurants, public libraries and other places of business that people congregate (coffee houses like Starbucks or Barnes & Noble come to mind to) – as increasingly people expect to be able to access Wi-Fi wherever they go.

And then there is the price of the device itself. iPod Touch costs a reasonable price – right now you can buy the 8 GB 4th generation model from Best Buy for $179 or the 16 GB 4th generation version for $199; and the new and improved iPod Touch 5 (which has more bells and whistles) will come in six colors and two storage sizes a 32 GB version for $299 or a 64 GB model for $399 (today the Best Buy site has that 64 GB model listed as available for pre-order for $329)

And as a final thought I think many people who buy an iPod Touch and see what they can really do with it – which is a lot! – they then think “Hmmm, this is a great device but a larger screen would be nice too…and then the upgrade to an iPad which of course has a 9.7” screen. And the entry level iPad (the 2nd generation model) can be purchased for $399. And then if you’re like me and you want a larger screen still – you might just purchase an iMac as those 21.5” and 27” iMac screens are great!

And here the link to the article that inspired me to write glowingly about the iPod Touch – it too is from the ZDNET site and is called The iPod Touch is a Gateway Drug:

http://www.zdnet.com/the-ipod-touch-is-a-gateway-drug-7000004745/

Have a great day everyone!

Linda R.

* I do in fact have a very simple smartphone – it is a Tracfone Samsung LG 800 – a touch screen smartphone. A very basic smart phone to be sure but it only costs me $20 four times a year to have it and it works for me for the few times a year I use it!

Southeast Steuben County Library Tech Programs September 24 – 28, 2012

Hi everyone, here is the listing of the library’s tech programs for this week. If you’re interested in learing about the Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft Publisher, Pintrest or entertainment apps – we’ve got you covered!

And as per usual one-on-one free tech usage sessions made be made with our tech staff by appointment. Just call the Reference Desk at: 607-936-3713 ext. 502 to make an appointment!

And here is the listing of tech events for the week!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012:

BE:Lab- Dream and Create with Pinterest! Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM. Description: Are you one of the many who are absolutely fascinated with PINTEREST?  Join Jenn and the Be:Lab every other Tuesday evening to “Dream & Create with Pinterest!” We’ll do some dreaming while searching for great DIY projects on Pinterest, and we’ll do fun and easy projects that you can take home with you. So come in and Dream & Create with us! Please sign up by calling 607.684.0361 or email belab@stls.org.                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday One Hour Tech Workshop: Microsoft Publisher. Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Introduction to Microsoft Publisher. We’ll look at the templates Publisher comes with that allow one to easily create newsletters, signs, brochures, calendars and greeting cards. Sign up is required by calling (607)936-3713 ext. 502. (A BE:Lab Program).                                                                                                       

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BE:Lab Programming: Microsoft Office Overview. Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Join the BE:Lab and learn the latest features of Microsoft Office 2010.  Learn about “The Ribbon” and how to perform basic tasks in each program offered in Microsoft Office 2010. We encourage you to bring your own laptop if you have Microsoft Office 2010, otherwise we are happy to provide laptops for everyone. Please sign up by calling, 607.684.0361 or email, belab@stls.org. Please let us know if you would like the use of one of our laptops.                                                                                                                                                  

One HourEvening Tech Workshop: Entertainment Apps: Time: 6:00-7:00 PM. Time: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Learn about entertainment apps in different categories for Apple and Android devices: games, movies, music and more. Sign up required by calling (607) 936-3713 ext. 502.

Have a great day!

Linda R.

reimerl@stls.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

For More Information About The Job Fair Click This Link!

For More Information About The Job Fair Click This Link!

The Southeast Steuben County Library in conjunction with CSS Workforce New York, The Corning Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Corning are holding a Work Fair at the library (300 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 101, Corning, NY 14830) on Saturday, September 22, 2012 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Seven local employers will be represented and resume assistance will be available.

So if you’re looking for a job come to the library and check out our first ever Job Fair!

And for additional information, please contact Daniel Porter at 607-937-8337 ext 1106.

Linda R.

What On Earth Is The STLS Digital Catalog Anyway? & Why Is It Exciting? Part II of II!

Getting back to our topic of Wednesday – the answer to the question: “What on Earth is the STLS Digital Catalog anyway?” I’m going to pick up the topic and discuss the e-video and e-music titles you can access through the Digital Catalog. And I’ll start rolling simply by repeating that two of the items patrons can access through the STLS Digital Catalog are videos and music. Both formats can be downloaded and played on a PC and on a number of portable devices.

Regarding On Demand Library E-Videos Consider These Scenarios: It is snow day, or a holiday vacation week, and your four kids and their two friends are off from school and hanging around the house with all the time in the world and nothing to do – or at least that is what they say! The weather outside is, as the expression goes frightful, and they’ve done all the sledding they care to do for the day, played all the games they have on hand and they aren’t interested in watching any DVDs in the house but it is two o’clock in the afternoon and a thus a long, long time before dinner time.

So what do you do? You might suggest they download a new, and free, library e-book from the Digital Catalog to their e-readers or if that doesn’t quite fill the bill for everyone – you might suggest they watch one of the e-videos they can download through the catalog. They can even download different videos to different PCs so they don’t all have to watch the same thing!

Now you might suggest that the two guitar fans in the bunch pick up that old acoustic guitar you have on hand check out the Absolute Beginners: Guitar video – they can play and replay all the step-by-step guitar tricks relayed in the video and have a good time while they’re learning more about how to play that poor neglected guitar.

Or you might suggest your young science buff check out the Astronomy I & II titles, The Amazing Human Body video or the Animals and Insects videos – those videos should hold her attention for a couple of hours.

And your littlest guy at 5 might really like the Big Wheels Rollin’ video which features monster trucks, the video All About Airplanes  or the Busytown video The Biggest Storm Ever which would go along well with the frightful weather!

And your history fan might like the documentary 14 Women – which chronicles the lives of 14 U.S. Senators or the Ancient Civilizations video which tells the story of Ancient Athens and Ancient Greece.

And after you eventually put the kids to bed that night you might want to check out one of the Yoga or fitness videos for relaxation and refreshment! Hmm, perhaps I should check out Super Fat Burning video again…

Regarding On Demand Library E-Music Consider These Scenarios: You’re on a business trip. It has been a very long day and you still have quite a bit of work to do. So you picked up Chinese on your way back to the hotel and as you fire up your laptop you realize that your smartphone battery is dead so you have no tunes to listen to while you’re working.

So what do you do? You could forgo the music but that is no fun! Instead, you might go to the STLS Digital Catalog and download one of the music titles in the catalog to your laptop to sooth you while work! Cocktail Jazz by the Network Music Ensemble is a good one or perhaps After You’ve Gone by Lenny Soloman or American Road by the Tierney Sutton Band – which every title you pick – you’ll be listening to soothing jazz in seconds and you won’t have to pay a dime to do so!

You’ve got your 3-year-old granddaughter with you for the weekend. And she’s a bit bored with her toys and you’re trying to get her interested in the easy reader books you have on hand but she has heard all those stories before…

So what do you do? You might go to the STLS Digital Catalog and check out, and download to your PC, 120 Sing Along Songs for kids or 50 Nursery Rhyme Songs – both are cool kids music albums that you could both enjoy while testing out your singing abilities!

It is a crisp fall evening and you’re hosting a barbeque at your cottage at the lake. You’re serving the excellent barbequed food, wine and other delicious items cafeteria style and every one is going to congregate near a huge bon fire when one of your guests requests you play some blues to go along with the food and good company. And you’ve got music on hand – party CDs, classic rock and a few classical favorites but the blues CDs you own – those you left at home.

So what do you do? You could forgo the blues music but that wouldn’t be any fun! Instead, you might go to the STLS Digital Catalog and download that Charlie Musselwhite album Ace of Harps or the one by Saffire – you know the Uppity Blues Woman – it is called Ain’t Gonna Hush or you could check out All The Way Crazy by Little Charlie & the Nightcats as if ever there was a blues party album, well that one certainly qualifies! Then you can pipe the music from your computer though your sound system and your patio speakers and  wa lah! Blues on tap for all the blues fans at your party!

It is Sunday morning and you’re hosting a family breakfast when your aunt asks you if you have any classical music you might play while the family is eating. Now not being a classical music fan you don’t have any classical music CDs.

So what do you do? Well, you could get our your iPad and buy some classical music from iTunes or you might go to the STLS Digital Catalog and check out the album Abide With Me And Other Favourite Hymns – that album is free and your aunt loves hymns so you’d be all set.

And in closing on the subject of the STLS Digital Catalog, for the moment anyway!  I hope I’ve managed to insert some humor into my examples!

My main point of course is that: library patrons CAN DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOKS, VIDEOS, MUSIC AND AUDIOBOOKS from the STLS Digital Catalog. And if I can show my vintage for a moment – I think that is way cool!

Have a great day!

Linda R.

iOS 6 Released!

Hi everyone, I know I said in yesterdays’ blog posting that I would discuss how you can get free library e-music and e-videos through the STLS Digital Catalog; however, I have been super swamped today and have not gotten a chance to do a thorough job on the subject because I’ve been so busy. 

Sorry about that! However, there is some new tech news I can relay in brief and that is the news that Apple has released the iOS 6 software update.

The New York Times tech journalist David Pogue has written a nice overview of the basic changes and new features includes in this Apple software upgrade.

His article is titled New iOS 6 Loses Google Maps, but Adds Other Features and here’s the link:

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/new-ios-6-loses-google-maps-but-adds-other-features/

Have a great evening everyone!

Linda R.