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New Internet Network Ora to Feature Larry King

A new Internet network called Ora is about to be launched and they’ve hired Larry King to fill their interview chair!

The network is being financed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu and will feature programs in both Spanish and English. This is exciting because this Internet network, which states on its website that its mission is to create high quality programming, will be accessible from all Internet connecting devices; so you’ll be able to watch Larry King’s high end interviews on your computer, smart phone, iPad or other tablet.

Here is a link to a New York Times article on the subject:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/new-internet-tv-network-to-feature-larry-king/?ref=technology

Another link to a Forbes article on the subject:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2012/03/12/carlos-slim-talks-about-the-backdrop-to-the-new-internet-tv-network-featuring-larry-king/

And finally the link to the official ORA website:

http://ora.tv/

Linda R.

Wildly Off Topic But Fun Post!

This has absolutely nothing to do with technology; unless of course you count the fact that it regards a clip on YouTube. It is just one of those this-topic-is-wildly-off-the-subject-of-this-blog-but-is-cool-and-I-thought-I’d-share-it postings!

One the library’s favorite patrons’ computer and music fan Everett Brazie just celebrated his 90th birthday.

And to commemorate the occasion his son filmed the pianist extraordinaire playing the piano and uploaded the clip to YouTube.

So HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY to Mr. Brazie in capital letters!

And for everyone else; enjoy the clip of this wonderful pianist celebrating his birthday in top-form style.

Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV8PBALnNTA

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R.

Another Post on E-Books!

As you may know the subject of e-books is a hot topic in library land.

Here’s some background information that you may not know about e-books though; when e-books first became popular, after the original Kindle took off in 2007, the booksellers set the prices of the e-books which is also the way print books have traditionally been sold. And thus initially most new bestsellers were priced at $9.99 by the two largest sellers of e-books Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Then in 2010 when Apple was readying the first iPad to go on sale; Apple suggested to publishers that they could sell their e-books through the Apple (iBooks) Store via an “Agency Model” which lets the publishers set the price of the e-books and does not allow booksellers to discount e-book titles at all and not only did the Big Six publishers agree but the demanded that all e-book sellers comply with the plan and thus took away the option for e-book sellers to discount their e-books.

I know from personal experience that when I bought my first e-book reader in 2009, the price of e-book bestsellers was usually $9.99 and back catalog titles of popular author’s works usually were a bit less than that running in the $5.99-$7.99 range. And after the Agency Model was adapted by the largest publishers in the country new e-books were bumped up in price and now usually cost $12.99 to $14.99. And back catalog titles by established popular authors are usually seen priced at $9.99.

With that in mind, it is not surprising that the Justice Department launched an anti-trust investigation into e-book pricing via the Agency Model and has come to the conclusion that the pricing of e-books via this model; the model that Apple and five of the Big Six Publishers (Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) have adopted, violates U.S. anti-trust laws. A discussion between the Justice Department, Apple and those five publishing companies is continuing in an attempt to settle the matter before the Justice Department instigates a lawsuit to settle the matter.

Here’s a link to a New York Times article titled Government Pressuring Publishers to Adjust Pricing Policy on E-Books that offers an overview of the situation:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/government-pressuring-publishers-to-adjust-pricing-policy-on-e-books/?ref=technology

Linda R.

 

 

New NPR Music App, New iPad & New Apple TV

NPR has finally put out an app for iPad that is a separate entity from the general NPR app. So if you like music you’ll want to check out this app! NPR Music focuses on all kinds of music from classical and pop to jazz and country and the app is free!

Here’s a link to an article on the NPR website which discusses this cool, new app:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/02/15/146817095/npr-music-launches-new-ipad-app-with-a-little-help-from-the-shins

And today, Apple announces its third generation iPad simply called iPad. This new iPad includes a stunning retina display, an improved camera, HD video recording, a faster processer and 4G capability.

Here is a link to a CNET article that discusses the new iPad:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57390836-37/apples-new-ipad-hands-on/?tag=TOCcarouselMain.0

And here’s a link to another CNET article on the new Apple TV which will also be upgraded and support 1080 HD video:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57390999-37/new-apple-tv-delivers-1080p-updated-interface/

The new iPad and Apple TV are available for pre-order and will go on sale March 16.

Linda R.

Kindle Singles – A New Form of Digital Journalism

If you’re not familiar with Kindle Singles* they are short works of fiction and non-fiction found in Amazon’s Kindle Store that are intended to be read by the reader in one sitting.

And among the many Kindle Singles are some excellent works that focus on current events. And in relation, one of the great things about this new type of literary work is that journalists can quickly write up essays or short pieces regarding current events, as they are unfolding, and then quickly digitally publish their works. So youdon’t have to wait months to read a new work relating to a current event; you can actually read a Kindle Single about the event while it is still a current event!

And another good thing about these short literary works is the price. Most of them are priced at less than five dollars.

For example, consider the top five works on Amazon’s List of the Best of 2011: Kindle Singles list:

The Saint by Oliver Broudy – Price: $1.99

Blood on the Tracks by Cecelia Holland – Price: $1.99

Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer – Price: $2.99

Let the Great Axe Fall by Robert Blecker – Price: $1.99

The heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield – Price: $0.99

Not one of those titles costs more than $2.99!

In relation, the New York Times has an article on this subject today titled Electronic Mini-Books That Allow Writers To Stretch Their Legs and it discusses this subject and offers additional suggestions for great Kindle Single works including John Hooper’s Fatal Voyage: The Wrecking of the Costa Concordia ($1.99) and Death Comes to Happy Valley: Penn State and the Tragic Legacy of Joe Paterno ($1.99).

Check it out!

Here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/books/kindle-singles-genre-between-magazine-articles-and-books.html?_r=1&ref=books

*Note: There are other publishers that put out e-singles and a few of them are mentioned in the New York Times article.

Linda R.

25 Billion Apps!

For those of you familiar with the iPad and iPhone this will come as no surprise and for everyone else it will offer an illustration of why the iPad and iPhone arei so popular. This past week someone downloaded the 25thbillion app from Apple’s App Store.

And for those of you who might not be very familiar with the iPad or iPhone just a brief explanation of why this is signification and honestly, why it is fun!

The iPad and iPhone are so popular for two reasons; firstly, the devices themselves are wonderful to use – they offers a very sensitive touch screen with a great display although granted the iPad has the larger screen! And secondly, there are a great variety of apps that can be downloaded and used on the iPad and iPhone.

There are apps (short for software application and akin to the icons found on a PC) for almost everything under the sun. There are apps for buying e-books and interactive books, reading free library e-books, apps for listening to personalized music and radio stations from across the globe, apps for knitting, cooking and crafting, apps for playing games of all kinds, apps that offer tips on how to play the sport of your choice, apps for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Smithsonian among other news related apps; there are apps that offer new movie trailers and movie show times, sports news and even apps that rate apps just in case youdon’t have time to browse through all the thousands of apps in the App Store!

And just as the iPad and iPhone are so popular so too are the apps; in fact that apps are so popular that even though Apple’s App Store has only been in operation since 2008 it has just seen the 25th billion app downloaded!

Here is a link to a CNET article on the subject!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57390111-37/apples-app-store-25-billion-downloads/

And in relation, if you’d ever like to see what an iPad looks like and how it works — stop by the library! We have iPads for in-house use and would be happy to show you how easy it is to use one.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

Linda R.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore & iRobot

I am a super huge fan of the library blog Will Unwound which is hosted by the retired librarian and Booklist columnist Will Manley, and is found online at http://willmanley.com/

And in relation, this week Will’s weekend post highlights a really cool video that anyone who loves books and libraries will find fun! It is called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and is located at the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNjtZ5V4P-c

And if you’re thinking to yourself what on earth does that have to do with technology…My answer is not much! It is one of those I-thought-I’d-share-this-cool-info that is widely off the tech topic of this blog things. Feel free to do the same! Conversations and feedback are always welcome in library land!

And on to a tech note! Do you remember Rosie the Robot maid in the Jetsons cartoons?

Well the technology is catching up with that futuristic vision!  A company named iRobot, which puts out circular robotic vacuum cleaners that do indeed clean your floors on their own, has just developed a new robot called Ava that uses a tablet computer for a brain and could potentially be an office or house hold assistant. The New York Times website has a neat article about the iRobot company and the Ava. The article is found at the following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/03/technology/for-irobot-the-future-is-getting-closer.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=technology

Enjoy your weekend!

Linda R.