If You’ve Got Amazon Prime — You Now Have Access To A New Streaming Music Service!

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Amazon Prime – it a service Amazon offers customers for $99 a year; and it includes free 2nd shipping on items purchased from Amazon, free access to Amazon’s Instant Video Library, one free read of an e-book from Amazon’s Lending Library per month and now free access to the brand new Amazon Prime Music Service. Prime Music looks like its going to be similar to Pandora sans the ads.

Here’s a link to a LA Times article on the new Prime Music Service:

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-amazon-prime-music-service-20140611-story.html

And one that takes you directly to the Amazon Prime Music page:

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=sa_menu_prime_music?ie=UTF8&node=8335758011

And as soon as I have a chance to really check out the Amazon Prime Music Service, which seems to have launched today, I’ll post an update on this blog.

Have a great day!

Linda R.

P.S. Don’t forget we offer free digital literacy assistance by appointment at the library! So if you have a new e-reader, laptop, smartphone or other tech device and are wondering how to use it — call us today to make an appointment — it is free! You can make appointments in person at the library, by phone – Tel: 607-936-3713 and via email: DIGLIT@STLS.ORG

Netflix Adds Account Profiles, Apple’s Next iPad Mini Will Have Retina Display & The Top 5 Free Anti-Virus Softwares

Netflix Streaming Adds Account Profiles: Netflix has just added a new feature to its streaming account settings – the ability to add different profiles. And by “streaming,” as you may well know, I am referring not to the subscription service that has Netflix sending subscribers DVDs through the mail by the Netflix streaming service which allows subscribers unlimited access to the Netflix streaming library of titles 34/7/365 from anywhere they have an Internet connection. And what the fancy computer terminology “profiles” means is I think most simply explained by saying that up until now Netflix streaming subscribers logged into their account and had one list of favorite titles that they saved to watch later and this single list would have to do for everyone in a family so if the Jack the family patriarch loves documentaries and nine-year-old Sally Anne loves  cartoons and they have both saved their favorite videos in the favorites list to watch later – then all those videos would be jumbled together “Dora the Explorer” might be found in between National Geographic and PBS documentaries! And now with the new profiles feature five individual family members can log into the same account have their own favorites list (their own profile list) of titles so all of Sally Anne’s cartoons can be on her list, Jack’s documentaries on his list, all the scientific programs on son Tyler’s list and the dramas can all be on matriarch Jane’s list. So in essence, the streaming Netflix subscription now is like a PC – you can log in under your own profile and customize your favorites list and not see the listing of other videos you aren’t interested in!

Here’s a link to a USA Today article that offers more info on the subject titled “Netflix Adds New Profile Feature;”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/personal/2013/08/01/netflix-adds-new-profile-feature/2603675/

Apple’s Next iPad Mini Will Have Retina Display: The Wall Street Journal’s All Things D reports that Apple suppliers are currently working on components for second generation iPad Mini which will have a Retina display – although this being Apple we are talking about it comes as no surprise that there is not yet a release date for the second generation iPad Mini. However, if Apple follows its refresh pattern from last year just perhaps we will see new iPads this fall.

Here’s a link to the All Thing’s D article which is titled ‘Apple’s Next iPad Mini Will Likely Have ‘Retina’ Display From Samsung;”

http://allthingsd.com/20130801/apples-next-ipad-mini-will-likely-have-retina-display-from-samsung/

The Top 5 Free Anti-Virus Softwares: The tech site Mashable offers a cool list today of five free anti-virus softwares. And if you have a computer and go online at all you really should have a virus protection software on your computer. Of course you can pay for virus protection software and two of the most popular paid softwares are Norton Anti-Virus and McAfee. However, the Mashable list offers five solid, and free, alternatives. Counting them down from the top pick to the fifth the softwares are: 1. AVG Anti-Virus, 2. Comodo, 3. Ad-Aware, 4. Malwarebytes & 5. avast! The Mashable article features a gallery of photos, also known as a slideshow if you’d like to know more – here’s the link:

http://mashable.com/2013/08/01/free-antivirus/

And remember if you need assistance in learning about a personal technology device like an iPad, e-reader or brand new laptop — drop by the library or call us to make an appointment for a free One-On-One session with a member of the library’s tech team!

We’re here to help!

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Fee, Jess. (2013, August 1). 5 Best Free Antivirus Software Options. Mashable. Online. Accessed August 1, 2013. http://mashable.com/2013/08/01/free-antivirus/

Luk, Lorraine. (2013, August 1). Apple’s Next iPad Mini Will Likely Have “Retina” Display From Samsung. All Things D. Online. Accessed August 1, 2013. http://allthingsd.com/20130801/apples-next-ipad-mini-will-likely-have-retina-display-from-samsung/

Apple News: iRadio, DOJ E-Book Case Begins & Upcoming World Wide Developer’s Conference

Most the hot tech news today is really all about Apple! Apple’s rumored to shortly be announced streaming music subscription service iRadio, the U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust lawsuit against Apple for allegedly conspiring with publishers to set higher e-book prices and Apple’s upcoming World Wide Developer’s Conference which will be held next week and during which Apple is known for announcing some new service and/or product.

So basically here’s the Apple news for today!

iRadio: Apple has been long rumored to be working on a streaming music subscription service like Spotify and Pandora. And CNET reports that Apple has reached a deal with the Warner Music group to stream their music titles which leads to speculation that Apple will announce a launch date for their iRadio service at their World Wide Developer’s Conference next week.

Here’s a link to a CNET article on the subject titled “Apple reaches iRadio deal with Warner Music Suggesting WWDC launch:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57587243-93/apple-reaches-iradio-deal-with-warner-music-suggesting-wwdc-launch/

DOJ E-Book Case Begins: Apple was one of the companies, along with five of the Big Six Publishers (the largest six publishers in the U.S.) to be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for e-book price fixing via an anti-trust lawsuit. The five publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan all settled the suite with the DOJ out of court but Apple spokesman insist Apple did not conspire with the previously mentioned publishers to set e-book prices and eliminate competition – particularly competition from the super e-book seller Amazon.

Here’s a link to an article on the subject that offers more in-depth information titled “Trial on E-Book Price-Fixing Puts Apple in Spotlight:”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/technology/e-book-antitrust-case-against-apple-to-begin.html?ref=technology

Upcoming World Wide Developer’s Conference: Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference, which is popular with app makers for obvious reasons, kicks off next Monday, June 10. Apple CEO Tim Cook will give the keynote address at the WWDC and the tech rumor mill is buzzing with ideas as to what new products and/or services Apple will announce during the keynote address. One of the hotly rumored items is some new version of the Apple TV streaming player but other items may include new features of iOS 7 (the next generation of Apple’s mobile operating software for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch), new SIRI (Apple’s voice activated assistant on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) and more. We’ll have to wait until next week to know for sure of course but in the meantime we can speculate!

Here’s a link to an App Advice article titled “WWDC 2013 Countdown One More Thing Apple Should Announce June 10,” that talks about WWDC and the possibility of some type of new Apple TV device:

http://appadvice.com/appnn/2013/06/wwdc-2013-countdown-one-more-thing-apple-should-announce-june-10

And a link to a TechCrunch artilce titled “What To Watch For At WWDC 2013: More Freedom For Developers” that speculates perhaps Apple will allow app developers a bit more freedom in what types of apps and app options Apple will allow in its app store:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/02/what-to-watch-for-at-wwdc-2013-more-freedom-for-developers/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

P.S. And don’t forget if you just bought, or received as a gift a new tablet, e-reader, PC or other tech item and would like to know more about how to use it — you can make an appointment at the library for a free On-On-One tech session and a member of our tech team will show you the digital ropes! Call the Reference Desk at: 607-936-3713 to make an appointment! Did I mention it is a free service the library offers? It is! 

References

Chen, Brian. & Bosman, Julie. (2013, June 2). Trial on E-Book Price-Fixing Puts Apple in Spotlight. New York Times. Online.

Etherington, Darrell. (2013, June 2). What To Watch For At WWDC 2013: More Freedom For Developers. TechCrunch. Online.

Gamet, Jeff. (2013, June 3). DOJ Ebook Price Fixing Trial Against Apple Starts Today. The Mac Observer. Online.  http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/doj-ebook-price-fixing-trial-against-apple-starts-today

Miller, Matthew. (2013, June 3). Apple works out deal with Warner Music; iRadio at WWDC likely. ZDNet. Online. http://www.zdnet.com/apple-works-out-deal-with-warner-music-iradio-at-wwdc-likely-7000016241/

Sloan, Paul. (2013, June 2). Apple reaches iRadio deal with Warner Music, Suggesting WWDC launch. CNET. Online.

Strange, Adario. (2013, June 3). Report: Warner Signs On for Apple iRadio Service. PC Mag. Online. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2419821,00.asp

Wolfe, Brian. (2013, June 3). WWDC 2013 Countdown: One More Thing Apple Should Announce June 10. App Advice. Online.

Cord Cutting Tips, E-Books & Democracy & Tablet Sales To Overtake PC Sales By 2015

Cord Cutting Tips: The USA Today featured an article over the weekend titled “5 things to know before cutting cable” which offers some helpful hints for those considering ditching their cable TV subscriptions to stream video from the Internet to their television sets. The tips include being aware that live TV access is limited, that you really need to purchase two streaming boxes like the Apple TV and the Roku player to get the best access to streaming video content and that you can, if you’re not careful – actually spend more money on buying digital videos for a family then you might if you simply paid for a cable subscription package.

Here’s a link to the article which offers more in-depth information on the subject of cord cutting:

http://usat.ly/19a3rsu

E-Books & Democracy: The New York Times featured an editorial on e-books earlier this month that I wanted to share – I just didn’t want to overwhelm everyone by going on too much about e-books at one time so I waited to share the editorial article. The editorial is by Anthony Marx and is titled “EBooks & Democracy” and in it the author notes the basic reasons why public library access to e-books for all patrons is essential in a democratic nation. For example, he notes that   “E-book readership is rising much faster than readership of print books; digital books could soon be the most popular book format. Readership of our e-books soared 168 percent from 2011 to 2012; print circulation, while much larger, remained constant;” and that “For those who cannot afford to buy downloads, digital books from libraries are essential to improving literacy, civic engagement and the technological facility necessary for economic success.” And the author further notes, in relation, that public libraries are currently hindered in their quest to offer patrons access to all e-books by two major things:

  1. The fact that some publishers won’t sell e-books to public libraries

&

2. That some of the publishers that do sell e-books to public libraries sell them at an exceptionally high price. And as the Acquisitions Librarian at the Southeast Steuben County Library I can tell you that both points are true and that second point – about the high prices – boy is Mr. Marx right on the money with that – I see Random House titles in particular – new e-book titles that cost $85 – $100 for one e-book!

And that is my mini-stand, and of course Anthony Marx’s too, on the e-book owners/public libraries rights band wagon for today!

Here’s the link to the New York Times editorial:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/opinion/e-books-libraries-and-democracy.html

Tablet Sales To Overtake PC Sales By 2015: Bloomberg Business Week offers an article today titled “Tablets Seen Overtaking Personal Computers by 2015” and it discusses the fact that as the price of tablets comes down more and more people are, and will increasingly be, purchasing inexpensive tablets to surf the web, read their email, Skype and play games upon and that as a result tablet sales will surpass the sales of personal computer by 2015 – so I think that is interesting because it shows a shift in how people access information going from accessing information on a computer (desktop or laptop as home or the office) as has been the case since the late nineties to instead accessing that information on a tablet, or smartphone, from anywhere people happened to be at any time of the day or night.

Here’s a link to the article:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-05-28/pc-market-to-decline-7-dot-8-percent-in-2013-as-tablets-smartphones-gain

Have a great day!

Linda R.

P.S. And don’t forget if you just bought, or received as a gift a new tablet, e-reader, PC or other tech item and would like to know more about how to use it — you can make an appointment at the library for a free On-On-One tech session and a member of our tech team will show you the digital ropes! Call the Reference Desk at: 607-936-3713 to make an appointment! Did I mention it is a free service the library offers? It is! 

References

Komando, Kim. (2013, May 24). 5 things to know before cutting cable. USA Today.

Marx, Anthony. (2013, May 1). E-Book and Democracy. New York Times. Online.

Rapaport, Lisa., & Ricadela, Aaron. (2013. May 28). Tablets Seen Overtaking Personal Computers by 2015, IDC Says (1). Bloomberg Businessweek. Online.  

The New Battle For Your TV, Voice Commands & Internet Connecting Glasses (Like Google Glass) May Be Mainstream Within Three Years

It has been super swamped today in library land thus a shorter than usual Tech Talk posting!

However, I have come across three cool articles I wanted to share!

  1. The New Battle For Your TV: New online/streaming consoles are coming Microsoft and Sony (Xbox One & PlayStation 4) later this year that will have more bells and whistles and do their best to merge the best of streaming boxes like the Roku player and Apple TV with gaming consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation. The tech site The Verge has a neat article on this very subject titled “With Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Microsoft and Sony rekindle the war for your TV” – here’s the link:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4351892/xbox-one-playstation-4-comparison-sony-microsoft-next-generation

  1. Voice Commands: Both Apple and Android tablets and smartphones now have the capability for you to enter voice commands (i.e. Apple’s Siri) and according to CNET this year may just be the year this technology becomes mainstream and integrated into our daily lives.

Here’s a link to the CNET article titled “2013 Is The Year Of The Voice Command:”

http://news.cnet.com/8301-33617_3-57585521-276/2013-is-the-year-of-the-voice-command/

  1. Internet Connecting Glasses (Like Google Glass) May Be Mainstream Within Three Years: And the tech site Slash Gear offers an article on Internet connecting glasses like Google Glass – the article speculates that within three years this technology, like the voice command technology, will become mainstream and be integrated into our daily lives.

The Slash Gear article is called “Wearables like Glass and Flex could be a $50bn industry in 3 years” – here’s the link:

http://www.slashgear.com/wearables-like-glass-and-flex-could-be-a-50bn-industry-in-3-years-21282924/

 

Have a great day!

Linda

References

Davis, Chris. (2013, May 21). Wearables like Glass and Flex could be a $50bn industry in 3 years. Slash Gear. Online.

Parr, Ben. (2013, May 21). 2013 is the year of the voice command: Thanks to Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nuance and a few other tech giants, voice recognition has reached a place where it’s consumer ready. CNET. Online.

Welch, Chris. (2013, May 21). With Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Microsoft and Sony rekindle the war for your TV. The Verge. Online.

 

P.S. And don’t forget if you just bought, or received as a gift a new tablet, e-reader, PC or other tech item and would like to know more about how to use it — you can make an appointment at the library for a free On-On-One tech session and a member of our tech team will show you the digital ropes! Call the Reference Desk at: 607-936-3713 to make an appointment! Did I mention it is a free service the library offers? It is! 

 

News From Google’s Developer’s Conference & iTunes Gets An Update

News From Google’s Developer’s Conference: Google is hosting its annual developer’s conference this week and PC Magazine has a slide show of what it describes as “The 10 most exciting things Google announced at I/O.” Those new and exciting things include hands free Google search, a new subscription music service (like Pandora) called “All Access,” the ability to send people money by Gmail and an updated Google Hangout app (it has more of the proverbial bells and whistles).

Here’s a link to the PC Magazine article and slideshow:

http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/311550/the-10-most-exciting-things-google-announced-at-i-o

And the New York Times offers an article today that relays the fact that more apps are now available for the Internet connecting Google Glass glasses. The new apps are: CNN, Elle, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Evernote. Here’s a link to the Times’ article which is titled “New Apps Arrive on Google Glass:”

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/new-apps-arrive-on-google-glass/?ref=technology

iTunes Gets An Update: Apple rolled out an iTunes update today – not a major revamp of the software like the one we saw last fall but instead an update with incremental improvements including a new and jazzy mini player and a fix for the multi-disc album issue – and by that I simply mean that if, for example, you import your two disc version of Billy Joel’s Great Hits into iTunes by putting the disc themselves into your computer – iTunes will no longer treat each disc as a separate disc but instead will put all the songs together where they belong – under the album title. Here’s a link to a Digital Trends article on the iTunes upgraded titled “iTunes 11.3 Arrives With New Miniplayer And Improved Multi-Disc Support:”

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/itunes-11-03-arrives-with-new-miniplayer-and-improved-multi-disc-support/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

P.S. And don’t forget if you just bought, or received as a gift a new tablet, e-reader, PC or other tech item and would like to know more about how to use it — you can make an appointment at the library for a free On-On-One tech session and a member of our tech team will show you the digital ropes! Call the Reference Desk at: 607-936-3713 to make an appointment! Did I mention it is a free service the library offers? It is! 

References

Albanesius, Chloe. (2013, May 16). The 10 Most Exciting Things Google Announced at I/O. PC Magazine. Online.

Miller, Claire Cain. (2013, May 16). New Apps Arrive on Google Glass. New York Times. Online. 

E-Book News Parts 1 & 2 & Print A 3D Star Wars Stormtrooper Action Figure That Looks Like You!

E-Book News Part 1: E-Book Sales Up 44% In 2012 Over 2011: According to the Association of American Publishers & the Book Industry Study Group’s annual report ebook sales rose to comprise 20% of all books sold in 2012. And to give you an idea of why this is a big deal consider that e-book sales rose 44% in 2012 over the 2011 figures and made publishers $3.042 billion dollars in 2012. So we are quickly moving towards the tipping point where more U.S. consumers will read ebooks instead of print books and thus U.S. Publishing companies will make more money on ebook sales than on print book sales.

Here’s a link to a short paidContent article on the subject titled “Ebooks made 20% of the U.S. consumer book industry in 2012, up from 15% in 2011;”

http://paidcontent.org/2013/05/15/ebooks-made-up-20-of-the-u-s-consumer-book-industry-in-2012-up-from-15-in-2011/

And a link to a New York Times article on the same subject titled “E-Book Sales a Boon to Publishers in 2012:”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/media/e-book-sales-a-boon-to-publishers-in-2012.html

E-Book News Part 2: Department of Justice Deems Apple “Ringmaster” In E-Book Anti-Trust Suit: The U.S. Department of Justice has deemed Apple the “Ringmaster” in lawsuit it brought against Apple and five of the six largest publishers in the United States that are collectively known as “The Big Six.” The five publishers Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin all settled the DOJ suit last year leaving Apple as the lone company fighting against the Department of Justice suit. Apple is now asserting, in response to the DOJ judgment that Apple was the ringleader that came up with the plain to collude with the previously mentioned Big Five, that it fact it was the Big Five publishers that came up with the collusion plan to fix e-book prices via an Agency Model. The anti-trust suit will go to trial in June and the outcome may have a great impact on how much publisher charge for e-books – we’ll have to wait and see how the DOJ rules to find out.

Here’s a link to a New York Times article on the suit titled “U.S. Now Paints Apple as ‘Ringmaster’ in Its Lawsuit on E-Book Price-Fixing;”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/technology/us-now-paints-apple-as-ringmaster-in-its-lawsuit-on-e-book-price-fixing.html?_r=0

Print A 3D Star Wars Stormtrooper Action Figure That Looks Like You! Disney, which recently purchased the rights to the Star Wars franchise is hosting a series of events titled “Star Wars Weekends” in May & June and as part of the Star Wars celebration is giving fans a chance to put their faces on a 3-D printed Star Wars action figure. The Stormtrooper figures are called “Star Wars D-Tech Me” and cost $99.95 plus shipping and sales tax per figure. So for $100 you can turn yourself into a Star Wars action figure!

And if you think $99.95 is rather a high price to pay for a cool personalized 3-D Star Wars action figure – not to worry! The cost of 3-D Printers is coming down and Staples will even begin to sell a 3D Printer in June so within just a few years you’ll no doubt be able to “print” a personalized Star Wars action figure at a home, office or public library near you for a much cheaper price.

Here’s a link to the short Mashable article, titled Turn Yourself Into a 3D-Printed Star Wars Stormtrooper,  on the personalized Star Wars Stormtrooper:

http://mashable.com/2013/05/15/3d-printed-star-wars-stormtrooper/

And don’t forget if you just bought, or received as a gift a new tablet, e-reader, PC or other tech item and would like to know more about how to use it — you can make an appointment at the library for a free On-On-One tech session and a member of our tech team will show you the digital ropes! Call the Reference Desk at: 607-936-3713 to make an appointment! Did I mention it is a free service the library offers? It is!

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Bosman, Julie. (2013, May 15). E-Book Sales a Boon to Publishers in 2012. New York Times. Online.

Hutchings, Emma. (2013, May 15). Turn Yourself Into a 3D-Printed Star Wars Stormtrooper. Mashable. Onlne.

Owen, Laura Hazard. (2013, May 15). Ebooks made up 20% of the US consumer book industry in 2012 up from 15% in 2011. paidContent. Online.

Wyatt, Edward. & Wingfield, Nick. (2013, May 14). U.S. Now Paints Apple as ‘Ringmaster’ in Its Lawsuite on E-Book Price-Fixing. New York Times. Online.

Adobe’s Creative Suite To Be Discontinued As Boxed Software & Two Cool New Tech Books 1. The New Digital age & 2. Who Owns The Future?

Adobe’s Creative Suite To Be Discontinued As Boxed Software: Adobe announced yesterday that it will discontinue its Creative Suite as a boxed-on-the-self-of-your-local-software-or-office-store product. Henceforth (I love that word!); henceforth you’ll have to pay for a cloud based (online) subscription to either the Adobe Creative Suite which includes Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign and Premier (and other software too) for $50 a month or you’ll be able to pay $19.95 a month to access a single Adobe Suite software – for example you can pay the $20 if you just want to use Photoshop.

The light version of Photoshop – Adobe Elements will still, at least for a while, be available on disc and in box at your local software store.

Here’s a link to an Ars Technica article on the subject titled “Adobe’s Creative Suite is dead, long live the Creative Cloud” that will give you more in-depth information on the subject:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/05/adobes-creative-suite-is-dead-long-live-the-creative-cloud/

Two Cool New Tech Books: There are currently two cool tech books that are worth reading if you’re interested in technology and how the quickening evolution of technology does and will continue to shape our world. The first book is called “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business and it is co-authored by Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen the director of Google Ideas. The book offers a positive view of how technology will transform the way we live and work in the near future even more than it has in the last twenty years. And the second book is titled “Who Owns The Future?” and it is written by one of the leading American futurists Jaron Lanier. Lanier agrees with Schmidt & Cohen in part – he too thinks technology will continue to transform our lives in the future and at an increasing pace but he throws out some red flags for our consideration and paints a somewhat darker picture that the rosy colored optimism expressed by Schmidt & Cohen. Lanier notes how much personal information Internet giants like Google and Facebook are gathering about their customers without their consent, that online businesses tend to creatively take advantage of lower income persons (what he deems a peasant class) and that it really isn’t right that online companies can use personal information they’ve gathered about individuals without their consent to make money.

I haven’t finished reading either book yet but both are fascinating. I agree with the overall view of all three authors – we’re in the midst of a high tech revolution that has, and will continue to transform our lives in the near future in ways we cannot even imagine. However we must, as always as citizens of a democracy, pay attention to what is going on around us – in this case in the online universe and call out on the carpet those Internet based companies or persons that try to infringe on our rights – the biggest rights at stake that we can easily see right now* are the right to privacy and not authorizing without consent online business to compile tremendous amounts of information about you and the danger of the Digital Divide which is still with us and may very well grow larger in the near future.

And when I say “Digital Divide” I mean two things –firstly, that some people cannot afford to pay for the technology and technological access that is now needed to survive in the working and academic worlds and secondly, that inexpensive high speed Internet access, which is also increasingly necessary for everyone in the working and academic worlds to have, isn’t available for everyone.

The first point is an economic one –not everyone can currently afford to purchase a PC or tablet and then pay for home based Internet access so they can access high speed Internet and not only is that an issue now but it could conceivable be an even larger issue in the future – for example, say Google Glass style Internet connecting glasses become mainstream and are needed by working people and students to use for group projects and they cost $1,500 – assuming the price stays that high that would leave some people out in the cold because they simply couldn’t afford to buy the new technology or the Internet access.

And the second point isn’t an economic one per se – there are many places in this country where you simply cannot buy access to high speed broadband Internet service. In fact, I work with two gals that live locally and just far enough out of town that Time Warner Cable doesn’t have Internet cable installed that far out – and those two gals cannot obtain high speed Internet access at home because it isn’t offered where they live! And this is a huge problem because increasingly people need that access to high speed Internet to communicate and take care of educational and work related items and the economic part of the equation isn’t one for customers – it is one for the Internet and cable companies that provide Internet service that don’t want to spend the money to extend their Internet service. And that last point is why the U.S. ranks 12th in the world as far as its citizens being able to obtain high speed Internet access goes.

And on that note I’ll get off my soap box!

Suffice it to say if you’re interested in technology and how it will continue to change our lives you should check out those books!

And if you want to know more about how the U.S. is really behind in offering high speed Internet access to all its citizens and residents check out the following Forbes article titled The Fastest Internet Speeds In The World:

 http://www.forbes.com/sites/kymmcnicholas/2011/01/24/the-fastest-internet-speeds-in-the-world/

Here’s a link to a New York Times article on the Schmidt and Cohen “New Digital Age” book:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/books/the-new-digital-age-by-eric-schmidt-and-jared-cohen.html

And a link to a New York Times interview with “Who Owns The Future” author Jaron Lanier:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/books/who-owns-the-future-by-jaron-lanier.html?ref=technology&_r=0

Have a great day!

Linda R.

 P.S. As always just FYI — if you need help learning how to use that new tablet, e-reader, PC or other tech device you just bought, or got for your birthday, call us! We offer free One-On-One tech sessions at the library by appointment. Call 607-936-3713 ext. 502 and ask for Linda or Jenn.

* I could get into the whole lack of ownership of e-books, e-videos, e-audios subject too as I think that is a major league threat to intellectual freedom but I’ll save that soap-box for another day as I know this is already a rather length posting!

 

References

Cunningham, Andrew. Adobe’s Creative Suite is dead, long live the Creative Cloud: It’s the end of the line for boxes versions of Photoshop, InDesign and the rest. Ars Technica.

Maslin, Janet. (2013, April 25). Formatting a World With No Secrets “The New Digital Age” by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. Online. Accessed May 7, 2013.

McNicholas, Kym. (2011, January 24). The Fastest Internet Speeds In The World. Accessed May 7, 2013. 

The High Cost of E-Books, iOS 6.1 Release & Tech Programs @ The Library This Week

The High Cost of E-Books: I came across a fun article (with a long title) in the online edition of the Christian Science Monitor. The article is titled Why do e-books cost so much? E-books don’t involve costs like paper, labor, and shipping, so why do they often cost more than their paperback counterparts? Here’s the answer, and why e-book prices may be falling in the future.

And wow what a long title! The article discusses the reasons why e-books often more expensive than their paperback counterparts. And in a nutshell what is going is that our quickly advancing technology is transforming the world of publishing and books and in an era when self published authors can keep 70% of the gross profits of their works most publishers are operating on an outdated business model. And that outdated model has them keeping 60-70% of the money coming in from each e-book sold just as they would with a printed book. The publishers expect to receive that amount of money from each e-book sale because in the print book business, traditionally publishing companies have been responsible for having books printed, stored and sold.

Additionally, in the past publishers were used to keeping control of the books they published and promoting them through established distribution channels and they could pretty much dictation to authors what they could publish and how much they could receive for the books they publish via those big publishers. And today we’re at the dawn of the e-book era and all that is changing. If you’re an author you can self publisher your works through online book vendors like Amazon, price your new e-book at $2.99 per e-book and keep 70% of the proceeds of each sale. Now $2.99 may not sound like a lot of money; however, consider the fact that 70% of $2.99 is $2.09 and if you multiply that by 50,000 e-book sales you get $104, 500 dollars! And with that in mind you can see why self published authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke (both of whom have sold more than 1 million books via Amazon’s Kindle Store) can indeed make money without going through print publishers and why, inevitably, those same publishers must change they way the do business and the amount they charge for e-books if they want to stay in the e-book selling game for the long haul.

The author Stacy Johnson’s response to publishers saying they need to keep 60-70% of the profits of e-book sales because e-books cost them as much to produce as hardcover books is summed up in one colorful word and fun word: “Hogwash.” And I don’t think I can improve upon that statement! (Although I could get up on my soap box and talk all day about the lack of ownership of digital content issue but I’ll spare everyone today and refrain!)

Johnson also notes of the tremendous changes going on in the book and publishing industry – how fast the new e-book world has emerged by noting that three years ago the old publishing industry business model was the norm and if you wanted to get a book published you really had to work with publishers via the previously mentioned traditional business model used for selling print books – and today all that is changing. She specifically says:  “A short three years later, however, the landscape has changed. The publishing industry – the gatekeeper between writers and readers – is collapsing under its own weight. I no longer need to surrender up to 90 percent of the price of a book to the publisher. Today I can self-publish an e-book, put it on Amazon, spread the word on the Web, and price it however I like.”

You can read the full article by clicking on the following link:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2013/0112/Why-do-e-books-cost-so-much

iOS 6.1 Released: Today Apple has released iOS 6.1 the latest software upgrade for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The upgrade features a few new bells and whistles including the ability to use Siri to buy movie tickets, the ability of Match subscribers to download single songs from the cloud and greater LTE coverage for those with 4 G devices.

Here’s a link to a Gigaom article on the subject aptly titled Apple Updates iOS 6 With New Siri, iTunes Match and LTE Coverage

http://gigaom.com/2013/01/28/apple-updates-ios-6-with-new-siri-itunes-match-features-and-more-lte-coverage/

Tech Programs @ The Library This Week: This week we are offering a “Photos & Computers” program on Wednesday. This program is part of our weekly Wednesday One Hour Tech series and offers a basic introduction to getting photos from your digital camera to your computer, modifying those photos and saving them.

Photos & Computers is being held Wednesday from 2 – 3 PM. Registration is required. To register please call us at: 607-936-3713 ext. 502.

And of course this week as always – we offer free one-on-one tech assistance sessions by appointment. So if you just purchased a new PC, Mac, iPad, Kindle Fire or e-reader and have questions about how to use it – please feel free to call us and make an appointment for a one-on-one session! Just call the Reference Desk at 936-3713 ext. 502.

Have a great day!

Linda R.          

 

References

Johnson, Stacy. (2013, January 12). Why do e-books cost so much? E-books don’t involve costs like paper, labor, and shipping, so why do they often cost more than their paperback counterparts? Here’s the answer, and why e-book prices may be falling in the future. Christian Science Monitor. Online.

Ong, Erica. (2013, January 28). Apple updates iOS 6 with new Siri, iTunes Match features and more LTE coverage. Gigaom. Online. 

The Rising Popularity of Public Libraries As Places to Access The Internet & Obtain Tech Assistance – All For Free

The PEW Research Group has just released some new survey findings as part of their Pew Internet & American Life Project that show that public libraries are key places people go to use the Internet for free. Of course those of us who have worked in public libraries for a while know that well! When I first started working at the old Corning Public Library in 1984 patrons coming in would not have found a computer in sight! By 1987 though the library had a digital “card” catalog that allowed patrons to search for books that were available both in our library and in all the other member libraries of the Southern Tier Library System. And by the late nineteen eighties the library also had an internal DOS like email system, portable CD players for patrons to use in the library, CDs and video cassettes for patrons to check and a number of Macs for staff use.

And since the library re-opened as the Southeast Steuben County Library in 2000 we have added new tech offers for patrons which include Internet connected computers, Wi-Fi and tech usage assistance from staff – all for free – and patrons have shown they loves these new services.

Where else can you go to use the Internet for free, to scan documents, photos or slides for free, to ask for staff assistance in putting e-books on your new e-reader or tablet – or in checking out library e-books all for free?

And one of our most popular services today is indeed free tech assistance.

And you might well wonder what I mean by that…

And what I mean is patrons can call the library and make an appointment to sit down with a member of the library’s tech staff and go over any tech usage questions they might have. So if you wonder how to use your new Windows 8 laptop, your new Kindle, Nook, iPad or Mac, how to create a resume using Microsoft Word, how to fill out a job application online or set up a free email account you have access to assistance for free! Just call us at: 607-936-3713 ext. 502 to make an appointment.

And today our new digital offerings, all of which can be accessible through the library’s website 24/7/365, include credible news, research, health and art databases*, e-books, e-audio books and a growing number of music titles and videos accessed via the STLS Digital Catalog link on the library’s homepage.

The library’s home page is found at: 

http://ssclibrary.org/

You can access the STLS Digital Catalog (the place where you can find e-books, e-audio books, digital music and video titles online) by either going to our homepage and clicking on the STLS Digital Catalog link or clicking on the following link:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/01E2684D-2EA9-4F70-9752-3C9D716A313B/10/536/en/Default.htm

 The New York Times article that offers a brief overview of the new PEW survey results is titled Pew Survey Finds Reliance On Libraries For Computers and Internet and may be accessed via the following link:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/pew-survey-finds-reliance-on-libraries-for-computers-and-internet/?ref=technology

And PEW offers a more in-depth explanation in an article on their website that has a really long title: Library Services in the Digital Age

Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place:

http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/01/22/library-services/

Have a great day! (or evening depending upon when you take a look at the library tech blog or Facebook page)

Linda R.

References:

Kaufman, Leslie. (2013, January 22). Survey Finds Rising Reliance on Libraries as a Gateway to the Web. New York Times Bits Blog. Online.

Zickuhr, Kathryn., Rainie, Lee., Purcell, Kristin. (2013, January 22). Library Services in the Digital Age: Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place. PEW Internet. Online.

*And very shortly we will add the Mango Languages database too so if you’d like to learn a new language that will be the database for you!