Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Barnes & Noble to Amazon: Drop Dead!

First, it was Jonathan Franzen hating on ebooks. Now, it's Barnes & Noble telling Amazon to get lost.


Apple Now Top PC Maker, Report Says

iPad sales pushed Apple well ahead of Wintel giants like Hewlett-Packard and Dell in Q4, according to research.


Another iconic photo brand takes a hit

For many years, Olan Mills was the name in volume portrait work as well as a staunch protector of photographer's rights. But things are changing.  Minnesota-based Lifetouch, which bought Olan Mills in November, plans to shut down the two Olan Mills production facilities in the Chattanooga and cut 383 jobs, an official said Monday.


Should you feel guilty for buying your iPhone?

(CNN) -- Last week, The New York Times gave us an inside look at what it's like to work at Foxconn, the manufacturing company that owns several China-based factories that crank out Apple's iPads, iPhones and iPods by the millions.

The story is full of examples of horrifying working conditions in Foxconn's factories that would never fly here in the United States.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Apple’s iBooks Push Raises 6 Big Questions About The Future Of E-Publishing

More on iBooks from Fast Company.

Because so much is still unsettled in this market, everything is up for grabs. Here is a list of some of the issues being hashed out in public as Apple, Amazon, publishers, distributors, established technology companies, startups, educational institutions, individual content creators, and advertisers all try to stake their claim.

Startup Tribes: Tips on Roles and Recruiting

From onstartups.com


Sci-fi and technothriller writer Cory Doctorow says his special edition hardcovers have consistently been his biggest earner

From Forbes, Ebooks encourage authors to stare at their shoes instead of shoot for the stars.


Facebook’s Timeline has some vocal dissenters

A nonscientific poll of more than 4,000 Facebook users found that about half of those surveyed say that they are “worried” by Facebook’s new Timeline format. More than 30 percent said that they didn’t “know why I’m still on Facebook.”


Are we in a self-epublishing bubble? The 7 stages from Hyman Minsky

In August 2011, Ewan Morrison published an article entitled Are Books Dead and Can Authors Survive?. Here, he tracks the self-epublishing euphoria of the last five months and argues that we are at the start of an epublishing bubble.


Jonathan Franzen Thinks Ebooks Are Not for "Serious Readers"

Jonathan Franzen, the author of The Corrections and Freedom, has no patience for e-readers, he tells the Telegraph:
I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change. …
Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough.

More here. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Google offers businesses “Trusted Photographers”

Last year Google officered “Street Views” of indoor businesses: click in a web browser to see inside a stores or restaurant. Now the company is connecting businesses with pro shooters who can make the 360-degree images for them.


A new chapter for Indian publishing

If you have a problem with your weight, relationship or business in India, you rarely see an expert to solve it. Instead, you read a book.


9 Quick Tips For Better iPhoneongraphy

Here are nine quick tips from Stephanie Roberts to maximize your shooting style, efficiency, and effectiveness.


The Bookstore’s Last Stand: Barnes & Noble finds itself in the fight of its life

Inside the great publishing houses — grand names like MacmillanPenguin and Random House — there is a sense of unease about the long-term fate of Barnes & Noble, the last major bookstore chain standing. First, the megastores squeezed out the small players. (Think of Tom Hanks’s Fox & Sons Books to Meg Ryan’s Shop Around the Corner in the 1998 comedy, “You’ve Got Mail”.) Then the chains themselves were gobbled up or driven under, as consumers turned to the Web. B. Dalton Bookseller and Crown Books are long gone. Borders collapsed last year.
No one expects Barnes & Noble to disappear overnight. The worry is that it might slowly wither as more readers embrace e-books. What if all those store shelves vanished, and Barnes & Noble became little more than a cafe and a digital connection point? Such fears came to the fore in early January, when the company projected that it would lose even more money this year than Wall Street had expected. Its share price promptly tumbled 17 percent that day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

MacBook alternative from Dell-Event today in San Francisco

Dell and Intel are kicking off the Ultrabook revolution with an all day photography event at the Carte Blanche Gallery in the Mission District of San Francisco.
The festivities kicked off last night with plenty of Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook demo units in the crowd and an evening hosted by Hooman Khalili, who shot a feature length film on a Nokia N8 smartphone.
Today Dell has invited a number of well known photographers including French photographer Gwen Lafage, to come down to the gallery and talk photos.

Why the fuss about iBooks Author?

Just like Amazon and any other ebook vendor, Apple's goal is to capture share of this rapidly growing segment. 


Friday, January 27, 2012

If Stonehenge had been designed by IKEA. Very clever.


Palms Down: Mobile Hardware Guru Jon Rubenstein Leaves HP

HP’s mobile era is over.

Jon Rubenstein, the HP executive to lead the charge against Apple’s iPad devices, has left the company as of Friday morning.

An company spokesman confirmed to Wired in an interview that the mobile hardware guru, once a star at Palm when that company was still a contender, was no longer with Hewlett-Packard.
To put things into even clearer perspective: The final nail in Palm’s coffin comes to two years to the day that Steve Jobs announced the iPad.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who Would Pay $5,000 to Use Google? (You)

New research finds people fork over $5,000 worth of personal information a year to Google in exchange for access to its “free services” such as Gmail and search. While many view this as a fair trade, privacy experts say the Internet giant’s latest plan to pool user data from its various sites make it less so.


Yes! I want one! Fujifilm X-Pro1 Available for Preorder in Japan, Costs a Pretty Penny

A clearer picture is emerging of what the Fujifilm X-Pro1 will cost when it’s finally on store shelves. The camera is now available for preorder over on Amazon Japan for the price of ¥135,000 (~$1,743). This suggests that the US price will be in the range of $1,600-$1,700. The lenses will likely be in the range of $600-$700 each. A PDF version of the owner’s manual has also been released, and should be interesting to anyone who wants a closer look at how the camera works.


Amazon's Hit Man | Larry Kirshbaum was the ultimate book industry insider—until Amazon called

By pursuing authors directly, Amazon can cut out the middleman and pass on the savings to authors in the form of higher advances and royalties, and to readers in the form of lower book prices. Executives at the major publishing houses see all of this and conclude that Amazon aims to put them out of business.

In the middle of this stew of rancor and mistrust sits Kirshbaum. He was once the ultimate book industry insider, widely known and almost universally liked. He has a well-honed instinct for big, mass-culture books and was thinking about e-books—and losing money on them—long before almost anyone else in the industry. Many of his former peers now consider Kirshbaum a turncoat. In interviews, more than a dozen publishing executives said he had gone over to the dark side; some said they’d conveyed that sentiment to Kirshbaum directly. (None of the executives would speak on the record because Amazon is still a vitally important retail partner.) “I have a message I really believe in,” Kirshbaum says. “Which is that we’re trying to innovate in ways that can help everybody. We are trying to create a tide that will lift all boats.”


Jobs’s Last Photography Wish: iPhone With Lytro, the Focus-Free Camera?

A new book by a top Fortune reporter reveals that Steve Jobs sought out the up-and-coming Lytro camera CEO — and putting Lytro in the iPhone was discussed.

This Mashable article details Lytro, a light-field capture technology that lets you shoot first and focus the shot later, is about to lauch its first consumer models in the US in the first half of 2012. It was developed by Stanford Ph.D and light field expert Dr. Ren Ng. And it has a nice video to boot.


Seattle named 2nd most literate city in America

Ok, I'm a homey but very proud of Seattle's continued status in the ranks of the well read.  Also congrats to my hometown of St. Louis for making the list as well.

Top Ten Most Literate Cities in America
1. Washington, DC
2. Seattle, WA
3. Minneapolis, MN
4. Atlanta, GA
5. Boston, MA
6. Pittsburgh, PA
7. Cincinnati, OH
8. St. Louis, MO
9. San Francisco, CA
10. Denver, CO

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pick 'em: Fielder or Pujols' contract?

Pujols has traded a ballpark with marching Clydesdales for a ballpark with a Big A in the parking lot. Fielder has traded a ballpark with a sausage race for a ballpark with a Ferris wheel.


The Highest Resolution Image of Earth Ever


More Books Published This Week Than In 1950

Author/futurist David Houle said in a presentation at the Digital Book World conference in New York “There were more books published this week than there were in all of 1950,”. Houle told the room full of publishers that the physical book had a great run as an artifact, but encouraged them to embrace the current era of digital publishing to pave the way for future generations.

DBW: publishers 'should learn from self-publishers on pricing'

Publishers need to look to how self-published authors price their e-books, improve the quality of their digital texts, and can no longer avoid selling direct to the consumer, according to discussions held on the first day of Digital Book World.
Conference chair Mike Shatzkin said “constant monitoring [of pricing] is called for and publishers need to be at least as adventurous in pricing as authors are on their own". One of the biggest challenges, everybody knows, will be to keep display and sales alive in bricks and mortar, yet ironically, publishers are “shrinking their sales forces just when they need to be on the ground finding new accounts"—in the widest bricks and mortar sense—“to replace the ones that are disappearing".

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More on Benny Landa | Benny Landa's invisible ink

The print technology that Landa plans to unveil in May is expected to do for printers what HD did for TV screens: Landa developed an ink made of particles which are smaller than a germ and a printhead that can use the micro-droplets to print on virtually any material, producing sharp and rich images unparalleled by any manmade machine.

Landa believes that his printing technology will be far more economical than any other technology and far more durable thanks to the ink's color pigments the size of which is several nano-meters to several dozen nano-meters, or in other words – between one tenth and one thousandth the size of the ink droplets in today's printers.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Will Benny Landa's new ink be the one thing that you’ll remember when you look back on drupa 2012 many years from now?

Over the past few months rumors have been swirling around in regard to Benny Landa’s plans for drupa. Most of it has been talk, but more details are now coming to light. The Landa Labs web site, which has been on line for quite some time, added a note recently that Landa Digital Printing, developer of next-generation digital printing technology targeted at commercial, packaging, and publishing markets, would show a lineup of ‘digital nanographic printing presses’ at drupa 2012. The drupa 2012 web site shows a sizeable booth in Hall 9 for Landa Digital Nanographic Printing.


Graphicly debuts new self-publishing service for multiple platforms

Graphicly is expanding its digital distribution solution for automated self-publishing. The new set-up
enables authors and publishers to upload, publish, sell and promote content of all types and sizes.
It will be supported across platforms: the web, Facebook, iOS (through Apple Newsstand) and Android (Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color and Amazon’s Kindle Fire). The publishers don’t need to repeatedly upload it to different sources, but rather the creator just picks the platform destinations through a customizable widget.


How iBooks Author Stacks Up to the Competition

With the announcement of iBooks Author last week, the world of self-publishing seemed to open up a little wider, especially for authors looking for an easy way to format and distribute their own content. If you are a writer who wants to take try the self-publishing route, Mashable has assembled a comprehensive chart of all the potential tools available to you, as well as their prices and anything else you may need to know.


Venture Capital, Private Equity, Buy-out and Hedge Funds: Fact vs. Rhetoric.

(hint: VC's create jobs)