June 13th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

The BattleSome of the world’s largest book publishers are going after two prolific Usenet uploaders. The publishers have obtained subpoenas from a federal court in the District of Columbia which require major Usenet providers to reveal their customers’ identities. Thus far legal action against Usenet users has been relatively rare, but the documents suggest that the publishers are preparing just that.

Cengage Learning, John Wiley and Sons, Elsevier and McGraw-Hill recently obtained subpoenas from the U.S. District Court of Columbia, requiring Usenet providers to hand over the personal details of two very active uploaders.

Read the full article @ TorrentFreak.com.

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with: , , , ,

June 9th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary CassattMorphologically, my Kindle belongs to the genus of handheld devices and tablets more than that of books or libraries. And it’s almost Pavlovian by now to consume on-screen information by briskly clicking, scrolling, or otherwise refreshing a screen when we’re in front of one. It’s what we do during screen time, after all. With my Kindle, this inclination toward novelty and rapid clicking informs my reading. I have a sense of rushing forward in a straight line toward the end.

A mystery or thriller, even by an author I admire such as Laura Lippman, tends to get read on Kindle.  This makes sense. Given its bias toward linearity and efficient movement from point A to endpoint B, the Kindle works best for me with plot-driven works, or when I’m reading for the plot, and I have lower expectations for intellectual provocation.

True, nothing prevents me from lingering on Loc. 3274, where I currently find myself in an e-book. In reality, however, it doesn’t happen. My Kindle screen is a cold, ascetic place. I’d no more linger on its page than I’d hang out at an airport security gate, or a dentist’s waiting room. The Kindle’s form invites a more linear reading experience for me than reading a book in hand, which more richly engages all of my senses.

Read the full article @ BigThink.com.

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , , ,

May 20th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

amazon-logoAmazon attorneys last week filed a letter with the court asking that it be allowed to redact sensitive business information about its Kindle e-book program gathered as evidence for the upcoming Apple price-fixing trial. Apple attorneys, however, are fighting the effort with a letter of its own, arguing that Amazon does not come close to meeting the legal standard for having the information in question redacted or sealed, and asking the court to grant public access to evidence gathered from Amazon.

Read the full article @ PublishersWeekly.com.

Posted in ebooks, Politics & Law Tagged with: , ,

May 10th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

So I’ve set up my RaspberryPi to actually do something other than sit there: I’ve turned it into an eBook server using Calibre. I’ll admit it’s similar to the Library Box in concept but works a bit differently from the user’s perspective. (Mainly, the user needs to be on the same network as this server instead of connecting to a specific WiFi signal.)

How to set it up:

  • I’m assuming you’re using Rasperian.
  • Install Calibre via sudo apt-get install calibre. (This installs an older version of Calibre but it’s the only one I can find to work on the Pi.)
  • Instead of running the Calibre GUI and manually starting the Calibre server, you can run the Caliber server from the command line instead. This allows the server to run in the background, using a lot fewer system resources and since it’s done at the command line, you can set it up to run at boot. To do this:
  • $ cd /home/pi
  • $ cd .config
  • If you don’t already have an autostart folder here create it: $ mkdir autostart
  • $ cd autostart
  • Create the autostart file:
  • $ nano calibre-server.desktop
  • Enter the following into the blank file:[Desktop Entry]
    Name=Calibre Server
    Exec=calibre-server --with-library "Calibre Library"

    “Calibre Library” in line four above is the name of the directory containing your Calibre content. Change as needed. The quotes are not necessary if your directory name does not include spaces.

  • CTRL-X | Y to save the file.
  • Reboot

To access the Calibre content go to http://piIPaddress:8080 . (On my network I’d go to

It’ll look something like this:

Calibre Web


Posted in ebooks, Internet, Tech Tagged with: , , ,

April 26th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Save our booksI’m not really sure how I feel about his idea (shown right) but he does make some good points about the speed of change and whether it’s going so fast that some people aren’t really thinking it through.

Tell me about the decision to place the ad.

I do a lot of things to try to raise level of awareness of what’s going on in country right now. This is an unusual and different time for books, the most unusual in the history of this country. E-books are fine and dandy, but it’s all happening so quickly, and I don’t think anyone thought through the consequences of having many fewer bookstores, of libraries being shut down or limited, of publishers going out of business — possibly in the future, many publishers going out of business.

A lot of it had to do with getting kids reading. I have a site for school librarians, teachers, and kids to go to — readkiddoread.com. It’s a fairly big site: it does a fair amount of good. And I will have 400 scholarships for teachers at 21 universities this year. I’m giving 300,000 books.

So do you think a bailout of books is actually realistic? Or was it a kind of purposefully outlandish “Modest Proposal“?

I don’t think it’s a question of bailing out, necessarily. In Germany, Italy, and France, they protect bookstores and publishers. It is widely practiced in parts of Europe. I don’t think that’s outlandish. But people have mixed feelings about the government doing anything right now.

I haven’t thought about it but I’m sure there are things that can be done. There might be tax breaks, there might be limitations on the monopolies in the book business. We haven’t gotten into laws that should or shouldn’t be done in terms of the internet. I’m not sure what needs to happen, but right now, nothing’s happening.

The press doesn’t deal with the effects of e-books as a story. Borders closing down is treated as a business story. Where we are in Westchester during the summer, you’d think that’d be a bookstore haven, and there’s nothing. And that’s not unusual. I don’t think we can be the country we’d like to be without literature.

Read the full interview @ Salon.com.

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , , ,

April 22nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary CassattOn reading print vs. ‘e’ when it comes to the brain:

In most cases, paper books have more obvious topography than onscreen text. An open paperback presents a reader with two clearly defined domains—the left and right pages—and a total of eight corners with which to orient oneself. A reader can focus on a single page of a paper book without losing sight of the whole text: one can see where the book begins and ends and where one page is in relation to those borders. One can even feel the thickness of the pages read in one hand and pages to be read in the other. Turning the pages of a paper book is like leaving one footprint after another on the trail—there’s a rhythm to it and a visible record of how far one has traveled. All these features not only make text in a paper book easily navigable, they also make it easier to form a coherent mental map of the text.

In contrast, most screens, e-readers, smartphones and tablets interfere with intuitive navigation of a text and inhibit people from mapping the journey in their minds. A reader of digital text might scroll through a seamless stream of words, tap forward one page at a time or use the search function to immediately locate a particular phrase—but it is difficult to see any one passage in the context of the entire text. As an analogy, imagine if Google Maps allowed people to navigate street by individual street, as well as to teleport to any specific address, but prevented them from zooming out to see a neighborhood, state or country. Although e-readers like the Kindle and tablets like the iPad re-create pagination—sometimes complete with page numbers, headers and illustrations—the screen only displays a single virtual page: it is there and then it is gone. Instead of hiking the trail yourself, the trees, rocks and moss move past you in flashes with no trace of what came before and no way to see what lies ahead.

Read the full article @ ScientificAmerican.com.

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , , ,

April 19th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

I attended this session yesterday and if you missed it but are interested in the topic, this is a session you should take the time to watch.

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , ,

April 2nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Techdirt logoI wonder how this will impact Amazon.com’s idea that you’ll be able to resell “used” ebooks.

Basically, under this interpretation, you can never “transfer” a digital file. You can only make a reproduction under copyright law. And, yes, computers transfer files by making copies of them, but it seems a bit ridiculous that the whole concept of a transfer can be wiped out because of that. In fact, by this interpretation, even streaming (which still involves all the data being temporarily copied to your local computer) would count as reproduction. ReDigi pointed this out, noting the possibility of merely cleaning up your own hard drive being considered infringing, but the court buys Capitol Records’s (EMI) argument that such uses are protected under other theories.

Read the full article on TechDirt.com.

Posted in Tech Tagged with:

March 23rd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

The Economist LogoIn publishers’ eyes librarians are “sitting close to Satan”, declared Phil Bradley, president of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. He was addressing indignant librarians who recently gathered in London to swap tales of e-lending woe. Some publishers have refused to sell their e-books to public libraries, made them prohibitively costly or put severe restrictions on their use. Although 71% of British public libraries lend out e-books, 85% of e-book titles are not available in public libraries, according to Mr Bradley. In America the average public library makes available only 4,350 e-books (Amazon, an online retail giant, stocks more than 1.7m).

via Electronic lending and public libraries: Folding shelves | The Economist.

Posted in Libraries Tagged with: ,

March 22nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Nook Simple TouchThe prediction was that the Kindle would be free by now. Alas, that hasn’t come to pass. Yet Barnes & Noble is pushing the free envelope with this deal:

Barnes and Noble, arguably the only real competitor to Amazon’s Kindle juggernaut, has just announced a promotion to get as many of its Nook readers into consumers’ hands as possible. Starting March 24th and running until the end of the month, consumers that purchase the Nook HD+ online, in-store or at select big box retailers will also be given a free Nook Simple Touch.

Read the full article on Engadget.com.

Posted in Tech Tagged with: , ,