Monday News: Harry Potter, Internet Archive, German Publishers, and Shaking Cats
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play is a sequel set 19 years after the last book – The 8th Harry Potter book will be out in June 2016, and it will be disguised as a play. Written by Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, the story will pick up almost 20 years after the end of book 7. It’s an interesting change of venue, but Rowling insists that the logic of the choice will be clear once people see the play:
The synopsis on the play’s official website reads: “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
“While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.” – Digital Spy
The Internet Archive is rebuilding the Wayback Machine to make web history easier to search – The Wayback Machine is a crucial resource for those searching the Internet Archive, but it’s not the easiest tools to use when you don’t know precisely what/when/where you’re looking for. So the news that the Internet Archive is “rebuilding” the Wayback Machine to make it faster and easier to use is very welcome, as is the prospect that it will be used to fill in broken links or deleted/timed-out web pages. Expect the new WM sometime in 2017.
The entire Wayback Machine code will be rewritten to “improve reliability and functionality,” and a new interface will make it easier to dig out archived websites. This includes being able to find websites by keywords — at present, you have to type in the web address manually. But it won’t include every single page — only homepages will be indexed.
The Internet Archive says it’s looking to improve multimedia websites it has crawled, which means supporting new formats as well as supporting older to formats to ensure that so-called “bit-rot” doesn’t set in. It’s also partnering with third-party services such as Wikipedia to help repair broken links — so if a link on a Wikipedia page leads to a now-deleted page, for example, it will link to an archived page on the Wayback Machine instead. – VentureBeat
How German Publishers Deal With Amazon – Yes, the big, bad wolf Amazon is a threat to publishers around the world! Amazon: Force of Evil! Anyway, the German book market is definitely robust, and while digital books claim less than 6% of the market, there is good competition between the Kindle and the Tolino e-reader, which holds a larger share of the market than the Kindle does (45% to 39%):
At the opening press conference in Frankfurt, you noted that the Tolino e-reader has managed to surpass the Kindle in Germany. Tell us a little about that.
Yes, the Tolino has outrun the Kindle in terms of sales in Germany. As the common e-reading ecosystem of the German book industry, it is a real success story. Tolino was launched in 2013 by the big bookselling companies in Germany: Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, and Club Bertelsmann, in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom. In 2014 the wholesaler Libri joined the Tolino alliance, and as a consequence, about 1,000 independent bookstores have been brought into the system. And the Tolino alliance is still growing. This year, for example, two big regional chains, Osiander and Mayersche, have joined the alliance. Customers can buy e-books for the Tolino in over 1,800 bookstores at the moment, roughly one out of every three bookstores in Germany. After only two and a half years, the Tolino has firmly established itself in the German book market. – Publishers Weekly
Check out these adorably uncomfortable cats from new book, ‘Shake Cats’ — exclusive – Check out these photos from Carli Davidson’s new book. They’re disconcerting and hypnotically fascinating, and eerily beautiful. And they’re all of cats in mid-shake:
“We basically treated the shoot like a mini grooming session with lots of treats and cat cuddles.” When her assistants – professional animal care technicians – clean the cats’ ears, it’s only a matter of time before the felines are shaking it off like pop culture’s favorite cat lady Taylor Swift taught them. – Entertainment Weekly