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Friday News: BN and Microsoft; Google Settles with Publishers; Hachette discounting coming soon

Friday News: BN and Microsoft; Google Settles with Publishers; Hachette discounting...

This release is not without its missteps. Someone at B&N or Microsoft forgot to do a little due diligence. Nook Media, website and twitter handle, are owned and used by Stockholm based developer of online gambling casinos.  Perhaps B&N/MS who has yet to name Newco, the company that owns the Nook Media subsidiary, can figure out a new name. B&N and The Digital Reader

“The settlement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders. U.S. publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project. Those deciding not to remove their works will have the option to receive a digital copy for their use.

Google Books allows users to browse up to 20% of books and then purchase digital versions through Google Play. Under the agreement, books scanned by Google in the Library Project can now be included by publishers.”Press Release

One thing that this sort of program highlights, however, is the disparity in learning between schools that have and schools that do not have. It seems to me that publicly funded schools should provide an equal level of learning for every child no matter the school district.   The Austin Texas program was funded by bond money earmarked for educational technology. I’m not certain what the solution is to the technological divide but one must come in order for all kids to have a fair chance and a world class education. The Digital Shift

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Thursday Midday Links Roundup: Education is moving toward digital

How good is Harlequin doing? Pretty good. In a dismal economy that sees revenues at its parent company dropping, Harlequin is bringing in the profit. David Holland, the interim CEO at Torstar, said that the decline in newspapers and digital were offset by continued growth at Harlequin. (Actually Holland stated it the other way around but I decided to put the positive spin on it). Harlequin posted $122.5 million in revenue which was up 3.7% from third quarter of 2008.


After a dismal few quarters, HarperCollins experienced a small rise for the fiscal first quarter. Sales were slightly down (1.5%). Sales of ebooks accounted for 4% of the adult group revenue. Most of the profit came from restructuring and not from sales.


The Wall Street Journal accuses Amazon of stockpiling cash by paying late on its bills by up to 72 days or longer. I understand that late payment is fairly standard in the industry and the writer of the article asserts that Amazon has never made a profit, something the SEC filings for the past five years would dispute. However, if Amazon’s posted profitability rests solely on delaying cash payments, it seems, as Jose Furtado notes, that “Such things won’t flow Amazon’s way forever.”


Companies are trying to get easier access to ebooks for students including text to speech enabled ebooks which will help students with physical or learning disabilities. I think this is great and I hope the content creators will see that this is a social good that won’t create economic harm for them. Persona Non Data writes that K-12 online learning will mushroom in the next few years. My tot’s fine motor skills need some help. She has a hard time using the mouse. That’s a fair impediment to online learning.


Sarah Weinman discusses the New York Times article by Motoko Rich about the rising influence of Glenn Beck as a mover of books. Beck apparently is a big thriller fan and he’s been having a steady stream of thriller authors on his show and those thriller authors are then selling many books. It’s a double edged sword for some authors. Andrew Gross reported having received emails calling his work “lefty bullshit” and accusations that associating with Beck means that the reader would not buy another Gross book.


I’m really beginning to salivate over the MS Courier. Gizmodo has more exclusive design and function leaks. My fear is that this device will be too expensive, much like what I think killed the UMPC market before it even got off the ground. With the rise of netbooks, I think consumers don’t want to pay in excess of 3 figures for a computing device.


Jill Myles has a quiz for the Nalini Singh fans over at the Oddshots. If you want to hump things into submission, you are a Changeling.