I Admit It, The iPad Is A Kindle Killer. I Just Wish It Weren't Going To Kill Reading Too

Even for those who love books enough to persevere with reading without e-ink will soon face another problem with the awesomeness of the iPad. The device does so many different things so well that there’s a constant urge when you’re using one to do something else. Two or three pages into a book, you’re already wondering whether you’ve got new mail, or whether anyone has atted you on Twitter. One…

Introduction to the Memex

I just posted a new handout, introducing students in my “History and Future of the Book” course to Vannevar Bush and his memex. I’ll probably tweak that handout a bit more, but it’s quitting time today. In 1946, Vannevar Bush published “As We May Think” (I assigned it in EL236, but I’m not assigning the whole article this time — this online handout should provide you with what you need…

Emanuel Goldberg, Electronic Document Retrieval, And Vannevar Bush's Memex

“As We May Think” has been constantly cited ever since, a development that has been analyzed by Smith (1981), who noted that the article has been used as a symbol for a number of different concepts. However, references to it often have little substance. The paper has become a fashionable icon of modern information science, typically used as a convenient point of departure, or as an invocation of respectability. Bush…

Copyright Law at 300

The world’s first copyright law was passed by the English Parliament on 10 April 1710 as ‘An Act for the Encouragement of Learning’.  The Queen Anne Statute, as it is known, marked the beginning of modern copyright law.  Professor Gillian Davies, author of ‘Copyright and the Public Interest’, describes it as ‘the foundation upon which the modern concept of copyright in the Western world was built’, quoting Halsbury’s ‘Laws of…

Jobs Bans Non C Libraries. Insane Restraint of Trade

Responding to Apple’s most recent legal agreement governing the way apps are developed for the iPhone.  Some popular apps have been written in Adobe Flash and converted to work on the iPhone; this is cumbersome, but at least it lets designers use the Flash skills they already have.  I have no love of no love for Adobe, but I don’t want a bigger, more powerful bully to beat up the…