Saturday, July 10, 2010

News and Notes

<----- I need to check out this book by Clay Shirky. The author's primary contention is that technology has finally caught up with human cognitive ability and that the two in conjunction will lead to a new era in creativity. This book seems like a hopeful look at the future as opposed to the doom and gloom of some of the other books out there. After I read this one I intend to check out The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr, just to get both sides of the argument. A really insightful interview with Shirky at the Barnes and Noble Review is available here. Also check out the review of the book at Popmatters.

The Washington Post has an article evaluating the benefits of e-readers. It's a interesting breakdown of the the devices versus tablets, but the most important part of the piece is at the beginning when the author discusses a study that shows when tested, people reading the exact same text will typically read slower when reading digital version as opposed to a printed version. It was a small study group but still interesting results.

CNET news reports that the lower prices of the Nook have hurt the sales of the Kobo. The article states that the previously lower price of the Kobo was an important part of the marketing strategy, but with Barnes and Noble offering a WiFi capable version of their device for same price and numerous different features, it might be in trouble.

Daily Tech has an article on a marketing study that shows that the average e-reader owner is an older college educated. I think this an interesting demographic breakdown since it seems that the most vocal opponents of e-publishing seem to be in the same group (I don't have statistics to be back up that claim; its just been my experience). Another more in-depth article on the market trend by the Sydney Morning Herald can be found here.

Brief note: on a previous post on John Updike's essay I had the heading historiography. One of my goals of this blog is to read and comment on important works on the subject of the digital transition. Future posts of this kind will have the historiography heading.

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