Publishing

What’s Old is New: Mandela Lives On in OBS Archives

At first glance, the OBS Archives Site appears to be an outdated list of hyperlinks with layout and formatting reminiscent of the early 1990s. At that time, Mosaic browsers and hyperlinks were completely reforming our ideas about creating and sharing information. The Internet was just entering into the public consciousness. The world was changing, and

OM or ADD?

Ever stop to wonder what’s behind the current Yoga craze? It seems like the number of practitioners has been growing by some 20% a year in the USA; “Statistics Brain” tells us that $27 billion was spent on Yoga products in the USA alone in the last year. It might be interesting to correlate the

Library of Congress Shuttered, Citizens’ Access to Universal Education Restricted

When the Library of Congress published a free edition of Jefferson’s Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress, Ralph Eubanks, former Director of Publishing at the Library, noted in his introduction Most important, this free, electronic book fulfills Thomas Jefferson’s belief in universal education. “…Enlighten the people generally,” he urged, “and tyranny and

Gov. Patrick Signs Tech Tax Repeal

Last Friday, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick ended a two-month controversy by repealing the 6.25% “tech tax” levied on all computer and software services as part of a transportation bill passed in July. Software companies across the state challenged the tax the moment it passed into law, claiming it inhibited their ability to compete with firms

Massachusetts New Software Services Tax

On July 31, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a bill that established a sales tax of 6.25% on all software services offered in the state. Among the few states in the U.S. that have taxable computer services, the Massachusetts tax is by far the highest – New Mexico’s tax is 5.125%, Hawaii and South Dakota

Is that a Memex in your Pocket?

These days, with the ubiquity of mobile devices, it seems like we are living inside a kind of Memex. First envisioned by technology pioneer Vannevar Bush after World War II, a Memex is “a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications and which is mechanized so that it may be

Corporate Content Grab: The Elsevier Edition

Just weeks after Amazon’s highly controversial acquisition of GoodReads, major scientific publisher Elsevier has pulled a similar content grab by purchasing Mendeley, a cloud-based social media platform featuring open source content provided by academics. A detailed summary of the argument against Elsevier’s recent acquisition can be found at The Cost of Knowledge, but essentially, academics

Canary in the Coal Mine?

Faced with Amazonian Losses, Indie Publisher Sells Books out of Car Trunk An independent small publisher called recently, seeking to maintain control of, and expand market reach for his successful books on organic farming. His leading title, in its 9th edition, has sold over 18,000 copies. He wants to control business model, pricing, content, and