Social Commentary

Blockchain in Publishing: The Simultaneity of Becoming

When a publication gets empowered by blockchain technology, one can truly say that a reader never steps into the same book twice. Blockchain enables internet-published content to emulate life itself — both the perceived (the content), and the perceivers (publishers and readers) — in a recorded environment that captures and publishes a constant state of content

Bezos Started Amazon Based on Math Error

Before Amazon, there was the Online BookStore (OBS), now Open Book Systems (OBS). We maintained a list of all the publishers who had online presences; it took up about half a computer screen in 1994. Before starting the Online BookStore, our company packaged books for publishers, one of which was John Quarterman’s The Matrix (Digital Press,

Net Neutrality: It’s Not Over Yet!

This past Saturday Senator Elizabeth Warren visited Cape Ann, where OBS is headquartered, for an inspiring town hall with 800 citizens. OBS president Laura Fillmore was the first to ask a question of the Senator, and, fittingly, the internet pioneer asked about the FCC’s December 14 decision to eliminate Net Neutrality, basically turning the free and open

Free Speech Matters

During these challenging times, some may find it tempting to try and purge the online environment of propaganda and hate speech — but we must not succumb to the siren song of censorship, whose blade, given time, cuts equally right, left, or center. Danger signs manifest themselves today — some gatekeepers of our internet infrastructure

Standing up for Net Neutrality

Since we saw the first posts on USENET in Spring 1989, describing the protests in Tiananmen Square, and the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, OBS has built a publishing services business based on a free and open internet. Censorship (in the form of suppression and distortion of free speech) is raising its ugly head once

Wisdom to our Electors, From the Source

What’s New today, and critical for us to understand before the Electoral College votes next month, is a document from 1788: The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton designed the Electoral College to ensure that “… the election of the President is pretty well guarded.” The College’s 538 Electors come from outside of Federal Government,

LOL RE: Kids, Cursive, and the Future of Communication

Public elementary schools appear to be eliminating the teaching of cursive writing. Early introduction to block letters today apparently only readies youngsters to recognize letters on a keyboard and begin typing ASAP, thumbing in texts and tweets on screens, rather than serving as a precursor to learning cursive writing as a primary means of documentation

One World-Wide Webification

The big news to come out of BookExpo America (BEA) in Chicago this month is the early sounds of a merger of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), managers of the publishing industry’s EPUB standard, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) and CEO

Controlled Vocabulary Punctuated by Barbarians

We have been working with a medical colleague in Brussels to develop controlled vocabulary for a suite of medical instruments, to facilitate the gathering and interpretation of patient data in multiple languages. This nonprofit volunteer organization focuses on saving lives, improving the quality of medical care across cultures. How perfect a petri dish is trilingual