Social Commentary

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

“Online Publishing: Threat or Menace?” Redux

OBS founder and president Laura Fillmore recently revisited and updated this article she wrote over 20 years ago for The Journal of Electronic Publishing, and she would like to thank Editor Maria Bonn at the University of Illinois for the invitation to do so. The internet has introduced so many radical changes in our publishing

“Unknown” no more

This Veterans’ Day, we honor Joe Garland, his service to his country during World War II in the 45th Infantry Division, and his service to his fellow soldiers and readers back home in the publication of his collective memoir: “Unknown Soldiers: Reliving World War II in Europe.” We miss you, Joe!

Future Library Project

Talk about the publishing cycle, long-form! Last fall, Margaret Atwood delivered her new novel “Scribbler Moon” to the Future Library Project (http://www.futurelibrary.no/), to be read in 100 years after it is printed on some of the thousand tiny new trees that the project has just planted in the forest outside of Oslo, Norway, home of

“Online Publishing: Threat or Menace?” 1993-2015

  The Journal of Electronic Publishing contacted us recently, looking for an update to a paper about online publishing I wrote and presented in 1993, and which this Michigan journal published 20 years ago. Also presenting on the same panel with me at that the Graphics Communication Association Online Publishing Conference was Tim Berners-Lee, showing slides