Category Archives: apps

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, May 12, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- May 12th, 2011

Today’s links!

Google Books Heads North: The Digital Reader reports that Google Books is in the process of opening in Canada.

Coal Curriculum: Three advocacy groups are asking Scholastic to stop distributing curriculum materials developed for the American Coal Foundation, which paid Scholastic to develop them. From the NYT.

Book Future UK: Paid Content UK looks at the World E-Reading Congress in London, where publishers are trying to answer the question “what is a book?”

Bertelsmann Up: The Random House parent reported its Q1 results. From the Bookseller.

Chromebook: The big tech news this week comes from Google’s developer conference, where the company has unveiled the first laptops to run its Chrome operating system. From Engadget.

iFlow Follow Up: More on the demise of the iFlow e-reader app, which PWxyz reported on yesterday. From CNET.

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, May 5, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- May 5th, 2011

Today’s links!

Mike Edwards Speaks: “We are here fighting to the end” he tells AnnArbor.com.

Gaiman Fights Back: Neil Gaiman responds to the Minnesota senator who accused him of stealing from the state. From the Guardian.

Picture Book: A first edition of one of the most lavishly illustrated books of the 15th Century is for sale. From Art Daily.

Bye Books & More: The Madison, South Dakota bookseller is closing. From the Madison Daily Leader.

And Two More: Two stores in Ft. Wayne, Ind. are also closing. From the Journal Gazette.

Prison Book Blocking: The ACLU is asking a judge to lift a South Carolina policy that bans all books but the Bible from prisons.

The PW Morning Report: Monday, May 2, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- May 2nd, 2011

New month, new week, new links!

LA Times Book Fest: Here’s a look at Jonathan Lethem at the LAT Festival of Books.

Osama Books: In the wake of last night’s news, the NYT rounds up books about Osama Bin Laden.

Weekend Winners: The Millions rounds up the weekend’s book award winners–prizes from The Believer and others. Plus, we’ve got a report on the winner of this year’s best translated book of poetry.

Writers Speak: A look at the interview archives from the Kelly Writer’s House, where famous writers like Susan Sontag and Adrienne Rich visited and left recordings of their events, which are now available online. From Brain Pickings.

On Mortenson: David Rakoff talks about the Greg Mortenson fallout in the NYT.

Playbook: According to AllThingsD, the Blackberry Playbook, RIM’s iPad competitor, is selling well at Best Buy.

Blurb: TUAW looks at a new app from Blurb, a company previously in the self-publishing biz, is expanding into mobile storytelling.

The PW Morning Report: Friday, April 8, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- April 8th, 2011

Today’s links!

‘Hunger Games’: The Movie: Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross talk to EW about the making of the movie.

Looking Toward London: The Bookseller looks toward a “packed” LBF.

Karen Russell Interviewed: The Millions talks to the author of the hot new novel Swamplandia!

AOL Bloodbath: An  AOL insider tells all about the layoff bloodbath after the HuffPo acquisition. From the AWL.

Time to Decide: A reader writes into the SF Weekly’s advice columnist to ask whether it’s time to switch to e-books.

Improving iBooks: A TUAW blogger has five suggestions for how Apple could make iBooks better.

Literary Journals: The NYT reports on how they’re thriving both on paper and on screen.

B&N and Android: Barnes & Noble is developing new tools to let developers create Android apps for the Nookcolor, All Things Digital says.

The PW Morning Report: Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- April 5th, 2011

Today’s links!

Harry-E Delay: Contrary to reports, Rowling is in no rush to digitize Harry.  She’s still weighing her e-book options, reports the Guardian.

E-book Piracy: The Boston Globe takes a look at how easy it is.

Librar-E-books: NPR looks at e-books and libraries.

‘Hunger Games’ Casts Peeta and Gale: The HG movie is talking shape, with Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth taking two roles. From EW.

Eternity Uncensored: James Jones’s heirs publish an uncensored version of From Here to Eternity with Open Road.

Paltrow Preparations: Salon reviews, and likes, Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook.

Books to Apps: The Mac Observer looks at coffee table book publisher Nicholas Callaway, who is shifting his business to apps.

Lion’s Head Revisited: Former PW editor Dermot McEvoy is doing an oral history of the famed, and closed Lion’s Head bar, with the aim of capturing the spirit of the pub from as many living writers, journalists and authors can remember.

A Look at the Ampersand Poetry App

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 28th, 2011

This year’s PW poetry feature, just out today, focuses on poetry e-books.  The big development in that arena is a forthcoming app and storefront called Ampersand, developed by book distribution and production house BookMobile. The video above was produced by BookMobile essentially to show interested publishers what the app would look like and do.  To supplement the feature, we thought we’d show it to you.

Also in this week’s issue, profiles of three poets and one poet-critic, plus a “Why I Write” essay by poet Kathleen Ossip.

Toss Your Desktop PC, Keep Your Print Books, Says the NYT

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 24th, 2011

Don’t give up on your print books yet, advises the New York Times in an article published in the paper’s tech pages yesterday. The story, called “Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of” and written by Sam Grobart, offers opinions on which household gadgets and technologies you can do without, now that other devices like smartphones encompass their functions.  For instance, the Times says you can get rid of your desktop PC because laptops can do almost everything desktops can, but they’re portable.  Books, however, haven’t been bested by e-books.  Here’s what the Times times has to say about print books:

Keep them (with one exception). Yes, e-readers are amazing, and yes, they will probably become a more dominant reading platform over time, but consider this about a book: It has a terrific, high-resolution display. It is pretty durable; you could get it a little wet and all would not be lost. It has tremendous battery life. It is often inexpensive enough that, if you misplaced it, you would not be too upset. You can even borrow them free at sites called libraries.

That one exception is cookbooks, which Grobart says can’t outdo the functionality of new cookbook apps, which offer things like video tutorials for complicated cooking techniques.

One nice thing about print cookbooks, though, is they don’t blow up or stop working if you spill a whole bottle of canola oil on them.

The PW Morning Report: Friday, March 18, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- March 18th, 2011

Today’s links!

Borders Rewards: A borders employee writes to the Consumerist about her discomfort with selling Borders’ rewards cards to customers.

Davis-Kidd Throws in the Towel: Conceding it can’t submit a reorg plan to the court, the parent company of Davis-Kidd is putting the remaining stores up for sale. From the Memphis Daily News.

Do E-Books Wear Out?: The Toronto Star asks this burning question relative to the HarperCollins E-book lending cap.

The NYT Website Pay Wall: Yesterday, the NYT announced its digital subscription plan.  Reading the NYT online is about to get not-free.  Here are the details.

Miller on Frey: Salon’s Laura Miller takes on James Frey’s  latest literary scheme.

iBooks Emphasis: Apple is drawing extra attention to iBooks with its new iPhone ads. From TUAW.

SXSWi Is So Cool, Even the Ice Cream is Free

Calvin Reid -- March 12th, 2011

At the risk of sounding pompous, once you actually arrive on the scene at SXSW Interactive, it’s difficult not to feel really special in a town that seems to have been taken over by computer programmers, digital entrepreneurs and a hipster cartel of awesomely creative T-shirt designers. From picking up press credentials to finding a place to eat, our first day at SXSW was more about getting the lay of the festival’s digital landscape and plotting a way to cover even a small part of SXSW’s dense maze of panels, programming and, well, parties.

Arriving a day before the show began turned out to be huge boon, especially when we saw the lines snaking into the press credentials and badge pickup room on Friday morning. We were in and out wandering through the Austin Convention Center in no time. SXSW seems to have left no good idea untouched; I was incredibly impressed by the badges, which not only have your photo, but repeat your name, organization and picture on both sides of the badge. If you’ve ever been at a convention and desperate to remember someone’s name only to find that their badge has flipped backwards, you’ll know exactly why this is step forward in the evolution of convention IDs.

T-Shirts, Shuttle Buses and Software

Of course the immediate reaction to both Austin, a liberal, youth oriented laid-back city full of more bars and music dives than even the Lower East Side, and to SXSW, the epitome of Young Technology Nation, is that of uber college town with the convention center as the epicenter of the campus. Everybody’s really friendly, everybody seems really cool, yes, the t-shirts (I bought a t-shirt before I attended a panel) are lively and cool and the shuttle bus system—we’re stuck at a very nice but sort of far-out hotel down I-35–seems to work fabulously well, running frequently from early morning to 2:00 am—yes, the late night schedule is going to come in handy.

But we’re here at the premier venue for emerging technology and the entreprenuers looking to exploit it for the next big tech thing. First, my colleague Rachel Deahl is right—be on time, the panels are packed and you might not get in. I wasn’t on time, but managed to finagle my way into a jam-packed panel, No Child Left Inside: Mobile Tech Meets Education, a look at the movement to use mobile devices, from iPhones to iPads, with young and older students. A panel of activist educators and academics discussed “Citizen Science,” essentially arming students with devices and collecting data, using crowd sourcing techniques to create teaching environments outside of the classroom, and outside of the typically published educational content. More on that panel to come in future reports.

Friday offered a mix of Meet the Entrepreneur—Rachel and I got to talk tech with Pawan Deshpande and Richard Turcott of HiveFire, an online marketing and content curation venture. I think I may have heard the first relatively clear definition of “curation’’, a relentless buzzword these days that seems on the surface to have replaced the word “publishing.” HiveFire offers its clients a software platform called Curata, which seems to function like a meta-publishing platform within a company—HiveFire seems to specialize in niche industries like health information—serving up a automated platter of content that, we’re told, is much quicker to collect, much easier to find and much better at showing off what your business does.

A packed house at PubCamp

Panels, PubCamp and Parties

We managed to get a glimpse of other cool stuff at other cool panels (yes, I use cool to much) thanks to help of the help of photographer/intrepid panel reporter Jody Culkin. Programmer Jon Dahl’s presentation, “Programming and Minimalism,” surveyed the importance of style and simplicity in writing code, comparing programming to both rock music and principals of writing set forth in George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.”  A panel on, “The Potential of Augmented Reality For Education,” looked at AR—the ability to overlay or embed visual info over the real world images seen through a cameras or mobile device—and how it can be used for both teaching as well as “putting people at the center of their data.” And at a panel called, “Interactive Comics: Techniques to Enhance Math Education,” educator John Baird outlined his Create a Comic Project, an educational project where he uses templates with comics with blank balloons, and has the students write the dialog.

Friday’s programming ended with an appearance by me and Rachel at PubCamp, a mini-conference organized by an impressive group of long-time SXSW attendees (BookSquare blogger Kassia Krozser and BookTour.com’s Kevin Smoker among them).  Romance book blogger Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches Trashy Books) opened the event with a typically wry survey of recent book events, including the HarperCollins new library e-book lending policy that forces librarians to repurchase e-book licenses after 26 loans. “library budgets are this big,” said Wendell, scrunching her two fingers close together and invoking the romance genre she loves so much in defense of libraries,  “and nothing that small can be any good.” And joined by Ed Nawotka, former PW colleague and now editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, on the small stage, Rachel and I fielded questions from a room packed with new media and old media veterans, published and hoping to be published authors and, of course, readers.

So our first days in Austin/SXSW were a combination of—excuse the college metaphor—student orientation and class in session. And yes, the parties are good too. In fact, leaving the last party event of the night—a wild and rocking multimedia rooftop affair at a place called Mohawk—and heading back to the hotel, our group passed the Ice Cream Man truck (we also passed Taco Trucks, BBQ Trucks and so on), a group or business or social movement (whatever) whose mission is to giveaway ice cream—for free. Apparently they’ve given away over “300,000 frozen treats,” so we lined up and got ours, happily licking and scooping free ice cream as we headed to the shuttle bus. Cool digital programming and free ice cream? How cool is that?

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- February 24th, 2011

Today’s links!

Checking In: The Daily Beast checks in with the Strand to see how the New York used bookselling giant is doing.

O’Reilly’s E-Book Numbers: O’Reilly details its e-book sales numbers–they’re high!–in a blog post.

Vertical Integration: Kodansha and Dai Nippon are buying the small press Vertical books. From Anime New Network.

Can Scandinavian Crime Fiction Teach Us Socialism: That’s the headline of this Guardian article, and also the question it seeks to answer.

Katie Couric To Publish Book of Essays: Random House will publish Couric’s book called ‘The Best Advice I Ever Got.’ From the NYT.

iPad 2?: Images have surfaced of what is claimed to be the iPad 2. From Pocket-Lint.

Writers of the Future: Excerpts from a book of essays imagining the future of being a writer. From the Millions.