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Robots Go To Journalism School

In science fiction, robots make lightning fast calculations and have superhuman strength. From “Forbidden Planet” to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the robots of cinema have played a wide range of roles – as friends and as enemies to humankind. But of all the wonders robots have performed, until now, no one has imagined them as […]

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The Wheels of the Amazon Bus Go Round

If the book business were a big yellow school bus, the driver would be a bald fellow wearing a wide grin. More even than before, Jeff Bezos and Amazon have the wheel, while publishers and authors hang on for a rough ride. In particular, speculation about the end game in Amazon’s e-book sales battle with Hachette centers on the […]

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Amazon A Busy Negotiator

When Les Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, the owners of Simon & Schuster, let slip that the Big 5 house was in pricing talks with Amazon, the media world did its best to react with shock. Any expression of surprise, however, could only have been for appearance’s sake. As close observers of the […]

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Copyright and the Aereo Decision

In one corner stood the leading US television broadcast companies together; and in the other opposite corner facing them alone was Aereo, a well-funded startup company that was offering paid subscribers the ability to watch broadcast television in almost-real time over their internet-connected devices. Because Aereo did not get permission from – or pay royalties to – […]

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Amazon To Authors – Take The Whole Enchilada

The offer sounded almost too good to be true, but the reports on Tuesday were from reliable sources. Caught in a publicity fire-fight with Hachette Book Group authors and publishers, Amazon appealed to one of the parties for peace. The online shopping giant had proposed – perhaps more accurately, it had dared –to give Hachette authors 100% […]

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IndieFab Book Awards Announced

Like parenting, independent publishing isn’t something you do for the recognition and the rewards. And just like Moms and Dads anywhere, indie publishers will forego dividends for their own hard work so long as their progeny get along in the world. At the recently-concluded American Library Association annual conference in Las Vegas, independent and university presses celebrated […]

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Hachette Buys Perseus Books

That faint odor in the air for the book business is the scent of consolidation. This week, the wind of change blew in for Perseus Books Group, and then it blew out as Hachette Livre. In recent weeks, Hachette has appeared regularly in trade news headlines, mostly for its spat with Amazon. But on Tuesday, the owner of Little, Brown, […]

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Apple Settles In E-Book Price-fixing Case

News in the Apple e-book price-fixing case this week was made outside Judge Denise Cote’s courthouse. On Tuesday, plaintiffs from several states, as well as the consumer class, announced a proposed settlement with the Cupertino, California computer maker. This latest move is hardly the last in the long-running litigation, though it indicates Apple may think its legal options […]

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Picking Sides in Hachette-Amazon “War”

At BookExpo America last month, the buzz at the show wasn’t about any new titles or even any new apps, but about the bareknuckle brawl between Amazon and Hachette over eBook pricing. Now available at Soundcloud.com/BeyondtheBook is a new series of Beyond the Book “micro-casts” – brief audio recordings with pointed answers from journalists and analysts to […]

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The Future of Reading

Looking ahead to the American Libraries Association annual conference in Las Vegas later this month, Andrew Albanese takes stock of efforts by ALA’s Digital Content Working Group to influence the future direction of reading. “Formed three years ago when the library e-book market was in disarray, the group has done yeoman’s work in communicating with publishers, and even yielding […]

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