Copyright and disruptive technology

What if you could give a book to everyone on earth? Get an ebook and read it on any device, in any format, forever? Give an ebook to your library, for them to share? Own DRM-free ebooks, legally? Read free ebooks, and know their creators had been fairly paid?  –From About, unglue.it Copyright is a round hole.  Paper publications are nice, round pegs.  Electronic items are square pegs.  Hard copies can be passed around, shared from person to person across time and space.  A copyright holder’s distribution rights are curtailed by the physical transfer of the copyrighted item (by purchase or gift) Continue reading Copyright and disruptive technology

Google, tech support, and your parents

Google has entered the tech support arena: http://www.teachparentstech.org/watch The short help videos are slick, and they’re appealing, at least to the target audience: a younger generation that is very tech savvy with parents or grandparents who are not.  One of my sons came across them and asked if I thought they would be helpful for his grandparents, who are in their 80’s.  I went to investigate. The Tech Support care package is a set of quick videos intended to make using Google products easier.  It makes sense.  You have a product.  You do a market analysis.  Where can you expand? Continue reading Google, tech support, and your parents

I’d be happy to take that off your hands

In the not too distant past, I was manning the reference desk, listening to a man say he had to come to the library to use the computers because his laptop was so badly infested with viruses that he had to throw it away. “You threw it away?” I asked, incredulously. “Yeah, it’s worthless now.  I can’t use it.  I’m just going to throw it away.” Realizing he hadn’t actually thrown it away yet, but was willing to, I glibly asked if he’d throw it my way.  He looked at me incredulously at the same time I realized there was Continue reading I’d be happy to take that off your hands

The Digital Age, Books, and Libraries

There’s a lot of flag waving (especially by alarmed librarians) about the imminent demise of the book and libraries.  Actually, that’s not true.  The librarians are trying to fend off those who are buying into the idea that printed books, and libraries as we used to know them, are pointless vestiges of a prior era.  The debate has been picked up by the New York Times, which is getting a lot of press (sorry) lately. The biggest issue, which is only obliquely hinted at in the arguments floating around, especially those in the Times opinion piece, is accessibility. I have Continue reading The Digital Age, Books, and Libraries

Computer Classes for Libraries and others

I promised this long ago, so it’s way past time to get these posted. Feel free to modify and reuse these.  They are provided under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial 3.0 license.  If you require other terms, leave a comment with your contact information, and I will get back to you.  Please note the powerpoint files are rather large (>4MB). portablesoftware This is a powerpoint program covering Portable Software:  what it is, how to install it, where to get it, and how to use it.  There are two handouts that go with the program: Install Portable Software and Start Portable Continue reading Computer Classes for Libraries and others