Are paper books becoming obsolete in the digital age, or poised to lead a new cultural renaissance? [more inside]
Released today: the top Google searches of 2012. Also, the top Google searches in the UK. Hungry for more "Best of 2012" collections? Curious about "best of" versus "most popular"? There's much [more inside]
Bob Ferry used Google Books to find old magazines that described mechanics, showed pictures and gave descriptions of a 1906 Oldsmobile Model B Runabout so he could build it 100 years later. Lots of pics and "how to" info at the article.
How many books are there? 129,864,880.
"Schools should continue to require library research so they can see how old folks used to Google stuff."
The continuity I have in mind has to do with the nature of information itself or, to put it differently, the inherent instability of texts. In place of the long-term view of technological transformations, which underlies the common notion that we have just entered a new era, the information age, I want to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that information has always been unstable. Let's begin with the Internet and work backward in time.The Library in the New Age by Robert Darnton, historian and Director of the Harvard Library. A wide-ranging overview of the status of libraries in the modern world, touching on such subjects as: journalist poker games, French people liking the smell of books, bibliography at Google, news dissemination in the 18th Century, book piracy and the different texts of Shakespeare. Some responses: Defending the Library of Google, The Future in the Past and Librarians Need a Better Apologetic.
Future Reading. Anthony Grafton explores what we can learn about the future of the text from the history of libraries, publishers, and the sorting of books. [more inside]
The Open Content Alliance poses a threat to Google and Microsoft's competing library digitization projects. OCA was founded by the Internet Archive, whose main claim to fame is the Wayback Machine, designed to archive the internet's web history. OCA's mission is to open the nation's library collections to universal web search by digitizing books and making them as widely accessible as possible. [more inside]
Google Books has an interesting new feature called "Popular Passages" which shows how many future books have quoted passages from the present book - it's billed as a way to follow literary memes but would be equally helpful in sleuthing for old literary crimes. They've also added "Share and Enjoy" for clipping quotes from public domain books into a blog or notebook.
It's the closest we'll come to "working" there: Google brings in authors to speak to their employees, and now you can see presentations from Lawrence Lessig, John McCain, Metafilter's own John Scalzi, and more.
Dead Plagiarists Society. Using Google Books to uncover old (and recent) literary crimes. "Given the popularity of plagiarism-seeking software services for academics, it may be only a matter of time before some enterprising scholar yokes Google Book Search and plagiarism-detection software together into a massive literary dragnet, scooping out hundreds of years' worth of plagiarists—giants and forgotten hacks alike—who have all escaped detection until now."
The Google Book By V.C. Vickers, 1913. FAR! FAR away, the Google lives, in a land which only children can go to. It is a wonderful land of funny flowers, and birds, and hills of pure white heather.
Google is now offering PDFs of public domain books. Okay, this is a direct lift from Boing Boing but I figured it was too juicy for Metafilter to miss. On my first search I found An Historical Account of the Discovery and Education of a Savage Man, E. M. Itard's account (translated) of his experiences with Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron. What else is there, MeFiers?
Google Print debuts today. Working with the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, The New York Public Library, and Oxford University, Google has scanned and made searchable at least ten thousand books, with many more to follow. NY Times story here. Meanwhile, certain politicians are trying to "reign in Google" and stop the experiment before it begins.
whoa again. Amazon introduced "Search inside the book" a while ago, but now the searchmasters are doing it.
The world's largest card file? "Google is in talks with several publishers to build a service that would allow Web surfers to search the full text of books online, according to a report this week from Publishers Weekly's online site."