Archive
  • Bookmobile: Books everywhere
    One of the subjects touched on in the fascinating talk by Brewster Kahle which I linked to yesterday was the Bookmobile, an on-demand books service in the back of a van connected to the Internet Archive’s hundreds of thousands of free, digitised texts. The set-up, which cost around $15,000 including the car (breakdown below, no pun intended), consists of a mobile satellite connection, a couple of laptops, a laser printer, a guillotine and a book binding machine. It can produce books anywhere in the world that can see a satellite, in minutes, for a cost price of $1 a book....
  • Universal access to all knowledge is within our grasp
    Via Quentin Stafford-Fraser’s Status-Q blog, I came across this fascinating talk by Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian, Director and Co-founder of the Internet Archive, which has been working to provide universal access to all human knowledge for more than fifteen years. Play audio file It’s a couple of years old, but Kahle’s major point – that libraries are not important simply as repositories of knowledge, but that they make it available for research, thus expanding the sum total of that knowledge in the world and improving it – is anything but redundant. If you’ve wondered how Google Book Search, ...
  • ‘vE-“jA and the Interactive Book
    A little late for your Christmas presents, but ‘vE-“jA: Art + technology of Live Audio/Video’ is a book about the global VJ scene: creating and producing live audiovisual mixes. The standard edition of the book comes with a DVD containing hundreds of images and video clips by artists featured in the book (the accompanying and slightly confusingly side-scrolling website also contains a wealth of links to these artists, for happy holiday time-wasting). What makes this interesting is that a special edition of the book will be, in the editor Xárene Eskander’s words, a wireless interactive touch version. Using Touchsmart technology...
  • At the end of the Rainbow
    There’s been a bit of a fuss recently when it was reported that an Indian engineering student had developed a new technique for data storage which not only massively outperformed the most modern competing techniques, such as DVDs, but did so using the far more ancient medium of paper. Sainul Abideen’s “Rainbow Technology” uses multicoloured geometric shapes to store data on a printed page. This data can then be read back into a computer using a simple optical scanner. The original article claimed that text typed on 432 pages of foolscap paper could be stored on a four square inch ...
  • RSVP – End of the codex?
    I recently talked about ICUE, a company developing a reader application for mobile phones. One of the presentation modes used in the ICUE applications, alongside manual and ticker-tape scrolling, was Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP. RSVP has been around for a while but is only now on the point of becoming widespread. A simple RSVP example is shown here, courtesy of flashreader.com. Studies at the University of Wichita, among others, have shown that readers attain the same level of comprehension using RSVP at 250 WPM as they do at their own speed on traditionally-presented text. Admittedly, most ...
  • Forbes on Books
    One of the many things we missed while we were away was the appearance of Forbes Magazine’s special Books edition. It’s right on the ball, with a number of fascinating articles from the people who really know what they’re talking about, so you’ve got the Institute for the Future of the Book’s Ben Vershbow on The Networked Book, Boingboing’s Cory Doctorow on giving books away for free, and UC’s Jonathan Enfield on new challenges to copyright. It’s a really good selection, and all the commentators seem to be saying the same thing: technology is coming, but ...
  • Gowers Review
    The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property is published today as part of the UK’s pre-Budget report, and is now available as a downloadable pdf from the Treasury website (which, it must be said, is a joy to use, right down to the lovely red box favicon). The Gowers review is a year-long independent review of intellectual property rights in the United Kingdom commissioned by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and lead by former FT-editor Andrew Gowers. It’s the first action in some time on Britain’s somewhat untypical copyright laws, and is particularly interesting when various parties are seeking ...
  • For Hire

    Booktwo.org is the blog of James Bridle, a book and technology specialist with specific expertise in planning and producing web and new media projects for clients in publishing and the arts. If you'd like to hire me, have a look at my CV and portfolio, and feel free to get in touch.

    I am also a member of the Really Interesting Group.

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    Speaking Engagements:

    I am available for conferences and other events. For examples, see my talks at Interesting, Playful, South by Southwest, dConstruct and Tools of Change Frankfurt.

    A complete list of talks, with links, is available.