May 2011 Archives

Privacy is always an issue. For consumers, it means being able to trust that your private information is kept private and safe. For academics and librarians there are many First Amendment issues to be considered as well. The recent discoveries about Apple's iOS4, Sony's software piracy for its PlayStation network - which reaches an amazing 77 million people worldwide - and other issues have finally gotten the ear of Congress. In the hearings, Senators questioned companies on their policies and safeguards. I was able to talk with different interested parties in all of this for a NewsBreak that was published just before Al Franken's hearings began.

Of course, the proof here is in the pudding: Will this make a difference in terms of how companies track our behaviors while on the web? Or, will this just increase as more and more critical services, businesses and activities move to the web? Would legislation help? I personally see little progress with the McCain/Kerry proposal. What do you think?

The marketplace for publisher-based etextbook products is growing as publishers see this as both a method to stay current and relevant in the quickly changing ecosystem of 21st century publishing, but also a way to enhance their products and strengthen their market position and bottom line. In this NewsBreak for Information Today, I had the chance to look at McGraw-Hill's new ebook library. With the annual Book Expo America starting today in New York City, we can expect many more announcements of new products and technologies.

What are your thoughts on etextbooks? Do you use them? Do you like them? Feel free to share your ideas here!