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  1. #31
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye View Post
    As I mentioned earlier, my source is Jeffrey Toobin's article in this month's The New Yorker, wherein the second paragraph asserts: "Google intends to scan every book ever published, and to make the full texts available, in the same way that Web sites can be searched on the company's engine at google.com"...

    So, say when the project is completed, I search Shiko Shudojo and Nusumi and get over 800 hits. By checking each hit, getting 20 lines before and after the hit, I can probably read your books on line. Is that an issue for you?
    I take Toobin's statement to be pure hyperbole. I cannot fathom how anyone thinks they could scan the millions of books ever printed. This isn't a matter of taking some PDF files and converting them, which might apply to books created in the last half dozen years. This is human beings physically scanning every physical page of a book. And not only scanning it as an 'image', but then doing optical character recognition of every page and turning it into a readable text with no errors. This isn't a 'technology' issue that Google can solve with the wave of a wand - there's no way to 'digest' a printed, bound book into some machine and have a scanned version of the text appear out the other end. It's hand labor to get things scanned, and would take armies of people to do it and then review the results. Snow job, if you ask me.

    As for trying to assemble a book out of the 20 lines before and after each reference entered, just to save the cost of buying it... there may be some people with that sort of time on their hands, but most of them are hackers who wouldn't spend the time doing that; they'd be working to break the whole system and get at the underlying files in their entirety. For a Harry Potter phenomena book, such excess might happen; but if anybody went to that amount of trouble over Kotaishi, more power to 'em! I must then be making quite the impression!

  2. #32
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Naturally, sir, you are entitled to your opinion. I have no driving urge to convert you to my opinion. I'll merely state that the Google did develop a scanner technology that allows them to scan any size book and that they continue to hire an army of slaves....er.....automatons.....er...people willing to undertake the labor involved. Man, that is not a job I would want.

  3. #33
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye View Post
    For The Road to Kotaishi, at this point, all they have is reference to the book's vital statistics. For Moby Dick, they have the whole book. It's just a matter of time till Kevin's books are in the pile.
    I think it will be quite awhile before Kevin's books are in the pile, but it is interesting that they have the reference material on it. That would seem to indicate that they are either using copyright filings with the Library of Congress or ISBN numbers to build a database. Moby Dick, as a classic work in the public domain, would be wanted. I would imagine that the classics in public domain were the first books that they did. They have the highest research value also, since students study such works.

    As I understand it - and we know how my mind operates -, lots of publishers went with Google because of the advertising angle. The Authors Guild is suing because no one consulted the authors.
    Okay, this is consistent. Traditionally, publishers were given all electronic rights on a work as part of the licensing agreement, because there wasn't much exploitation of electronic forms. When audio books on tape came along, those rights were separated out and highly fought over between publishers and authors/agents regarding whether they should regularly be part of the standard licensing agreement or retained by the author for licensing sale to the publisher or others. The same thing occurred with CD-ROM editions, once that looked like the future direction of books. When that pretty much fizzled out because of developments with the Internet, general electronic rights, including all possible emergent technologies, became the battleground. It was assumed that soon a lot of publishing or tandem publishing would be on-line, a position publishers and authors backtracked from as soon as they realized hackers could steal the files.

    So, it sounds like publishers sold electronic rights to Google, which then rallied authors who both want control of such rights and are concerned about copyright infringement. And some of the publishers also became concerned about infringement and piracy. If that's the case, then Google can only scan those books in the public domain or for which they've bought the electronic database rights. Again, if that is the case, they'll concentrate on non-fiction, bestsellers and classic literature works not yet in the public domain, as well as older literature. If Google is simply taking copyrighted books and scanning them, without contracting for rights, then I would imagine it's a battle to define whether it's legal or not.

    Google has a history of making money where no one has gone before. If they think they see a market, I'd bet on them.
    The problem with non-book companies thinking that they see a market is that they continually overestimate the size of the reading market, and also the willingness of reading consummers to use different media versions of a book text, especially with fiction, and to use the technologies/software necessary for such versions. Which tends to cause initial excitement, followed by deflation of such programs. I'm not saying Google won't try to turn themselves into the Library of Congress, and eventually everything will have electronic involvement of some sort. I just don't trust initial claims of this sort to be good predictors of the future, because I've seen them go off-base too many times before.

    And I'll bet they figure a way to fairly compensate authors which is better than libraries do.
    Whoa, dude, libraries are an author's best friend. Aside from the lack of paperbacks, which is because they are more difficult to keep track of, the libraries aid authors on several fronts. The library systems provide reviews used by booksellers; revenues for author and publisher from the purchase of books; keeps books in print and in circulation long after the publisher has lost interest -- particularly useful for series that might get reprinted; supplies titles for academic research and thus increased author name recognition; and most importantly, are major agents in authors building up reading audiences. Theoretically, authors should probably be paying libraries a fee for their help. The shutting down of libraries and cutting of their budgets was one factor in the sales squeeze that occurred of mid-list authors.

    If I had to bet on whether libraries or Google or Microsoft would most fairly compensate authors, I'd go with the libraries every time, even though publishers do give them hefty discounts to get them to buy. Both of those multi-conglomerate monsters are well known for taking advantage of content suppliers. That Google shows little interest in paying much for these books doesn't bode well. Nor have they been very reassuring on the piracy and infringement front.

  4. #34
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Author Clive Cussler is suing the movie studio that bought and made "Sahara" from his Dirk Pitt books for damaging his career. Apparently, they were contractually obligated to use his notes on the film, which they didn't. If he actually succeeds in this lawsuit, that's going to open up an interesting can of worms.

  5. #35
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    ...If he actually succeeds in this lawsuit, that's going to open up an interesting can of worms.
    Like causing all the lawyers to tighten the screws down even further...

  6. #36
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Okay, this is a minor one, but it bugs me, even if it's understandable. My daughter read "Bridge to Terabithia" in her class, which overwhelmingly loved the book. It is NOT a fantasy book, but a tale about two friends who imagine a magical kingdom while hanging out in the woods, and it has a tragic, real-life ending.

    They have, thirty years later, now made a movie of the book, and they have the ability to give visual images of the kids' imaginings. All well and good, but the studio has chosen to market and advertise the movie as if it were yet another fantasy epic like Narnia and Eragon. So you just know, all these parents and kids are going to go, thinking it's a fantasy adventure, and run smack into a warm-hearted drama instead and probably dislike it.

    This happens sometimes and it always ends up causing the movie to bomb. Peter Jackson's "The Frighteners," a horror movie, was advertised as the next Ghostbusters because it featured Michael J. Fox (who was pretty good in the movie actually,) and so it bombed. "Little Black Book," a satiric drama featuring Brittany Murphy, was marketed as a romantic comedy, and so it bombed, and so on. There seems to be few as clueless as movie marketing folk.

    Well okay, maybe the politicians who lost 8 billion in cash in Iraq.

  7. #37
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    I think that goes hand in hand with the movies advertised with some star's name up front and center, when in fact they may be on-screen for 5 minutes in a bit part. The desire to artifically inflate interest outweighs any idea about promoting the movie on its own merits. I suppose their thinking is that if they just get the people in the theater (by hook or by crook), then the movie will take care of itself. Whether the initial expectations are met or not is immaterial. The marketers probably are only concerned with head count as a measure of their success. But as we all know, this is not a way for "buzz" to happen, and just as with books you need buzz, not hype, to really be successful.

  8. #38
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Here's something I noticed, or rather was struck by: the recent archeological find of the two "lovers" that was recently reported around in the news. There's a real left brain - right brain approach to thinking about this. My left brain says, after one slices away the adjectives used in reporting the story ("doomed love", the two skeletons "cuddle" together, etc.), that it is entirely reasonable to conclude that the two skeletons were buried together for reasons quite apart from love or any particular attachment to one another. It could just as easily have been some sort of relgious ritual that placed them in such a position, or even some form of "eternal punishment". There is no way (at least from the evidence so far described) to understand the circumstances, and as always when evaluating the distant past one has to be exceedingly careful not to overlay our own modern, Western perceptions on what we're seeing.

    On the other hand... my right brain says that if that isn't the most enduring and demonstrative example of the human capacity for love and caring between two people, it'd be hard to find anything to surpass it. Those two have been "staring" into one another's eye (sockets) since before the dawn of recorded history. And, one might surmise that someone cared enough about the two of them to have placed them that way within their common grave. I tell you what, that sounds like a much nicer way to go than being cooped up in a box all by yourself...

    Now, by now you all know me pretty well. While I shuttle back and forth all the time between left brain and right brain, on matters such as this, until proven otherwise, I'm right brain all the way. The indominatibility of the human spirit to overcome its predilection for "inhumanity" is something I hold onto, and try to express through my writing. I'm gonna stick with the lover's theory.

  9. #39
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    It is a nice idea, isn't it? And maybe they were husband and wife. But they could have just as easily been two bodies that were thrown into the same grave and landed that way.

  10. #40
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Romeo and Juliet, please. Horror is in another thread.
    Your cynicism may rouse these dead
    To make redress of all their history
    And thus destroy the veil of mystery
    That buried them in their conjugal bed.

    Can just picture the couple saying to themselves as the archaeologists are in the throes of dusting off their bones: "Sheesh! See if we tell them any more of our secrets!"
    Last edited by Hereford Eye; February 21st, 2007 at 06:43 AM.

  11. #41
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Well done! We're going to send you over to Alison's thread and make you compete with her in verse.

  12. #42
    Registered User Dazzlinkat's Avatar
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    LOL you know HE can never resist a challenge

  13. #43
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Charlie Huston has gotten Already Dead optioned for film and in development. While I'm thrilled for Huston, I do wonder how many of the supernatural mystery series can really get made in film/t.v. at once. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files is already on t.v. -- and it's a fun series, if not yet groundbreaking and somewhat cleaned up from the books. Charlaine Harris' vampire Southern mysteries are getting done on HBO, and so on. Then again, we have both Medium and Ghost Whisperer on U.S. t.v., so what do I know.

  14. #44
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Entertainment Weekly in the States is clearly trying to do a little more book coverage on their online site. Mostly things like which acclaimed novel did you not read, but hey, it's a start.

    Jonathan Lethem's earlier category sf novels have now been exorcised and are now described as just a part of his body of "trippy" fiction. Still, the fact that they bother to mention Gun With Occasional Music at all is pretty good.

    The new system in the U.S. of airing new episodes of shows, then yanking them off the air for several weeks, then bringing them back at unpredictable times is really, really annoying.

  15. #45
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Concur.
    Especially when you develop a fascination for a character, say House or Bones, and you must wait for interminably long periods for a new episode because of some idiotic thing called American Idol. I understand this latter show is all Juzzza's fault. It started over there and he must have convinced them to export it to us. He has this nasty vicious streak, you know.

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