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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Borders chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Another new development regarding the future of the printed book:  major U.S. book retailer Borders Group has filed for Chapter 11 protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Espresso Book Machine for on-demand publishing now available

Clearly, equipment vendors foresee continued commercial viability for on-demand book publishing. Witness the recent advent to market of the Espresso Book Machine, an all-in-one book printing and finishing device that can churn out a 300-page bound volume in less than 4 minutes. Already for sale in the U.S., it will also become available commercially in Canada starting in March. Xerox has inked a deal with inventor On Demand Books to distribute the machine, which Xerox sees being paired with a Xerox 4112 printer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rupert Murdoch launches world’s 1st iPad-only newspaper

Further to my 2-Nov-2010 post and true to Rupert Murdoch's word, his News Corporation has launched the world's 1st iPad-only newspaper. Called The Daily and led by Jesse Angelo, former Executive Director of the New York Post, another News Corporation property, the publication will cost 99 cents US a week or $39.99 USD for a year’s subscription.  In providing news coverage, The Daily intends to focus on in-depth editorial, more akin to a magazine's content than a newspaper's.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More mixed signals on the future of printed books

Further to my 17-Nov-2010 posting, the last few weeks have been another roller coaster ride for anyone wondering about the future of printed books. 

Canada logged a major casualty in the filing for bankruptcy protection of H.B. Fenn, the country’s largest book distributor.

Additionally, Amazon has announced that its sales of Kindle e-books have exceeded not only its hardcover sales (which occurred last year), but now the number of paperbacks it sells as well.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, the New York Times Sunday Book Review assures us that the number of printed books out there remains impressive.  It estimates that in 2010 (after returns), American publishers shipped an estimated 3.2 billion books—or about 10 printed volumes for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.A.

Not surprisingly, speculation and discussion from many quarters continues on a 3-month-old LinkedIn discussion group that asks the question “Do you think printed books will die? Are we all going digital?” at:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Toronto statistician cracks scratch lottery ticket code

Ticket printers & sellers beware!  Thanks to a feature article in this month's "Wired" Magazine, a Toronto statistician is receiving lots of attention for detecting flaws in scratch lottery tickets that make it easy to beat the odds.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Canadian government upholds Internet's democratic roots

Today the Canadian government has championed the founding concept of the Internet as a tool for universal access to information by threatening to reverse a controversial ruling by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission).  This recent ruling denied independent Internet service providers the right to continue offering flat-fee-for-unlimited-use plans to consumers.  Prior to today's development, Industry Minister Tony Clement had received tens of thousands of emails requesting that the CRTC's decision be struck down.