Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Pale King

To publicize the release of “The Pale King,” a posthumously published novel by David Foster Wallace that is set in an Internal Revenue Service processing center, Hachette Book Group created a marketing campaign centered on the traditional tax day: April 15.

Except that’s not really when it went on sale.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble were selling the book on their Web sites on Wednesday, long before many bookstores would receive copies. Nicole Dewey, a spokeswoman for Little, Brown, part of Hachette, said the official on-sale date for the book was March 22, but the publication date — when the book is available everywhere — remained April 15. (A countdown clock on the Hachette Web site ticks away the days, hours and minutes until April 15.)

“I don’t really understand the confusion,” Ms. Dewey said. “This happens all the time. There’s nothing unusual about it.”

Full article in the NYT

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Judge Sets Trial Date in Georgia State University E-Reserves Lawsuit

Buried beneath the news of the Google Settlement’s rejection last week, a federal judge in Georgia has paved the way for publishers to go to trial in a contentious copyright case involving e-reserve practices at Georgia State University. On March 17, Judge Orinda Evans denied a GSU motion to dismiss the final count in the suit, setting May 16th as a trial date. The order comes after Evans denied all three of the publishers’ motions for summary judgment, while granting two of three GSU motions to dismiss, in October, 2010. She allowed the action to proceed on a single, more narrowly drawn charge of contributory infringement.

Full article at Publisher's Weekly

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kindlefish Turns Kindle Into Worldwide Translator

The 3G Kindle is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Sure, you can read books on it, but with its web browser, you can also access Wikipedia from anywhere in the world. Until now, though, there was one thing it didn’t do so well — translation. That has been fixed by Kindlefish, made by Gadget Lab reader Nicholas.

Nicholas found that Google Translate is badly suited to the e-reader’s admittedly limited web browser. “Standard Google Translate doesn’t work for the Kindle,” he writes on his blog, “and the mobile Google Translate page returns text that is too small to be easily read, and a little clunky for use on the Kindle.”

To get around this, he wrote a new front-end called Kindlefish, a homage to the universally translating Babelfish from Douglas Adams’ five-part Hitchhiker’s trilogy. The interface is simple, letting you set three preferred languages for quick access, and one input language (English by default). You just type your phrase on the Kindle’s little keyboard and hit the “Translate” button.

Full article at