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OPLIN 4cast #72

Posted in ALA, Amazon, eBooks, Google, Google Wave, Hunch, newspapers, and Wikipedia

This week’s 4cast:

1. Supply, Demand & Reality

A new ALA report titled “Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study” finds that space limitations, flat budgets, and inadequate staffing (among other factors) have America’s public libraries struggling to keep up with the public’s appetite for Internet-based services.

2. Throw the eBook at ‘Em

Amazon and Google are taking different approaches as they enter the eBook business later this year. The Kindle is a proprietary, stand-alone device that will connect wirelessly to an Amazon eBook store. Google, on the other hand, will simply index select titles and charge people to access/download them (a project separate from Google Book Search). Most observers seem to scoff at anything eBook-related these days.

3. Go Free or Go Home

The New York Times is ending its TimeSelect subscription service, and will make all of its current content and most of its archives freely available on its website. Some are interpreting this as another sign that people are increasingly unwilling to pay for online content.

4. This Fog is Getting Thicker (and Wikipedia is Getting Larger)

The English version of Wikipedia recently published article number two-million. That’s kinda big.