This is a way cool new PC concept. The size of a large hardback book, but a quarter of the width; two touch-sensitive, haptic-enhanced screens that can function as a key board and a monitor, when opened like a book, like two screens, when laid out flat like two touch screen tablets. What more can you ask for? And for a target price of $75?! Sheesh.
Brewster Kahle, self-described internet librarian and all-around technological gadfly, talked excitedly on TWiT this week about one of the Internet Archives great projects: a book mobile that is connected to the net and is fitted out with a high speed printer-binder so the book mobile can roll around the country side printing out books on demand.
Love him or hate him, Brewster Kahle, found of the Internet Archive, is the guest on the fabulous podcast, TWIT, This Week In Tech. Leo Laporte, Denise Howell (This Week in Law), and John C Dvorak interview Brewster about his projects. It's a fascinating interview.
If you haven't heard of it before, the podcast is an amazing source of information about what's happening in the technology world, and it's very entertaining. The best thing about the podcast is that Laport and Dvorak are techno-celebrities in their own rights with access to all of the industries leaders. They've had Larry Lessig, Steve Wozniak, Dave Winer and many others on the show from time to time.
The show is recorded live on Sunday afternoons, you can actually watch via a live feed at http://twitlive.tv/, and the podcast, available direct from the twit site, iTunes, or any podcast aggregator, is usually up by midday on Mondays. Its a very worthwhile hour for any one interested in current events and developments in the world of tech.
For years now, much of library conversations have been about books vs. online sources. I've always rejected the notion that we need to make choices between the two formats. There's no war going on, and I think that the "death of the book" pundits always understate the value of print, at the expense of some fundamental values that libraries possess, vis a vis collecting, sorting and storing information for researchers and scholars.
Well, it occurred to me this morning that the whole debate is nonsense. Fights over format are purely economic and commercial. What our job is, as librarians, is to understand and organize the bibliography of law - regardless of format. Whoopty-doo, some firm or developer is developing a really cool website or search engine. Does that mean that books are dead or dying? Who cares?! It merely means that we have yet another neat tool for research, and the law has found yet another neat place to dwell.
I've been in law libraries since 1977, when I stumbled into a part time job as a runner/researcher in large law firm library in Century City, California. (I was in LA to find work as a writer....) Turns out I loved the work and the job security, and decided to make it a career. I went to law school at Southwestern University, where I graduated in 1981. (My undergraduate education began at Southern Oregon College, in Ashland, Oregon, and I graduated with a double BA from University of California, Santa Cruz. Yes, I was a hippie.) I was on law review and was the Entertainment Editor for the law school newspaper. I wrote music, book and movie reviews and a column called the Burger Court, in which I reviewed hamburger joints in LA. (There are a lot of them.) After law school I migrated back home to Northern California and was the firm librarian at a mid-sized firm in downtown San Jose. I eventually got my library degree at the University of Texas. Immediately after that, I moved here, and was head of public services for about two years. I then moved back home to direct a large law firm in San Francisco, where I stayed for three years. I moved back into academic law libraries in 1991, when I took the job as director at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and, in 1994 moved to the District of Columbia to take over as director at Howard University, where I was Associate Dean for Information Technology and the Library. In 2000, I completed the curly-que and came back to Lincoln, where I am enjoying the peace and quiet.