Update at 5:30 p.m. PST: Quotes added from copyright advocate Ben Sheffner.
Was your mother a lawbreaker when she read you The Little Prince or Green Eggs and Ham?
That's the question raised Tuesday by the Authors Guild, an advocacy group for writers. Paul Aitken, the group's executive director objects to the text-to-speech feature on Amazon's Kindle 2 digital-book reader. Aitken told The Wall Street Journal: "They don't have the right to read a book out loud. That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."
Wow. If a computer … Read more
Twhirl (download) and AlertThingy, two social-publishing tools that run exclusively on Adobe's AIR, have been freshly updated to support more services and come with some cool (and useful) new features:
As we blogged about a few weeks back, Twhirl was working on giving Seesmic users a way to record videos, not just view them. The new version lets you do that and also adds Ping.fm support across the board, letting you cross post to other accounts you may have.
By now you've probably heard about it: AOL has formed yet another business unit conspicuously devoid of "AOL" branding, and this one's about the blogs.
Called MediaGlow, the just-announced division encompasses AOL's digital content assets from gossip hub TMZ to tech heavyweight Engadget. It's the first time that AOL has formally pulled together the titles it acquired with blog network Weblogs Inc. in 2005, blogs launched since the Weblogs acquisition, and the vestiges of the old AOL portal like AOL News and AOL Sports.
It's about time, though I expect there will be … Read more
Updated 8:02 a.m. PST with more information about EA's decision to increase the size of its layoffs and with Friday's share price performance.
Game publishing giant Electronic Arts announced Friday that it is expanding the scope of its previously announced layoffs and will cut 10 percent of its workforce, as well as close nine studios and publishing operations and reduce its product lines.
The bulk of the now approximately 1,000 layoffs are expected to be completed by March 31, with the company hoping to save $120 million in annual costs.
In late October, EA had … Read more
While both said Tuesday that they will continue to issue traditional newspapers at newsstands seven days a week, they are the first daily newspapers from a major city to cutback home delivery.
"The dynamics of delivering information to audiences has changed forever due to technology," said a jointly released statement from the papers. "The economics of the newspaper business demand change to survive." … Read more
Electronic Arts on Tuesday warned its financial performance for fiscal 2009 will come up short from its earlier projections, due to slower sales in the U.S. and Europe.
The game maker had previously projected net revenue of $4.9 billion to $5.15 billion and earnings ranging from a net loss of 21 cents a share to net income of 7 cents a share for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009. EA did not provide an updated outlook, other than to note one would be provided when it reports its third-quarter results in February.
"While we saw … Read more
These days, you don't need to launch portal sites that vie for new audiences. You're better served leveraging existing applications to provide new functionality for venues that already attract a fair share of eyeballs or that even cultivate their own communities.
Internet activist Lawrence Lessig points out a feature of Apture, a rich media content compilation platform, that promotes government transparency by allowing bloggers and other publishers to embed links to rich media background info on politicians and their records (i.e., key moments of testimony in videos, historical source materials, government documents, and even bills and resolutions). … Read more
MedioBistro's AgencySpy, citing an anonymous source, is reporting that the publisher's plans to build out new sites for magazines like Details have been suspended indefinitely.
Paid Content.org's David Kaplan chimed in quoting a high level, but also unnamed Conde Nast source. The source said that in addition to the Details site, the company had also been planning to create independent sites for a "number of … Read more
Web-based blogging tool WordPress.com is getting a big update in a few hours with the release of version 2.7. The update is going out to all WordPress.com users at 5 p.m. PST Thursday, with a release for self-hosted WordPress.org users to follow later this month. Brave beta testers who want to get an early jump on 2.7 early can install the latest release candidate which has been available since Monday.
Version 2.7 brings a host of changes, with the biggest one being a complete overhaul of the blogging tool's dashboard interface. Instead … Read more