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  1. Harper Lee Finally Agrees to Digital Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird

    E-reader won't work? Spit on it! Spit on it!

    Grab your ham suit and celebrate! A whole new generation is about to learn their Mockingbirds from their Mockingjays: in honor of her 88th birthday, Harper Lee announced this morning that To Kill A Mockingbird will be available this summer as an ebook and digital audiobook.

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  2. Vatican Uses Comic Sans and Papyrus, Holiest of All Fonts, in New Pope eBook

    While the Vatican convenes to find a new pope, maybe they should also consider looking for a new graphic designer. Their new eBook about the recently retired pope titled Benedictus XVI is a 62-page photo essay of the former pope doing pope stuff with captions written in Comic Sans. There's no better way to get the message out that you haven't lost touch with the modern world than by writing that message in the most universally reviled font in existence.

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  3. Wal-Mart Stops Stocking Amazon Kindle, Takes Ball on Way Home

    The eBook pricing dispute between Amazon and pretty much every other provider has had some nasty repercussions. In general, though, the traditional brick and mortar businesses aren't a big fan of the way Amazon operates, with promotions where they specifically suggest folks shop in stores and then buy from their online portal instead. Wal-Mart has now made the call to stop stocking Amazon's Kindle tablet.

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  4. Lawyer Whittles 93-Page Argument Down to Five-Page Comic

    The law is a complicated subject. When writing briefs for the court, folks tend to be rather verbose. This stems from the fact that, they're often lawyers, and they usually want to eliminate any possibility of confusion. Enter Bob Kohn. When Kohn was informed that he could only submit five pages for his amicus brief in response to the Department of Justice's proposed settlement over eBook price fixing, he decided to submit the brief as a comic.

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  5. eBook Lending Site LendInk Shuttered by Confused Authors

    The ability to loan eBooks is something that most people either don't fully understand or know about at all. It's a vaguely murky area that can quickly be confused for illegal activity. That's essentially what has happened to Dale Porter's eBook lending website, LendInk, after a bunch of authors thought he was doing something shady. By sending a series of cease and desist letters to Porter's host, they managed to get the site suspended even though he hadn't actually been involved in piracy.

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  6. Barnes & Noble Launch In-Browser eBook Reader “NOOK For Web”

    Well, it's about time. Barnes & Noble is finally following up its string of solid eReaders with a web interface appropriately called NOOK for Web. While they are certainly lagging behind Amazon, that eBook juggernaut, this now means that NOOK books can be read on any device.

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  7. Ray Bradbury Allows Fahrenheit 451 to be Published Digitally

    Publisher Simon & Schuster has announced that Ray Bradbury has relented and his classic Fahrenheit 451 will be released today as an eBook. Well, it's about time, Ray. Yeah, I know that it's spooky that a book about the decline of reading and book burning is being released as an eBook, the format that directly competes with the printed word. And, yes, Bradbury has been a longtime proponent of written books and has, according to the WaPo, referred to the Internet as "a big distraction," but that doesn't mean he can't get with the times! Besides there's, nothing sinister about reading Fahrenheit 451 on my Kindle.

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  8. Library Pirates Unlock Rented Digital Textbooks, Take Aim at Publishers

    As eBooks and eBook readers become more and more commonplace, there has been growing anticipation that digital textbooks will be the next big thing on college campuses. With some students hoping to beat the high cost textbooks by renting digital versions of textbooks, a group called the Library Pirates say they can unlock rental books and plan to distribute them online for free. Here's how the scheme, called Hire-a-Pirate, works. A student, or a group of students, rents a textbook from an eBook distributor. These are usually sold at discounted rates, and are only accessible for a preset time -- a semester, a quarter, etc. -- at different price points. Once purchased, the buyer of the book sends the download info to Library Pirates who nab the book and strip it of its DRM. Reformed into a free and permanent PDF, the pirates make the book available via torrent to the purchaser(s). Oh, and anyone else that happens to want it.

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  9. R.I.P. Michael Hart, Inventor of the eBook and Founder of Project Gutenberg

    On September 6, Michael S. Hart died at his home in Illinois at the age of 64. You may not know the name, but if you're on this site you've almost certainly been touched his legacy. In 1971, Hart created the world's first eBook when he transcribed a copy of the Declaration of Independence and uploaded it to the University of Illinois fledgling computer network. In later interviews, he said he would have emailed it to everyone on the system, but doing so would have crashed the network. This simple act would become the foundational moment for Hart, who would go on to found Project Gutenberg -- the largest repository of free eBooks on the Internet. While his work is often eclipsed by the sleeker, sexier offerings through the Amazon and iTunes eBook stores, his aspirations were of the highest order. His mission statement for the site reads:

    Encourage the Creation and Distribution of eBooks Help Break Down the Bars of Ignorance and Illiteracy Give As Many eBooks to As Many People As Possible
    Thank you, Michael Hart, for making bringing these books to world. (UK Guardian via @Paleofuture)

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  10. Prototype E Ink Screen Shows Off Smooth Browsing and Scrolling

    Bookeen is showing off an E Ink innovations that could take eBook readers from single-purpose devices to a whole other level. While E Ink has the advantage of looking like natural print and also consuming very little power to do so, it hasn't shown the same seamless movement you get with LCD or other displays. But the device shown here is capable of smooth scrolling and web browsing without constant refreshing and flickering, making the experience seem very natural. And perhaps most impressive is not only what the screen can do, but that it was made with all off the shelf hardware coupled with Bookeen's custom software. Hopefully that means the cost and development time will be low, and get this technology out of the lab into the hands of consumers. Read on after the break to see a video of the silky-smooth eInk screen in action.

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  11. Newport Beach Library Could Go Bookless

    The fact that libraries across America are facing real challenges to their very existence is nothing new. In this hard economies, many communities are asking if a place to rent books is really a worthwhile investment and are, sadly, shutting libraries down. But rather than loose a resource, Newport Beach, California is considering a radical option that would keep the library space but eliminate books from the building. The plan is being spearheaded by City Manager Dave Kiff, who sees it as a modern re-imagining of a library. Instead of having books in the labyrinthine stacks we are all so used to seeing, the town's central library would have an electronic system to loan out physical books. A patron would request a book at an electronic kiosk, and then pick up the book from specific lockers. The rest of the space would be turned over to a 2,200 square-foot reading area with a central fireplace. The decision is unusual since it acknowledges the community's commitment not only to having books available, but to ensuring that some of these books be physical in nature. Other libraries have sought to modernize by providing eBook loan programs, despite the difficulties involved. But after a careful survey of Newport's four library branches, the city determined that few people were browsing or checking out books. Most, came in to use computers or work on laptops. The new space would preserve the library's collection, while creating space for how most patrons use the library.

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