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Amazon Online Reader Review

I love my Kindle book reader but I also, finally, took the plunge to discover the Amazon Online Reader.  If you haven’t used this online service from Amazon yet, you should “upgrade your eligible books” to include the Online Reader version — especially if you’re doing hard research — because you can search the entire book and set a bookmark and you own the book for the rest of your life online:

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The Equalization Effect of Digital Publishing

Established mainstream authors like John Updike are furious with Google for scanning books into the public domain and they’re angry with publishers that choose to sell electronic editions of books — any book.  We argue authors like Updike are angry because their specialness in publication is being ravaged by the equanimity and the equality of the digital publishing, print-on-demand, business model creeping into the book world.

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Kindle Makes Authors Publishers!

Kindle is Amazon’s new amazing e-book reader and it is a tremendous boon to authors everywhere because we can now, through Amazon’s network, directly publish our work for purchase.

You need to buy a Kindle — RIGHT NOW! — if you haven’t already to help build the device niche and to help propel the buying habits of your readers into the electronic age of virtual ink.

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Medium Curse of the Hardcopy E-Book

If you write words for a paper page or an electronic interface, you are cursed by the medium of publication.

Hardcopy has a limited life and is stuck in stasis.  You might get paid and you might not.  It costs a lot of money to print, distribute and manage paper.

Electronic publication is fleeting and febrile.  You likely will not be paid.  Ever.  You can, however, move with the wind, revise and fix at will, and have others scrape the wealth from you in illegal republication.

One medium promise eternity while the other guarantees death.

Which is the better devil?

Scholarly Journals Die a Proper Electronic Death

Electronic Research!The Christian Science Monitor recently reported the timely and appropriate death of elitist hardcopy scholarly journals — a welcome and deserved demise and here’s why:

For years, traditional “peer review” has come under fire. A jury of three experts, the peer reviewers, assess each article and recommend only those that they feel represent the most significant new work.

At many elite scientific journals, fewer than 10 percent of the articles submitted are accepted. Many of the rejected articles eventually travel down the “food chain” to be published in a plethora of less prestigious (and less noticed) specialty journals.

A year ago, the respected US journal Science was forced to retract two papers it had published about stem cells. The articles had been submitted by a South Korean team led by Hwang Woo-Suk.

Peer reviewers, as well as the editors, had failed to detect the fraud. In general, peer reviewers, themselves researchers pressed for time, don’t try to re-create experiments and rarely ask to see the raw data that supports a paper’s conclusions.

While peer review is expected to separate the wheat from the chaff, it’s “slow, expensive, profligate of academic time, highly subjective, prone to bias, easily abused, poor at detecting gross defects, and almost useless for detecting fraud,” summed up one critic in BMJ, the British medical journal, in 1997.

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