Posts Tagged ‘Google Book Search’

Bowling a Googly

28 October 2009

conspiracy cover webshopBy Myles Dungan

I have, what I think is a neat idea.

Purely by chance last week I was sitting in one of our traditional smoke-free Irish public houses (well that’s not technically true as it was a rural pub and there was a coal fire in the grate – anyway!) when a man sitting at a table close to me got up and left a package on a seat beside him as he left. Naturally, being a good citizen myself I was about to call after him. Unfortunately, in the process, a mouthful of Corona (I’m not cheap, see) went the wrong way and by the time I’d got over my coughing fit he was gone.

The package turned out to be a file full of documents relating to a company called Google. Now being an other-worldly type I am forced to concede that I was not familiar with this particular enterprise. I have since discovered by inquiring among some astonished acquaintances (What planet do you live on – was the typical reaction)  that they operate A most successful ‘search engine’ on something called the ‘World Wide Web’. Since this discovery I’ve been boning up on the ‘Internet’ as its also called, and have learned quite a lot.

Apparently the file left behind by Mr. Google Man In A Hurry contains the top-secret codes which contribute to making Google the most intuitive and frequently accessed ‘search engine’ on the Interweb.

Read More

More debate on Google books

13 September 2009

By Juliana Adelman and Kevin O’Sullivan

booksJust wanted to draw your attention to a few recent articles on the Google Book Search debate.  The Economist has run a couple of articles, mostly favourable.  Cleverly titled ‘Google’s big book case‘ and ‘Tome raider‘, they basically argue that the fact that the current settlement is flawed is not a reason to stop Google Book Search.  The Financial Times columnist is more sceptical, arguing for the US government to create its own digital book archive and (as I understand it) buy Google out.  I’m not sure if Europe would feel any more comfortable with this arrangement.  If anyone sees other interesting articles please do reply in the comments.

Are you in or out?

1 September 2009

By Juliana Adelman

GutenbergSo Google Book Search inches closer to world domination.  The deadline for authors to opt out of its settlement (made in the US but applicable worldwide) is September 4th.  Is it the best thing to happen to publishing since Gutenberg or a nasty corporation’s way to squeeze authors and libraries?  I’m really not sure myself.  I wrote previously on the settlement on this blog and how it did not seem to be generating significant interest or debate in Ireland despite the fact that all Irish authors and publishers will be affected by it.  And here we are, with only days til the deadline and still with almost no discussion.  In a new and ironic twist, Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces with some author and publishing groups in a class action lawsuit to prevent Google from developing a monopoly.  A recent article in Vanity Fair highlights the legal complexity of the settlement and the confusion of authors over what to do.  I think this could go on for a very very long time.  I don’t have the legal expertise to spell out the consequences for all stakeholders, nor is a blog probably the place to do so.  Since I last posted on this topic I’ve discovered the American Library Association’s ‘Super Simple Summary‘.  Not quite as simple as advertised, but definitely better than the actual document which is, to my tiny mind, impossible.   Read more

The Googlopoly and You

30 May 2009

By Juliana Adelman

google booksEven if you are not a user of Google Book Search, you cannot afford to ignore its existence.  If you are a published author Google may already have scanned your book(s) and may be allowing people to search their full text via the web.  And of course surrounding it with ads based on the content.  If your book isn’t up yet, just wait a while.  They are scanning thousands of volumes every single day.  In some ways Google Book Search could be, and already is, a great boon to historical research.  For books that are scanned you can search them in ways not previously possible, finding needle after needle in the printed haystack.  But authors and publishers are concerned about the impact on the publishing industry and on copyright, librarians are waiting for the bad news on the price of yet another subscription search engine and historians have been critical of the errors already being propagated.  Read More