Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The future of the traditional book has been greatly affected by the advent of electronic publishing


“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.” Henry David Thoreau quotes (American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862)
The 1970’s was evolutionary with the advent of new technologies for the transmission, storage and distribution of data, once the prerogative of book publishing, had become a problem for the industry.

Television screens and databases became symbols of the challenges to editors and publishers; the increasing use of sophisticated copying machines, pose new problems to the need of publishers and authors to protect their property by copyright.
In the twenty century, computers and such related innovations such as the CD-ROM and the internet have allowed publishing to expand, making readily updated text available online and on disc and fostering multimedia presentations and interactive uses. However, does the emergence of the hypertext replacing the place of the traditional book?

In electronic publishing, the data can be maintained up-to-date so that the buyer will be able to purchase the latest version of publications (for example, encyclopedias, and directories). This enables 'on demand publishing', and allows retrospective searching and SDI. The individual subscribers can be provided with only those documents which match their profiles, and can be charged accordingly. The EPs provide aids for connectivity, audiovisulisation, customizability, creation and revision of documents, interactivity, and rapid information retrieval. The most important advantage of EP over the conventional journal is the time lag in submission, refereeing, vision, editing, composing, printing, binding, and forwarding eliminated by using computer and communication networks. This enhances timely publication and is suitable to the letters-type journals where rapid communication is of utmost importance.

“Books open your mind, broaden your mind, and strengthen you as nothing else can”
 William Feather 
 The electronic version also offers Boolean search of the full text to browse and read only the selected items. Further, when computer and communication facilities are available, the reader need not have to sift through unwanted material as in conventional journals to retrieve the relevant papers. Electronic publications may help in overcoming the restrictions on the length of the paper imposed by many scholarly journals.

Finally, e-books promise another kind of restructuring in the publishing markets. In general, publishers do not know their customers; a complex chain of wholesalers and retailers serve as intermediaries. Retailers accept cash, further contributing to the anonymity of readers. Publishers sell very few books direct to readers in the print world. In a world of e-books, particularly where there may be few cash transactions, publishers may get to know and track the behavior of their consumers for the first time. Certainly network-based retailers will be able to track their customers better because few will be anonymous.

There are, then, at least three major agendas implicated in all the hype over e-books:
·         the nature of the book in the digital world as a form of communication;
·         control of books in the digital world, including the relationships among authors, consumers/readers, and publishers, and by extension, the way we will manage our cultural heritage and intellectual record; and,
·         The restructuring of the economics of authorship and publishing.
Some of the problems of EP include high initial costs to the publishers to invest before benefits are expected, the non-compatibility of hardware (and hence the market potential) due to the absence of common standards, and the usage of different retrieval software by different publishers.

Why? Not every digital book can be viewed using every viewing technology. Some are highly targeted to specific viewing technologies, while others are versatile and can be easily delivered to many diverse viewing environments. Also, recognize that while it may be technically straightforward to deliver a book to a wide range of viewing environments, the publisher may deliberately choose to limit the environments a digital book can be delivered to. And of course, viewing technologies can be thought of as defining markets. Authors may choose to author for markets that they believe are large or easily reached or profitable, and as a consequence may choose to create works that deliver well to particular viewing technologies.

 The acceptance of Electronic Journals depends upon the user-friendly retrieval software. As a prerequisite, EPs necessitate the availability of a computer and communication network to the subscriber. The gap between developed and developing countries (those who can access and those who cannot) makes the EPs an elitist technology. Electronic journal may take some time to percolate down to the reader level mainly due to the problem of displaying page images conveniently on a computer screen. For an entire page to be accommodated the size of the image has to be reduced and the low resolution makes it difficult to read.

Ease of use, i.e. reading at a convenient time and place, is not possible with Electronic Journals. As there are no restrictions on the length of the papers and of course no page charges, the quality of papers may be poor if lengthy papers are accepted. Other disadvantages include the psychological feeling that researchers generally read more outside their work place, thus requiring portable reading material, though this problem can be solved by taking a printout of the required literature.

One major drawback of the Electronic Journals at present is their delayed release. Though there are many publications which are available only in electronic medium, in many instances, when the publication is issued in both printed and electronic forms, the electronic version is released after a gap of three to four weeks.

Issues of searching and selecting the right books and the right passages in the books becomes an important function that none of the current reader manufacturers seem to be thinking much about. We can think about purchasing books from multiple publishers when we think about an e-book reader as a surrogate for individual books. Is it equally reasonable and realistic to think about having it integrate subscriptions for reference libraries from multiple sources, or combing a reference library subscription with random purchases from specific publishers? These are all unexplored questions, and they have implications for standards, for digital rights management, and for issues such as individual privacy.

Other problems include the necessity of training for the subscribers and readers, and multiple copying license/charges. Due to these factors, unlike their printed counterparts, Electronic Journals are not open to all but somewhat restrict. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, Electronic Journals will become all pervasive as their printed counterparts, at least in some subject fields. The day ‘may not be too far when a researcher is able to read an Electronic Journals at a convenient place and time using laptops (to read in journeys, leisure, etc) and computers at home.


“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”  John Locke (1632 - 1704)
Consider a few implications: losing access to a single book may be a problem; losing access to an entire personal library built up over years is a problem of a different magnitude altogether. Can books be withdrawn from a digital library subscription, and if so under what terms and with what notification? We have been able to keep books for a lifetime, though they may be long out of print and out of fashion or commercial viability, to consult them again and again, though their pages may become brittle and their bindings fragile. We have been able to pass books on to our children, our nephews and nieces, to share them with friends, to keep them in libraries for future generations to learn from and enjoy. Can we accept a world where this is impossible?

In spite of the positive trend in embracing technology, it seems clear that the future of the book isn't purely digital, and that in addition paper will be an important user interface via print-on-demand, many genres of books are rapidly migrating to digital form.

Two different and distinct things are happening to the book as it moves into the digital medium. It is being translated rather literally into a digital representation, and it is undergoing a transformative evolution into new genres of digitally-based discourse. This is a major reason to why most libraries are closing down for aspects of restructuring. For example, the British Council in Kenya has closed down most of its libraries. Both of these developments, which can be viewed as two opposing endpoints of a spectrum of digital content, may legitimately lay claim to being digital books.


These transformative evolutionary developments are not, at least today, heavily constrained by issues of control and protection of intellectual property, or of revenue and economic viability. They are still largely experimental, and are focused primarily on improving the ability of authors to communicate and document. Developments in this world are taking place largely outside the framework of the new technologies that are specific to these translated electronic books and the readers that support them. It is important that as we explore and exploit the capabilities of the new viewing technologies we also continue to nurture the development of the new genres that are evolving. These are an important part of the digital future.
New technologies - both in hardware appliances and in software for general purpose computers - are developing to facilitate the use of digital books. These technologies emphasize support of books that are translated, rather than reconceptualized, for the digital medium. These new technologies should make many digital books more convenient, more readable, and more useable.



“A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way”  Caroline Gordon 

On the other hand, we must not let the hype about a technological update to the printed book - the move from printed book to e-book reader - trivialize the enormous social implications of the change that is starting to occur. These new technologies come with a potentially steep social price. They provide new levels of control, monitoring, and usage restrictions for digital books that may well go beyond what consumers are accustomed to with physical print books, and they create serious questions about our ability to manage, preserve, and provide access to our cultural and intellectual heritage. Without such capabilities for control, existing print books may not move to digital form, or at least not quickly and in large numbers. Appliance readers provide particularly powerful levels of control; the capabilities of software book readers to offer the same level of control remain to be validated in large-scale consumption. It is likely, though far from certain, that those publishers will favor appliance book readers. The precise balance points between marketplace acceptance by consumers and demands for control by publishers have yet to be established.

It may be that consumers, and indeed society as a whole, are willing to agree to the various costs of adopting e-books. They raise serious questions about the future role of libraries. But thoughtful, informed consent is critical. Hidden agendas and unforeseen consequences - that emerge only after e-books have become extensively established through a consumer marketing campaign that persuades the public that e-book readers and the content sold for them represents the future - do not serve us well. Copyright, with all of its social as well as legal ramifications, has always been an explicit and carefully wrought bargain between creators and society at large. E-books can reshape this pact in complex and wide-reaching ways.    How Can E-Books Revolutionize Literacy and Publishing in Africa?

Issues of preservation, continuity of access, and the integrity of our cultural and intellectual record are particularly critical in the context of e-book readers and the works designed for them. These have enormous importance both for individual consumers and for society as a whole, and for libraries, which manage much of the intellectual archives of our society. Most fundamentally, we face the question of whether libraries can continue to collect books as they move to digital form, particularly in mass-market publishing. We must not overlook these issues in our rush to adopt e-book readers and content distributed for them, and libraries will have a special obligation to speak out on these issues and to educate society about them, while also trying to work out viable arrangements with the content industries.


Finally, we must continue to recognize that digital books, in the broadest sense, are at least potentially much more than simply digital content translated from the print framework that can be viewed by e-book readers promoted by today's publishing establishment and technology providers as part of an agenda of market share, new revenue opportunities, or control over content. Digital books, in all of their complexity and potential, are as yet only dimly defined, and will be a continued focus for the creativity and ingenuity of present and future generations of authors, teachers and scholars.

The printed word, and particularly its manifestation in the book, holds a very special and privileged place in our culture and our society. revolution of authoring to the digital medium, the book - rather than other cultural products such as musical works - should be the benchmark to measure and test the assumptions and beliefs about the roles and uses of intellectual property in the new environment. The case for digital books broadly, as new genres of works, is about more effective communication of ideas, enhanced teaching and learning, and renewed creativity. While the first case is a good one, if the price is not too high (in social as well as economic terms), the second case is truly compelling and inspiring.


 The future digital book will take us far beyond today's printed books and publishing industry. 



Books are the quietest and most constant of friends: they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Eliot

REFERENCES
  1. Raymond Kurzweil, (1990). The Age of Intelligent Machines. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  2. Richard Lanham, (1993). The Electronic Word: Democracy, technology, and the Arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  3. Robert Darnton, (1999). “The New Age of the Book," New York Review of Books (18 March),
     http://
    www.nybooks.com/nyrev/
  4. Michael Jenson, (2000). "E-Books and Retro Glue Protect the Vested Interests of Publishing," Chronicle of Higher Education (23 June), http://chronicle.com/free/v46/i42/42a06401.htm

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Gone but not forgotten...

Dear…

In deed you are gone,
It dawned today,
That soon you will be gone,
Remember,
You will be gone but,
In my heart you will remain
Gone but not forgotten.

How will I cope up,
With all the loneliness
With all your absence
Never to be seeing you, for the whole day,
For the whole week,
For the whole month?
You will be gone dear,
But remember,
It will never occur,
Even at one time,
That out of sight,
Out of mind,
In my mind sweetie,
You will always be.

I will be missing you,
It is true
I will be needing you,
I mean it.
But at same time

I will always be loving you

Friday, 5 August 2011

Together, we can do more – and we can end hunger


Friday 5th 2011 was Kenyans4Kenya Day, The corporate world in the business frontier, Kenyans came together to make a difference in their homes, their communities, and Kenya, their mother land.

Those who spoke were everyday heroes, whether they are mothers, teachers, politicians, or students.

In Kenya, the image of Kenyan children starving and dying from hunger and malnutrition is certainly emotive and swiftly moves the international community to compassionate action.

Given the excruciating spectacle of death and hunger, it is easy to argue that low input, low productivity rain-fed small farm agricultural production systems are the culprit and must be replaced with production systems that utilize fertilizers, high yielding hybrid seeds, pesticides and irrigation.


 It  in a very small way through   and his blog  http://ahmedsalims.tumblr.com 
10 DAYS and Counting #FeedKE I have a passion for Kenya and finding ways everyday to make this country a better place. Let’s join hands and together we will build Kenya.#FeedKE belongs to the people of #Kenyaand we will make it as one!! #Kenyans4Kenya.
Charity begins at home, we were there for our neighboring countries but now home needs us more #FeedKE
 of  noted that, “We have moved the world…”
He added that, “We must empower Kenyans we must grow food…we need to save lives, this issue of survival must stop.”

"The government has a responsibility but we as Kenyans have an even higher responsibility to support Kenyans" 

  will run a 2 months campaign dubbed, ' Change makes Change' where they will collect change on the flights for the cause.

  - 'Nobody should be dying in Kenya because of drought; we need to have proper "we're in this situation because of poor planning."

 "Let us be in the biz of creating hope & happiness, en if we do this Kenya will be far’ … Our future leaders are at risk because they are at risk of dying in Turkana and North eastern Province."CEO Nation.

'What moral authority do we have to continue doing biz, while Kenyans are dying??’Forget about Government. This country belongs to Kenyans and we cannot stand people dying in Turkana."  .

 : We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. Winston Churchill

Our hopes on what the future may be like are increasingly filled with uncertainty.

Zig Ziglar- 

Our children are our only hope for the future, but we are their only hope for their present and their future. 

The hope for the future truly lies in our hands, as we shape and mold the world around them, we enable the worlds children to thrive. Life is fragile and delicate, we have the power to protect and we have the power to harm, the choice is ours, the difference is hope and prosperity or conflict and poverty.

We have our own challenges, we still demand for prosperity, employment health, lifestyle, and very friendly environment. However, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, climate change unfavorable policies and lack of self awareness lead them to non involvement in development activities.

As Kenyans we can still do more for people like you and me, "more" means contributing more money sending more food and medicine to save more lives and spreading the buzz to get our friends and community to join the movement to end hunger.
Therefore, let us all be leaders in service to improving the society and the country.


Monday, 1 August 2011

Are we there yet, in achieving our resolutions? its August!!

At the first of January a brand new year was ahead of us, “starting all over”.

We promised ourselves to quit smoking or nail biting, to lose weight, to visit our family more often, amongst many other resolutions.

Today, we are half way to another year, (based on Gods’ blessings) the plans we make are quite similar to the plans we made the years before.

 Some of us have realized that we did not manage to reach all the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the 2011.

We failed to execute them; setting and achieving a resolution requires determination, focus, effort, and commitment.

Changing old habits and developing new ones won't happen overnight.

For me, just because we’re at the BEGININIG of AUGUST doesn’t mean I’M letting off the hook with my resolutions just yet.

  I am going to do the following after learning one or two from a pal:

Surround myself with success “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future,” is a great saying because it’s true! The people and influences I surround myself with play a huge role in how I think, act and form my own aspirations.   Thus, I am Rearranging my environment to include more positive, proactive, prosperous, generous and happy people.

Solidify my career plan If you’re not already committed to a well thought out path, stop RIGHT NOW and look at where you are what your options are, and be more strategic with every new step you take.  Stop wasting time!  Get a grip now on how to leverage your talents, interests and style to make work something you love and are excited to talk about. 

Stockpile my options Opportunity truly is everywhere.  Today, more than ever, I need to have a solid idea of my options so I’m prepared for anything. I won’t let life or the economy sideswipe me or knock me around like tennis shoes in a dryer.  By lining up opportunities and having backup plans at the ready, I’ll feel more confident, less vulnerable, make smarter choices, and start to pay more attention to what really makes me happy and gets me closer to my goals.

Get my career on the fast track Did you know that every day I have the opportunity to do little things that can make a significant difference in my success? Those if I get a better grip on how to best position myself, packages my experience, and build my credibility, people will pay more attention to me and treat me with more respect?  If I surround myself with experts, advisors, and mentors I’ll make smarter decisions.  If I arm myself with the right information and insights, I’ll be smarter and probably make more money.

Finally...

Build my community, build my career Getting involved in local causes, charities, fundraisers and committees can not only help me make an impact in my own backyard, but I’ll make some great friends and connections too.  Rallying behind a cause (whether local, national or global) gives me a very special opportunity to work with community leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate execs and other special people I might never have met.  Joining forces with them builds unity, camaraderie and a real sense of community.  Best of all I can make a difference in the lives of others…and the rush I get from that is second to none.