Tag Archives: digital media

Ebook news digest: artificial intelligence in writing, fact-checking for non-fiction, digital media trends

2018-07-02

News on ebooks, writing and digital media

Mechanical typewriter in library. Photo by Nana B AgyeiPhoto by Nana B Agyei.

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Writing

Daily Writing Tips makes a case for six ways AI may change the business of writing. Numbers 3 and 4 are tasks that may quickly gain AI skills, and few writers will complain.

Amazon is turning its Fire tablets into portable Echo Shows

Ars Technica reports of a major new feature in Amazon Fire HD tablets. When the Fire HD 8 or the HD 10 tablet is inserted into a new dedicated 40 dollar Charging Dock stand, the tablet becomes an access point (with a large tablet display) to the Alexa voice assistant system. The software of the tablet must be updated, but Amazon sync should do it automatically. Audiobooks may benefit from this.

Fact or friction: the problem with factchecking in the book world

The Guardian discusses nonfiction books that publishers don’t fact-check. Generally, the writer is trusted to be the authority of the subject matter (that’s why the publisher signed a publishing agreement), and therefore, knows what he or she is writing about. Naturally, there are authors who try to cut corners, but they tend to be quickly caught in the age of digital media.

‘Don’t take your mobile phone – and avoid bandits’: Dervla Murphy’s lessons from a lifetime of adventure

The Telegraph has managed to find travel writer Dervla Murphy in Ireland after she spent 50 years more or less on the road. She has fascinating stories and valuable tips for all travelers.

The Best of Helsinki – The Sights, Activities, and Local Favorites

    Here is a travel guide to the city where the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the President of U.S. Donald Trump meet in July. The presidents have settled their meeting place to be in Helsinki, Finland. Likely reasons for the decision to meet in Scandinavia are safety, choice of venues, and reliable management of the events. In addition, most residents are out of town enjoying their summer vacations, so traffic will flow easily.

Six predictions about digital trends in 2018

Business Insider and Emarketer have analyzed Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report, and concluded that there are six trends above others. They include mobile devices driving the business on the web, breakthrough of voice control and China becoming a major player online.

BlackBerry Key2 vs iPhone: Keyboard Face-Off

Many writers like to instantly write down ideas and brief drafts when a thought pops up in the head. Often, it means typing on a smartphone touch screen. Blackberry has brought physical keyboard back to its smartphone, promising more convenient typing. Tom’s Guide compared the new Blackberry Key2 to the iPhone. Even Blackberry is not what it used to be.

From virtual reality to ebooks, the future of digital media in schools is a total toss-up

GeekWire visited a conference in Chicago that was focused on educational technology. The report from the conference is not convinced technology in schools in the US is moving to the right direction. Well, many European countries have already established methods to apply digital media to education, so it is doable.

EU country Portugal has banned the use of DRM in ebooks in certain cases

2017-10-25

Portugal may not be a forerunner of digital media business within the European Union, but Portugal’s lawmakers have taken a significant step towards consumer friendly digital media and ebooks. Portugal has banned the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology in ebooks when the works are in public domain or they are published by the government.

woman reading an ebook on the beach. Photo by  Michael Mol.
The new restriction for DRM technology in Portugal is included in the law (Law No. 36/2017 of June 2, 2017) that has been effective since June 2017. Three key points that deal with DRM technology in the law are permission to break DRM in certain cases, prohibiting the use of DRM completely in certain cases, and the requirement to have the copyright holder’s permission for the application of DRM.

1. Permission to circumvent DRM protection in digital media products.
In specific fair use cases, anyone is allowed to break or circumvent DRM restrictions in digital products. The cases include reproduction of content for private use, for news reporting, for use by libraries and archives, for teaching and education, in quotation, for persons with disabilities, and for digitizing orphan works.

2. DRM is not allowed at all in specific types of digital products.
The new law prohibits applying DRM to any works that are in public domain and to works published or financed by the government. Citizens are allowed to break DRM in these works if the technology has been applied.

3. Copyright holder must give an explicit permission to the use of DRM.
This may not have a large effect on the business of ebooks since all distribution agreements already include a statement if DRM will be applied to the products and what kind of technology is used.

What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Digital Rights Management is a software technology that is used to control the ways a digital media product, such as an ebook or a movie download can be used by customers. The most common application is to restrict the number of copies a customer can make from an ebook he or she has purchased.

Some big digital media stores, such as the Amazon Kindle Store and the Apple iBooks Store have their own DRM technologies that are built in to the purchase process. Customers don’t see that the products have DRM until a built-in restriction is triggered.

Other stores that use Adobe DRM for controlling the use of downloaded products tend to have issues with the technology. Customers must create an Adobe account and a store account in order to purchase a product, which makes it a somewhat troublesome system.

News about Portugal’s new law via EFF.