The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Kindle is set to launch its own lending library this Thursday, without the support of any of the Big 6 Publishers (Hachette, Harper-Collins, McMillan, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster). Very, very interesting, but incredibly limited. It’s a foot in the door. Limiting it to just native Kindles is brilliant marketing. 
The new program, called Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, cannot be accessed via apps on other devices, which means it won’t work on Apple Inc.’s iPad or iPhone, even though people can read Kindle books on both devices. This restriction is intended to drive Kindle device sales, says Amazon. The program, which is effective Thursday, comes a few weeks before Amazon ships the Kindle Fire tablet on Nov. 15, which is a direct competitor with the iPad.

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Amazon Launching E-Book Lending Library – WSJ.com

Good: A really thorough examination of copyright and books. Bad: The _only_ mention of libraries is the DPLA project.  Ugly: The author perspective he gets is Ursula Le Guin, not exactly the most balanced of voices on this subject. Would love to have had a counterpoint to her POV in the the form of one of the usual suspects (Doctorow et al). 

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One Google Books To Rule Them All?

I’m often accused of being an Apple apologist or fanboy. Truth is, I really like Android for the most part…but here’s why you won’t see me buying an Android phone. understatementblog:
The announcement that Nexus One users won’t be getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich led some to justifiably question Google’s support of their devices. I look at it a little differently: Nexus One owners are lucky. I’ve been researching the history of OS updates on Android phones…

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Android Orphans: Visualizing a Sad History of Support

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8fsvYd2RBY Google Translate with Conversation Mode (by GoogleMobile)

Google Translate with Conversation Mode (by GoogleMobile)

The sci-fi future really is here now. Between Siri on the iPhone and Translate on Android phones, speech recognition has come a long way in the last few years. Everyone in the information industries, including libraries, should be paying close attention to this stuff.

Ars Technica on the Kindle/Overdrive experience. Two best quotes: “To see what’s available, visit your library’s website, which will likely display an obvious link to the OverDrive eMediaLibrary. Login to the system, usually by entering details like a library card number and PIN code, and you’ll find a website straight out of 2002.” and they clearly see what the future may bring: “For Amazon, this looks only like a first step. While the arrangement helps Amazon move more Kindle hardware and sell some books (checked-out books can easily be purchased for those who want permanent access), a far more compelling product might come from Amazon itself rather than a local library: pay a yearly fee and get access to millions of Kindle-ready books. Not surprisingly, Amazon is working on exactly this idea (and it already rents textbooks).”

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Ars Technica on Kindle/Overdrive