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Nominalism, Realism and Digital Books

There is a quasi-philosophical disagreement underlying the steady digitisation of literature. A radical disagreement about what digital books really are. In a strange manner this dispute parallels the controversy between nominalists and realists in medieval scholastic philosophy about the status of universals (properties, numbers, virtues etc). Texts in the twenty-first century take the place of properties in the fourteenth. Are books more than texts, are texts more than digital file formats? Are these abstract concepts: “red”, “thirteen”, “chastity” real entities … Keep Reading

Stone, scissors, paper: and the Digital Book Race

It sometimes seems that Google, Apple and Amazon are engaged in a three-way fight over the digital books space. They each have a very important area of strength: Google dominates search (and search-based advertising), Apple leads and designs the very best consumer devices, Amazon has amazing strength in consumer transactions (logistics). And the three fighters are subtly trying to manoeuvre the struggle into the terrain where their particular strengths dominate. So Google is building a massive library that will interact … Keep Reading

Optimising e-Commerce in the iOS App Store

It would seem to be potentially useful to report some experience as to what works in publishing books and magazines through the iTunes app store. Exact Editions has been offering iPhone app access for magazines with Exactly for over a year and we believe that there are some lessons that can be drawn and shared (without either revealing trade secrets or breaching the confidence of our publishers — who own the sales data that we collect on their behalf). This … Keep Reading

Why Beautiful Typography is Pixel-Indpendent.

Khoi Vinh a typographer/designer who works for the New York Times has recently delivered some fascinating comments on design for books and magazines and the iPad and the new iPhone. Here is a quote from yesterday’s blog:


Creating a beautiful display and patting yourself on the back for having good typography is disingenuous, I think. It’s a little like saying a high-definition television set makes for better television shows; an absurd claim at best.

That metaphor is imperfect,

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Fred Wilson’s Shopping List.

Fred Wilson, a vc at ‘a vc‘, always has his finger on the pulse. But he may be missing something with his recent blog, I Prefer Safari to Content Apps On The iPad. Part of his message is that he would rather have free stuff through the web than pay for things through the app store, so you could say he has produced a non-shopping list. But we most of us do buy stuff from the app … Keep Reading

Page 24 of 29

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