BusinessWire: Amazon Launches Support for Traditional Chinese Books on Kindle (PRESS RELEASE)

BusinessWire: Amazon Launches Support for Traditional Chinese Books on Kindle (PRESS RELEASE). “Amazon announced today that Kindle customers around the globe can now enjoy reading from a growing selection of more than 20,000 Traditional Chinese language Kindle books with the free Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, and on Kindle devices. “

Longreads: Technology Is as Biased as Its Makers

Longreads: Technology Is as Biased as Its Makers. “Professor Latanya Sweeney of Harvard University typed her name into Google; she was searching quickly for an old paper she had written. She was shocked to see an ad pop up with the headline ‘Latanya Sweeney–Arrested?’ Sweeney does not have a criminal record. She clicked on the ad link and was taken to a company website selling access to public records. She paid the sum to access the material, which confirmed she had no criminal history. When her colleague Adam Tanner did a similar search, the same ad for a public records search company appeared, but without the inflammatory headline. Tanner is white; Sweeney is African American.”

Library of Congress: Fresh Life (Online) for the epic Shahnamah

Library of Congress: Fresh Life (Online) for the epic Shahnamah. “‘The Shahnamah,’ (translated as ‘The Persian Book of Kings’) is the majestic narrative that recounts the history of pre-Islamic Persia, a staggering work of literature first published about 1,000 years ago. Written by the poet Ferdowsi, it is composed of 62 separate stories set in 50,000 rhyming couplets and divided into 990 chapters. It was 33 years in the making. ‘Epic’ doesn’t begin to cover it…. The Library has three gorgeous manuscript copies of ‘Shahnamah’ – and, as a four-year digitization process of the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection is now wrapping up, you can now see them all online.”

Washington Post: Our devices steal our attention. We need to take it back.

Washington Post: Our devices steal our attention. We need to take it back.. “To explain why we should refocus our attention, [Jenny] Odell notes the tension between being connected online and disconnected in the real world. We tend to stay online too much, she suggests, because digital platforms are structured to keep us connected for their own profit. It is necessary to escape to engage in sensitive, actual human interaction. Though these are not necessarily new observations, it’s worthwhile to reiterate that, for all the social unity and disunity social media sites promote, the profit motive is the reason most of them exist.”

Library of Congress: Centuries of Rare Chinese Books Now Online at the Library of Congress

Library of Congress: Centuries of Rare Chinese Books Now Online at the Library of Congress. “In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online 1,000 Chinese rare books produced before 1796. The Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection includes the most valuable titles and editions housed in the Library’s Asian Division, some of which date as far back as the 10th century and are the only extant copies in the world.”

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online. “One of the most important items in the British Library’s Japanese collections is a small, rather ordinary-looking, leather-bound volume, generally known as Feiqe monogatari (BL shelfmark Or.59.aa.1). Despite its appearance, it is, in fact, a remarkable work in a number of ways. Firstly, it was one of the earliest books printed in Japan using movable type rather than the traditional woodblocks, secondly, it is the first non-religious text printed in colloquial Japanese transcribed into the Roman alphabet, offering valuable insights into the phonology of the Japanese language in the 16th century, and thirdly, it is the world’s only extant copy.”

Announcing: The Public Domain Song Anthology (Techdirt)

Techdirt: Announcing: The Public Domain Song Anthology. “You realize something needs to be done and you are the only one crazy enough to do it. This happened when my law and music worlds collided: A D.C. restaurant stopped booking live music due to license demands from a Performance Rights Organization. I suggested that bands could play ‘originals,’ and play from a book of Public Domain popular music – but no such book exists – even though as of Jan. 1, 2019 more music is entering the Public Domain. I realized I knew the very best music, law, and library people to create such a book, of 370 songs, and to give it away – in text and musical notation software, free for creative use and adaptation – as an Open Educational Resource.”