aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Five ways to get your books
Back in January Slate mentioned in passing:
Peter Osnos, the founder of PublicAffairs, has started a nonprofit venture to shatter content windows in publishing. Backed by the MacArthur Foundation, he’s working with a group of university presses to publish books in five formats simultaneously-hardcover, print on demand, digital, audio, and by the chapter. Osnos is trying to ensure that serious nonfiction books are available at different price points. But he’s also bringing some of the insights of Frederick Winslow Taylor to an industry that still works half-days on Fridays in the summer. “The problem with publishing is that you print 10 hardcover books and only sell six,” Osnos said. By moving closer to a system of just-in-time publishing, “we can significantly improve the business and margins by getting rid of the problem of excess inventory.”
Since then I’ve searched and searched and found nothing more. Until this from The Century Foundation today. Peter Osnos:
I believe that the biggest challenge for booksellers and the publishers that serve them is to create a new pattern for the way books are sold and read. In a fundamental sense, the bookstore needs to be a showroom for a universe of what is available. It must have efficient ways to deliver that information to readers when and in whatever form they ask for it. That is the goal of the Caravan Project, announced this week (of which I am executive director), in which books will be made available simultaneously in five ways: the traditional hardcover or paperback; instant resupply of these through print-on-demand technology; in digital form either in full or in chapters and as audio downloads. Caravan, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, is a demonstration of how this will work involving six leading non-profit publishers (Beacon Press, University of California Press, New Press, University of North Carolina Press, Yale University Press, and The Council on Foreign Relations Press), the wholesaler Ingram, selected Borders stores, and a number of independents. When a reader asks for a book, the seller’s answer should always be, “how do you want it?” [...]
The purpose of Caravan, as its motto makes clear, is “Good Books. Five Ways. Right Now.” With this week’s formal announcement, the Caravan Project now moves on to demonstrating how this new system can make books more available and their distribution more efficient. Wish us luck.
There’s also a blurb in Business Week, Getting Out of a Bind. What a great idea; yes, I wish them luck!
So your new Mac can run Windows. Cringely says:
we should have seen it coming last week when Apple joined the BAPCo Intel benchmarking group. BAPCo, a consortium of PC hardware and software companies and computer publications, produces standardized benchmark tests, but only for Windows computers. So by joining BAPCo, Apple was saying that it intended to run some version of Windows on Macintosh hardware. Apple doesn’t join standards organizations lightly, so Cupertino must expect that the IntelMacs will show quite well against more standard Windows platforms.
Boot Camp, itself, is unexciting. So you can boot into Windows or OS X, big deal. You can’t boot into Windows AND OS X. You can’t cut and paste data between the two OS’s or even access the same data, as far as I can see. For this you’d need Virtual PC - a Microsoft product - if only a version existed for the IntelMac platform.
He says Microsoft knew about it and is just fine with it - they’ll sell more copies of the OS. And that’s the point:
Microsoft and Apple are happy with each other for the moment, and rather than representing some Apple attack on Microsoft, Boot Camp just represents the state of their happy partnership. But this won’t last for long. It never does.
I predict that Apple will settle on 64-bit Intel processors ASAP (with FireWire 800 please), and at that time will announce a product similar to Boot Camp to allow OS X to run on bog-standard 32-bit PC hardware, turning the Boot Camp relationship on its head and trying to sell $99 copies of OS X to 100 million or so Windows owners.