Monday, 22 April 2019

World Book and Copyright Day: 23 April

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature. It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. With this in mind, UNESCO created the World Book and Copyright Day.

2019 Celebration
The 24th edition of World Book and Copyright Day will celebrate literature and reading while focusing particularly on the importance of enhancing and protecting Indigenous languages.  As a vector of knowledge, books bring people together around a story and a common heritage while revealing their specificities through different cultures, identities and languages. The focus on this topic is fully in line with the celebration of the International Year of the Indigenous Languages.

World Book Capital for 2019: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Each year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year.

The city of Sharjah was selected because of the very innovative, comprehensive and inclusive nature of the application, with a community-focused activity programme containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population. With the slogan "Read - you are in Sharjah", the programme focuses on six themes: inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing and children. Among other things there will be a conference on freedom of speech, a contest for young poets, workshops for creating Braille books and tactile books as well as many events for Sharjah's multi-ethnic population. The city's objective is to foster a culture of reading in the United Arab Emirates and birth new initiatives to meet the challenge of literary creation in the area and in the rest of the Arab world.

"In these turbulent times, books embody the diversity of human ingenuity, giving shape to the wealth of human experience, expressing the search for meaning and expression we all share, that drive all societies forward. Books help weave humanity together as a single family, holding a past in common, a history and heritage, to craft a destiny that is shared, where all voices are heard in the great chorus of human aspiration." — Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

Kick-Start Your Reading Habit with Bite-Sized Books

If you don’t feel like you have the time to read more, or struggle to finish a book, this method will help. If you have time for Twitter or Instagram, you have time for these books.
Everyone wants to read more, and over the last few months I’ve finally figured out how to fit more reading into a busy schedule. It’s surprisingly simple: Instead of trawling through Twitter or hitting up Instagram whenever I’ve had a few minutes to spare waiting for a train, I’ve been opening the Kindle app and sticking my nose in a book. Here’s the catch though: What got me started are what I call “bite-sized books”: books made up of loads of small chunks that are easy to dip in and out of, whether you have two minutes free standing in line or an hour to kill on a short-haul flight.

Kiddie tales

Ahead of World Reading Day, an initiative by a comic studio aims to unite children and parents over the love of reading.
Source | Mid-Day | 16th April 2019

What e-books at the library mean for your privacy

Back in 1995, printing company Quad/Graphics didn't let its employees in Saratoga, New York, access the internet. But that didn't stop the workers from figuring out a way to get online during business hours.
E-books and audiobooks, now standard at libraries, make protecting privacy harder. Titles are usually provided through private companies, which can access your data. And today's software can create more comprehensive records about you than a simple list of the books you checked out. (You can also get many e-books and audiobooks online free and legally.)
Libraries are also using software behind the scenes to collect data about how you use their services. It's called customer relations management software, and it helps libraries market and customize their services.
It's up to librarians not to connect a patron's library records to the demographic information from Analytics on Demand, and the ALA's Berman says the service provides librarians with too much information. Still, there's comfort in knowing many librarians stick to their privacy principles -- even if you blow your company's budget by surfing the web at work.
Full Info |

The digital divide

The questions publishers tackle online, and their responses are the same anywhere in the world
And India, where publishing is still going through its online tutorial, is no different. Publishers have to be clear about what they want to do online, they have to tackle cultural challenges that going online involves and tech is a big spooky thing that most hate dealing with. All this talk of ‘productising the content’ baffles them. And then there are revenues. The gap between what a brand gets for an online reader/viewer is usually a tenth or less than offline.
Some of the most successful online publishers in India — Times Internet, The Express Group, Vikatan — have tackled these questions for years before hitting the right notes. Times Internet, the digital arm of one of India’s largest media groups, has chosen to become this wide arching firm that facilitates transactions online (through ET Money or Dineout among other brands), bought a video player and made it a streaming brand (MX Player) and has worked hard at putting data science and tech at the centre of its universe. 
Source | Business Standard | 10th April 2019 – Print Version – Page Number 8 

Era of instant information

We live in an era not just of information overload but also instant information. Information overload, which overwhelms readers and viewers of news has now been recognised as a negative force that impairs our ability to filter the unnecessary and the incredible.
In the world of industry though, additional information is improving business decisions and enhancing efficiency.
Phrases like internet of things (IoT) and connected devices are used fairly liberally but their real impact is on the information that they generate.
Full Info | Business Standard | 4th April 2019 (Print) Page No 16 

How to Be a Better Web Searcher: Secrets from Google Scientists

Researchers who study how we use search engines share common mistakes, misperceptions and advice
For the vast majority of us, most searches are successful. Search engines are powerful tools that can be incredibly helpful, but they also require a bit of understanding to find the information you are actually seeking. Small changes in how you search can go a long way toward finding better answers