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Re: [News] Commercial Wikipedia from Microsoft?

begin  oe_protect.scr 
thad01@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <thad01@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> All these piles of books are rather worthless. They are slower to browse
>> (e.g. find term, navigate through citations) and are out-of-date. At my
>> parents' home, I believe we have about 4 separate encyclopedias, each
>> weighing at over 10 volumes. What a waste of money (and trees). If only the
>> impact of the Internet could be better predicted. Look at the libraries
>> nowadays. They will slowly be emptied from people and become more like
>> warehouses. Google and Microsoft are scanning books...
> Libraries are evolving and will continue to do so as our relationship
> with content evolves.  Already, most libraries are dedicating an
> increasing amount of space to public access Internet terminals.  I
> also find a larger selection of movies, music, and software at my
> public library.  As a greater percentage of non-fiction reference
> material finds its way on-line, perhaps more shelf space will be
> dedicated to fiction books... I expect dead tree format to remain
> popular for some time when it comes to reading for pleasure.  Also,
> in many communities, libraries act as a focal point for many social
> activities.  Perhaps in the future they will play as much a role in
> generating new, community driven content as in archiving content for
> the masses.

Libraries here have performed a range of important roles to date,
from the "everman's university", through keeping local records (many
hold copies of local newspapers back for scores of decades), providing
local entertainement through lending fiction books, holding important
references such as dictionaries, cyclopedias, alamnacks and so on through
to diseminating news by keeping copies of daily, weekly and monthly news
and information magazines.  Libraries have also been supplying records
and cassettes, now CDs for hire for as long as I can recall, as well as
videos, DVDs and more recently games for consoles such as ps2 and so on.
I'd wager that it's still more convenient and less expensive to provide
these popular items in printed form for reading in a comfy chair, than
providing rows of PCs on desks.

My problem is that the PC itself is just not very good at most things,
including most of the above.  I agree that we really need a genuine
alternative to continuously remaking pulp from, err, pulp, and then
printing on it, but most of these media have failed to disappear long
after the "killer technology" was supposed to have done them in!
Theatre was to be killed by printing, printing was to be killed by
radio, radio was to be killed by TV, film was to kill theatre, video was
to kill film, dvd was to kill film, records (78s) were to kill live
performances of music, then 45s, then albums, then cassette was to kill
vinyl, and then cassette was to kill live performance, and then CD-R was
to kill etc. etc. etc.

What seems to have happened is that when there has been a /direct
replacement/ for a technology, like VHS vs Philips, DVD vs VHS, and so
on.  So far, there's not really been a direct replacement for live
theatre, live music, newspaper, magazine, film, radio and television.
The internet has /added/ some new capabilities which were not already
there, and is certainly making a dent into the telephony market,
retailing and distribution of electronically transportable media (like
music, video, radio, and so on), but the UI is not there for written
material in the same way.

Hmm, as I'm in danger of going on a serious ramble, I'll stop now...
I'm interested in what you guys think about how the UI problem can be
solved, though - I'm sure it will be, but I don't know how.

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
Heisenberg might have been here.

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