What would Google eBooks do? Nothing that involves human beings, says Dan: don’t look for “staff picks” from this long-awaited “cyberinfrastructure for distributed e-book sales” (which used to be called Google Editions). Your local independent bookseller will be more than happy to give you recommendations, but Dan and Tom are still worried that Google eBooks might hurt indie booksellers and university presses — though perhaps no more than Amazon already has. Mills, meanwhile, as befits a true “podcast intellectual,” can and does give many good reasons why keeping government documents secret for twenty-five years hurts historians and public policy makers; maybe if the U.S. government declassified things earlier, there wouldn’t have been such a frenzy over the illegally downloaded diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks. In any case, the cables are pretty mundane — if you consider acute analysis of diplomatic affairs mundane — and chances are that there’ll be even less salacious gossip in government correspondence from now on. Thanks a lot, Wikileaks. Finally, Tom wonders why the heck we need Chrome OS when we have Android; Google’s announcement that they’re releasing a Google Chrome notebook seems to have missed out on the fact that we’ve had a tablet revolution. Still, maybe students will like it. Students in first grade, that is.
Oh, yes, and Amanda hosts the podcast for the first time, in which multitasking capacity she expresses few opinions about anything. That loud typing is hers. Sorry about that.
Links to stories covered in the podcast:
Google Enters the E-Book Market at Last
Amazon enhances Kindle for the Web
Why Wikileaks is Bad for Scholars
Google shows Chrome notebook, Web Store
Running time: 51:11
Download the .mp3