|12-15-2004, 11:22 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2003
Device: Dell Axim
Google Print: earth's largest searchable library
The news spreads quickly all over the web: Google plans to keep its highly trained personnel busy by having them soon scan an insane number of dusty paper books. The holdings of the US' leading research libraries (Harvard, U of Michigan, Stanford, New York Public Library) and of Oxford U library are to be converted into digital files that would be freely searchable over the web.
According to Stanford University's head librarian Keller, "within two decades, most of the world's knowledge will be digitized and available, one hopes for free reading on the Internet, just as there is free reading in libraries today."
When we talk about Google, don't we talk about search results that only display small excerpts of the whole? What do you guys think? Is that truly the long-predicted global virtual library that Bill Gates did envision 10 years ago?
|12-15-2004, 01:46 PM||#2|
Recovering Gadget Addict
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
This is wonderful news.
I think there are two opposing forces these days. One group wants to make content freely available and easy to access for the good of all. Others focus on controlling content and access for the good of a few, but trying to convince us that the financial incentives are necessary for the content to be created and provided in the first place. And caught up in the middle are the bodies of lawmakers. Maybe compromise is possible? Unfortunately, lawmakers are generally more swayed by financial incentives than by the general good.
There's much hope from efforts like those at Gutenburg, this Google intiative, and many others including the academic community and libraries. How on earth can anyone justify strong control of content decades after it is created? Especially when it's in the name of "better for the common good of all"!
So the obvious question here is what will be available... How much? Which titles? Will legal challenges limit the work? What formats? Will it expand past written materials to audio and video?
Not too long ago I was trying to find some information from research journals. Everywhere I turned I was amazed to find that you really could get to published research and maybe even working papers. But at every turn it seemed you couldn't get past the abstract and into the full article unless you had an account. I guess that means either you spend lots of money or you get access through your academic institution, library or company. But there's too much $$ at stake, and $$ is not something that people like to let go of, even for the common good. So I don't see a lot of modern content becoming available.
Please somebody show me I'm wrong.. it would be wonderful to see all content available via the internet for free. But, unfortunately, I think that's only stuff for dreams.
BTW, Can someone summarize what Bill Gates envisioned in his virtual library? Is it feasible?
|12-15-2004, 03:21 PM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New London, CT
Device: Direct Neural Implant
Project Gutenberg has been digitizing printed books for decades now, including human translations of those scanned-in pages (not OCR).
There are many sites that will let you read the "real" book, page by scanned-in page, so you can see the actual printed page, tears and wrinkles, all the way they were on the original book when it was scanned in.
I think this is a great approach, but I also think this is going to lead to even more plagarism happening in our schools. Kids aren't learning anymore, they're downloading, copying, and plagarizing off of the Internet. Its all part of the growing "Gimme" generation of instant self-gratification.
Sigh. I anxiously await the results though, it could be a good thing.
|12-15-2004, 05:39 PM||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2003
Device: Dell Axim X30 & Palm TE
Google's plans seem very interesting although like you say I believe that published research will still cost even in the future. Still, very exciting news all the same!
|12-16-2004, 04:22 AM||#5|
Join Date: May 2004
Device: Kindle Touch
Just think about the 28304952345 copyrights that would be "violated" by making all text freely available.
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