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Author Topic: Britannica - would you buy it on (say) Kindle or Nook?  (Read 5726 times)
40hz
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« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2012, 10:04:57 PM »

If you analyse anything that you do as a process, then you can quickly establish/see whether it is linear. A lot of what we do can thus be seen to be linear process flow, and even that explosive/connected "discovery" process would be linear if it was broken down (decomposed) into small enough discrete steps. The thing about using the hardcopy reference texts (hardcopy media) though is that it seems non-linear, because it is "fast" (speedy).
It is fast because you can use your trained reading faculties and that media, jumping your attention across a wider span and then focussing in as necessary, in such a way as to minimise the duration of the discrete sequential linear process steps and of any delay intervals between them. You thus accelerate the process.

I think part of that might be a little more complex than it appears on surface study. When I was in college I had the good fortune to take a course taught by Bernard Lonergan that examined the concept of insight and what it represented in terms of human learning and understanding. It was an absolutely mind-bending course.

I won't even attempt to begin to summarize all that we covered in that class. (Those interested in learning more can look here, here, or here.) But one of the topics that was studied at some length was the process of insight and how it was not linear in that whatever happened at the point of insight (the "aha!" moment) effectively modified our minds (neural patterns) such that although we could not point to a linear progression towards some points of understanding - we could paradoxically reason our way backwards and rationalize (i.e. "explain") how we got there.

And there's enough serious studies that have examined that phenomena to seem to indicate that not all parts of our reasoning and understanding operate in an exclusively linear fashion - even on an extremely granular level. In fact, real breakthrough thinking and realizations appear to occur as a discontinuous function. A quantum leap if you will.

Wild stuff.

----------------

@IainB -  I'll leave you to dissect and play with that as you will. I have no stake in the theory either way so I won't be getting into a long discussion or debate over it. I probably spent more intensive and quality thinking time in that course (mainly thinking about 'thinking') than I ever did with anything before or since. Suffice to say the experience was life changing.
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Renegade
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2012, 10:48:29 PM »

Might as well chime in...

> Britannica - would you buy it on (say) Kindle or Nook?

Not a snowball's hope in Hell.

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to read books on. I can read PDFs or ePUBs or whatever.

But I refuse to buy books that are hosed by DRM that later on I'm pretty much guaranteed to have break on me so that I can't read them... that is IF the tyrants don't delete the books from MY device. (It has happened numerous times already. Ironically, 1984 was one of the titles deleted...)

My tablet might be double or triple (or more) the price of a Kindle or Nook, but at least I don't have to worry about being locked into any nonsense.

I simply drag and drop a book from my desktop onto my tablet (try THAT on an iPad!), then open it and read it.

It's simple. It's easy. It works now. It will work tomorrow.

For a major investment, like a set of encyclopedias? Wow... Risk being "turned off" from reading them when they decide to arbitrarily change the license on me? No thanks.

I *might* buy them for use on my tablet, but certainly not on a Kindle or Nook.

I am very happy with being able to read my books without worrying about whether or not they will work tomorrow.


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IainB
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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2012, 12:25:42 AM »

I think part of that might be a little more complex than it appears on surface study.
Hahaha. Yep. Understatement of the week.
I was trying to simplify it as "just a process" in concept, but I have no idea what the mind is doing or how it does it whilst going through the process - always assuming that it can be defined as a process in the first place, of course.
I'm not sure whether we really could improve on the efficiency/efficacy of the "books spread around you on the floor" approach anyway.
When I was in college I had the good fortune to take a course taught by Bernard Lonergan...
Wow. You were lucky to have that. Thanks for the links!      Thmbsup

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to read books on. I can read PDFs or ePUBs or whatever.
...
I am very happy with being able to read my books without worrying about whether or not they will work tomorrow.
Well then, it's "Knowledge base-on-a-generic tablet" then, with the tablet more likely to be a Samsung Galaxy if it's the best "unlocked" device to use.
The only trouble is, there aren't that many ready-made "authoritative" knowledge bases (encyclopaedias) that you can install - are there? So does that mean we would be stuck with Britannica on the Samsung Galaxy?
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Renegade
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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2012, 01:48:18 AM »


I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to read books on. I can read PDFs or ePUBs or whatever.
...
I am very happy with being able to read my books without worrying about whether or not they will work tomorrow.
Well then, it's "Knowledge base-on-a-generic tablet" then, with the tablet more likely to be a Samsung Galaxy if it's the best "unlocked" device to use.
The only trouble is, there aren't that many ready-made "authoritative" knowledge bases (encyclopaedias) that you can install - are there? So does that mean we would be stuck with Britannica on the Samsung Galaxy?


Absolutely not. That's the beauty. You can read a PDF or ePUB on any platform without lock-in. So whether your tablet, or smartphone, or laptop, or ultrabook, or netbook, or notebook, or desktop, or whatever... <pauses to catch breath /> ...is a Samsung or Motorola or LG or whatever, it just doesn't matter.

Divorcing the content from the device is a GOOD thing. There is no reason to link the two.

The ability to chuck your hardware and not worry about the content is a good thing. Knowing that your content will work elsewhere is some digital peace of mind.

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IainB
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« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2012, 10:29:00 AM »

Well, I don't see many options to put onto the tablet.
Britannica, Wikipedia...or?
Britannica store prices are here: http://store.britannica.com/collections/software
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2012, 12:19:41 PM »

This looks like a start of pay per content trend. I think soon, many other offline and online websites will start similar changes in their revenue models.
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Shades
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2012, 07:13:18 AM »

Hmm... I can see it now...Encyclopedia Britannica - available in Standard Western, Mideastern, Muslim, Socialist, Christian Conservative, and North Korean editions - with more to follow...

All versions come on DVD, except the Christian conservative and the North Korean ones.
The Christian conservative one can fit on a CD, only 6000 years have to be covered... Wink
The North Korean one could fit on a floppy, as their previous leader invented and created everything (according to their state press and TV).  tongue
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Renegade
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« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2012, 08:32:32 PM »

Well, I don't see many options to put onto the tablet.

I meant the post in the conditional sense. The original title was "would you", so I inferred that this was purely hypothetical.
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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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IainB
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2012, 12:11:12 AM »

Well, I don't see many options to put onto the tablet.
I meant the post in the conditional sense. The original title was "would you", so I inferred that this was purely hypothetical.
OK, what I meant was: IF it were a Samsung or (say) just a generic tablet, THEN I still don't see many options to put onto the tablet.
Britannica, Wikipedia...or?
Those are the only options I can think of - I don't know the market all that well.

So, you might find that you were stuck with (say) Britannica as your only real option - for an authoritative "knowledge base" or encyclopaedia - regardless of the tablet brand.(?)
You would also have the issue of whether the K-base was in a proprietary or "Open" format, and I'm pretty sure it would be proprietary for DRM control.
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Renegade
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2012, 12:36:10 AM »

Well, I don't see many options to put onto the tablet.
I meant the post in the conditional sense. The original title was "would you", so I inferred that this was purely hypothetical.
OK, what I meant was: IF it were a Samsung or (say) just a generic tablet, THEN I still don't see many options to put onto the tablet.
Britannica, Wikipedia...or?
Those are the only options I can think of - I don't know the market all that well.

So, you might find that you were stuck with (say) Britannica as your only real option - for an authoritative "knowledge base" or encyclopaedia - regardless of the tablet brand.(?)
You would also have the issue of whether the K-base was in a proprietary or "Open" format, and I'm pretty sure it would be proprietary for DRM control.

I don't know the market for encyclopaedias very well either, but 6 of 1... No matter the brand, What I want won't change.

For the DRM stuff you mention - yeah... I can't see Britannica having an open format.

I've used proprietary, closed, uncopyable, unselectable reference materials before, and... never again. They suck. They're ok if it's for bathroom reading, but that's about it.

I like being able to select, copy, paste. If I can't do that, then I'm simply not interested. Wikipedia, even with its many horribly slanted articles, is still a better option for what I want.




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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
wraith808
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2012, 06:10:29 AM »

One point - I did see Britannica on the App store.  Yeah... won't be buying that.  It's free.  But it requires a $1.99/month subscription.  And I'm sure it will be limited.  So... undecided
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xtabber
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« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2012, 09:56:08 PM »

There are several Android apps that put the entire Wikipedia database on a device. Wikipock and Wikidroyd are two that I am aware of, although I have never tried either of them. I believe neither includes images.

Paragon has the Concise Encyclopedia Britannica 2011 for $19.99 on several devices, including Android. It includes images, but is a smaller subset of the full Britannica.
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