Six things about the full-text book search at Amazon

  1. Wired says that Amazon got around copyright concerns by claiming it never built a library at all, just a digital image archive that can’t be permalinked;
  2. Matthew Kirschenbaum suggests this upends a few applecarts, particularly with respect to textual studies and the very definition of books;
  3. I think Amazon, or book publishers, may be in for some trouble here, given that “ professors and their students have to pay through the nose to photocopy sections of copyrighted works for course packets? Those are images rather than machine readable text too, surely, and you can print the page scans from Amazon” (reprinted from my comment at Matt’s site).
  4. Doc Searls says it’s humbling to see how few times your name is mentioned in print. Reverse ego-surfing?
  5. Brian Dear points out you can get damn near a whole book for free this way.
  6. Dare Obasanjo calls it the “world’s shittiest search feature” for how badly the book search results get polluted now, and says, “If ever a feature needed to be turned off by default it is this one.” That means something coming from a Microsoftie. 🙂

Cold Mountain

The trailer for Cold Mountain, based on the Charles Frazier book and starring, improbably, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, is up. It looks pretty but sounds terrible. Question to Miramax: How much would it have cost you to send someone to the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee and find out what the authentic mountain accent sounded like? Or even searched the web for references? Clue: It’s not the accent you tried to teach your English and Australian leads.

As someone whose family grew up a few hollers over from Bear Creek, near the supposed action of the movie, I’m sadly disappointed. Somehow I don’t think we’ll be hearing cousin Bascom’s “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground,” which featured prominently in the book, in the movie either.