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Weekly News Digest

April 7, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Sophie Etext Reader/Writer Now Available

The Institute for the Future of the Book (www.futureofthebook.org) has made Sophie 1.0 software available for free download (www.sophieproject.org). Sophie is an etext reader/writer with multimedia and network capabilities. It runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Sophie was funded by grants from the Mellon and MacArthur Foundations and affiliated with the University of Southern California. (Sophie is open source software licensed under a version of the new BSD license. Copyright (c) 2004–2008, Regents of the University of Southern California. All rights reserved.)

Sophie’s goal is to open up the world of multimedia authoring to a wide range of people and institutions, and in so doing, it aims to redefine the notion of a book or "academic paper" to include both rich media and mechanisms for reader feedback and conversation in dynamic margins. There are tutorials, how-to-movies, and sample books available at the site. These will be refined and others will be added in the weeks to come.

The Institute for the Future of the Book explores the book’s shift from the printed page to a networked environment. The Institute is a project of the Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California. Its goal is to explore, understand, and influence this shift. (For information on the networked book, see Paula Berinstein’s article in the November/December 2006 issue of Searcher, www.infotoday.com/searcher/nov06/Berinstein.shtml.)

The TeleRead blog (www.teleread.org/blog) has more detailed information on Sophie. One interesting comment was made by blogger David Rothman: "The library angle: Could public libraries offer Sophie classes and encourage patrons to create multimedia books on, say, local history."

Source: The Institute for the Future of the Book



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