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E-books - Essay Example

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Additionally, CD-ROMs and other digital electronic media lead the developed industrial nations of today. Paper-printed media of books are in the decline in relation to the rapid evolution of these new media (What is the future 1998). However, printed books remain the most robust, useful, and universal technologies ever invented…
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Download file to see previous pages The cost of imprinting ink on paper (compared to the cost of displaying electrons on a screen) and the increasing costs of using petroleum and other energy sources to move bundles of paper around the world are the other limiting factors (Rheingold 1998).
Industry officials and advocates of e-text say that the web and electronic books could revolutionize reading. They liken this innovation to the way that Gutenberg's movable type advanced print books over 500 years ago. E-books are growing in popularity among certain audiences (Bhermann and Mason 2001). Reasons for this vary but their advocates say that e-books are portable, supposedly durable, and increasingly offer useful computerized features that go beyond providing words alone. Such features may hold special promise for helping students improve their educational results because they can be used to support, scaffold, or accelerate learning when trained teachers manage e-books as part of carefully designed instruction (Bhermann and Mason 2001).
However, despite the benefits of e-books the public is not yet ready to make a switch from print to electronic texts. Some Industry officials, acknowledging that lack of public interest, are backing away from earlier projections, admitting that it appears unlikely that by 2005 digital books would be responsible for 10 percent of all book sales. Additionally, not all of the industry has been overly optimistic. Microsoft's Vice President for technology development, Dick Brass, has said all along that it would take 8 to 10 years for e-books to catch up with printed text (Bhermann and Mason 2001).
The user interface of a printed book is unlikely to be surpassed in an affordable form for decades and probably centuries. Printed books can be transported easily. More than the fact that one can drop a printed book without damage, printed books has the exclusive feature of "random access." Random access enables the reader to scan through the book's different pages in a manner he prefers without having to do so in sequence of the page number. Printed book pages can be access easily and margins can be done. Most websites and e-books cannot be access randomly. Moreover, in contrast to electronic equipments, printed books can withstand a drop of water while a single drop of liquid could damage computers and e-books (Rheingold 1998).
Yet computer and network storage and delivery of information has several advantages, chief among them the ability to keep a text in worldwide circulation far longer than the economics of the book industry allow. The global ubiquity of access, the ability to search, copy, and re-transmit information stored in digital form poses great opportunities and perplexing problems (what happens to our old notions of intellectual property, to cite one crucial example). Nevertheless, computers and networks are not presently comparable to the book in several important respects (Rheingold 1998). On the other hand, current users, writers, and publishers of e-books argue that electronic reading can be a satisfying experience and will become more enjoyable as technology improves. They foresee ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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