e-readers in Dockray 2013
sonal computers to
corporate data centers. Here are two regimes of digital property: the swarm and the cloud. For
swarms (a reference to swarm downloading where a single file can be downloaded in parallel
from multiple sources) property is held in common between peers -- however, property is
positioned out of reach, on the cloud, accessible only through an interface that has absorbed legal
and business requirements.
It's just half of the story, however, to associate the cloud with mammoth data centers; the other
half is to be found in our hands and laps. Thin computing, including tablets and e-readers, iPads
and Kindles, and mobile phones have co-evolved with data centers, offering powerful, lightweight
computing precisely because so much processing and storage has been externalized.
In this technical configuration of the cloud, the thin computer and the fat data center meet through
an interface, inevitably clean and simple, that manages access to the remote resources. Typically,
a person needs to agree to certain “terms of service,” have a unique, measurable account, and
provide payment information; in return, access is granted. This access is not ownership in the
conventional sense o
g again of books, Rifkin’s description gives the image of a paid library emerging as the
synthesis of the public library and the marketplace for commodity exchange. Considering how, on
the one side, traditional public libraries are having their collections deaccessioned, hours of
operation cut, and are in some cases being closed down entirely, and on the other side, the
traditional publishing industry finds its stores, books, and profits dematerialized, the image is
perhaps appropriate. Server racks, in photographs inside data centers, strike an eerie resemblance
to library stacks - - while e-readers are consciously designed to look and feel something like a
book. Yet, when one peers down into the screen of the device, one sees both the book - and the
Like a Facebook account, which must uniquely correspond to a real person, the e-reader is an
individualizing device. It is the object that establishes trusted access with books stored in the cloud
and ensures that each and every person purchases their own rights to read each book. The only
transfer that is allowed is of the device itself, which is the thing that a person actually does own.
But even then, such an act must be reported
Display 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 ALL characters around the word.