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Additional self-study resources can be found in Chapter 4 of Thorsons Principles of the Alexander Technique by Jeremy Chance also available on an audio cassette tape ; The Alexander Technique: First Lesson and The Alexander Technique: If you have had some experience with learning the Alexander Technique on your own, and would like to share it with others, send it to this Email Contact and it will be posted on this page.
Additionally, there are a number of helpful, and free, online resources: Up With Gravity SM is a simple and effective process, inspired by the Alexander Technique, for learning to harness the power of gravity to release tension from your body.
Body Learning , the Alexander Technique Podcast has several interviews about new developments in Alexander Technique directin g that can be very useful to students working on their own. Body Learning Blog has several blogs that contain self-study suggestions. Alexander Talk contains several MP3 conversations that contain suggestions about Alexander self-study. Constructive Control , is a short video clip featuring master teacher Marjorie Barstow in which she explains this important Alexander Technique concept, and shows how to use it.
San Diego teacher Eileen Troberman has created some very useful short video clips which can be helpful for self-study Wilmington, Delaware teacher Imogen Ragone has created a helpful page: Click here for a variety of videos, audio resources, articles and blogs related to constructive rest John Appleton is an Alexander Technique teacher and the developer of Posture Release Imagery.
He puts forward some fascinating new self-help ideas based on imagery, which is sometimes a taboo subject in the Alexander Technique teaching world. They require some patience to understand at first, but many have found his ideas to be very helpful.
How fast or slowly will e-book technology diffuse and become a widespread way of reading? Today there are two factors working against e-books and hindering diffusion. These factors include the overall poor quality and high prices of reading devices and the lack of proper and interoperable digital rights management DRM systems.
The quality and prices of devices critically influence consumers; proper DRM systems cool the eagerness of publishers to take on the costs of producing e-books. E-books in some way will compete with traditional books. The developments of writing systems, script and printed books are, in spite of new technologies, among the greatest achievements of mankind. Traditional book technology has evolved over five centuries and has reached a very high level of performance. Even if we all take it for granted, the book is a highly developed and extremely complicated technology [ 36 ].
The readability of a book is the result of many interdependent factors and features that affect the rhythm of reading - page size and layout; font face and size; inter-character and inter-word spacing; word shapes including kerning and ligatures ; line length, hyphenation and inter-line distance leading ; the use of margins and indents, paragraphs, headings, chapters, footnotes, page numbers, pictures, graphics, charts and tables of content; and, the quality of paper and print.
All of these factors are based on the knowledge of typographers, book designers, editors and publishers [ 37 ]. E-books cannot yet beat traditional books as reading technology.
E-book reading devices and software applications of today are far from being competitive in terms of legibility - and the main problem is the display. Even if LCD screens of handheld devices did not have the same problems of flickering and glare as typical displays of personal computers, LCD screens are by no means optimal for reading. They are often too small. If they are large, then they are too heavy, reflect light too easily and can't be used as reading devices in outdoor daylight.
Most importantly they don't have the resolution needed to properly render highly legible serif typefaces like Times and Garamond. Even sans-serif types, like Arial, are not very well represented on screens today. In the use of pictures, illustrations and sophisticated layout, e-books are not even close to the possibilities and qualities of printed books.
The problem of resolution is not likely to be solved in the near future. Reading devices today have display resolutions from dpi; at least dpi is an acceptable level of character representation. The development of LCD screens has been surprisingly slow and there are no indications that commercial dpi screens will be available in the next several years [ 38 ].
New and different screen technologies are being developed. In five to ten years there can be great improvements in the readability of screens. Other improvements will also occur with handheld technology in terms of processors, memory cards, batteries, materials, wireless connectivity and software, all of which will make these devices easier to use and less expensive. Even if the readability of handheld devices will not match traditional books in many years, there will be millions of devices and mobile terminals around that could be used for e-book browsing and reading [ 39 ].
Parallel to the development and spread of hardware, new e-book reading applications will optimise legibility. Both Microsoft and Adobe have developed font-rendering technologies based on the characteristics of LCD screens ClearType and CoolType , improving representation of letters as compared to letter representation on traditional monitors.
Microsoft, and probably Adobe, will design new typefaces exploiting the possibilities of ClearType and CoolType. In addition, the underlying parameters controlling the rendering of texts on screens will be optimised for screen reading. Screen rendering will no longer be influenced by print parameters as they are today. The research and development of screen-reading applications has only just begun and great improvements of these applications can be expected in the near future.
These efforts will not only benefit anyone reading e-books on handheld devices but also those reading books on personal computers using word processors and Web browsers. The development of the e-book technology has put a new and fresh focus on display reading. Even if e-books cannot beat traditional books yet, these collective efforts will improve the legibility of e-book devices and make e-book reading more tempting for larger audiences. Readers will also consider the benefits of the e-book technologies such as potential lower unit prices, immediate access, large storage capacities, highly developed search functions, hyperlinks to both internal and Internet resources, adjustable fonts and sizes according to individual preferences , speech generating plug-ins and the combined use of e-book readers with PDA functions, e-learning applications, music and video playing, and mobile telephony.
As Winston and others have demonstrated, diffusion is not only a matter of technology. Diffusion correlates to cultural and social needs [ 40 ]. Even if e-book technology improves remarkably within the next three to five years, it will still meet a lot of resistance. There is no reason to assume that e-books will replace traditional books in the near future or that readers will abandon paper for handheld readers.
Groups most inclined to start reading e-books are those that are interested in new technologies and devices, for example those naturally using computers, networks and cell phones.
Rapid diffusion is likely to be dependent on how quickly schools and universities take advantage of e-books, how fast e-books become a natural part of network-based e-learning and on how fast e-book reading devices are established as indispensable lifestyle items among really serious readers.
It is not a very daring guess to say that this will take some time. Diffusion of e-books among readers is also heavily dependent on publishers. For a technology to be widespread, there must be a great and varied number of e-book titles available. It will be up to publishers to bring this variety to the market.
There will be resistance since publishers have, after all, built their businesses and fortunes on the production of traditional books.
The major concern among publishers is a reliable copy protection system that protects the publishers' investments in new technologies [ 41 ]. DRM systems distribute rights among participants in an e-book transaction and provide a secure distribution of e-book titles, protecting copyright against unauthorised duplication or reproduction.
A DRM system is both an encryption and distribution system. These are proprietary systems closely related to their own Web servers and their own particular types of reading devices. Specific devices contain a hardware-based unique identifier that allows content retailers to encrypt each downloadd title uniquely for download to that device.
Other systems designed for a broader use are being developed; both Microsoft and Adobe have their own DRM systems. The main problems of DRM are not technical, but social and cultural. Authors, readers, booksellers, libraries and authorities all claim their cultural and legal rights and some of these rights and interests are in conflict [ 42 ]. A customer thinking of downloading an e-book may want to keep her privacy and resist being registered in a remote database in Ohio or Paris. As the owner of an e-book, she may also want to give the book away, lend it to a friend or to make a copy or two for her own personal use, all of which may be in conflict with the terms a publisher wants to offer when selling the book.
The publisher on the other hand does not want to lose sales due to perceived illegal copies of an e-book in circulation. In addition to the many conflicting interests and rights on a micro level, these interests and rights also differ on a macro level, that is from culture to culture and from country to country. Customer rights and copyright laws are not the same everywhere.
For example, publishers and e-book retailers in U. In a global e-book economy, there will be no DRM system that will comply with all the different interests at the same time. There will be many different and competing DRM systems, all with different compromises.
There will be many different and competing reading systems. This situation will reduce the interests of both consumers and publishers and thus slow down the diffusion of e-books, largely because the number of available titles will grow slowly and consumers will not have easy access to all titles at any given moment. Publishers will never be completely confident in their DRM systems.
If one unprotected copy is created, it can easily be made into many multiple copies easily accessible on networks [ 43 ]. This problem is not specific just to e-books. Printed books can be scanned just as easily as any e-book. It is a problem for any content in digital form, be it music, video and software. Much effort is being dedicated to develop efficient and fair DRM systems that will make digital content easily accessible to customers and at the same time protect the rights of authors and publishers.
The balance between acceptance by consumers and demands for control by publishers, though, has yet to be established. The danger is, as Clifford Lynch points out, that content and copyright owners are all too eager to control access to digital content.
This interest in control of content will disturb a time-tested balance between individual and social needs for free access to information and the economic ambitions of corporations [ 44 ].
Because of its many social, cultural, legal and economic implications, the DRM question will affect the diffusion of e-books. Many DRM problems will need to be sorted out before e-books really tempt large numbers of readers. Acceptable DRM solutions will probably also be in store when e-book technology becomes part of the ever-growing wirelessly connected world of mobile devices.
E-book technology is in a very early phase of development and its diffusion is starting very slowly. Improvements in the basic technology will accelerate the pace of the e-book diffusion in the next three to five years. If that occurs, e-books will be fairly widespread in ten to fifteen years. Book Production Processes For the last three decades, book production has been largely digital.
Writing, editing, layout and pre-press preparations are computerised and the publishing workflow is all network based. Distributors and retailers are heavily dependent on databases and ordering software and on online communication. Libraries have collected vast amounts of information about books in databases; authors and researchers can easily browse all of the major libraries in quest of relevant literature. References and abstracts can, in seconds, be downloaded to personal bibliographies.
The only missing component in this network is the physical content of books.
E-books will change this situation altogether. As a digital document, an e-book will be accessible and downloadable at all times and from all over the world, requiring only an Internet connected computer and some way to complete an online financial transaction.
In the near future theoretically all you will need is wireless information. Networks will provide whole new ways of representing and distributing content, giving authors, libraries, distributors and publishers new challenges and possibilities [ 45 ]. This new situation will create new roles and new patterns of behaviour. Publishers will no longer be mere producers of paper books, but digital content agents, producing content in several formats and for different distribution channels.
Publishers will produce books on paper and on demand in various digital formats, changing the structure of book production. Today, traditional books start with an author using word processors and other programs to create text and illustrations. As the book evolves, the author works with an editor and publisher, by e-mail and post, to refine the book for a targeted audience on a specific schedule. Much of this editing and correcting is done both on paper and computer.
When the book is completed in a form acceptable to all parties, text files and illustrative material are sent to a graphic arts designer where the physical creation of the book begins, with desktop publishing programs like QuarkXpress or Adobe InDesign. As these programs generate output, there is further editing and proofreading of the content. When the files are finally ready, digital master files are created for pre-press work and printing. This workflow is well suited for production of traditional books, but does not work well for multimedia.
In different media environments, content must have the ability to be represented and stored in various formats and modified in different digital ways. A condition for the varied and rich use of book content is therefore a separation of the semantic content structure of the book from formatting information for typography and layout. Desktop publishing applications of today do not separate content from style.
On the contrary, when typographers and book designers have added their elements to files, it is very difficult to separate semantic content and formatting instructions. This is especially troublesome, as much of the content editing - proofreading and other linguistic changes - has been done directly into these documents, making the master files the containers of the final and authentic text content.
These documents are often stored by a pre-press or printing company and generally are unfit for use in most networks. Publishers have several ways of breaking this deadlock. PDF-files are platform independent and highly transmittable documents and PDF files can be extracted from all kinds of printable formats, preserving the original content, typography and layout.
This makes PDF ideal for later print on demand. Its application means that a publisher makes only minor changes in the book production process.
But to rely on PDF as the only e-book format could be risky. As an e-book format, PDF is, in many ways, self-contradictory, static and made for print only. The capability of PDA documents to preserve the exact visual appearance of a printed page is highly cherished.
However it is a liability in the e-book environment, where flexibility, dynamic typography, screen reading optimality and re-flow are preferred qualities.
The pages of a PDA document seldom fit the display sizes of handheld reading devices, and if they do they are rarely optimised for screen reading. Adobe, however, is working on improving their e-book reading software and they are creating features in desktop publishing applications like PageMaker 7. Only time will show if Adobe succeeds in transforming PDF into a dynamic, e-book-friendly format.
Publishers that rely exclusively on PDF reduce opportunities to take advantage of other e-book formats, sales channels and possible market shares. XML is a language used for structuring of information and for transferring of data across different platforms.
XML is a format publishers will eventually use a great deal, because it can be used for metadata, business transactions and DRM solutions as well as in e-book production.
In a period of transition most publishers will rely on some kind of conversion process. They will edit and produce their books more or less as they are used to, using word processing and desktop publishing tools.
The desktop publishing application files will be converted into suitable XML or OEB documents and from these documents new e-books will be produced. Today this conversion is quite difficult and resource consuming, but some vendors are investing heavily in XML, hoping to make conversion as easy as pressing a button. Most book publishers with intentions to exploit the digital marketplace will examine their backlists and decide on which books will need to be converted into a digital form.
Many older, out-of-print books, over which publishers control the rights, are not digital; if they are in some digital form, the files may be in some long lost format or are incomplete or obsolete. A great deal of scanning and conversion may be required to get these books into circulation as e-books. In the course of this digital conversion publishers will probably select XML as the preferred format [ 46 ], reducing further opportunities for PDF to appear as the sole e-book format.
The most demanding process for publishers will be to change radically the whole production of books, making XML the preferred format.
Unburdened by book publishing traditions, new e-publishing companies are automatically using XML [ 47 ]. In this new production line authors work in word processing applications using templates, enabling automatic conversion into XML and OEB, from which all kinds of books can be produced.
XML-based workflow is by far the most flexible way of producing book content. Nevertheless, in this new workflow the tasks of authors and editors are very much the same as they were before - to produce high quality content.
The main difference is that all content editing, including proofreading, has to be completed before styling in different formats begins. If last second changes are made, there have to be routines to make sure that these changes are also made in XML. This new way of production requires detailed planning, as some of the input has to be produced in several versions depending on the nature of the eventual output formats.
On the other hand, when a carefully prepared production scheme is mapped out, the separation of content and formatting makes both multi-format productions and frequent updating easier. Authors and editors are essentially preparing one new XML-based version of a book that can be used to generate a nearly infinite variety of new editions in different formats. Whether publishers choose a transitional or a radical adoption to production, books have to be finished and produced in their final formats.
Today most publishers use external graphic arts, pre-press and printing companies to make up and produce physical printed books. This situation will probably continue as these companies often do a good job in preparing book content for further print-on-demand utilization. Conversion services as well will be outsourced; a variety of conversion companies will offer publishers formatting services, creating books in different e-book formats.
Other companies, specializing in digital text services, will offer formatting, along with DRM, Web site construction, maintenance, hosting and payment systems. Obviously, content or digital assets management will be rapidly growing businesses. Strategically, publishers will have to consider whether or not they want to do preparation and formatting within the house and to what degree they want to outsource these and other functions related to e-books.
Given the variety of business models, publishers will chose according to their size, abilities, industry relations and corporate position. Whatever choice, the book production process will forever be changed. Book Production Structures Even if the core activity of publishers and authors will be the same - to produce quality book content according to scientific and literary norms - publishers will face some challenges in changing the production process to fit the digital use of content.
The challenges will be both cultural and social. Books have for centuries been more or less synonymous with printed books. E-books and digital publishing challenges traditional concepts of books.
The features of e-books allow new genres, quality norms, uses, and, as we have described, ways of producing books. Most authors, editors and publishers have little understanding of XML-based production processes and the potentially rich uses of digital content.
They do not understand the language of the new actors invading the book industry. However, some publishers are already changing their production process making it far more flexible in terms of multiuse of content. This change requires learning a new vocabulary and realities of XML-based production. It also means communicating with new actors, in addition to the familiar pre-press and printing companies.
Whatever policies publishing companies choose regarding outsourcing, the company's authors, editors and graphic designers will have to relate to new display rendering technologies, with their special requirements on structuring and formatting of books.
To be competitive in the world of digital books, a certain level of competence in these areas will therefore have to be developed within the organisation of publishers. E-book technologies involve new ways of representing and distributing book content.
For publishers this mean using the Internet as both sales and marketing channels. Publishers will need to have in place digital asset and rights nanagement systems and Web hosting facilities so they can interact with e-bookstores and other publishers online.
Given the variety of business models and technological solutions, publishers will develop marketing and sales strategies to take advantage of many new possibilities. This new diversity of distribution channels will in turn alter book production. Many new questions will have to be answered.
Will new printings of traditional books be issued on demand, or printed in advance and warehoused? What updating routines will be required for new editions? Which e-book formats will be produced? Can parts of the content be used in online encyclopaedias? What parts of the book should be used as "teasers" online? What interactive features should be implemented?
What marketing strategies should be developed? Should authors have independent Web sites? In order to answer these questions, publishers will need to gather much experience about these new ways of collaboration. Exactly how publishers will develop their organisations in order to meet these new challenges is too early to predict.
Some publishers will continue developing their multimedia departments, others will integrate ordinary print and digital content productions. Most publishers will reorganise their marketing and sales departments. In all cases more teamwork and project-oriented workflow will likely have organisational consequences.
It is also likely that different publishers will cooperate more extensively than they already do. Whatever solutions must come, what seems obvious is that new book content production processes and distribution and marketing channels will demand new ways of organisation. Will E-Books Change the World?
Book Industry Structures The Internet, handheld computers, liquid crystal displays and enhanced font rendering are the technological basis for the development of e-books. E-books provide new ways of representing content as well as new ways of distributing and selling books. This new medium has created a new situation and shaken some elements of the publishing industry. New patterns of behaviour and new organisations have started to evolve in order to meet these challenges as publishers and authors, especially in U.
Depending on scale and pace, the diffusion of e-book technology will also affect the rest of the book industry. In a research study made for the Association of American Publishers, Andersen Consulting predicts e-book sales will represent 10 percent of the total book market in [ 48 ].
If this prediction partly comes true, no part of the book industry will be unaffected. Let me point out some of the probable effects. As digital publishing spreads, the graphic industry that handles traditional books will see fewer books; traditional books will, in increasing numbers, be printed on demand. This will increase competition; parts of the printing industry have already started to reorganise in order to meet the change.
Future skills, in design, typography and photography, will be directed towards digital publishing. The design of e-books will be, in the future, a new occupation. Parts of the traditional book production industry will probably become extinct in this process.
E-book sales and print on demand will leave book retailers with fewer printed books to sell; fierce competition will force some traditional and probably independent booksellers out of business. These changes will concentrate retailers into national and international book chains. Many consumers will see their local, independent bookshops vanish, but at the same time a world of books will become increasingly accessible through the Internet.
Instructors and students will probably see less expensive and more up-to-date content. E-books, print-on-demand and the Web have given and will continue to give education new instruments to explore.
Education and our concepts of reading and learning will certainly change. What will be the role of libraries?