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The growing popularity of electronic books could offer hope for newspapersTHINGS are suddenly hotting up in the rather obscure field of electronic books and their associated ing devices, the best known of which is Amazon’s Kindle. A new, sleeker version of the Kindle was unveiled on February 9th. Just days earlier, Google said it was making 1.5m free e-books available in a format suitable for smart-phones, such as Apple’s iPhone and handsets powered by Google’s Android software. Amazon said it was working to make e-books available on smart-phones as well as the Kindle. Plastic Logic, the maker of a forthcoming e-er device, said it had struck distribution deals with several magazines and newspapers. The iPhone, meanwhile, has quietly become the most widely used e-book er: more people have downloaded e-book software (such as Stanza, eReader and Classics) for iPhones than have bought Kindles. Might e-books be approaching the moment of take-off, akin to Apple’s launch of the iTunes store in 2003, which created a new market for legal music downloads?The analogy is informative, and not just because the Kindle is often described as “the iPod of books”. Before Apple moved into music downloads, consumers faced a bewildering array of incompatible and incomplete services, none of which had critical mass, thanks in part to the record companies’ inability to agree on a common format. Apple, not being a record company, was able to broker an agreement and define a standard. At first, there was widesp scepticism that anyone would pay for music downloads, given rampant piracy of music on the internet. But being able to find music quickly and easily, rather than fiddling around with file-sharing software, proved far more popular than expected, and iTunes took off. That has not stopped piracy, and download revenues have not been anywhere near enough to compensate for falling CD sales. But iTunes provided a new model for a troubled industry.Book publishers are in better shape than record labels. Far from harming sales, the Kindle and the iPhone seem to offer incremental revenue, by making it easier for avid ers to buy more titles. Yet if e-ers do take off, the real beneficiaries could be the ailing newspaper and magazine publishers.The print media are in an awful state—and not just because advertising revenue always dives in recessions. Thanks to the rise of the internet, much of their business, notably classified ads, is migrating rapidly to the web. Meanwhile, most have failed to find a decent online business model. Giving news away on the internet, as most newspapers do, and selling online advertising alongside it, is not sustainable because the ad rates are so much lower online. Attempts to charge subscription fees or set up “micropayment” schemes have failed. But consumers treat phones (and Kindles) differently from PCs. People pay for text messages, even though e-mail is free. Apple has sold millions of iPhone applications through the iTunes store. Several newspapers and magazines are aly available, by subscription, to Kindle users. As with iTunes, people are happy to pay once it is made easy.So it is not unreasonable to suppose that someone could step in, as Apple did with music, and introduce a comprehensive and easy-to-use shopfront, through which books, newspapers and magazines could be supplied to paying customers. The convenience of having content delivered to devices automatically overnight, and being able to flick quickly between stories at the breakfast table, when underground or on an aeroplane, might be something that people will pay for. If this approach took off, newspapers would no longer depend on advertisers and could wind down their paper editions. (They could also quietly scale back their free websites.)How Apple could kill the KindleAmazon clearly has designs on this market with the Kindle, even though it is primarily intended for ing e-books. But Apple is arguably in a much stronger position. There are aly millions of iPhones and touch-screen iPods in circulation, and the company has long been rumoured to be working on a larger “tablet” device. Selling e-books and newspapers via iTunes, which aly has millions of paying customers, would be simple. True, Steve Jobs, Apple’s mercurial boss, has expressed scepticism about e-ers, claiming that “people don’t any more”. But Mr Jobs has a record of insisting that Apple is not interested in making a particular product (a iPod, a mobile phone)—right up until the moment when he unveils one. Might e-books soon be the next example? /200902/62996

【中英对照】Brooklyn couple will become the first on the planet to say "I do" in zero gravity when they tie the knot later this month.本月下旬,纽约布鲁克林区一对新婚夫妇将成为地球上第一对在失重状态下说“我愿意”的爱侣。Self-confessed sci-fi addicts Noah Fulmore, 31, and Erin Finnegan, 30, will travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to exchange their vows while literally walking on air.新郎诺阿·福尔31岁,新娘艾琳·芬妮根30岁,俩人都是科幻小说迷。届时他俩将到佛罗里达州的肯尼迪太空中心,然后一起飘在空中,许下他们的婚誓。"We would really prefer to do it in space or on Mars but living in the time that we do, this was the closest we could get to zero gravity," Fulmore said.福尔说:“我们倒很愿意在太空中甚至在火星上举办婚礼,不过在我们目前所生活的这个年代而言,我们选择的婚礼形式就算是与零重力最接近的方式了。”"We were shocked to discover no one had done it yet."“我们实在太激动了,因为以前没人这么做过。”The Williamsburg residents will be joined June 20 by a handful of friends in a plane owned by the Zero Gravity Corporation's--the only federally approved provider of commercial weightless flights.这两个住在威廉斯堡的年轻人将在6月20日举行婚礼,到时候也有亲友同在飞机上参加他们的婚礼。飞机的主人是零重力公司,也是联邦政府批准的唯一一家提供商业性零重力飞行务的供应商。 /200906/73945

美国“第一犬”:奥巴马调侃会挑一只像他一样的混血President-elect Barack Obama Friday admitted he faced a monumental challenge after promising his daughters Sasha, seven, and Malia, 10 a dog after the campaign, saying some of the pooches the first family-to-be were considering were "mutts like me.""With respect to the dog, this is a major issue. I think it has generated more interest on our website than just about anything," Obama said at the press conference after the election.In revealing that Malia is allergic, Obama stressed the need for a hypoallergenic breed of dog, which produces fewer allergic reactions in people.But he said the family needed to reconcile that with their preference for dogs obtained from an animal shelter, which are often mixed-breeds."There are a number of breeds that are hypoallergenic, but on the other hand our preference is to get a shelter dog. But obviously, a lot of the shelter dogs are mutts like me," he quipped.Obama's mother was a white woman from Kansas and his father was from Kenya.His race has been a point of discussion since he launched his bid for the presidency nearly two years ago, and his Tuesday victory triggered a wave of elation as people around the globe celebrated an African-American elected to lead the world's most powerful nation.In his victory speech Tuesday night, Obama revealed the family was getting a puppy."Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House," he said to wild applause.Presidential pets have long been a focus of intense interest. Every president since Calvin Coolidge, elected in 1923, has had at least one dog in the White House, according to dogsinthenews.com. 新当选美国总统的巴拉克#8226;奥巴马于上周五坦称,他在大选获胜后答应两个女儿——10岁的玛丽娅和7岁的萨莎养一只宠物的承诺现在成了件大事。他调侃说,他们正考虑一些“像他一样的混血的”。奥巴马在大选后的新闻发布会上说:“挑选宠物成了眼下的一件要事。现在这件事在我们网站上的关注度高于其它任何事情。”由于女儿玛丽娅有过敏史,所以奥巴马强调必须挑选一种不易引起人过敏的。但奥巴马一家又想从动物收容所挑选一只宠物,这里的大多是混血品种。他调侃道:“低过敏性的品种倒有不少,但另一方面,我们想从动物收容所收养一只。很显然,大多收容所里的都像我一样,是混血的。”奥巴马的母亲是美国堪萨斯州的白人,他的父亲是肯尼亚人。自奥巴马参加总统竞选近两年来,他的种族问题一直是热议的焦点。他于上周二赢得大选胜利后引发了了一阵欢庆潮,世界各地的人们纷纷庆祝一名非洲裔当选为美国总统。奥巴马在当晚的胜选演说中“透露”他们一家会养一只宠物。他对台下尽情欢呼的持者们说:“萨莎、玛丽娅,我爱你们,你们俩就能带着宠物来到白宫了。”白宫宠物一直是美国民众关注的焦点。据dogsinthenews.com网站统计,自1923年卡尔文#8226;柯立芝当选美国总统后,每届总统家至少有一只宠物。 /200811/56278

The truth is women are always attracted to guys with unique and interesting personalities. In order to be successful with women, you have to know the right kind of characteristics to display to women. In the next few minutes, you’ll learn the most important personality traits to display that will draw women to you. Take a look and see if you’re doing something wrong!  女人事实上总是会被男人独特而有趣的特质吸引。为了成功地吸引女人,你必须知道应该将自己的哪一面展现在她们面前。在接下来的短短时间里,你将会学到吸引女人最该具备的特质。看看你是不是有哪些地方做得不对!Personality Trait 1Do: Confidence 自信  Whenever you’re talking to women, you have to show absolute confidence in yourself. No matter what happens or comes up, you should act like it doesn’t faze you. A confident guy can roll with the punchesand handle himself in all situations。  无论什么时候和女人接触都必须表现得绝对自信。不管发生什么事情,无论出现什么状况,你都应该表现得毫不担忧。 一个自信的人可以收放自如、从容应对各种局面。 /201002/95997


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