Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Complete New Yorker

Khoi Vinh:

This product really needs to exist online, but the magazine’s slavish dedication to exact reproductions of every printed page prevents that. None of the articles are available as ASCII text. Rather, every page of every issue is stored as high-resolution images, a decidedly old media way of thinking about new media that perfectly embodies The New Yorker’s digital ambivalence. Content can’t be selected, copied or pasted, which obviously reflects a desire to protect against copyright violations. But it also prevents truly meaningful searches of the database; when a search term is entered, the engine scours only the article abstracts, so if a key detail happens to be missing from those abstracts, it won’t appear in the results.

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