The Morning Coffee – 8 February 2012

Here are a few stories to read this morning.

  • Needing multiple reading apps — problem or not? (TeleRead)
  • Respect the reader (Baldur Bjarnason)
  • The Rise of Bounding Asterisks in Lieu of Italicization for Styling Text (Daring Fireball)
  • Students Still Not Taking to E-Textbooks, New Data Show (DBW)
  • About Nate Hoffelder (10610 Articles)
    Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

    1 Comment on The Morning Coffee – 8 February 2012

    1. The one grumbling about the use of asterisks seemingly in place of italics is a bit clueless… That became a convention online for two reasons:

      1) Initially, everything was plaintext, so italics or boldface weren’t options. However, the asterisks originally denoted boldface — italics were written /like this/, and underlined text _this way_ — people started using it in place of italics perhaps 13 years ago, I believe.

      2) In email, Usenet, and similar pre-Web services, people used the greater-than/less-than symbols around text to indicate that it was an action they were taking, like a more elaborate variant of an emoticon. When everything started migrating over to the Web, however, that stopped being an option as many sites would interpret the text as a HTML tag, so people shifted to using the asterisks for actions as well as for emphasizing text.

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