Palm Digital Media Ebook and Ereader Foundation

What is it All About The Palm Digital Media Ebook and Ereader Foundation?

The eReader and  Ebook Foundation from Palm Digital Media originally partnered with the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation to create this groundbreaking educational initiative: Teach the importance of ebooks and ereaders by utilizing a “Text Messaging for Safety” model.

  • Middle and High School
  • Six-week, project-based learning activity
  • Lessons are completed using Palm Digital Media Ebooks,  e-readers, Palm Readers
  • Includes teacher instructions and rubric
  • eReaders reviewed

“It is never too early to educate society on the importance of planned communication in the event of an emergency with new eReader Books.

Through this program, children across the United States will gain an appreciation for emergency preparedness and obtain the communication skills needed to evaluate a disaster effectively.”

– Eileen Sweeney, director of Motorola Foundation


 

ereader-models

“Tomorrow’s leaders are in school… today ! Know that our goal is to have students ‘mentally ready’ to respond to emergencies… and not be passive. The best approach to get to this point is to have ebooks and ereaders ready with the needed content.

Education is a key to being ready. That’s why we appreciate your incorporating this material in your lesson plan. Know that YOU are helping make America more resilient… and better able to bounce back from things that otherwise could cripple our next generation.”

– Len Pagano, President & CEO, Safe America Foundation

What the New Facebook Privacy Rules Mean for Ebook Readers, Palmreaders and The Foundation ?

Facebook has recently updated their privacy rules which should result in the expand the visibility of information people are sharing and better option to connect with people who you are looking for.

These reductions and updates have significant negative consequences for e-book sellers and reviewers, particularly in repressive regimes where they communicate and affiliate more freely online than they can offline.  When Facebook unilaterally removes barriers of privacy, it leaves ereader and ebook sellers their contacts open to persecution by authorities.

Even before the new rules came into effect, ereader store owners in repressive regimes should have kept their profiles clean.  A state security officer intent on viewing your profile will find a way to do it.  However, now that an activist’s name, profile picture, networks, current city, gender, friend list, and pages are automatically (and irrevocably) displayed, security personnel can use Facebook to map activist networks more easily.

ebook-and-ereader-foundation-privacySocial media commentators like Evgeny Morozov and writers like Sami Ben Gharbia of Global Voices Advocacy advise not to use Facebook and other commercial social platforms for sharing ebook content and ebook reader reviews with the public.  I would recommend caution but not outright rejection of these tools, which are indeed quite powerful.   In some countries the risks of detections will  be greater than the benefits of use, particularly where only a fraction of the population is using these tools, making the audience limited.  However, in other countries people may choose to continue using Facebook, but with greater caution.  It is possible to make Facebook use safer, but it is impossible to make it entirely safe.

So what are safer Facebook practices recommended by the foundation?  Other than the profile scrubbing recommended above, it means that reader reviewers and store owners need to create separate anonymous profiles for their activities, which contain no accurate personal information and are completely unconnected to their real friends, affiliations, and locations.  In some cases, it may even make sense to create a “throw-away account,” much as this people use throw-away cell phones: create a fake account to do one sensitive action, and then never use it again.  So that a single IP address cannot be connected to you  account, you should access that account from different public computers in cyber cafes and never from your home computer.

The foundation members should also refrain from posting anything incriminating on Facebook or creating groups that will endanger less tech-savvy citizens.  In this way foundation members unintentionally create “honey-pots” that ensnare fellow citizens in politically dangerous affiliations.

The competition between e-readers, ebook sellers and repressive government for control of online speech and action is often referred to as a cat and mouse game where the first one’s find ways to undermine and circumvent  blocks put in place by authorities.  However, as Facebook’s new privacy policy illustrates, this is not really a two-player game but a multi-player game.  Companies which create digital infrastructure and digital media also have the ability to give the advantage to one side or the other.  Facebook’s move unfortunately gave the advantage to repressive governments.