Ebook Presented Digitally

The ebook is a digitally presented format of any printed conventional book which can be read through a personal computer or through a hardware device called a book reader. The inception of such an innovative idea dates back to 1971 when the pioneer Michael Hart, in U.S.A., decided to create through computers storage, retrieval and scanning of texts available in libraries. This resulted in the origin of the first ebook, a copy of the `Declaration of Independence` which later evolved into `Project Gutenberg`. Today it contains over 20,000 free texts and over 100,000 books.

Every month over 3,000,000 books are downloaded. Ultimately this reached mammoth proportions with ebooks flooding the web because of its easy storage on hard drive or disk. Production of ebooks is carried out generally by document scanning or by using robotic book scanners.

Initially the ebooks were confined to specialty topics which were documents, technical manuals or articles on manufacturing techniques with cutting edge hardware. Such ebooks did not create much impact in the market as there was no consensus on packaging, selling or reading. A number of diverse specifications, supported by leading software companies or by independent programmers, proliferated which catered to readers following multiple formats resulted in further fragmentation of the market. At this stage ebook was not a mainstream item.

This, however, did not stop ebook from spreading its domain. It surfaced in the underground markets wherein the ebook publishers distributed those books which were not readily available in the market. Similarly, authors whose books did not find any publishers started offering their books on-line so that viewers were exposed to the literature. Even unauthorized and unofficial catalogues were available in various web sites. And in this manner ebooks began to circulate on-line. Romantic novels were the first successful ebooks as they catered to a large clientele who bought them on-line and enjoyed reading them in privacy.

These incidents caught the attention of major publishers. Around mid June 2001, the acclaimed publishers started delving into this medium and tried to gain from the ebook formats. This led the publishers to establish on-line stores and partnerships with e-reader manufacturers. Today, the electronic hardware manufacturers are also working in tandem with ebook readers to capitalize on the on-line ebook market.

This upsurge of activity by the reputed publishers, electronic companies and independent operators resulted in the development of new selling models. Simultaneously, a more simple and homogeneous format with better reading hardware was created to achieve a global distribution for ebooks. This has unleashed an array of new publishing houses. Today, electronic manufacturers are wooing the ebook readers through new designs while software engineers are developing new reader application for portable electronic gear ranging from hand held computers, smart phones and game consoles.

The twentieth century readers, unaware of the concept of ebook, are now being gradually exposed to this electronic phenomenon. Commuters read ebooks on laptops, hand held computers or on cell phones. Such is the craze of ebooks in Japan that mobile phone novels have evolved where books could be downloaded and read on the cell screen. Sales which were negligible a few years back has crossed 10 billion yens annually (The Economist). At present, consumers can easily access books of their choice ranging from best sellers to new authors or which ever type suiting their reading pattern.

Ebooks reading are advantageous as it is a space saving device of book storage. One CD / DVD can, approximately, store 500 ebooks and are never out of print, which is a common occurrence in conventional books. For researchers such digitized versions are ideal as they display excellent choice of formats enabling speedy cross references. Readers can adjust their reading convenience by adjusting fonts and text sizes and use back lit facility which allows adequate visibility in low light. Unlike traditional books and paperbacks, ebooks need not be hand held, can be reproduced cheaply and are generally inexpensive as it does not consume paper, ink and other resources used in conventional printing.

The basic disadvantage of ebook is that it requires electronic devices for display. The software may not be readily available or free or compatible with the existing computer configuration. Sudden hard disk drive failure or power disruption causes disturbing interruptions. eBook storage mediums are fragile, the devices are costly and replacement charges could be prohibitive. Finally, and particularly for some publishers, hacking is a perennial danger.

Operating Room Fires – Increasingly Prevalent Problem Presents Potential For Product Innovation

Operating room fires, once thought to be rare, isolated incidents, apparently are more prevalent than previously realized. The nonprofit healthcare research organization ECRI Institute published a report suggesting that hundreds of fires occur during the roughly 50 million inpatient and outpatient procedures that take place annually, often resulting in serious injury or death. This is a significant increase from the 50-100 previously estimated by patient safety organizations.

Some medical groups say fires have increased over the past two decades with the increased use of lasers and tools employing electric current. The ECRI estimates that 44 percent of operating room fires occur during head, face, neck or chest surgery in which electrical surgical tools and lasers are too close to the oxygen the patients are breathing.

The current ideology is that the basic elements of fire – heat, fuel, and oxidizer – are always present during surgery, and only through training and instituting stricter guidelines can these horrible accidents be prevented. Unfortunately, few products exist that could lower the risk of operating room fires and explosions. This suggests that the market for such products presents a potentially lucrative opportunity for medical device and pharmaceutical companies to focus their research and development. A patent review similarly shows little activity in this area, again leading to the conclusion that opportunity awards imaginative innovators.

Fuel Is Abundant in the OR

Fuels commonly found in the operating theater include prepping agents like degreasers (ether, and acetone), aerosol adhesives, and tinctures such as hibitane, merthiolate, and duraprep. Other fuels include supplies: drapes, gowns, masks, hoods, caps, shoe covers, instrument and equipment drapes and covers, egg-crate mattresses, mattresses and pillows, blankets, gauze, sponges, dressings, ointments such as petroleum jelly, paraffin and white wax, flexible endoscopes, covering for fiber optic cables, gloves, stethoscope tubing, smoke evacuator hoses and other equipment/supplies used in the OR.

Oxidizers in the OR include oxygen enriched mixtures above 21 percent oxygen used to ensure proper oxygenation of the patient during anesthesia. Whenever the oxygen concentration is above 21 percent, an oxygen enriched atmosphere exists with the potential to feed fires. Oxygen is supplied via anesthesia devices, ventilators, wall outlets, or gas cylinders and all are potentially hazardous. Oxygen can also come from the thermal decomposition of nitrous oxide, which should also be considered an oxygen-enriched atmosphere. Materials such as drapes absorb oxygen and retain it for some time which makes them easier to ignite, causes them to burn faster and hotter, and makes them much harder to extinguish.

The Key Is Controlling Heat Sources

The introduction of lasers, electro-surgical tools and other exothermic surgical instruments has significantly increased the incidence and risk associated with operating theater fires. ECRI notes that the key to preventing fires involving surgical patients is controlling the OR’s various heat sources and preventing them from contacting fuels. Beyond that, however is the potential to reduce the chances materials will combust. Currently, the medical community is completely reliant on alcohol-based antiseptic products and surgical textiles that trap oxygen within their fibers. With the current surgical antiseptic industry alone worth over $500 million dollars, a company that can develop a fire-resistant alternative that offers the same antimicrobial protection found in traditional alcoholic based antiseptics could dominate this market and become an industry leader and innovator.

Just a Few Patents Recently Filed

However, few companies appear to be innovating in this area. Patenting activity, for example, suggests that medical device and pharmaceutical companies have not realized the opportunity that exists in technologies that could launch them as the new industry leaders. In fact, the few recent patents addressing preventative technology innovations are exclusively assigned to individual inventors.

One such patent, for example, describes a fire-resistant phosphate composition with antibacterial, antiviral and fungicidal properties that claims to be ecologically pure, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and non-allergic. Another patent describes a surgical drape designed to prevent the buildup of trapped oxygen and thereby decrease the risk of fire. Yet another describes an oxygen sensor system that would sound an alarm if oxygen levels are unsafe.

The fact that these fires were significantly under-reported but are now gaining extensive media scrutiny increases the need for innovative companies to address minimizing these risks through their product development strategies. The lack of innovative patents indicates there is a potential to tap into a severely deficient market opportunity. Are you up for the challenge?

Presenting – Lido Chilelli – Founder of the Toronto International Beaches Jazz Festival

Every year one entertainment event in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood attracts huge worldwide attention: the Toronto International Beaches Jazz Festival. Lido Chilelli, a local entrepreneur, is the person who came up with the idea and who keeps organizing the event year after year, and he definitely had to be included in the Beach article series.

I met Lido at his private home / office located on Queen Street East. The office was buzzing, mail was just being delivered, and important news from sponsors was just coming in. I realized I had to be speedy to catch this busy man in a few free moments.

Born and raised in Toronto, Lido has been living in the Beach for 25 years. His two children attended neighbourhood schools and are active in local sports and culture. Of Italian heritage, he originally grew up in Downsview and studied urban geography at York University. His early work experience included a stint with a special events tour company that would take visitors to NFL games, provide souvenirs for the Grey Cup as well as the papal visit. Event management has long been in Lido’s blood. He ventured forth to become an entrepreneur and opened a bar / restaurant called “Lido’s in the Beach” that was in operation for 17 years. Lido adds that he chose the Beach neighbourhood because it is a close knit, unique community with a wide Torontonian appeal.

He liked the neighbourhood so much that he wanted to open it up to the rest of Toronto. So he got to work, hired live bands, put on some jazz music and dancing at his restaurant. People from all over Toronto started flocking here. Lido’s drew thousands of people into the Beach neighbourhood.

Based on this experience Lido took his ideas to the next level: he concluded that there should be a jazz festival. He said “We have the park, we have the musicians, and we have the music lovers.” All the ingredients were there. Lido admits he knew nothing about festival organization; he simply used his common sense. In 1989 the first Beaches Jazz Festival was kicked off. It was held in the park – Kew Gardens – and lasted for two days with an attendance of a couple of thousand people. The great thing was that the festival was free, and its popularity exploded virtually overnight. A trip to the park to see some live jazz was the perfect family outing. Lido describes the setting in the park as “a recipe for a musical love-in.”

The residents wanted more, so he decided to develop an activity during the week and that is how Streetfest was born. Streetfest came into being as an original event showcasing bands between Woodbine and Beech Avenues. During the first few years it was held from 7 to 11 pm, and the roads were still open to traffic. The event’s popularity spread like wildfire, people were dancing on the sidewalks and spilling out onto the streets. Queen Street was finally closed off to road traffic in 1995, and as Lido says “The rest is history”.

The local impact of the Beaches Jazz Festival is enormous: Lido recently commissioned an economic impact study which concluded that the Beaches Jazz Festival directly or indirectly attracts about $38 million every year to the City of Toronto. For many local businesses it is the best time of the year. This year the Beaches Jazz Festival will generate over 120 million media impressions, and during 2006 the website had 25 million hits from all over the world. The Beaches Jazz Festival has become a tourist stop for people from all over the world and provides a tremendous boost to local hotels and restaurants.

But not only business people love this event, local and international music aficionados alike have fallen in love with this festival: in a recent ECOS/ Toronto Star Poll the Beaches Jazz Festival was voted Toronto’s favourite music festival. Now in its 19th year, musicians come from all over the world. They love the crowd and the area because it offers so much fellowship and a really special atmosphere.

The costs of putting on a free festival are funded almost exclusively through corporate sponsorships. Less than 10% of the budget is covered by funds from public sources. Lido adds it has become increasingly challenging to find sponsorships; particularly this year he has noticed a change in the corporate marketplace, and some corporations are moving away from sponsoring community events. Lido commented that it is a challenge every year to put the festival on because things like policing, insurance and garbage removal cost more. Every year it gets harder.

He calls the festival a labour of love; it is “like a baby that you care for”. He concludes when you are in the arts that’s the way it is. Next year the festival is going to celebrate its 20th anniversary and Lido sighs that “even after all these years essentially you are still a starving artist”.

Getting a street festival off the ground is not easy, and Lido adds that you have to be sensitive to the needs of the local residents. Working with the businesses and residents involves an educational process, and all the stake-holders need to find a good way of co-existing. What worked in Lido’s favour was that he himself is a resident of the neighbourhood, he is part of the community and works with the neighbourhood all the time. He would find out right away if something needed adjusting.

Lido works with a staff of 12 employees and about 200 volunteers. The Beaches International Jazz Festival Society is a non-profit organization that gets its funding solely through corporate sponsorships. But Lido’s organizational and promotional talents are not limited to the Beaches Jazz Festival: for 2007 his event management company, Beach Towel Productions, will handle a whole series of other events:

- The 3rd Annual Barrie Waterfront Festival featuring buskers, music, street theatre, fireworks and other activities.
- The 3rd Annual Distillery Blues Festival, highlighting Rhythm & Blues at Toronto’s Distillery District
- The 5th Annual 95.3 New Country Canada Day Festival, including food, arts & crafts and free concerts at Sunnyside Beach. http://www.country953.com
- The 10th Annual Toronto Fiesta, with more than 50 bands performing on St. Clair Avenue West near Landsdowne.
- Parti Gras! at the Distillery – Toronto’s very own “Mardi Gras” party, complete with live music, New Orleans style cuisine, street performers, artisans and a fashion show.
- The 19th Annual Beaches International Jazz Festival, featuring over 70 bands.
- The 2nd Annual Y108 Picnic in the Park where Y108 presents Canada’s premier up and coming bands at Gage Park in Brampton.
- The 2nd Annual Wasaga Beachfest, featuring Canadian performers, arts & crafts and a children’s play area in Wasaga Beach.
- The 16th Annual Beachfest – MIX 99.9 – showcasing top level Canadian bands, arts & crafts and a children’s play area at Sunnyside Park.

All the special events that Lido organizes take place in the busy summer months from May to September. He says you have to be really organized and work together with a good team of people to make it all happen. This year the Toronto International Beaches Jazz Festival will be held from July 20 to 29 and will be kicked off with Parti Gras! – a New Orleans style celebration in the Distillery District. The Ovation of Jazz will be held on July 25, 2007 at the Balmy Beach Club as the official launch of the Beaches International Jazz Festival. It is a tasteful event offering ample opportunity to rub elbows with the Who’s Who and Future Stars of the Jazz industry!

The TD Canada Trust 2007 Jazz Workshop and Lecture series provides a number of workshops such as “Afro Cuban Rhumba”, “The Art of Jazz Singing”, jazz composition workshops and others more. Streetfest serves up a whole smorgasbord of live music, from the finest Big Band, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Soul in Canada to an international collection of Acid, Bebop, Columbian, Dixieland, Flamenco, Folk, Funk, Latin, Reggae and Samba performers. The biggest stars are featured on the Main Stage on the Saturday and Sunday of the event.

Queen Street has been hopping east of Woodbine, and every year the festival gets bigger. At the moment discussions are underway about expanding the programming to the area immediately west of Woodbine. The merchants in that area have indicated an interest in becoming part of the festival, and even last year there were a couple of bands playing there on the street in front of local businesses.

Lido Chilelli has become a fixture on Toronto’s entertainment scene, and for his work in the community Lido has won numerous awards from community organizations, the city and the province, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. He was also honoured as the Lion’s Club’s ‘Lion of the Year’. He has been featured in a variety of national magazines and is a founding member of the Community Police Liaison Committee for the Beach.

One project that is dear to Lido’s heart is fundraising for the Toronto East General Hospital. The Beaches Jazz Festival raised $200,000 for the Hospital and built the brand-new maternity ward at Toronto East General. Lido and his organization work with the hospital on a regular basis.

His work day is packed, a standard work day goes at least from 9 am to 6 pm. Much of his job involves organizational duties in-house and meetings out of the office. The average work day has about one or two meetings, sometimes there are three or four. He says he has good staff members that he can rely on to help him get all these events off the ground.

From left to right: Rico Ferrara: Artistic and Stage Manager; Lido Chilelli; Diane Wilson: coop student from George Brown College, and Pat Carpignano: Operations Manager.

With almost 20 years of experience and diverse events throughout Toronto and Southern Ontario, Lido Chilelli is definitely the go-to man to bring together free music, special events and fun for the whole family.