Ebooks

Photos, details leaked on expected Kindle

Thanks to an apparently surreptitious cameraphone photographer, Engadget has posted some blurry photos of what looks to be the dry run of tomorrow's presentation.

Story here.

This story links to an article in the WSJ titled: Amazon to Launch Kindle for Textbooks

Looking to Big-Screen E-Readers to Help Save the Daily Press

The iPod stemmed losses in the music industry. The Kindle gave beleaguered book publishers a reason for optimism.

Now the recession-ravaged newspaper and magazine industries are hoping for their own knight in shining digital armor, in the form of portable reading devices with big screens.

Unlike tiny mobile phones and devices like the Kindle that are made to display text from books, these new gadgets, with screens roughly the size of a standard sheet of paper, could present much of the editorial and advertising content of traditional periodicals in generally the same format as they appear in print. And they might be a way to get readers to pay for those periodicals — something they have been reluctant to do on the Web.

Full article in the New York Times

Reinventing the Book in the Age of the Web

Tim O'Reilly: "The web has changed the nature of how we read and learn. Most books still use the old model of a sustained narrative as their organizational principle. Here, we've used a web-like model of standalone pages, each of which can be read alone (or at most in a group of two or three), to impart key points, highlight interesting techniques or the best applications for a given task. Because the basics are so easy, there's no need to repeat them, as so many technical books do. Instead, we can rely on the reader to provide (much of) the implicit narrative framework, and jump right to points that they might not have thought about."

There's a Kindle in your (and my) future.

CNET says 70% of Kindle owners are over 40. And half are over 50. So I guess technology isn't just for young whippersnappers. (Kindle is easier on arthritic hands.)

It's not based on a scientific survey, but it's all we got.

I didn't think I wanted a Kindle for my next birthday (soon), but numbers never lie: I'm destined to get one. Soon.

The Complete eBook Reader Line Up

As most ebook readers promise to get bigger some new e-book readers plan to get smaller. The new machine will be smaller, and of course, cheaper. The price will certainly be more attractive but by the screen size they automatically reduce the cost so its yet another eink reader albeit smaller.
So who are the eInk and ebook reading devices out there today?
Amazon, Sony, iRex, Samsung, Fujitsu, Plastic logic, Brother, Foxit, and Onyx.

This list is growing with many stalling or failing and rumours of a Barnes and Noble reader, a Murdoch Newscorp one, a Hearst one etc. This is without the iPhone and mobile apps, online readers and of course the ultimate reader - the book.

Tolkien gets downloads; Potter stays on paper

Some authors want to be downloaded as e-books, but some resist, says Yahoo!.

"Tolkien's addition to the e-club fills a major gap, and, with e-books the fastest (and virtually only) growing sector of publishing, other authors and their estates have softened.... [but] No e-books are available from such living authors as Thomas Pynchon,... [or] J.K. Rowling, who has expressed a preference for books on paper and a wariness of technology.

The Social Dilemma of E-Reading

Comment in the New Yorker Book Bench blog about the article How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write

Excerpt from comment: Johnson also ignores a more pressing obstacle for e-books: unattractiveness. It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: books are sexy; electronic reading devices are not. As Michael Tamblyn, of BookNet, put it, “No one holding a Kindle at Starbucks has ever been asked for their phone number.” Certainly, the Kindle provokes stares—what a curious gadget!—but that guy reading an electronic device at a restaurant by himself? He just looks busy. The same guy reading a crumbly paperback? Attractive and approachable. Maybe you can see what he’s reading—that new play by Yasmina Reza, say. It’s a clue to your compatibility, and a means of striking up a conversation.

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write

I knew then that the book's migration to the digital realm would not be a simple matter of trading ink for pixels, but would likely change the way we read, write and sell books in profound ways. It will make it easier for us to buy books, but at the same time make it easier to stop reading them. It will expand the universe of books at our fingertips, and transform the solitary act of reading into something far more social. It will give writers and publishers the chance to sell more obscure books, but it may well end up undermining some of the core attributes that we have associated with book reading for more than 500 years.

Bias against blind book lovers

The Authors Guild doesn't want the Kindle 2 to be able to read books aloud. They say this new capability violates authors' copyrights. This argument has absolutely no basis in copyright law. Reading a print book aloud or having it read aloud to you in the privacy of your home is not a copyright violation; the only difference with the Kindle 2 is that a machine rather than a human being is doing the reading.

Kindle Orwellian Nightmare

This post at Technovelgy ask the question, Could Amazon, via the Kindle, end up being the Big Brother of 1984 fame? Or at least his proxy?

"The apparent success of Amazon's wonderful Kindle has everyone's head full of blissful visions of instantly updated newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - every last error corrected and every last and most recent version included.

Well, maybe not everyone's head.

At UrbZen, the following scenario is presented:

Consider what might happen if a scholar releases a book on radical Islam exclusively in a digital format. The US government, after reviewing the work, determines that certain passages amount to national security threat, and sends Amazon and the publisher national security letters demanding the offending passages be removed."

Read the rest here.

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