Archive for October 24, 2008

eBook Notes For October 24, 2008

October 24, 2008

O futuro pertence ao e-book (Portuguese version)
The future belongs to the E-book (English — not by machine — version)

[Frankfurt] Book fair Director Juergen Boos signalled the trend in his opening speech: more and more books are offered in digital form. This year it’s around 30 percent of all books, most of them digital versions of books already in print (the so-called tree books

Publishing World Eyes E-Book Readers’ Future

Penguin publishers CEO John Makinson told Reuters: “They have become mainstream in the sense that they are a genuine consumer product for which there is real appetite, so this is not the province of geeks any longer.”

Makinson said Penguin was now publishing all new titles both as printed books and e-books and was digitalizing its backlist.

Technology research firm iSuppli predicts that global e-book display revenue will grow to $291 million in 2012 from $3.5 million in 2007.

Emphasis added by me.

My God! A dying dinosaur of print acknowledges eBooks!

LCC Conference Considers the Inevitability of the E-Book

However the e-book has achieved enough momentum for continued existence. At the Frankfurt Bookfair there was discussion about the ePUB format, a standard based on XML and also about the role of XML in general. Liz Thompson reported in Publishers Weekly that Mike Shatzin had proposed publishers work in XML for intellectual property as the sun of a new system, with the “book as merely one orbiting opportunity.”

The Frankfurt meeting on ePUP organised by The International Digital Publishing Forum heard thst year-to-year wholesale eBook sales are growing at 71 percent and there have now been over 2 million ePUB downloads from Feedbooks. Feedbooks can create a variety of formats for e-books from most web sources.

Emphasis added by me.

ePub for the win!

Sony Reader Gets Review Luv

October 24, 2008

Forbes: Gadgets We Love – Sony Reader

What about the Amazon Kindle, you ask? To my taste, the putative advantages of the Kindle–Wi-Fi, a keyboard–are in fact its weaknesses. (Sony says Wi-Fi will come in future Reader models; the latest one, released earlier this month, has an onscreen keyboard.) I know myself well enough to realize that given Wi-Fi connectivity, I will take advantage of it and wander off to when I should be paying attention to Jane Austen. It takes maybe 15 seconds to buy a book using my PC and download it to the Reader. Such gratification is instant enough for me.

He has the same fear of wireless I do: it would tempt me away from reading!

Computer Shopper UK: Sony Reader (4 stars)

The Reader is more refined and user-friendly than the iLiad and, although smaller, it’s just as comfortable to read, much lighter and feels more sturdy. It isn’t cheap, but it’s almost half the price of the iLiad. However, £200 is still a lot to pay to read a book, and we hope to see prices come down as more eBook readers are released.

Well, it’s not £200 to read one eBook, sport. It’s to read jillions of eBooks. But you liked it, so a pat on the head to you.

The Sony Reader: Not ugly. And available in red!

Debrief: Oprah And The Abominable Kindle

October 24, 2008

Click = big

Oprah was given a Kindle this past summer by Kate Forte, who she described as a friend. Forte is actually president of Harpo Films in Los Angeles.

The entire audience — as well as some mothers gathered in San Diego (I think it was) connected via Skype video — was given a free Kindle.

Oprah said the Kindle can store 200 books and then held up an SD card and stated that using one of those (the cards you use for cameras), you can store four thousand books.

Oprah said on her last vacation she packed fourteen books. She won’t have to do that again.

She’s currently reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle on her Kindle and gave everyone a free copy of that as well as other eBooks on their Kindles. The audience was invited to download any book they wanted during a commercial break (I wonder how that worked, since each Kindle is tied to a user ID?).

Am I the only person to notice that while Oprah held the Kindle and waved it around, it kept turning pages?

Bezos came on from the front row of the audience. He described the development of the Kindle as if no other eBook devices had ever before existed. He said it was like a cellphone and any book could be bought within sixty seconds.

Oprah recounted how she bought the book about Warren Buffett, Snowball, while her jet was still zooming down the runway for take-off and the download was completed before the wheels left the tarmac. (Hey, don’t gripe to me about “Turn off all cellphones during take-off”!)

During a rainy Sunday, she didn’t want to go out to buy the newspaper. She remembered she could download The New York Times to her Kindle, and did.

Oprah raved about the Lookup (dictionary) feature. And about the Ask A Question feature. This is a video snippet I stole from someone on YouTube who disabled embedding, who stole it himself from Oprah’s show (so don’t complain about my thievery, thief! Ha!):

Oprah mentioned, cryptically, that she “had eBooks before” (???) and that what made the Kindle so great was the wireless feature and how she didn’t have to use a computer. (I wonder if she uses a Mac and if that put the kibosh on a Sony Reader? Sony!!)

Bezos mentioned people could download music to the Kindle for background music. And the Kindle could also do audiobooks.

Bezos and Oprah compared the list of eBooks on their Kindles.

Bezos mentioned that if a Kindle is lost or broken or stolen, Amazon retains copies of all purchased eBooks which can be re-downloaded for free. Oprah said she didn’t know that.

Oprah again raved about the Lookup feature.

She also mentioned her school in Africa and wanted to get their textbooks on the Kindle. She said it’d be great for students. She said you could go from first grade to adulthood and have every book you’ve ever read on one. (Better pray for format-swapping of eBooks if ePub triumphs, Oprah. Which it will!)

The Kindle $50.00 discount code was announced by Bezos (click graphic above for it), good for the next seven days.

Oprah made my Model T argument for me: “If you can afford it.” (Are you listening Jim Malcolm and Steve Haber of Sony? Hint!)

Oprah mentioned how “green” it was. No more paper and how books cost less with it. Bezos chimed in to mention that all best-sellers are “$9.95 or less.”

Thus ended the coverage on her show. (If she did anything afterwards, I missed it.)


The Kindle vs. the Sony Reader: Which is better if you want future access to the max number of books?

Previously here:

Oprah With Kindle In Hand
Sony Reader Items For Oprah Friday
Oprah To Flog Abominable Kindle?!
Sony Reader PRS-700: Part One
Sony Reader PRS-700: Part Two
Sony Reader PRS-700: Part Three

Oprah With Kindle In Hand

October 24, 2008

Oprah likely to kindle big interest in digital books

It’s there at the link. It’s just too gruesome for me to steal and put here.

In an email to subscribers, Amazon says its founder Jeff Bezos will be appearing on Oprah to talk to her about her new favourite gadget.

Oy vey. I have to watch him too?

Let’s all see if these are mentioned:

1) How people can buy only from Amazon’s Kindle Store
2) The DRM lock-in of Kindle eBooks (and subscription items)
3) The lack of free eBooks from public libraries
4) How Bezos abandoned all the people who paid for DRMed MobiPocket eBooks
5) How Bezos got petty with print publishers
6) How ugly Kindle II will be
7) How the iPhone can do eBooks
8) Any mention of the Sony Reader at all

“I’ve got Oprah, Sony! What do you got?”

Steve Haber (The Habernator!) of Sony:
“A better product that can do ePub, borrow from public libraries, reflow PDF text, and that doesn’t look like ass!”

All you people who will flock to Amazon to buy a Kindle, there’s something I want you to consider. Do you think next year Oprah will ever announce if she gave up her Kindle and switched to something else? After making such a big stink about the Kindle, would she dare to recant if she changes her mind?

— via Twitter from BookNet_Canada


The Kindle vs. the Sony Reader: Which is better if you want future access to the max number of books?

Previously here:

Sony Reader Items For Oprah Friday
Oprah To Flog Abominable Kindle?!
Sony Reader PRS-700: Part One
Sony Reader PRS-700: Part Two
Sony Reader PRS-700: Part Three

Sony Reader Items For Oprah Friday

October 24, 2008

On this day when Oprah will announce her love for the abominable Kindle, I think some Sony Reader items are needed as a counterattack tonic.

YouTube introduction to The Reader Revolution:

The Reader Revolution has a YouTube Channel.

The Reader Revolution has a Flickr page with a daily photo of Dave Farrow.

Dave Farrow on Day 23(!) of his incredible 30.

The Reader Revolution has a Facebook page.

From Day 21:

Today was great because I have a visitor in my bedroom/window, the author Diana Spechler who wrote “Who By Fire.” I just started reading it at the time of this blog and I have to go back in the window to finish it. So far though, I like her humor and her wit. It is a great tale.

The Reader Revolution has a MySpace Page.

From Day 23:

Guest blog post from author Diana Spechler

I was thrilled to be invited into Dave’s “room” yesterday to read my new novel from the Sony Reader. An event coordinator put up a sign to attract attention (Now reading Who By Fire by Diana Spechler), and set up a speaker on the sidewalk, so that Midtown pedestrians of all ages could hear me read a few scenes.

And, of course, there’s the SonyStyle page for the Sony Reader itself.

Plus, I’m throwing a previously-unpublished photo from the PRS-700 launch, showing the Reader Revolutionary T-shirt:

Oprah, you are leading your flock astray! Repent!

Bank Collapse Watch: National City Falls

October 24, 2008

PNC to buy ailing National City for $5.6 billion

NEW YORK (Reuters) – PNC Financial Services Group Inc said Friday it agreed to buy Ohio’s National City Corp in a $5.6 billion transaction, in a deal that would save the ailing Cleveland-based bank.


National City posted a $729 million quarterly loss earlier this week. In an interview on Tuesday, Chief Executive Peter Raskind Told Reuters the economic environment remains tough. “It probably gets worse before it gets better,” he said.

Since July this bank has been on the radar screen. Even CNBC’s Cramer stated about a month ago that he expected the Feds to imminently seize it.

Well, now it’s been acquired.

Previously here:

Bank Collapse Watch: National City
Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #168
Bank Collapse Watch: Contestant List #2
Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #152

Who Is Barack Obama?

October 24, 2008

Really, what the hell is going on here?

Obama Born in Kenya? (New Information) [Update x2]

– or –


How about … neither?