Jump to content
Camy

E Book Redux?

Recommended Posts

Is it time to embrace the e-book?

When electronic books first came onto the market, some thought it spelt the end for the printed page.

But following a flurry of headlines, and prophesies of doom from the publishing industry, the revolution in downloadable literature failed to materialise.

However, despite scepticism from some technology experts that the tactile satisfaction of the paper book has not been successfully replicated, it now seems that the e-book is starting to take off.

The Amazon "kindle" e-book sold out in the United States within a few hours on its first run. Bookseller Borders' iLiad e-book is selling well and the much-hyped Sony Reader is due out in September.

"It has been spoken about for a long time but things are actually starting to happen," says Julie Howkins, head of e-commerce at Borders.

"Publishers are beginning to think seriously about their e-book strategy."

More: - http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsi...000/7545598.stm

Link to comment

I think Amazon has also mentioned that there's over 100,000 titles available in Kindle format. Even more astonishing, of all their best sellers, 15% of those sales are going to Kindle owners. That's pretty incredible, given that the thing hasn't even been out a year yet.

I don't like the contrast of the current Kindle -- blacks are too milky, and the white "page" background isn't white enough -- but the hope is that future models will improve picture quality. Note also that you have to look at the thing with a good room lighting; the Kindle won't work in a dark room, since it has no built-in lightbulb (!).

I tell you, the way they'd really get this thing to take off would be to license Sony and Apple to make compatible models. I keep hoping Apple will unveil their long-rumored Mac Tablet, and it could read Kindle books. That'd be a killer piece of hardware.

Link to comment

The limiting factor for this taking off is bringing the price down to levels your average consumer would be willing to shell out their hard earned cash for. I'm generally an early adopter, but in this case, I think I'll stay on the sidelines until if/when the price drops into the sub-$100 range.

A side comment concerning the lack of a backlit display. That was a conscious decision in the design of the kindle. The technology used, called "virtual paper" only draws power from the battery when refreshing a page. Display backlights are huge power hogs....

If you're interested, MIT's Technology Review magazine did a short write up on the Kindle a few months back, and its likely available on their website...

Rick

Link to comment

I subscribed to ebooks some time ago, and used my PDA to read. It was great fun, except that they put the power plug on the bottom edge, and as I can read for much longer than the power stored in the internal battery, I had to keep the unit plugged in. Well, finally the thing died, as the continual pressure on the plug/connection at the bottom as it rested on my chest warped the connection out of true. Sadly, it turned out that this is NOT a fixable problem and I lost all the books stored in it, the data I had for other things, and the unit itself. Now I am completely shy when it comes to any unit that doesn't have the capability of changing batteries nor changing memory chips. The whole thing is just to vulnerable to the simplest little problem. But particularly, I don't want any such unit that doesn't have a nice clean and clear bottom edge.

One thing that's nice; once you pay for a book, you retain the right to download that book forever, so even if you lose it, somehow, you can just download it again, assuming you are fool enough to buy another techno unit.

Link to comment

I've got about 400 Gbytes of electronic books stored on two drives that plug in via USB connections- the two drive configuration is because there's just too much data to lose if one of them went south on me. I've been collecting them in a number of formats but they are mostly PDF.

I subscribed to an usenet group called alt.binaries.ebooks.technical which recently went away. One of the big usenet providers dropped all of the alt.binaries newsgroups and I'd have to subscribe to another service to get it back.

No worries. I've got enough to keep me busy reading well into the next lifetime.

Ebooks are quite useful and to the serious tekkie, they are a powerful asset. As all these PDFs are search-able, I can quickly find out more than I want to know about C pointers, solving differential equation, network wiring or Italian cooking.

BTW:

Bagna Cauda gambero

2 sticks butter

4 garlic cloves

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper

2 oz can of boneless anchovies

1 pound of shelled shrimp

melt butter & olive oil into large sauce pan. Add garlic, simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Add anchovies, crush with a fork. Add peppers. Simmer over low heat stiring gently.

raise heat slightly and add shrimp.

Cook until shrimp are nice and pink.

Serve over Vermicelli and serve with Italian bread and white wine.

Top with Parmesan cheese.

:wink::sad:

Smells wonderful cooking and tastes even better!

Link to comment
A side comment concerning the lack of a backlit display. That was a conscious decision in the design of the kindle. The technology used, called "virtual paper" only draws power from the battery when refreshing a page. Display backlights are huge power hogs....

Yeah, I'm aware of that, but I don't think it's an appropriate design. I think it should be a user-selectable option to use backlighting or not use backlighting. If you're sitting in bed, or on a plane, sometimes it'd be nice just to have the option to use backlighting, even if it cut the performance by half.

I also still think that Kindle books are too expensive. Almost all Kindle best-sellers are $9.95, and I think that's kind of expensive, given that it's just data (plus author's rights and publishers' rights fees). I suspect they did this just because it's the same price iTunes charges for most full-length albums.

Magazines and newspapers are also expensive ($1.49 for most magazines), and they have virtually no photographs. This is a huge drawback for magazines like Time, where the pictures are a big part of the story.

Before anybody buys one, read the reviews over on Amazon. Some of them are surprisingly negative, but I'd expect that from a version 1.0 product. I think they'll get it right in the next year or two, but I still say Amazon would be smart to form a strategic partnership with hardware makers like Sony and Apple and get this thing perfected. It's a great idea; just the execution and pricing need some fine-tuning.

Link to comment
I subscribed to an usenet group called alt.binaries.ebooks.technical which recently went away. One of the big usenet providers dropped all of the alt.binaries newsgroups and I'd have to subscribe to another service to get it back.

Not to worry -- the group is still there on Giganews and Buzzard News, among many other 3rd-party Usenet providers.

I couldn't live without Usenet, and I rue the day that the major ISPs like Road Runner and Comcast dropped the Usenet Newsgroups. Jerks.

Link to comment
Not to worry -- the group is still there on Giganews and Buzzard News, among many other 3rd-party Usenet providers.

I couldn't live without Usenet, and I rue the day that the major ISPs like Road Runner and Comcast dropped the Usenet Newsgroups. Jerks.

I believe the group is alt.binaries.e-book.technical, not .ebook.technical.

Link to comment

I just counted 18 eBook-related newsgroups on Giganews. "Alt.binaries.ebook.technical" and "alt.binaries.ebook-technical" are both still there.

Note that both Comcast and Time-Warner/RoadRunner have stated that the main reason they dropped Usenet was "due to lack of subscriber demand," as well as "because of the proliferation of illegal pornography." While it's true there's a lot of dicey stuff there, you can also find thousands of legitimate discussions on everything from politics to writing, filmmaking, art, sound, science fiction, music, TV, and even comic books. It's a tragedy that the door has been shut on so many people wanting to participate in discussions like this on Usenet.

Link to comment
James:

When you give the ingredient:

1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper

do you mean red pepper sauce, like tobasco, or dried red pepper flakes, or something more like cayenne?

I have no doubt it's good. Anything with a half pound of butter in it has to be good.

C

dried red pepper flakes

______________________________________

RE: ebooks on usenet

although there were many ebook groups on usenet, only a few of them are actually active.

e-books.technical is an active group because of a number of dedicated posters that post and repost their collections in rotation and add new stuff as it becomes available.

Some of the e-book groups, inside and outside the alt.binaries hierarchy, appear to be abandoned to spammers like alt.binaries.e-books.math

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


×
×
  • Create New...