ECTACO jetBook Ups ePub Stakes

December 24, 2008

This news caught my eye a while back.

ECTACO jetBook Now Includes Fodor’s Travel Guide

With The International Digital Publishing Forum newly released EPUB specification format based on XML, this is the new standard for eBook production and leading eBook device manufacturers.

Ectaco announced that the jetBook eBook reader will support both – most popular in US MobiPocket format and open EPUB format in Q1,2009.

No one ever did a follow-up and it nagged at me. I’d forgotten about the MobiPocket support (and frankly, that doesn’t interest me, being a legacy file format), and only inquired about the addition of the ePub capability.

I wondered if current jetBook owners would have to buy a new unit for ePub. This is what I got in reply via email moments ago:

The latest version of firmware is expected for release in the first quarter of 2009.

You will not have to exchange Your hardware at this point. You will need to obtain the link from ECTACO Technical Support Department and the link would be provided free of charge.

So it seems the current jetBook is go for that!

However … I’m skeptical after having gotten excited over past tech developments that turned out crap.

I’ll remain this way on this development until I can try it for myself.

What needs to successfully happen:

1) It can do Adobe-DRMed ePub (Adobe Digital Editions)

2) It can do eBook borrows from public libraries

This is what the jetBook looks like:

More pictures at the last link below.

The hardware feels solid. The screen can, in certain light, be mistaken for eInk. And it’s already damned better than that upcoming eejitastic eSlick reader.

I just wish ECTACO could drop the price by $100. It’s being sold for $199 at newegg (see below). If that price could be made permanent, they’d make some serious sales — especially with both MobiPocket and ePub!

Previously here:

ECTACO jetBook At Blowout Price!
More About That ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader
Micro Fondle: ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader

Twitter Novel By Arjun Basu

December 24, 2008


Follow Arjun Basu on Twitter.

Update: Arjun basu writes in the Comments:

Thanks. But it’s not a novel. I just want to clear that up. Each tweet is a single story. At the max 140 characters. I’m calling them Twisters. Thanks for the support.

That makes what I screensnapped above even more remarkable!

Dying Dinosaurs Of Print: Red Alert!

December 24, 2008

Americans prefer news from Web to newspapers: survey

The Internet has surpassed newspapers as the main source for national and international news for Americans, according to a new survey.

Television, however, remains the preferred medium for Americans, according to the survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Seventy percent of the 1,489 people surveyed by Pew said television is their primary source for national and international news.

Forty percent said they get most of their news from the Internet, up from 24 percent in September 2007, and more than the 35 percent who cited newspapers as their main news source.

Emphasis added by me.

Hey, the Newspaper Fetishists used to whiiiine, “Oh, I can’t think of a Sunday without curling up with The New York Times.”

So, question: Did they all drop dead — or get electronic religion?

And, no, book publishers, the moral here is not “books on TV.”

Get real. Make with the flood of eBooks in 2009!

Free Classic eBooks At Planet eBook

December 24, 2008

These are all PDF files but they are very well done. Some real work went into these.

Planet eBook website

And for today, I point out: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Taqwacores: Free Sample Chapter

December 24, 2008

I noticed several people who were led to this blog under the search term “taqwacores pdf” and I contacted publisher Soft Skull Press.

I hope that search term doesn’t indicate a pirate edition of the book is on the Internet. Isn’t stealing from writers haram according to The Quran?

Soft Skull Press has given me an URL for the first chapter of The Taqwacores. That should be enough to incite interest in the book and let people know if they want to legitimately buy it.

PDF link.

Previously here:

Writer Michael Muhammad Knight In NYT
Two Books To Read By Michael Muhammad Knight

This Is The Future Of Book Tours

December 24, 2008

I need to do this again because people weren’t listening the first time — and, frankly, many still had jobs in the dying printed books industry and so were too smug to pay attention.

This is what the book tour of the future — the future being 2009! — will look like:

Click = big

That’s Darren Rowse of ProBlogger doing a special “Christmas party” live streaming videocast via UStream.

What was his big outlay to do it? His existing MacBook Pro! And the connection was via WiFi too!

He was in Australia. There were people all over the world tuning in. One person was from Brazil!

The dying dinosaurs of print have asked: “Well, how can we do an author tour for an eBook? There’s no … um, book for people to bring to a store!”

That’s how. The author doesn’t go to any store. He goes to where the eBook store is — the entire Internet.

People can type questions. See and hear the writer respond. No one has to deal with bad weather or bad schedules. And the videos can be archived for people to see again later.

What about autographs? I did that earlier too.

Instead of sending a writer out on bad plane (or train or bus) trips to bad hotels and the mercy of weather, everyone can stay where they are — the writer at home, the readers at home (or likely stealing bandwidth from work!). It’s all win.

The writer can even, if so inclined, show the missus and child:

(Happy holidays, Mrs Rowse!)

Previously here:

Reference: Internet Video Chat
How Our Future Does Things
I Am Internationally Persecuted!
Live jkk & Chippy!