Enough eInk/ePaper/eCrap eBook Devices!

December 29, 2009

One of several new videos at YouTube had this frightening image in it:

Mustek might jump in?

The world really does not need yet another damned eCrap eBook device.


Sizes: Sony Reader Daily Edition Vs. Camangi WebStation

December 22, 2009

I was looking at some pictures of the Sony Reader Daily Edition on Flickr and a light went off in my dim head.

This is very interesting (photos are not to scale):

5″ x 8-1/8″ x 19/32″ without cover
5″ x 8-1/8″ x 23/32″ with cover
12.75 oz

4.72″ x 7.87″ x 0.57″
13.75 oz

The Camangi is actually smaller! It weighs one more ounce, however.

The screens are quite different in resolution: 600×1024 vs. 800×600.

On the other hand, the Camangi is color.

Perhaps most devastating: they are both US$399.00.

Yes, the Camangi lacks free 3G, but still.

I said the Nook at 12 ounces was too heavy for extending holding. The Sony Reader Daily Edition is heavier!

Updating the prior list now:

Nook: 11.2 ounces (actually 12!)
Cybook Opus: 5.3 ounces
Archos 7: 23 ounces
Archos 5IT: 6.4 ounces (32GB Flash)
Pocket Edition: 7.6 ounces
Touch Edition: 10.1 ounces
Daily Edition: 12.75 ounces
Camangi: 13.75 ounces


Sony Reader Touch Edition Slaughters Barnes & Noble Nook

December 21, 2009

Blame my stupidity for not thinking of this earlier!

We’ve had two posts now where the Barnes & Noble Nook failed with a significant ePub: The People of the Abyss by Jack London.

Barnes & Noble Nook Gets Trashed By Archos 5 Internet Tablet
Barnes & Noble Nook 1.1.0: Liza Reports

As of today, the situation was still this:

Opening The People of the Abyss still takes a long time (about 30 seconds, enough that I initially thought it wasn’t going to work at all). Jumping into a chapter takes long enough that I get an OS-level error saying that the application is stalled (answering “wait” will eventually work).

* Going backwards into a previous chapter still shows no loading message, when loading can take time.
* Moving between chapters in this edition still takes 20-30 seconds.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

So I asked librarian Robin Bradford to try it on her Sony Reader Touch Edition, which she just bought a few weeks ago. She reports:

So I tried the book.

There was not a noticeable difference between this book and others when turning pages or changing chapters.

The only slight difference was when a picture would come up. It would take an extra second for it to settle into focus. Focus may not be the right word, but I’m not sure what to call it. The words would all be there, and then the pic would settle in. By the time you noticed, everything was fine.

Moving between pages, or between chapters, was done with the speed of any other book.

Go Team Sony!

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Really, this is what I thought would happen with the Sony Reader Touch Edition. But I wanted it confirmed with a real test.

As I wrote earlier, if you must buy an eInk device:

Sony Reader Touch Edition is the best.

Previously here:

Barnes & Noble Nook 1.1.0: Liza Reports
Multi eInk eBook Device Fondle Report
Barnes & Noble Nook Gets Trashed By Archos 5 Internet Tablet


Barnes & Noble’s Incompatible Non-Universal ePub

December 21, 2009

I don’t know why this should shock anybody.

Still, it makes the PDF press release [PDF link] title all the more ironic:

Adobe and Barnes & Noble Join Forces to Standardize eBook Technology

By standardizing on EPUB and collaborating with Adobe on a content protection standard based on Adobe technology, Barnes & Noble is delivering the richest range of content available, across a broader array of devices than anybody else,” said William J. Lynch, president of Barnes & Noble.com. “Consumers can feel confident that when they buy their digital content from BN.com, they can read it on more devices than any other bookstore.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Let me parse this.

By standardizing on EPUB — ah, good! Everyone except Kindle is on the same page now. ePub for everybody! You can buy ePub here, there, and even everywhere — at Barnes & Noble and all other ePub-pusher storefronts — and it will run on anything that uses ePub.

Um, no.

Because of this:

they can read it on more devices than any other bookstore — the key words are devices and bookstore. Meaning, those devices must run the software of the bookstore, meaning Barnes & Noble.

Which then makes the next sentence in that press release an outright lie:

This collaboration with Adobe further delivers on our commitment to provide the digital content our customers want, anytime, anywhere and on whatever device they choose.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

What if I choose a Sony Reader? Or a Cooler? Or Astak?

Out of luck.

Because of this:

Adobe is integrating Barnes & Noble’s eReader social content protection technology into Adobe Content Server, Adobe Reader Mobile SDK and, eventually, into Adobe Digital Editions.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Barnes & Noble’s eReader social content protection technology — this is the eReader DRM feature, which places the eBook buyer’s name and credit card number in the eBook file. So, if you pass that file on, there’s your name and credit card number for everyone to see.

No other device aside from the Nook and those running the Barnes & Noble eReader software can deal with this form of DRM.

ePubs purchased at Barnes & Noble will “stay in Barnes & Noble.”

The only hope is that as other manufacturers — Sony, et al — update their device firmware, they will add this method of DRM to it.

It’s not just device firmware, either: Adobe Digital Editions and Sony Library will both require updating too to handle this.

In summary: The Nook can read ePub with the special (for now) Barnes & Noble “social DRM” as well as all other Adobe DRM ePub files (from public libraries or bought even from Sony’s Reader Store). The reverse is not true: No device other than the Nook right now can process the new “social DRM” scheme the Nook uses.

When will ePub again be “universal?” Adobe says by the end of 2010.

How’s that for a hell of a wait?

Additional:

Customer FAQ: Adobe and Barnes & Noble


Barnes & Noble Nook 1.1.0: Liza Reports

December 21, 2009

Nook 1.1.0 firmware update report

Opening The People of the Abyss still takes a long time (about 30 seconds, enough that I initially thought it wasn’t going to work at all). Jumping into a chapter takes long enough that I get an OS-level error saying that the application is stalled (answering “wait” will eventually work).

* Going backwards into a previous chapter still shows no loading message, when loading can take time.
* Moving between chapters in this edition still takes 20-30 seconds.

It’s still sub-optimal.

I hope to have another post related to this sometime today.

Previously here:

Barnes & Noble Nook Vs. Archos 5 Internet Tablet: Round Two
Barnes & Noble Nook Gets Trashed By Archos 5 Internet Tablet


Multi eInk eBook Device Fondle Report

December 19, 2009


Note: Crappy graphic for illustrative purposes only. Devices are not to relative sizes.

Last weekend I was frustrated in my attempt to fondle a live Barnes & Noble Nook. The only working unit was still locked away in an office and the person with the key wouldn’t arrive until 2PM that day (I was there at 10AM!).

This weekend, I went back to the same Barnes & Noble. What the hell, let’s see.

And they had two live Nooks.

After fondling the Nook, I went on to fondle three other eInk eBook devices and have drawn some conclusions some of you will find surprising.

Read the rest of this entry »


Notion Ink’s Killer Android OS Mini-Tablet

December 18, 2009

Slashgear gets all the great info.

Notion Ink Tegra Android smartpad uses Pixel Qi display

This is the bit that should make everyone drool first:

Perhaps most importantly for a web-browsing tablet, battery life estimates are impressive. Notion Ink reckon the smartpad will be good for up to 48hrs standby on its integrated rechargeable Li-Ion battery, 8hrs of HD video playback and 16hrs of internet surfing over WiFi. It seems it’s the eight-core Tegra T20 chipset that’s primarily responsible for such longevity, though Notion Ink can’t share any more details on that SoC itself. Meanwhile media playback isn’t sacrificed, and Notion Ink have apparently played three 1080p HD videos simultaneously with only a small loss in frames.

That is horsepower!

My current desktop PC can’t play one 1080 video — it can barely do standard YouTube most days.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sony’s Howard Stringer’s Ongoing Delusions

December 17, 2009

News Corp. to Sell Subscriptions on Sony Reader

Oh my god. Howard Stringer, blithely leading Sony to its destruction, actually said this:

We feel we’re riding to the rescue of news.

I sit here stunned, wondering what words my fingers will conjure up as my brain tries to parse the absolute imbecility and naivete of that statement.

Read the rest of this entry »


Barnes & Noble Nook Browser Hack

December 17, 2009

Those madmen over at Nook Devs have been busy.

They’ve gotten an unspecified web browser running on the Nook.

See two photos after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


Quote Of The Day: Writer Moxie Mezcal

December 16, 2009

Moxie Mezcal Interview

I’m going on record as saying I hate hardcovers. I mean, sure there’s probably some archival value to it, and maybe you need a sturdier binding for something like the Oxford English Dictionary, but other than it – there’s no reason you’re making me pay $30 for the fucking hardcover for new releases. Just give me the cheap paperback and the ebook right away, you godless-fucking-swine.

There is more awareness in this interview than any others I’ve seen with writers lately. And it’s infected throughout with great stuff I could quote. Go read.

Moxie Mezcal website
And read her Guerilla Fiction Manifesto there!

Previously here:

Edgar Allan Poe Knew The Score In The 1800s!
What Publishing Fears: The John Galt Maneuver
Writing Quote Of The Year: Paul Witcover
She Who Measures
Writer Peter Watts Beaten, Arrested
The Invisibles
Book Publishing Thinks It’s A Darwin Exception!
eGether Is The Future Of Book Marketing
Writer Eddie Wright: Broken Bulbs
Quote: Writer Moriah Jovan
Quote Of The Day: Kathy Sierra
How It All Works
YOUR Creation, YOUR Work, YOUR Art
For Writers Only
Twilight Of The Suit System
Writer Declan Burke: A Sad Post
Quote Of The Day: Jenn Topper
And Just Who Are You?
The D In DIY
Think And Grow … Um, What?
DIY Does Not Mean Do It FREE
Writers: DIY Or Die!
Curation: A Dead Idea Of Dead Thinking
Quote Of The Day: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
Because.
Writer Jason Pinter On What Matters
Keeper Quotes
Why Read?
The Amanda Fucking Palmer Effect
Who Stole The Audience?
Prominence Versus Influence
Pay The Artist!
TV’s Bonanza: With Charles Dickens
A Contrast In Scale
Advice Too Good To Lose