2010 In Review

December 30, 2009

Everyone has already told you what 2009 was like.

And some think they’re telling you what 2010 will be.

I will instead tell you what 2010 was.

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Guy, The Bookstores Are Already Dead

December 30, 2009

Fight for the public libraries.

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

For God’s Sake, Get eBooks Going, Steve Jobs!

Previously here:

Two Down, One To Go…
Two Sentences From The Future
The Horror Of Paper Books
The Loudness Of Dust Settling


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


Notes For Monday December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

As the economy continues to tighten, I wandered around the Net for some information about books and hard times.

Presented here, without regard to accuracy, is what I found.

[A] lot of small companies — mine included — started in the teeth of a recession. It’s easier to start a business than look for a job at the start of a recession. People still buy things, but companies are reluctant to take on the cost of an employee when revenue prospects are uncertain.Posted by Susan Nov 11, 2008

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The Coolest Place Near You!

December 6, 2009


Quote: Steve Haber Of Sony

October 23, 2009

The Future of Reading: Learning From the Past to Thrive in the Future

[T]he purchasing process for eBooks must be simple, ownership needs to be permanent, file standards should be universal, and devices should support public libraries so that everyone has access to free content.

He’ll be in Boston. This is what he looks like:

Haber100208008

Bring your Sony Reader and a Sharpie. Have him autograph it.


Writers: You Can’t Have ALL The Money

October 22, 2009

No one can.

ScroogeMcDuck

I thought the Authors Guild were a pack of eejits. It turns out some of my fellow unaffiliated writers are too.

Click to see how