Kindle DRM Is Getting Even More Frustrating

June 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Amazon needs to work on its Kindle DRM policy, because the following story is ridiculous.

Basically, the way Kindle and the Kindle iPhone app are set up today, users have no idea how many times they can download a book, nor can they easily know how many devices can be used to read said book.

Making the situation even more confusing is the fact that the DRM information actually varies by publisher, and to find out how many times they will allow you to download a book you have to visit the legalese. Sometimes the info isn’t there, either. The worst part is this was all confirmed by an Amazon tech support person:

“How I find out (sic) how many times I can download any given book?” I asked. He replied, “I don’t think you can. That’s entirely up to the publisher and I don’t think we always know.”

I pressed – “You mean when you go to buy the book it doesn’t say ‘this book can be downloaded this number of times’ even though that limitation is there?” To which he replied, “No, I’m very sorry it doesn’t.”

As the author notes, this isn’t so bad if you’re buying a beach book or something you’ll read once and be done with it. Where it does get shitty is with reference books, which the author would like to read today, on his iPhone 3GS, and perhaps in a year, on the theoretical iPhone 4G, powered by unicorn tears. With certain books, you could be limited in such a way that your reading material does not follow your gadget’s natural upgrade cycle.

At the very least Amazon should update its policy so this info is out in the open and easily accessible. The best case scenario would be to allow consumers to actually, you know, literally own the books they’ve just bought. [Gear Diary]

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E-Book Sales Continue To Climb

June 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

According to the International Digital Publishing Forum (idpf) and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), E-Book sales have continued to show growth in an overall struggling industry, with more than 200% increase compared to last year.

Quote:

Trade E-Book sales were $12,100,000 for April, a 228.3% increase over April 2008 ($3,700,000).

Calendar Year to Date sales are up + 154.8%

Interesting to note it wasn?t until Q3 2008 that any quarter surpassed the $12,000,000 mark when total Q3 sales reached $13,900,000.

Previous high for any single month was March 2009 with wholesale trade sales of $10,000,000


View the complete statistics, historical data and information about the numbers here.

These figures only show part of the picture (see below) however they are extremely encouraging and tend to confirm that E-Books are finally coming into their own.

Quote:

Please keep in mind the following:

* This data represents United States revenues only
* This data represents only trade eBook sales via wholesale channels. Retail numbers may be as much as double the above figures due to industry wholesale discounts.
* This data represents only data submitted from approx. 12 to 15 trade publishers
* This data does not include library, educational or professional electronic sales
* The numbers reflect the wholesale revenues of publishers
* The definition used for reporting electronic book sales is “All books delivered electronically over the Internet OR to hand-held reading devices”
* The IDPF and AAP began collecting data together starting in Q1 2006


Amazon Kindle DX Coming This Summer for $489

May 7, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Amazon Kindle DX announced; coming this summer for $489

Hot on the heels of the Kindle 2, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled an extra-large e-reader today, dubbed the Kindle DX. The 18.4-ounce device is intended to give users a reading experience closer to paper, with a 9.7-inch screen that measures 8.5 x 11 inches — 2.5 times the size of Kindle 2′s display.

This latest e-reader has a new trick — its screen can auto-rotate, so when you turn the Kindle DX on its side, an accelerometer will flip your page 90 degrees. It can now directly handle PDF files, with no need to convert them into Amazon’s proprietary format. Also new is the ability to control the line length, making the margins wider or thinner with just a few clicks. Capacity has been jacked to 4GB, though there’s still no slot for a flash-memory card. Like the Kindle 2, the DX has 3G wireless connectivity for getting content wherever you are, and the E Ink screen consumes no power except when flipping pages.

At the same time, Amazon just made a deal with three major textbook publishers to provide content for the Kindle DX: Pearson, Cengage, and Wiley. Also, five universities have agreed to pilot the DX in the fall, including Princeton, Pace and Case Western Reserve. On the newspaper front, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe plan to partner with Amazon to sell the Kindle DX at a reduced price in exchange for a subscription contract.

Shipping sometime this summer, the Kindle DX is available for pre-order today for $489.

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The Lord Of The Rings Now Available On Kindle Through Amazon

April 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Amazon now has available The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) for the kindle.  Published on April 19, 2009 by Harper Collins e-books, this digital download contains the original trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The original series was first published in 1954 and has since been reprinted in many languages and has seen millions of copies in print form.

It has now been translated into digital form for the Kindle and is available for the Kindle through Amazon.com.

The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy)

Concept Braille E-Reader – A Very Cool Idea

April 20, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Braille e-reader concept a neat idea — for now

With the advent of Amazon’s Kindle, we are all now only too familiar with the e-reader. The technology, which uses E Ink is the technophile’s answer to a book (although this technophile would rather have her shelves groaning from the weight of the books she’s accumulated during her lifetime). But what about a version of the e-reader for the visually impaired?

A Korean quartet of designers — Seon-Keun Park, Byung-Min Woo, Sun-Hye Woo and Jin-Sun Park — have come up with a concept for a braille e-book. Simple in design, the device uses electroactive polymers, which change shape when voltage is run through them, forming the raised braille letters. Since the traditional paper braille books for the blind are roughly double the size of normal books, this could be a muscle-saver for those of us who are unseeing or partially sighted.

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World Book Day : 23rd April

April 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

World Book Day is coming up on the 23 April. This international event organised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) got its start in Spain in 1923, where the commemoration of Miguel de Cervantes’ death by local booksellers combined with the celebration of St. George’s Day to create a new traditional exchange of flowers and… books.

The intent of World Book Day according to the UNESCO :
By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.

Quote:

23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George’s Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold. The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support received from all parties concerned (authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media), who have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors.


MR member Saladdin proposes we try to think of ways to make ebooks part of the celebration : for example, going back to the original Catalan tradition of booksellers offering a rose for every book purchased, and florists giving a small book with every rose purchased, and men offering roses to women who reply with a book, he proposes that we might give virtual roses for ebook purchases, or perhaps we could send e-roses to authors we appreciate (provided their work is available as ebooks, obviously ! :D ). Sounds like a nice idea to me !

So, how will you celebrate World Book Day ?

 
World Book Day on wikipedia.

World Book Day on the UNESCO site in english and in french.

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Is Amazon Developing A Larger Screen Kindle?

April 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

With raging success, you can always count on one thing: copycats and rivals. Okay, so maybe that’s two, but you catch the drift here. Not long after Amazon launched its Kindle 2 to much fanfare, Hearst confessed that it was looking to produce a competitor with a screen that was about the size of a standard sheet of paper.

In a presumed effort to keep up with the Joneses, The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Amazon is looking to develop yet another Kindle (something we’ve definitely heard before) with “a larger screen,” which would obviously help it appeal to newspaper companies looking to easily transition their content to a large form factor e-reader. Not surprisingly, Amazon refused to comment on the “speculation,” but the report did note that there was at least some chance that the newfangled device would debut before the 2009 holiday season.

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E-book sales up 68.4% to $113 million in 2008

April 4, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

MobileRead.com has some stats on E-Book sales in 2008.  I think that 2009 will see those numbers double…at least.
According to the Association of American Publishers sales reached $113 million in 2008, up 68.4%. :thumbsup:

The PDF they posted uses 2002 as a base year and includes additional data for 2003-2008.

The report shows an overall compounded 57.8% growth for ebooks from 2002-2008 while other categories either lost or grew very little.

In 2002 ebook sales were $7,337,000.00

In 2003 ebook sales were $19,772,000.00 up 169.5%

In 2004 ebook sales were $30,271,000.00 up 53.1%

In 2005 ebook sales were $43,832,000.00 up 44.8%

In 2006 ebook sales were $54,396,000.00 up 24.1%

In 2007 ebook sales were $67,233,000.00 up 23.6%

in 2008 ebook sales were $113,220,000.00 up 68.4%

Thought this info would interest some of you. I know it’s still nothing compared to pbook sales dollars wise, but it’s encouraging just the same.
E-book sales up 68.4% to $113 million in 2008

AT&T, Verizon Entering E-book Reader Market?

April 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As far as business relationships go, Amazon and Sprint’s Kindle lovechild has proven to be a fruitful endeavor. So it’s with little surprise that other manufacturers have been seeking out that same feeling of carrier companionship. According to Verizon Wireless VP of open development Tony Lewis, there are five e-book readers in the works from various companies that are looking to be certified for use on the network, possibly in the same way Kindle uses its connectivity to download books on the fly.

While he wouldn’t provide any names, he did hint they were looking at segments of the market Kindle isn’t currently catering to, such as college textbooks. We’ve also got word that AT&T’s looking to hop on the bandwagon, with head of emerging devices Glenn Lurie chiming in that they want to be a part of that market. If that Whispernet connectivity is the feature that’s been tempting you to go Kindle, looks like you’ll have a few more options on the horizon, if you’re patient.

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The Kindle 2 Gets Disassembled

February 24, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Once again, the guys at ifixit have gotten their hands on a shiny new gadget just to tear it apart. However, they did discover some interesting bits of information about the build.

•The Kindle 2 sports a 532 MHz processor, clocking in faster than an iPhone 3G. Amazon used a 90nm ARM11-based Freescale MCIMX31L multimedia processor.

•The interior of the Kindle 2 is very functional, but not as aesthetically balanced as some of the devices we’ve disassembled.

•We demonstrated the E-Ink display’s persistence by completely disconnecting the screen from the battery. The content on the screen remained crystal clear even though there was no power to it.

•Pound for pound, it’s more expensive than the MacBook Pro 17″ Unibody we took apart last week, since the Kindle 2 weighs only 10.2 ounces.

•As many have reported, the text-to-speech was remarkably clear and surprisingly listenable.

•The Kindle 2 is thinner than the iPhone 3G, but a hair thicker than an iPod Touch.

•Completely disassembling the Kindle 2 is simple once the case is opened — we removed only 26 screws and disconnected four connectors.

Head on over to ifixit for the full break down in all its gory detail. [ifixit]

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