Monthly Archives: June 2010

Verizon To Sell iPhone It Dissed In 2007

Bloomberg June 2010: Verizon Wireless Said to Start Offering IPhone in January

Verizon February 2007: A Jackass Quote For All Of History

Verizon Communications president and chief operating officer Denny Strigl said: “The iPhone product is something we are happy we aren’t the first to market with.”

Really, Apple, why not give it to Sprint before Verizon? Sprint has this great $99/month Unlimited Plan! Verizon? 5GB/month data cap! And Sprint never dissed the iPhone (as Telstra also did!).

FaceTime In 2001 Versus 2010

When I saw a demo video of FaceTime over at Engadget, I immediately saw echoes of the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Kobo’s eBook DRM Hydra

UPDATED with a response from Kobo below.

People tell me things because they can count on me to raise shit about things that are wrong.

WHOA! Hey @kobo explain that DRM you got going with ePub for the Android app. This is ANOTHER variation of Adobe ADEPT?Thu Jun 24 00:14:43 via Echofon

Did @kobo just fracture ePub some MORE?! “Classic” Adobe DRM (Sony, others), then Adobe B&N DRM, now Adobe Kobo DRM?!Thu Jun 24 00:15:54 via Echofon

@jane_l Kobo is a bit of a mess, I think. MULTIPLE DRM — iPad, Android, and DRM on the web-based streaming version.Thu Jun 24 00:38:30 via Echofon

@jane_l And then the Kobo Reader at Borders uses ANOTHER DRM but can also do “classic” Adobe DRM.Thu Jun 24 00:39:16 via Echofon

@mikecane sorry, we can’t share anything about our DRM on various platforms.Thu Jun 24 15:05:38 via CoTweet

RT: @kobo: sorry, we can’t share anything about our DRM on various platforms. <- thanks for MORE ePub fragmentation!Thu Jun 24 15:14:06 via Echofon

@jane_l is not the source of the DRM news, by the way. We happened to discuss it on Twitter while I was ranting about it. I didn’t want to edit her name out of the tweet because clicking through would have revealed such revisionism anyway.

The bottom line:

1) If you buy an ePub for an Android device using Kobo’s software, it’s stuck in Kobo’s software. Their DRM scheme won’t allow that “universal” ePub to be read by another eBook program even if that program uses the Adobe ADEPT DRM scheme that has been prevalent (until Barnes & Noble broke it).

2) I wouldn’t buy any ePub books that do not use the prevalent Adobe ADEPT DRM scheme — including ePub books from Apple’s iBookstore.

3) What assurance do people have that they own these books and not long-term renting them? (This last bit must be expanded in a future general eBook post. The law is lacking in several areas.)


Kobo’s response was in a Comment. I’m still not moderating Comments, but they tweeted they had Commented, so I went in to pull out the text to give it prominence here:

My name is Jordan Christensen, and I work for Kobo.

You’re right that our Android app doesn’t use Adobe’s ADEPT DRM, but saying that we do not support Adobe DRM or make our books available in that format is flat out false.

Any book you buy from Kobo can be downloaded from in it’s Adobe DRM’d format. We’ve been doing that for almost a year, and nothing has changed.

The reason our clients don’t use Adobe’s DRM directly is purely one of economics. Adobe charges a license fee for each book sold that uses their DRM, and in the highly competitive business that eBooks has become, if our customers don’t want the portal file but are just happy with our clients, we would rather avoid paying it.

As I said above, this isn’t an attempt to lock people out of their books – we always provide access to the defacto standard format Adobe format for anyone who wants it. If customers want to take their books in Adobe’s DRM format and use them with another service, that’s fine with us, and we’re happy to pay the license fee for those customers.

Sorry that wasn’t clear – we can only say so much in 140 characters.

Jordan Christensen
Kobo Inc.

So, in short: Don’t worry about incompabilities with the Kobo software clients for iPad or Android or webOS or others. You can always download the ePub with “classic” Adobe DRM from Kobo’s bookstore itself and load that into a client of your choice that uses “classic” Adobe DRM. OK, all that makes sense now and we can all not panic. Thank you for replying, Kobo.

Public Domain Parasites: An Ongoing Series

I got this tweet:

Just finished reading THE LODGER by Marie Belloc Lowndes, possibly the first serial killer novel (published in 1914) #fridayreadsFri Jun 25 12:38:06 via Seesmic

Published in 1914? That’s public domain. So I go off to Google Books and BAM!

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There is proof of what I stated in The Looting Of Our Public Domain.

This 1914 book was re-Copyrighted in 2009 and no free editions are now available in Google Books — only this one, which must be paid for.

And who are the bastards behind this?

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So, they’ve taken a free book that belongs to all of us and have turned it into their private property!

They can go to hell. I won’t even link to these scum.

Until they’re sleazy enough to issue a DMCA Takedown Notice, this book is still available for free over at Project Gutenberg:

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This is the link. Go get it. Share it with anyone who wants it. If anyone brings up they want to buy the book, make sure to tell them you have a copy and that the book is rightfully free!

As more examples of this come to my attention, I will do posts about them.

The public domain belongs to all of us — not to private capital!


Feedbooks has added it too. Go here. And it now has a cover:

iPhone 4 Day: NYC Apple Store SOHO

I got on the 6AM ferry over to the city to document the first day of sale for the iPhone 4. There are over 40 pictures here. They’ve been resampled down to VGA resolution; click any to make bigger. A few have been cropped for closeups.

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Virgin Mobile To Offer Prepaid 3G MiFi

This is really big news. All those people who have WiFi iPads and sometimes lust for anywhere 3G but don’t want to be tied to a long contract? This is the solution.
Virgin Mobile MiFi Outed by Best Buy, Coming Next Week

Since this is Virgin Mobile, this MiFi will be entirely prepaid – $149 for the device, and then anywhere from $10 for 100 MB to $60 for 5 GB.

That’s more or less a wash.

Instead of $130 more to Apple for built-in 3G, it’s $20 more ($149, which we all round to $150) for a MiFi that can be used with any device — iPad, laptop, netbook, iPod Touch.

The 5GB limit of AT&T (and Sprint and Verizon) is there too, but for the whopping price of $60/month. On the other hand, there’s no contract, as there would be with Sprint or Verizon — for their whopping $60/month.

I’ve read stories of how less convenient it is, using a MiFi vs. an iPad’s built-in 3G, but the MiFi can be used with anything, while the iPad’s 3G is just for the iPad. I’ll take that trade-off and the benefit of using the MiFi with anything else I want to connect.

DC Comics Finally Goes Digital

Official Press Release: DC Comics Launches Digital Publishing

Jim Lee Addresses DC’s Digital Move

Still iPadless, I can only look at this from a distance. $2.99 for a digital comic book? Hm. DC also makes nice noises about storefront retailers. Like anyone wants to actually step foot into one of those places.

Thanks to @ghostfinder for alerting me via Twitter and for providing this screensnap of the DC iPad app splash screen:

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Previously here:

When Will Comic Publishers Learn?
Dear Steve Jobs …
Comic Books: Adult Eyes Make A Difference
Will The iPad Save Comic Book Publishing?
Comic Book Pricing
Digital Comic Books, Piracy, And More
Warren Ellis Unearths Comics Goodness

The Looting Of Our Public Domain

Terrible News: Court Says It’s Okay To Remove Content From The Public Domain And Put It Back Under Copyright

Did you know that if someone takes a public domain book, it can be put under a new Copyright, depriving us all?

Did you further know that if Google Books has a public domain book that is re-Copyrighted by someone, Google must remove that public domain book?

This has been happening.

Which is why earlier this year I spent a lot of days downloading from Google Books. What’s in the public domain should stay in the public domain.

The creations of creators are not fodder for public domain parasites.

And I’ve got news for you parasites, of the several hundred public domain books I’ve gotten from Google Books, I will share them any damned time I want. Your Copyright doesn’t impress me — because it’s invalid to begin with, despite what any damned court says. My copies were public domain when I got them.

It’s Not The Device Or The File, It’s The Internet, Stupid!

I have a break in my busy-ness today and get to do a post that describes the major change in thinking I’ve had recently. It’s sheer serendipity that on the same day this opportunity occurs, someone releases a big report that verifies my own thinking.

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Blog Notes: Ads By WordPress, Not Me

This is a portion of a screensnap just sent to me by @doctorlaura:

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I do not pay to use WordPress. So they make their money by sometimes inserting ads into blogs. She just caught one of the times this has happened.

I never see any ads on my end nor am I ever told if any have been or will be inserted.

And I don’t make a cent off them. Not that I’d want to: I hate intrusive ads! And really, given some of the things I write, I think most advertisers would rather not be here. OK, make that all advertisers.