Daily Archives: August 3, 2010

Barnes & Noble Is For Sale: Amazon Should Buy It

Barnes & Noble Goes on Block

Barnes & Noble Inc. has put itself up for sale, struggling amid a changing landscape for book sales.

The nation’s largest bookstore chain announced Tuesday that it was reviewing strategic alternatives and ways to boost shareholder value.

This is all about the money.

Sarah Weinman, who has covered the ongoing tale of Barnes & Noble, has an analysis of the intricacies and politics at work.

This news could not have come at a worse time for Barnes & Noble — right after Amazon’s trifecta of press announcements (eBook sales, the Kindle 3, and Larsson selling one million Kindle books).

People do not want uncertainty when it comes to spending money — especially in these straitened times. Hearing about Barnes & Noble being for sale brings to mind all other companies that were sold and became worse after the process. How many potential sales of the Nook will now be killed by this uncertainty?

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Archos To Take On iPod Touch With New Device

Via a tweet from ArchosFans, came the tip that J&R accidentally leaked news of a new iPod Touch-class device from Archos.

I think Archos remains well behind the curve here again. Despite the low price, who wants a 400×240 screen? I have an ancient Palm LifeDrive with a 480×320 screen! And I have no problem playing Divx/Xvid AVIs on it. It’d be nice to have a camera, but hey, that’s what the next generation of iPod Touch will likely offer me.

Archos should stop wasting its time. The Archos 7 Home Tablet needed Android 2.x and a muscular processor to begin with.

This is FAIL from the start.

Copy and paste of the text that will soon disappear:

Archos 32 8GB 3.2″ Touch Screen Multimedia Player

Android 2.1 Eclair / 802.11n WiFi / Bluetooth / Built-in camera & microphone / Accelerometer / Multiple audio & video formats / Surf web & download Apps

J&R Item # AHS 501570
Mfr. Part # 501570

Buying Info
List – $149.99
You save (2%) – $2.99
Your price – $147.00

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Get Over It: ePub Is Dead And HTML5 Wins

What Nixonland means for EPUB

Second, it marks Apple’s, and perhaps EPUB’s, path toward HTML5. It is no coincidence that the one non-complying piece of Nixonland is a tag from HTML5. Not an Apple proprietary extension, not a weird JavaScript, but part of the language that both Apple and Google have been heavily promoting for the last year or so. How long can it be before EPUB supports HTML5, EpubCheck validates HTML5, and Nixonland and other video-containing ebooks are legitimate entries in the iBookstore?

Apple joined the IDPF. Google and HP (Palm) are also members. So is Nokia.

iOs, Android, webOS, Symbian — all use the WebKit rendering engine. That’s four broad global mobile operating systems that basically define the walk-around go-anywhere Internet today.

With WebKit available, why would any of these companies agree to further the cause of ePub for eBooks?

Why would any of them agree to a spec that keeps changing and that has always — and will always be — behind the spec of the Internet itself?

Why would any of them agree that eBooks should be in the grip of one company — Adobe! — for its rendering engine (as well as DRM!)?

There is no plausible reason whatsoever for these big-footprint members of the IDPF to agree to the continuation of ePub.

ePub is going to be put to death. My own wish is that it will be a swift beheading so everyone can get on with their lives. My fear is that it will be a piece-by-piece dismantling that leaves eBooks in an absolute mess.

Whichever way it happens, ePub is just dead.

Amazon has won the war for eBooks that can use a purpose-built device.

Everyone else will go with HTML5 for eBooks.

And don’t forget: the Kindle 3 now has a WebKit-based browser inside.