Monthly Archives: August 2010

Micro Fondle: Amazon Kindle DX Graphite

My final destination after micro-fondling both the Kobo Reader and the Sprint 4G HTC EVO phone was J&R, to get that damn thermal compound.

Walking into J&R, I was smacked in the face with a sign announcing one of their famous J&R Exclusives — they’re now selling the Amazon Kindle DX Graphite!

This is the latest model that has the allegedly higher-contrast Pearl eInk screen.

You know I wasn’t going to miss this. Despite the fact the eBook sales guy has seen me a lot — but has never seen me ever buy a device from him — he allowed me to give it a spin without any complaint.

Click = big

Continue reading


Micro Fondle: Sprint 4G HTC EVO Phone

After Borders, where I micro-fondled the Kobo Reader, I stopped in Sprint. The large posters trumpeting the HTC EVO caught my eye and I figured I’d take the shot.

Click = big

There it is, displaying the mobile version of my Tumblr.

Continue reading

Micro Fondle: Kobo Reader

This is the first of three micro fondle reports today. The other two are the Sprint 4G HTC EVO and the Amazon Kindle DX Graphite with new Pearl eInk screen.

I had to go to lower Manhattan today to buy some thermal compound. Since I made a point of also carrying the damn camera, I stopped in Borders to see if I could finally get a picture of the Kobo Reader.

Well, lo, there was a Borders rep with a live demo model I could try out!

Continue reading

The eBook Buyer’s Bill of Rights

This was inspired by a big bunch of Samples I downloaded from Amazon’s Kindle Store. These are not specific to Kindle format. All eBook formats suffer.

People like lists of ten. I have nine here as a work-in-progress minimum.

1) You have the right to a proper cover.
a) The cover should be the same as on the current printed edition.
b) The cover should be large enough to fill at minimum a five-inch screen.
c) A thumbnail of the cover shown for sales or library software purposes should be the same cover as in the eBook.

2) You have the right to a Table of Contents (TOC).
a) The TOC should have links to the matter inside the book so you can jump to each part.

3) You have the right to proper formatting by default.
a) Formatting should mirror a proper printed book.
b) Paragraphs should have indents without spaces between paragraphs.
c) Only after such proper default formatting should a reader be able to mix things up via a device’s software settings (typesize, spacing, margins — in other words, reflow overrides).

4) You have the right to highlight passages.
a) Sharing highlighted passages should be optional, opt-in, and protect privacy.

5) You have the right to set Bookmarks.
a) As many as you damn well want!

6) You have the right to Copy passages.
a) Copyright holders have the right to restrict this to one paragraph at a time to make piracy too time-consuming.

7) You have the right to legible illustrations.
a) They should be zoomable or several sizes should be available via linking.

8) You have the right to proofreading.
a) Any eBook with more than ten typos should be refundable as defective.

9) You have the right not to be assaulted by screens of blurbs when starting a book.
a) Blurbs are unnecessary in eBooks — they’ve already been bought!

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?

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.