Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Something for the study

For those of us (and we’re a growing crowd) who have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t actually exist unless it’s digital (and on our ipads!) the bookliberator might be the go. From Gizmodo:

The BookLiberator Project is kit of open source hardware and software, designed to help you digitize your personal library without damaging your collection. It won’t spare you from having to turn each page, but it is some seriously clever design.

Basically a clever frame to hold your book, with a couple of camera mounts and associated software. a few thousand hours later and your print library is happily e-booked.

Would it be wrong to make the kids do this for me?

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New Kindle – same only different

Amazon announced a new kindle, available from the end of August. Some nice improvements, but it’s sticking to what it does (best?). Truth be told, we’re slowly becoming a kindle household – the nine y.o. want one of her own now – so the improvements seem worthwhile. Particularly keen to see if the webkit-based browser makes the web usable. Now just got to see if the wifi only device will cut it with the kid 🙂

From Technologizer:

The new model is 21 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter than its predecessor (at 8.7 ounces, its weight is almost two-thirds lighter than the iPad);

Same 6″ E-Ink monochrome screen as before, but with 20 percent faster refresh rate and better contrast;

Ten days of battery life with 3G on, a month with it turned off;

4GB of storage space for books, versus 2GB in the past;

Both graphite (like the new Kindle DX) and white versions;

Slightly revised keyboard and controls;

New WebKit-based browser;

$189 model with free 3G access; $139 model with Wi-Fi (both prices undercutting roughly comparable Barnes & Noble Nooks by $10).

Amazon’s strategy is as sensible as any I can think of for the Kindle–make it more like a book and even less like an iPad, thereby catering to all the folks who want the equivalent of a (relatively) cheap, highly portable digital paperback rather than the costlier do-it-all device that is Apple’s tablet

Whither Publishers?

One of the constant questions surrounding the emergence and growth of e-books is the role of publishers in the brave new world. A couple of quick links from the last few days. The first from the New York Times (amongst others) noting that Agent Andrew Wiley has cut an exclusive e-book deal with Amazon, bypassing traditional publishers:

The literary agent Andrew Wylie announced on Wednesday that he had started his own publishing venture and would produce e-book editions available exclusively on Amazon.com for 20 titles, including those by Philip Roth and Vladimir Nabokov.

And from The Guardian, Japanese author Ryu Murakami has bypassed both publishers and Amazon and gone straight to an iPad app:

the admired contemporary Japanese writer Ryu Murakami announced that he was publishing his new book, A Singing Whale, in partnership with Appleas an iPad download, turning his back on his regular Japanese publisher, Kodansha. The book will also include video content set to music composed by Oscar-winning Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Interesting times indeed…

Quick Kindle Update

Just back from some time travelling to an article in Businessweek on Amazon. Pretty upbeat with this nugget:

“We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle,” Bezos said in the statement. “Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books — astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months.”