eBooks On iPhone: Not Waiting For Apple!

July 19, 2007

A reader sent me two links that are very exciting for people who are interested in ebooks on the iPhone:

Ebooks on iPhones: Seeing Is Believing

pretty as a picture: WOWIO ebooks on the iPhone

This second link is very exciting. It shows a graphic novel on the iPhone screen.

Paging Warren Ellis and John Rogers!

If I was Sony, I’d be worried about the future of the Sony Reader. Especially after Sir Howard Stringer opening his yap and dissing Steve Jobs personally! Nice way to motivate a fierce competitor, Stringer! Say buh-bye to your sinecure.

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Mucho Namaste To FSJ!

June 28, 2007

Oh, I couldn’t let the day end without acknowledging His Fake Steveness!

He linked to my iPhone ebooks post on his blog here.

Some blogger says eBooks are a perfect fit for the iPhone and that we could kill Sony in that market.

What an honor!!

Namaste!


Will Apple Steal The eBook Limelight From Sony And Create Another Mass Market?

June 27, 2007

Microsoft gave the ebook market a shot with its Microsoft Reader (software that I actually liked using on my suicided Toshiba GENIO 550g PPC), then sort of lost interest.

Sony came on the scene with what I still consider the best damned piece of hardware and software for ebooks, The Sony Reader. But that Connect Store and desktop software ain’t no iTunes Store or iTunes software! (It is also worth noting that the desktop software is Windows-only!)

Now Apple will have a portable pocketable take-along-everywhere device in millions and millions of people’s hands in less than two days. Must I really say iPhone?

And Apple has the software and retailing advantage over Sony. Unlike Sony, it has made a success of selling videos.

I don’t think everyone wants to do nothing but listen to music, watch videos, or even access the web all the time. Two of those activities require headphones. The third — given the EDGE network — requires a bit of patience.

The missing element for the Apple iPhone is ebooks.

They are a natural for it.

And Apple is the natural company to finally break the backs of the print publishing dinosaurs and stomp down the current egregious prices for ebooks. Look at this front-page sample from the Sony Connect Store:

Robert Ludlum’s (TM) the Bourne Betrayal
Eric Van Lustbader

Print List Price: $25.99
eBook List Price: $17.99
CONNECT Discount: 20%
You Save: $3.60

PRICE: $14.39

What is wrong with that picture? Everything!

Steve Jobs has the muscle and the vision to change that.

Are you listening, Steve?


Oh My God This Is So Incredibly Surprising And Totally Unexpected: Sony To Close Connect Music And Video Services!!

June 17, 2007

Sony Connect To Close Music/Video Services; Focus on Servicing Playstation Group; 20 People To Go

The Sony Connect experiment is about get, well, disconnected: it will be winding down its music and video services in the next couple of months, and focus on servicing the Playstation group on the technical needs, paidContent.org has learned and confirmed. In an all-hands meeting yesterday in Sony’s offices, employees were told that about 20-plus jobs are being phased out during this winding-down phase as a result of this closure. The eBooks division will remain however, as it will be servicing Sony Reader product.

Well, duh!

Previously in this blog:
Memos To Sony (Part 2 in a Series)


The Book That Would Defeat The Sony Reader

May 14, 2007

The daily getTRIO.com newsletter brings this:

Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts, takes the hoariest of premises — amnesia — and through a combination of jump-off-the-page writing and a post-modern bag of tricks, delivers a smart, absorbing, mind-bending novel.

The author is consciously invoking everything from Jaws and The Matrix to the books of Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart, for one), among the many hat-tips and clues. He does so in the service of a chap (the setting is England) named Eric Sanderson, who wakes up on the floor one day, completely unable to remember who he is or anything of his past. He finds an envelope that has been left for him by “the first Eric Sanderson,” who provides specific instructions on what to do:

“If you are reading this, I’m not around anymore. Take the phone and speed dial 1. Tell the woman who answers that you are Eric Sanderson. The woman is Dr. Randle. She’ll understand what has happened…”

Got you, didn’t he?

The Raw Shark Texts (the title is a pun — say it quickly and think of ink blots) is the author’s debut novel and there are some first-novel problems — more ambition than control, repartee between Sanderson and his girlfriend that falls flat. And if you like your mysteries neatly bundled, you may be left cold. But we think this is an enormously promising debut, not to mention a great read.

I saw this in a bookstore and got it from the NYPL. Go see it for yourself. Tell me Sony’s BBEB format wouldn’t be conquered by it! I dare ya! It has illustrations and typographic effects that I don’t think any existing markup language can handle (which, of course, begs the question: well, how was the book itself done?). It even has a flipbook animation in it! (Even though it’s in my reading queue, that’s no guarantee I’ll get to it.)

UPDATE: Hmmm… maybe not after all. I had to edit this to put in a link I missed — the author’s website! When I went there, what did I see? The flipbook animation that’s in the book itself! And typographic effects. Still, would BBEB format be able to handle that?!

SECOND UPDATE: Well shut my mouth! It got into my teeny tiny widdle brain to actually go see if the book was available for the Sony Reader. And guess what? It is! If you have it on your Sony Reader, drop me an email to let me know if it’s faithful to the printed original!


OK, Intel, I’m Almost Slightly Impressed

May 11, 2007

Like James Kendrick, I’m not enthusiastic about the planned Intel Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). Having been deeply scarred by using Linux on The Biggest Piece Of Shit Known To Man, I’m not eager to try it again. Plus, there are several must-have programs I use with XP that I doubt have equivalents for any flavor of Linux. Without those programs, using the Internet is like looking through a store window and not being able to buy anything.

However, tooling around the Net this morning, I finally got trapped into viewing a YouTube video demonstrating a MID.

The UI certainly is very nice. It’s what Microsoft should have given the UMPC. It’s similar to what the Pepper Pad 3 offers.

YouTube video performance looked better than what I experienced on the Samsung Q1U. But really, how long will that last? What if there’s a change to the Flash format and Flash 10 for this flavor of Linux is delayed? Or the if CPU in this particular device can’t keep up with the change? That makes it basically disposable. And if it’s going to be that, the price should reflect it. Will it?

I really, really like the size of that device, head-on. It looks to be about the size of a Sony Reader, which is what I think UMPCs should aspire to be.

Previously in this blog:
Intel To Go Linux — Maemo Linux?!


Sony Reader Is Gaining Ground

May 1, 2007

The Sony Reader

I love new toys. It had been a while (at least two weeks) since my last one. I was sitting next to Howard Morgan at a meeting catching up and he asked me if I had gotten a Sony Reader (PRS-500) yet. Both of us are voracious readers and travelers – picture me lugging at least three books with me wherever I go.

Howard said the Sony Reader had changed his reading life. I bought one online that afternoon (Sony uses Intershop software for their ecommerce – man – I’d forgotten they still existed.)

Previously in the blog:
Sony Reader Meets Inking
Purraise Da Lohrd!
I Gotcher Backlight Right Ear
Memos To Sony (Part 1 in a Series)
Sony Reader: Gizmodo’s Hands All Over
Wikipedia on Sony Reader?
Sony Reader Multi-Part Report Index
Sony Reader: Part 4 (of 4)
Sony Reader: Part 3 (of 4)
Sony Reader: Part 2 (of 4)
Sony Reader: Part 1 (of 4)
i, Reader
Digital Life: What I Saw