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Adobe’s change of DRM could end old e-readers’ compatibility with e-book stores
February 3, 2014 | 5:27 pm

Here’s a story Nate covered over on The Digital Reader, that could be important in months to come. Adobe is changing up its DRM format, and as of July, will stop supporting the old format altogether. Any new EPUB e-books sold with Adobe DRM on them will be incompatible with older readers unless they have been upgraded. This really is a pretty big deal. Pretty much every e-reader sold besides Kindle and Nook used Adobe ADEPT e-book DRM. (And I seem to recall even Nook could support ADEPT DRM even though B&N used a slightly different DRM format for...

Thirty years of time shifting: The Supreme Court decision legalizing the VCR
January 18, 2014 | 2:14 am

Today marks an important anniversary for our digital media era—an era that couldn’t have been foreseen thirty years ago, but nonetheless relies to a very great extent on a legal decision exactly thirty years old. Today is the 30th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision that declared the Sony Betamax VCR was legal because “time shifting,” recording a program off the air to watch it later, was fair use, and thus the VCR had substantial non-infringing purposes. Ars Technica has a feature article looking at the context of the decision in greater detail. This decision is crucial to...

13-year-old bemusedly tries old Sony Walkman for a week
December 24, 2013 | 2:40 am

Kids these days, eh? The BBC’s Magazine section has a story on a 13-year-old kid’s experience over the course of a week using one of the original Walkman tape players, which came out 30 years ago this week. As you might expect, it’s replete with “How does this work? This looks funny. I can’t believe people actually used to think this thing was awesome!” from the younger generation. (It’s easy to wonder how he couldn’t understand a Walkman, but you have to remember he’s just 13. It would be like asking someone from my generation to figure out a...

Microsoft hides mobile, gaming losses with $2 billion in annual Android patent income
November 7, 2013 | 12:11 pm

Who’s one of the biggest beneficiaries of Android? According to Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, it could be Microsoft. In a new note on Microsoft, Sherlund estimates that Microsoft is generating $2 billion per year from Android patent royalties—almost pure profit. It is using that profit to conceal the losses from its Windows Phone and Xbox groups by grouping them together into one division and then reporting that division’s profit and loss as a single unit. That group always seemed to be profitable, but Sherlund says it's largely because of the Android money. Sherlund...

Baen places e-books in Sony store
August 9, 2013 | 11:06 pm

Fullscreen capture 892013 100234 PM.bmpAnother brief Baen update: Baen e-books have started appearing on the Sony e-book store. It’s hard to tell how many, because it’s apparently not possible to search by publisher, but a number of Baen David Weber, David Drake, and other titles have started to show up. Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf said on the Baen Bar that a press release had been approved and was supposed to go out today, though I don’t find any sign of it on Google News yet. The biggest surprise for me in all this is really that Sony is still selling e-books at all....

Sony Adds ‘Mood Match Up’ to Book Discovery
August 7, 2013 | 4:19 pm

Sometimes, you just have to say "enough already!" Sony's latest effort in book discovery is just silly. They are trying to match moods with books by having virtual flip cards with the mood you're feeling and a book recommendation. Well, in the first place, my current mood (tired from a long drive) isn't available, which makes me cranky. Whoops. That one's missing too. OK, let's get creative. Hey, that's there! So I'm supposed to read "The Interestings" by Meg Wolitzer. Teens at summer camp? In my current mood? Nope, I'm in the mood for an angst-free zone right now. Perusing further, a possible...

Sony Offers Affiliate Program for E-Books
July 7, 2013 | 9:30 am

Sony seems to be focusing its efforts on e-books, and trying to get readers out there on board by getting them money. Sony announced its first affiliate program through Commission Junction, according to The Digital Reader. It will pay six percent on every e-book sold through its affiliate links on websites and blogs. This seems to focus directly on author websites and book blogging sites. It’s interesting to see Sony move in this direction. Authors promote their books on their websites and social media. Often, they send links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo – where they could also make affiliate...

New Sony e-readers pass FCC testing
June 27, 2013 | 5:15 pm

Sony-PRS-T3-FCCSony’s still making e-readers? Apparently so. The Digital Reader reports Sony’s latest, the PRS-T3, has just passed FCC validation. Details are sparse on the ground. It’s got Wi-Fi, there are two models (one of which may be touchscreen), and one report mentions Bluetooth. Nate Hoffelder figures it’s got about a 6” screen, and will probably launch in the US and Europe in August. It’s nice they’re still out there trying new things, even if the most you can really say about them is that they can be used as evidence in anti-trust trials that there really is “competition” to...

Sony and E Ink are Making a Digital Paper Notepad and it Looks Awesome (Video)
May 17, 2013 | 12:15 pm

I’m an all-day note-taker—my day's or week’s itinerary, messages to give to someone else, story ideas, ramblings, etc. Unfortunately I’m also a bit of a messy ... well, unorganized person, I admit. And as you may guess, those two personality traits usually add up, for me, to lots of unorganized, folded pieces of paper in my pockets or around my house and office, and also a library of notebooks of compiled thoughts and ideas with real order. So needless to say, I’m anticipating Sony’s A4-sized (8.3-inches x 11.7-inches) digital paper slate to be rather beneficial in my life. Unveiled last week,...

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Available for US Pre-Orders Starting at $500
April 29, 2013 | 3:45 pm

Sony XperiaWho said high-end 10-inch Android tablets are not attractive anymore just because they’re much pricier than 7-inchers like the Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fires? Well, a lot of people, but Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z is bound to make you rethink that. With a splendid design resembling the Xperia Z phone, a stunning Full HD screen, outstanding hardware, up-to-date software, plus water and dust protection, it’s pretty difficult to ignore Sony’s latest 10-incher. True, the thing is not exactly the most budget-conscious around, but it’s probably worth every penny of the $500 Sony is asking for it in the U.S. Available for...

Morning Links: Kobo unveils a new HD reader
April 16, 2013 | 9:06 am

Morning LinksSony Launches Discover Map Feature on Reader Store (Good e-Reader) Books to Help Kids Talk About Boston Marathon News (GalleyCat) Kobo Unveils Aura HD, a High-Definition Reader (Digital Book World) Enough About Data Caps, They are a Terrible Idea (Paid Content) Kindle Daily Deals: Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther Kind Jr. (and 3 others)  ...

Sony Takes $50 Off Xperia Tablet S Price, Also Offers A Free “Casual Cover”
February 18, 2013 | 11:28 am

Sony Xperia tablet saleToday is Presidents’ Day and that’s reason for celebration not only for Dell, but also for Sony. The latter isn’t exactly as generous as the former, but we still have awesome news for folks that are in the market for a decently priced 10-inch tablet. The Xperia Tablet S, released less than five months ago, is now just $399.99 in the 16 GB flavor. That’s $50 off the list price, but the savings don’t stop there. Sony’s store also throws in a free “casual cover” (regularly worth $59.99) with every Xperia Tablet S order, bringing the savings total to $109.99. Not too...