Peter Kafka at the “MediaMemo” section of AllThingsD points to a job listing with Amazon for someone to help build “an innovative embedded web browser.” He notes that the current Kindle browser is fairly limited, and adding a better one could be a significant change for the device. Certainly it would be helpful in competing with the iPad. At the moment, the Kindle is the only major e-book device to offer any kind of web access at all.
Samsung’s E-6 e-reader will be coming this spring to Barnes & Noble at a list price of $299 (down from an original $399), report Engadget and Gizmodo. It is unclear whether they are just going to be sold in Barnes & Noble stores, will hook into the B&N on-line store the way the Nook does, or both. It is also unclear why anyone would buy one rather than the more featureful, less costly Nook.
A press release from book-industry collaboration software provider Above the Treeline notes that the company is partnering with BookExpo America to create an online catalog of new titles being exhibited at the next BEA (to be held in New York City May 25-27). The press release does not really make clear whether it is talking about e-books or print books.
We mentioned Above the Treeline partnering with Firebrand Technologies on a digital galley distribution service back in December.
Here’s another “burn the boats” recommendation from Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, who notes that “Newspapers could save a lot of money if the primary access to news was via the Internet.” However, Varian adds, newspapers historically have not made much ad revenue from their news, but rather from special-interest sections—and on the web, there are already a lot of websites that cater to those special interests.
See also this comprehensive post by Varian on Google’s Public Policy Blog.
Meanwhile, marketing exec Maurice Levy says that newspapers are overly dependent on advertising and must wean themselves off of it to survive. He suggests a mixture of free and subscriber-only content.
Nate the Great at Nate’s Ebook News reports that an additional 31 CliffsNotes appbooks are now available in the app store, bringing the total to 36 altogether. The CliffsNotes for Romeo and Juliet can be downloaded free until March 15th.