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Posts tagged e-readers

Whither the Kindle Killer?
May 29, 2014 | 7:01 am

Broken-KindleFound via Slashdot: Larry Press plaintively wonders why nobody’s come up with a “Kindle Killer” yet. He notes a whole host of ways the Kindle falls short of perfection—lack of voice recognition or full interface capability with a computer, for example—and thinks such a device really should be a “low-hanging fruit” for one of the big device makers. I’ll tell you why, Larry. The demand isn’t there. Maybe folks like you who like to get the most out of their devices would want such a thing, but the vast majority of the lowest-common-denominator general public—the ones who actually buy...

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...

Should public libraries give away e-book-friendly tablets to poor people? $38 tablet hints of possibilities
January 10, 2014 | 4:54 pm

NextYoung people love suitable paper books, ideally new, that they can own. Could the same idea work for econo-tablets that public libraries gave away to low-income families---with a big, fat, e-book-related icon smack in the middle of the home screens? Yes! Don’t just hand out gizmos, though. Let the tablets come with old-fashioned encouragement from public and school librarians. Technology is no panacea. Kids should be able to own paper books, too, in fact, not just gadgets. But e-book-capable tablets, especially with national digital library systems in place, could multiply the number of books matching students’ precise needs. Paper books could serve as gateways to...

Hybrid LED/e-ink Yotaphone adds FBReader support
December 25, 2013 | 11:47 pm

yotaphone-update-leadWe briefly mentioned the Yotaphone once—a Russian smartphone with an LCD display on the front and an e-ink display on the back. Apparently it’s not going to be available outside of Russia for a while, and not many e-reading applications have been made to take advantage of that e-ink secondary screen. However, Engadget today reports that the phone has been made to support the popular open-source EPUB reader app FBReader. It will even support PDF files with the next version of FBReader. Meanwhile, Yota has been “discussing potential collaboration” with Amazon. It’s easy to imagine that Amazon, having built...

Gizmodo ranks 55 Android smartphones from best to worst
December 19, 2013 | 2:31 pm

If you’re considering investing in an Android smartphone as an e-reading and Internetting device, there are a confusing number of choices. In doing your research, you could do worse than consult this Gizmodo article ranking 55 such phones from best to what-the-heck-is-that-thing. While some of their choices are subjective, it at least gives you a general idea of where a particular phone falls on the spectrum of cool-to-unusable. Not surprisingly, the first-place phone on the list is Google’s Nexus 5. My own phone, a LG Optimus F3, comes in at #41 on the list, under “Unsurvivable Budget Phones (Phones...

Be careful with that e-reader charger! Man arrested for ‘stealing’ pennies of electricity
December 4, 2013 | 8:10 pm

nookchargerPerhaps the headline is a little sensationalistic, as the arrest was over a man plugging in his Nissan Leaf electric car for twenty minutes. That’s a couple of orders of magnitude more power than an e-reader, tablet, or smartphone uses. But given that the amount of electricity he “stole” only came out to a few pennies at most, the arrest is pretty clearly a matter of principle in any case—as the arresting officer said, “a theft is a theft” no matter how little it is. The implication should not be too hard to suss out. In today’s gadget-driven culture,...

Can You Use Electronic Devices On Airplanes During Takeoff and Landing? Soon, Yes!
October 31, 2013 | 3:00 pm

can you use electronic devices on airplanesSanity has finally prevailed in the hallowed halls of the FAA. Today they announced the loosening of restrictions. So, by the end of the year, the answer to the question, "can you use electronic devices on airplanes" will be "Yes!" Can you tell I'm pretty happy about this? Of course, this is the FAA, which is a government agency, so there are caveats. Changes to the policies are by airline, and some airlines will be slower to adopt the new guidelines than others. I suspect some loud, but respectful, complaining will speed on the laggards. Phone calls remain banned (which is fine...

Self-powered ereaders could be in the offing
October 9, 2013 | 10:27 am

As highlighted by reports on GigaOM and Good E-Reader, two different teams are taking different approaches to the potential for epaper ereaders that never need to be charged at all. Both work on the principle that epaper displays consume practically no power, and the amount of current needed to change pages or load new books is so small that it could realistically be provided simply by a reader's gestures. One, called Bibliofile, from designer Nadeem Haidary, "uses page-turning gestures to generate the power necessary to update an e-paper display." There is also a stylus included. "The stylus sends a wireless signal...

Poll: More than one-third say they are reading more books because of reading devices
October 7, 2013 | 3:47 pm

E-readers and tablets have changed the way we read. It’s a simple statement, one that is surely to be true. But the question that needs to be asked is ‘how.’ USA Today and Bookish have attempted to answer that question by conducting a survey of 1,000 people across the United States. They also added a supplemental poll with 819 e-reader and tablet owners. The biggest change showed 40 percent of those surveyed say they own a tablet or e-reader, which is up from 18 percent in a 2011 Pew poll, according to USA Today. Of those, 35 percent report reading more books over...

Morning Roundup: Facebook ‘likes’ and the first amendment; E-readers ‘more effective’ for some dyslexic readers; more
September 20, 2013 | 8:42 am

Cloud Customers Have Bigger Worries than NSA Gate (GigaOM) Nirvanix’ fast shutdown spooks current and would-be cloud storage customers more than the prospect of government spying. At least for now. *** Questions (and Answers) from the Society of Scholarly Publishing (The Scholarly Kitchen) Consider today’s post a bit of shameless self-promotion if you will, but at last summer’s SSP meeting many attendees were shanghaied into a side room and asked about their experiences and thoughts on scholarly publishing. The results are below: *** Yes, a Facebook 'Like' is Protected by the First Amendment (Techdirt) Last year we wrote about a troubling case, in which a district court...

What Special Reading Features Do You Actually Use on Your Devices?
September 6, 2013 | 11:38 am

readingThe new Kindle Paperwhite, announced this week, has some interesting features. I hadn't given much thought to the "extra" features my devices and reading apps offered beyond the basic dictionary lookup stuff lately, but some of this new Kindle stuff sounds interesting. On the other hand, my Kobo has some nice features, too. I'm not ready to upgrade just yet—the first person who makes an ePub-supported mini with a light will probably get that purchase—but I have to admit, I drooled a little at some of the features the new Kindle boasts. I'm not sure how many people are actually "serious" enough...

New Kindle Paperwhite Now Available for Pre-order: Should you upgrade?
September 5, 2013 | 12:35 pm

We've thought it was coming soon. Paperwhites were going out of stock, and it was getting close to the time Amazon typically releases new devices. They are now available for pre-order. So the question is, as always, should I upgrade? While it looks like a nice device, and it is the same price as the original Paperwhite, it does look like an incremental upgrade. The screen is supposed to be higher contrast, and they say they've improved the integrated light. That's a good thing. Lots of people were unhappy with the original light, although, to be fair, it wasn't always clear if...