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Amazon to introduce "big screen" Kindle device this week - Page 2

post #41 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

The Kindle 2 has an integrated mp3 player.

"Listen to Music & Podcasts
Transfer MP3 files to Kindle to play as background music while you read. You can quickly and easily transfer MP3 files via USB by connecting Kindle to your computer."

Cool- I had no idea. They don't really advertise that part much. I would def now consider a Kindle.
post #42 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

I think you've missed the point. It's not supposed to take the place of 1 magazine or 1 book, it's supposed to take the place of many of those items, you can't fold 4 magazines and two books up enough to fit in your pocket.

Honestly, I'd rather cram a few magazines and a newspaper into my briefcase than carry a large, inflexible chunk of plastic and glass around with me. No thanks; I'll stick with my macBook, which is going to be traveling with me in any event.

I toyed with getting a Kindle for reading books, but the kiss of death was the poor selection of material available for purchase. Unless you want to read bestsellers, you may not find what you're looking for. I made a list of the 10 books sitting in my "to-be-read" pile and only found 2 of them available through the Kindle site.
post #43 of 87
I think everyone on this forum has to take two steps back and realize the significance of this idea into the world.

The kindle or this new device from Plastic Logic are incredibly important to the world for several reasons. These devices are simplistic and one dimensional because they are not meant to be all-in-one devices. For the same reason that the ipod only played music when it first came out.

1. not everyone in the world can afford a laptop or an iPhone or a Blackberry. The low-income families that can't even afford a computer is what i believe prototype devices like these are trying to sell for.

2. The education system needs something like this that's affordable enough to have it as something that a student could buy as a supplement to textbooks. that way, their 4-year tenure in HS/College/etc. could be instantly downloaded to these devices instead of 100's of pounds in books and notebooks. Think of the paper we can save by not printing these books.

3. I've read online that eBooks were partially conceived to lighten the load of the backs of small kids that had to carry up to 60 lbs. of books between classes. Devices like these could solve that problem, along with the constant distraction iPhones/iPods/Blackberrys and laptops are in a school environment. If every kid had textbooks on a device without the distraction of being on Facebook in the middle of a lesson would be a great help to teachers of the world. I think the only feature i'd add to these devices would be a way to take notes via handwriting recognition.

4. this would be an amazing accomplishment for the library industry as well. think of a device like this that you could plug-in or upload library books on this device. you need a dedicated device like this to prevent copy protection. Also for magazines and newpapers, you could go to a corner news stand and upload the newest addition for a quarter or something.

For all intents and purposes i think everyone has a point that the world now likes multi-tasking devices that are all-in-one. but the reality is that not everyone can afford something like that. If you drop print additions, how will some one who lives on food-stamps be able to read the paper? you NEED devices like these dedicated e-print devices that are affordable (i'm talking less than $50) that only read magazines, books, school/college text books, and the ability to take notes. We should have been in this transition 18 years ago when the Internet began to become mainstream so it's about time this started to surface.
post #44 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwana_Dik View Post

Honestly, I'd rather cram a few magazines and a newspaper into my briefcase than carry a large, inflexible chunk of plastic and glass around with me. No thanks; I'll stick with my macBook, which is going to be traveling with me in any event.

Yes. Or my iPhone. Or a netbook/tablet that can have the screen flipped and in portrait mode for reading. A little clunky but having the keyboard allows me about 80% of the functionality I need from a notebook. The other 20% being games and code development (without pulling out my hair).
post #45 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

I certainly agree with the price argument... getting some DRM'd bits, which I can't even lend out to friends, for almost the same price as a printed edition, is not attractive at all.

Still, I can't say how big the benefit of e-ink really is – it may be minor, but some of the arguments do make sense, and I would not call all of them BS...

- Any backlight has a fixed temperature; reading on a backlit device, the eyes and the brain do have to switch between the ambient light and the device all the time.
- People dealing with ergonomics have been arguing against strong contrasts since ages. Actually, quite a few of the most expensive literature editions are printed on tinted paper (mostly chamois) to reduce the contrast. Interior architects specialized in ergonomic workplace design argue against white walls and try to put old-fashioned (yellow) light-bulbs everywhere. If this does really do something, or if this is voodoo, I can't say.
- CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome) is not a myth... it exists, and some companies already spend considerable amounts of money to e.g. abolish reflective screens and avoid scattered light.

This isn't really true. The background temperature on all monitors can be changed very easily.

The contrast can be adjusted as well.

On the iPhone, most book reading programs allow you to change the color, and density, of the background, which is the same as changing the color temp, as it affects the entire background. Want it yellow, pink, tan, grey? Whatever. How about a paper-like pattern? Done!

Using a computer in an office, where they may not let you adjust the orientation of your monitor is something else. We're talking about book readers, vs other portable computing devices.

Right now, D-ink, or E-ink, isn't very good. It takes a while for the page to change, sometimes a second. That's annoying. It can't be easily read in anything other than good quality light. That makes it much less useful. I like to read from my iPhone at night, when my wife is sleeping. I don't need to turn a light on. With the Kindle, you have no choice. Any money you might save in recharging is far more than made up for even with the compact fluorescent light I have.

It offers, in the case of the Kindle, only 16 grey shades, from light grey to not quite black.

But that's just the half of it. Some day, most of these problems will be fixed.

The real problem is the concept of the standalone book reader. I don't see it lasting.
post #46 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

Great idea dude .Except a tablet will work just fine .Type or write one handed .Just like a clipboard.

Are you serious? You expect people to hold up a big tablet and balance it in one hand while touch typing on the virtual keyboard with the other!? Do you have any idea how uncomfortable and slow that would be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

And a double screen like thing where you have glass on top and bottom would also be fine , we would adjust.

Why force people to type on a big piece of glass when a MultiTouch trackpad-sized display would not only enable the MultiTouch gestures already built into Mac OS X (and used by a number of Apple's bundled applications), but also enable direct touch manipulation of elements pulled down from the main display and/or widgets that let you turn down the volume, place/move pins on a map, draw on photos, turn dials in GarageBand, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #47 of 87
I'll say this again...

I think everyone on this forum has to take two steps back and realize the significance of this idea.

The kindle or this new device from Plastic Logic are incredibly important to the world for several reasons. These devices are simplistic and one dimensional because they are not meant to be all-in-one devices. For the same reason that the ipod only played music when it first came out.

1. not everyone in the world can afford a laptop or an iPhone or a Blackberry. The low-income families that can't even afford a computer is what i believe prototype devices like these are trying to sell for.

2. The education system needs something like this that's affordable enough to have it as something that a student could buy as a supplement to textbooks. that way, their 4-year tenure in HS/College/etc. could be instantly downloaded to these devices instead of 100's of pounds in books and notebooks. Think of the paper we can save by not printing these books.

3. I've read online that eBooks were partially conceived to lighten the load of the backs of small kids that had to carry up to 60 lbs. of books between classes. Devices like these could solve that problem, along with the constant distraction iPhones/iPods/Blackberrys and laptops are in a school environment. If every kid had textbooks on a device without the distraction of being on Facebook in the middle of a lesson would be a great help to teachers of the world. I think the only feature i'd add to these devices would be a way to take notes via handwriting recognition.

4. this would be an amazing accomplishment for the library industry as well. think of a device like this that you could plug-in or upload library books on this device. you need a dedicated device like this to prevent copy protection. Also for magazines and newpapers, you could go to a corner news stand and upload the newest addition for a quarter or something.

For all intents and purposes i think everyone has a point that the world now likes multi-tasking devices that are all-in-one. but the reality is that not everyone can afford something like that. If you drop print additions, how will some one who lives on food-stamps be able to read the paper? you NEED devices like these dedicated e-print devices that are affordable (i'm talking less than $50) that only read magazines, books, school/college text books, and the ability to take notes. We should have been in this transition 18 years ago when the Internet began to become mainstream so it's about time this started to surface.
post #48 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

What purpose? The ideal product would be flexible and approaching the quality of a high-end glossy magazine. As such, it would offer far less interactivity compared to a computer (5, 6 or 7 years in the future), would draw on much less power (since it would be encapsulated color dots that "reset" only when necessary), and it would act functionally like a book, magazine or newspaper.

I know this is an idea.

But I can't see the usefulness to it. People will want to be connected. They will want to see their media. They will want to communicate with their friends, family, and business associates. They will want to play games. They will want to write, run spreadsheets. they will want to surf the internet.

Why would they want to carry a dedicated bookreader, even if it has some of the basic functions?

I don't believe it.

What we'll see is what we're already seeing. Portable computers will continue getting thinner, just as Apple, in what some here think is a obsession with thinness, is already doing (and now, maybe those people can get some idea why).

The book reader will be subsumed into a future portable computer, thinner, lighter, more powerful, with longer times between recharging, and it will go away.

I don't see any other possibility.
post #49 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I'll say this again...

Much as I understand that you are itching to get your point across... double posting is wasteful and uncool.
post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I mixed up my specifications... I meant 150 lpi (as in screen printing), with the equivalent of 300 dpi... Also, it's very possible that these future displays could utilize something similar to stochastic printing to achieve very high quality with a 'random' e-ink pattern.

Stochastic printing requires much higher resolution than does regular printing. I'm not sure it really matters for displays.

Printing is very different than displays. a computer display seems much sharper at a given resolution than does the printed page because of the way printing must be done.

For those who haven't thought about it, printing in a magazine is like your inkjet, except that it only uses four colors, other than for expensive specialized printing.

Because of that, a halftone pattern of many more dots on a side are needed to reproduce just 256 shades, and in practice, rarely more than about 240 are ever managed. You need a resolution of 2,400 x 2,400 to reproduce a theoretical 256 shades (in color) at a 150 line resolution.

The problem is that because of the way ink works, it spreads, and overlapping dots tend to obscure the finest details, even though they should be reproduced (again, in theory). Line screens aren't perfect either, and slight misalignment is normal.

A monitor with a 150 ppi resolution will reproduce detail that would require over 200 dpi on even the finest papers, because each dot on the monitor can reproduce the entire 256 shades. If the monitor is set up properly, you can also get at least 240 of them, and often more. You don't get the smearing that happens with ink on paper.
post #51 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Cool- I had no idea. They don't really advertise that part much. I would def now consider a Kindle.

The whole thing works better on the computer.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I think everyone on this forum has to take two steps back and realize the significance of this idea into the world.

The kindle or this new device from Plastic Logic are incredibly important to the world for several reasons. These devices are simplistic and one dimensional because they are not meant to be all-in-one devices. For the same reason that the ipod only played music when it first came out.

1. not everyone in the world can't afford a laptop or an iPhone or a Blackberry. The low-income families that can't even afford a computer is what i believe prototype devices like these are trying to sell for.

2. The education system needs something like this that's affordable enough to have it as something that a student could buy as a supplement to textbooks. that way, their 4-year tenure in HS/College/etc. could be instantly downloaded to these devices instead of 100's of pounds in books and notebooks. Think of the paper we can save by not printing these books.

3. I've read online that eBooks were partially conceived to lighten the load of the backs of small kids that had to carry up to 60 lbs. of books between classes. Devices like these could solve that problem, along with the constant distraction iPhones/iPods/Blackberrys and laptops are in a school environment. If every kid had textbooks on a device without the distraction of being on Facebook in the middle of a lesson would be a great help to teachers of the world. I think the only feature i'd add to these devices would be a way to take notes via handwriting recognition.

4. this would be an amazing accomplishment for the library industry as well. think of a device like this that you could plug-in or upload library books on this device. you need a dedicated device like this to prevent copy protection. Also for magazines and newpapers, you could go to a corner news stand and upload the newest addition for a quarter or something.

For all intents and purposes i think everyone has a point that the world now likes multi-tasking devices that are all-in-one. but the reality is that not everyone can afford something like that. If you drop print additions, how will some one who lives on food-stamps be able to read the paper? you NEED devices like these dedicated e-print devices that are affordable (i'm talking less than $50) that only read magazines, books, school/college text books, and the ability to take notes. We should have been in this transition 18 years ago when the Internet began to become mainstream so it's about time this started to surface.

All the reasons you're giving FOR this device are reasons AGAINST it.

Ae you forgetting that it costs almost $400, and that this newer, bigger one, unless they are willing to lose money on every one they sell, will cost even more?

Do you really think that people who can afford, or aren't willing to spend money on a smartphone that can do everything this can do, and much more, will be willing to spend more on a book reader.?

I doubt that very much.

The people who are buying this are buying it for the novelty value, and the social value of having others ooh and ah it.
post #53 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by iStink View Post

GOOD LORD! Did you see how disgusting that woman's arms looked?

Hey,

why the bad blood? U have a choice to either use Kindle or leave it......just dan simple!

post #54 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The whole thing works better on the computer.

Not for reading on a subway, Mel.
post #55 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I'll say this again...

I think everyone on this forum has to take two steps back and realize the significance of this idea.

...

Why did you feel the need to repost your message 9 minutes later prefaced with "I'll say this again..."? That's just weird.

Or maybe you wanted us to take 4 steps back but only 2 steps at a time?
post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I know this is an idea.

The book reader will be subsumed into a future portable computer, thinner, lighter, more powerful, with longer times between recharging, and it will go away.

I don't see any other possibility.

The problem with this viewpoint is that the Kindle is already a portable computer, running Linux. It is in effect a Netbook, with a slow processor, monochrome display, and weak web browser. But it comes with a built-in, PREPAID cell phone connection for data only. And 2 GB of storage.

And it already is thinner, lighter, with longer times between recharging. As with other computers, it will get more powerful over time, but it is the pre-paid cellular connection that is its primary hook, compared to computing devices.
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post #57 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Not for reading on a subway, Mel.

I mean a small laptop, netbook, or my iPhone.

My contention is that just because we're used to a large book, doesn't mean that that must be theway going forward.

When pocket books frist came out, people didn't believe they would sell, because despite their much cheaper price, it was thought that the much smaller size wouldn't be functional.

They were wrong.

I don't see the need for a separate, large bookreader, when we have other devices that can do the job just as well, or even better.

I use the iPhone when in the subway, standing, holding a pole.

The thing that's great about this device, my Samsung i330, and Palm Treo 700p after that, is that I only need one hand to hold it, and turn the pages.

I don't think these devices are going to be popular with people during their commute, during a very crowded rush hour, do you?

And then what de we do about the lack of computing ability? I can't imagine many people willing to carry one of these, but not a small computer.

While these are somewhat slighter than most portables, the portables are catching up.

As both the Atom and ARM get more powerful, and use less current, where will these bookreaders fit in?

I can't find a place for them.
post #58 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by prw View Post

The problem with this viewpoint is that the Kindle is already a portable computer, running Linux. It is in effect a Netbook, with a slow processor, monochrome display, and weak web browser. But it comes with a built-in, PREPAID cell phone connection for data only. And 2 GB of storage.

And it already is thinner, lighter, with longer times between recharging. As with other computers, it will get more powerful over time, but it is the pre-paid cellular connection that is its primary hook, compared to computing devices.

It's still a very limited device.

I'm not saying that it can't morph into something more useful. In fact, earlier, I said that it was a computer.

But, what's the point of having a device with a more powerful processor and graphics not being an actual computer? Nothing!

As for linux, well, forget it. People don't want Linux.

Netbooks started coming out with Linux, but consumers have shown that they don't want them as much as more traditional OS's.

The Kindle can get away with it because it doesn't do much. It's basically an embedded OS with limited functionality. As soon as programs can be used, people will want Windows, or if Apple gets its act together, OS X.
post #59 of 87
A new article from Forbes that just came into my mailbox that reinforces what I've been saying:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/04/kin...partner=alerts
post #60 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

A new article from Forbes that just came into my mailbox that reinforces what I've been saying:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/04/kin...partner=alerts

For the near term, this is how it's going .... as a replacement for very expensive college textbooks. A very smart positioning of the new Kindle, IMO.

Quote:
Amazon Expected To Unveil Large-Screen Kindle
2:57 pm ET 05/04/2009 - Dow Jones


By Dan Gallagher

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is widely expected to lift the wraps on a new large-screen Kindle device this week, which could be the first in a line of electronic reading devices geared toward newspapers and textbooks.
The online retail giant has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday - 10:30 a.m. EDT - at Pace University in New York City.
Amazon did not disclose details about the event, but the New York Times reported over the weekend that the company is expected to unveil the latest version of its Kindle e-book reader. This device would reportedly have a larger screen optimized for newspapers, magazines and textbooks.
The Times also said that the newspaper's parent company is expected to be one of Amazon's partners in providing content for the device, citing unnamed sources.
Shares of Amazon were recently trading up 0.7% at $79.48. The stock is up 60% since the first of the year.
A new Kindle designed for newspapers could be the first of many such devices. Two newspaper publishing companies - News Corp. (NWS) and privately held Hearst Corp. - have disclosed plans to develop similar e-reader devices. A Silicon Valley startup called Plastic Logic is also developing a large-screen e-reader device geared toward newspapers.
News Corp. is the owner of MarketWatch, publisher of this report.
This week's event would be just three months after Amazon updated the first version of the Kindle, which was originally launched in November 2007. The Kindle 2 sells for $359 over Amazon's Web site and can be used to download and read books in an electronic format.
Amazon has never disclosed sales figures for the device, though some analysts believe the company has already sold more than half-a-million units. In its most recent earnings report, the company said sales of the device "have exceeded our most optimistic expectations." Amazon surprised Wall Street with stronger-than-expected earnings growth for the period.
For newspapers, some publishers are hoping that e-reader devices might help reverse the fortunes of an industry that has been in a severe decline of light. Newspaper circulation continues to fall - down 7% in the past six months, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation data - as more readers flock to the Internet for news.
-Dan Gallagher; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

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post #61 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I mean a small laptop, netbook, or my iPhone.

My contention is that just because we're used to a large book, doesn't mean that that must be theway going forward.

When pocket books frist came out, people didn't believe they would sell, because despite their much cheaper price, it was thought that the much smaller size wouldn't be functional.

They were wrong.

I don't see the need for a separate, large bookreader, when we have other devices that can do the job just as well, or even better.

I use the iPhone when in the subway, standing, holding a pole.

The thing that's great about this device, my Samsung i330, and Palm Treo 700p after that, is that I only need one hand to hold it, and turn the pages.

I don't think these devices are going to be popular with people during their commute, during a very crowded rush hour, do you?

And then what de we do about the lack of computing ability? I can't imagine many people willing to carry one of these, but not a small computer.

While these are somewhat slighter than most portables, the portables are catching up.

As both the Atom and ARM get more powerful, and use less current, where will these bookreaders fit in?

I can't find a place for them.

I'm talking newspapers. Is there an App for NYT, WSJ, NYPost? I am under the impression that books are the only thing that works for what you describe. And the Kindle itself only accepts newspapers, magazines.
post #62 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

For the near term, this is how it's going .... as a replacement for very expensive college textbooks. A very smart positioning of the new Kindle, IMO.

Size and weight, definitely, and it gets better with each text book you replace with an eBook. But there are problems. How many text books are in digital form for eBooks? Are the publishers still afraid of piracy to a point that they aren't releasing the books at all or are charging a lot of money for the digital format? And then there is the issue of books that have images that E-Ink just work with. I think this will market will grow with each new innovation but I think it's years before we see an ideal eBook for students that will be popular en masse.
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post #63 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

For the near term, this is how it's going .... as a replacement for very expensive college textbooks. A very smart positioning of the new Kindle, IMO.

Of course, I could have quoted from the other article which shows a somewhat different perspective.

The point is that it's short term.

Someday, possibly, just possibly, if something very inexpensive, that can be made into something very easily collapsable, we might see a reader of some kind that's independent, but I still can't see a reason why.

Textbooks will likely be online, available from any device.

for everything else, size doesn't matter. Who cares about the size of the page?

Often I get a book, and it says 1300 pages, or so. Well, that's about 250 to 350 pages in a paperback, but so what?

I recently bought Gaimon's Coraline. Great book. With beautiful greyscale illustrations. On my iPhone, the illustrations looked very good. Nice shading, good detail. I could zoom in if I really wanted to see even more detail. On the kindle, it would look poorly. 16 shades from grey to grey.

This new Kindle is apparently being pushed not so much for textbooks, for which a color version would be needed in many cases, but for newspapers. The Forbes article shows why this won't work.
post #64 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I'm talking newspapers. Is there an App for NYT, WSJ, NYPost? I am under the impression that books are the only thing that works for what you describe. And the Kindle itself only accepts newspapers, magazines.

I have apps for the NY Times, the WSJ, API, Bloomberg, the ABA Journal, and there are others I haven't gotten yet.

More are coming out all the time.

If you have an iPhone,, though I think you said you have the iTouch, you should check them out. They will work on the Touch as well, as long as WiFi can be used.

I also have various sports programs, so I can follow that, often live.

So I have SportsMobile, Golf Tracker, Masters, MBL At Bat 2009.
post #65 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Of course, I could have quoted from the other article which shows a somewhat different perspective.

The point is that it's short term.

Someday, possibly, just possibly, if something very inexpensive, that can be made into something very easily collapsable, we might see a reader of some kind that's independent, but I still can't see a reason why.

Textbooks will likely be online, available from any device.

for everything else, size doesn't matter. Who cares about the size of the page?

Often I get a book, and it says 1300 pages, or so. Well, that's about 250 to 350 pages in a paperback, but so what?

I recently bought Gaimon's Coraline. Great book. With beautiful greyscale illustrations. On my iPhone, the illustrations looked very good. Nice shading, good detail. I could zoom in if I really wanted to see even more detail. On the kindle, it would look poorly. 16 shades from grey to grey.

This new Kindle is apparently being pushed not so much for textbooks, for which a color version would be needed in many cases, but for newspapers. The Forbes article shows why this won't work.


Three points...

First, if I recall correctly, type-heavy textbooks with black and white illustrations would be perfect for this new Kindle. These are the majority of college texts, ignoring for the moment medical textbooks and other books where color is essential to the display of information.

Second, Amazon's DRM is what keeps these texts from being turned into PDFs and posted on the Net for anyone at no cost.

Third, we don't yet know if the Kindle-to-be-announced has color or not.

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post #66 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Size and weight, definitely, and it gets better with each text book you replace with an eBook. But there are problems. How many text books are in digital form for eBooks? Are the publishers still afraid of piracy to a point that they aren't releasing the books at all or are charging a lot of money for the digital format? And then there is the issue of books that have images that E-Ink just work with. I think this will market will grow with each new innovation but I think it's years before we see an ideal eBook for students that will be popular en masse.

I see other problems for this as a specialized device regarding textbooks.

For K-12, there is a need to bring the books back and forth from class to home, and back again. Which ones varies with the day, though some are needed every day.

Do we want children carrying a reader like this around where someone might want to steal it? We already have that problem with phones and iPods. Younger kids would not be the market. Parents aren't going to want to risk their kids carrying something this large that's also valuable.

As for college, well, there, you don't have to carry textbooks around all the time, so is this really needed?

All college students will need a laptop anyway. Would they really want this in addition? With laptop weight coming down, that isn't much of an issue. Battery power is more of an issue, but that's getting better as well.
post #67 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Three points...

First, if I recall correctly, type-heavy textbooks with black and white illustrations would be perfect for this new Kindle. These are the majority of college texts, ignoring for the moment medical textbooks and other books where color is essential to the display of information.

Actually, this isn't true. I have worked at a major University for 20 years and almost all the textbooks are colour all the way and have been for at least 10 years or so. If there is only a black and white option, I would say that leaves out at least half, if not three quarters of all textbooks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

... Second, Amazon's DRM is what keeps these texts from being turned into PDFs and posted on the Net for anyone at no cost.

True, but the majority of the material in the books is public domain. Who's to say it would be a bad thing if students didn't have to pay hundreds of dollars a book for stuff that is not actually copyrighted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

... Third, we don't yet know if the Kindle-to-be-announced has color or not.

This is true.

The reason most textbooks are now colour is that it's a kind of "value added" thing that the publishers use to differentiate their product and to drive sales. Often all that's been done is to take a public domain black and white illustration and re-do it in colour so as to make it copyrightable and unique to that publisher. Also, there is a lot of cow-towing to the authors (professors), and expensive giveaways involving transparencies, slides, multi-media add-ons etc. again to drive sales and also as a kickback to the professors who decide what books are used.

I'm not trying to be too dramatic, but anyone who's been involved in this business to any degree knows that it's a terrible scam that's been going on for thirty years or more. It's only these (corrupt) market forces that are keeping the cost of the textbook in the hundreds of dollars, and it's a market that's totally overdue for a gigantic collapse.

Here's hoping that whatever reading devices eventually emerge also work for PDF's so that we can finally free the students from this horrible anti-consumer system.
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post #68 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Three points...

First, if I recall correctly, type-heavy textbooks with black and white illustrations would be perfect for this new Kindle. These are the majority of college texts, ignoring for the moment medical textbooks and other books where color is essential to the display of information.

Second, Amazon's DRM is what keeps these texts from being turned into PDFs and posted on the Net for anyone at no cost.

Third, we don't yet know if the Kindle-to-be-announced has color or not.

But that's not something that can't be done with a notebook. That's the whole point here. This really serves little purpose.

College students NEED a laptop. It's become a requirement at almost all colleges. They don't need a book reader.

As I said to Sol a few moments ago, college students don't have the need to carry textbooks around all the time anyway. And if they do, they may as well do it with their notebooks. And those are already in color.

If Amazon introduces a color Kindle Wednesday, it will cost almost as much as an Apple notebook, the Macbook, and more than many cheaper PC devices.
post #69 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I see other problems for this as a specialized device regarding textbooks.

For K-12, there is a need to bring the books back and forth from class to home, and back again. Which ones varies with the day, though some are needed every day.

Do we want children carrying a reader like this around where someone might want to steal it? We already have that problem with phones and iPods. Younger kids would not be the market. Parents aren't going to want to risk their kids carrying something this large that's also valuable.

As for college, well, there, you don't have to carry textbooks around all the time, so is this really needed?

All college students will need a laptop anyway. Would they really want this in addition? With laptop weight coming down, that isn't much of an issue. Battery power is more of an issue, but that's getting better as well.

Those are all valid reasons why it won't work... right now. The tech just isn't at a place to make it usual and it's too costly to make it a good replacement. I think the shift will eventually happen but it will be years from now before we'll even start to see a real shift to paperless textbooks.
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post #70 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Actually, this isn't true. I have worked at a major University for 20 years and almost all the textbooks are colour all the way and have been for at least 10 years or so. If there is only a black and white option, I would say that leaves out at least half, if not three quarters of all textbooks.

True, but the majority of the material in the books is public domain. Who's to say it would be a bad thing if students didn't have to pay hundreds of dollars a book for stuff that is not actually copyrighted?

This is true.

The reason most textbooks are now colour is that it's a kind of "value added" thing that the publishers use to differentiate their product and to drive sales. Often all that's been done is to take a public domain black and white illustration and re-do it in colour so as to make it copyrightable and unique to that publisher. Also, there is a lot of cow-towing to the authors (professors), and expensive giveaways involving transparencies, slides, multi-media add-ons etc. again to drive sales and also as a kickback to the professors who decide what books are used.

I'm not trying to be too dramatic, but anyone who's been involved in this business to any degree knows that it's a terrible scam that's been going on for thirty years or more. It's only these (corrupt) market forces that are keeping the cost of the textbook in the hundreds of dollars, and it's a market that's totally overdue for a gigantic collapse.

Here's hoping that whatever reading devices eventually emerge also work for PDF's so that we can finally free the students from this horrible anti-consumer system.

Another reason why many textbooks cost so much though is that other than being large, that is having a lot of pages to print, is that there are few being sold. Sometimes no more than a few hundred copies of a particular text. The ones that sell in the thousands are much cheaper, though until you publish several tens of thousands, costs can remain fairly high.

Also, a lot of the material is NOT public domain, though some is.

The problem about color is that while some illustrations may be reworked greyscale, much is not, and the color is a required part of the image. When that's true, often reproducing it in greyscale results in an illegible image. I hate to think of my Grey's Anatomy in greyscale, esp. greyscale that's just 16 greys, going from grey to grey.
post #71 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But that's not something that can't be done with a notebook. That's the whole point here. This really serves little purpose.

College students NEED a laptop. It's become a requirement at almost all colleges. They don't need a book reader.

As I said to Sol a few moments ago, college students don't have the need to carry textbooks around all the time anyway. And if they do, they may as well do it with their notebooks. And those are already in color.

If Amazon introduces a color Kindle Wednesday, it will cost almost as much as an Apple notebook, the Macbook, and more than many cheaper PC devices.

Yes, they NEED a laptop, but AFAIK textbooks are not being sold in electronic form for use on laptops. True or not? Like I said, publishers need DRM on their product or it may as well simply be free. There is just NO WAY they are going to make their bread and butter PDFs and open to theft. This "CollegeKindle" is a win for students, publishers and Amazon, and I'm sure the publishers can even afford to subsidize it to a degree to make the hardware cheaper and maintain their margins on the digitized information.

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post #72 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Those are all valid reasons why it won't work... right now. The tech just isn't at a place to make it usual and it's too costly to make it a good replacement. I think the shift will eventually happen but it will be years from now before we'll even start to see a real shift to paperless textbooks.

But by then the computer will be a reader as well.

I don't get it. People here have seen how far things have come. It's as though no one can imagine that things will go further.

At some point, the average portable computer will have everything needed in power, battery life, graphics, weight, size etc. to do what people want them to. There will be no need for a separate device to read books or newspapers.

This computer may not even look like a computer. It may be a 1/16" thick roll that's kept in a pocket designed for that purpose. Who knows?

But people won't have something just to read books and newspapers.
post #73 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I hate to think of my Grey's Anatomy in greyscale, esp. greyscale that's just 16 greys, going from grey to grey.

I know! Dr. McDreamy would look ashen in sixteen shades of gray. And Sandra Oh would be Sandra Ugh!
post #74 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But by then the computer will be a reader as well.

I don't get it. People here have seen how far things have come. It's as though no one can imagine that things will go further.

At some point, the average portable computer will have everything needed in power, battery life, graphics, weight, size etc. to do what people want them to. There will be no need for a separate device to read books or newspapers.

This computer may not even look like a computer. It may be a 1/16" thick roll that's kept in a pocket designed for that purpose. Who knows?

But people won't have something just to read books and newspapers.

The "CollegeKindle" will fill the market of today. The flexible, glossy, high res e-reader of tomorrow may cost $10 and be the size of a magazine.

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post #75 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Yes, they NEED a laptop, but AFAIK textbooks are not being sold in electronic form for use on laptops. True or not? Like I said, publishers need DRM on their product or it may as well simply be free. There is just NO WAY they are going to make their bread and butter PDFs and open to theft. This "CollegeKindle" is a win for students, publishers and Amazon, and I'm sure the publishers can even afford to subsidize it to a degree to make the hardware cheaper and maintain their margins on the digitized information.

Publishers will do what they must.

You think only the Kindle has books in DRM? Every single company that's been selling electronic books for years has DRM. The books on my iPhone have DRM. This is nothing that the Kindle can say they're unique in.

When a publisher looks at how many books it can sell, do you think they will look to the 500,000 or so Kindle's that have sold, to the over 50 crowd, it seems, for a large part of the sales? Not much of a market for textbooks there.

So I don't think so.

I know the iPhone is too small for many textbooks, but netbooks aren't, neither are notebooks.

I haven't seen one argument here yet that spells out just why a book reader is so very specially suited to a college student that they would prefer to have it with them rather than their computer.

And as time goes on, and computers get lighter, with better better run times, that reason, whatever it might be, will get even more tenuous.
post #76 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The "CollegeKindle" will fill the market of today. The flexible, glossy, high res e-reader of tomorrow may cost $10 and be the size of a magazine.

Those are pretty big assumptions.

With what is available for the Kindle today, which is almost nothing, I don't see it as being useful now. There are thousands of textbooks, how many are available for the Kindle?

I also don't see it costing $10 in the future. I also thought people didn't like glossy.
post #77 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevoid View Post

Revolting! She has a really bad case of epidermis all up and down that arm.

/likes real women

touché.

This is a good direction. I had two open book exams during university where there was so much medical reference material we had to bring it to the exam in suitcases on wheels.

Textbook publishers could be tempted to push for this if only to prevent students buying second hand copies of their texts via the inevitable DRM, not to mention the drastic reduction in manufacturing costs.
post #78 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I also thought people didn't like glossy.

Surely you jest.
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post #79 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Surely you jest.

After going through all the complaints here...
post #80 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Are you serious? You expect people to hold up a big tablet and balance it in one hand while touch typing on the virtual keyboard with the other!? Do you have any idea how uncomfortable and slow that would be?


Why force people to type on a big piece of glass when a MultiTouch trackpad-sized display would not only enable the MultiTouch gestures already built into Mac OS X (and used by a number of Apple's bundled applications), but also enable direct touch manipulation of elements pulled down from the main display and/or widgets that let you turn down the volume, place/move pins on a map, draw on photos, turn dials in GarageBand, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

good points . i just felt that we could make a virtual track pad . err just like the key pad .. anyway i was just dreamng ..
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