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At a press conference in New York City this morning, Sony announced that it is cooperating with the American Booksellers Association, other retailers, and a variety of traditional and digital publishers to make available a universe of reading material in EPUB format compatible with Sony Readers. Among the sites offering EPUB content for sale to consumers will be more than 200 independent bookstores participating in the American Booksellers Association's IndieCommerce site.
Beginning this Labor Day, ABA member stores on IndieCommerce's new Drupal platform will have the ability to sell e-content in several formats, including the EPUB format protected by Adobe's Content Server 4 (ACS4) digital rights management. In addition, Sony said that plans are underway to make its Reader devices available for purchase from all independent bookstores in time for this holiday season.
Engadget Sony's just announced the Reader Daily Edition, as well as updated Mac-compatible eBook Library 3.0 software and a new library content service. The service is free through public libraries -- the New York Public Library will be the first to partner up for the service.
Story found at Teleread
A few weeks ago, Pasquale Castaldo was waiting at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport for a delayed flight, when a man sitting across from him pulled out an Amazon Kindle book-reading device.
"Gee, maybe I should think about e-books myself," Castaldo thought.
He didn't have a Kindle, but he did have a BlackBerry. He pulled it out and looked for available applications. Sure enough, Barnes & Noble Inc. had just put up an e-reading program. Castaldo, 54, downloaded it, and within a minute, began reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."
As others are also discovering, the North Haven, Conn., banker found e-books quite accessible without a Kindle.
"The BlackBerry is always with me," Castaldo said. "Rather than just sitting there, if I can fill that time by reading a good book, I might do that, in addition to doing the other things I might do, like reading e-mail and Twittering."
Dear e-book publishers: stop gouging us.
Look, I'm your biggest fan. I've been reading digitally distributed fiction and non-fiction since the early days of the PalmPilot.
The most frequently used apps on my iPhone, bar none, are Kindle, eReader, and Stanza.
But I'm getting increasingly frustrated with e-book prices, which rarely represent a savings over their print (aka dead-tree) counterparts.
Paper books may be low tech, but no one will tell you how and where you can read them.
For many people, the problem with electronic books is that they come loaded with just those kinds of restrictions. Digital books bought today from Amazon.com, for example, can be read only on Amazon’s Kindle device or its iPhone software.
Some restrictions on the use of e-books are likely to remain a fact of life. But some publishers and consumer electronics makers are aiming to give e-book buyers more flexibility by rallying around a single technology standard for the books. That would also help them counter Amazon, which has taken an early lead in the nascent market.
OverDrive, the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries, announced today a joint marketing agreement with Sony Electronics, Inc., developer of the Sony Reader Digital Book (www.sony.com/reader). OverDrive and Sony will cross-market OverDrive's library network and the Reader, the leading eBook device that is compatible with industry standard eBook formats offered by libraries.
More from Overdrive.
Device is able to support over 20 open file formats along with DRM-laced PDF files; also of note, a sure-to-be-controversial text-to-speech feature can read back documents aloud. The six-ounce device will be available in a half dozen hues, and within you'll find a 400MHz processor, 512MB of memory, an SD expansion slot, 8-level grayscale E-ink screen, a replaceable battery good for 8,000 page turns per charge and an MP3 player that can operate in the background.
Full piece here.
An Essay of the LISNews Summer Series
I'm a conflicted person, it would seem. I regularly use, and encourage the use of, open source software. In some settings -- public computing, thin client, and cloud environments -- there isn't, in my mind, any closed system that comes close to delivering what an open platform offers.
I believe heartily that open source code benefits both developers and end-users -- in perpetuity. Open source development efforts can (and do) die -- but the application, the code, the vital organs that sustained it during development live on. An abandoned open source software project is much like what the medical profession calls a beating heart cadaver. I learned this from Mary Roach's book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.
The fact that I read books about corpses that have more of a life than I do isn't what makes me a conflicted soul. The fact that I read it on my second generation Kindle most certainly does. -- Read More
Amazon's competitors, after fumbling about like the Washington Nationals for the past couple of years, are starting to get their act together. They're moving toward a shared e-book format, called ePub, that's different from the one on the Kindle.
And Allen Weiner, an expert in the e-book business at technology consultancy Gartner, Inc., says he knows that other manufacturers are poised to launch new reading devices with Kindle-style 3G wireless connections. Some may be announced as early as the next few weeks, he says.
It's been a busy summer for Amazon's competitors.
Last week, Sony announced two new e-book readers, including one for $199. A third, with a wireless connection, is thought to be coming.
Barnes & Noble recently has waded back into the e-book business, after a six-year absence, by acquiring online seller Fictionwise. It is likely to partner with other e-book readers to compete with Amazon.
Oh, yes, and a little-known company called Apple, Inc.,(AAPL) is rumored to be readying a handheld tablet that would also be an e-book reader.