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This post at Technovelgy ask the question, Could Amazon, via the Kindle, end up being the Big Brother of 1984 fame? Or at least his proxy?
"The apparent success of Amazon's wonderful Kindle has everyone's head full of blissful visions of instantly updated newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - every last error corrected and every last and most recent version included.
Well, maybe not everyone's head.
At UrbZen, the following scenario is presented:
Consider what might happen if a scholar releases a book on radical Islam exclusively in a digital format. The US government, after reviewing the work, determines that certain passages amount to national security threat, and sends Amazon and the publisher national security letters demanding the offending passages be removed."
Read the rest here.
Kindle users have been grumbling lately about Amazon locking them out of their accounts, reportedly due to an overly high volume of returns on their Kindle books. ChannelWeb draws attention to the plight of one user who admitted to three "high-priced returns," though he denied abusing Amazon's return policy. Despite this, Amazon banned him from making more purchases from the online store, which also locked him out of accessing his already-purchased Kindle items.
Like all brand-new iPhone users, I went a little crazy at the iTunes App Store (a magical land where you can find everything from tiny handheld games—Air Hockey! Flight Control!—to downloadable art collections, playable musical instruments, song identifiers, "productivity" tools, travel apps, and more). I subscribed to something called AppSniper, a program that tracks brand-new applications and notifies you when something on your wish list goes on sale.
And that’s when I discovered e-books – loads of them, libraries of them – being added by the 01010101-load to the appiverse. Fully two-thirds of the new apps on the market seemed to be books – from the Koran to Shakespeare — most costing around 99¢ per download, though in truth most of those titles can be had for nothing. (More on that later.)
Suddenly I had instant access to pretty much anything in the public domain – for a small fee or for free. This felt like riches, largesse, Alexandria. Never read the Upanishads? Well, here ya go! Want The Complete Sherlock Holmes in 30 seconds? No problem! And look – plenty of shelf space.
From Readwriteweb comes this news,
"Adobe and Lexcycle, the company behind the popular Stanza eBook application, announced today that they are working together with the Internet Archive on turning the Stanza online catalog system into an open standard for distributing free and commercial eBooks. This new standard, the Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS), will be built on top of Atom, and aims to create an open standard for distributed online catalogs for electronic books."
Well, it didn't take long. Wired's Gadget Lab blog has a story about how a group of about 250 Kindle owners are staging an online protest over Kindle e-books that cost more than $9.99. The weapon they're using is Amazon's own tagging system, as price offenders are getting hit with a special "9 99 boycott" tag.
The roving--and most likely growing--band of annoyed Kindle owners includes such folks as Connecticut librarian Crystal O'Brien, who spends "a few minutes every day in the Kindle book store tagging the more expensive digital books with the '9 99 boycott' tag and removing it once the price drops below the threshold." Bookchase.
PLENTY of authors dream of writing the great American novel.
Bradley Inman wants to create great fiction, dramatic online video and compelling Twitter stream — and then roll them all into a multimedia hybrid that is tailored to the rapidly growing number of digital reading devices.
Mr. Inman, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, calls this digital amalgam a “Vook,” (vook.tv) and the fledgling company he has created with that name just might represent a possible future for the beleaguered book industry.
Are e-book readers going to be the next big thing in wireless? Verizon Wireless chief executive Lowell McAdam said "four or five" of them are in various stages of development in the company's open development labs.
"We want to be smart enough to go where the customers drive us," McAdam said, citing e-book readers as an example of a category that appears to be hot at the moment.
Cory Doctorow says Amazon's Kindle 2 text-to-speech feature is not so much violating authors' copyright but rather basic consumer rights.
Dropping $359 (£251) on a device whose features are subject to the outcomes of ongoing negotiations to which you are not a party is, frankly, nuts. Would you buy a car if it was known that your air-conditioner and stereo system could be remotely disabled?
Japanese electronics maker Fujitsu has stepped into the e-book fray with the a color e-paper mobile device aimed at consumers. Thin and lightweight like its competition the Kindle, Fujitsu Frontech’s awkwardly named FLEPia, is now on sale in Japan and will start shipping on April 20 for around $1,000. Customers will have the option of purchasing e-books through the FLEPia-ya Web site via Japan’s largest e-book online retailer Papyless while connecting the device to the Internet via wi-fi.
Today’s typical e-book reader is a woman, “between 40 and 50 years old, who tends to have a higher-than-average income and level of education.” A few years ago, by contrast, the most likely consumer of e-books was a male gadget freak.
More at the Christian Science Monitor