been a long time since
a newspaper was delivered to my house. And I'm not the only one who's
given up on the printed page. But that's not because I didn't like the
format. Frankly, reading news online is bad for the eyes and the web
is a very limited format for typography and display.
The New York Times knows this. And they also know that their print
business is crashing. So, much to my amazement, they're embracing
digital display by taking it off the web. The Times Reader
amazing program with high quality text and images that is designed to
look great on any screen and allow a huge amount of user
Images get smaller and bigger, advertisements change based on the space
left on the page, text size can be altered, display of content is
marked as read or unread, it is automatically updated, searchable
, and hilightable
I find it to be simpler to use and prettier than the web. And, as it
looks great on any size display, I can hardly wait to get it onto an
electronic ink reader.
This really is a commitment from the New York Times to digital display,
and it is extremely well done. If they can deliver this to my Sony
Reader, I will absolutely join the Times Select program and actually
pay for content.
Putting aside that they treat their employees like crap, I'm starting to not mind Wal
Mart. First they announce their plan to sell hundreds of thousands of CFLs
and now they're entering into the digitizing business. With all their clout and customer base, this could be very interesting.
According to TechCrunch
has placed an ad seeking a business manager for digital movies who will
work on "pricing strategies to maximize market share." This probably
means cheap; cheaper than the $10 we've been seeing for online DVD
downloads. I mean, really, you can often get physical DVD's
Mart for like three dollars anyhow.
WalMart will, likely, be offering the digital movies on demand at kiosks in the store. The good news for the environment is that WalMart
doesn't have to ship anything to the store or have an excess inventory of
DVDs that likely wont sell and then will have to be trashed. The good
news for the consumer is that WalMart
will have a huge selection online and they will drive prices
down on a sliding scale, making some DVDs very cheap, and others only
pretty cheap. The good news for WalMart is, well, even more money.
Those lucky folks at Make:
have got their hands on Sony's e-book reader
(confusingly called the "Reader,") and it looks spectacular as
expected. The biggest problem with it, of course, is that they aren't
releasing it. In my opinion, it's because of problems with the market, not
with the technology, as people have largely assumed.
So, it seems that news surrounding e-readers is taking off a bit, what
with the somewhat accidental announcement of Amazon's Kindle
yesterday. Comparing this with my Librie, I'd say the advantages are:
1. Price, this is cheaper at roughly $350 retail. 2. Better contrast ratio,
lighter whites, darker blacks. 3. The instructions are in English! 4.
Faster load times, you shouldn't have to wait for a book to boot up.
5. You don't have to hack the lame DRM!
Unless the Kindle (with it's wireless capabilities) comes in around or below this price, this will be my choice for my next
E-book reader. That is, if they ever release it to the public.
Kindle: Verb, To build or fuel a fire. Boy...I sure hope so. Amazon, who just yesterday launched their Unbox system for selling digital videos, has announced that they will be building their own e-book reader, presumably one that will be connected with an Amazon e-book download service.
The e-book reader is called the Kindle, which, I assume, is a reference to their desire to light the fire to the sales of digital books. This is probably in direct response to the announcement that Sony's E-Reader will be going on sale at Borders sometime in the next year.
If you ever
wanted to get your hands on every single issue The New Yorker, but
were afraid of killing trees, fear no more! You can now purchase The Complete New Yorker, over 4000 issues, on a portable harddrive
for $300. This includes every cover, ever cartoon and every
advertisement since 1925. Nothing is left out. This is actually significantly
cheaper than it would be in print and, I dare say, much more
environmentally responsible. Not to mention much more manageable.
I am honestly not a huge fan of The New Yorker, but this move has broader
implications for publishing and media in general. What else might we
see in similar formats. They fit 4,000 issues of a magazine on an 80
gig harddrive, might we
soon see every issue of whole newspapers? And why stop at hard
drives. In another two years we could see a decade The New York Times
on a flash drive.
And why not bundle genres, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Scientific American on a something I can put in my pocket. Now that's something I'd pay $300 for.
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