In Other iPad News (briefly): Get Thee to a Library! April 7, 2010Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
Tags: books, e-readers, environment, global warming, green, iPad, libraries
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Just stumbled across this New York Times “Op-Chart” entitled, “How Green is My iPad?,” comparing the environmental impact of e-readers with actual books. It’s interesting enough to browse but what I really wanted to post was the article’s pithy last line which states, “All in all, the most ecologically virtuous way to read a book starts by walking to your local library.”
Blogger Burnout and How the iPad Could Save Us All April 7, 2010Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
Tags: bloggers, blogs, burn out, information, iPad, society
As you may or may not have noticed, I have been recently shirking my posting duties, remaining far from the blogosphere in general for the last few weeks. Something happened to which I cannot quite point my finger. Call it the late-Winter doldrums, the bursting of Spring, or just being overworked–I find that the less I have to think these days, the better. While I once checked Twitter fanatically, I have not even signed on (nor desire to sign on) in weeks. So imagine my surprise when I reluctantly returned to one of my favorite blogs - Shapely Prose – and found that founder, die-hard blogger and technocrat, Kate Harding, was suffering from exactly the same sentiments.
What first drew me to her post was its alluring first line about the purchase of an iPad. Being a member of the I-think-I’m-better-than-you-because-I-have-a-Mac team, I am very interested in any new review of Apple’s latest product, especially now that the fanfare has subsided and voices of both Apple lovers and haters have relented. And what I found most refreshing about Harding’s post was its honesty. The iPad is not an ideal medium for work, nor for interacting with the media found on the web, according to Harding. But, the iPad is ideal for consuming media–photos, videos, television shows, music, etc. And because it is not as effortless to comment on articles, blogs, etc. as it might be with a netbook, the iPad forces us to s l o w d o w n and digest, something, according to Harding, that we have forgotten to do. And this is why she and I have both suffered from blogger burnout. Instead of thinking about what we have just read, we were always thinking of how to comment, how to create a post, how to formulate a witty tweet. (Ironic, I know, in that I am doing just that.)
Harding cites an important quote from an iPad review by Laura Miller on Salon.com. Miller warns that our society is in danger of “living in a culture where everyone’s talking and nobody’s listening”.
Well perhaps this was exactly my problem. I work over sixty hours a week and finding time to think even more is beyond exhausting. So I found myself doing exactly what Harding was doing–watching craptastic tv. Like her, my reading and writing, two activities that I used to love, have seriously suffered. That’s why her post touched me so much. But while she hopes to someday take a vacation with an iPad, a gadget that will help her “listen”, I just want a day off to hike through the woods. How’s that for a disconnect?
iPad’s First Victory February 1, 2010Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
Tags: Amazon, digital piracy, e-books, iBooks, iPad, kindle, publishing
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Just as we had predicted (with the help of Flavorwire), Apple has helped to force the e-book market into a new model, taking power away from Amazon and back to the publishers. While this seems like a victory for us as readers, breaking the monopoly that Amazon held over the e-book market, it means increased prices across the board. As library denizens and vigilant defenders of copyright this might not mean much to us but is it enough to force more people into committing e-book piracy? In The Millions article “Confessions of a Book Pirate”, the “book pirate” says that he does, “not buy DRM’d ebooks that are priced at more than a few dollars, but would pay up to $10 for a clean file if it was a new release.” Key words: up to $10. The “pirate” has a lot of good arguments about why e-books should be cheap, including the very convincing one that e-books cost little to nothing to reproduce. While angered e-book fans may be tempted to illegally download copies, publishers are happy with the decision, so happy, in fact, that they have agreed to limit their digital profits. So while the prediction that iBooks and the iPad will break the monopolization of e-book sales has come true, the other prediction, that iBooks will do to the publishing company what iTunes did to the music industry, has turned out to be completely false. By putting prices back in the hands of publishers, Apple has done the exact reverse –empowering and assisting the already struggling publishing industry. Are Jobs and his cohorts the silent saviors of the publishers or is this thwarted prediction a necessary result of destroying Amazon’s vice grips on the industry? What do you think?
iBooks: the Run Down January 28, 2010Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
Tags: Apple, books, e-books, iBooks, iPad, kindle, NYTimes, publishing
Ever since watching Steve Jobs announce and describe Apple’s latest project yesterday- the iPad – a tablet computer, I felt compelled to talk about iBooks (an e-book reader app) and how it may affect the e-book market. But alas, 700,000 blogs and web sites (or somewhere around there) had already done it! So I am going to sum up Flavorwire’s “5 Ways the Apple iPad Could Change e-Books”.
1. iBooks will allow publishers more control over e-book pricing by creating a formidable opponent to Amazon.com (although there are some fears that iBooks will turn e-books into the market that iTunes turned music into).
2. The iPad will use a new format for e-books which could change the market by forcing competitors to adopt the same standards, thus creating a universal e-book format, or, iBooks could attempt to monopolize the market.
3. The iPad does not have an e-ink screen like Kindles which means, unfortunately, that it is hard on the eyes, but fortunately, that color is possible. (Maybe I don’t know enough about these e-ink screens but couldn’t turning down the brightness of the iPad have the same effect?)
4. Lots of major publishers have already signed on.
5. The iPad starts at $500, and while this is much more expensive than a Kindle, the iPad is, after all, a computer, and not just an e-book reader.
There are also numerous concerns about Jobs lack of showing textbooks on the iPad. The Kindle has been tested in many colleges and universities and students like it because it enables the taking of notes in the margins. Not so for the iPad (or at least not yet). ZDNet questions whether the iBooks will be able to get Apple back into education and raises some good questions of the limits of iBooks and the iPad.
What I was most excited about was the new New York Times app which makes the newspaper available in a format that looks once again like the paper you used to get thrown onto your front lawn.
What do you think about the iPad? Did it live up to the hype?