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iPad’s First Victory February 1, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
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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?

From AdaFruit's Flickr stream, Creative Commons licensed

Read the New York Times full article on Amazon’s new ebook policies here.


iBooks: the Run Down January 28, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
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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”.

From Engadget.com

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.

From Engadget.com

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.

From Engadget.com

What do you think about the iPad? Did it live up to the hype?

For more information on the iPad check out pictures and descriptions of the live event from Engadget here.