Simon & Schuster took another tepid step into the library ebook market today with the launch of a new pilot program.
This publisher has long been a holdout in the library ebook market, and until April 2013 they were famous for only allowing a single title to be sold to public libraries. Today they announced that they’re partnering with OverDrive to sell ebooks to 15 libraries
31 libraries across the US, including some of the nation’s biggest, highest circulating library systems. Continue reading
Barnes & Noble Nook Media put out a press release this morning touting a new Nook app for iPad and iPhone, but so far as I can tell the app isn’t actually available yet.
According to the press release, the Nook app for iPad can now display digital comics with Zoom view, B&N’s own name for the directed viewing mode found in most comic book apps (Kindle, comiXology, etc). That’s great news, or at least it was great news when this feature was added to the app in March 2013. Continue reading
One of the last remaining holdouts among the Big
Six Five publishers announced today that they were launching a new program to test the idea of selling ebooks to public libraries.
Simon & Schuster is starting a one year pilot in which they plan to “sell” ebooks to the Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and the Queens Library. These 3 libraries, which serve a combined population of over 8.3 million, will have the option of buying from the publishing company’s complete catalog. The ebook titles will be sold under a 1 year license, after which they will expire and need to be repurchased. Continue reading
I don’t know about anyone else but Nvidia stunned me last night with the launch of their latest system-on-a-chip, the Tegra 4 CPU, at their CES 2013 press event. (I had missed the news about the Tegra 4 leaks.) Continue reading
You might recall that I’ve covered Infibeam’s ereader, the Pi, and that Infibeam also has a line of cellphones. Well, Infibeam has just posted the product page for the Phi, their new 7″ tablet. It won’t ship until 30 July, but they are taking pre-orders for 14,999Rs.
The specs are run of the mill, but the battery life seems a little short:
- 600 MHZ CPU (Android)
- 256MB RAM
- 7″ 800×480 screen
- 8GB Flash
- microSDHC card slot (up to 32GB supported)
- weight: 332 g
- 5 hours battery life
Curiously enough, the WinCE version of the Phi has an 800MHz CPU and weighs about 60g more. This is a good sign that they didn’t just slap 2 OSes on the same hardware. That’s reassuring, IMO. I’ve found that whenever a company puts 2 OS versions on 1 set of budget hardware at least 1 OS is only marginally useful.
You might recall that I’ve covered Infibeam before. They’re a web retailer based in India who launched an ereader back in January and a digital publishing platform in May.
Infibeam announced 3 branded cell phones yesterday. From the press release:
The company has already launched its initial three models I666, I5000 and I500 at attractive price points. I666 with its qwerty keyboard is aimed at the business user and is equipped with a G-Sensor. I5000 is a stylish flip phone with glossy red color aimed at the fashion savvy clientele and comes with Bluetooth and EDGE. I500 with a WQVGA touch screen and a 3.2 inch high resolution camera is the topmost mobile in the line-up. All the phones support GSM quad-band and come with features such as FM Radio, Camera, Wi-Fi, Java, Dual-SIM, multi-language support, memory card extensibility etc.
From the press release:
The Working Group developing IEEE P1817TM, a new Standard for Consumer-Ownable Digital Personal Property, is currently being formed. It will hold its first meeting next month in Santa Clara, California. Any interested parties are invited to join and participate.The IEEE P1817TM is a standard for the creation, distribution, and perpetual consumer-ownership of downloadable items of copyrighted works such as movies, music, books, and games. The standard specifies the required behavior of online and device-embedded services, and of content player devices and applications.
I don’t see a point in the working group. By any practical measure the concept is unworkable. It will either be strict enough that the consumer gets screwed, or loose enough that it can be broken. And then there is the analog loophole, which makes the act of encrypting with DRM pointless.
I think the following poem just about sums up all the pro-DRM arguments:
DRM Prohibition is an awful flop.
We like it.
It’s left a trail of graft and slime,
it doesn’t prohibit worth a dime,
it’s filled our land with vice and crime.
Nevertheless, we’re for it.
From the press release:
MediaNet, the leading provider of digital entertainment content, opens today in the United Kingdom the advanced MN Open platform which provides an API and a suite of easy to install Web Components for the digital delivery of music and eBook premium content. Customers can learn more about these products and sign up today at www.mndigital.com. MediaNet also opened its doors to the MN Open platform in Canada today.
This sounds like a good way to start an ebookstore (MediaNet has 200k titles in their catalogue), but I have an alternate suggestion: Kobo. They haven’t announced a UK partner, and I bet they want one. Why start your own little store when you can sign up with the only real threat to Amazon?
I’m not kidding, either. Kobo is the only major ebookstore who are trying to expand across borders. Everyone else is hobbling themselves.