Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

The Morning Coffee – 5 February 2014

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 09:30 PM PST

Top stories this Wednesday morning no less than 3 posts about Amazon, including one that asks the obvious question about what to do if Amazon stops growing (link), an early report on Apple’s appeals court hearing today (link), a look at ebook prices in Germany (link), and more.

  • Amazon says everyone should read these books before they die (GeekWire)
  • Amazon’s Living Room Follow-Up To The Kindle: Does It Stand A Chance Against Sony and Microsoft? (DailyFinance)
  • Appeals court has harsh words for Apple and DOJ in fight over antitrust monitor (GigaOm)
  • Australia Breeds More Pirates by Locking Up Game of Thrones (TorrentFreak)
  • Authors and Publishers — Why Can't We All Just Get Along? (LitReactor)
  • A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Your ePub Files on Kindles, iPads, and Smartphones (The Book Designer)
  • Germany shows higher price points can pay for ebooks (TeleRead)
  • What do we do if Amazon stops growing? (FutureBook)


The post The Morning Coffee – 5 February 2014 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

New iPhone Case Adds a Second Boogie Board Screen

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 04:54 PM PST

I’m in Phoenix this week, attending FlexTech 2014, and today I have something cool to show you.

I just so happened to bump into someone from Ken Displays. He showed me a new iPhone case from one of Kent Displays’s partners. Check it out:

boogie board case iphone south korea

I didn’t get the case maker’s name or the product name (I was told the information was already online – it’s not), but I do know that this case is from South Korea.

That is a 4″ Boogie Board screen on the left which can be used to scribble notes, but unlike some of Kent Displays better writing tablets you cannot save the note nor transfer them to the iPhone. How exactly that is better than writing on the iPhone’s screen escapes me, but the tech does look cool.

Kent Displays is an Ohio based company that is best known for their Boogie Board writing tablets.  These writing tablets use a unique Cholesteric LCD screen tech to enable users to take notes simply by writing on the screen. The screen require almost no power to operate, and in fact the only times the battery is used is when you are erasing or saving the screen contents.

The Boogie Boards are available in a variety of screen sizes ranging from 4.5″ to 10.5″. The latest model has a 9.7″ screen and can sync with a smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth. It costs $99.

The post New iPhone Case Adds a Second Boogie Board Screen appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Adobe: We Didn’t Mean to Use DRM to Break Your eBook Readers

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 02:31 PM PST

Good Adobe Digital Editionsnews! Adobe announced late this afternoon that they won’t be breaking a lot of ebook readers in July.

According to the Datalogics blog, Adobe has decided to revise the adoption timeline for their new DRM, and they will no longer be requiring all ebook retailers, app developers, and device makers to upgrade their DRM support by July 2014:

After receiving feedback from customers and webinar attendees, Adobe has revised the migration timetable for customers.  "Adobe does not plan to stop support for ACS 4 or RMSDK 9.  ACS 5 books will be delivered to the older RMSDK 9 based readers", according to Shameer Ayyappan, Senior Product Manager at Adobe.  "We will let our resellers and publishers decide when they wish to set the DRM flag on ACS 5, thus enforcing the need for RMSDK 10 based readers."

If you’re just tuning in, news broke yesterday that Adobe was going to require ebook retailers and developers to upgrade to the recently release Adobe Content Server 5 by July 2014. ACS 5 supports a new type of DRM which is not compatible with existing ebook apps and ereaders, thus forcing everyone to upgrade or replace their hardware, or they will lose access to their legally purchased content.

This would have hurt readers, indie ebook retailers, and probably helped Amazon, Google, and Kobo. Yesterday I was the first to report about the many problems this would cause, both to me and to other readers, so I am especially pleased that Adobe changed their mind.

The post Adobe: We Didn’t Mean to Use DRM to Break Your eBook Readers appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Serbinis Steps Down as Kobo CEO, Replaced by Longtime Rakuten Exec Takahito Aiki

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 01:16 PM PST

Kobomikeserbinis-bio(1)[1] has announced today that Michael Serbinis is stepping down as chief executive of the Canadian ebook company.

Mr. Serbinis will be stepping down from his CEO role, to be replaced by Takahito Aiki, effective immediately, and he will remain with Kobo as the company's founder and vice chairman.

Michael Serbinis has been with Kobo since the very beginning. He initially joined the company in 2009, back when it was known as Shortcovers and was still a division of the Canadian bookseller Indigo Books. He eventually rose to the position of president and then CEO of Kobo after it was spun off into its own firm in December 2009.

He led the firm through tumultuous years, surviving the bankruptcy of 2 of Kobo’s capital investors, overseeing Kobo’s international expansion, and guaranteeing its future by arranging for its acquisition by Rakuten. The Japanese retail giant agreed to acquire Toronto-based Kobo in December 2011 for US$315-million in cash.

Mr Serbinis’s replacement,Takahito Aiki , has been with Rakuten since 2007. According to his LinkedIn profile he joined as an executive officer. Mr Aiki took over as the president and CEO of Fusion Communications, one of Rakuten’s telecom subsidiaries.

This is potentially good news for Kobo; if Serbinis had to be replaced by a Rakuten insider I don’t think they could have made a better choice. Fusion Communications provides IP telephony services in 10 countries, and that combination of tech and serving the public on an international level could prove beneficial in leading an ebook retailer. Mr. Aiki will reportedly relocate to Canada to run Kobo from the company's current headquarters in Toronto.

Kobo reports that they have more than 18 million users in 190 countries with a catalog of more than 4 million titles in 68 languages.

The post Serbinis Steps Down as Kobo CEO, Replaced by Longtime Rakuten Exec Takahito Aiki appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Dell’s Latest Laptop Runs Windows 8, OSX

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 10:23 AM PST

Delldell xps 15 has been working strenuously to reinvent itself ever since it went private last year, and that includes trying products that no one else would consider.

While many device makers have tried combining Windows and Android, Windows and Windows Mobile/Phone, or some other combination of disparate OSes, Dell went in an entirely different direction.

Take the new XPS 15 laptop, for example. According to a leaked video on the Dell Youtube account, this laptop will run Windows 8 and OSX apps seamlessly. All you have to do to switch between apps is merely swipe the screen.

This is all fiction, of course, but it is amusing nonetheless.

According to The Verge, one of Dell’s ad agencies got a little too exuberant when they were tasked with creating a promo video for the laptop, and their enthusiasm blinded them to the absurdity of mixing Windows and OSX.

Which is a shame, because you know that there would be a market for this laptop. I mean, look at the number of Mac users that install Bootcamp (and Windows). I bet they would like a more convenient way to switch between OSes, not to mention a cheaper option for running OSX.



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It’s Official: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 to Ship Next Week, Will Cost $749

Posted: 04 Feb 2014 05:36 AM PST

Samsung samsung galaxy note pro 12.2secured their position today as the makers of the most ridiculously expensive Android tablet today.

Following on yesterday’s leak, Samsung issued a press release this morning and confirmed that both the Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro tablets will be shipping in the US next week.

The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 (16GB) is going to be priced at a not to unrealistic $399.99 and the Tab Pro 10.1 (16GB) at $499.99, but when you get to Samsung’s 12.2″ tablets the pricing gets a little crazy. The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 (Wifi, 32GB) is going to cost $649.99, and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 will cost either 749.99/$849.99 for 32GB/64GB of storage.

Okay, that’s not as bad as the UK prices, where the Note Pro 12.2 is listed at £649, but those are still some rather expensive Android tablets. In comparison, my current laptop cost $749, and Lenovo was generous enough to throw in a 700GB hard disk, a keyboard, and Windows 7.

Then again, Lenovo and Samsung might both be copying Apple but I suspect that Lenovo has taken a different approach. My U410 laptop might look like a Macbook clone but it is a cheaper computer. Samsung, on the other hand, is aping Apple’s high prices and design elements, and based on the time I spent with teh Galaxy Note Pro at CES 2014 I think Samsung is also going to match Apple’s high quality as well.

samsung galaxy note pro 12.2

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, for example, runs Android 4.4 Kitkat on a 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa CPU with 3GB RAM, 32GB/64GB Flash storage, and a pair of cameras (8MP and 2.1MP). The screen resolution is 2560 x 1600, which is the best on the market for that screen size at this time. In terms of connectivity it will have Wifi, Bluetooth, an IR blaster, and optional LTE.

With its huge screen, stylus, and svelte size, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro was one of the highly anticipated launches of CES 2014, and it did not disappoint. I still don’t have details on the battery life, but I do know that at 1.58 lb, it was one of the lightest of the laptop-sized tablets, and 7.8mm at it was also one of the thinnest of any of the tablets being shown off.

And now it’s the most expensive.

P.S. The prices mentioned above are for the Wifi tablets models; Samsung hasn’t revealed the prices for the LTE models probably for fear that potential buyers would suffer sticker shock.

P.P.S. If you buy one, would you mind lending me your other Mercedes for the weekend?

The post It’s Official: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 to Ship Next Week, Will Cost $749 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

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