Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

The Morning Coffee – 5 May 2014

Posted: 04 May 2014 09:31 PM PDT

Top stories this Monday morning include a comic book shop proponent with bad ideas about protecting comic book shops (link), a new lower VAT for audiobooks in Germany (link), bad copyright advice (link), and more.

  • Comic book shop advocate pushes for windowing of digital comics (TeleRead)
  • Everything I did wrong when I tried to make a digital comic file (Sandpaperdaisy Art)
  • Germany slashes audiobook VAT, pushes for e-books cut (The Bookseller)
  • HarperCollins acquisition of Harlequin and what it means for readers (Dear Author)
  • How Amazon and Comixology betrayed comic book readers (The Passive Voice)
  • Poor man's copyright: Mailing something to yourself doesn't work. (Slate)
  • Steve Jobs may have escaped criminal charges due to 'reality distortion field' (TeleRead)

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

New Leak Reveals HP’s New Tablets Will Look Like Tablets

Posted: 04 May 2014 04:12 PM PDT

Likehpwhite almost any gadget maker, HP always has a bunch of tablets in the works, and past leaks and rumors have hinted that some of the upcoming tablets include the HP Slate 8 Plus and the HP Slate 7 Beats Special Edition.

Yesterday the font of all leaks @evleaks posted a set of images which show a couple of HP’s new tablets.

The tablets are unnamed and lack any clearly identifying details, but it looks to me like there are only 2 models shown (unless the angle shots are throwing my guesstimates). We could be looking at the 7″ and 8″ models mentioned above, but HP has released 6″ and 7″ models elsewhere in the world, including models which have shown up at the FCC.

Do you have any guesses as to what we’re looking at?

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Update: Mike Cane has pointed out that at least one of these tablets bears a striking resemblance to the HTC One. He also suggests that HP could be licensing the Hauwei MediaPad M1 design. It’s close enough that I wonder if he is right (please excuse the bad image editing):


Update: a reader has pointed out that both of the new HP tablets resemble the Hauwei X1 and M1 tablets which were launched at Mobile World Congress in February. (Thanks, jjj!) I think jjj is right, and so is Mike Cane; HP is licensing these designs (or @evleaks has been had, which I doubt).

The M1 is an 8″ tablet with a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 and X1 is a 7″ tablet with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200. Here’s the X1 side by side with the leaked HP tablet:




The post New Leak Reveals HP’s New Tablets Will Look Like Tablets appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Comixology Got a DRM-Stripping Tool Removed from Github

Posted: 04 May 2014 02:21 PM PDT

Over ComiXology-Comics-Appthe past few days this blogger has been working on a post for the International Day Against DRM, which is coming up on Tuesday, and while I was double-checking some information on DRM removal tools I discovered that one such tool had vanished.

In January 2014 I wrote about a Chrome plugin which enabled a user to download and strip the DRM from digital comics which had been legally purchased from Comixology. Sadly, that plugin is no more. According to a takedown notice dated 2 April, the plugin has been removed from Github at the request of Comixology.

The plugin had been online for about 3 months, enabling users to backup their purchases, before being taken down. To be honest it was really only effective up until that security scare in early March, when Comixology discovered that their servers were hacked. Whatever they did to tighten security also broke the the Chrome plugin.

This is at least the second such tool to be vanished by Comixology; I also found mentions of a previous tool which briefly made an appearance in May 2012 before it too was DMCA-ed by Comixology:

Earlier this week, some dude posted to the Reddit Comic Book board that he had written a short Bash script (for the technologically challenged, think an old Windows batch file with ambition) that would allow you to download any digital comics you purchased from ComiXology, strip the DRM, and convert them to a format you can store locally and read on anything. Clearly this is a young man with plenty of free time to spend frittering on coding and hanging around in courtrooms.

The script author even posted a copy of the script with detailed instructions on how you could use it to download copies of the books you bought from ComiXology. Isn't that nice? Oh, don't go searching for it – ComiXology caught wind of it and asked the kid to delete the script.

I was hoping to link to a Comixology DRM removal tool in my post for Tuesday, but at this point I don’t know where to find one.

If you know where I should look, please send me an email or leave a comment. As we have been reminded many times over the years, no platform lasts forever. The only way to keep our purchases safe is to exert true control by downloading a backup copy and removing the DRM.

The post Comixology Got a DRM-Stripping Tool Removed from Github appeared first on The Digital Reader.

New Look at the Onyx Boox T68 E-ink Android Tablet – 6.8″ Screen, Android 4.0

Posted: 04 May 2014 08:52 AM PDT

If youonyx boox t68 1 thought Kobo was the only one with a 6.8″ ebook reader then you’re in for a shock. Charbax caught up with Onyx a few weeks ago at the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair and got us our second look at the Onyx Boox T68.

This device, which I first reported on last October, runs Android 4.0 on a 1GHz Freescale CPU. It’s been under development for nearly a year now, and according to one of my sources it is just about ready to enter mass production (this confirms what is said in the video).

The T68 is in many ways an Android tablet, and with a weight of around 250 grams it has the mass of one as well. It comes with a frontlight and touchscreen, and under the hood it packs in 512MB RAM, 4GB Flash storage, a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, Wifi, and Bluetooth.

Best of all. the Boox T68 is equipped with a 6.8″ Pearl E-ink screen – the same screen as on the Kobo Aura HD.This screen has a resolution of 1440 x 1080, and it also features E-ink’s latest partial and full screen refresh tech.

The video is rather short, but at least it does tell us that the T68 should enter mass production in June.

Later in the video Charbax gets his hands on the M96. This is Onyx’s newest 9.7″ device, and it too runs Android 4.0 on a 1GHz CPU. And like the T68, it will ship with Google Play and access to all the apps sold there.

There is no guarantee that the apps will work on either device, but just the possibility that they could work adds a lot of value to what would otherwise be a very expensive ebook reader.

Boox T68 product listing


The post New Look at the Onyx Boox T68 E-ink Android Tablet – 6.8″ Screen, Android 4.0 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

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