- The Morning Coffee – 29 September 2014
- Hands On With the 8″ Pocketbook InkPad
- Online Bookstores to Face Stringent Privacy Law in New Jersey
Posted: 28 Sep 2014 08:00 PM PDT
The reading list this Monday morning includes a debunking of the idea that dropping DRM boosted music sales, a post from a lawsuit-averse book blogger on Ellora’s Cave’s defamation suit, two takes on Lee Childs’ support of Authors United, and more.
Posted: 28 Sep 2014 01:29 PM PDT
Like many of Pocketbook’s customers, I’m still waiting for news of when they plan to ship their new 8″ ereader in Europe.
While trying to distract myself from pining, I spent some time today on Youtube looking at videos posted by luckier souls who managed to get in the same room as the new InkPad. I found a couple new videos that I thought showed a lot of detail about the InkPad.
And in case you’re wondering, neither of the following videos are the same as the hands on video I posted earlier this month (so now we have 3 good videos).
The first video is by Notebook Italia, and it was shot at IFA Berlin earlier this month. I don’t know why they took so long to post it, but it does show a few useful details for the InkPad.
The second video is considerably longer and offer a lot of detail. It’s narrated in Ukrainian, and I almost passed on it for that reason, but in spite of my language issues I think this video is still damned useful.
The video starts with a woman holding the InkPad and talking about it. We get to see this 8″ ebook reader in proportion to her hands and arms, giving us a visual representation of its actual size.
It then goes on to detail many of the features, and shows us that the InkPad is still pretty laggy.
The Pocketbook InkPad features an 8″ Pearl E-ink display with a screen resolution of 1,200 x 1,600. It runs Pocketbook’s proprietary OS on a 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM, and 4GB internal storage.
It will retail in Europe for 179 euros, and yes you can get it shipped to the US. This ereader launched in Russia in August but the European launch has been delayed until the end of September (right now, basically).
Posted: 28 Sep 2014 12:16 PM PDT
Editor’s Note: Before you read this post, be aware that this web page is sharing your usage with Google, Facebook, StatCounter, several ad networks, Quantcast, and Harlequin.com. Google because of the ads and Google+ button, Facebook because there’s a “Like” button, StatCounter because I use it to measure usage, and Harlequin because I embedded the cover for Rebecca Avery’s Maid Crave directly from Harlequin’s website. Harlequin’s web server has been sent the address of this page along with you IP address as part of the HTTP transaction that fetches the image, which, to be clear, is not a picture of me.
I’m pretty sure that having read the first paragraph, you’re now able to give informed consent if I try to sell you a book and constitute myself as a book service for the purposes of a New Jersey “Reader Privacy Act”, currently awaiting Governor Christie’s signature. That act would make it unlawful to share information about your book use (borrowing, downloading, buying, reading, etc.) with a third party, in the absence of a court order to do so. That’s good for your reading privacy, but a real problem for almost anyone running a commercial “book service”.
Let’s use Maid Crave as an example. When you click on the link, your browser first sends a request to Harlequin.com. Using the instructions in the returned HTML, it then sends requests to a bunch of web servers to build the web page, complete with images, reviews and buy links. Here’s the list of hosts contacted as my browser builds that page:
All of these servers are given my IP address and the URL of the Harlequin page that I’m viewing. All of these companies except Verisign, Norton and Akamai also set tracking cookies that enable them to connect my browsing of the Harlequin site with my activity all over the web. The Guardian has a nice overview of these companies that track your use of the web. Most of them exist to better target ads at you. So don’t be surprised if, once you’ve visited Harlequin, Amazon tries to sell you romance novels.
Certainly Harlequin qualifies as a commercial book service under the New Jersey law. And certainly Harlequin is giving personal information (IP addresses are personal information under the law) to a bunch of private entities without a court order. And most certainly it is doing so without informed consent. So its website is doing things that will be unlawful under the New Jersey law.
But it’s not alone. Almost any online bookseller uses services like those used by Harlequin. Even Amazon, which is pretty much self contained, has to send your personal information to Ingram to fulfill many of the book orders sent to it. Under the New Jersey law, it appears that Amazon will need to get your informed consent to have Ingram send you a book. And really, do I care? Does this improve my reading privacy?
The companies that can ignore this law are Apple, Target, Walmart and the like. Book services are exempt if they derive less than 2% of their US consumer revenue from books. So yay Apple.
Lord knows we need some basic rules about privacy of our reading behavior. But I think the New Jersey law does a lousy job of dealing with the realities of today’s internet. I wonder if we’ll ever start a real discussion about what and when things should be private on the web.
reposted with permission from Go to Hellman
The post Online Bookstores to Face Stringent Privacy Law in New Jersey appeared first on The Digital Reader.
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