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Researchers Demo Flippable-Page E-book Reader

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the penny-gadget-would-like-royalties dept.

Books 101

holy_calamity writes "E-readers are getting better but still limit users to keyboard-style interaction. Researchers at Berkeley and Maryland Universities have changed that with a reader that has two 'pages.' The two displays can be moved like a real book's pages to leaf through a document, or detached to compare and share virtual pages. If they are folded back to create a tablet with displays on each side, you can turn it over to flip pages. A video shows it in action." You may be reminded of the promised second-generation OLPC device, which looks somewhat similar.

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first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23941089)

I don't care what anybody says. I love being bored at work.

As long as no jackasses make me listen to their shitty music by playing it to loud. But right now, they aren't so life is good.

Why? (3, Insightful)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941139)

Mimicking real paper takes away focus that could be spent in developing novel ways of using the available technology.
There are so many more interesting things you can try to develop.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941209)

Mimicking real paper takes away focus that could be spent in developing novel ways of using the available technology. There are so many more interesting things you can try to develop.
This IS a novel way of using the technology. You're making it into something we all know how to use... a good old fashioned book. This makes it much more appealing to a broader (read: older) audience who don't want to "learn something new".

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941325)

This IS a novel way of using the technology. You're making it into something we all know how to use... a good old fashioned book. This makes it much more appealing to a broader (read: older) audience who don't want to "learn something new".
Sure, but then again if someone really does not want to learn something new then probably he will stick with the book and the development is pointless anyway. It is a nice functionality but then again the resource could have been put into eye-tracking, voice-recognition...

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

shadwstalkr (111149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943565)

Research is not a commodity resource that can just be doled out to the most important projects. People initiate and work on projects that interest them and that match the skills in which they have the most expertise. Besides, this looks like a student project, maybe even for a class. There is probably nothing these people could have done in sixteen weeks to advance the state of user interfaces which have been active research topics for decades yet remain esoteric.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941407)

I disagree. One of the key reasons why I like reading eBooks is that I DON'T have to flip pages. I can use a scroll wheel or a button to flip, instead. I've found that it's many times more comfortable than holding a paperback in the center, then having to move my thumb and other arm to manage a page flip.

The reason why paper has defeated eBooks to date is because you don't have to invest in a $$$ reader ahead of time and the paper is of a much higher resolution than an eBook reader. (1200dpi prints put eBook readers to shame.) Not in a million years would I have thought that the lack of "page flipping" was a significant barrier to eBook adoption. In fact, adding page flipping would probably become an ADDITIONAL barrier to eBooks as users would be unfamiliar with how to operate the electronic device.

Re:Why? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941551)

One of the key reasons why I like reading eBooks is that I DON'T have to flip pages. I can use a scroll wheel or a button to flip, instead.

You must mean eBooks on an LCD. No way you're going to like using a scroll wheel on an e-Ink display. The Sony Reader is beautiful, but it takes a full second to refresh.

A screen is nicer anyway (3, Interesting)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942365)

Am I the only person who prefers to read pdfs on a screen rather than a printed sheet of paper, let alone an e-reader?

For me, it's all about the size of displayed text. The larger the better. I've got good eyesight, but it's simply easier on the eyes to have text in a large font that I can read from a distance. I also like to be able to zoom into images (think academic papers, with complex plots that are often printed way to small to save space).

Now, I can see the advantage of having a mobile device. But while I'm at my desk, I'll take the display over a printed sheet any time.

Re:A screen is nicer anyway (1)

jaguth (1067484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943031)

You probably are. For me, its an eye strainer. My eyes get tired much faster reading text from a light-producing screen. Paper is paper, and no light is coming out of it, which is much easier on my eyes.

Re:A screen is nicer anyway (1)

TriggerFin (1122807) | more than 6 years ago | (#23946511)

E-ink readers only emit light if they have lights. The whole point of the tech is that it powers down the screen between updates.

Not the only one (2, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944623)

"Am I the only person who prefers to read pdfs on a screen rather than a printed sheet of paper, let alone an e-reader? "

You're not the only one, but I'd bet most book lovers are just that... book lovers. They don't just love stories and histories and information; they love the books themselves. I dearly love the tactile feel of a book, the binding, the pages, even the smell of older books. I'm a nut for old textbooks from the pre-50's era. I collect them, and actually read them (and you'd be surprised at how they can be both simpler and yet more informative than modern texts. I'm picky about things like how the paper "feels". Now I work in IT, so I read lots of documentation on screens myself... PDF's, web pages, Word documents... but the only electronic format I truly enjoy reading is Wikis... I can get lost in Wikipedia for days, jumping from one subject to another. But as for reading books for pleasure? I just don't see myself getting a Kindle or anything like it. It's just not the same as reading a cloth and paper physical book to me.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

j_snare (220372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23949191)

One of the nice touches on the Kindle device was the addition of a LCD bar on the side that you could use a scroll wheel with. Since it's not part of the page, it doesn't have to refresh. I take that as a nod that you don't have to limit yourself to a single e-ink display, and that you can use other options for navigation.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941643)

This makes it much more appealing to a broader (read: older) audience who don't want to "learn something new".

If they don't want to learn something new, my first piece of advice would have to be quit reading books.

Re:Why? (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 6 years ago | (#23945889)

What, ya think most books are high intellectual stuff? They're nothing but mindless entertainment.

Re:Why? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941809)

It's not just about catering to the inflexible IMO - by making the device respond to how it's physically held and manipulated, the device becomes a more natural part of the surroundings in which it's used. I don't think the stuff in the video was all that impressive for the most part (page flipping? Ho hum) but the general idea of making the device respond to physical interactions is a good one. I think the screen rotation on the iPhone is maybe a better example, though.

Re:Why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23945989)

Yay, physical interactions!
I really look forward to randomly jump through my book because the train accelerated too fast/the pilot got a hickup/the car hit a pothole.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941361)

Exactly; meanwhile they still cost too much and how do they compare for readability to a printed page again? Let me know when they come down below $100 and are as readable as a printed book, otherwise you can add all kinds of great features that add no value for me (and probably 99% of the potential ebook users out there).

Re:Why? (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941591)

Exactly; meanwhile they still cost too much and how do they compare for readability to a printed page again?
The newest ones are very readable. High contrast text makes them pretty easy to read in most lighting conditions. I'd say they're as good or better than a paper book in that respect. The main concerns I have now are the DRM issues, storage/transfer capabilities, and intuitive search capabilities.

It doesn't just "mimic". (1)

RustinHWright (1304191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23955495)

Did you watch the video? A good deal of the functionality came from things like being able to separate the screens and use one in landscape mode and the other in portrait. I can assure you that anybody who goes through a lot of technical documents will gain from this by, as they showed, being able to have a landscape chart on one side and portrait text on the other.

I'm not going to reiterate all of the, I dunno, eight or nine UI innovations they accomplish by having this dual, separable, interrelated screen config. I'll just say that as somebody who spends a lot of time doing things like looking at a map of an area while reading a policy paper or event description that relates to that area, I would gain considerably from having such a device. My only question is, will actual commercial devices based on this be designed to let the user work with five or six of them at once? Because that's what I could really use. This would let me have a book open on one device, a couple of maps or charts on another, and thumbnails of other documents I'm working with concurrently off to the side. As somebody who spends a lot of time trying to determine the truth that lies between differing accounts of the same event, this would help me no end. And having bought a couple of them, if I could have them designed to work together, I would then end up periodically using them in meetings and training sessions, handing out one "page" to each participant, letting each of us review the same document together, with all of the displays slaved to one most of the time but with a note function that operates independently for each user.

I don't know about the rest of y'all but I want such a device a heck of a bunch of a lot.

Oblig (-1, Offtopic)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941161)

Imagine a (beowulf) cluster of those

Re:Oblig (5, Funny)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941429)

Its called a library.

It is called (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941609)

a library. There might even be one in a city near you.

you don't need a cluster (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941731)

Just read this [lone-star.net] on it.

Re:Oblig (0)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942069)

Very wise, moderate me "Overrated" on a post that hasn't been rated! Thanks, I didn't like my Karma anyway. Next time adjust your preferences...

Re:Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943063)

The moderator guidelines tell you to browse at -1. Plus, your post probably started at +1 or +2 which could be "overrated" given its content. FYI.

Better to allow N readers to work together... (4, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941167)

Seems like the logical thing to do would be to simply allow multiple readers to cooperate in document display, so when you snap together (say) 4 readers, you get a 4-page view, split them apart you get 2 2-page views of different documents. You would use proximity sensors to define which pages were "together", and simple mechanical clips to hold them together when not laying flat. You could then hand one side of the page you were looking at to a co-worker, then pull a blank sheet out of your drawer to restore your own reading area, while he walks off with the other page.

This is becoming more like an extension of the Xerox PAD and TAB.

The documents mightn't be stored on the device, rather they would be accessed via the office wifi network.

Re:Better to allow N readers to work together... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23941825)

Seems like size is the limiting factor, did you see the thickness of the 2 together? Imagine 4.

Re:Better to allow N readers to work together... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944485)

You wouldn't put them together like that. I'm not talking about books, I'm talking about workspaces.

Re:Better to allow N readers to work together... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943285)

This is really not the future of e-readers. In my opinion there will be.

One will be a paper thin OLED that can be semi-transparent or opaque based on user settings, but certain dedicated "hard" buttons for home, back, next (like a web browser), as well as having some multi touch features to allow the user to zoom and click. The multi touch feature is already on many phones not just the iPhone.

Secondly, I believe that devices like the iPhone make the ultimate user design interface for reading, but it's just too small to read for any length of time. In order to combat this I think users will wear glasses, that will look like sunglasses where the content and the user can define how tall & wide the area should be.

This flip design is way to bulk, and to hard for any customer to actually use. I would rather read a regular book then use their device.

Re:Better to allow N readers to work together... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947377)

so when you snap together (say) 4 readers, you get a 4-page view, split them apart you get 2 2-page views of different documents

So, is there a reason my reader shouldn't be able to display the same pages at the same time as yours? "Oh, argent is reading page 5, I'll have to wait until he's done." Huh?? It's not like trying to share the front page of a newspaper with someone else four desks away. I'm sure computers in this day and age can do the proper calculations to handle that task.
-
(fucking line spacing) Great interface you got going here, Neal. Kudos on the good job. Any chance of reverting to the old one? You know, cuz it actually wasn't a non-functional eyesore or, a total hindrance to the enjoyment of the site, you tubby fuck.
-
Just because these things are intended to replace their physical counterparts, doesn't mean we have to try to copy every aspect of their physical counterparts. Flipping the thing over so I can read the "other side" of the page???
-
But what the hell am I worried about? I'm not going to be using one of these things. I'll just use my computer/laptop. I don't seem to have any great difficulty navigating any reading materials on my computer, using my mouse and keyboard. And I certainly don't need to turn the LCD display around in hopes of being able to read the "other side" of a document without getting confused.
-
Maybe I just don't understand the market for devices like these. I kind of view them in the same way I view portable DVD players - WTF do I need single purpose portable DVD player for? I've already got a laptop with a DVD drive and a program installed that can play DVD's, and the size difference is negligible when you put it up against a portable DVD player. Oh, and by the way, it just so happens that I can use it as an ebook reader, too.

Re:Better to allow N readers to work together... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23948441)

is there a reason my reader shouldn't be able to display the same pages at the same time as yours?

Of course not. I'm not sure why you'd think that would be an issue, I certainly don't think I suggested it.

Re:Better to allow N readers to work together... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23949221)

Sorry if I misunderstood, but that's why I quoted the particular passage.

split them apart you get 2 2-page views of different documents

To me, it just sounded like an odd way to phrase it, since it didn't necessarily have to be different documents, when it very well could be the same one. Sorry, I'm not trying to be an ass.

However, it did make me think of one other thing: snapping 4 of these together and getting a resultant 4 page view may have it's followers, but personally, I can only read one page at a time.

Maybe an exception would be in the event of larger diagrams, such that they may span two full pages (as in an open book) or even multiple panels (as in an open map). But I use Google Earth all the time, and I imagine the built in zoom feature is a much more feasible option than adding on a few more monitors to expand the view. I'm not sure why an ebook reader would benefit from this capability, but then again, that is my limited viewpoint. Like I said, someone else may see an advantage to it.

Re:Better to allow N readers to work together... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23950349)

Large diagrams, tables, complex multi-page descriptions, and so on would be where you would pick up the biggest advantage from this. If you're referring to multiple pages you'd simply leave them separated.

hmmm. (3, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941203)

whats up with the video? seemed more like a slide show to me.

Anyhow. I like the concept - I have long been advocating this kind of thing.

But why stop with a eReader? Make a standard tile module with a touch sensitive tactile screen and the skys the limit. four make a monitor, 64 make a tv, 128 make a wall screen. two make a laptop. one makes an eReader. 40 make a beowolf cluster for number crunching.

make options like a keyboard only to lower cost. or a processing one with extra ram and more grunt and no screen. maybe a half size one for a pda.

use a common API, common interface and I guarantee that lots of smart people will think of many amazing uses for them.

is a lack of foresight making people think small, or are people listening too much to busiess concerns?

Re:hmmm. (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941709)

"
use a common API, common interface and I guarantee that lots of smart people will think of many amazing uses for them."

true, but will the do anything that sells?

Re:hmmm. (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941959)

And three gives you the centerfold easter egg...

Re:hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23942401)

ereaders typically use e-ink - which is great for displaying text and has a phenomenal battery life , but would make a lousy monitor or TV because it doesn't constantly refresh. Someday there may be something that serves both purposes, but I don't think we're there yet.

Re:hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23942425)

whats up with the video? seemed more like a slide show to me.
This video reminds me of the days of streaming pr0n over 56k lines :/

Re:hmmm. (2, Funny)

blckclbrtn (963354) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942861)

But why stop with a eReader? Make a standard tile module with a touch sensitive tactile screen and the skys the limit. four make a monitor, 64 make a tv, 128 make a wall screen. two make a laptop. one makes an eReader. 40 make a beowolf cluster for number crunching.
And 512 make that awesome computer thing from "Minority Report" - yeah, I see where your mind is going...

Re:hmmm. (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942955)

whats up with the video? seemed more like a slide show to me.
Maybe it was indented to be watched on an e-book.

Re:hmmm. (1)

nickeyc (1314629) | more than 6 years ago | (#23945825)

Youtube really messed up the video conversion. The original (much smoother) video in QT format can be found on the project site: http://www.cs.umd.edu/~nchen/reader/ [umd.edu]

E-Paper is the way to go for this type of app (2, Interesting)

slewfo0t (679988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941261)

Interesting concept... I don't think it looks very user friendly though. If the idea is to create a book like feel with an electronic device, the mark was missed by a long shot. IMHO the user needs to be able to flip pages just like a regular book. Now... when someone finally makes a book with e-paper... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeaT62OMi8M [youtube.com] Then I'll be interested. Until that day comes... I'll stick with my laptop.

Spirax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23941323)

My notebook has flippable pages. Also it has practically unlimited battery life and is good in low-light conditions as well as in full sun. It's pocket sized and costs 50c.

Re:Spirax (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943133)

My notebook has flippable pages. Also it has practically unlimited battery life and is good in low-light conditions as well as in full sun. It's pocket sized and costs 50c.

Sure, but clearing its memory is tedious and slow and leaves those little rubber goobers all over the place.

Re:E-Paper is the way to go for this type of app (2, Funny)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941385)

"Next" and "Back" buttons were too confusing for people who can't read, so they made this feature to help them out.

Re:E-Paper is the way to go for this type of app (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941547)

"Next" and "Back" buttons were too confusing for people who can't read, so they made this feature to help them out.
Duh... I can read Beowulf, but I can't read the words "next" and "back"... Sounds like it's back to reading the weekly reader for this guy...

Re:E-Paper is the way to go for this type of app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23941655)

"woooooosh"

Re:E-Paper is the way to go for this type of app (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944561)

IMHO the user needs to be able to flip pages just like a regular book.
Why?

If we're talking about a jump-to-page or jump-to-chapter feature, that's a good idea. But please don't ruin my continuous reading by making me flip pages.

Interesting but... (2, Insightful)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941313)

The video shows some interesting features but I think that attempts to create an electronic device that emulates a physical book is misguided. The "page-flipping" feature doesn't grab me at all. What I'm more interested in seeing in a next gen e-book reader is a nice balance between portability and adequate screen size, a screen resolution sufficient for displaying maps and other graphics, a variety of fonts, unicode support, and search capability that allows me to search either the current book, particular titles from my library, or my library in toto.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

HitekHobo (1132869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941449)

Add to your wishlist: support for LOTS of file types. I have ebooks in html, doc, rtf, pdf, palm, mobi and I don't even know what all else.

Who in their right mind wants to do conversion on every book they already have?

This is a neat gadget, but it's got to be e-ink for me or the battery life will just be pathetic. Additionally, I don't see the new ergonomic features they're touting as being worth the added cost of two eink displays versus one.

Re:Interesting but... (3, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941599)

Actually the best potential feature of a two-page reader is that the alternate screen could refresh while I'm reading the current one. eBook readers do a nasty all-black flicker before refresh.

Of course the whole point of an eBook reader is to have a nice form factor, which is really defeated by doubling the size and weight for a screen you'll only pay attention to half the time. I suspect the research will simply go into e-Ink displays with better refresh times.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941861)

As another poster pointed out if you could hook the screens up on the fly(usb/IR/bluetooth) So they could work together in tandem, when next to each other or on different documents when separated it would be really useful.

you could carry a small book with the notes on it, but two or three people could join up on a larger project. Potentially with different sized screens too.

Re:Interesting but... (3, Interesting)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942205)

I was more interested in the ways in which it didn't emulate a physical book. The ability to turn it into the equivalent of a double-sided sheet of paper, or to split it apart to view separate documents. That's a bit more than past two-page readers, that only used the two "pages" for cosmetic purposes, can claim.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

Kattspya (994189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23956747)

I've had a Sony PRS-500 for about six month and have read 60+ books on it. The invert-then-refresh isn't really noticable after a while. It's been a while since i read anything other than the lit format (thank you caliber) but I seem to remember that RTF's took a long while to change sizes every time and had a somewhat slower page refresh.

The refresh rate on the PRS with a proper .lit file is faster than flipping pages in a book but images and PDF's take uncomfortably long.

A big step backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23941315)

I get the idea that this device is only oriented to attract grants/investment of technology impaired people.

On the intended uses of the technology the only one i don't think it could be solved with just a button or a menu, is the one of working with two documents at once (i'm supposing that the paper is small enough to prove split screens ineffective), but in that case buying two devices would be better (as they aren't glued together).

Neat, but misses the biggest problem (3, Informative)

peter1 (796360) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941341)

I've been interested in eBooks for quite a while now, but the problems I have with all of them are not the small controls, or the lack of natural page flip options (though the idea here is rather cool).

My biggest problems with all current eBook readers is the very limited (and usually highly proprietary) formats that they support, and when they do support other formats the lack of efficiency in way they deal with it. For example the Sony eBook reader will read PDF's, but the further you go into a PDF the slower the page flips get. The same problem is not evident, of course!, when using the Sony default (and highly DRM'ed) format. Also the eInk technology is still rather slow in the page updates... Have not used a Kindle yet, so cannot comment on how it behaves or the efficiency of their alternate format supports.

So far the best reader I have found are the Fujitsu P1510/1610/1620 series of small form factor tablets. Using a standard OS on it, I can load any eBook reader software I want, and still be able to use it as a travelling computer when I need it. Of course the weight is much heavier then the "real" eBook readers, but at least I'm not restricted to their formats.

Re:Neat, but misses the biggest problem (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23941559)

Try Hanlin's stuff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlin_eReader - it runs on linux and views pretty much everything. The iRex iLiad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILiad is the same, though a lot more expensive.

Re:Neat, but misses the biggest problem (1)

gwynevans (751695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942075)

None of the 6" readers handle 'standard' PDF well, but that's down to the nature of PDF and it's reproduction of a page. The native formats are reflowable, so don't assume a particular page size. As for the 'proprietary' formats, Sony's include TXT & RTF! In addition there are a number of free/open apps to create & convert from other formats such as HTML, or MS Reader's LIT format - http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/PRS505#Supported_Formats [mobileread.com] .

Crap (3, Informative)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941353)

My *cough* humble *cough* opinion is that the video is crap.

This guy can't stop talking about how people doing "research-like" work won't be please by a e-reader. They demonstrate that by showing this guy reading a double-column mini-letter size paper.

Pretty obvious, if you ask me. E-readers are handy, but not for reading tasks that very fast require navigation. Specially of double column pdf files (that would be the equivalent of what the guy was handling). For stuff like that a large LCD monitor on vertical stand does the job much better. Or simply print the dawn thing.

Their proposed solution is to have 2(!) small screens, which are even harder to flip pages than hitting a large round button like in most e-readers (mine is a el cheapo Hanlin v3 [jinke.com.cn] )

You wanna a glimpse to the future of (affordable) e-books just look at these images: http://www.jinke.com.cn/Compagesql/embedpro/futurepro.asp [jinke.com.cn]

Re:Crap (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941519)

I was going to post that the video was crap because I couldn't stand watching the thing in timelapse. They would have impressed me more if there was fluid motion.

Re:Crap (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942117)

I was thinking the same thing. Seriously, they couldn't pick up a free web cam from Fry's? I see those things free with M.I.R. all the time. I've got one myself. Haven't used it much... but who cares - it was free!

Re:Crap (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941677)

print the dawn thing.
Wow, I've seen people fat-finger loads of things before, but how did you miss badly enough to flip a letter upside down?! ;)

Re:Crap (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941939)

:-)

I don't like this terminology but it appears that the scientific community technical term for it is brain fart.

No, I am not proud but I have to assume doing it.

two questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23941363)

1. The best way of achieving all the versatility of several books / ringbinders / etc scattered as I please around my desk is... to have several books / ringbinders / etc scattered as I please around my desk. More useful would be an affordable tool to scan in all annotations I make to books, and re-add those annotations in case the original is destroyed.

2. Is it just me or does this guy have an incredibly annoying voice? NB moderators please pay attn to (1) not (2). It sounds like a first year undergrad project by someone who's just come out of prep school: "When ppl read, sometimes they like to look at more than 1 page at once!!11 bla bla intER vs intRA-document activities..." GBS was right, sometimes the professions are just a conspiracy against the laity, stating the obvious with needless verbiage.

real desktop work flows (2, Interesting)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941389)

I like it when the model after real desktop work flows.
Just like this Proof-of-concept desktop environment [youtube.com] (ok, might be a little offtopic)

Bigger screens, not fluffy features (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941399)

I've looked over the shoulders of a few people with Kindles on the subway and the screen is just too small for me. I'd rather take the pixels from a dual display and cram them all on a single, continuously-scrollable one.

Re:Bigger screens, not fluffy features (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941659)

So a paperback it too small for you?

That's fine, but it seems odd to me.

Re:Bigger screens, not fluffy features (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941951)

The Kindle is 600x800 at 167 ppi, that's less than a fax, and you have no control over the font pitch as far as I can tell, so its effective resolution seems much less. I'd guess even a badly printed paperback is at least 300 dpi.

I'm not griping too much, the technology will be available soon. I'm more disinclined to buy a Kindle because of the DRM instead of the display quality.

Re:Bigger screens, not fluffy features (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943999)

There's a dedicated button on the Kindle to change the font size. It's definitely supported.

And I don't get the DRM argument about the Kindle - you're free to load whatever unprotected content you can lay your hands on onto the Kindle. Do you not own an iPod on the grounds that it supports encrypted music from iTunes in addition to unencrypted media formats?

-Isaac

Re:Bigger screens, not fluffy features (2, Interesting)

gwynevans (751695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941981)

Even better, with my Sony Reader I can just press a button to see the text in a larger font if needed...

Who cares about the revolution! (2, Insightful)

Snaller (147050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941445)

When they show it on youtube and its crappy resolution!

Try http://vreel.net/ [vreel.net] or something.

Will it do porn? (1, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941533)

Seriously, I'm not trying to troll. I've heard that one way to determine if a new technology will take off is to see if pornographers are early adopters. With that in mind, I predict that this will be an expensive flop.

Re:Will it do porn? (2, Interesting)

Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941611)

I've heard that too and I think it's busted now. From what I recall, the porn industry went to HD DVD over Blu-ray due to the Blu-ray Disc Association (or, more likely, Sony) not being very receptive to the idea of Blu-ray being used for porn. Didn't seem to make much of a difference though, HD DVD still bombed.

Myth (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941639)

That is a myth, based on confirmation bias.
Pornographers try EVERY media. So naturally it's on all existing and successful media, but it is also on every form of failed media.
Assuming it failed after entering the market.

Pornographers are not early adopters (1, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941765)

They adopt a technology when there is sufficient usage to spin a buck.

Gutenberg press: 1440, first mass printed porn 1950 or so.

The www started in 1990, but the porners only really got going in 2000+ when there were a lot of people with broadband to their homes.

Still, the major usage model for ebook readers seems to be to take a book on the subway. Until society gets a bit less uptight about public porn reading and public masturbation there will be very little call for pebook porn.

Re:Pornographers are not early adopters (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941837)

"first mass printed porn 1950 or so.

Incorrect. The obvious counter example is the 'Kama Sutra'

I was able to download porn in the 80's, and in 1990 I could download naked Samantha Fox pictures from the 'internet'.

Re:Pornographers are not early adopters (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942609)

Kama Sutra is not porn. It is a manual. Calling the Kama Sutra porn is like calling Dr Ruth a hooker!

usenet porn was not mainstream and was posted by readership rather than people trying to make a living out of porn (ie. not pornographers).

Re:Pornographers are not early adopters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943689)

Dr. Ruth is a Hooker.

Re:Pornographers are not early adopters (2, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23945599)

Dr. Ruth is a Hooker.

I'm so very sorry to hear that! However if she just keeps her wrists together and makes sure the club face remains perpendicular off the tee, I'm sure it can be cured.

Re:Pornographers are not early adopters (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23946619)

Kama Sutra is not porn. It is a manual. Calling the Kama Sutra porn is like calling Dr Ruth a hooker!
Just because something was created with one intention, doesn't mean it can't be used with another. If it's used as pornography, then it is.

Personally I'd imagine that the Kama Sutra[of Vatsyayana] was written both to titillate and inform.

Re:Pornographers are not early adopters (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943101)

The www started in 1990, but the porners only really got going in 2000+
Were you on the internet in the 90s? I can assure you the porn was well established by 95. By 1998 it was already a big enough problem that the COPA [wikipedia.org] was passed.

Re:Will it do porn? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951689)

This won't fly. Any device that requires two hands to use is ill-suited for porn. :-)

don't link directly to swf (0, Troll)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941641)

Thanks for taking away my ability to use youtube features like share/favorite and comments by linking directly to the swf, jackass.

here [youtube.com]

I'll tell you what you can't read on this (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941751)

Great science books!

But at least you'll be able to peruse the pages of Entertainment Weekly...

wow, who would have thought! (5, Funny)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23941759)

Amazing research! With two screens, you can display two facing pages, or two different documents, and you can even rotate pages.

What amazing innovations will they think of next?

Or you could just buy a book (1)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942143)

This has the same concept as Nintendo Wii.
I think this video [zefrank.com] represents what I have in mind.

how about keeping it simple, stupid (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942185)

It seems like the most you'll accomplish is doubling the cost and size.

eh? (3, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942235)

This is like a car that you can whip to make it go faster.

What I'm waiting for... (1)

johosaphats (1082929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942411)

I'll start buying e-readers when they start printing the words "Don't Panic" in large friendly letters on the cover.

This isn't the first time... (1)

cmowire (254489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23942431)

On my blog [wirewd.com] , I wrote about when HP thought they'd "solved" e-books the last time.

The only cool motion-based user interface I've found so far is MacSaber. But I do use two displays at the same time every day at work.

A big advantage of one page (2, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943897)

One thing I've noticed about my Kindle, compared to a book, is that having a one-page view, as opposed to a two-page view, makes it a lot easier to light. With a book at night with a book light, you've got the problem if needing to illuminate pages at two different positions. I've not been happy with any book light I've seen for that. A one-page approach does not suffer from this problem.

Re:A big advantage of one page (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23949677)

One thing I've noticed about my Kindle, compared to a book, is that having a one-page view, as opposed to a two-page view, makes it a lot easier to light. With a book at night with a book light, you've got the problem if needing to illuminate pages at two different positions. I've not been happy with any book light I've seen for that. A one-page approach does not suffer from this problem.
Maybe I'm thick, but why would a battery powered electronic device need an external reading light?

Bookmarks, clipmark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944455)

Hahahaha... I hit on "reply" comment and on the next page there is a yellow rectangular box that says: "...You can log in now, Creat an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward" :-)... I decided to post my comment as anonymous coward, hahaha... Here it is: Besides the multiple reader sharing feature, bookmarking pages or specific areas of a page would be handy... I am thinking of something like clipmark... Don't you think so?

Oh! FFS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23945687)

Use a real book!

Flip? (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23946523)

Sorry, but I cannot recognize anything on the video that even remotely resembles flipping pages of a real book. Perhaps that's because real books tend to have more than two pages.

How is this anything new???? (1)

gabrieltss (64078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23946885)

No new technology here - move along.....

They have been doing this for a couple years now with "online catalogs". Heck Cabela's has them on their site.

when books were scrolls ... (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23948733)

Up until the early Christian era, most books were written on scrolls. They were a bit tedious to use. However these are easy to emulate in computers. Some classic books such as synagoge torahs still use this ancient interface.

That's not how you flip pages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23950177)

I can only guess at what the page-flipping emulation is supposed to be because the movie isn't a movie but a slideshow, but that's not a realistic page flip. You don't close a book to flip pages, you move the edge/corner of the page with your thumb. To emulate that, all you need is a (single) touchscreen. Left thumb drag to right = back, right thumb drag to left = forward, repeated wiggle = quick browse.

Anyway, the necessity of having to flip pages (and the existence of pages themselves) is mostly due to the physical limitations of dead tree books. Ebooks can do better. I wish there were an ebook with a lo-res camera that scans my eyes to determine my reading position and does a slow, smooth scroll accordingly: the no-touch book. Great for you-know-what too.

readers (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23953461)

I use my HTC to read sometimes, and although my reader software is proprietary, it does have some nice features. I can read one handed (stop it at the back !) and "turn" pages with my thumb on the touch screen. Sometimes a small screen is better, if it was any wider, my thumb wouldn't reach both sides.
More paperback reading than weighty tomes, but even those can be accomplished over time. Project Gutenburg already has some money from me and there will be more shortly. There is a VAST library of material there, not brand name stuff, but real authors from centuries of writing and experience. And it's all free.
I'm currently reading a Sci-Fi story written in the 1800's - it's good to get perspective.
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