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Sony Takes Aim At Amazon's Kindle

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the critical-mass-is-critical-though dept.

Books 273

MojoKid writes "Sony recently announced two new eBook readers and has set its sights on tapping into Amazon's Kindle market share. The Sony Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition will come out at the end of the month and will reportedly cost less or the same as the older, more established Kindle. The Pocket Edition has a five-inch display, comes in several colors ('including navy blue, rose and silver') and fits, as one might expect, in a jacket pocket or a purse. It can store about 350 'standard eBooks' and can last about two weeks on a single charge, Sony claims. The Touch Edition is a bit larger, with a six-inch display that, as you'd expect, can be controlled via a touch interface."

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new form of book burning (4, Funny)

Froze (398171) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980013)

That is, unless they have fixed their battery tech.

Re:new form of book burning (4, Funny)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980075)

They'll just play an animation of a book burning as they erase them remotely.

Re:new form of book burning (1)

masterlogan2000 (1608973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980263)

That is, unless they have fixed their battery tech.

My thoughts exactly, first thing that came to my mind!!!

Good for the wintertime maybe? It gets really cold here in the Chicagoland area. Good to have a dual purpose ebook reader/pocket warmer.

Re:new form of book burning (2, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980987)

That is, unless they have fixed their battery tech.

My thoughts exactly, first thing that came to my mind!!!

Not mine... I was thinking "How will Sony screw over there own customers this time?" Looks cool, but what nasty DRM lurks underneath?

it is not the hardware, it is the content (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980265)

You might be joking about the hardware, but ebook readers need more and cheaper content to become popular. People want books where they only pay for the content and delivery costs. Not publishers setting artificially high prices to not compete with paper based books. Not to mention that we need significantly more books in the catalog. Only a small percentage of the books available on Amazon have ebook peers.

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980543)

I just installed the Stanza app on my iPhone, and I can pull all the classics from Project Gutenberg for free. And when the new Star Wars novels come out, my wife downloads them on her Kindle app on her iPhone. Paid content and free content both accessible via free apps on the iPhone, and no $400 reader required.

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980865)

I've tried reading ebooks on my desktop, my netbook and my iphone. I haven't been able to do it yet. Backlit screens just suck ass for reading for any length of time.

I tried stanza.

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981147)

You make it sound like the iphone is free.

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981243)

If you're the kind of gadget freak who is considering dropping $400 on an eReader, there is a decent chance you have an iPhone.

The iPhone has its faults, but one of the best aspects of the iPhone is that it replaces several other gadgets. It is one less thing to carry, charge, or worry about. It is also one less thing to purchase.

You're definitely going to carry a cell phone. Are you going to carry a Kindle?

I'm a cell phone tightwad (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981535)

You're definitely going to carry a cell phone.

True, but I carry an el-cheapo Audiovox phone from Virgin Mobile and I only use about $6 per month worth of airtime because I only make calls that I can't make from a land line, such as arranging rides. Until smartphone service becomes nearly this affordable, I'll stick with a separate phone and PDA.

Re:I'm a cell phone tightwad (1)

Unoti (731964) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981651)

Until smartphone service becomes nearly this affordable, I'll stick with a separate phone and PDA.

Here's a man that doesn't have deep pockets, but does have big pockets with lots of stuff in them!

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981239)

...on the iPhone, and no $400 reader required.

I read ebooks on my netbook, no $400 reader required. I just had to buy the netbook; did you have to buy your phone first? And a netbook costs less than an iphone if you shop around. Netbooks have FAR larger screens than readers and readers even have larger screens than the little iphone so what's your point?

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (-1, Flamebait)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981289)

iPhones are $99 right now. What netbook costs less than that?

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981481)

no they aren't.
not when you consider the rather high monthly fees that go along with that just to make it function......

for two years.......

Re:it is not the hardware, it is the content (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981671)

Every smartphone comes with those fees. If you want to download ebooks to a device, you have to pay for internet access.

People are already paying a cell phone bill. So it isn't like they're adding a monthly fee they don't already have.

A Kindle is an additional $400 purchase, and an additional gadget to carry.

iPhone w/ data plan vs. Aspire one w/ data plan (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981569)

iPhones are $99 right now.

With a data plan. If you try to buy one without a data plan and without the GSM/UMTS radio, it's $214.99 plus tax [google.com] .

What netbook costs less than that?

I was in a RadioShack store, and I seem to remember one of the wireless carriers selling an Acer Aspire one subnotebook PC with Windows XP for less than $100 with the purchase of a 2-year data plan for $60 per month.

Re:iPhone w/ data plan vs. Aspire one w/ data plan (1, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981663)

So you're saying it is fair to try and price the iPhone without the dataplan, but you should compare it to a netbook that is being subsidized with a data plan?

What is especially troubling is the iPhone data plan is $30 a month, and you're suggesting the netbook with the $60 a month data plan is cheaper.

Re:new form of book burning (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980267)

Maybe they should join up with Amazon. That sounds right up their alley.

weird (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980061)

coincidentally (no irony here!), I just took aim at malda's loose asshole with my 8" uncut black cock.

Re:weird (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980475)

Sorry about that. My 12" uncut spic dick blew it out earlier today.

Good for Sony (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980091)

I was starting to get worried about their eBook commitment with outdated PRS-500/505 models. Don't need Whispernet and don't need a freaking dedicated keyboard on a eBook device. Just give me the text and native PDF support.

I'm a big fan of Amazon but Kindle just rubs me the wrong way. I'm considered to be their target demographic too - a left coast liberal yuppie who loves to read obscure novels by authors who committed suicide. But I never made my peace with the device.

Re:Good for Sony (5, Interesting)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980585)

I'm a big fan of Amazon but Kindle just rubs me the wrong way. I'm considered to be their target demographic too - a left coast liberal yuppie who loves to read obscure novels by authors who committed suicide.

Actually in the first 5 of Kindle Top Sellers at this moment are Michelle Malkin's "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies" and Glenn Beck's "Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against and Out-of-Control Government,...". There isn't a single liberal leaning rant anywhere in the top 30, but I also see Dick Morris and Mark R. Levin from the right. So your assumption about the target demographic might be a tad off.

Good luck with that... (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981079)

Sony doesn't have Amazon's catalog and their software and net-fu are inferior.

The kindle will be buried either by either:

1- revolutionary advances in battery technology that'll make netbooks and tablets into book readers

2- Or by a company that has UI know-how, enough money and savvy to build a triple-A network and a willingness to lose money to gain a foothold on the market. (IE: Microsoft)

Re:Good for Sony (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981345)

This very thought, the idea that the method of distribution could be gamed (much like the media) in an effort to guide/hijack public opinion, occurred to me as soon as I saw the article about Amazon deleting all the copies of "1984" from people's Kindles.

But my inherent cynicism (ironically/coincidentally, cynicism largely a product of my reading "1984") went a little further down the road with that idea.

Has anyone done comparisons of the actual text in the versions of a book on a Kindle with the text of print versions? Might the same "gaming" be taking place with the actual text contained in the book files? Could one of the many text-comparison apps out there check this?

It seems to me that it would be impossible to alter the text of dead-tree books, short of an inside job at the printers or publishers, but with digital files, the possibilities are much greater. What level of security exists on the servers these digital files, before distribution, are stored on? Could the people that appear to be gaming "best-seller" lists also be gaming the text? The questions pile up quickly.

Yeah, yeah. Tin-foil hat and all that. That's why I didn't bring it up until I saw the above post. I didn't know about the "best-seller" lists appearing imbalanced and possible gamed. My cynicism seems a little more, no...a lot more, justified now.

Re:Good for Sony (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981557)

Occam's razor applies here. The rankings prove that using a brazenly partisan cable TV show to direct sheeple to read yet more of the same partisan crap in book/ebook form is far more thought control than furtive tweaking of content could ever be.

Re:Good for Sony (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981639)

"plurality should not be posited without necessity."

I agree. But do those that have the means of doing such as I described in my post know that?

We have both the CIA and the NSA. Four branches of military that these days are pretty much redundant in many ways.

Hell, Warcraft and Starcraft from the same publisher.

Occam's Razor is an interesting principle, but unless your aware of it, and consider it, it is kind of moot.

Yeah, right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980099)

Wake me up when Sony doesn't put out a crappy product that's overpriced, bloated, locked-down and generally riddled with show-stopping problems of every kind. Put this thing where all Sony products belong: in the trash.

Re:Yeah, right (0, Troll)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980177)

It'll probably be tied to some other proprietary Sony technology too, like Memory Stick.

Re:Yeah, right (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980225)

It'll probably be tied to some other proprietary Sony technology too, like Memory Stick.
MSPro and SDHC cards. It also supports ePub, an open ebook format which is quickly becoming the industry standard.

Re:Yeah, right (2, Informative)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981497)

amd it recently had 500,000 epub books added to it's library from Google.
All of which are available for the grand total of nothing.

that's right, free.

there was even a /. article on it.

but why let facts get in the way of the slashtard mentality.

DRM (1, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980101)

Unless they decided to dump the DRM, why would anyone on Slashdot want to buy these?

Sony is the "open" reader (5, Informative)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980187)

Or at least, it is compared to the Kindle. Sony will read PDF files and EPUB [idpf.org] files. (EPUB is an open standard; an EPUB file is really a zip file, containing a few XML documents that describe where everything is, and then either XHTML or DAISY/DTBook content).

It's VERY easy to copy content to the Sony readers (shows up like a USB hard drive, or copy content to an SD card and insert). There's no remote-kill like the Kindle.

If you're worried about finding DRM free content, check out Baen's Webscriptions [idpf.org] or Fictionwise [fictionwise.com] (look for the "multiformat" books; all DRM free).

Finally, if you REALLY don't want to go with Sony, there are lots of other good readers [mobileread.com] out there, some of which run Linux, and give you source for the software.

Re:Sony is the "open" reader (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980465)

"There's no remote-kill like the Kindle."

You probably just don't know about it. Did you already forget about Sony's rootkit already? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal

Re:Sony is the "open" reader (4, Informative)

am 2k (217885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980787)

Uh, how should they be able to delete something on a device that's not connected to the Internet in any way, not even indirectly?

Re:Sony is the "open" reader (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981253)

That depends. If your eBook format is proprietary, every eBook _could_ contain a digitally signed "black list" of old eBooks that are no longer to be readable, which devices could covertly read and record in a flash memory area dedicated to the blacklist.

Re:Sony is the "open" reader (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981503)

then simply get open source format epub books only.
problem solved.

Re:Sony is the "open" reader (2, Insightful)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980655)

It's just as easy to copy content to the Kindle, easier actually since it also has the wireless option. And honestly the Sony isn't any more open than the Kindle, you can't even strip the DRM from Sony's LRF format.

Re:Sony is the "open" reader (2, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981165)

I'm not sure why you linked to ipdf.org ... I think you meant http://www.webscription.net/ [webscription.net]

I definitely recommend them, and they have a few different DRM-free formats to choose from. (And no DRM'd formats at all.)

Re:DRM (5, Informative)

wasabioss (1196799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980257)

Unless they decided to dump the DRM, why would anyone on Slashdot want to buy these?

It looks like you don't follow Sony very well. Recently Sony has so many surprise moves towards open standards. I own a Walkman player and a Sony reader and I have nothing to complain. The Sony PRS-505 Reader I'm owning right now is nothing like the Kindle. It reads txt, *ePub* and PDF natively and even plays MP3 and AAC files, and it even has two memory slots -- one of which is SD-HC -- to put your e-books into the device, on-the-fly. There is a killer software that goes very well with that reader, that is Calibre. The program downloads XKCD, The Register and even Slashdot and puts all of them neatly to my reader every time I connect it to my computer. So just want to let you know that Sony products now, are much better than the popular choices such as the iPod and the Kindle.

Re:DRM (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981027)

In neither case is DRM a factor, as, aside from a couple of initial test cases, I never bought or buy DRM'd versions for either my PRS-500 or my Kindle on principle. It's bad enough to buy my books a second time to get an ebook, I'm not going to buy them all over again every time technology changes.

If Calibre actually works, the Sony may be viable, however the Sony "Connect" software is the most unstable piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune of using.

While the Sony *does* view pdf's natively, it scales them to the screen size, making that feature nearly worthless. I have sent some pdf's to my Kindle, and that worked reasonably well for the few I've done, but I suspect it's very document dependent. I do hope the Kindle adds epub support though; it does do mp3 already, though not as well as the Sony.

Re:DRM (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981521)

not all pdf's are scaled to the screen.

if it's created for the sony screen size it works perfectly, and iirc there is a wat to make a pdf that does not have hard page breaks and line breaks but will actually reflow when opened in the sony reader.

Re:DRM (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981587)

adobe reader for the palm converts pdf's into that format, but few pdf's are built that way. That's probably what I would have done if their utility was more general purpose (it generates palm document files specifically). pdf's are still a proprietary format, albeit relatively open and commonplace. epub is most likely the right answer; I'm downloading all my ebooks in that format as well as the proprietary ones for the time when I have something that can read them.

Re:DRM (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981317)

Yes, Sony can tend to be very open, as long as the BMG part of Sony doesn't find out about the move.

You see, Sony suffers from a certain dissonance: part of their company manufactures electronics, people want to buy things that are open and don't impose undue restrictions on them, they prefer gadgets they can do what they want with, that allow them to take their media and use it however they like.

The other part of Sony is one of the largest recording companies, a member of the RIAA.

The other half of Sony doesn't want you to be able to do anything with your media at all, except play it once, and then pay them every time you want a copy on a new device of yours. DRM is a must and non-negotiable as far as people with that type of thinking are concerned.

There would be a lot of benefit to consumers, and probably to Sony, if the two parts of Sony would just split and become separate companies...

In the mean time, it's anyone's guess what they'll do as far as DRM for eBooks; politically speaking, I don't see how Sony Music Entertainment could ever be happy with Sony encouraging DRM-free content, even if it's not music...

Re:DRM (2, Interesting)

pvera (250260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981489)

For those of you that already have the Kindle, the Calibre application works extremely nice with it. While it is ugly as sin, it is a very nice book manager and it works with both of our K2s just fine. I see it as a rudimentary iTunes for ebooks.

Re:DRM (4, Informative)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980581)

Maybe it's time for you to leap into the past. Sony's readers have supported non-DRM media for quite a while. While the stuff in their store may contain DRM, there's nothing stopping you from loading all of the non-DRM files you can get your hands on. You can even import them into Sony's software for easy addition to your various book collections.

The fact that it is capable of accessing DRM-restricted media doesn't make the device inherently evil. There's nothing forcing you to make use of that function. You don't even need to load Sony's software if you're that bent by DRM of if you're worried that Sony will pull an Amazon and remove unauthorized files from your device. Just plug in a USB cable and the device mounts as a removable drive. Drag-n-drop your non-DRM media. Or use a memory stick or SD card. The reader never needs to be "exposed" to the internet or Sony's proprietary software.

What I want (4, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980109)

I'm waiting for something with a reasonably decent screen, a decent flash drive, a few buttons. No subscription services, no wireless, no connectivity at all, no note taking or annotation features, no voice or recording... Just a thumbdrive hooked to a screen. That hardware should be WELL under $100. The extra features turn me off more than incentivize me.

Currently, I'm using my DS, and it's adequate. It can scroll text, html, and pdf. Good return on a $7 cartridge, since I already had a DS.

Re:What I want (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980181)

Oh I'm sorry, would you like a pony with that?

Re:What I want (1)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980239)

You've pretty much described the Sony 505, although it's around $300 (although assumedly it will come down when the new 600 is released).

What you're paying for with the e-ink readers is the very-nice-screen, which looks like a printed page. If you're willing to suffer reading from an LCD screen, then check out the eBookwise reader [ebookwise.com] , which is again pretty much exactly what you're describing. Although, very weird proprietary file formats.

Re:What I want (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980319)

Wait for the Chinese clones to come out with what you want. As soon as e-ink displays become cheaper and e-books become more popular, you can expect to see exactly what you are looking for at a dodgy mall booth or wholesaler website.

Re:What I want (2, Interesting)

BlueF (550601) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980913)

Been using my eBay'ed $115 Sony eReader 505 for the last year. Aside from price being a little more, sounds exactly like what you describe.

I literally don't leave home without it.

Love being able to keep up on my reading on my lunch break or any other downtime that comes along.

I have been tempted to switch to a Kindle, for it's syncing ability with my iPhone (for those times when I may have a few minutes and have left my eReader in my desk/car), but can't justify the added cost and presumably closed format. Haven't done enough research to see if one can import txt/rtf into the kindle.

With my eReader, I have downloaded all the books I physically own, re-reading my library. Formatting downloaded books can be a pain, but when in txt/rtf format it's a no brainer. I feel bad for a half-second. Then I remember I'm not interested in paying twice for content I already have purchased in a different format (unless the added cost is going directly to the author rather than a middleman). There may be a time when I buy an eBook before owning the hardcopy, but with out the ability to turn around a sell/easily give someone a DRMed eBook, there's little motivation to go that route.

Re:What I want (2, Interesting)

karl75771 (1142947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981191)

I'm waiting for something with a reasonably decent screen, a decent flash drive, a few buttons. No subscription services, no wireless, no connectivity at all, no note taking or annotation features, no voice or recording... Just a thumbdrive hooked to a screen. That hardware should be WELL under $100. The extra features turn me off more than incentivize me. Currently, I'm using my DS, and it's adequate. It can scroll text, html, and pdf. Good return on a $7 cartridge, since I already had a DS.

Instead of buying this crap, you could just buy a netbook for $299.

Free Wikipedia access (1)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981427)

Actually the only thing the kindle has going for it (as far as I am concerned) is the free wireless wikipedia access. I think that is pretty damn cool. Without that feature I'd buy it for $150.

Good article in the new yorker... (5, Informative)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980125)

There was a good article in the New Yorker which brings one up to date with the genesis and current state of the kindle, and e-books in general. The author orders one and then proceeds to write an article about his experience. He compares it to paper books, discusses amazons choice of a non free and closed format, and generally reviews it quite well. Having an ad blocker and hating all that is spamazon has kept me out of the loop with these new e-book readers so it was a nice intro to the current scene.

The article is available online at the following link: Kindle and the Future of Reading [newyorker.com]

Beating Kindle is easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980133)

Just make a reader with a great native PDF renderer. Done.

This is going to be the first question on every geek's mind here; "so how does it handle PDF?".

So far, invariably, the answer has been "like a turd".

Apple might want to get into ebooks (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980135)

and via iTunes. Music, movies.... books are just another story telling medium. And figuring digital distribution IS the future, why not?

Too bad about their break with Google over some stupid voice apps... because Google may have been a great partner (ie Google Books) for Apple to catch up to Amazon.

And the upgrade cycle would/is tremendous like the iPods were. Black/white small screen -> B/W big screen -> color screen -> flexible (?) screen -> ???

Right after the 1st generation Kindle, with it's fugly looks, probably would have been the best time to get in. Even now, it wouldn't be bad... the kindle isn't a computer, doesn't have speed, etc. All things Apple could one up for those people that want a book reader and something to browse with and that's it.

Re:Apple might want to get into ebooks (1, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980283)

I think the rumored Apple tablet would be great for e-books but there are a few problems with the books. For one, its not perfect. Apple strives for perfection, for example, the iPod wasn't the first MP3 player but it was the first small one with a decent capacity hard drive. And it also doesn't have the simplicity in prices that Apple wants, Apple only wants a few main price points, and books open up a huge gap, while I would easily pay 99 cents for a 4 minute song as I would an 8 minute song, I'm not going to pay the same amount for a 200 page book as a 400 page book. Not to mention that a lot of books are in the public domain. Plus, there is the issue of rights. While a well-known song might only have 1-2 licensed distributors, other books may have many more.

Re:Apple might want to get into ebooks (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980583)

  They don't need to. They already provide a platform (iPod/iPhone) that is the marketplace for content. They don't need to compete for "eReaders" because there are already dozens of them available on the Apple store.

Apple is not allowing e-books on iphone/touch (3, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981333)

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/08/05/app-store-rejections-tied-to-third-party-rights-infringements/ [tuaw.com]

Apple recently invited a great deal of criticism after it rejected Google's Google Voice application from App Store. At the same time, it pulled third party GV apps leaving their developers without recourse and forced to swallow refund costs that exceeded their initial per-sale earnings. Today Engadget notes Daring Fireball's story of a simple dictionary being censored. Now it looks as if Apple may be targeting the e-book section of App Store.

I only cut part of the article, feel free to read the rest, but Apple is up to something or maybe not. Considering you can "Kindle" on it through Amazon I am trying to work out why their stance has changed even for people with unquestionable rights to the material they publish

Re:Apple is not allowing e-books on iphone/touch (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981597)

I am trying to work out why their stance has changed even for people with unquestionable rights to the material they publish

No rights are unquestionable. Just ask (the estate of) George Harrison, who lost a million-dollar lawsuit for accidentally copying Ronald Mack's "He's So Fine" into Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".

Someone mod me up! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980185)

OMG Rootkit!!!!1!!1!~ Sony SUXX lol!

Can you mod me up now?

Re:Someone mod me up! (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980407)

If you had used decent grammar, sure. Your points are quite insightful.

And the DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980191)

Without some information on that, it is still a roll of the dice whether you'll ever be able to re-read those books in a few years, or if you'll be able to have them read aloud electronically. If I buy books I'd like to know the terms of sale, since the fashion these days for ebooks seems to be "screw the consumer as much as we're able to get away with". What's the point of pretty hardware if you can't use it?

No (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980199)

I don't need one to fit in my pocket, I need one that will fit in my briefcase or backpack, and is suitable for showing letter-sized pages at full scale without having to scroll all over the place, not seeing the whole page at any one time. Oh, and it absolutely *HAS* to be able to display user content (pdf's, in particular), not just content that some manufacturer or publisher thinks I might want to use it to read.

Re:No (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980399)

I think I saw one of those on ST:TNG. Usually someone is holding one and walking fast like it's a clipboard.

That was a Tablet PC (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981613)

Usually someone is holding one and walking fast like it's a clipboard.

The prop in TNG is probably supposed to represent the successor to the Tablet PC [wikipedia.org] .

Re:No (2, Informative)

moonka (889094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981565)

That sounds exactly like the Kindle DX (http://amazon.com/kindledx [amazon.com] ). While the ebooks Amazon sells have DRM, it reads all sorts of formats, and DX reads pdfs (I don't believe the kindle 2 has one). I have a kindle one and the majority of my reading material is things I have put on it, be it from feedbooks.com, mobileread.com, or other sources.

The sony experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980233)

Knowing sony, they'll lock this down, make arbitrary restrictions on its usage and generally make the whole experience frustrating (I'm looking at you Location Free)

Touch? (1)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980293)

You would think that a company the size of Sony could come up with a name that wasn't already out there in the market with a product that is so close in specification and function that it might actually be confused as their competitor with the same name. Or, maybe that was their intent...

The execs at Apple have got to be shaking their heads, and the lawyers are salivating.

THIS is why it is better than kindle (5, Informative)

greymond (539980) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980297)

"The software also is compatible with both PCs and Apple computers and enable the user to read PDF, Word, BBeB and other text files on the Reader."

- that right there.

When I first made my paperback book available in paperback format in early 2007 Amazon offered to convert it (it was in PDF format) to their kindle format for me, I said sure, and almost immediately found out that the formatting didn't work out. I pulled it from the kindle store and asked if I could do the conversion on my own. They said sure, but their format was html. Because of the charts and imagery and the way the text was done in the book there wasn't any easy way of converting the 162 page PDF into essentially a big ass website. I opted to ignore the kindle and since then haven't suffered for it in anyway.

Now my books are available in PDF format and I'm converting many of the stories into RTF versions for mobile devices. The fact that Sony now has a reader that can view html formated ebooks as well as RTF, Word and PDF files means I soon will have another outlet for my products without me having to do any type of special conversion on my end, which for me means I get another revenue stream, a potentially larger client base and no additional time cost. Win Win.

Re:THIS is why it is better than kindle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980373)

paperback book available in paperback format

lol I meant: "PDF book available in paperback format"

Re:THIS is why it is better than kindle (4, Informative)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980509)

If your book isn't page-size agnostic, you're going to get crappy results from PDF support on ANY reader. Nobody has a screen size that's 8.5x11 (maybe your PDF is smaller? paperback sized?). Sony does offer a full-page zoomed-out view (I believe), but that's almost impossible to read. As soon as you start to zoom in and reflow text, you worry about things like charts breaking.

Bottom line, you should be writing your books in some sort of open semantic mark-up format like EPUB, which was designed for this purpose.

Re:THIS is why it is better than kindle (1)

forand (530402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981145)

You do realize that is the software on the PC which has been criticized in the past for doing a very poor job of converting PDFs to Sony eReader format?

What about the DX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980381)

Anyone know if Sony has any plans to compete with the Kindle DX in the near future?

I intend to use an ebook reader for scanned textbooks in grad school next year and from what I understand a larger screen is absolutely necessary as the zooming on these devices is cumbersome at best.

Thanks.

Color Display? (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980415)

Do either the Kindle or Sony ebooks have color displays?

Re:Color Display? (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980733)

Do either the Kindle or Sony ebooks have color displays?

Not yet. Color eInk is very new. The Kindle 3 (2011, probably) will probably have it.

I already have a Sony eBook reader. (3, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980429)

It's a Sony Clie SJ22.

Yes, I know it's like six years old.

Yes, I know it's only 320x320.

Don't care. It works better as an eBook reader than anything bigger could, because it's small enough I can take it anywhere.

Plus it plays Alchemy and Bejeweled and Collapse and Seven Seas, and holds all my names and addresses and magic numbers.

And I can use it as an IR remote to freak people out in bars by surreptitiously turning the TV off and on.

Do that on your Kindle.

Re:I already have a Sony eBook reader. (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980545)

I loved my Clie... it was so small and handy to have around. But that's a niche that's happily filled by my Pre now. For books I'm extraordinarily pleased with my PRS-505 with the e-ink display. It really is a step up.

Re:I already have a Sony eBook reader. (4, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980757)

Try reading it outside in bright, direct sunlight (ie the beach).

Readers like these Sony ones and the Kindle are all about the e-ink displays, full stop. They are awesome, and the charge life is measured in weeks. LCDs are shit for reading books, honestly.

Re:I already have a Sony eBook reader. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980793)

Yeah, my girlfriend has a Clit that I like to play with in bars, too.

Older, more established? (5, Informative)

michael1221988 (1613671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980449)

By jaysonelliot on Aug 6, 2009 (on TFA) "Older, more established Kindle?" The Kindle was released in Nov. 2007 - the Sony Reader was released in September 2006, and was based on the nearly identical Sony Libre which had been on sale in Japan since early 2004. As of December, the Reader had sold 300,000 units in the US alone, while the Kindle was trailing behind at 240,000. I believe you meant to say "â¦the newer, less established Kindle."

Re:Older, more established? (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980771)

trying to fight Amazon's PR ability is a losing battle, seriously, don't even bother.

Wake me up when it has a bigger screen (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980453)

The SONY readers can show PDF files which is great, but those screens are too damned small. You might as well carry around a Netbook. The good news is Amazon have finally backed off their proprietary+DRM stupidity and allowed PDF on Kindles' too:

http://www.labnol.org/gadgets/amazon-kindle-dx-for-pdf-documents/8455/ [labnol.org]

Now they should go the next step and give you an oyster fork so you can pry out their BigBrotheresque Wireless connection which from the 1984 debacle we've seen has more cons than pros.

Re:Wake me up when it has a bigger screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980685)

The PDF support is only on the DX. It doesnt' reflow text at all (which is the case for pretty much all PDF renderers). You still have to render to images to read PDFs on the regular Kindle, and it's still damn annoying to read what is now a tiny little font.

I wouldn't mind PDF support either, but the format has real issues when it comes to small screens.

Re:Wake me up when it has a bigger screen (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980747)

The Sonys have a zoom feature that scales very well with most PDF files, letting you read them easily on the small screen. (Some scanned PDFs will not work, some will, anything thats not scanned will work every time).

Awesome... (1)

Xenious (24845) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980457)

So I will just turn it on and go to a big book store wirelessly to buy a book and... oh damn, never mind.

troll (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28980669)

alike to 8eap

Awesome news (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980715)

Awesome news for us Kindle fans, we'll be seeing a price drop AND a Kindle Touch soon.

Sony? Who the hell cares about Sony?

Touch vs PRS 700 (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28980817)

Can anybody tell the difference between the touch edition and the PRS 700? As far as I can see its the exact same device (just cheaper).

Re:Touch vs PRS 700 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28981301)

The 700 has/had an embedded light wedge. It didn't do nice things to the readability and it made the reader much thicker.

Re:Touch vs PRS 700 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28981439)

Can anybody tell the difference between the touch edition and the PRS 700? As far as I can see its the exact same device (just cheaper).

One of the big differences between the two is that the PRS-700 had an integrated booklight as well as the touch screen. There were numerous complaints about the viewing quality through the booklight surface though (caused some fuzziness/blurriness to the text), so in the new Touch (PRS-600) they've left the booklight off. For those who want a booklight, you can buy a cover with a booklight wedge like they have for the PRS-505 (which I have and love).

The 600 also has note-taking capability via handwriting(using the stylus) or virtual keyboard, and dictionary support which I don't remember the 700 having (I could be wrong though).

Journal Articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28981029)

Okay, I'm starting to get interested in the idea of an eBook reader. One question I have that I can't find an answer to - are these any good for journal articles? I download a hell of a lot of engineering type articles in PDF form, and it'd be great to be able to read these on an eBook reader. Does anyone have any experiences with this?

Re:Journal Articles (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981335)

You can't find an answer because the answer isn't the one that you want. At least for the time being.

screen scratch resistance? (1)

sitkill (893183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981195)

Anyone know how hardy (or not) these ink screens are? I really have been looking for a decent reader, but I'd probably use it as any reference doc I carry around (ie. throw it in my laptop case at the end of the day). I'd be pretty peeved paying 300 or so for a reader and have it scratch....

Cheap Chinese Clones (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981339)

Ok, where are they?

Re:Cheap Chinese Clones (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981645)

Ok, where are they?

Being held up in developed countries' customs until the patents expire.

1 "standard eBook" = 0.00000003125 LoC (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981437)

(According to their about page [loc.gov] )

Which means that the reader holds only 0.0000109375 LoC. ...just so you have a value that you can relate to something.

$9.99 for an eBook? (4, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981449)

What are they smoking? Paperbacks cost less than that, and I'd expect something with zero production cost to be an order of magnitude cheaper.

This is just begging for piracy.

Re:$9.99 for an eBook? (5, Informative)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981573)

because they are releasing the ebooks at the same time as the hard back editions of new books, not a year later in paperback.

so it is significantly cheaper than the $25-40 price range of a hardback book.

there are also cheaper older books available as well.

and over 500,000 free classics.

and of course there's always calibre and torrent sites with LIT format books.

When I can lend a Kindle book to a Sony owner... (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28981621)

I'll consider getting another eBook device when they make it possible to lend an eBook the way I can lend a physical book.

I want to be able to lend Kindle books... commercial, protected, bestseller-type books... to a person with a Sony reader. I want to be able to replace my Sony reader three years down the road with whatever eBook reading device appeals to me and move all my books to the new device.

And I want to be able to make the transfers just as I can today with a physical book.

I have $300 worth of ebooks I purchased for my Rocket eBook. When I bought them I was assured that if I ever needed to replace the device, I could just give them the new serial number and re-download the books re-coded for the new device. Well, I my eBook device finally bit the dust. I now have $300 worth of eBooks that can be read only on a device that no longer exists, unless I buy a replacement device that doesn't exist, contact a customer service department that no longer exists, and re-download them from a server that no longer exists, operated by a company that no longer exists.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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