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More On enTourage's Dual-screen E-Book Reader

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the want-it-right-now dept.

Android 82

Barence writes with some more information on a device mentioned in passing earlier today: "The enTourage eDGe eBook reader was the highlight of the CES Unveiled event, which gives journalists a sneak preview of what’s set to appear this year’s show. It has a 9.7in e-paper display on one side and a 10.1in LCD screen on the other, both of which are touchscreens, allowing you to annotate eBooks with handwritten notes or scan through web pages with the flick of a finger on the LCD screen. In a brief hands-on demonstration, the eDGe showed several clever touches, such as allowing you to perform a Google search on the term using the built-in web browser, and then link the search results to the eBook page, which is a great research tool for students reading academic texts. It's an Android device, too."

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82 comments

Meh. (0, Offtopic)

seanonymous (964897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676172)

Meh.

I farted. LOL!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676346)

I farted. LOL!

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676400)

Bitches wouldn't be saying meh, if this was the apple iEDGe eBook reader

Re:Meh. (4, Funny)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676442)

No vendor lock in. Priced less than an Apple. Lame.

Re:Meh. (-1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677656)

Handwritten notes? Have they seen my handwriting lately? And the last thing I want to do is to pick up something the size and shape of a pen. I can't even stand to touch my own cock these days.

Too unwieldy! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676244)

This sort of device just doesn't look practical. It's not the sort of thing you can use on the tram on the way to work. Like the article says, it's more of a netbook than something sleek like the Kindle or Nook.

I got a netbook for Christmas, and I've been using it on the tram on the way to work for the past few days. I find that if I put it on my lap, it is too hot and weighs too much. The heat irritates my penis and scrotum, and the weight really bothers my penis. So it's not really all that useful to me.

This device looks like it'd be difficult to hold in an upward position for over 30 minutes. You'd probably want to put it on your lap, but this could cause irritation and discomfort.

Re:Too unwieldy! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676552)

Fuck but I'm glad I don't sit next to you...

The highlight? (2, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676266)

Who defines what the highlight is? I've never been to anything CES and don't know a ton about it (aside from reading about it every year), so I don't know if maybe they actually do pick one item as a highlight... or this it the highlight according to the submitter :)

Re:The highlight? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676430)

CES should define a nigger area code, don't ya think? How about 666 since they are satan's shit?

Re:The highlight? (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676958)

It's the highlight according to TFA.

Re:The highlight? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677132)

And how was I supposed to know that? ;) (hehe)

Re:The highlight? (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677170)

Oops forgot this is slashdot. How insensitive of me!

Re:The highlight? (2, Informative)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677338)

Yeah just according to the article, which is silly because this device clearly is not the highlight of CES. There are quite a few candidates for that title, and I'm not sure anyone would put this device on the list.

http://gizmodo.com/5441762/the-best-of-ces?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+gizmodo/full+(Gizmodo) [gizmodo.com]

Re:The highlight? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680654)

It could have been if they'd worked out how to thin it down (and trim the price). It's definitely a step in the right direction, we're finally getting to the point where it might be worth picking up one of these for practical use rather than early adopter bragging rights, this has some great features which'll hopefully be adopted by e-readers that follow it.

Re:The highlight? (1)

zoewhite (1715222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679762)

Yeah, I agree with you.

fags, stop eating shit out of other faggot's asses (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676298)

it creates disease and it is disgusting. stop being homos. or get the aids and die.

Inspector Gadget - Penny's computer book (4, Insightful)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676438)

I am seriously dating myself here. I've always wanted the computer [tumblr.com] book [tumblr.com] used by Penny from the Inspector Gadget cartoon. I always thought that was the ideal form factor for a PDA/computer. The closest thing I ever found was the HP-28 calculator [wikipedia.org] , but that's been out of production for over a decade. Now finally! we are getting it.

Re:Inspector Gadget - Penny's computer book (1, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676458)

I am seriously dating myself here.

As you're on slashdot, I doubt anyone else would. Drum roll, please.

Re:Inspector Gadget - Penny's computer book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30677390)

I believe you're looking for a rimshot, not a drum roll :P

Re:Inspector Gadget - Penny's computer book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30677580)

I'm not familiar with the rimshot, what does it entail? I assume it's some sort of variation on the ol classic, the "rimjob" ??

Re:Inspector Gadget - Penny's computer book (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677232)

That's not too much of a date. I liked that cartoon. :)

Re:Inspector Gadget - Penny's computer book (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681796)

I am seriously dating myself here. I've always wanted the computer [tumblr.com] book [tumblr.com] used by Penny from the Inspector Gadget cartoon. I always thought that was the ideal form factor for a PDA/computer. The closest thing I ever found was the HP-28 calculator [wikipedia.org] , but that's been out of production for over a decade. Now finally! we are getting it.

Dating yourself as what, over 25?

Re:Inspector Gadget - Penny's computer book (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682626)

I agree with a book being the ideal form factor. It's easier to hold a book with one hand than a laptop.
One version could even provide a real keyboard split in two on the bottom of each side, no stylus typing or touchscreens needed.

The scifi anime series Ergo Proxy also features a book style handheld wiith the ability to flip and rotate holographic(?) pages. Best version I've seen so far.

No matter what this thing does... (5, Insightful)

d474 (695126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676444)

...it is a very ugly piece of hardware. The silver plastic looks cheap, and the wide frame surrounding the screens is a major step backwards in display design. I would be shocked if this ugly mid-90's looking DS tablet sells well at all.

Design is important in hardware sales because it creates the emotional response in the potential customer. Even if logic dictates that this is a "good" piece of hardware, emotion will over rule it by saying, "yeah, but it's kind of ugly, so it can't be that good...". And emotion is always what wins over the masses.

Re:No matter what this thing does... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676646)

...it is a very ugly piece of hardware.

It looks like two Newtons stuck together.

Re:No matter what this thing does... (2, Informative)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676702)

One thing about the wide frames is that it makes it easier to hold without touching the screen. Which kinda seems important when you're dealing with touchscreens.

Re:No matter what this thing does... (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679468)

True. Although, software can help solve that problem. Also, with something as large as a tablet, width and height are generally not as important as they are for a pocketable device, so bigger bezels make even more sense.

Re:No matter what this thing does... (1)

d474 (695126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30684306)

Yes, but they are called "touch screens" so why should it be an issue to touch it if you are holding it? There is no reason why they couldn't program in the "gesture" of holding the book so that the screen doesn't respond to a holding gesture.

It looks fine to me - who defines 'ugly piece..' (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677116)

You know, I looked at the article and looked at the device and thought it looked very nice, not ugly, not cheap or any of the things you described. I think the iTouch is fine to look at and functions well, the Kindle looks a bit less 'cool' but darn that thing works like a charm. If it functions as described it seems pretty darn great to me and the looks are good as well. I'm reminded of the US Air Force A-10 plane, called the 'Warthog' by some, Tank Killer by others. Definitely not sleek, definitely not a corvette of a Jet but to my eyes it looked beautiful - why? Because it was good at what it does, this ereader two screen thing isn't a tank killer but it looks just fine and if it works as advertised then I'd be happy getting one - regardless of what random dude who hates everything says about how 'ugly' it is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.

Re:No matter what this thing does... (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677124)

I think you are missing the link between function and aesthetics in design. People often favor a design with good aesthetics, not just because of some over-ruling emotion response, but because it's often a reflection of good functional design. It shows that someone has spent a lot of time and energy thinking about the product, and that they understand certain design principles. This doesn't mean that good looking designs are always functional, of course, but they aren't on the opposite sides of a spectrum like some people here seem to think -- they are quite ingrained together. Design is about communication and aesthetics is a language many people understand. OK, that's enough designer-speak for this place today.

Re:No matter what this thing does... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677254)

I think the concept is awesome, but that was the first thing I thought too: damn that thing is ugly!

I don't care so much about that though, they could just use white plastic instead of grey and all of the sudden it is pretty, or black shiny plastic and suddenly it is "slick" looking. Not that big of a hurdle really. Straighter edges maybe, they dont' need to do much to make it a lot more attractive.

My concerns were more about the apparent bulk of the thing. A full 10" LCD is cool, but can I separate the two if I don't want to use the LCD and find it cumbersom with it attached? If not, does the LCD fold around the back side of the e-ink screen (looks like it does), but then how is that screen protected? Et cetera et cetera.

Like I said, I love the concept, but I'm not sure I'd buy this particular implimentation. Still, they are definitely on the right track!

Re:No matter what this thing does... (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677394)

Well, I thought the same about the first Kindle (actually, in my opinion the first Kindle is even worse than this gadget), and it did sell well enough, as far as I've heard...

Re:No matter what this thing does... (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680658)

Even if it only encourages the more design-oriented companies that are working on these to incorporate some of the more useful features, it will have been a win (maybe not for the company, but for consumers). I'd like to have design AND functionality out of the box for once, instead of being forced to choose.

Dual screens -- Neat idea (3, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676452)

Might sell; will probably be too pricey to be successful. I have one question: with a touchscreen on each side, how does it keep from scratching one screen up while you are using the other? Also, although I'm sure an eInk display is a big win in terms of power consumption, I'm still not convinced it is that much more readable than a color LCD. Resolution is good, contrast not so much... maybe I'm just bothered by the slow page update time.

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676710)

"maybe I'm just bothered by the slow page update time."

It's faster thena human turing a page. It's just that you have learned to ignore the effects of page turning. It's like reading with sonmeone else and watching them turn the page. If you arn't used to it, it will seem slow.

ebooks are about being digital books, not about competing with a laptop.

Say what you want, eBooks are easier to use like a regular book then any laptop.

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676792)

I don't want to use an eBook like a regular book. I want to scroll through text instead of paging (paper books tend to page break in awkward places, like right in the middle of a word), and I want to search though text to find specific phrases. Preferably the eBook should combine the advantages of paper with the advantages of a laptop, and let me choose between the functional equivalent of the two when there is a conflict. If done right, a touchscreen should be a big win over a mouse for navigation (worse resolution since as a pointing device a finger sucks, but more intuitive).

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677578)

It's faster thena human turing a page.

Only if you are turning pages one at a time.

If you want to check what was written a few pages back, or want to skip ahead, or just flip through the book, an ereader is still terribly slow.

Granted you get the ability to search for strings in exchange, but still, this is what I miss most

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679410)

I have to agree with you. There are times when I was a kid playing D&D where I would forget a rule and need to look it up... I found the rule because I remember that the thing I was looking for was "between this section and this section" ... I would remember the sections not by title, but by pictures, or the "shape of the paragraph" (if that makes any sense).

I cant grep through a digital book looking for something that I forget the word for.

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682952)

I see that not so much as a problem for actual literature (in which I usually don't have to search back), but more of a problem with scientific texts.
In these books I tend to go forward and back a lot more checking references.

So unless someone comes up with a quick way of scrolling I wouldn't use ebook readers for anything other than normal story books.

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30689236)

Several ereaders have "jump to page X" or "jump to X%" features.

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30688314)

Uh, you must turn pages slowly. I have used a Kindle and it takes 0.3-0.5 seconds to turn a page. It is bearable with the font size set low (so more fits on a page), but it is nowhere near as fast as turning a page (assuming my hand is already in place to turn the page, of course, which is not difficult to do while reading).

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676888)

I'm sure an eInk display is a big win in terms of power consumption, I'm still not convinced it is that much more readable than a color LCD.

Try both at the beach and get back to us. Emissive displays just don't make sense in well-lit areas - why waste battery power trying to out-shine the sun?

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676924)

A valid point -- my smartphone display is virtually unreadable in direct sunlight. I guess I must spend most of my time in the dark! Combining both in a single device might just be a "best of both worlds" solution -- provided it doesn't make it too expensive.

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679390)

actually... reading eink in bright sunlight isn't terrific either.

During the summer I went to the beach with my PRS 505. Whenever I flipped the page, the "ink" was very washed out. I noticed that if a shadow was on the reader the ink was better. I eventually got into a rhythm where I would flip the page in the shadow, then read in full sunlight.

Re:Dual screens -- Neat idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676940)

Might sell; will probably be too pricey to be successful. I have one question: with a touchscreen on each side, how does it keep from scratching one screen up while you are using the other? Also, although I'm sure an eInk display is a big win in terms of power consumption, I'm still not convinced it is that much more readable than a color LCD. Resolution is good, contrast not so much... maybe I'm just bothered by the slow page update time.

Power consumption is just half the story with eInk. The bigger issue is legibility. A good quality LCD screen is okay for a few pages but they aren't really up to reading a 450 page novel. Also you'd be lucky to make it through a chapter or two let alone a whole novel. eInk is ideal for reading books or articles but little else. Where I see this as a bastard hybrid that won't fly is it seems to still have the downsides of dragging an LCD screen along for the ride killing battery life. It's both an eBook reader and netbook crammed together but not as good as either one. The notes function is nice but it has the LCD draining it's power. If you are using it as a netbook then you have half the real estate covered by an eInk screen. Seemed like a nice idea but in practice it misses the mark. I have to say I do love the eBook readers for actual reading. Most of the complaints seem to come from people that try to compare them with LCD screens as opposed to just reading. One of the biggest is always page turn speed. They really aren't up to turning pages like a dead tree book. Think of it more as if you are comfortably reading a book. Once you spend say a minute reading a page a half second to turn to the next one is barely noticeable and faster than turning the page on a normal book. Thumbing through pages is just a waste of power even if they could do it. There will always be advantage to dead tree books. Where eBook readers excel is carrying a library in your pocket. Unfortunately fear of piracy is harming them. I bought one for my niece only to find her favorite books aren't available. Another family member considered one but found out her favorite writer isn't available. I doubt eBook readers will replace dead tree any time soon but they have their place.

It may be a good all-in-one for travelers (4, Interesting)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676656)

The TFA didn't point to the full-spec page:

enTourage eDGe [entourageedge.com]

Battery should last 16 hours using E-reader alone. Not exactly a record breaker, but usable. The right side is a complete netbook attached to the E-reader. Not a bad combination for travelers. I kind of like the idea, whether this particular implementation is perfect or not. For what it offers, the price is not bad, either.

Just fixed the f****** capitalization of it, fer crying out loud. Is the intended market teenage mallrats?

Re:It may be a good all-in-one for travelers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30676872)

Just fixed the f****** capitalization of it, fer crying out loud. Is the intended market teenage mallrats?

I'm guessing you're missing the fact that the DG combination resembles the pages of an open book. Then again, subtle details like this tend to go way over most slashdotter's heads.

Re:It may be a good all-in-one for travelers (1)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678214)

I'm guessing you're missing the fact that the DG combination resembles the pages of an open book. Then again, subtle details like this tend to go way over most slashdotter's heads.

A fact? It's stupid, not a fact. It's an overused, dumbass, pants hanging to half ass "cool spelling" fact. Subtle details... christ on a stick... It's subtle only if you think spelling words with every second letter capitalized is intellectual. To the rest of us it's illiterate.

Re:It may be a good all-in-one for travelers (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676906)

Just fixed the f****** capitalization of it,

ProTip: When you use it as a wildcard, you only need one asterisk. And what do the Flemish have to do with this device, anyway?

Re:It may be a good all-in-one for travelers (1)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678242)

And what do the Flemish have to do with this device, anyway?

What about BruGGe? ;)

e-ink, seriously? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676698)

I'm sure this device has a lot going for it, but for my reading enjoyment, I'm still waiting for devices with better screens from qualcomm/mirasol or pixel qi. In nicer packages, I hope. I don't need two flawed screens hinged together, I need a single screen that's more functional than e-ink.

Sorry, but looks like a hack (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676844)

As much as I like the innovation to that goes into such ideas, I can't help but think of this as a hack to try and get the best of both worlds. I think it's poor design. Not to mention the problems with dual screen interfaces.

Re:Sorry, but looks like a hack (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678900)

If those super-thin transparent OLED displays ever take off, we'll be able to just lay those over an e-Paper display. (Yes, I say this every time one of these stories comes up. So far, nobody has built even a prototype... that I know of, anyway)

Re:Sorry, but looks like a hack (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679346)

That might be a bit better but it still means you have put two screens in a device just because neither display is ideal. Space taken up by the other display, the housing, and the hinge mechanics is space that you could use for a higher capacity battery to compensate for the higher drain of an LCD or OLED display. Yes, then you no longer get the readability benefits and the battery life still won't be as good, but are those issues really that important? For a dedicated eBook reader, I'd say so, but not for a more general purpose tablet device. I know I'd rather haul around both an Apple tablet and a Kindle rather than a device that tries to do both and does it poorly.

Re:Sorry, but looks like a hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30680896)

GP was referring to the much touted idea of a very thin transparent OLED layer actually over the e-ink display, so effectively one screen a little thicker than a normal screen, and then you flick between the two with a switch (when the OLED is lit it obscures the e-ink from view). Although technically it's two screens, from the user viewpoint it's only one and you don't need hinges, etc. This really would be the ideal solution allowing you to trade readability for battery life as appropriate in a device still small enough to slip into a pocket, but as GP said nobody's actually demonstrated this as yet.

What's the point? (1)

kmcrober (194430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676902)

I love my Kindle, and often find that critics of the device who claim that it has no benefit beyond a laptop or a paperback are simply not familiar enough with the device. Having said that, I'm not sure what the benefits of this thing (excuse me: tHIs THinG) are, over and above a separate netbook and e-reader. I can see some minor synergies, such as TFA's reference to sending search results to the e-ink half of the device, but is that really worth the extra weight and complexity? Of course, I don't think I can explain why the Courier needs two screens, either, but hot damn I want one anyway.

tHIs THinG may be perfect for a niche of readers, but I don't see this device going anywhere. That's too bad, because I want a much more diverse field of e-readers out there, in order to encourage publishers to settle on a uniform format. (Or, failing that, just to encourage Amazon to make the Kindle software platform hardware-independent.)

Re:What's the point? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680952)

Actually I think this would be a nice device for reading news and magazine articles - e-ink is great for flat text and battery life but it's nice occasionally to see full colour images or even video. Would also be useful for text books with diagrams etc, but as I said before, they really need to thin it down a lot more to make it practical, otherwise you may as well carry two devices around.

Re:What's the point? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30686778)

Having said that, I'm not sure what the benefits of this thing (excuse me: tHIs THinG) are, over and above a separate netbook and e-reader.

Price for the combined display sizes. Overall weight for the combined display sizes.

tHIs THinG may be perfect for a niche of readers, but I don't see this device going anywhere. That's too bad, because I want a much more diverse field of e-readers out there, in order to encourage publishers to settle on a uniform format.

There's quite a lot of diversity in e-readers (and eDGe wasn't the only new one introduced at CES -- there was also the Que proReader and the Skiff that I know of off the top of my head.) And .epub's doing a good job at moving forward as the standard format. (Just about every reader but the Kindle supports it, and almost every independent publisher [as in, not an tied to a device vendor] uses it. Plus, its basically zipped XHTML + CSS + common image formats -- with a couple of small quirks -- so its reasonably easy to support, too.)

I won't own one til they gaurantee my rights (1, Interesting)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30676954)

What's the point in investing in an ebook reader if your locked in?

I want a central copy registry where I have legal registration for copies I own and am guaranteed indefinite ownership and am guaranteed the right to transfer my ownership for individual items.. And I want to be able to lend items to people. Same as a physical book.

I want it an outside legal trust independent of any publisher with both the monetary backing to last over a hundred years and an endorsement by the US Senate and the EU and audited every 2 to 5 years. It will be this agency that dictates file formats and implements standardized copy protection. They will be required to develop and deploy software for any platform that meets certain criteria; essentially any platform with a to be determined minimal user base as well as being paid by a company or a platforms supporters to implement it. Sort of a combination of an international copyright office and a library of congress. They will also have the right override a publishers price according to laws in various countries with a mind toward maximizing revenue.

I further want a guarantee from all countries that they will not try to "legally confiscate" my licenses for material if I was not physically in that country when I purchased it. So if I step off the plane in Saudi Arabia they will not confiscate my digital playboy collection... Of course I would make the distinction between owning something and being able to use view it... so theoretically if some small country legalized child porn for sale one could own the material but not be entitled to view it. The latter is a separate issue. For this discourse I only care about ownership rights.

Re:I won't own one til they gaurantee my rights (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30700830)

What's the point in investing in an ebook reader if your locked in?

All ebook readers I know of will read DRM-free formats fine, and very many publishers publish DRM-free ebooks. Many eBook readers, particularly those that runs an eBook store for books that they don't produce also support one or more forms of DRM. But there is enough DRM free content available in major formats that, to me at least, it doesn't make sense to use the existence of DRM-laden eBooks that might be at risk if a vendor stopped supporting some central service as a reason not to buy a reader. Sure, it might be a reason to not buy the DRM-laden books for which that is the case, but reader devices are useful without those particular books.

Need open e-book libraries for competition (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677000)

In the current market, hardware-only e-book makers like this have no chance at all. Amazon has their e-book library [amazon.com] , B&N has one [barnesandnoble.com] , Sony has one [sony.com] ... the proliferation of e-libraries isn't a problem in itself, except each is tied to the same brand of hardware, and nothing else. With iTunes and iPhone apps, Apple has pushed media lock-in further than I ever thought would be successful. I congratulate their shareholders, but I still think it's a terrible idea. It's like we're reverting from the era of the Internet back to proprietary BBS's like GENie Online and (old) AOL, where everything was bundled together and walled up.

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677150)

not really. I have several thousand PDF files I'd kill to carry around. 300 from the Crestron library on their own. I dont want to read some silly escapism story, I want a functional display to view important Docs and texts. If I could find a good one that actually did really good PDF rendering and had upgradeable storage (The sony reader FAILS with it's paltry non upgradeable storage) and I dont want to pay for a 3G connection that I will not use.

Give me a non DRM, non crappy eink reader with a 8.5X11 display. I'll be all over it as well as millions of other professionals and students.

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30677678)

plastic logic is supposed to be showing off their ereader at CES and it might fit the bill for you.

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (2, Informative)

RattFink (93631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677750)

The sony reader FAILS with it's paltry non upgradeable storage

Sony has 3 models out all but one (the cheapest) support Memory Stick and SD cards.

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30677754)

(The sony reader FAILS with it's paltry non upgradeable storage)

You mean the Sony Readers that have both SD card and Memory Stick Pro slots? Yeah, I hate that you can't put additional memory cards into those slots......

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678604)

"non DRM" -- I thought all ereaders can read non-DRM formats anyway, is there one that can't?

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30686058)

Will those DRM enabled reader communicate with any computer transfering data on any direction without requiring administrative access for installing weard drivers? And will they work on Linux, BSD, and etc?

There is a lot you lose by having the option of accessing DRMed media, take you head out of the sand.

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30698230)

Actually, most hardware readers don't have much in the way of web capabilities at all. But you can still transfer your non-DRM files to the Kindle via Whispernet (which doesn't require any particular OS, just email, although at a price) or via USB -- I know that's Mac and PC-compatible, but I'm not sure about Linux-- their website isn't very helpful. You can also push files via USB using calibre (free program available on Linux, Mac, Windows) to most hardware ebook readers. calibre converts non-DRM files to different formats as well.

The main problem with DRM on ebook readers is the lock-in to a particular store for DRM'd ebooks -- while it's relatively easy to find non-DRM ebooks from small presses, independent publishers, and books in the public domain, it's hard to find mainstream works from major publishers (like the latest bestsellers) in non-DRM formats. Meaning that all mainstream works end up having to be purchased from the same store or same few stores.

There's also the privacy issue (could someone track the books associated with your ID), and the borrowing issue (what to do if your library offers ebooks in one form of DRM, but your hardware reader uses another).

Given that publishers and vendors aren't agreeing on one form of DRM or no form of DRM, the problem is not necessarily that a reader can access DRM'd media (as well as non-DRM media), but that it can usually only access one form of DRM, further limiting choice.

Re:Need open e-book libraries for competition (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680660)

Lumpy - Agree with you 100%. In fact, the lack of color PDF support is the only thing I dislike about my Kindle - and I'm definately a Kindle fanboy. While there are good apps for the iPhone (I can't speak to other devices. I only have the iPhone and the Kindle) to view PDFs in color, they require scrolling from side-to-side to see the whole page. And with PDFs on things like Web design (or color theory) it's really not useful to view them on the Kindle. Regardless of being a Mac fanboy, I'd look seriously into the pending Apple tablet, depending on cost, battery life, etc. (I'd probably stick with Apple just for cross-device compatibility, including with our MacBooks, etc.)

All of that said, I don't think any of us will be really satisfied until something like the Knowledge Navigator [wikipedia.org] comes out. It seems to combine everything that all of the posters want, and of course, a metric buttload more.

The problem with Google searches (3, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30677462)

The problem with linking a google search to a page of an academic text is that the web is dynamic. Today's search hits won't be around tomorrow, or might be edited, have a changed layout etc, whereas an academic text is timeless. As a student, you're much better off going to the library to look up the references directly rather than relying on web clippings as if they were real notes.

Re:The problem with Google searches (1)

kalbzayn (927509) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678576)

Our library lets us check out ebooks for free from My Media Mall (http://www.mymediamall.net/) using my library card. I just found out about it the other day and haven't had a chance to try it yet but I know a lot of public libraries have similar arrangements. Call your local librarian and ask them if they have something similar.

Re:The problem with Google searches (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679432)

and .... *drum roll please*... we have google scholar to help.

Where is the e-Library? (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678042)

I don't particularly read books. But, my girlfriend reads often. She goes to the library, checks the book out, reads it, and takes it back. She never buys a book especially fiction. I see a lot of companies developing e-readers like this one. With all these e-reader coming out, I thinking this must be the future; but, what happens to the library? How does my girlfriend check out an e-book?

Re:Where is the e-Library? (1)

great om (18682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678790)

my library (the new york public library) has thousands of ebooks. Most are currently in PDF format, but ePub is becoming very common (the PDFs are ok to use, the epubs are just like the purchased books from the Sony store). My wife uses her the nypl.org website to download them to her sony reader. They do not work (as far as I am aware) on the kindle, but are supposed to work in the nook as well. Its super convenient. The books expire in something like 20-21 days. The biggest snafu is that they only can lend out $num of copies at a time, but you can 'reserve' them like regular books. I'm thinking of getting the nook once it becomes widely available, because of the ease of the whole system.

Additionally, most larger library systems will allow out of area residents to purchase a membership for the use of materials. I think the NYPL charges $100 for the privilege, which may or may not be worth it depending on what one likes to read and how much.

Grr... (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678288)

9.7in e-paper display on one side and a 10.1in LCD screen on the other...

That strange rumble you just heard was the sound of a million obsessive-compulsive, anal-retentive, symmetry-loving neatniks simultaneously cursing upon reading those specs.

Mach3. (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678432)

Behold! My 3 screens ebook!!! lolbbq, before you know it, you'd be holding a 143 screen ebook containing all 143 pages of Technology for Dummies.

Good competition for the Kindle DX (1)

proxima (165692) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678970)

If nothing else, maybe these new devices will put some pressure on Amazon to do one or more of:

1.) Add PDF annotation and/or zoom support. These are important for those with lots of PDF documents/articles to read.

2.) Add a touch screen (helps with selecting text and general navigation)

3.) Lower the $489 price (looks rather silly if this device can offer a second LCD screen and both be touch screens at the same price point, though the Kindle has cell access)

Slashdot slowing down? (1)

brajbir (1109999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679656)

I saw this video on TED a couple of weeks ago (I don't visit TED regularly). My guess is that it would have been presented in TED India conference, which was months ago. Is slashdot getting sluggish?

Re:Slashdot slowing down? (1)

brajbir (1109999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679680)

Posted it on the wrong news item. WAs meant for the news item on dragonflies crossing oceans... Please ignore

brings one of the disadvantages of paper to ebooks (2, Insightful)

vanyel (28049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30686184)

One of the nuisances of reading a paper book is holding the thing open, now we get that inconvenience in an ebook too!

I'll stick with one page thanks.

enTourage eDGe eBook - what a name (1)

baggachipz (686602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30687434)

swEeT jEsuS mAKe thE namIng iNsanIty sToP!
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