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Nook Color Rooted — Will B&N Embrace the Tablet?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the what-technology-wants dept.

Handhelds 181

itwbennett writes "It can browse the web, edit Office docs, run apps. Is it a low-cost, low-function e-reader? Nope, it's a Nook. And now that XDA has rooted it, how Barnes & Noble responds will determine whether the Nook has a tablet future, says blogger Ryan Faas. 'If the device can be turned into a capable Android tablet (which technically it already is) easily, the $250 price tag certainly beats out some of the competition.'"

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Reaction (5, Insightful)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402098)

How they react will likely depend on their price setting method.

If the nook was priced under cost and expected to be subsidised by ebook sales, then they will come down on this like apple. If they are making money on the thing in its own right, they may react like a BSD developer.

Re:Reaction (3, Interesting)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402200)

Mind you, loss leaders (which subsidised hardware for expensive consumables are) are a distortion of a free market. Anything which undermines it is wholesome and good.

(Used to buy for a small retailer. Often the shelf price at large retailers was less than the wholesale price from the manufacturer/distributor. But they had "Three per customer" type limits, which turns out to be illegal under my State's consumer laws (written specifically to punish loss-leaders, apparently.) Used to make for fun public arguments.)

Re:Reaction (4, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402254)

Yeah, work in retail myself, in the past have been asked by a boss to go to a competitor and buy all their stock of one item, because they were selling it cheaper than our wholesaler.

And yes, we have similar laws in my state too :)

Re:Reaction (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402312)

Your competitor might actually like that. It means that you stop buying from your distributor, such that you might not be able to buy from them again, or not as good a price as you used to, so when your competitor stops selling at below-wholesale prices, you are worse off than before.

Re:Reaction (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402414)

Yeah, work in retail myself, in the past have been asked by a boss to go to a competitor and buy all their stock of one item,

Actually, that's the only exemption under our law. You can't buy them out. (That's meant to prevent a larger company (with deeper pockets) from ruining a genuine sale for a smaller competitor.)

Re:Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402876)

Actually, that's the only exemption under our law. You can't buy them out.

Can you buy all but one? Failing that all but two? All but one boxful? Sounds like Sorites paradox to me.

Re:Reaction (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402908)

You can't buy them out.

Can you buy all but one? ... Sounds like Sorites paradox to me.

Yeah, I thought that too, at the time. It's one of those vague "unreasonable" laws. It relies on judicial interpretation of "reasonable", and of the buyers perceived intent.

Re:Reaction (3, Insightful)

VisiX (765225) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403404)

In this way it resembles nearly every other law on the books.

Re:Reaction (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405100)

Yeah, work in retail myself, in the past have been asked by a boss to go to a competitor and buy all their stock of one item, because they were selling it cheaper than our wholesaler.

This happens far more often than you think, actually. And it doesn't have to be a loss-leader, even! If you're a small store, you're a bother to the distributor. You don't move enough product, yet they have to stock some for you. If it's a hot item, you'll find you're the first to go on "allocation" and the last to get one or two of them.

I've talked to many people, and they often buy from Costco and Amazon because they can get their product way cheaper that way than their distirbutor is willing to sell them. And everyone's still making a profit along the way. One store owner even told people to buy a product online because he refuses to stock them (the terms for selling were quite onerous, and in the end, he'll pay MORE for the product than their online store).

Re:Reaction (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402284)

Mind you, loss leaders (which subsidised hardware for expensive consumables are) are a distortion of a free market.

Indeed, they shouldn't be allowed to do such a thing in a free market.

Re:Reaction (0, Redundant)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402400)

You are using that word ... it does not mean what you think it means.

Re:Reaction (2)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402460)

Help me out then. Maybe I don't grasp what a free market is, though my thinking matches Wikipedia's introductory sentence [wikipedia.org] :

A free market is a market in which there is no economic intervention and regulation by the state, except to enforce private contracts and the ownership of property. It is the opposite of a controlled market, in which the state directly regulates how goods, services and labor may be used, priced, or distributed, rather than relying on the mechanism of private ownership.

I hope it was clear that I was using sarcasm in my previous message.

Re:Reaction (-1)

ranulf (182665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402516)

Nope, there wasn't even a slight hint that you were being sarcastic. It looked like you were just wrong.

Re:Reaction (4, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403056)

Well, I figured the fact that I was saying something similar to "We all know that 1+1=3..." but I guess when it comes to the free market, such an obviously contradictory statement is commonplace and meant seriously, sadly.

Re:Reaction (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404348)

We're nerds, not businessmen. For every MBA here you'll probably find five physicists, fifteen biologists, fifty engineers, and five hundred programmers.

If you're an economist, you're probably on the wrong site.

Re:Reaction (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405370)

If you're an economist, you're probably on the wrong site.

That remark would make sense if (a) slashdot threads never mentioned economics and (b) economists were only capable of discussing economics.

Re:Reaction (0, Flamebait)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402618)

Well, I thought you were being a complete sarcastic bastard, No-Id, if that helps?

Re:Reaction (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404330)

Clearly. Loss leaders themselves are not a violation of free market capitalism per se, but the things that they do to make it work are. Adam Smith was completely opposed to any sort of monopoly over anything. No exceptions at all. And in order for loss leaders to work in most cases you have to have some sort of monopoly. Even if it is just requiring the users to buy products that are licensed for it by producers that pay a licensing fee for the privilege.

Specifically what you're missing is that the definition you're using is wrong. A market like that would not and could not exist. That's going back to Adam Smiths initial writings. A free market of that sort will always end up in a single supplier monopoly over everything. It's just a question of how long it takes and whether people get fed up early enough to do something about it.

Re:Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402408)

If they're free, I'll take three.

Re:Reaction (2)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403858)

Feel free to take three for free, it'll free up space.

Re:Reaction (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403102)

the Corporation is anathema to a free market in that they become de-facto government and can then use loss leaders and such to exert their power (and thus unfairly regulate) the market.

I believe the market you are humorously promoting is not a free market, but one regulated by an Oligarchy.

Re:Reaction (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404272)

the Corporation is anathema to a free market in that they become de-facto government and can then use loss leaders and such to exert their power

And when, exactly, did it become illegal for smaller businesses to sell things as loss leaders? Did the Evil Corporations(tm) pass legislation at some point that limits the razor-and-blade model to only businesses of a certain size or something?

Re:Reaction (0)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404314)

Mind you, loss leaders (which subsidised hardware for expensive consumables are) are a distortion of a free market.

Indeed, they shouldn't be allowed to do such a thing in a free market.

Guys like you crack me up. You depend on the regulations as much or more than anyone else. You couldn't handle a truly free market. In a market with no regulations, you can't enforce a contract. In a truly free market your grocer can sell you poison and not tell you. If that's freedom to you, more power to you, but get ready to be screwed constantly, and screw constantly, because you won't survive unless you sink to their level.

The real free market, the one the people who coined the phrase intended, is a specific set of constraints to produce a fair marketplace. It is tightly regulated to ensure it works as desired, it is by no means a free for all.

Re:Reaction (1)

rerogo (1839428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404858)

In a market with no regulations, you can't enforce a contract.

What makes the muscle I pay to enforce my contracts with taxes inherently better than independently contracted muscle?

In a truly free market your grocer can sell you poison and not tell you.

He can do that now too. Occasionally does, by accident. (OK, perhaps salmonella in peanut butter and mad cow disease aren't poison per se. Close enough.) Incredibly bad for business, I might add.

The real free market, the one the people who coined the phrase intended, is a specific set of constraints to produce a fair marketplace. It is tightly regulated to ensure it works as desired, it is by no means a free for all.

I will admit to not having actually read Adam Smith as such. I feel virtually certain he has a quote I can use to answer this, but 5 minutes with The Wealth of Nations [gutenberg.org] and firefox search was not enough to uncover it. Those economists in the Austrian school, at least, would however disagree vehemently.

The whole point of an Invisible Hand is that maintenance of order will arise spontaneously from chaos, because order benefits everyone. All the externally imposed order of government does is force men into a pattern that is slightly unnatural.

Re:Reaction (2)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405148)

I'm sorry, s/he meant to say "competitive" and "open" market. As we all know, "free" markets are totalitarian monopolies waiting to happen.

Re:Reaction (3, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402464)

Mind you, loss leaders (which subsidised hardware for expensive consumables are) are a distortion of a free market. Anything which undermines it is wholesome and good.

How? The consumer can decide what they want to buy and where - and get slower prices as a result. If consumables are the real profit center, a store could not sell the loss leader and put some of the savings to lower consumable prices; so the store selling the loss leader either lowers consumable prices or loses money. In the end, the consumer benefits from free market prices.

A free market allows individuals to set prices and determine desired profits; not some manufacturer or government. Nor does it ensure everyone will make a profit.

Re:Reaction (0)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402564)

Mind you, loss leaders (which subsidised hardware for expensive consumables are) are a distortion of a free market. Anything which undermines it is wholesome and good.

Argh, stupid grammar. What I wrote is misleading.

"Anything which undermines it..." means "anything which undermines market distortion via loss-leaders", not "anything which undermines a free market". Is that any clearer, or did I just make it worse?

Re:Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402612)

The thing is that loss leaders are only profitable in a non-free market.
The suggestion here is that they use the hardware to lock in the user into a system where they have a monopoly on software.
While the customer can still decide wether to buy a non-locked product instead of a locked one it is quite hard to compare prices between the different products since you can't really predict the pricing of software in a monopolized system and thus have no way of knowing if the product you buy will be cheaper or more expesive in the end.
This would of course not be a problem if the market was really free and not protected by patents, copyright and other laws.

Re:Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402724)

ooo where can I get in on these slower prices? I hate when my prices are too fast.

a free market does not give buyers that power (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403832)

In a free market, no one sets prices and determines desired profits. Rather prices are a function of market equilibrium and market equilibrium determines the normal profit in any given market segment.

Selling below cost distorts this process. A rational seller cannot consistantly sell below cost. A negative profit would drive him or her out of business over time.

What happens with loss leaders is that sellers are effectively using the market as advertising. They are hoping that buyers will be attracted by what is an irrational price. Sellers hope to recoup their losses on other commodities. Be that as it may, the practice distorts the price of the loss leader as a commodity. This is a market inefficiency. A free market, in the economic sense, theoretically weeds out such inefficiencies over time.

But that this practice distorts the free market should not be confused with whether or not the egents involved have the freedom to distort the market in such a way. That's a whole other discussion.

Re:a free market does not give buyers that power (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404334)

Selling below cost distorts this process. A rational seller cannot consistantly sell below cost.

Of course they can.

For example, a rational seller stocking a highly desirable item may raise the price of that item, while subsidizing the cost of other items in their stock, in order to attract customers to their business.

Exactly - and here's an example. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34405276)

Why is milk cheaper at a convenience store than at the supermarket?

You may notice that everything else in the convenience store is priced higher than you can find elsewhere. The Milk is a (realative) loss leader. They may make a profit on milk but it gets you in the store. You go in for milk and buy other things at a huge profit for the seller- off setting the loss they take on the sale of milk.

The point of a loss leader is to get you in the store and opening your wallet. From there marketing takes over.

Re:Reaction (1)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403888)

Laws against slavery restrict the free market too. The free market is not an unmitigated good.

Re:Reaction (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404310)

Exactly! Selling something at a loss is the EXACT same thing as selling people. I wish more people could see the connection, my friend.

Oh, and you know who else sells things at a loss to make more money on consumables? Hitler. So only buy a Nook if you support Hitler.

Thank you.

Re:Reaction (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402866)

Please explain how this is a distortion of a free market.
You have supply, demand and a fixed cost.
Now if the supply and demand equilibrium falls under your fixed cost. That usually means that it may not be the best product to sell. However if over the use of the product there is the ability to bring in more revenue. Then the loss would be considered as an investment. Much the same as an advertising campaign. As right now the cost of the ereader is more then the market wants they will loose a lot more in content.

It is a classic give away the razor and sell the blades.

Now yes if it being sold under price B&N will make a fuss as they are giving a way a product that costs them money for no return.

Re:Reaction (4, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403204)

Agreed - loss leaders in themselves are not a distortion of the free market. What would be a distortion is the producer being able to use the law to prevent people buying the razor and then using their own cheap blades (or in B&N's case, someone buying the Nook and not using it to buy books if it is indeed an example of a loss leader). A free market should allow you to come up with whatever promotional ideas you want to make money, but similarly it should allow your customers to ignore your ideas and do their own thing. The second those ideas have some element that is enforced by law (i.e. you can ONLY use product X with service Y and tampering with X to allow Z is illegal) it is no longer free.

Re:Reaction (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405234)

Thank you. Someone who realizes that the term free market applies not only to the vendor but also the consumer. Once a consumer purchases the product the vendor should no longer have any say on how the product is used.

Sure void the warranty if my modification truly adversely affects the hardware but you shouldn't be able to use the force of law to prevent me from modify the product.

Because that isn't the distortion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403428)

Because that isn't the distortion. The distortion comes when the consumables become tied to the loss leading product. In which case, the distortion is that the cost isn't the product but the product plus the enforced consumable purchase.

cf Lexmark using DMCA and a chip to refuse to print with ink that they didn't sell. This is a distortion of the free market by tying.

Same here.

Note also that the term "grey import" is a violation of the free market. If they're imported, they're an import, not a grey one.

The free market isn't free in every sense (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403610)

A free market where buyers and sellers are unimpeded in their buying and selling behavior is the intuitive definition of a free market but it is not the definition that economists used.

Economically speaking, a free market has certain defined attributes such as no one seller (and no one buyer) being able to affect the purchase price. Loss leaders are a distortion of the free market in this technical sense as goods are not being sold to produce a profit but are being used instrumentally as advertising to persuade people to purchase some other product. As such, the loss-leading price distorts the market equilibrium.

So while it's within the freedom of firms in the marketplace to engage in such behavior, if they choose to do so, it destroys the calculations that supply/demand price theory require in order to make neoclassical economics work.

Re:Reaction (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402256)

This pretty much hits the nail on the head.

It could well turn out that the interesting price tag is only possible because the tethering supposedly recovers the lower hardware price. You see the same done from printers to cellphones to coffee makers, and it's getting more and more commonplace these days.

And while I do find this pricing policy despicable and there should be something done about this kind of racketeering (face it, that's what it is. You bought my hardware, now buy the consumables with me or your nifty hardware is a paperweight, how'd you call that?), but until our lawmakers get their fat butts lifted we have to take care that this kind of practice fails.

Transparency is the friend of free enterprise. When the customer can compare prices AND qualities easily, he can make a better informed choice and thus can reward those that produce a product suitable to the needs of the customer. And once SOME companies return to the policy of producing what the CUSTOMER wants and not what THEY want, we might start to return to a free market economy.

Re:Reaction (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404054)

Could you explain 'come down like Apple'? Apple's been rather passive when it comes to the OSX86 and Jailbreaking community. They do patch the bugs that allow jailbreaking, but that's to be expected.

They did go hard after Pystar, but they were looking to turn a profit from it.

Re:Reaction (3, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404416)

Barnes and Noble is, first and foremost, a book retailer, dependant on and beholden to publishers. Since rooting is the first step towards defeating Digital Restrictions Management, I suspect that B&N will fight rooting as hard as they can for as long as they can, regardless of the Nook's pricing model.

Re:Reaction (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404668)

then they will come down on this like apple.

Really? All I've seen Apple do is fix security vulnerabilities in their iOS devices. I haven't seen them, "come down" on jailbreaking. No one's gone to jail for jailbreaking.

Re:Reaction (2)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404988)

The non-3G version gets free AT&T hotspot access. The 3G version gets free 3G access. They want you to use that for their books. If you root your tablet, you can download anything you want. I don't think they'll be subsidizing a bunch of us playing Doom for Nook across AT&T's network. They want to subsidize us buying their books.

Does this mean...? (1, Insightful)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402280)

That I can then get _my_ books off of my nook onto my laptop in a readable format?

Seriously, at $10 for the book or $9 for the ebook (real sample prices for Harry Dresden novels, rounded up by one cent from nook store) there needs to be some way for me to recover "my property" off the device other than buying another one.

No, actually, I don't own a nook because of the "not really my book" and so the super-shallow discounts for the rental of a title made getting one "kinda dumb" IMHO.

B&N will _have_ to engage in the war of the lockouts. They likely must contractually. If I can get into the nook in general then those titles they are trying to rent and escrow for me become effective purchases and the various publishers surely don't allow for that. If they did I could get a nook account for my Gentoo laptop and be done with this.

(HEY Barnes and Nobel! If I could extend a nook account to include my Gentoo laptop as one of my five allowed clone devices, I would have bought the thing. Just Sayin...)

Re:Does this mean...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402300)

Who says there aren't "methods" to do that already? If you get my drift...

Re:Does this mean...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402346)

AFAIK You can already do that using the nook PC application... You need then to get rid of the DRM (if enabled for the book) if you want to use non Nook software to read it.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

Christopher Fritz (1550669) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402532)

I buy specifically from Barnes and Noble because of an existing method to remove the DRM [blogspot.com] , allowing me to read the e-books I buy on my Onyx Boox e-reader.

Re:Does this mean...? (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402632)

Actually yes. you can.

Every book you bought, go to piratebay.org and download a DRM stripped version in epub or pdf. Then you can read it on any other reader.

I did that for all my Kindle books after I discovered that the kindle sucks for any other use other than reading amazon ebooks. Stripped off all my books I bought and put them on the sony ereader that I replaced the kindle with.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403442)

I did that for all my Kindle books after I discovered that the kindle sucks for any other use other than reading amazon ebooks

Hey, could you elaborate on this point? I was just looking at getting a Kindle, and I plan to use it for project-gutenberg e-books as well as some PDF publications for work. It would be good to know what exactly "sucked" for you when using non-Amazon books.

Re:Does this mean...? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403816)

He's talking out of his ass. There's nothing wrong with reading non-Amazon books on the Kindle. I do it exclusively - I have yet to buy anything from them. Just make sure you download the mobi files or use Calibre to convert the text.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404730)

I don't know why this was modded down. He's right, there's no problem whatsoever in reading non-Amazon ebooks on your Kindle.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402696)

I expect at worst you could recover the encrypted files. You might be able to get the plaintext if B&N were foolish enough to implement their crypto in software only. If they were smart then crypto is done in hardware and therefore it is more difficult but not impossible to recover the plaintext.

The most obvious way to recover plaintext from any ebook is to lay the thing on a flatbed scanner and take a picture of every page. I expect most OCR software would work extremely well given the quality of the display. The process could be automated of course (e.g simulate page turnand a more sophisticated hack might include replacing the display with a custom device which rips the screen data directly. If android were unrooted perhaps it would be possible to take screen shots from the display driver at intervals to accomplish the same.

Re:Does this mean...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402802)

BN uses adobe DRM. Python scripts exist to break it. I know cause I've been rescuing my books from Fictionwise lately.

Jail break = more likely to buy

Re:Does this mean...? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403326)

I'm kind of torn on the subject. On the one hand, it's nice to have options, but on the other hand, we shouldn't need to do this in the first place in order to do what we want with paid for content, and by buying into these DRM schemes we're reinforcing their validity. Not only that, it's driving legitimate customers to the tools of piracy in order to do what they should be able to do by default.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402898)

Read the link in your sibling comment:

http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1890628&cid=34402532 [slashdot.org]

In summary, the keys are stored on disk (with no obfuscation) and the key generation algorithm is weak.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404102)

I don't own any B&N device but I'd point out that just because it was done that way on one device / OS over a year ago does not necessarily mean it's done the same way now. It is possible for a device to support more than one crypto sceheme, or for this new device to store its key somewhere other than on disk. For example it could be stored in a flash partition that is inaccessible when the device is rooted.

If B&N were so incompetent the first time around I wouldn't credit them with doing any of that, but it's still a possibility I suppose.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404342)

Sure, but at the moment it is well known that B&N is only using broken DRM systems.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402956)

Can you run adobe digital editions? If you use that to manage your ebooks on your pc, you can put them on any device associated with the software.

I know this works with the 2-week loans from my library, I haven't checked yet if it works with books downloaded from B&N. At the moment, though, it doesn't look to me like you can move stuff *from* the nook onto the pc in this way.

You can, however, read the stuff in your nook library on any device with nook software. This includes PC software, an iPod app, and an android app, all at no charge. Devices that connect to the internet will even sync your last page read between them, with the latest software update.

It's starting to look like they're going for more of the "steam" model of DRM. Now they just need to migrate the prices to account for the much lower utility of a book only one person can read.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405178)

There is no PC software, there is only windows software. Not every personal computer runs windows.

Re:Does this mean...? (5, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403288)

That I can then get _my_ books off of my nook onto my laptop in a readable format?

I don't know about the Nook Color, but for the Nook itself, yes you can: easily. Without jailbreaking.

First, connect the Nook via USB. It's just a USB storage device using FAT32. All your downloaded ebooks will be in "my B&N downloads" on the root of the device. Annoyingly they're named by random numbers, but whatever, you can still grab them and get them off the device.

They will be DRMed, but the DRM is cracked and trivial: the key is the name on your credit card plus the credit card number itself. The idea is that you won't be willing to distribute the key. (Which is somewhat silly, since the key is actually an SHA1 hash of your credit card and name, and therefore you're really not giving anything out.)

Just Google for "ignoblekey" and "ignobleepub" and you should find two Python scripts to handle decrypting the files.

Finally, you'll need an application that supports reading EPUB files on your laptop. Calibre is apparently the best choice for Linux, so try "emerge calibre" and see if that works.

Also, there's no limit to the number of devices that you can copy the epub files to. As long as you log in to the Nook software using your account, you should be able to download books to any device that supports the Nook software. Which doesn't include Linux. Or Mac OS X. But does include the iPad, making me wonder why anyone would want to get a Nook Color.

Re:Does this mean...? (4, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403834)

They will be DRMed, but the DRM is cracked and trivial: the key is the name on your credit card plus the credit card number itself. The idea is that you won't be willing to distribute the key. (Which is somewhat silly, since the key is actually an SHA1 hash of your credit card and name, and therefore you're really not giving anything out.)

I might not be able to work out what name+number made 298AC...898EAB, but B&N certainly can -- they have a list of all the name+number combinations.

Re:Does this mean...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34405158)

That I can then get _my_ books off of my nook onto my laptop in a readable format?

I don't know about the Nook Color

Then why did you bother posting?

words

Wow, that's a lot of text used to say "no."

Re:Does this mean...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403436)

Actually, we got the Nook because it supported "Yes they really ARE my book" formats such as ePub and PDF. Some of the best reading is Nook-friendly file formats at Project Gutenberg. And O'Reilly and Associates sells non-DRM eBooks in Nook-friendly formats.

DRM is a wart on all eReaders, but at least the Nook doesn't invent its own standard file formats that will be forgotten in half a decade or less. I figure a standard format's DRM will end up cracked sooner or later, but a proprietary format means that someone not only has to care about decrypting, they have to be sufficiently ambitious to support using the data AFTER it's decrypted.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

brandorf (586083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404500)

Couldn't you have just used the Nook PC app under WINE? And on the subject, at least in comparison to Kindle, the DRM of B&N books is pretty easy to remove, leaving you with an unprotected ePub file. Though, I don't really recommend doing this for viewing on the Nook, just as a backup, as you lose all the social and sync features on side-loaded books.

Re:Does this mean...? (1)

nickersonm (1646933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404628)

Can't you just download your bn.com-purchased books from the "My NOOK Library" section of their site? I don't have a Nook, but I do purchase eBooks from Barnes&Noble, and that is how I retrieve them.

Of course, then I have to decrypt their files (I use a pair of python scripts [blogspot.com] ), load them into Calibre (or any epub reader), and then convert them to the format I want. It would be much simpler if they came without DRM.

Re:Does this mean...? (2)

jschottm (317343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404876)

(HEY Barnes and Nobel! If I could extend a nook account to include my Gentoo laptop as one of my five allowed clone devices, I would have bought the thing. Just Sayin...)

You do realize that the cost of supporting one of the more obscure and arcane Linux distributions probably outweighs the income it would bring in, right? If you want to advocate for desktop Linux, you'll be far more effective if you ask for Fedora or Ubuntu support. Even that isn't all that likely to happen in the near future, but it beats tilting at windmills.

Re:Does this mean...? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405242)

No, it would cost $0 to support. All they have to do is give out ePubs without drm. Then it can be read everywhere.

Currently he can just crack their drm and do what he wants with the files anyway.

Re:Does this mean...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404910)

Yes you can. I have Nook for PC installed, Nook for Android on my phone, and a Color Nook, and I can read the same book on any of the devices as I please. I don't have to repurchase to do that. They're available everywhere.

This is the sorry state of affairs. (2, Insightful)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402546)

A BOOK READER, needs to get jailbroken. Way to go guys, way to go. What's next would you make me give you money to look at your ugly advertisement billboards by the side of the road?

Semantics (1)

LordCrank (74800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403348)

Jailbreaking is breaking out of a software-based jail [wikipedia.org] , necessary to gain access to anything outside of a sandbox. On an iPhone this is necessary before one can root the device.

Rooting is simply gaining root privileges, and is all that is needed here.

Could be very, very good for BN (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402582)

As soon as I saw this thing was rooted, I ran out and bought one - partially because it is a really nice little Android tablet, but mostly because it's a damn nice reader. The first app I put on it was the Kindle app. It's arguably the best Kindle reader out there.

I also bought some Nook books, which I had not done before.

I would not have either purchased a Nook (I expect there will be better/cheaper Android tabs very shortly - look at all the dual core tegra tablets on the way...) or purchased any Nook Books, except it now runs my Kindle library.

The Nook absolutely rocks, BTW. Wonderful form factor, lots of space, pretty quick, decent price. Could maybe use a few more buttons (menu and back are missing) but that can be worked around. It also needs Froyo, but other than that, awesome device.

Would love to see iSuppli pricing for this thing; since it's basically a repackaged Beagle Board, I bet they are doing OK on each unit. Got to be much cheaper to build than an iPad and iSuppli priced that at $229 back in February - and that had a lot more flash on board. $150?

Re:Could be very, very good for BN (1)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402840)

Does the Kindle app require a menu and/or back button? That's my biggest concern with buying one. I'm certain that this i sa first step in liberating the NC in all it's glory, but the lack of the physical buttons makes me wonder how far this can actually go. One thing I've actually seen suggested is using the volume buttons for back and menu, which seems like a great idea--especially since volume control can be accessed from onscreen settings.

Re:Could be very, very good for BN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402966)

Works fine without it. With most non-native apps, there is a little window which pops up and has menu/back on it.

Re:Could be very, very good for BN (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403986)

As soon as I saw this thing was rooted, I ran out and bought one - partially because it is a really nice little Android tablet, but mostly because it's a damn nice reader. The first app I put on it was the Kindle app. It's arguably the best Kindle reader out there.

I also bought some Nook books, which I had not done before.

I would not have either purchased a Nook (I expect there will be better/cheaper Android tabs very shortly - look at all the dual core tegra tablets on the way...) or purchased any Nook Books, except it now runs my Kindle library.

The Nook absolutely rocks, BTW. Wonderful form factor, lots of space, pretty quick, decent price. Could maybe use a few more buttons (menu and back are missing) but that can be worked around. It also needs Froyo, but other than that, awesome device.

Would love to see iSuppli pricing for this thing; since it's basically a repackaged Beagle Board, I bet they are doing OK on each unit. Got to be much cheaper to build than an iPad and iSuppli priced that at $229 back in February - and that had a lot more flash on board. $150?

I'm just waiting for something like this to work with an e-reader that uses e-ink. The e-ink is 75% of why I got an e-reader since it is much easier to read.

People READ books? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402736)

Who knew? I didn't think this generation's attention span lasted longer than 3 minutes.

Say it isn't so (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402942)

You do know that at any given point in time there are multiple generations still living, right?

Re:Say it isn't so (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403306)

Who knew? I didn't think this generation's attention span lasted longer than 3 minutes.

You do know that at any given point in time there are multiple generations still living, right?

Of course not! A fact like that would really take the wind out of a good rant! ;)

I've taken my kids to the library regularly pretty much since they could do more than gurgle and throw up on my shirt. Every week or two we head down there, drop off a pile of books and leave with another, for free. I can browse the library's catalog online and have the books waiting for me by the time I show up. If my library doesn't have the book I can get it from another, for free.

I've taught my kids to look for cheaper alternatives in their entertainment selections so books from the library are near the top of their list.

About your post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404020)

tl;dr

Re:People READ books? (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404352)

Who knew? I didn't think this generation's attention span lasted longer than 3 minutes.

Who knew? I didn't think any old people could use the internet.

Re:People READ books? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404424)

Who knew? I didn't think this generation's attention span lasted longer than 3 minutes.

No generation reads books. Not the Millenials, not Gen X, not the Boomers, and not (what's left of) the Greatest. None of them read.

But tiny subsets of every generation do.

Re:People READ books? (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405256)

Harry Potter (and books like it) saved the world of literature for the next generation as sad as that is. These books aren't high art, but they got a whole group of kids interested in reading that never would have otherwise.

Meh, the color nook is stupid anyway (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34402892)

I mean, it's almost all of the expense of a tablet, without the features, and you can't read it as well in the daytime as the original nook. B&N should focus on doing their core business - stuff people read - well.

Re:Meh, the color nook is stupid anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403236)

Yeah, because the color Nook is the only one you can get now....

Get over yourself. If you have 1/10th the insight into business that these people had you wouldn't be posting on Slashdot while getting ready for your pizza delivery gig.

Re:Meh, the color nook is stupid anyway (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403860)

Because no one reads Car and Driver, Road and Track, Cycle World, Sports Illustrated, Mother Earth News, Maximum PC, , Time, Newsweek, Discovery, Scientific American, or any of those magazines full of color pictures.

Why remove functionality? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403328)

Would it cost Barnes and Noble a penny to include the App Market?

Why remove 95% of the functionality and make your product worth less to your customers? Are you worried that people will buy your tablet, and download the Kindle app? Then make your book store the best! Customers might just support your store because they enjoy your tablet.

I want an Android tablet that I can flash and update with new releases, that has a decent touchscreen. Is that really too much too ask? Is there no company out there that wants my business?

Re:Why remove functionality? (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403828)

Yes it would cost and they may not have the option too.
Google has requirements for a device to get the App Market. It pretty much has to be a phone. Most tablets don't have the App Market. Also by creating their own app market they can make money off the apps. It is really that simple. So yes it will cost them money.
Now I do feel B&N not putting the Kindle app on their reader is dumb as a box of rocks. I like a lot of people already have a Kindle. I would love to get this and use it as a reader and if the shopping system was really good and the prices good I would buy books from B&N as well as Amazon.
Right now Amazon has me because they have more of the books I want and I already have a Kindle. B&N is missing the chance to take me from Amazon.

And yes the NookColor with the App store would be a very very interesting product and I too would buy it.

Re:Why remove functionality? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403940)

The Galaxy Tablet has the Android App Market. I'm not sure why Archos and such haven't been given access yet.

I'm assuming the build of Android on the tablet needs to handle resizing the apps for the resolution.

Re:Why remove functionality? (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404270)

I'm not sure why Archos and such haven't been given access yet.

I thought it was that Google doesn't allow access to the Market if the device doesn't have 3G data.

Re:Why remove functionality? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404354)

That is why I said most. The Galaxy is the only one I know that does have the market. I am not sure if the requirement is 3G data or maybe you can make calls for the Galaxy?
Google may also require GPS ,compass , and or a camera for all I know. Which may be why the Galaxy tablet is so expensive and why the app market might not be an option for the Nook.

Re:Why remove functionality? (1)

mofolotopo (458966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403842)

BN intends to open their own app store in January. If I was to hazard a guess, I'd say that they don't want the competition.

Re:Why remove functionality? (1)

silentace (992647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405038)

Although I somewhat agree with your comment, just because something is "the best" doesn't make people use it. Without trying to start a huge discussion about products just look at "the best" of something where there is a better alternative that people don't use just because something else is more popular.

Android/Iphone... MAC OSX/Windows... one or the other (depending on the person) will be "the best" but it doesn't mean anything. If the nook made an amazing book store, people may still use amazon because they have a bunch of purchases already or they have another device they want to use all their books on as well.

Good news... (1)

bayankaran (446245) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403516)

I use a Sony Ebook reader for many years. I will gladly buy a new one if it can run Android/TABLET features. E-ink displays are more comfortable than any backlit display. Meanwhile waiting for a DUAL SIM Android phone...

used ebooks? (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404218)

Used ebook market, will there be one?

If I buy a $70 ebook for a class, finish the class, then want to sell the ebook, will I ever be able to do that? A year ago there was speculation about possibly sending the original publisher a cut every time such a transfer took place in a dedicated market, a type of ebay for ebooks. Anyone know of more recent developments on this? This is one of the biggest turn offs for me with digital content, steam especially.

The Business Case Against Root-Tolerance (3, Insightful)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404300)

The whole point of B&N (or Amazon) releasing their own e-reader is to lock people into buying e-books exclusively from them. I'm wiling to bet that they subsidize the cost of their devices in exchange for the expected profits from this vendor lock-in. If so, then every Nook that isn't used to buy e-books, or that is used to buy e-books from a rival source, represents a net loss for B&N. Allowing the Nook Color to remain rooted would encourage just such alternative uses, which is why I don't expect it to be tolerated.

Re:The Business Case Against Root-Tolerance (1)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404748)

The whole point of B&N (or Amazon) releasing their own e-reader is to lock people into buying e-books exclusively from them. I'm wiling to bet that they subsidize the cost of their devices in exchange for the expected profits from this vendor lock-in. If so, then every Nook that isn't used to buy e-books, or that is used to buy e-books from a rival source, represents a net loss for B&N. Allowing the Nook Color to remain rooted would encourage just such alternative uses, which is why I don't expect it to be tolerated.

While Barnes and Noble would love it if you buy books from then, the Nook and Nook Color support Adobe Digital Editions and Overdrive. I can checkout books from my local library system as well. You can also buy books from any seller that supports epub and. So unlike Amazon, B&N does NOT have you locked into their store at all.

price (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404736)

Honestly I really don't understand the pricing behind some of the higher-end such as Samsung Galaxy pad.

Free 3G wireless internet? (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404784)

Doesn't this thing have 3G with no monthly charge?

Re:Free 3G wireless internet? (2)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404928)

Not on the color version. Free 3G is only available on $199 grey scale version.

Re:Free 3G wireless internet? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405224)

Doesn't this thing have 3G with no monthly charge?

It's actually locked down something fierce. Unlike Amazon, where you get free 3G, the nook's 3G is limited to B&N only. You cannot go anywhere else unless you can bounce it through B&N's servers. Access to anything else (via the web browser) is WiFi-only.

(Yes, you can do that - it's how carriers can differentiate between a featurephone dataplan, a blackberry dataplan, a smartphone dataplan, tethering plan, and full VPN dataplans. All overring various levels or proxies, image deresolution, NAT, firewalling, and the like. Full VPN is most expensive, but it gets you a real life IP address, while the tethers usually just get you some NAT'd thing. Featurephone plans are limited to certain sites only and images are rescaled for the tiny screen, etc.

In the same vein, carriers can limit your access to certain sites, like the nook is restricted to B&N only.

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