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Barnes and Noble Drops Ebooks

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the one-step-forward-two-steps-back dept.

Books 411

computx writes "I just recieved an email from Barnes and Noble that they will no longer sell ebooks and I have 1 month to download the books I have purchased. Wow!"

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IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6913987)

dicks suck YOU!!!

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Re:GNAA Reccomends Packed Fudge (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914196)

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PENIS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6913995)


lololo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6913999)

hentai manga, eh?

Only a month??? (4, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914001)

and I have 1 month to download the books I have purchased.

You must have a really slow internet connection.

Re:Only a month??? (2, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914111)

You could probably write out the books by hand faster than download them on his connection. Where's a monk when you need one?

Re:Only a month??? (1)

Keck (7446) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914194)

You must have a really slow internet connection.

Or a heck of a lot of books to download..

Bathroom Reading (4, Insightful)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914006)

E-books aren't popular because they are inconvenient. Have you ever tried reading in a bathtub or on your toilet seat with an e-book?

Re:Bathroom Reading (5, Interesting)

Uksi (68751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914026)

With my Palm, yes! Must've read four books w/ it in locations ranging from subway to bed to toilet.

Re:Bathroom Reading (2, Funny)

Fammy2000 (612663) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914055)

Stoplights are my favorite. Traffic, don't notice it anymore. Dangerous, probably. Sure beats the guy I see with his business section every morning.

Re:Bathroom Reading (0, Offtopic)

holzp (87423) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914210)

jeez, what are you using the subway for? traveling to the fiber store!?

Re:Bathroom Reading (4, Insightful)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914229)

The palm is the only device I find comfortable to read. Why? Because it doesn't shine bright, white light into my eyes. Reading on a computer screen is like looking into a floodlight that someone has taped letters over. I wish more webpages defaulted to a black background with light text. Much easier to read.

Re:Bathroom Reading (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914237)

With my Palm, yes!

At first I thought you meant something else involving using your palm in the bathroom.

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

dicepackage (526497) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914027)

I tried bringing my desktop computer into the bathtub until I dropped the monitor while taking a bath.

Re:Bathroom Reading (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914038)

Yes i have, and with a laptop it's easy!

The only real complaint i have is when i get back to the board room, my laptop smells like shit.

However, I would have to say that is an invovenience for others, and not myself. So no big deal.

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914060)

It doesn't tend to go much worse than bringing a regular book.

Except that it's somewhat more expensive to drop it...

Re:Bathroom Reading (4, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914174)

Except that it's somewhat more expensive to drop it...

I don't know. I managed to drop my old Palm IIIxe into the can one weekend when I was working by myself. A split-second decision to throw my pride (and revulsion) by the wayside, a few paper towels, and a couple of shots of Lysol later, and everything was good.

Net cost: $0 (assuming that you can't put a dollar value on lost self-respect)

I "canned" a paperback years earlier. Ain't no way I was fishing that out.

Net cost: $5.95

Re:Bathroom Reading (4, Insightful)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914067)

I think this is defniately the holdup for eBooks. Without a portable device, you are tied to a computer to read them, and even with them you are tied to battery life plus the possible eye strain associated with looking at a little screen to read.

I know some people that talk about the allure of paper, and the sentimentality they have for holding a book with paper, but personally if I could buy eBooks and download them into a nice sized reader that had acceptable battery life and a nice, easy to read screen, I'd prefer that. I'm guessing the device exists out there, I'm just not willing to pay a few hundred bucks for it yet.

Re:Bathroom Reading (2, Funny)

Shant3030 (414048) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914070)

When I'm in the bath tub, there is no time to read, I'm too busy mastur....


Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

ferrellcat (691126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914071)

Yes, I bring my Palm to the toilet, but I wouldn't exactly call it "reading"

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914086)

I'm on my toilet right now! Ha!

I don't know how B&N e-books work, but doesn't this mean that you'll never be able to "install" the e-book on another computer, since you can't unlock it shaking hands with their server? I may be getting confused; B&N may not work this way.

If I Recall Correctly, all twelve of B&N's e-book customers should demand their money back.

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914088)

Exactly! "Maxim Online" in Plucker format and "PilotMines" are bathroom fodder. I even have a Palm crossword puzzle for extended sessions. But an e-book? No way.

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914198)

Oh come on... DopeWars! A full DopeWars run is right about perfect for a good toilet break.

Re:Bathroom Reading (3, Funny)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914098)

E-books aren't popular because they are inconvenient. Have you ever tried reading in a bathtub or on your toilet seat with an e-book?

No kidding. After I carry the tower, the keyboard, and all the cords in to the bathroom, the LAST thing I want to do is go get the 50 lb. monitor!

Then when I'm done I have to lug it all to bed for some light reading, just to wake up 15 minutes early to reassemble the office.

EBooks suck.

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914103)

Convenience depends on what you're doing. As a previous poster pointed out, yes, you can read them while sitting on the toilet if you're using a PDA (though I wouldn't trust myself with it in the tub).

As a very frequent international traveler, to me nothing sucks more than running out of reading material in a non-English speaking country. With ebooks, I always have a good supply loaded onto my laptop & PDA, ready to go.

It's still not quite as satisfying as holding a book, but it's pretty close (5, Informative)

tuckerclerico (667874) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914222)


Go to [] .

Thousands of *free* ebooks.

Who cares if B&N drops 'em? Blackmask has the good stuff, everything's free, and they're in six (at least) different formats for nearly every device under the sun. Plus no stupid DRM.

Re:Bathroom Reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914104)

Uhhm. Yeah.

Re:Bathroom Reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914116)

Have you ever tried reading in a bathtub or on your toilet seat with an e-book?

Hell, all the time. I take my laptop in the bathroom with me and browse Slashdot and Fark. I can spend hours in there reading stories and comments.

On the other hand, maybe I should just talk to my doctor about why I need to spend 2 hours on the toilet every morning. :-( I guess the more I think about it the more I realize that's probably not normal. Just can't stop shitting until it feels like my bowels are completely empty... (seriously). It's really a bummer since I am never on time for anything. Any ideas?

Re:Bathroom Reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914197)

Any ideas?

Fleets Enemas

Re:Bathroom Reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914131)

The newest palm zire 71's and other PDA's have screens that make reading e-books very very doable. I read all the time in the tub.

I've read HUNDREDS of books. And a tabletpc is on its way [that won't go in the tub-but everywhere else]

Seems like Barnes is quitting right as its becoming possible to replace the book. too bad for them.

2 Other things (1)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914147)

2. It is uncomfortable to read from light-emitting screens for long. This problem may be overcome in the future with "electronic paper" and such
3. Sense of ownership. Most people prefer to have a physical item as a proof of ownership. I hope this cultural preference will change because it really is a waste of reasources to store books on printed papers and music on CDs.


Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

MrAl (21859) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914171)

I'm posting this on my laptop from the bathtub. As long as you don't slip and... whoops...


Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914178)

Those who read on the toilet get piles. Good luck!

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914205)

I won't go to the bathroom without my laptop. I have a barstool in front of my toilet that's the perfect height for it. And with a TV that can be seen from the bathroom doorway, I could spend hours on the toilet if I so desired.

Re:Bathroom Reading (1)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914231)

E-books aren't popular because they are inconvenient. Have you ever tried reading in a bathtub or on your toilet seat with an e-book?

I'm disappointed - about a dozen replies to this, and not a single iLoo [] joke/reference.

Good riddance (1, Interesting)

Aashton (140070) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914009)

...Worst idea since...well, a bad idea anyway.

Re:Good riddance (1)

jbottero (585319) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914110)

Well, I tend to agree with the parent. eBooks just don't cut it. Nothing beats having *paper* reference material open *next* to your terminal when you're trying to work through something, and nothing beats sitting down in a nice soft chair, turning the pages of a paperback or perhaps some classic volume.

eBooks is one of those technologies looking for a purpose that does not exist.

so then the dog says... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914012)

thats not a red rocket! I got a bone in my ass!

Why? (2, Interesting)

Captain McCrank (583414) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914013)

How much cost is associated w/ Ebook distribution?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

sixdotoh (584811) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914035)

server space, maintenence of servers, customer service, support . . .

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Badge 17 (613974) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914059)

The risk of them being illegally distributed, for one. Advertising. Staffing, typing blurbs. These are not non-existant costs... and unfortunately the profits from ebooks are. I don't blame them - we don't have a good hardware device for ebooks, so they're not profitable.

sounds like (1)

Ledora (611009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914020)

Sounds like adobe really is making a killing with thoes... maybe they should sue someone, like the riaa.. oh wait

Is anyone really suprised? (1)

jrwillis (306262) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914021)

Maybe I just didn't get it, but I never saw the draw of eBooks.

Re:Is anyone really suprised? (4, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914075)

It depends on the format, but they could be searchable. Ever have a book where you want to find the exact wording of a quote, or want to look up something in a book that has a crummy index? Just search. Also convienience; if I had a good reader (very clear screen) I'd much rather carry that around than a couple 1000-page textbooks.

Bad Support (4, Funny)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914029)

At least they gave one month of service...
Still, that's not very long to "support" your products, even if they were a flop.

They must have stopped selling them because Everyone was pirating copies of Light in August, Huck Finn, and Robinson Carusoe. Poor BN couldn't make enough money :(

Re:Bad Support (1)

powerline22 (515356) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914173)

Books like that probably wont make money because I can get them from project gutenberg

Re:Bad Support (2, Informative)

KingPrad (518495) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914186)

I can't see a lot of people "pirating" books that are in the public domain and available on numerous sites around the web, most notably the Gutenberg Project. Purchasing free books in a text format doesn't seem very smart. They could easily download them from Gutenburg in pure text and convert them to the desired format such as PDF or RTF. I'm sure such converted format books are available on the web too.

drats (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914034)

The eight people who bought ebooks will be VERY inconvenienced.

E books??? Why (3, Funny)

PenguinPooper (627246) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914037)

I can understand why they are dumping them. Who needs a whole book filled with e and E ?? They should start using some of those other letters too !

Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914084)

those were books about the sound a European police car makes:


Re:E books??? Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914092)

No wonder 'E' is the most used letter in the English language, these guys must've been really pushing the average up.

Re:E books??? Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914127)

there's an interesting book called "A Void" by Georges Perec that completely avoids the letter anti-Ebook. it's a great read.

Re:E books??? Why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914112)

Oh boy! That sure was a funny post you made there, you worthless sack of shit.

Re:E books??? Why (1)

secretvampire (622660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914120)

Optomitrists were their biggest customers!

Re:E books??? Why (3, Interesting)

s20451 (410424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914150)

I wonder if the e-book site sold this book [] ?

doesn't sound strange (2, Insightful)

segment (695309) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914039)

Considering all the file sharing on Kazaa, and other P2P programs, I for one am not surprised that BN would drop selling them. I wonder how much money is lost for eBook sharing? I also wonder if some 'coalition' (like the RIAA) is going to step in and scream 'No more downloads!' when it comes to eBooks.

Re:doesn't sound strange (2)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914234)

Not as much as libraries!

Those places offer books for FREE! you dont even need to pay for the bandwidth!

I hope that "some 'coalition' (like the RIAA) is going to step in and scream 'No more downloads!' when it comes to " libraries.

After all...its not a free country or anything.

I sure dont want those new technology-based kids READING BOOKS...they may turn out to be not ignorant.

Why not put as many books online as possible and offer them for free.

it's good because dropping an ebook (1)

Savatte (111615) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914041)

sure doesn't hurt as much as a regular hard cover book. My toe is still sore a month later.

Re:it's good because dropping an ebook (1)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914160)

If you drop an ebook in an online store, does it produce a sound through the PC speaker?

(BONUS) What if noone was around to hear it (because it was an automated web-spider searching for pr0n, but happened to cross the ebook section of the BN site when it was dropped)?

Re:it's good because dropping an ebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914236)

> an automated web-spider searching for pr0n, but
> happened to cross the ebook section of the BN
> site

you say that as if that would happen by accident

Hope the books are doing okay! (1)

devphil (51341) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914042)

First I read the /. article about the spacecraft being dropped, and saw that photo. Ouch! Now B+N have dropped some ebooks? Man, those things usually aren't built as sturdy as the satellites. That's gonna be ugly.

Sad.. (1, Insightful)

The Old Burke (679901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914044)

..but how many people really bought ebooks regularly anyway?

With close to zero demand compared to printed books it would have been stupid of them to continue.

eBooks... (4, Insightful)

FileNotFound (85933) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914047)

...would have been great had readers been umm readable and cheap and had the format been widley available.

I'd love nothing more than having all my college books in eBook format, and preferably for half the price... But it doesn't make sense to pay $300ish for a reader with fairly limited battery life and the pay prices for books which in my opinion are still unreasonable.

Re:eBooks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914119)

would have been great had readers been umm readable and cheap

and foldable.

you completely inhale the shit out of goatse's ass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914050)

It has come to my attention that you completely inhale the shit out of goatse's ass. Read on for more about this fascinating topic.

The world went into shock a few weeks ago when [] reported the results of a study which concluded that inhaling shit is a very dangerous pastime, one that no one is advised to take up. Eventually, everyone adapted to the new state of affairs and began inhaling other things. Almost everyone, that is. But not you! According to my records, you still inhale shit!

Why?! What the fuck is wrong with you?!


Inconvenient at best (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914057)

I recall my one experience purchasing ebooks. It seemed like a fantastic idea. I saved on shipping, and would get it right away.

The DRM management in both the Microsoft and Adobe Readers made it so annoying that it took days for me to be able to read what I purchased. A combination of buggy software and lousy online support ended my enthusiasm. In the end, I decided to go back to good, old-fashioned books.

My Poor Eyes (3, Insightful)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914058)

I don't blame them. I love to read (plug for my book reviews [] ) but reading on the computer stinks. It hurts my eyes, and I would never read a book in the positing that I sit at my desk. And I'm not about to lug my laptop along to read during commutes on the tube.

Re:My Poor Eyes (4, Funny)

pheared (446683) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914114)

...but reading on the computer stinks.

That explains all of the RTFAs on Slashdot.

But, it doesn't explain Slashdot.

Re:My Poor Eyes (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914201)

...but reading on the computer stinks.

That explains all of the RTFAs on Slashdot.

I think that may be true. I know that when I read something on a computer screen, I lose my place and my interest more quickly. When I discovered that the GREs had a reading section on the computer I was really annoyed. I know I would have had a higher score if the reading section was printed on paper.

Inflexibility (3, Insightful)

ChrisHanel (636741) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914061)

This is what happens when you refuse to give people the fair use they deserve when they buy their E-books... nobody bothers, and nobody makes money.

Besides, i can just walk into the local B&N and sit and read half of any book before the store closes. :) Gotta love those comfy chairs.

That is too bad (1)

xwinter (632755) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914065)

I managed to grab a few books for my pocketpc, and it was a fairly pleasant experience. I personally think the thing that killed it early on was the fact that very few "new" books (ie. new in hardcover) made it to this format in a timely manner. It is too bad, as some of the older books I read were easy to read, and convenient (standing in DMV line), as it is easier to carry my PDA around than to carry a book. Handier too!

B & N and Computers/Technology (5, Interesting)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914082)

I wonder what's really going on at Barnes and Noble. My roomie is a manager there and she said they were reducing the size of the computer section big time. Now they're dropping eBooks. Is this just an odd coincidence or is B & N moving more toward a "traditional" bookstore and coffeeshop mix (meaning does management think computer related stuff isn't "traditional")? Does anyone know?

Re:B & N and Computers/Technology (1)

AnotherSteve (447030) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914179)

Yeah, actually that's because since the dot-crash, computer books just aren't selling as well. You've gotta keep your sales per square foot pretty high to support a big store like that, so the computer books will get trimmed back a little to make room for something that will sell a little better.

Re:B & N and Computers/Technology (2, Insightful)

Dzifa (25761) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914203)

My guess would be that the rate at which computer books are outdated means that it probably doesn't make sense for a traditional bookstore to carry them. Add to this the fact that people who are going to buy advanced computer books are more likely to be the kind of people to save money buying them online and you get a computer section reduced to dummies books and visual quickstarts.

Re:B & N and Computers/Technology (1)

El (94934) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914219)

Wasn't their computer section crap to begin with? Can't make any money? Here's a hint: there is not much market for 2 year old technical books! Yes, it's true! The computer book market is _different_ from the romance novel market!

Until they get e-Paper its a dead deal anyways (4, Insightful)

PierceLabs (549351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914083)

Noone really wants to download a PDF and page through it at their desk and I don't know too many people taking laptops to the toilet, bathtub, or park in order to read. The problem isn't really with eBooks per-say, its that there really isn't a convenient way to view the content.

Some of the new OLED technology may make eBooks more practical for consumers, but right not they just aren't convenient enough and the eBook readers only add insult to injury as many consumers (myself included) just don't see the point in buying a device to read a book as opposed to just buying the paper book and not having to worry about charging it up before making a coast-to-coast flight.

Didn't they add to the crash? (0, Offtopic)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914091)

I'm surprised to see that the Motely Fool is still around. I would have guess they up and died around the same time the stock market did. Every time I go into a bookstore, it seems like I see their investment guide in the discount bin.

That's a shame... (0, Redundant)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914093)

First of all the shame is that the first few posts are by a bunch of idiots with nothing even vaguely resembling a life anywhere near them. The second thing is of course that EBooks had a lot of potential, when I say that I'm really just speaking from a textbook stand point, because as was stated previously, you can't really take and e-book reader or your computer into the tub with you.

On the other hand, when used to replace cumbersome textbooks (disussed here:Little Kids and Laptops) I can see where their utility would come in. What can you do though, sales are low and the demand isn't up there where some people thought it would be.

evolution? (2, Insightful)

maxmo74 (597969) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914095)

that's sad. I always believed that ebooks, anyway an electronic form for books, would have been really successful. This apparently demonstrates the countrary. Or maybe this just underlines that the "ebook" form was not good enough. Personally I find very usefull to have ebooks, large PDF's, big text only files of something that is pubblically available. We can talk about RFC's, manuals, 80 years older novels, poems and so on. They are useful for research, studying (school/uni books cost really a lot of money nowadays), being informed and so on. The problem is always the same: authors want to always be sure to earn LOTS of money from their work. Blaming or not blaming them?

Too different a product (3, Interesting)

bizcoach (640439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914096)

I don't think e-books are going to die. When offered for sale, e-books are great products for small businesses, and when given away gratis they're a great marketing vehicle. However the business dynamics of e-books are very different from paper-based books. Selling e-nooks does not make much business sense for a company like Barnes and Noble. Some other company will be kind of e-books. :-) Greetings, Norbert.

The RIAA is after me. . . (1)

villain170 (664238) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914097)

. . .because I downloaded all my favorite books off of Kazaa and iMesh.

Really no (1)

yoshi1013 (674815) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914105)

My eyes get tired sometimes just from long articles on my computer monitor, I simply can't imagine reading an entire book on one. Plus it's even more irritating on the eyes if you don't have anti-aliasing.

It's an okay idea, but ultimately really not all that practical.

Plus you can't throw ebooks at people.

It'll be back... (1)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914108)

I don't think e-books were ever widely promoted, with the exception of a couple of titles. Couple that with the fact that reading an e-book simply doesn't have the same feeling as a regular book, and it's not so hard to see why these things haven't taken off. I think, in time, the concept will eventually become popular, given enough technological improvements and mass marketing.

Patriotism (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914122)

Taking a leaf out of Nazi propagandist's books "Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

-Hermann Goring, Hitler's Reichsmarschall, at the Nuremberg Trials


-The Amertican government to anyone who criticises their actions

It's civil war soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6914134)

Criticizing Bush strengthens "our enemies" [] (the page conveniently disappeared today when US woke up)!

Santa Cruz wants to impeach Bush [] (this works so far)

EACH PASSENGER TO BE ASSIGNED COLOR THREAT LEVEL [] (what a surprise; this piece of news is also "under revision")

stole idea... (1)

thung226 (648591) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914141)

Anybody think the creators of e-Book stole the idea from the movie Big (Tom Hanks' comic book pitch at the end)?

anyway, I don't know... something about going from sitting in front of computer for 12 hours a day to relaxing on the couch and staring at my PDA to read just doesn't strike me as appealing.

Don't buy encrypted e-books! (3, Informative)

Paul Bristow (118584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914145)

This is exactly why I only buy unencrypted e-books and sci-fi magazines from Fictionwise []

Their Multiformat books are available as:
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) for Macintosh and PCs
Palm DOC (PDB) for Palm compatible devices
Palm iSilo (PDB) for Palm compatible devices
Microsoft Reader (LIT) for PC and PocketPC devices
Franklin eBookman (FUB) for Franklin eBookMan devices
Hiebook (KML) for Hiebook devices
Mobipocket (PRC) (currently available for Palm, PocketPC, and Franklin eBookman devices)
Rocket (RB) for Rocket and REB/1100

I think I have a faily good chance of being able to read at least one of those formats in a few years time, and unencrypted Acrobat files can be transcoded into html easily.

Please note: Even though these books are not protected I have bought over a hundred books and short stories here and mysteriously failed to put them on kazaa or even give copies to my friends.

I am (shock horror for SCO, RIAA etc) both an open source programmer and I support copyright. Without copyright the GPL is meaningless.

Re:Don't buy encrypted e-books! (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914190)

This is exactly why I only buy unencrypted e-books and sci-fi magazines from Fictionwise

That's funny. The format is use is 100% unencrypted, and 100% compatible with any reader. And, I get to buy them from my LOCAL retailer. The format I like is called "paper". It's only been around for a few thousand years, but I think it's going to catch on one of these days.

One man's death, another's bread (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914156)

I guess that's good news for others, like PeanutPress [] and Baen.
Yes, I occasionally buy (or bought) ebooks, even though they're a pain in many ways (no first sale, can't lend them to others, don't work well in the bathtub), because it is convenient to always have a book or three I haven't read yet on my PDA, which I carry with me anyhow.
I've only purchased about 50-60 ebooks so far, which is way less than the number of paper books I've bought in the same period. Still, they're a nice supplement.
Now if only there was a convenient mean of converting between the two (apart from a scanner and a printer, I mean). "Pay $5 and we'll send you a hardcopy of the ebook you bought from us" would be a nice addition to ebook sites, I think.


DRM (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914167)

I refuse to buy e-books because of the way DRM schemes restrict fair use. DRM means you can never really own most ebooks, and I refuse to buy something I cannot move freely and without intervention from device to device. I'd only make exceptions for things which are indispensable.

Pocketpc is my favorite reading method (1)

JeffVolc (89846) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914172)

I have read at least a dozen books this year with only one being a traditional paperback. I prefer reading on the pocketpc (Dell Axim) now. With backlight control (usually set to the next to lowest setting and all room lights off) and a side toggle for flipping up or down pages make reading a joy.

They say you can't curl up with a good computer.. but I say BS. I think it's more comfortable.

It's also the fastest way to check email via wireless! Before my PC boots I can turn on the pocketpc and check email.

Too Bad (1)

deadmongrel (621467) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914176)

E-Books are good in lot of ways. well they save trees. I undertsand that people find it difficult to read ebooks because of the mode of delivery but take for example NetLibrary or Proquest's Online Libraries(I read books through my university subscription) are quite good. The pages are not scanned(i hate scanned books unless they are too old). and all you need is a good browser and a good screen. I found it difficult to read on the screen at first but a day or two into it I started to love it. Its may not be easy at first but people would see its advantages once a good method of delivery is devised. One major advantage, to me, using ebooks is that they are searchable meaning i can get to the stuff i want to read whithout going to the index! any one else with me on this?

Just wait (3, Insightful)

sixdotoh (584811) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914187)

e-books have never enjoyed any kind of success. They were dead from the beginning.

I believe there are many reasons for this. A big one would be that most people do not enjoy staring at a computer monitor reading for long hours at a time. This can become very uncomfortable, especially for people who work on computers all day to begin with. I read three 300+ page novels (Star Wars fan fiction, the Snotzenexer Trilogy, awesome stuff, check 'em out) on a computer screen, and pretty much the only reason I did that was because I didn't really have the capability to print those pages.

Another big reason, is that most people don't seem to like the idea of paying for something that is just some digital document that just sits on your hard drive, and doesn't seem to be anything more than a typical word processing document.

Then there's just that psychological factor of books, turning pages, seeing the book on your shelf, being able to hold it in your hands. In this day and age, with so many people doing all kinds of work on computers, the idea of coming home and curling up with a cup of coffee in front of your computer monitor is a whole lot less appealing than in your bed with a book in your hands.

So while e-books have obviously failed this generation, I do not believe that publishers should totally give this idea up. They should wait for a little bit, and then push this idea on this new generation coming up. If they can get the kids to grow up with this concept, books will become far less prominent. ahem.. I shall leave now

Re:Just wait (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914215)

The reason is simple. A product of any kind has to satisfy a demand. What demand or problem were e-books filling? They pretty much offer nothing (other than searching) that books don't offer, plus a shitload of extra money and complexity. They're pretty damn pointless, actually.

Reading on LCD screens isn't quite there yet. (2, Insightful)

Machina70 (700076) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914191)

While the costs, profit margins, and filesharing probably had an effect.

I think the true killer to this product is that technology just isn't up to doing recreational printed material. The readable font-size and eye comfort factors are still inferior to good old ink on paper. And it will still be that way for a few generations of screens.

I say there won't be a comeback for a good 5-10 years.

Awesome! (1)

Superfreaker (581067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914195)

This makes me happy as we run a startup service trying to compete with them. PayLoadz [] . Now we just have to get rid of those damn Amazon buggers before they patent it!

how can you lose money (0)

kdb003 (705035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914211)

What kind of horrible scheme do they have set up that they have to cancel a potentially lucrative business

There are very little costs for keeping and distributing the ebook to the customer.
Even if sales are low, B and N still makes a profit because the author/pubisher is the only one they have to pay, and they only pay them if they sell ebooks.

with this kind of scheme, it would be hard not to make money

eBooks (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914228)

They make great reference materials for techies, poor recreational reading, or even reference materials for anyone else. I mean an eBook gardening reference doesnt do you much good crawling around in the dirt.

B&N gave it a shot, and gave up. Kudos for trying.

E-Books aren't mature yet (4, Insightful)

ragingmime (636249) | more than 11 years ago | (#6914235)

The eBook is too young to die.

The eBook isn't dead - it's just immature. Anyone remember the Apple Newton? I don't mean to offend the legions of devotees that the machine apparently has, but the fact of the matter is that it was too young an idea to succeed, and we had to wait until US Robotics came out with the PalmPilot to see that kind of computer enter the mainstream. The same thing happened with Windows 1.0. I could go on and on. The problem with these kinds of things is that some solid ideas are lacking things - battery life, maybe, or size or reliability.

I think the same thing is happening with eBooks - they're too bulky, expensive, battery-hungry, difficult to read, and just generally inconvenient to read when compared with books. Not to mention that I don't like shelling out a few hundred dollars for a machine to read eBooks when I could use that money towards twenty or thirty paperbacks. And as many people have said, paper does have its charm.

I can see the convenience of eBooks, and it seems like some early adopters have, too. But they're just not ready for widespread adoption yet.
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