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281 comments

dbbbbb (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188695)

Wher is it?
I want to have sex with a aligator
a HARD sex

WOW!

Re:dbbbbb (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188879)

I want to have sex with Cmdr Taco (my name is Michael Sims). I'm going to put some roofies in his drink at our next Christmas party and blast his ass.

Moderators read this! IMPORATNT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188940)

I have had enough of getting moderated down every time I post something!

From now on I will drink a gallon of beer every time I get moderated down. I will do it until you stop moderating me down or I die (which will be your fault then).

How about this? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188698)

How long does it take a palestinian whore to make a bomb?

9 months!

or this. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188811)

How long does it take for 13 fat Americans in a Aerobics class to lose weight?

1 second

lack of pr0n (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188701)

e-books? who needs e-books, when pr0n, and divx offer so much more.

BTW, Goat.se and GNAA are DEAD along with BSD. But only in soviet russia, where the e-books write you!

no power & lo cost (1)

WebfishUK (249858) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188702)

If I leave my book on the train I'm just upset about loosing my place. But if I left an e-book reader on the train I would morn the cost more...

Re:no power & lo cost (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188905)

How much is a low-end electronic watch nowadays? With some technology progress, e-books may get cheaper than that. Surely less than paper book. A display based on "digital ink" [slashdot.org], a tiny CPU just like in watches, a watch battery, four "bubble" buttons (menu/cancel, , OK) - for now the electronic "backend" could probably cost less than a dollar, what is expensive is the display. But when large displays get cheap, cost of "intelectual property" (the text) of e-book will be probably the most important price-shaping factor if an e-book.

Hardly surprising (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188706)

I use my Palm as an ebook reader. It's great, but the fact is Joe Mainstream Consumer is never going to spend more on an ebook reader than he would on a book unless it offers benefits.

I know a few people who read an insane amount of books, and I know they'd need a lot of convincing to switch to an electronic format. It's just not as satifsying. It's not as tactile.

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

switched4OSX (668686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188783)

I read a lot of books, mostly history. I have to agree that I enjoy the tactile experience. But the main reason I read in book form is eye strain. Whether reading from a computer (lcd excepted), pda, or the ebook I borrowed (and promptly gave back), after a while my eyes hurt. Never get that from books, however.

Re:Hardly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188955)

Amen to that.

Furthermore, it's simply not 'romantic'. There's nothing fun about curling up on a couch with a hot cup of coffee and.. an e-book.

Mind you, e-books could become great things. They could be easily converted by readers for the blind.. Erm, wait, no - they put a stop to that. Sorry, Mr. Sklyarov.

Well, they could at least have on-the-fly font changes, for people whose sight is bad and require larger letters. They could be loaned to friends without worrying about them getting terribly mangled.. Though I expect licensing fees for that.

They.. Well, okay, unless you really need a bigger font, e-books aren't an awe-inspiring idea. :P

Re:Hardly surprising (0)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188791)

I read an insane amount of books. I have so many books my inside divider walls are made from them.

I have one big space with floor to ceiling bookshelves from which I have constructed my "rooms."

If I switched to ebooks I'd have to build and decorate!

KFG

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188804)

All great reasons as to why ebooks are, at best, ahead of their time (and at worst, a piss poor idea.)

Sitting within 6 feet of me, I have a Palm with several books on, and several regular books. If someone ran in and said "Dude, we gotta go, grab something to read", I wouldn't even hesitate to reach for the printed material. Sure, it's heavier (about the only benefits ebooks have) but it's just no contest.

Another plus of print: FLIPPING! Ever read a non-fiction book and wanted to find something in particular? Flipping through a book is a lot easier than "virtually flicking" through an ebook.

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188882)

Damn.

How long does it take to dust all those books when you do your weekly cleaning?

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188924)

I clean daily, and I'm very good at it, so dust doesn't build up in the first place.

I also give individual attention to each book as I use it, so each one tends to get "personal" care every month or so. Except for maybe a thousand or so of the paperback "pulp" types.

Did I mention that I do an insane amount of reading?

KFG

Re:Hardly surprising (4, Insightful)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188874)

Nah, a Palm makes a great ebook reader. And Palms are cheap like borscht, you can pick up a used Zire or Palm III/V for under $50. Hell, you can get a new Zire 21 for $99. Cost of the unit hasn't been an issue for a long time unless you're talking about one of those stupid only-reads-ebooks-and-costs-$300 devices like the Franklin Ebook reader.
Here's the problem I have had with the e-books as presented by the industry since day one. Cost of the books themselves. Why the hell does the ebook version [amazon.com] cost only a buck less than the paperback version [amazon.com]? It only costs a buck to print and ship to distributors? That's friggin news to me! If the Ebooks were reasonably priced for the lack of a physical thing that you can hold in your hands, like say around $2.50 per instead of $7 per, then there would have been a lot more interest than there has been so far.
In fact, there's been so little interest in Ebooks, I find the title of the article laughable. The bubble burst? What bubble? It was never there to begin with. The publishing industry is terrified of ebooks and never wanted them to succeed to begin with, which probably explains the asinine pricing model. A lot of the bigger publishers refused to even consider ebooks at all. A lot of the books I read on my palm come from either public domain sources like Project Gutenberg [promo.net], or one of the few tree publishers that does seem to "get it", Baen Books [baen.com]. They even have a free library of a lot of their published stuff, a download from which of a book by David Weber eventually saw me going out and buying several of his books. They also have an interesting "webscription" system, which I am thinking about trying for a few months. Could be good. Unfortunately, they seem the exception rather than the rule when it comes to publishers and ebooks.

One solution to the eBook popularity (5, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188713)

You've got to understand what makes people tick. Here's an example advertising campaign that would (based on the ad campaigns I see that are succesful) make eBook sales skyrocket.

"eBooks are reading, TO THE EXXXXXTREME!"

The advertisements would show well tanned 18 year olds on mountain bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades doing their sport with an eBook in one hand. The ad would tell the people that for ultimate smack talk, there's nothing like the classics, easilly accessible. "Dude, this is totally the winter of YOUR discontent! SCORE!"

The commercial I see would end with someone biking their mountain bike down a rocky slope, yelling "Call ME ISHMEALLLLLLLL!!!!!" and cut to their parachute opening as the BASE jumper disapears into the jungle below.

Fade to an eBook for a second (it now has a big X painted on the black case to make it extreme, maybe a Type-R sticker to get the car crowd too), then end.

Re:One solution to the eBook popularity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188738)

"Dude! You're getting a Dickens!"

Re:One solution to the eBook popularity (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188757)

I'm sorry but this won't work. Every nerd and jock knows that sports are the opposite of reading.

Re:One solution to the eBook popularity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188771)

Yeah, but just about no jocks knows.

Re:One solution to the eBook popularity (1)

standsolid (619377) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188849)

Every nerd and jock knows that sports are the opposite of reading.

But this is reading TO THE EXTREME!!!

price. (4, Insightful)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188721)

Before ebooks become popular, I think they need to be dirt cheap, not just slightly less expensive than a normal book. I mean really, when you cut out manufacturing and physically distributing a product, your costs go way down. The cover price should reflect that.

Re:price. (3, Insightful)

RTPMatt (468649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188781)

ya, and how about something durable? i want something that i can throw in my backpack and not have to worry that if it gets dropped its gonna break.

Re:price. (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188785)

  • I mean really, when you cut out manufacturing and physically distributing a product, your costs go way down. The cover price should reflect that.


You also add:

A secure accessible CC transaction system

Paying somebody to design and upkeep said transaction system.

Databases. User accounts and such.

Database administrators.

More pipelines to the net to run all of this new stuff over.

Network technicians to manage the new pipelines to the net.

Digital editoring(sic) people who take the book and put it into the proper format for an e-book that is convenient to the user.

Maintaining a digital end user accessible catalog of your e-book product.

Hiring somebody to design that end user accessible catalog of your e-books.

Hiring somebody to maintain the design of the end user accessible catalog of your e-books.

and so on and so forth.

Who the hell said doing business on the net was cheap?

Yes yes, granted after things get settled down the price WOULD be cheaper;

assuming comparable sales to the real world edition.

and since THAT ain't gonna happen, prices are going to stay high.

This shouldn't really surprise anyone. . . . catch-22, yada yada yada , price high until demand raises, demand stays low until price is no longer high, killer app needed, *YAWN*.

Re:price. (1)

rweller (515220) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188848)

Sorry but your reason are flawed.

Amazon.com have been selling paper books cheap.

I doubts of the costs of transfering books to e-book format are as high as you think it is.

Think of the costs of shipping thousands of books around countries....

They were greedy and they lost, simple.

Re:price. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188918)

All modern books are already in digital format at one point or another. Just export it to PDF at that point and be happy with it. Very, very little extra cost. Of course, if you want to do it in the hardest way possible, you're welcome to do so.

Re:price. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188800)

If you read classics ebooks are already free, and in plain text.

In my house a DRMed Danielle Steele download for ten bucks gets trumped by a plain text free Dickens or Leacock every day of the week.

You want to make money off of me from ebooks?

Sell me a good, high quality plain text tablet for under a hundred bucks, then go away and leave me alone.

KFG

How much can they lower the price? A factor of 2? (1)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188946)

I think an earlier poster raised a valid point, how much can they lower the price. True, they don't have manufacturing costs of printing. But I'll be willing to bet that actual printing costs are a small part of the actual cost of a book. My experience is that labor is the biggest single cost in a product. So I imagine paying the author, advertising, editors, cover artists, etc. cost more than the actual printing of the book. Since those costs are the same regardless of whether a book is dead tree or digital, I doubt they can reduce the price by a factor of 10. I guessing a factor of 2 at best.

Except the price doesn't go "way down" (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188960)

People seem to think that reproduction, shipping & handling is such a big piece of the retail price. It isn't. The primary costs are a) compensation to those creating the work and b) promoting the work (and in some cases c) profit). And yes, retail stores are part of the promotion bit too, shelf space, posters etc. matters. So if you stop real-world stores, you have to make up for that as well.

Ask a professional reprinter how much they charge to reproduce a book in a "normal" printing run. Or a professional CD reprinter, for pressed CDs in volume. Even including shipping, it is a small fraction of the total cost. And considering you have to add a little to accomodate for electronic delivery (server & bandwidth) the small fraction becomes even smaller.

Kjella

Yay! (-1, Troll)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188723)

They're books, but on a screen that hurts your eyes! Yay!

Re:Yay! (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188929)

They're books, but on a screen that hurts your eyes! Yay!

Ah yes... but I can change the fontsize and typeface to something I have less trouble with... you can't with a paper book... you're stuck with having to find your title in the large print specialist section... and with having to wait several months or years after the original version came out

Also a paper book is useless for a blind person... whereas an open format e-book can be fed through a text to speech synthesizer

no surprise (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188729)

anybody who has read Cyberbooks by Ben Bova
will be unsurprised by the failure.

Equally, the solution described by Bova may be the only way to get ebooks made generally available.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188784)

Considering I haven't read Cyberbooks, your post means nothing to me. Why not share with the rest of us what Bova's point was?

Re:no surprise (1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188858)

Considering I haven't read Cyberbooks, your post means nothing to me. Why not share with the rest of us what Bova's point was?
Computer genius Carl Lewis has invented the "Cyberbook," an electronic device that instantly and inexpensively brings the written word to the masses. But not everyone warms to Carl's ideas. Add corporate spies, authors threatening to strike, and a wave of mysterious murders, and you have Ben Bova at his best.

e-Books (3, Insightful)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188731)

They way I've always looked at e-books is that they are a good to have for reference (searching for names, quotes, etc), but lack the tactile interactivity of a printed work. I think that no matter how small or efficent your reader is, it still won't be the same thing as paper. Electronic paper? Sounds like a good idea, but how do you turn the page?

Maybe what they should start doing if they want people to get into reading e-books is including a copy of the book (like a lot of technical books do currently) on mini-cd or something. The more and more people are exposed to it, the more likely they will start to like reading books electronicaly. Or, you just wasted a lot of money and no one will ever like reading ebooks.

Re:e-Books (1)

AllanLembo (714886) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188807)

I think that no matter how small or efficent your reader is, it still won't be the same thing as paper. Electronic paper? Sounds like a good idea, but how do you turn the page?

Um, same way you always turn the page. It's paper.

Re:e-Books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188875)

The physical response of paper books is a basic thing with people.

You can see all the books you have on your bookshelves, casually, everyday (me catch many books, good hunter). You would have to go out of your way to turn on your ebook to get the same feedback.

Friends can see all the books you have and their titles just by sitting in your house/apartment/trailer/cave (you catch many books, good hunter). Although here I guess you might be able to post your ebook collection on the internet easier for more people. But they don't see it in your house/apartment/trailer/cave.

As you are reading a book, you have physical feedback to how much of the book you have read and how much is left by the pages on the left and right sides of the book (me capturing book, good hunter). Calculating page x of y in your head is not the same as feeling pile left and right.

The physical process of operating paperbooks is rock simple (me know how to hunt book, good hunter). You have to learn the computer controls for ebooks, which scares a portion of the population.

Won't work (ever) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188732)

Give it a few years, and publishers willing to issue non-DRM ebooks, and reading devices that go for days without being recharged and are as light as a paperback,...

...and that I can take with me to the toilet without fear of damage, and that I can use as a coaster, and that costs $6.99 so I can give it away, and has that new-book-smell, and that gets that dog-eared look that all beloved reading material should get. Then maybe. Until then I'll stick with pulp thank you very much.

paper vs. electronics (2, Insightful)

manon (112081) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188733)

I can't help the fact that, for me, a book still feels better then an electronic piece to read from.
Nothing can beat the feeling I get from sitting in a corner of my livingroom with a little light and holding and reading a good book.
For one, the smell a book can have is something i'll never get out of a piece of electronics.

I remember reading about a newwspaper, printed on what feels like real paper, but is in fact something electronic that can be reused a couple of times.

How nice would it be to have an empty book of let's say 400 pages, you plug it your computer and download a couple of chapters of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy on it. When done, download the next part.

Re:paper vs. electronics (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188824)

For one, the smell a book can have is something i'll never get out of a piece of electronics.

You mean the Athlon burning up in the back of the device against your fingertips doesn't provide the same experience?

Re:paper vs. electronics (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188837)

I agree on your points; having a physical book is great. I'm at the point where I even print out often-used manuals and API references and have them cheaply bound at a print shop to have them in physical format.

However, I really long for good electronic books as well. I, like most people travel - and that may be to a different continent over several weeks, or to and from work every day. I can comfortably bring along one, maybe two books, then it starts getting cumbersome. Having books (including fiction) in an electronic format allows me to pretty much bring along my entire library. No more sitting in a hotel room with nothing to read, or sitting on a commuter train, bored out of my mind. It's not like having a real book, but it's a _lot_ better than having nothing at all.

And there are quite a few resources out there with lots of available works; Project Gutenberg is only one of them. In most countries it is also perfectly legal to make a conversion to other formats of books that you already own.

Re:paper vs. electronics (1)

kapok_tree (670008) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188916)

I'm really not quite clear on the suppose tactile advantage of books.

I suppose some people adore that "new book" smell... me, my sense of smell isn't all that hot and I'm not sure I like the odor of volatizing production byproducts, anyway.

Yes, you can eyeball a book to get a rough idea how far you are, though it's about as easy to look at the "page X of Y" in the corner of most ebook readers.

I honestly don't see the paper vs. electronic tactile experience as "better" and "worse" so much as merely being different. Should ebooks get widely adopted, I suspect that over time consumers will appreciate the inherent advantages to the format and with the inevitable evolution in the software and hardware it will ultimately offer the same quality of "experience" as paper books.

Re:paper vs. electronics (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188953)

"I suspect that over time consumers will appreciate the inherent advantages"

Could you explain some of the advantages of an ebook?

All I can think of is the advantages of a regular book.

- I can drop a book and not worry about it.
- Books don't have batteries that can go flat.
- I do not need any type of device to read the book.
- The format of a book will never change. Therefore I am not worried about vendor lock-in.

Reading Lying Down (2, Interesting)

Rick and Roll (672077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188734)

I like to read lying down, to relax. It is difficult to do the same while watching tv because I have to keep my head propped up to see things right-side-up. I like to lay my head down and lay my hand down with the book on the bed or couch. It is a pain in the ass to turn pages, I have to roll over in order to see them, or hold the book up with my hand. I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about. What would be nice is something with the form factor of a book that had an easy way of changing pages so you could read it lying down just looking on one side. It may even work just to get like a mini swivel monitor stand (goddamnit, I should have thought of it earlier, before Apple's patent). I think that what needs to be done is they need to get the devices a lot lighter, and think of the ways that they will be held to make it more convenient.

More like give it a few years and 5MP cams (0, Offtopic)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188736)

will make it irrelevant.
Nobody is going to scan a book on a flatbed scanner. It's just not convenient. But OCR works great with a nice fat TIFF file taken instantly with a camera.
I've tried it and it works even with a one megapixel camera if you use a book with nice big print. It works, but the accuracy is about 70 percent and with small text like a magazing it drops to about twenty percent.
With a three megapixel things get much better. Go ahead and try it, but remember not to send a jpeg to the OCR. If it isn't TIFF, the OCR will probably ignore it. At least mine did and I understand most of them are based on one or two SDKs.
But at five megapixel, it's game over. As fast as you can turn the pages you can scan it to OCR. I think magazines are going to be blind sided by this even more than books.
These things are already in the consumer market, they're just a bit pricey, but I know from reading the industry rags that almost all the DSCs come from Taiwan these days and in the next generation we can expect 5MP even in the cheap no brand models.
And then you have the storage issue with those massive TIFF files you're clicking away at. No problem. The Sony Mavica started with a floppy, now they use mini-CDs. So how much you want to bet we're going to see mini-DVD format coming up real quick.
Sell those media stocks kids.

Re:More like give it a few years and 5MP cams (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188768)

AFAIK, a lot of the serious book scanners use feeding scanners to scan a book quickly. It's quite simple, cut all the pages out then put them in the feed tray for your scanner, sit back and wait. The only drawback to this is you destroy the original book in the proccess.

Re:More like give it a few years and 5MP cams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188773)

The point is convenience. Cutting apart a book is about as far from convenience as you can possibly get.

Re:More like give it a few years and 5MP cams (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188830)

then what would you call taking a picture of every page with a camera?

Re:More like give it a few years and 5MP cams (2, Interesting)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188865)

Nobody is going to scan a book on a flatbed scanner. It's just not convenient.

I've done over 200 on my flatbed scanner in the last six months, for processing through Distributed Proofreaders [pgdp.net]. Once you get into the flow, a decently sized octavo book can be done in less than an hour. Holinshed's Chronicles (my current project) is obviously taking a little longer :).

The very high-end overhead document scanners are effectively fixed digital cameras with groovy software, so there's no real reason why an enthusiast couldn't jury rig a home-made digital camera document scanner. 5MP still isn't enough, though, for anything serious. To scan an A4 page at 400DPI requires around 15MP, and you'd need even more to get a decent DPI on folio volumes like Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire.

eBooks...an unneccessary technology (2, Insightful)

maccroz (126399) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188737)

Everyone acts all surprised when they talk about eBook not being hugely popular. It is assumed that because it is a computerized version of a current media that it is superior. Arguably, most of current media has been improved using computers, but books aren't and probably won't ever be one of them.

Here is why:

1 - eBooks aren't cheap. The reader is expensive, and the electronic books aren't significantly cheaper than paper books.

2 - It is actually more difficult for most people to read off of a computer screen than it is to read printed text. (can anyone back this up with research?)

3 - Batteries die, books don't need batteries.

Granted, it's easier to carry around one eBook with 100 titles on it than 100 physical books, but realistically, who needs that many books in one sitting?

The makers of the eBook seem to be forgetting that in order for a product to succeed it must solve a problem and be cost efficient. The eBook is neither of those two things.

Re:eBooks...an unneccessary technology (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188778)

Everyone acts all surprised when they talk about eBook not being hugely popular.

Hell, I'm surprised that normal books are popular. Most people I know drop dead when I tell them I read. Of my own volition. For fun. So I'm very happy that there are enough people out there to support bookstores. For me, the most frightening part of Fahrenheit 451 was when you find out that the books went away at first, not because the government wanted them to, but because the people simply lost interest due to TV.

Re:eBooks...an unneccessary technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188951)

The oppoist is true:

1 - over 95% of all books are older than 70 Years.
The electronic versions is for free.
A printed version of Don Quixote costs 25 euro
in Germany (the cheap version from artemis)

2 - The usual printed book uses fonts with less than 11 points. As a consequence: eople hold the book closer than 65cm to their eys -- causing shortsight damages. An electronic book could be
adapted to the users requirements (i know the current ebooks do reproduce the errors from the printed versions... this i prefer plain vanilla text).

3 - In any circumstances: you need light in order to read. I guess most people read in the evening.
So you need electric power in both situations. Likly more energy for the printed form.

There is no alternative to the ebook.
The prices for printed books have gone through the
roof -- so to speak. Printed versions will cease for those books which do not make enough money.

Sorta off topic but... (3, Interesting)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188741)

I wonder are there any iTunes/P2P-like plans for distributing ebooks? Something that could give the 'little guy' who wants to publish a book a chance to get his work seen without having to go through a publisher? It seems like most ebooks have to be distributed under a specific hardware platform, and not under something more general like a PDF.

Re:Sorta off topic but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188756)

Yeah, it's called the World Wide Web.

consumer preference (1, Redundant)

Escoutaire (518305) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188744)

I think people will always want printed books, as there is something much more real about them. They give you a much greater sense of ownership whan an e-book, and people will always want to feel that they got good value for their money.

They also are more flexible than e-books in some ways. They can be read anywhere, without needing any power source, they never expire, and no-one can remotely revoke your right to read a book you have in your hand.

In an increasingly virtual, complicated and digitized world, people more than ever want to hold on to something simple and tangible.

It's just not the same curling up in front of the fire with a palmtop.

Escoutaire

Re:consumer preference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188866)

Nicely written. On the other hand, remember that digital versions of books (sorry, I find the term "e-book" somewhere between ridiculous and confusing) did at one time hold tremendous promise for many. Consider, for a moment, all the grade school and high school students having lug their texts to school everyday because the school's lockers were removed years ago in the war against drugs. Consider also that of those lucky enough to have textbooks to read (chronic shortages are still the norm across most of America), the weight of their napsacks and bags is enough to worry both parents and pediatricians.

Digital replacements for text books could have solved all these problems with the added benefit of dramatically reducing the costs for them (note that unlike CDs which cost pennies to manufacture, text books are expensive to print and distribute). Also the idea of being able to own an impressive library of materials by storing everything on a computer was (and perhaps still is) appealing for many.

It seems that most people have a real dislike of reading on screen and for that reason, among others, they prefer "real" books. It's a shame that it didn't work out differently, despite certain inspired efforts from Microsoft (ClearType, etc.), Adobe and others.

The concept did look great on those Star Trek episodes.

Books you need vs books you want (1)

evil_roy (241455) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188746)

For manuals, step by step stuff and general how-to's ebooks are fine. Think "stuff you need for work"

For leisure reading - no way. A book is a great piece of technology as it is. Cheap,portable, nice to handle and easy to use and shareable/resuable. The advantage of an ebook is the indexing & update-ability, but they lose out in the other areas.

Re:Books you need vs books you want (1)

duncan_entwisle (587288) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188829)

While technical ebooks "are fine" and "stuff you need for work" what advantage does the ebook format have over other forms of electronic information (for the user rather than the producer)?

As you say, the one great advantage of the conventional book is it's user interface. Perhaps rather than looking how to integrate books into computers, we should look to integrate computers into books? Imagine being able to perform a search in a normal book, and having the appropriate page illuminated. Wouldn't that actually add value to a book, without detracting from it's user interface?

Um... yeah (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188749)

"The limitless euphoria of the beginning belongs to the past," said Arnoud de Kemp, a leading electronic publisher with the science and business media firm Springer.

Springer Media Firm added that de Kemp was 'not the least bit on drugs' when he made that comment.

Tried them for a bit (1)

Snake_Plisken (666881) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188750)

Bout a year ago on an older Compaq handheld. Advantages: fun fun to download and install them for some perverse reason (prolly the newness of the thing to me), a lot easier to read in bed - could turn the lights off and my wife wouldn't wake up. Also kewl to have several books that fit into my pocket at the same time for beach trips, etc. Disadvantages - little pricey given the fact that Im not asking them to print, bind, use ink and paper etc - how bout passing on the savings to the customer? $5.00 or so if memory serves - I'm not a cheapskate, but why not drop the price a bit? Might bring some more people over. The titles - I grabbed some freebies - Dracula, Dickens, etc. I quickly realized that Dickens was fine when I had to read him in school - now that I don't have to, he's boring. Dracula sucked badly. the titles that I did wanna read of course didn't have a digital format as of yet. My verdict is that they will gain widespread usage - just in another couple of years :)

Why are they so unpopular? (0)

lord_nightrose (652871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188752)

To me, it's quite obvious why eBooks are so unpopular. There are several very good reasons: 1. Lack of content. So few "big name" publishers distribute content through the eBook format that most electronics companies think it would be a bad investment to make a reader for them. 2. Cost. As has been mentioned, losing your eBook reader and the contents thereof would likely cost significantly more than losing a $10-$15 softcover book. Until there are enough special features in an eBook to offset the price of the reader, most people will refuse to buy them. The makers of DVD movies have realized this, and now tend to pack all sorts of special features onto DVDs to attract the customer to their product instead of cheaper, less content-rich VHS versions. 3. Lack of interest. Most people would much rather hold a solid book in their hands than stare at a computer screen, no matter how crisp the image may be. Reading a book is also easier on the eyes than an eBook, from a physiological standpoint. I'm sure there are more reasons than those I have listed, but for sake of space I'll leave you to discover them.

E-Book Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188760)

There are quite a few E-books on kazaa, if you don't like paying for stuff. I've found most popular books I've looked for there (stephen king, crichton). Its a bit ackward to read on the screen but at least its free. Maybe this is technically even legal since I could just as easily go library and get a copy for free.

Re:E-Book Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188777)

I agree with the library thing. I'm way to lazy to ever leave the house to pick up a book from the store or library, but I have downloaded a lot of ebooks from IRC. Its funny that if it wern't for kazaa I would never read any books, listen to any music or watch any movies.

Re:E-Book Piracy (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188828)

Its a bit ackward to read on the screen but at least its free.
You should use a good reader program like ETR [techass.com] Set the font big and white on black and use a TFT not a CRT, prefarably on a laptop. You can read for hours that way.
the reader automatically bookmarks your location in the file when you close it, and on the next run it opens the file in the place where you stopped reading, and it has an integrated browser for the Project Gutenberg etexts.
The biggest problems with most e-book readers and pdf files is that they try to emulate paper books.Reading on screen is something different, and it can be quite comfortable if done correctly.

Not surprised (1)

AceM2 (655504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188763)

I think a lot of people want a hard copy when they buy something like this.. Something they can share in person, read when the power's out, take around wherever they go.. It's not always feasible to take an ebook reader or a laptop everywhere you go.. Plus, after spending money on a good book it's nice to actually have something to show for it.

No wonder (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188770)

There are literally dozens of proprietary ebook formats, all requiring their own proprietary ebook reader. The likes of Microsoft also ensure that their proprietary ebooks can only be read on Microsoft platforms (e.g. not Palm). Publishers split into factions supporting one format or their other, or even their own.


Is it any wonder the market is dead? Who wants a book that only works on their desktop but not their palm pilot? Or on their pocketpc or not their Mac? Or works everywhere but has a dreadful selection of titles? Or only runs through a reader that is a piece of junk (e.g. MS Reader)?


But does that mean no one is interested? Of course not. Wander into a IRC book warez channel or a ebooks newsgroup and you'll find tens of thousands of books, lovingly hand scanned in for trading and available in formats such as .txt, .doc or .html. Now obviously many of these traders are lamers who'd never buy anything in their lives, but others I suspect would willingly part with a couple of dollars for properly produced ebook that could be read anywhere. It's the same with music - produce a books in a cheap and open format, throw in some value added site content (e.g. ratings, reviews, promos etc.) and people won't be slinking off to IRC to trade them.


I do not believe that it is beyond the realms of probability that an XML format with some form of DRM could be produced. Until these vendors pull their fingers out of their arses and produce such an open format, they can look forward to their beloved market shrivelling on the vine.

Re:No wonder (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188782)

I don't know about the tens of thousands of books on an ebook newsgroup, but I think you are mostly right here.

Re:No wonder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188914)

Copying and piracy are overstated at both ends of the spectrum. Corporation Inc. complains that bullions and bullions of dollars are lost every four hours, while war3Z d00dz shout that bullions and bullions of files are being traded.

None of it is true, of course. Until Joe Average can download Average Movie/Book/Game/Song RIGHT NOW for free, or at least in less time than it takes to just buy it from the site that everybody knows about anyway, actual levels of copying and piracy will continue to be exaggerated at best, and bullshit at worst.

And no, Joe Average is not going to be able to find #warezmyassoff on some obscure IRC server and download whatever he wants. It just ain't happenin' now, and it ain't happenin' later.

Re:No wonder (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188793)

Wish I had some mod points to give out this week. Your post needs to be at the top.

Power requirements of PDA's (1)

xinot (98923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188779)

Okay, the phrase, "reading devices that go for days without being recharged" makes me wonder if Michael has ever tried a pda running something other than windows. I've been using palms for 4 years and my batteries last for months. Literally. When I got my Toshiba Windows device I was thrilled to find that I didn't have to buy anymore batteries. Until I discovered that the damn thing couldn't even go a week without a recharge. Nice engineering. But at least it has colour. What a nice tradeoff. Colour for power. Whoopeee.

The problems with e-books are not the content restrictions or the "battery problems". It's the price. Why should I pay the same price as for a physical book? There may be infrastructure reasaons, but you know what? As a consumer it's just not worth it to me to pay the same price for an e-book as for a hardcopy! I don't care what the production costs are, if I don't see a discount I'm not going to even bother because I don't like to feel ripped off. Note that this is the way I feel about these things. The truth about productions costs? Screw that. I don't buy things based upon what the production costs are, I buy them on what things cost me. And if I don't like it I won't buy it.

For me... (1)

Grave_Rose (715146) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188787)

...e-books would only be handy when dealing with other technical things. I'd rather have an e-book on Perl/Tk than a hard copy because I could have it side-by-side my programming. Or I could copy and paste certain parts for reference.

But, when it comes to fiction, nothing beats an actual hard-copy book. Something that can get tattered over time because you keep reading it, or something you can just veg out with on a lazy Sunday.

I think this is why e-books have "flopped" because most people want that lazy feeling with a paperback that draws you into it. (That and the fact that when you're sitting on the can, having a PDA just doesn't seem right. ^_^)

Gr@ve_Rose

n'ya n'ya (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188801)

I fuckin rock those DRM-coated ebook dildos.

they think They can fuck me in the ass, just wait when I do the quick-move and they just fuck some hippopotamus goatse troll in the ass.

did that rickety ass help you feel all good inside? fuckin A+! Take it bitch!

I download and 0wn all the ebook paradise@

fuck you all, all you all, in you all, deep shitnitzels!

fo shizzel my nizzel
ally-oop

Hi there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188814)

Thanks for the midget porn.
I knew I can count on slashdot and adobe-pdf to quench all my midget lusts.

Promising future (1)

Kuxifu (715203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188822)

Imagine reading a book and coming across a word you don't understand - So you touch that word and instantly a definition of that word appears. An extension like this, coupled with others could prove to be great a learning aid for students.

Re:Promising future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188887)

I use Mobipocket Reader on my Palm, and it has exactly this function. Click on any word, and a small pop-up appears with "definition" "copy" "highlight" "annotate" and "modify". Selecting "definition" will pop up a dictionary definition of the word. Annotations are useful for lots of things. Once or twice I have been reading a thriller and read something I thought would be important later in the book, and annotated it. Like "Was that body in the sewer important?" Later in the book if something happens with the sewer, I can flick back to the annotation in an instant. I could see the dictionary being extremly useful for people learning a new language, or just improving their reading skills too.

Mobipocket provides the same type of DRM as iTunes, ie 3 devices can be registered to read you eBooks.

I have read dozens of ebooks in the past year, from short stories to full novels, and buy lots from Fictionwise. I agree the cost isn't that competitive, and I have hundreds of real books too, but at work yesterday I had to babysit a temperamental PC as it virus checked, and just pulled my Palm out and read a few dozen pages between reboots.

eBooks definitely have their place. My place of work has just adopted a blanket policy banning newspapers and books outside offices, yet I can sit in the lab reading away merrily at Asimov or Lois Bujold or just surfing the news. Last year during a fire alarm, I sat in a corner at the assembly point reading a Harry Potter novel on my PDA whilst the fire brigade secured the building. I take my PDA everywhere, so by definition I take my small library everywhere.

eBooks do have their place, not to usurp paper books, but rather to provide a different medium for reading in certain circumstances.

the screen is the no no to me (1)

nuintari (47926) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188826)

The fact that it would be yet another backlit appliance that I stare at all day is my reason for having no desire to own one. I read even more than I stare at computer screens, and one huge bonus is that its not shining ta me saying, "I'm gonna give you a headache! bwahaha!"

Advantages of electronic text aside, I can't see why anyone would want one. Did I also mention I just love the feel of an actual book in my hands. On this matter, I'll stay in the paper world thanks.

The screen is it .. (1)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188863)

I'm working on two 18" TFT's at the moment. Good ones and I can really feel that they put _much_ less strain on my eyes. But still, I would prefer something written on paper any day. Even if I read longer documents, I prefer to print them out...I dunno, maybe there is no difference in eye strain, but I definitely _believe_ there is and that may be the reason ...

'Shrek' author dead at 95 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188885)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- William Steig, a prolific illustrator for The New Yorker known as the "King of Cartoons" for his award-winning, best-selling children's books including "Shrek," has died. He was 95.

Steig died of natural causes of Friday night at his home in the Back Bay section of Boston, said his agent, Holly McGhee.

Steig combined a child's innocent eye with idiosyncratic line to create a wonderful world of animal characters for his books and Edwardian-era dandies in his drawings.

His 1990 book about a green monster, "Shrek!," was made into the hit film that in 2002 became the first winner of an Oscar in the new category of best animated feature.

In a 1997 Boston Globe interview, he said he had helped the filmmakers on the script. "I gave them some ideas, because the book takes 10 minutes to read, and the movie's going to be 70 minutes," he said. "I wrote out a bunch of suggestions; thinking of ideas for a movie is fun."

He sold his first cartoon to New Yorker editor Harold Ross in 1930 and was hired as a staff cartoonist. The magazine was still publishing his work more than 70 years later.

He had produced more than 1,600 drawings as well as 117 covers for the magazine. A prolific author, he also wrote more than 30 children's books, inducing Newsweek to dub him the "King of Cartoons."

His cartoon style evolved from the straightforward worldly children he called "Small Fry" in the 1930s to the expressionist drawings of his later years that illuminated a word or phrase.

In the latter, clowns and princes and lovers came to life from Steig's imagination. It was a pastoral place "where you hear plenty of laughter and only an occasional shriek of pain," Lillian Ross once wrote.

He told the Globe he loved Rembrandt and Picasso and was "nuts about van Gogh." And he said his own drawings have a light, feathery line "because I'm having fun."

Steig did not begin writing children's books until he was 60. His third effort, "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble," was rewarded with the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1970.

Other notable children's books included "Roland, the Minstrel Pig," "Amos and Boris," "Dominic," "Abel's Island," "The Amazing Bone," "Caleb and Kate," "Doctor De Soto" and "Wizzil."

"I carry on a lot of the functions of an adult but I have to force myself," Steig said in a 1984 interview with People. "For some reason I've never felt grown up."

Steig was born November 14, 1907, in New York, the son of a house painter and a seamstress. He began cartooning for his high school newspaper, attended City College and the National Academy of Design.

"When I was an adolescent, Tahiti was a paradise. I made up my mind to settle there someday. I was going to be a seaman like Melville, but the Great Depression put me to work as a cartoonist to support the family," he said.

In the '30s he became fascinated with Freud and psychoanalysis, and his 1942 book "The Lonely Ones" was hailed for its symbolic drawings of human neuroses. It stayed in print for 25 years.

For many years he lived in a sprawling country house in Kent, Connecticut, where he took inspiration from the countryside.

"I find it hard ... to do a job on order, even if the order comes from myself," he once said. "I go to my desk without any plans or ideas and wait there for inspiration. Which comes if you get in the right frame of mind."

Steig, who was married four times, is survived by his wife, Jeanne, two daughters and a son.

Give it a few years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188891)

Give it a few years, and publishers willing to issue non-DRM ebooks, and reading devices that go for days without being recharged and are as light as a paperback, and then we'll see...
...them in our FLYING CARS!!

I think it's DRM (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188899)

Think about it. For the most part, I would guess that ebooks are mostly marketed toward technically inclined folks, like the /. crowd. How many of us are willing to put up with DRM. If we buy this product with DRM, we empower them to make more DRM crippled products!!!

GBASP (1)

i0wnzj005uck4 (603384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188900)

Personally I'd love to see an antialiased-font cartridge for the Gameboy Advance SP which accepts SD cards. I know most of you think the GBA has too small a screen for book reading, but I think it'd be perfect, and the battery problem would already be solved.

Baen already did this (4, Informative)

bbn (172659) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188903)

If you like to read scifi or fantasy, one publisher already did all this.

Go here and check Baens webscription: http://webscription.net/ [webscription.net]

Or check their free library where you can read ebooks for FREE: http://www.baen.com/library/ [baen.com]

All their books are DRM free and available in several different formats, including HTML (which obviously can't be DRM'ed).

I bought lots of ebooks there primary because it is so easy and I get the book instantly. I wont touch any ebook that has DRM as those always try to limit the number of devices I can read them on. Today I am reading those books on my iPAQ PDA, but in a year I have most likely retired that device for something better.

Contrary to what others seem to be saying here, ebooks really works for me. I almost completely stopped reading ordinary books, always prefering to use the light ipaq over a heavy real book. The display is clear, bright and does not strain my eyes. The battery lasts about 10 hours when reading. The only times where the battery live is a problem is when I am home, and there I just hook it up to power when it runs out.

It is not perfect, but it is more than good enough. At least for fiction reading anyway - I might not want to use it for a science text book, or any other book with tables, pictures and the like. Some of my ebooks contain maps, which are completely unreadable on the ipaq (but you can read them on the computer of course).

I just want text on a screen (1)

drwav (577314) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188904)

A while back I looked into getting a handheld device where all it did was read ordinary everyday text files and displayed them on a screen. I looked at some eBook readers. I was disappointed to discover that they were all overpriced and really did way more than I needed. If they would just make a device for like 20 dollars where all it did was store and display text (and used a simple and common interface like USB1 for data transfer) I would buy it in a second. It doesn't even have to come with memory built in if that would drive the price up too high, just provide a slot so that people can go find cheap SmartMedia cards in the size they need from wherever.

If such a product does exist and I just don't know it, please tell me about it.

ebooks (1)

gedanken (24390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188906)

The last two books that I have read, one of which was recently mentioned here on /. called A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge, were ebooks. Prior to that I had not read ebooks beyond what you can get off of gutenberg.net.

For a reader I used my old visor deluxe and weasel reader. I found the expierence very good.

Being able to store multiple books on a device that I would have been carrying with me anyway was definately convenient. The pda itself is also smaller than most books but the text was just as large (and it could be resized). So visibility was never a problem. And if I was in an area where there was low light I could always just turn on the back light.

My one complaint is cost. I expect ebooks to be cheaper than the their paper back counterparts. Especially since it doesn't feel like you are buying a tangible product that you can let friends borrow or stick on a shelf when you are done.

Advantages of Electronic Books (1)

SeniorDingDong (111782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188908)

Here are some things that would appeal to me about an e-book once they solve the E-Paper problem as reported in slashdot here:

Electronic Paper Advances [slashdot.org]
E-Paper Moves Closer [slashdot.org]
Electronic Ink [slashdot.org]

Having a chip or download that plugs in to the book, but the concept of pages is retained.

Having the possibility of archiving the e-book contents wirelessly, so a book shelf becomes a fileserver.

Animation.

Touchscreen-like interaction.

But until the book feel can be achieved, I will be hesitant to purchase them. If I could argue for continuing with e-books anyway, I'd say keep developing the other features -- it really is a whole new medium and wait for the arrival of E-Ink for profitability.

DRM (1)

rnd() (118781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188915)

Don't expect DRM to go away. It represents the future of selling content. The only thing that will make people want to get off their butts and create a more practical ebook reader device is the idea that if they do publishers will want to release content for it. Publishers will only do this if they can prevent theft through measures such as DRM.

Idea for ebook reader (2, Interesting)

rnd() (118781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188921)

I've often wondered why nobody has come up with an ebook reader that is based on the original Palm V (or Vx). Just make the screen 5x larger but keep the same thickness. The device could probably sell for less than $150 these days, and it could have basic PDA features. The idea here is to embrace the KISS strengths of a Palm, the thinness of the Palm V, and add a larger screen so that it's possible to read an e-book on the thing w/o constantly scrolling.

it's too early! (1)

sir_cello (634395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188923)


It is too early; the technology has in no way come about nor settled. There was no bubble to even burst. It'll be a few more years before the right technologies get into place (e.g. displayable ink).

Same problem occurred with virtual reality. It's possible to create VR systems, but everything about them is too immature (price, performance, bandwidth for multi-site, economics, etc). Again, there was no bubble - just an early stage technology.

DRM and E-Books and all that jazz (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188930)

It's weird, My security prof was just talking about this yesterday. He basically said what I have believed for a long time. Books generally don't fall victim to copyright infringement, because it takes too long, and costs too much to make photocopies, or print them out, and because, nobody wants to curl up in bed with their laptop, and i don't believe they ever will.

Maybe i'm just and old timer, but I think there's something bred into us that likes the feel of paper.

2 x 5 Screen (1)

slappycakes (714339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188934)

Hard to read the screen I'd say. IPAQ - got it. Glasses - got them to. I just don't use the two together.

Is that your final answer... (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188942)


<opinion>
Personally I think ebooks are handy, but not for everyone. For example, for the geek crowd, I know I've been a lot happier carrying around 1 or 2 CD's as opposed to 1 Routing TCP/IP vols 1 & 2, Metadata Management, Advance Programming in Perl, and my Stuff magazines. It keeps my spine happier, and shoulders from being iced on the weekends.

For the college kids, when I was in school, I would have preferred having ebooks as opposed to lugging around a bagful of books. Ever run into the same situation I do when reading a book and you just wish you could find / -name *whatever*. Try doing that with a hardcover in less than a second.

They had no marketing but their concept wasn't bad.
<./opinion>

As light as a complete library of paperbacks? (1)

cgadd (65348) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188943)

> as light as a paperback, and then we'll see...

Consider that the ebook can potentially hold HUNDREDS of books. So if it's as light as 3 or 4
paperback books, I say it's doing pretty good.

Piracy! (2, Informative)

xixax (44677) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188958)

Mike Hunt, a spokesperson for the Book Industry Assocoiation of America (BIAA) blames the decline in sales of e-books on rampant piracy. In a media conference, he said that "on average, twelve people read every book sold, that's eleven people *stealing* the content and depriving artists like Geoffrey Chaucer of their intellectual property". He also lambasted local governments and schools for supporting organised book sharing systems called "libraries", "who the hell is going to *buy* books when they are being handed out for free?". In closing, he outlined a plan where the BIAA would impose a sliding scale of royalties on anyone teaching how to read their products, "we acknowledge that some people read as a hobby, so 'Run Spot Run' will be quite inexpensive, but all technical literature will be written in Swahili so that a higher rate can be charged for specialist knowledge, kind of like how the bible used only be available in Latin".

Xix.

Tit (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7188961)

Give it a few years, and publishers willing to issue non-DRM ebooks, and reading devices that go for days without being recharged and are as light as a paperback, and then we'll see...

We'll see nothing. Who's going to write books that are instant bit-torrents? When everyone's read your book but you have sales of 3 copies where does the money come from, you stupid, stupid man?

TWW

Ebook readers are a *JOKE* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7188962)

>Give it a few years, and publishers willing to issue non-DRM ebooks,
>and reading devices that go for days without being recharged and are
>as light as a paperback, and then we'll see...
>
>
The *ONLY* practical e-book reader design will be one that's based solar-recharging similar to those L.E.D yard lamps you see for sale at Kmart and Walmart and going for the same price ($20-$30 dollars) Anything else is a joke.
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