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Amazon to Launch An Electronic Reader Device Monday Nov 19th

abstract:Will libraries holding book stacks become a thing of the past? Amazon's Jeff Bezos plans to announce his new electronic book-reader device called The Kindle on Monday in New York City at the W Hotel's swanky Union Square location. The Kindle will cost $399 but the W Hotel has a corporate alliance with Amazon that will allow guests to check out devices like a library book, with downloaded books coming straight off Amazon's website. Marketing research by the company followed iPhone's launch strategy that used celebrity endorsement. Rumors have it the year-long awaited e-readers will come with a pre-loaded bestseller. Watch for the announcement Monday. For a re-cap on the battle between Google and Amazon technology click feature title.


November 17, 2007

E-Readers: Are They For You?

Purists say that the book will never go out of print. Environmentalists counter that an e-book, with its capacity to carry hundreds of books in one piece of plastic, is better for the planet; there is less deforestation, fewer pulp mills belching toxic chemicals into our water system, recycling issues dwindle, and the dreaded remainders pile from a two-week shelf span of books waves of new titles become a forgotten nightmare.

But are they, well, manageable - like a book? Sony’s $300 gadget, the size of a trade paperback, has a six-inch screen, enough memory to hold 80 books and a battery that lasts for 7,500 page turns, according to the company. It uses screen display technology from E Ink, a company based in Cambridge, Mass., that emerged from the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and creates power-efficient digital screens that uncannily mimic the appearance of paper.

What's different about the Kindle to previous e-books like Sony's, is that Amazon's reader will wirelessly connect to an e-book store on Amazon’s site. That is a significant advance over older e-book devices, which must be connected to a computer to download books or articles.

Download VS Online Access of e-Books

So what's the word on Google's digital book technology? So far, Google has made only limited excerpts of copyrighted books available to its users. Google has no plans to introduce an electronic device for reading books. Its new offering will allow users to pay some portion of a book’s cover price to read its text online. For the last two years, as part of the Google Book Search Partner Program, some publishers have been contributing electronic versions of their books to the Google database, with the promise that the future revenue would be shared. That's a $35 Billion dollar a year market.

The service could be especially useful to students and researchers who find information they need through a Google search, but it is also likely to include material suited for leisure reading. It will be separate from an effort called the Google Book Search Library Project, which is digitizing the collections of some libraries. That program has angered publishers and led to several pending lawsuits over copyright issues.

Of course everything in the public domain (life + 50) has been available for some time on sites due to the Gutenburg Project, which is a monumental project offering 100,000 titles free. Random House Digital plans to make 6,500 copies of books available for e-book technology this coming year. That's double what is currently available.

The medium of books and newspapers is not be printed in stone, and soon may not be printed in paper. Weigh-in with your thoughts.

Previous BookBuffet Articles on Amazon

We've tracked the advances on technology from Amazon and others in the book industry. Check out these older articles to see when milestones were reached and note their subsequent impact on our lives.
  • Nov 3, 2003 Amazon Let's You See Inside the Book
  • Jun 10, 2005 Amazon Enters The Audio Book Market


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