http://cebooks.blogspot.com Investigating ebook technology and other digital 'contents' for PDA, especially Pocket PC (...and iPod)

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TOP 10 ebook sites
(updated April 4, 04)
1. FictionWise,
multi formats one stop shopping site, include non fiction and exclusive short fictions.
2. BlackMask, the best free ebook site in several formats.
3. PeanutPress, award winning ebook store for PDA, friendly DRM solutions.
4. Execubook, eSummaries that deliver wisdom. Perfect for PDA users.
5. eBookAd, many indies label are here
6. Univ. of Virginia Library, Free ebooks
7. FreeeLiterature dot com, classics for free
8. Memoware, free documents from volunteers.

9. ESSPC, great place to start your collection (Free)
10.The Online Book Page, from U.Penn.

5 Recommended eBooks from my ebook shelf
(April 04)
(email me for 10% off coupon)

1. Don't Know Much About History
2. Dirty Little Secrets
3. Killing The Buddha
4. The Get With the Program! Guide to Fast Food and Family Restaurants
5. Flirt Coach

Pocket PC eBooks
Bestseller List
(Jan-Mar 04)

1. Star Trek Series
2. Angels and Demons
3. Holly Bible NIV ed.
4. The Da Vinci Code
5. Deception Points
6. Letters to Penthouse XIX
7. Letters to Penthouse XVIII
8. Resolutions
9. 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom
10. Against All Enemies


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eBookWeb (dead?)
eBook Softwares:
eBook Reader:
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Mazingo dead
eBook Mail List/Newsgroup:
Pocket PC Links:
iPod Links: new
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since 1/30/01
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Pocket PC eBooks Watch - eBook and beyond  


ZDNet Thinks that DRM Devices are CRAP
Berlind suggests that we boycott all of these devices containing DRM that limit our use of music. While that may be very hard to do since most devices are DRM enabled, I would suggest a different approach to this boycott.
* Do not purchase any DRM media. Buy music from the store and rip the CDs yourself. You will be able to put them on any device you want.
* Purchase only devices that support UMS. Devices that are UMS require no drivers and do not lock you into one computer or one operating system. Be wary of Microsoft MTP and Apple devices that lock you into one operating system or one computer.

posted by Jerry permanent link


the Analog HOLE
DRM and the Myth of the Analog Hole
Art Grimm writes "Movie studios want to punish legitimate customers for legally purchasing content, while the real pirates go right on stealing. ZDNet's George Ou writes: "There seems to be a persistent myth floating around the board rooms of the movie companies and Congress that analog content is the boogie man of music and video piracy. In fact, they're so paranoid about it that they're considering a mechanism called ICT (Image Constraint Token) that punishes law-abiding customers for content that they legally purchased. But ironically, the real content pirates who make millions of bootleg movies have no intention of ever taking advantage of the so called "analog hole" because that is the slowest and lowest quality method of stealing content.""

This is what is happening to eBook also, most pirates do scan printed book and distribute them to P2P access. The loss belong to honest/paying customers

posted by Jerry permanent link


Can't Hear Ya!
Attorneys: iPod maximum volume update not good enough
Following Apple’s announcement today of an iPod update to limit volume levels, attorneys involved in a class-action lawsuit over iPod hearing loss have released a statement, saying that they “lauded Apple’s decision to provide a way to limit the volume of the popular iPod devices, but said the company’s actions fall far short.”

posted by Jerry permanent link


French Toasted
Apple: French law will result in 'state-sponsored piracy
pple said on Tuesday that France’s proposed music interoperability bill would result in “state-sponsored piracy.” An Apple representative said the law—which would force the company to open its FairPlay DRM—is likely to cause digital music sales to steeply decline, but that iPod sales might actually increase. “The French implementation of the EU Copyright Directive will result in state-sponsored piracy,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. “If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers… iPod sales will likely increase as users freely upload their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music which cannot be adequately protected,” Kerris said. “Free movies for iPods should not be far behind.”

posted by Jerry permanent link


PDAs dying out
Are PDAs Already Dead in Japan?
At the 10th year anniversary of the Palm Pilot, there are indications in Japan that the demise of the PDA is closer than most would think. In a recent ZDNet Australia article, HP is quoted as saying that the market could evaporate in 4 years without significant product innovation. It may not have that long.

Yodobashi Yesterday during several hours wandering about Akihabara, Japan's electronics district, we ran into a tourist unsuccessfully looking for a Palm Pilot charger, and notice that PDAs are nowhere to be seen. It wasn't that they were scarce -- there were none at all.

posted by Jorgen permanent link


DRM revisited
How to right the copyright wrongs
After stating that any encryption used to lock content away always can be broken, he says
Just this week, Rupert Murdoch, speaking to the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, said: "A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it and very much as they want it".

DRM could be used to make that happen, by letting customers share music freely, encouraging experimentation and providing new ways to track usage and pay artists. But today's digital rights management systems are not being used to promote a more open market in electronic content and are almost entirely concerned with enforcing restrictions on use.
Most discussions, including the one that took place this week, are based on an assumption that it is possible to lock content away. But it's silly to believe that any encryption system which can only work when the decryption keys are placed in the hands of millions of consumers can be made effective.

Yet, there seems to be a belief that rigorous enforcement of technological restrictions, backed up by the ruthless application of draconian laws that allow the replacement of copyright with contract law and criminalise activities which used to be considered legal - or acceptable even when not clearly legal - will enhance the market, keep customers coming back for more and ensure the future success of the "content industries".

Somehow, I doubt that this will be the outcome.
As usual, read the whole thing.

posted by Jorgen permanent link


Live Longer without DRM
MP3 Insider: The truth about your battery life
Even the iPod, playing back only FairPlay AAC tracks, underperformed MP3s by about 8 percent. What I'm saying is that while battery life may not be a critical issue today, as it was when one of the original hard drive players--the Creative Nomad Jukebox--lasted a pathetic 4 hours running on four AA nickel-metal-hydride rechargeables (and much worse on alkalines), the industry needs to include battery specs for DRM audio tracks or the tracks we're buying or subscribing. Yet, here's another reason why we should still be ripping our music in MP3: better battery life, the most obvious reason being universal device compatibility.

posted by Jerry permanent link


From the department of bad ideas
Google ventures into ebooks
"Google Book Search helps users who find and preview your books buy them through online retailers, local bookstores, and soon, will let them pay for immediate access to them right from their browser. It’s a way for publishers to experiment with a new method of earning money from their books in addition to those that already exist," the search engine said on a webpage where it invites publishers to sign up for the service.
Users will get access to purchased book through their browser only, and will not be allowed to save local copies of the book or copy pages.
And if you are willing to pay for things like that, contact me for I have some deals for you too.

posted by Jorgen permanent link


What's Happening with SlingPlayer for Windows Mobile?
Recently we had posted the news story "The Carriers have Once Again Pulled Out Their Hatchets, the Victim This Time is Sling Media," which talked about the carriers planning to deny Sling Media the permission to operate its video playback service over the cellular network. Thanks to an email note from Jeremy Toeman, VP for Market Development at Sling Media, we are happy to clarify that the SlingPlayer Windows Mobile Version is on track for Q1 2006 launch and it will be available as a direct download for the Slingbox customers. The customers will be able to watch the recorded programs over the carrier network without any restriction. Sling Media is also trying to partner with the carriers to offer joint service plans and that is the service that the carriers haven't cleared, and that is what the original news story was talking about."

posted by Jerry permanent link


Pope gets new iPod nano with podcasts
A group of Vatican Radio employees gave Pope Benedict XVI a brand new iPod nano loaded with special Vatican Radio programming and classical music according to the Catholic News Service.

posted by Jerry permanent link


iPod Media
Japanese broadcasters turn to podcasting
Radio broadcasters in Japan are facing a decline in ratings due to fewer listeners, and are placing their hopes in podcasting to make uhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifp the difference. "Podcasts can capture narrower sectors of the audience that cannot be reached by the radio," Yukihiro Okada, head of program production at FM Inter-Wave said.

posted by Jerry permanent link


Great Devices
Elgato Systems EyeTV 2 Digital TV Recording Software
Pros: A powerful but elegantly simple piece of Macintosh software that provides TiVo-like TV directory, recording, and live-action pause/rewind/fast-forward features, plus a one-click or checkmarked Export to iPod feature. Easy to install and reasonably priced for stand-alone purchase.

posted by Jerry permanent link


iTune$ Rock$
iTunes $9.99 Multi-Pass: Just What Videos Needed
This morning brought a very pleasant surprise for fans of two Comedy Central shows - and those hoping to see Apple’s iTunes Music Store become an even bigger force in digital downloads. Along with the addition of popular political news show parodies The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to iTunes, Apple unveiled Multi-Pass, a $9.99 subscription package that provides 16 episode downloads for a single low price. Individual episodes can still be purchased for $1.99.
...That aside, our biggest questions at this point are these: how widespread will Multi-Pass become, and will Apple develop a similarly reasonable bulk purchase model for older videos? At the moment, it’s hard to tell - or even make an educated guess - whether subscriptions to The Daily Show or The Colbert Report are representative of an emerging iTunes video trend, or just a test of a specific genre of TV content. After all, topical news programs - even comedy ones - might not be assumed to have the same shelf life as, say, episodes of the A-Team. Who would pay, goes the argument, for days- or weeks-old news? It’s conceivable that Multi-Pass is destined only for this sort of content - that which has lots of value each day it’s downloaded, but little value thereafter.

posted by Jerry permanent link


iTune$ economy
iTunes enable restricted access to some listed podcasts
The podcast changes would presumably allow anhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gify content creator to offer member-only content via iTunes service. While the listing of restricted content is a departure from the current listing of freely available podcasts, Apple's move will help drive traffic to the iTunes Music Store and help it maintain a comprehensive listing of all podcast content.
The report says that the change is expected to go live on Monday and will seamless enable access to podcasts to members of Rush 24/7 as well as allow users to store their name/password for future access. RUSH 24/7 currently charges $50 for access to content for one year or monthly membership for $7 per month.

posted by Jerry permanent link


Putting Your DVDs on a Video iPod
Sure, you could fill your video iPod with episodes of Knight Rider from iTunes for $2 a pop. Or you could save some cash - and your soul - and fill it with files you convert from your DVD collection using freely available software. Problem is, you'd have to break the law. Though it's theoretically OK to back up DVDs for personal use, it's illegal to override commercial copy protection, a necessary step in the process. Proceed at your own risk.

posted by Jerry permanent link


Roll up with a good book?
E-Books, Round Two
Philips Electronics' new Readius reader has an eye-popping flexible roll-up display that's already turned heads as a prototype.
The Readius appears to have the slickest design of any e-book reader yet—straight out of Minority Report. As shown, the flexible display folds up like a scroll; when you're not reading, it's as pocket-friendly as a pack of gum.

Sony will have the jump on Philips, though, as the two gadgets square off. Third-party designs of the Readius won't ship until the summer. If these two products don't herald the age of e-books, nothing will.
[via MobileRead]

posted by Jorgen permanent link


Best mobile device?
Pocket PC: The ONE Device for Portable Digital Media
Why is the Pocket PC the one device to have? In this alternative view to other articles proposing the PSP and iPod as perfect digital devices, John Traenkenschuh discusses why the Pocket PC is his device of choice. He describes his criteria for excellence and how the Pocket PC makes perfect sense for the sensible with too much to do and too little time for gaming and music appreciation.
But he forgot to say that PDAs are far better ebook devices, which is my reason for consider PDAs the perfect mobile devices.

posted by Jorgen permanent link


ePaper news
E-Paper Enters Practical Use
ePaper is arriving at a steady pace.
In December 2005, passers-by stopped at the sight of an unfamiliar object that had appeared in one of the concourses of JR Tokyo station. Equipped with six monitors, the object cycled through displays of news, weather, station guidance and other subjects at about 5-minute intervals. The displays offered good contrast, but were monochrome, and the appearance was significantly different from the color displays with which everyone is familiar these days. Upon closer scrutiny, it was possible to read: "Demonstration test for electronic paper displays in progress."

In 2006 a variety of equipment using E-paper is likely to start appearing here and there (Fig 1). In January of 2006, for example, Seiko Watch Corp of Japan released a watch using E-paper for the face display, while Ishida Co Ltd of Japan began marketing a shelf price tag using an E-paper display to supermarkets and other retailers. Other recent developments have included a practical, general-purpose E-paper display from Hitachi Ltd of Japan, and an equipment clock using E-paper from Citizen Watch Co Ltd of Japan for public facilities like stations and schools. Meanwhile Asahi Glass Co Ltd of Japan is developing a practical public display terminal. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Read the whole article!

posted by Jorgen permanent link


Broken Record
Broken iPods all too common
...But you're not ready to give up. On the Apple site, there's a form you can
fill out to send the iPod back to Apple and get it fixed. But you do a
double-take when you see the price. Apple wants $250, plus tax, to fix your
iPod. There is no mistaking the message: Apple has zero interest in fixing
a machine it was quite happy to sell you not so long ago.
Now you're reeling. You're furious. But what choice do you have? You can't
turn to a competitor's product, not if you want to keep using Apple's
proprietary iTunes software, where you've stored all the music you love,
including songs purchased directly from the iTunes Music Store, which
you'll lose if you leave the iTunes environment. So you grit your teeth and
buy a new iPod. Of course since it's a newer machine, it has that cool
video capability. But you're still angry.

posted by Jerry permanent link


More DRM woes
The big DRM mistake
When it was announced over a year ago that The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine would be released on eight DVDs, I immediately put in my pre-order. After it arrived, I took out the first DVD and stuck it in my Linux box, expecting that I could start looking at the collected issues.

No dice. The issues were available as DjVu files. No problem; there are DjVu readers for Linux, and it's an open format. Yet none of them worked. It turned out that The New Yorker added DRM to their DjVu files, turning an open format into a closed, proprietary, encrypted format, and forcing consumers to install the special viewer software included on the first DVD. Of course, that software only works on Windows or Mac OS X, so Linux users are out of luck (and no, it doesn't work under WINE ... believe me, I tried).

Even worse, if you do install the software, and then perform a search using the somewhat klunky search tool built in to the proprietary DjVu reader, you'll soon find yourself in DVD-swapping hell as you jump from issue to issue.

The final indignity is that, although other DjVu readers provide for text selection, The New Yorker has removed that feature from its DjVu reader. You can print, but you can't select or copy.
The rest of the article discuss DRM in general and gives more bad DRM examples.

posted by Jorgen permanent link