Sony’s New Reader and Apple’s Rumored Tablet

The new Sony PRS-700BC Reader Digital Book is reviewed by Computer Shopper here. The updated reader offers PDF support and built-in book light (which gets high marks at eBook Rumors) and a sturdy all-metal frame. That trumps Kindle’s plastic body that reports suggest is brittle for a hand-held device.

They’ve also continued with their broad spectrum file format support now reading copy-protected BBeB Book and ePub files, open BBeB, ePub, TXT, RTF, and Microsoft Word files. The article has accolades for the touchscreen keyboard too! Pricey machine at over $400 but all the prices are coming down.

Interesting development over at Apple as the talk heats up about its rumored Tablet.  “Apple is about to launch a tablet computer that will be like an enlarged version of the iPhone and iPod Touch.” Read the rest of the article here at the Intriguing little hints there, yah?

Better late than never…

Just got back (ran into a headwind) and I’m working through a pile of updates and releases.

I’ll get something up later about Sony’s new PRS-700BC Reader Digital Book. Looks promising.

Also have some new rumors about Apple’s tablet.

More soon, yah

While I’m Away…

Dear Visitor,

eBook Rumors will be on hiatus from Thursday July 23 until Monday July 27, 2009. The eBook Revolution will no doubt charge ahead during our absence, as eBook Reader and hand-held device designers jockey and struggle for position and as smart publishers see the light and start to offer fair prices, yah? I’ve posted a few interesting links to tide you over. Thanks again for visiting. Feel free to comment your hearts out.


John Cypher, Editor/Correspondent


The Globe and Mail’s Social Trends Reporter Jill Mahoney has an excellent piece here about how libraries are adapting to the digital age. The smart ones have been logged onto the changing times for years and are evolving to connect books, computers and the public.  It’s all about staying relevant.


In a similar social shift we’ve found a story at the Augusta Chronicle where teachers are encouraging students to text the answers to questions. We’ve got teachers and profs making lectures available as podcasts, live streaming video with discussion boards as interface for posting questions. Students are encouraged to tweet, blog and chat online with classmates. Some are even releasing assignments and text references formatted for eBook readers and iPhone. Anything to engage the digital generation, yah?


An update is available for Stanza, the popular eBook reading app for the iPhone/iPod Touch–and recent purchase. Read what and where here at They’re offering smoother page-turns in landscape and portrait orientations, etc. If you haven’t got Stanza get it here.


Barnes and Noble is opening (or re-opening…remember we reported that they abandoned eBook sales in 2003…). There’s an article about its re-opening here at Reuters. Visit the store here.  Looks like they’ve signed an exclusive deal to provide all content for Plastic Logic’s eReader. That should heat things up a bit for the other players like Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader.


More on Amazon’s thought-control tactics digging into the private libraries of Kindle subscribers without so much as knocking. It was a copyright issue that Amazon had to deal with that they settled rather arbitrarily in a fashion befitting the secret police. An article at Daniweb here digs deeper into the invasion of privacy and asks the simple question: “Who owns the content you purchase?” (Another good reason to get rid of DRM!)


In the “She Ain’t No Lady” department this article “Gray Lady’s Dilemma“ by Brett Arends of the Wall Street Journal explores the financial dilemma facing newspapers in the digital age. How do they go electronic and still turn a profit? (Difficult proposition since they’re only interested in making the same profits. Not very adaptable of them…) But, Arends reassures us that such things are possible.

Free Content continued…

Here at the theme of free content is developed to include the realities of business. In an excellent article by Scott Canon, The Kansas City Star digs deeper, looks for precedents and talks about Freemium (barebones content) versus Premium (content you pay for with all the bells and whistles). You need to make money to stay in business, so how can you do that if you’re giving your product away?

It’s an important discussion for consumers and content creators. We’ve got everything to gain or lose, yah?

Add Fairness to the Equation, see what happens…

Here’s an interesting application of the old model on the new. Sell a ‘bricks and mortar’ book about ‘free’ digital content. Hilarious. Dissecting “FREE” means money. Reuters has an excellent article here about new titles devoted to just such a thing.

It seems too simple to require continuous study. I suppose giving the ‘free’ content away to promote sales doesn’t make any sense if you’re an old world publisher where constantly reporting greater quarterly profits is the mandate. The new model gives away content to create a broader audience that will purchase greater numbers of lower priced digital products, thereby diminishing individual profits while increasing the number of individuals who profit. Think fair price. Think relationships between creators and consumers. Think increased volume of sales.

Other than their rabid desire to maintain pre-digital age profits, I do not know why publishers fail to understand this. A ‘free’ eBook is a direct analog for the library or ‘borrowed’ book. This sort of ‘freemium’ was in use minutes after Gutenberg printed his first bible, yah?

You mean for the high price of $299 you’ll control what I read?

Amusing thought-police associations aside, it is clear to see in this article at the why Amazon Kindle’s high-price, expensive eBooks, and locked and managed personal libraries are a business model doomed to fail in an age when digital information and machinery are designed to promote accessibility, convenience and practicality.

Every time I read a story about Amazon’s draconian business ethics I cringe, knowing illegal eBook sharers and pirates pop up to exploit the situation. The Kindle business model will fail without serious adjustments that favor the consumer.

It’s a terrible joke on us all that they’re getting dictatorial with George Orwell’s 1984, yah?

Walter Cronkite: 1916-2009

Walter Cronkite was a consummate news professional: perhaps the last of his breed. “The Most Trusted Man in America” helped to shape this new media that we’re bending out of true; that we’re beaming around the world and now reading and viewing on all manner of space age gadget and gizmo.

I have missed his impartiality.

CNN has an excellent article on his passing here.

Another new eBook Reader!

Jointech’s JE100 eBook Reader is a $270 mystery that I just found out is delivering to first adopters. Two words for Jointech to remember: press release. Click here to visit Jointech for the full specifications. (Mystery or not, it is a sweet looking ride.)

This is the first I’ve heard about the JE100 eBook Reader with it’s 7-inch LCD touchscreen (not E Ink) panel. Read a short review of the device at here. I’m amazed that there are so many of these devices coming onto the market that they’re starting to slip by me. WOW!

I must remain vigilant, yah?

On its way to Ubiquity! (Damn things will be everywhere!)

A florida hotel’s EPIC Page Turner program loans free eBooks and a Sony Reader to their Club level guests. This perk includes an EPIC Virtual Nightstand for reading exerpts from eBooks.

Read the full article here at I’ll give top marks to this hotel for embracing the eBook Revolution.

The full scale adoption is underway. It would go a lot faster with cheaper eBook Readers, yah? (Just give it time!)

Apple’s Noticeable Absence

All the developments in eBooks and eBook Reading Devices and things are quiet in the Apple orchard. Not even a whisper. We’ve heard rumors about an Apple eBook Reading Tablet before.

Now we’ve got links to articles here at PCWorld and here at Macsimum MacOSG Forum where the ‘rumored’ tablet is mentioned again.

It’s driving everyone crazy. We all know something BIG is coming that will knock the eBook Revolution on its ear.