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Old 06-25-2005, 01:06 PM   #1
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eReader 'Everyday in July' Promotion

Looks like eReader will be doing a promotion like last December with a free book each day. Thanks to The Daily Gadget for this heads up.

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Everyday in July, we are featuring a different eBook as a completely free download. There is something for everyone from mysteries and thrillers to mind-expanding science fiction, sexy romances, heart-stopping adventures and many more!
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Old 06-26-2005, 01:04 AM   #2
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Hopefully, it will be unlike last December when almost all (is it all?) the freebies are public domain books...
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Old 06-26-2005, 12:32 PM   #3
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Let's see so we can look forward to free versions of:

There is something for everyone from mysteries and thrillers: ie Arthur Conan Doyle

to mind-expanding science fiction: probably Jules Verne

sexy romances: I'm thinking Jane Austen

heart-stopping adventures: perhaps Daniel Defoe or Melville

Well that's what they did last year anyway. I don't remember the books they released but on the third day it became obvious they weren't giving away anything not in the public domain. I don't expect them to give away anything by Stephenson or Dan Brown but a hidden gem by a lesser known author or an older book by an established one would be more welcome.
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Old 06-26-2005, 12:49 PM   #4
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Yea, it was a little disappointing last time. But better the time before, I think.

Worth watching it because they have mixed in some things like Star Trek and other non-PD in the past. Besides, if they packaged up the PD ebooks nicely into ereader format, that's worth something to me also because that's my favorite ebook reader.

I think I discovered one of my favorite authors (Christopher Reich) when Microsoft did that Summer giveaway a couple years ago to get people to upgrade their reader. Some really nice "real" books in .lit form. Of course, while the upgrade was meant to stop convert lit from working, we all know that it turned out just like Apple's attempt to upgrade iTunes software... it only annoyed their customers because they had to upgrade.

I actually liked Microsoft's reader -- I would gladly have used it if they didn't limit you to 3 device registrations (that get lost when you rebuild a pc from scratch, btw) and if they had a Palm version.

So, anyway, we'll see on this one, but I guess I'm the eternal optimist on some subjects and I'm hoping to see one or two "real" non-PD books.
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Old 06-26-2005, 04:49 PM   #5
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IIRC there were 3 or 4 non-PD books last December.
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:57 PM   #6
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According to the official press release of today, the titles will include:

John Updike's Rabbit, Run, Daniel Boorstin's prize-winning The Americans: The Colonial Experience, Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries, Rough Guide's New York DIRECTIONS, Louis L'Amour's Great Snow Mountains and Stephanie Laurens' Devil's Bride.
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Old 07-01-2005, 07:21 AM   #7
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It's already July 1, but I don't see how to find the book. Am I missing something?
I'm looking at http://www.ereader.com/promo and I just see a request to register and a big ? icon.
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Old 07-01-2005, 07:33 AM   #8
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Heh same here I was already going to complain but thought to give them a bit more time!
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:18 AM   #9
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First free e-book is now available: Tears of the Hawk by Barbara Clark.

Download link: http://www.ereader.com/product/detail/16324?refid=45426
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Old 07-02-2005, 09:39 AM   #10
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what about the credit card thing?

I appreciate the free book concept, but something bothers me! You have to give your credit card info to them. The two parties have agreed to collect card numbers even though you won't be charged. Companies "dump" card information after a short return/adjustment period and shouldn't retain this information unless you choose to allow a running account. Isn't it odd that their agreement requires giving credit card numbers with no actual use? Does this suggest that they keep the info permanently? Remember the many thousands of card numbers and holder's names stolen lately from huge, trusted companies?

Both of my posts (I'm new) might appear to be critical, but my intent is not mean-spirited! Just alarmed with how much consumers will tolerate from companies.
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:18 AM   #11
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Claboor - I was quite worried about the same kinds of things when I first looked at eReader as a place to buy ebooks. Currently, it's my favorite place to buy a book because I like the flexibility it offers compared to other DRM, and I like the reader software. I still rarely buy a DRM'd book unless it's something like a novel that I'll plan to read and throw away, just like I do with the paperbacks. Except with paperbacks I often give them away.

Here's some info that may help you decide what you think about it for your own case...

Yes, they probably do keep your CC# on their servers, but I think you can delete the credit card info after you finish the downloading. It may remain on backup tapes, but that's no worse than any online purchase.

You could also give them a temporary card number like some companies let you do for a one time use number intended for things like internet purchases. Then the seller doesn't know your real number, but still gets paid, and it still gives them the comfort level of being tied officially to you, so you would not likely distribute it in mass. You can even set expiration dates and dollar limits on those card nbrs. Multiple CC companies offer that. Maybe MBNA and Bank of America and Captial One in the US?

But the CC# never gets stored on the device. You have to enter it (once), but it gets converted by a hash algorithm and only the hash key is stored. That's what is used to unlock the book. Don't remember if it has to decrypt also. The hash doesn't contain enough info to reconstruct the original CC# so there's a level of safety.

To give an idea of how this sort of thing could work, think of entering a 10 digit number into an algorithm that tells you the remainder mod 13. That result between 0 and 12 could be a (trivial example of a) key to unlock the book, but you never have any chance of recovering/stealing a 10 digit number from that remainder key.

There's more info here... http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...0205#post10205
and here...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...?threadid=2360

Like all DRM, there are things to make you uncomfortable...
* Dependence on the proprietary eReader software to be able to read the books
* Dependence on the eReader web site to be able to "recover" your CC# to unlock, if you forget what you used and, say, buy another pda.
* And, even though eReader is fairly successful, there's no guarantee that they will keep the eReader software updated and top notch, or that if they go out of business altogether there will not be any ongoing way to read the ebooks you bought. (Which is why I generally only buy DRM'd ebooks that I plan to read and throw away.)

But there are some really great features that make eReader's DRM my favorite...
* You can "realign" your entire library of purchased books from the web site to use the same current CC# you give them as your primary. So you only need to remember one name/CC# combo to unlock your books. One exception... I have some books from when they were Peanut Press. Those books don't show up on the web site. Maybe because I used another login, or maybe because they didn't carry over the info to eReader. I don't know which, but as a result I have to keep track of those old books and the name/CC# combo to be able to unlock them. Not bad, but a bit annoying.
* It accomplishes the DRM goal of prevention of mass copying and pirating because people don't want to give away their cc# in mass. And even if someone finds the hash key value, it still requires the name on the credit card used to purchase the book in the first place, which people wouldn't want to give out.
* You can still "loan" a book to a friend with eReader software by loaning them a pda, or by entering your CC# for them. (Or giving them the number to enter themselves if you really trust them, like a spouse for example.) That is a whole lot more like how a real book works. Some flexibility, but the publisher doesn't lose control of the content. Unless the whole thing gets hacked, of course. I don't believe anyone has done that.

Some quick observations about a few other DRMs. Just my impressions... others can clarify and add info.

* Fictionwise, as a seller, has taken a very interesting approach and many of their books are in multiformat, which I think includes iSilo versions along with some other types of formats that you get access to when you buy a book. Not all books are offered that way, probably because the publisher would not allow that. They also frequently offer their 100% refund deal on some very nice books. I think that means you pay for the book, and then get a store credit equal to the full amount you paid which can be used to buy another book at their store.

* MS Reader. Only available for Windows platforms, I think, such as Pocket PC and Windows desktop. I really like the reader, but a lot of people don't like it. I very much dislike the DRM because you tie it to a hotmail or MS passport account. And you only get 3 activations. If you lose those (e.g. when you rebuild your device or PC from scratch) you have to contact MS for more, and I've heard some stories that indicate it's not something you want to try, and might not even be successful. Then the books are worthless if you don't have any activated devices to read it, so the only option you have is to convert them to html with something like ConvertLit, and use something that can read html or convert that again to something your device can read. Same is necessary if you don't want to use any flavor of Windows to read your book.

BTW, there is a way to preserve your activations on PPC.. here's a nice tip from Pocket PC Magazine. But note that while they say you lose activation every time you hard reset, I think you're okay if you restore from a full backup.
Quote:
Tip #219: Saving Microsoft Reader Activation
If you want to read those e-books on your Pocket PC which have Digital Rights Management protection on them, you have to activate the MS Reader application from the Microsoft Reader Web site. Every time you do a hard reset on your Pocket PC, the activation is lost and you have to go through the whole process of activation again. There is a way to save your activation and carry it back to your Pocket PC after the hard reset. To save your activation do the following steps:



  1. Click on the Activesync icon which is on the right hand side of the Taskbar on your desktop to pop up the Activesync window.
  2. Click on the "Explore" option in Activesync to navigate the folders in your mobile device.
  3. Go to My Pocket PC/Windows and copy the following files:
  • secrepid.dat
  • secrep.dat
  • secrep.dll
  • secrep.xml
  • Microsoft Activation.unload
  1. Create a folder with-in the My Documents folder on your desktop PC. You can give a meaningful name to this folder such as "Microsoft Reader Activation".
  2. Paste all the above-mentioned files into this folder.
  3. Now whenever you do a hard reset on your Pocket PC, you can copy and paste these files back into the Windows folder of your Pocket PC and your Microsoft Reader application will be activated automatically.
(To copy the above mentioned files successfully, you will need to make sure that the extensions of the files and hidden files appear in the listing along with the file names. In the ActiveSync Explorer window, go to Tools and click on "Folder Options...". Now click on the "View" tab. Make sure that the option which says, "Hide extensions for known file types" is unchecked. Also select the "Show hidden files and folders" option if it is not already selected.)
Sorry, here I go getting lengthy again. Can't help myself! To wrap up, there are a other types also of course. I think iSilo has a form of DRM. You're tied to that reader then just like the others. MobiPocket has a reader that many people really like, and weren't they just acquired by Amazon? At any rate, while people seem to like the reader, they tend to feel the DRM is very restrictive. Adobe Acrobat has a DRM now and I think it's a common choice for libraries who lend ebooks. Personally I don't like Adobe Acrobat because I don't think it works well on mobile devices.

There's so much more that could be said about DRM and even eReader DRM, but I hope it helps with the sort of questions related to eReader and these giveaway books. My advice is to stick with one of the most common formats and don't assume the book will be forever yours to read.
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatton
Well that's what they did last year anyway. I don't remember the books they released but on the third day it became obvious they weren't giving away anything not in the public domain.
Wait... weren't they also in violation of the Project Gutenberg license as well, because they neglected to provide proper attribution (as required by the "small print" in the Gutenberg license)?

Its tricky, if you mention Gutenberg (including using the same title and filename), then you have to abide by their license. If you don't care to abide by their license, you have to strip ALL mention of Gutenberg from your converted work... and in many cases, that requires an actual human to go through it and remove those references, because they differ based on the editor who created/translated the work.

I know, I do the same thing with ALL of Gutenberg converted to various mobile formats... except of course, I acknowledge their contributor's hard work in my efforts.
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Old 07-04-2005, 06:13 PM   #13
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Thanks BobR! For not declaring war on me and for the world of info you posted. Believe it or not, most of what you say is new to me and I am in the process of reading through that and researching some credit card stuff. I am interested in the "temporary" number too.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:35 PM   #14
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One thing that you may consider is that if you have a WindowsPC, activate MSReader on it and buy your ebooks in Reader format. Generally Amazon has the best prices as a bonus. Then strip the DRM using a ConvertLit utility, then convert the resulting html files into a format you can use. That way you don't have to worry about DRM ever. having said all this I dont condone ebook piracy, and I really want the medium to take off, but I also want to use my ebooks forever.
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