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Old 01-14-2013, 06:34 AM   #46
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I don't know that I agree, but just to play devils advocate what is it YOU think we are losing?
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:41 AM   #47
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I think it's obvious. Digital records are fragile. It's easy to make or lost copies of things. A substantial dose of EMP could erase terabytes of history. Much of this cannot be consumed without technology. A hard drive crashes and you lost photos and home movies. Maybe treasured books.

In many ways, technology is like Henry Bemis' glasses.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:46 AM   #48
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That's no different than a library or house burning down. That's not something that is lost because of moving from a paper book to an ebook.

So no, it's not obvious. If you want to take that tact then it's MUCH MUCH easier to backup because of your 'concern'

Yes you need a display of some type to see it, but that's simply a difference, not a loss.
You can't read pbooks in the dark, eh?

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Old 01-14-2013, 08:15 AM   #49
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If I am not mistaking. Microsoft just invested 500 million in BN. So don't plan on them going away anytime soon.
MS does have interest in selling ebooks. Especially on the cheap.
Doesn't mean they'll forever prop up a failing pbook retailer.

Folks shouldn't overvalue the MS or Pearson investments. The MS investment is a *purchase* of Nook Media stock and avance payment for future ebook sales, not a commitment to future bailouts. MS is quite willing to write off a bad investment and walk away rather than throw good money after bad.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:09 AM   #50
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They invested in Nook Media, not B&N as a whole if I'm not mistaken. Same with Pearson and their $89.5 million investment.
The headline figure is also misleading, it comes in a number of tranches, which haven't all been paid yet, and includes a number of ways for the money to actually be channeled back to Microsoft. As part of the deal, Nook Media agreed to switch to Microsoft's backend processing, and to pay Android royalties to MS.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:14 PM   #51
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In my view of the universe, we live in an ever changing world, where what we know and love also changes. I love books and given the time will gladly spend time browsing the big chain bookstores, the little indy stores and the online presence. I have an ereader and enjoy the paper

I think the way we do "commerce" is changing along with our technology. but there will always be resistance to the change.

The big publishing houses will change eventually if they want to stay in business, the big chainstores will change aswell. And a hearty Goodluck to the comfy little bookstores that hope to stay alive despite everything.

at the moment there is a place for the digital, and the paperbooks. we live in that pivotal moment in time when we have choice.

This is why I like it on amazon. you can search for a book and if it doesn't have an e-book listed it gives you the option to indicate that you would like to see and e-book version.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #52
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The headline figure is also misleading, it comes in a number of tranches, which haven't all been paid yet, and includes a number of ways for the money to actually be channeled back to Microsoft. As part of the deal, Nook Media agreed to switch to Microsoft's backend processing, and to pay Android royalties to MS.
Uh-huh.
The royalties they were going to pay anyway, and using Microsoft hosting is probably a step up. Plus MS believes in "eating their own dogfood" so if Nook Media is to be partly owned by MS it shouldn't be giving money to competitors for services Microsoft can deliver in-house. (I expect Netflix is reconsidering their use of AWS. )

Main thing to consider is MS invested in Nook Media to avoid having to build an ebookstore from scratch at this late point in the game. Or, to buy time until they build one. If Nook Media does look like it might tank, you can be sure MS will take steps (if the aren't already) to prepare for that contingency.
(XBOX ebookstore is not out of the question, as a companion to XBOX Music and XBOX Video, XBOX Arcade, XBOX Indie-games, etc.)

MS has partnered with Nook Media, not given them a blank check.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #53
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If you open an old box, you could pull out 150 year old books. You instantly understand what they are, and can read them. Pull out a box of digital media from 30 years ago, and you may very well not be able to access it at all, and you won't know what is on it until you did hook it up, assuming you could hook it up. If someone finds a box of 8" floppies, how likely is it that they are going to find an 8" floppy drive, hook it up to their computer to see what is on it?

Paper books do have advantages, and if they go away it is a loss. It may be a worthwhile loss, but a loss nonetheless. In any case, even though I have a Kindle, I benefit from the Nook being on the market. More competition is better for consumers.

Microsoft probably wouldn't prop up the Nook if it was losing money, but they could reorganize it so that it makes money. Clean house and reorganize.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:33 PM   #54
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The royalties they were going to pay anyway
Well they weren't, until they dropped the lawsuit.
Which, coincidentally, came at the same time they announced the Microsoft buy-in Part of the Microsoft money was just a straight circular payment back to themselves for B&N caving.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:39 PM   #55
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Well they weren't, until they dropped the lawsuit.
Everybody else who has been sued has either cross-licensed or paid.
And since B&N has nothing worth the cross-license...

They didn't even have the money to pay back royalties, much less the lawyers to keep up the fight. Unless *their* lawyers are singularly better than those of everybody else from Tom-Tom to Amazon and beyond, they were going to pay.

That is probably what opened the door to the settlement in the first place.
B&N to MS: "Do you want us to declare bankruptcy?! We.Can't.Pay!"

You hear a lot of pooh-poohing the Microsoft patents from the peanut gallery and the anti-IP advocates but down in the trenches they have prevailed in every lawsuit so I'd be wary of assuming its just a big bluff.

The smoke is thick enough to believe there is a fire there.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:19 PM   #56
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I don't know that I agree, but just to play devils advocate what is it YOU think we are losing?
First, we lose the idea that we own a book. When you "buy" an eBook, you are technically purchasing a lease, which can be revoked at any time by the seller and/or publisher. If printed books go away, it would not be impossible to imagine a government that could make a book disappear from every ereading device overnight. Finding every printed copy of that same book would be a daunting task.

Second, we lose the privacy we had with a book. The stores that sell us the books are tracking our usage, they're tracking how long we linger on a page, they're tracking how frequently we read and for how long. What nefarious uses that information could be put to, I don't know. But again, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to come up with a scenario where a totalitarian government could use that data to identify "subversives."

Third, we lose the permanence of a book. Yes, books burn, become dog-eared, yellow, etc. But a book as a physical object engages more of the senses than an ebook does. There's the texture of the page, the smell of the book. Those senses can help up to go back and remember when we first read a passage. And the format is fixed, meaning that a firmware update that changes the font or margins can't change where on each page a sentence appears.

Fourth, we lose the sharing of books. Anyone who loves books knows how special it is to be handed a book with a recommendation. Now, we send them a link and they have to buy their own copy, because we're not allowed to pass on our DRM ebook files. Libraries can't hold used ebook sales as fundraisers, either.

We're losing the experience of the bookstore. You can't replace a store full of reading material with a web site. Wandering the aisles has often led me to finding books I would never have otherwise heard about. Yes, there are new technologies that make talking about books possible, and the web stores are getting ever better at suggesting stuff to us, but it all runs around our own interests - we won't wander past a section of history books on our way to the computer books, because the Internet doesn't work that way.

Finally, I think we lose the specialness of a printed book. eBooks are just another content delivery system, no different from a web page, a newspaper, or a magazine. While e-content has it's place, it is rarely as carefully edited as a physical book is. Because it is so hard to change, because it is so permanent, authors tend to exercise a bit more care before submitting their work. This isn't always the case, and print-on-demand and vanity presses are diluting it (yet another way technology is giving with one hand while it takes away with the other), but it still is generally true.

When television came into existence, the promises of the technology were great. We were going to be smarter than ever with all the educational possibilities this new technology offered. No one at the time saw television dividing families, taking them away from other pursuits, and ultimately leading to the degrading fare that populates the airwaves these days. And the educational value of television has proven to be a pie-in-the-sky fantasy, as television makes people dumber and dumber, regardless of the content.

I'm not saying eBooks will have the same impacts television did - it's not the same technology. But I am saying that technology never just gives, without taking something. And all too often, we jump headlong into the promise of the new and discover all too late what it is we lost. eBooks have some wonderful purposes and uses, and I've bought some and read even more (thanks to free ebooks and libraries.) I am not simply willing to jump up and down and say that, finally, we have discovered a technology that only makes our lives better.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:25 PM   #57
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Didn't know its storage capacity or filetype support. That convinced me that, even if it *did* have the features I consider bare-minimum for purchasing a new ereader, I didn't want to buy one from them; obviously, I wouldn't have access to any support for it.
When I was in B&N looking at the Nook Simple Touch, I had a few questions (storage capacity, type of DRM, etc.)

The guy doing Nook sales told me that the NST had no on-board storage and that all books would reside "in your cloud." (At this point he sketched an expansive rounded cloud shape in the air with his hands.) I already knew this wasn't true, but I asked him what happened in areas with no wi-fi access. How could one read books? He frowned slightly but then shrugged, as if my question wasn't all that important.

The next question was about B&N's DRM. He claimed that he'd never heard of DRM. After my explanation he said, "So it's to keep people from printing them out?"

I excused myself and escaped, and went off to browse the pbooks for a while. On my way out I saw that he'd found several new victims and was making the cloud gesture again.

He was still employed there, doing the same thing, more than six months later.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
First, we lose the idea that we own a book. When you "buy" an eBook, you are technically purchasing a lease,....

Second, we lose the privacy we had with a book. The stores that sell us the books are tracking our usage,...

Third, we lose the permanence of a book. Yes, books burn, become dog-eared, yellow, etc. ...

Fourth, we lose the sharing of books. Anyone who loves books knows how special it is to be handed a book with a recommendation. Now, we send them a link and they have to buy their own copy, ....

We're losing the experience of the bookstore. ...

Finally, I think we lose the specialness of a printed book. eBooks are just another content delivery system, ....

.
Thanks for your detailed response. My comments:

1. I absolutely OWN the ebooks I purchase. I strip drm and reformat and copy them as I want for personal use. I hope/expect we will eventually lose the stupid drm but that remains for the future. Not a loss.

2. Stores and companies are tracking everything you do and by and browse and surf. Just because it's an ebook makes no difference. No change

3. We gain permanence in that backing up copying and format shifting is much easier than with paper. This is not a loss.

4. Sharing is built in to many ebook systems and libraries make borrowing books even easier than before, things like Amazon Kindle Lending Library are amazing -- much more so than your local paper book public library.

Paper is really only a limited purpose content delivery mechanism as well. Before paper and mass printing we had messengers and wandering minstrels.

Again thanks

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:14 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
First, we lose the idea that we own a book. When you "buy" an eBook, you are technically purchasing a lease, which can be revoked at any time by the seller and/or publisher. If printed books go away, it would not be impossible to imagine a government that could make a book disappear from every ereading device overnight. Finding every printed copy of that same book would be a daunting task.
While that is the most common business model, it simply isn't a universal truth, nor is it inherent to ebooks. Baen is the best known example, but there are certainly others. Amazon has the lion's share of the ebook market, but they aren't the entirety of it.

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Second, we lose the privacy we had with a book. The stores that sell us the books are tracking our usage, they're tracking how long we linger on a page, they're tracking how frequently we read and for how long. What nefarious uses that information could be put to, I don't know. But again, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to come up with a scenario where a totalitarian government could use that data to identify "subversives."
Again, that simply isn't a universal truth. There are plenty of book readers that work just fine without connecting to any kind of network whatsoever. Again, don't assume that Amazon is the only game in town.

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Third, we lose the permanence of a book. Yes, books burn, become dog-eared, yellow, etc.
If my house burned down, I'd lose very paper book there, permanently. My trivial to completely automate offsite backups, for the average person. Carbonite is under $60/year. If you can't afford that, you can't afford much in the way of books anyway.

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But a book as a physical object engages more of the senses than an ebook does.
A purely subjective opinion. And frankly, for me, I would prefer a reading experience in which the medium does not impinge on my senses at all. It's distracting from the imaginative senses.

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There's the texture of the page, the smell of the book. Those senses can help up to go back and remember when we first read a passage. And the format is fixed, meaning that a firmware update that changes the font or margins can't change where on each page a sentence appears.
Nor can those things be changed to make reading easier for those with special needs, or just different preferences from the typographer at the publisher.

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Fourth, we lose the sharing of books. Anyone who loves books knows how special it is to be handed a book with a recommendation. Now, we send them a link and they have to buy their own copy, because we're not allowed to pass on our DRM ebook files. Libraries can't hold used ebook sales as fundraisers, either.
Again, simply not true. There are plenty of places that sell DRM free books, and a growing number of DRM encumbered books do allowing lending, at least once. The market will rule on that. If lending books actually matters to the market overall, the ability to do so will improve.

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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
We're losing the experience of the bookstore. You can't replace a store full of reading material with a web site. Wandering the aisles has often led me to finding books I would never have otherwise heard about.
I have found more books online that no book store would likely carry than I have found in books stores that I wouldn't have found online.

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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
Yes, there are new technologies that make talking about books possible, and the web stores are getting ever better at suggesting stuff to us, but it all runs around our own interests - we won't wander past a section of history books on our way to the computer books, because the Internet doesn't work that way.
It works other ways, starting with active links to take you to related subjects. EPUB3 will be a lot better at that. But, of course, you'll have to connect to follow those links, but you know what? That doesn't actually do anything that the local book store can't do by watching you as you wander the shelves. A retail store, like the internet, is a public place, with no real privacy possible.

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Finally, I think we lose the specialness of a printed book.
That's in the real of fetish. Again, not everyone has the same preferences.

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eBooks are just another content delivery system, no different from a web page, a newspaper, or a magazine.
And how is a paper book different from a newspaper or magazine? Different formatting, but then, CNN's web site is differnetly formatted than an ebook.

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While e-content has it's place, it is rarely as carefully edited as a physical book is.
That has nothing whatsoever to do with an ebook, and everything to do with publishers being lazy and greedy. Paper books aren't nearly as carefully edited as they use be, either. By a long shot.

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Because it is so hard to change, because it is so permanent, authors tend to exercise a bit more care before submitting their work.
Then how do you explain the ubiquitous accounts of ebook versions of the same book being poorly (or at all differently) edited compared to the paper versions? Because it isn't the author who is reponsible for that, it's the publisher, and most publishers, so far, do a poor job on the new medium. This will continue until their expensive publishing software packages catch up to the new medium, and editing only has to be done once for all outputs. Then, it'll be automated.

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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
This isn't always the case, and print-on-demand and vanity presses are diluting it (yet another way technology is giving with one hand while it takes away with the other), but it still is generally true.

When television came into existence, the promises of the technology were great. We were going to be smarter than ever with all the educational possibilities this new technology offered. No one at the time saw television dividing families, taking them away from other pursuits, and ultimately leading to the degrading fare that populates the airwaves these days. And the educational value of television has proven to be a pie-in-the-sky fantasy, as television makes people dumber and dumber, regardless of the content.

I'm not saying eBooks will have the same impacts television did - it's not the same technology. But I am saying that technology never just gives, without taking something.
And technology that lasts never just takes without giving back more. Nobody is forcing the market to buy ebooks over paper books.

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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
And all too often, we jump headlong into the promise of the new and discover all too late what it is we lost. eBooks have some wonderful purposes and uses, and I've bought some and read even more (thanks to free ebooks and libraries.) I am not simply willing to jump up and down and say that, finally, we have discovered a technology that only makes our lives better.
It will last if it provides more than it demands in return. Prices are trending lower (though not as much lower as many people would like, but hey, people are cheap), convenience is a lot higher, variety of goods available is exploding in all genres, and the technical issues you mention either not inherent to ebooks, but only to lazy publishers, or simply not issues. Ebooks look like they're here to say, because the market prefers them for many things.

An example of what happens when a new (or, rather, "new") technology doesn't prove superious to what it aims to replace is 3D movies. Higher prices, dodgy, at best, 3d simulation, higher prices, more difficult production process, higher prices, and did I mention, it costs more? Thus, after a several year long fad, it's quickly dying, despite the studios trying to shove it down our throat. Very few new movies take in more from 3D showings than 2D, and the percentage is dropping (not slowing in its increase, but dropping). Ebooks are still increasing as a percentage of the overall market. That's a sign that there here to stay.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:20 PM   #60
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Thus, after a several year long fad, it's quickly dying, despite the studios trying to shove it down our throat. Very few new movies take in more from 3D showings than 2D, and the percentage is dropping (not slowing in its increase, but dropping).
Do you have a reference for that? Because I *hate* 3D movies - they make me quite sick to my stomach from the eyestrain.
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