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Old 09-30-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
DMcCunney
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Toshiba joins the eBook party

Inquirer writeup: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...ins-book-party

Toshiba site: http://www.toshibabookplace.com/
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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Doesn't appear to be hardware. Buy books to read on your PC. Similar to what Zinnio does for magazines. I can't see this really taking off.

We already have PC based readers; MS Reader, Mobipocket Reader, etc.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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It's another finger in the pie ....
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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Nate's posts on the Blio reader (which is used by Toshiba) make for an amusing read.
Blio Reader launched today – Fail, Fail, and more Fail
Feedbooks responds to yesterday’s Blio launch
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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Weirdly, Engadget had a story about 2 Toshiba e-readers, a 7-inch model and 10-incher. Can't find it this morning.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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I haven't tried this one out yet (the PC-based reader, that is), but from its website it looks like another flash-like reader that has cool page turns, and other whiz-bang. The problem with just about anything like this is that it falls into the trap of wanting to somehow preserve page layouts by stuffing them into all the odd-sized spaces that make the electronic screen "universe." A book layout is made for a specific size determined by a book designer, so it all it requires in order to look good and to be readable is to fit that size. If you then take that page layout and try to stuff it into everything from an old-fashioned CRT of varying sizes to LCD screens of varying sizes, and then a netbook, an iPad, and heaven knows what else, what you end up with is a nice spiffy image of a book layout that can't be read like the thing it imitates. If you look at the whole image, you probably can't read it, so you have to zoom in, but in doing that you then have to move the page around so you can read the whole story, article, or whatever, piece at a time, kind of like reading through a mail slot, which is next to useless.

Technology is not there yet, as the closest thing I've seen (or at least seen pictures of) to something that could handle this kind of presentation is the Skiff, which that rogue Rupert Murdoch just bought from Hearst, or large-sized flexible paper from places like Xerox, Sony, Philips, and some others. Right now these are just prototypes. If Toshiba's dedicated reading devices (not the PC software) use something like this, then they've at least taken the first step; if not, well, Blio 2.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:47 AM   #7
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Not a fan of text reflow I take it. If by book you mean a novel, not a graphic-novel or
comic book, then illustrations are at a minimum and easily accommodated. If you mean
a reader for textbooks, manuals or magazines then color and a larger size is mandated
and your points have some effect. As is the case for the graphic-novel and comics
mentioned earlier.

The thing is, the display requirements for a photo rich glossy magazine and a movie
and a modern web page are basically the same. So for the display side of a device
that would properly display your "Nat Geo" or "Scientific American" you need just as
much as you do for a high resolution gaming or video playback device. For a novel
you don't need all that and can have a B&W device that can sip power over a much
longer period. The technology is here for both, but not in the same price range or
with the same form factor or being able to function for the same period on a charge.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Not a fan of text reflow I take it. If by book you mean a novel, not a graphic-novel or comic book, then illustrations are at a minimum and easily accommodated. If you mean a reader for textbooks, manuals or magazines then color and a larger size is mandated and your points have some effect. As is the case for the graphic-novel and comics
mentioned earlier.
Text reflow is fine if the content is something that can be reflowed. For text in one column, with in line illustrations that can be scaled to fit the display, it's splendid. For other things, it's not.

Text books are a case in point. They often involve multiple columns, sidebars, illustrations that may not scale well, and design that reflow would mangle. For those, Adobe PDF is pretty much the required format, as is a device with a large enough screen to accommodate the content.

The Amazon Kindle DX is an attempt to address this requirement, with the Adobe Mobile SDK to provide PDF Viewer capability and a larger screen than the standard Kindle. I've seen reports that students in university pilot programs are less than thrilled with it, so that area is still a work in progress.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:54 AM   #9
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It's another finger in the pie ....
We're going to need a bigger pie!

On a more serious note though, this is a good thing. The more companies that get into eReaders whether it is hardware or software the more attention they get and the more prevalent they become. It used to be just us reading fanatics and tech people that paid much attention, the more press they get and the more that the main stream population begins to adopt them then the better for all concerned at least from a pricing and selection stand point.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:19 AM   #10
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On a more serious note though, this is a good thing. The more companies that get into eReaders whether it is hardware or software the more attention they get and the more prevalent they become. It used to be just us reading fanatics and tech people that paid much attention, the more press they get and the more that the main stream population begins to adopt them then the better for all concerned at least from a pricing and selection stand point.
The significant fact is that more companies see a significant market in ereading. If you're someone Toshiba's size, it has to be a big market to make it worth doing. Your size and the associated overhead means you can't address a small market profitably.

I'm not optimistic on first glance at Toshiba's chances with this initiative, but the fact they are doping it at all is noteworthy.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:08 PM   #11
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AAAaaaaannnndddd... Immediately shoots itself in the foot by choosing Blio, The Spyware That Masquerades As An E-Reader. Yep. Like I'm gonna install an app that clearly states in it's EULA that by installing Blio, the user agrees to let K-Read romp through the computer AT WILL. Didn't anyone learn anything from Sony's rootkit fiasco?!?

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Old 10-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #12
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Weirdly, Engadget had a story about 2 Toshiba e-readers, a 7-inch model and 10-incher. Can't find it this morning.
I had these links on my big list of ereaders Tablets etc......

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/03/t...imedia-tablet/

http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops/libretto/W100
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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It's also a bookstore. Anyone know what format/DRM they will be selling their books in?
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