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Old 12-03-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
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Dymocks announces their new ebook reader

Only it's not a device, but a piece of software. Meh.

Dymocks announced on 30 November that
Quote:
it has partnered with Ebooks Corporation to deliver a wide range of digital books to its online customers in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Quote:
Ebooks Corporation's Director of Technical Services, Suzanne Cole said,"We're delighted that Dymocks has selected Ebooks Corporation's eb20 for its ebook platform. Dymocks is one of Australia's oldest and best-loved bookshop brands, and their move into digital delivery marks a watershed in Australian bookselling."
What is the eb20? Apparently it's
Quote:
a browser-based online ebook platform that combines ease of use with strong anti-piracy measures. Until now, strong copy-protection has meant a clumsy and complicated end-user experience.
http://www.reuters.com/article/press...nnel=0&sp=true

I don't recognize the name Ebooks Corporation, but I looked up their website at www.ebooks.com. They sell ebooks in MSReader and Mobipocket. I can't find anything on the site about eb20. My best guess is that it's another crappy format piled on the tower of e-babel.

Last edited by Nate the great; 12-03-2007 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:20 AM   #2
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not giving up hope...yet

Nate I would wait and see as I don't necessarily think your interpretation of this annoucement is correct. Dymocks previously specifically mentioned that they were:

"... in "final" negotiations with a European e-book reader manufacturer

and that "...the device would initially be sold online and in its flagship Sydney city store."

He also said that it would be "just another device customers could buy to view them on."


The use of the word device and mention of a manufacturer rather than a developer suggests that the eb20 platform could be just a conduit through which multiple formats can be viewed (Adobe, Microsoft Reader & Mobi). Just imagine if that were the case AND that devices like sony and bookeen could run eb20 - then we'd really be getting somewhere. It sounds like something to entice publishers into releasing more ebook content too. eb20 might be the means and not the end. Otherwise, those statements from the CEO I quoted are just too misleading.

I think devices from Dymocks and maybe even from ebooks.com will follow hot on the heels of the platform because otherwise, it really brings nothing new to the table in terms of getting consumers to adopt ereading. I don't think Dymocks would partner up with them unless they had something physical to sell via their retail stores. If they don't have a device and are just selling software, formats and/or digital content, they are not going to get anywhere.

Even if I'm wrong, with Amazon's lead to follow (in terms of selling both a device and content), I think its possible that device manufacturers would be crazy not to get on board. If (and its a big IF) the platform allows you to read multiple formats, then surely for device manufacturers, supporting that platform would give them an edge over existing devices that are all basically locked into one of the main DRM formats.

Its definitely worth waiting to see what happens next...
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:10 AM   #3
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I just got the following from ebooks.com website...

Quote:
You can now read your ebook online from any computer, anywhere ...

eBooks.com has just released eb20, a web-based ebook reader application. This means that, in addition to downloading an ebook to your computer or device, you can now read the book online from any computer that's connected to the internet. eb20 requires no software installation and enables you to just start reading a work, seconds after buying it.

In the coming months you'll see more and more of our books available through this simple online reading interface. As books are converted to eb20 format, you'll see a little Read Online link next to the book in your eBooks.com account. Just click on that link and start reading. When buying a book, if you see Available to read online in eb20, it means that, once you've paid for it, you'll be able to download the ebook and read it online anywhere, anytime.
Sounds to me like a portable web browser.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mrsp View Post
Nate I would wait and see as I don't necessarily think your interpretation of this annoucement is correct. Dymocks previously specifically mentioned that they were:

"... in "final" negotiations with a European e-book reader manufacturer

and that "...the device would initially be sold online and in its flagship Sydney city store."

He also said that it would be "just another device customers could buy to view them on."


The use of the word device and mention of a manufacturer rather than a developer suggests that the eb20 platform could be just a conduit through which multiple formats can be viewed (Adobe, Microsoft Reader & Mobi). ...
I'm in agreement. The first announcement was very specific about "device". However, this may hint at how said "device" is going to be able to read all the Dymocks-available formats, something folk had wondered about, as Grover (from Dymocks) had said it would be possible. It makes me think that this application has been developed for porting to a "European" device like the Iliad, and therefore the Iliad will be the "device".

...or the Nokia N810? (I have no faith in Dymocks, least of all the CEO, to have much awareness of any of the product it sells or intends to sell, or what it reports to the media. Truth be told, Nate could be right just on that basis).

Cheers,
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:49 AM   #5
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eb20 sounds like a device and not a piece of software. To me it sounds like a portable web browser that you can use to view your purchased ebook on. If that is the case, I think it will not do all that well. Look at the battery life of the Kindle and iLiad when using the wifi. Not all that good in reality for reading ebooks.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:09 AM   #6
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Yay, another format. Just what we all needed.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:41 AM   #7
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I may have jumped the gun, but I don't think so. Dymocks said they would announce a new platform by the end of the month. This is all they announced. Until they make another announcement, I'm not getting my hopes up.

I found another press release that mentioned the eb20, this time by Cambridge University. The description of the software is basically the same.
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/071130/lnf500.html?.v=3

This is how eb20 is described on www.ebooks.com:
Quote:
eBooks.com has just released eb20, a web-based ebook reader application. This means that, in addition to downloading an ebook to your computer or device, you can now read the book online from any computer that's connected to the internet. eb20 requires no software installation and enables you to just start reading a work, seconds after buying it.
It doesn't look like it's a hardware device.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I may have jumped the gun, but I don't think so. Dymocks said they would announce a new platform by the end of the month. This is all they announced. Until they make another announcement, I'm not getting my hopes up.

I found another press release that mentioned the eb20, this time by Cambridge University. The description of the software is basically the same.
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/071130/lnf500.html?.v=3

This is how eb20 is described on www.ebooks.com:


It doesn't look like it's a hardware device.
I wonder if it is based on their http://www.eblib.com:/ stuff. They seem to have some technology at that site for libraries but perhaps it is adapted to Dymocks in some fashion. So far it seems very confusing as to what was announced.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:04 PM   #9
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Yay, another format. Just what we all needed.
My thoughts exactly. They need to be lessened, not expanded.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:12 PM   #10
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Has anyone tried using eb20?

So far all the eb20 ebooks I have found are otherwise only available in Secure Adobe. For example: Eisenhower By: Wukovits, John; Clark, General Wesley K..

I am skeptical of the following claim:
Quote:
you can now read the book online from any computer that's connected to the internet
"Any computer" is obviously impossible, does this mean any Windows machine with Internet Explorer (a much less inclusive set) or something else?
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:18 PM   #11
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Has anyone tried using eb20?

So far all the eb20 ebooks I have found are otherwise only available in Secure Adobe. For example: Eisenhower By: Wukovits, John; Clark, General Wesley K..

I am skeptical of the following claim: "Any computer" is obviously impossible, does this mean any Windows machine with Internet Explorer (a much less inclusive set) or something else?
Well it does say you need a Web browser but that is all the information it gives so far.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:59 PM   #12
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Teleread has a new post on eb20. Their screenshots shows it running in FireFox.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:42 PM   #13
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A web browser is not a device and Ebooks.com are not a European manufacturer so I think there is more to come on this.

On the bright side, this might offer me a way to read books on my hiptop (aka sidekick) which would be handy as its the one thing that its missing.

I am hoping that the platform will not require a continous internet connection to view the book too. That way it might hopefully work as a kind of format translator that you could use to get books onto a sony or cybook. Or is that just way too optimisitic?

I also have suspicions that the device from the european manufactuer will be an Illiad. If it is, I don't think it will work because its just too expensive to be attractive to Dymocks customers.

Also I don't think the local telcos would be nearly as accomodating in doing deals like Amazon have done so it will probably involve an expensive relationship with Telstra. And if not Telstra it won't work for me as where I live they are the only ones with a decent network. At $85 a gigabyte for wireless, its no wonder price is a big issue for me in buying a reader - I spend my money just keeping connected

Also, reading Teleread's interview with Stephen Cole, eb20 sounds like the perfect interface for the instore kiosks that Dymocks announced. Perhaps that's all Dymocks will use it for, and their online store like ebooks.com, and the device will be a totally seperate option.

I hope they do announce something more before Christmas given that they originally said they hoped to have it for sale before then.

Last edited by mrsp; 12-04-2007 at 07:48 PM. Reason: added more stuff
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
eb20 sounds like a device and not a piece of software. To me it sounds like a portable web browser that you can use to view your purchased ebook on. If that is the case, I think it will not do all that well. Look at the battery life of the Kindle and iLiad when using the wifi. Not all that good in reality for reading ebooks.
Ahh, I see what you mean. When you said a "portable web browser", I just assumed that you meant software, like carrying around Firefox on a USB key.

This also segues into my N810 sideline, which is my way of saying that "dedicated ereader device" may be one of those areas where he doesn't know what he's talking about (or does, but was jumping on the Kindle bandwagon at the time).

Jon, you keep spoiling my buzz. I'm starting to not like you.

Cheers,
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I may have jumped the gun, but I don't think so. Dymocks said they would announce a new platform by the end of the month. This is all they announced. Until they make another announcement, I'm not getting my hopes up.
"Hopes" is all I got. I'm not foolish enough to actually rely on what Dymocks and the "journalist" reported. That's why I firstly don't hold much stock by the "end of the month" thing of Grover - Dymocks's byline should be "Over-promise; under-deliver" in my experience.

Quote:
...It doesn't look like it's a hardware device.
You and Jon should merge into a single entity we can call Captain Bringdown.

(I'm just joking - I appreciate you guys' attempts to keep us informed and tracking the news. It's just that, as Big Kev use to say, "I'm excited!").

Cheers,
Marc
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