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Old 10-14-2009, 08:14 AM   #1
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Google plans 'buy anywhere, read anywhere' offer

Google plans 'buy anywhere, read anywhere' offer

A cloud-based system seems nice to me... available to any device from a central location. However it's important to see the terms & conditions and what Google is allowed to do etc.

And one of my first reactions was: "If this goes through: Bad news for Kindle and good news for Sony!" Later in the article it says:

Quote:
Edmonds said it was "definitely" Google's intention to partner with device manufacturers, but declined to give names. She added she "doubted" Kindle would be on board.
So much going on these days...
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yagiz View Post
A cloud-based system seems nice to me... available to any device from a central location. However it's important to see the terms & conditions and what Google is allowed to do etc.
I believe one of the most beautiful revolutions happened during the 60s, in US, when finally the control was taken from the powerful corporations, governments etc. and given back to the people. I'm talking, of course, about the Personal Computer, when each individual was in charge of the data. Now (after it already failed once during the 90s), "Big Brother" tries again the get that power back (why should you be allowed to control the computers you own?), so it invented an evil concept called cloud-computing. Which I will fight with everything I can, it's just a too important battle to lose...

P.S. If people find my comment too much, maybe I can explain: half of my life I lived in a communist country, and hearing about a "central location" brings back many bad memories. And more... I just like computers too much (and the benefits they bring to humankind) to not care about them.

Last edited by LucasCorso; 10-14-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:54 AM   #3
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> hearing about a "central location" brings back many bad memories

With all due respect, you're using an online forum, probably using Web-based e-mails, instant messaging, etc. which tell more about you then the books you read...
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by yagiz View Post
With all due respect, you're using an online forum, probably using Web-based e-mails, instant messaging, etc. which tell more about you then the books you read...
Hi yagiz. It's only my opinion that cloud computing can't be good for people, that's all. What's happening if somebody "in charge of the cloud" decides that books shall be changed, addapted, to reflect a new situation? Just an example of why I'm against it. I'm not sure if my personal ways of using emails, instant messaging etc., have something to do with this idea.
But anyway, this isn't a forum to discuss stuff like this, and sorry if my post looked too negative.

Last edited by LucasCorso; 10-14-2009 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:33 AM   #5
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:38 AM   #6
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I don't like cloud-based ebooks as an idea. I know when my internet access is flaky sometimes, it drives me crazy. There is just no way right now to assure 100% access on a 'cloud-based' system. I would rather download my books and read them off-line. I have enough in the 'cloud' already (emails, news feeds etc) that I don't need to be throwing my books into the mix.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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Great news thanks for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yagiz View Post
And one of my first reactions was: "If this goes through: Bad news for Kindle and good news for Sony!" Later in the article it says:
Yeah my first reaction was "This is going to force Amazon to open up it's store. Bad for SONY and Amazon, great for the consumer!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by LucasCorso View Post
I believe one of the most beautiful revolutions happened during the 60s, in US, when finally the control was taken from the powerful corporations, governments etc. and given back to the people. I'm talking, of course, about the Personal Computer, when each individual was in charge of the data. Now (after it already failed once during the 90s), "Big Brother" tries again the get that power back (why should you be allowed to control the computers you own?), so it invented an evil concept called cloud-computing. Which I will fight with everything I can, it's just a too important battle to lose...

P.S. If people find my comment too much, maybe I can explain: half of my life I lived in a communist country, and hearing about a "central location" brings back many bad memories. And more... I just like computers too much (and the benefits they bring to humankind) to not care about them.
I think the culture shows it's differences here I didn't consider the PC a revolution but more of an evolution. It has greatly enhanced out standard of living.

As for "Central Computing"/"Cloud Computing" you raise some good points I'm sure there is a little bit of Big Brother element as you put it, but there is also a great a mount of power returned to the people as this concept bridges cultures and countries.

Great posts.

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Old 10-14-2009, 09:43 AM   #8
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Google announced this program awhile ago, though obviously are now releasing some additional details.

I'm not sure how many publishers will be on board with providing new books to this program, though. Right now the wholesale cost for a new ebook is around $10; if Google sells (leases? ) a new ebook at $15.00, the wholesale cost will drop to $6.75. This is exactly the type of price reduction many publishers are trying to avoid.

I'm not too concerned about the "Cloud" aspects, although from a technical perspective I'm not sure how well it will integrate (if at all) with their existing partnerships with Sony and B&N, how it will work with an Internet-connected ebook reader, or if it will require additional software.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:12 AM   #9
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Well... I see the "cloud" concept just as a "library", nothing more. But a library that you can access from any device (supporting the format or one of the available formats).

I go to Shelfari today, and I have my virtual shelves:
- reading
- planning to read
- have read
Obviously there are no physical books behind those icons that I can see. I cannot click on them and open one. I think Google is planning to do this: add the physical book behind the book cover icon that you see on your virtual shelf. Then probably features like: Click on a book in the "planning to read" shelf, then you have the option to buy, read an except, etc.

Additionally, the book is downloaded on your device, so you don't need to be connected to read, I'd assume...
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:40 AM   #10
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Here is something I found interesting in the article --

Google Editions has three business models:
1. to allow the consumer to buy the e-book via Google Books. 63/37 split.
2. to buy it from a partner retailer; 45/55 split.
3. or from a publisher's own website. Split undecided.

The first number in the split goes to the publisher (and author) and the second number in the split goes to Google (and a retailer in the case of option 2).

Compare this with Amazon. Small publishers and authors get 35% and Amazon gets 65%. I don't know what larger publishers are able to work out. Retailers (and publishers) can also sell their books through the Amazon Marketplace and keep a larger percentage of the sale. The percent of the cut varies depending on the price of the sale. A $15 book would have a 65/35 split in the sellers favor.

If I am selling books, I'd much rather have the bigger slice of the pie that Google is offering. However, as a book buyer, I would much rather download my book to my device. I'm not a big fan of cloud computing where some other entity actually possesses my data. It would be too easy for them to deny me access to my data. I don't think Google is a bad company, but I'm just not a big fan of this business model. Too bad Google won't let you down load the books. I think this is going to impact sales. Although Amazon is offering sellers a smaller slice of the pie, they may be selling more pies, and as a seller, in the end, I just want more pie.

Last edited by Daithi; 10-14-2009 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:55 AM   #11
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I don't know about the "wholesale cost for a new ebook is around $10", as someone put it. The retail price of a typical Kindle ebook is $9.99, so the wholesale cost would be less.

There are already a lot of ebooks available for reading online at www.wowio.com, for example. I pay money for access to Safari Online, another source of current book-clouds of a sort.

I'm all for having my books in a cloud, but there need to be quite a few clouds, not just one controlled by one group. Big companies are good for some purposes; they can do battle with big countries, if they are willing to. Big companies HAVE to do battle with other big entities in order to survive, that's why Microsoft is in court a lot, and most big companies are also. Because they are multinational and subject to the laws of all the countries they operate in, multinationals are independent of nations to a certain extent, something that is good in some ways and bad in others.

Just some thoughts...
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:03 AM   #12
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First post... Had to register since people seem to be quite mistaken about this new Google-system. Where did you get the impression that simply because your library is saved online in a cloud, allowing you to access the books from multiple devices, you also have to be connected all the time?

Like one of the comments on the original news-site:
Quote:
Cloud computing limits where you can read a book. Accessing a guidebook on, say, wildflowers while on the side of Mount Rainier will be impossible. As guidebooks (travel, wildlife, sports etc) seem to me to be one of the prime money-makers for (ebook) publishers such a cloud-based system strikes me as foolish and unappealing.
There is really no difference in terms of access to a library online between Amazon now and Google. The difference is that the google library appears to be open format, and open for various readers and mobile devices. I hope this will mean that I can simply download books to my PC, transfer it to my E-reader, or find a new book while in the bus, downloading it on my iphone, and later when I get home, find it for my e-reader, enabling me to read on multiple devices depending on my situation, and only having to look one place to get all the ebooks I have ever purchased.

It clearly states in the article:
Quote:
Once a book has been accessed on a given device, a cached version will exist, making it possible for readers to access the book offline.
What is the fuss about. This is great! Finally some good competition to Amazon, enabling everyone to break the geographical restrictions and format restrictions.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:29 AM   #13
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It clearly states in the article: What is the fuss about. This is great! Finally some good competition to Amazon, enabling everyone to break the geographical restrictions and format restrictions.
I agree with the fact that competition is good for us. But for me it's not clear what a "local cache" means in this context, and I'm afraid it's not exactly a local copy (the term "cache" makes me think of a temporary thing out of my control). And knowing Google(*) and their "online" (offline and Google in the same sentence strikes me as... unatural) philosophy, I'll see when it arrives if this is the new "Library of Alexandria".

(*) They really know how to sell ads, and gather data to find the perfect ones for you, Microsoft can't even hope to reach such levels.

Last edited by LucasCorso; 10-14-2009 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geneven View Post
I don't know about the "wholesale cost for a new ebook is around $10", as someone put it. The retail price of a typical Kindle ebook is $9.99, so the wholesale cost would be less.
Amazon uses a lot of those $9.99 books as loss leaders (in other words they take a loss on them).
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #15
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Here's a solid question: Has ePub or Sony DRM been cracked yet? I believe no, but based on my belief why wouldn't google allow offline access to actual files that could be uploaded to ebook readers? You are still purchasing books in a file format from any number of online retailers, so why wouldn't google just follow the current model in addition to having the cloud?

As a smartphone owner, I can see a definite benefit to having access to my library in the cloud, but as a Sony 505 owner, I can't see myself purchasing an ebook that I can't use on my ebook reader. eBook readers (people not devices) are in the minority as it is, and that minority already have devices to hold their books. I don't see a market for ebooks that can only be read on a pc or web enabled cellphone (though I can see iPhone owners say that it is their preferred device for ereading, I would rather not ruin my eyesight any further)
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