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Old 10-14-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
advocate2
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Wall Street Journal Buy Amazon or Barnes & Nobles?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about which stock to buy given current pricing and the future impact of EReaders. They conclude that Amazon stock has peaked but that in the future EReader sales Barnes and Noble has great growth potential.

....

And then there's the e-reader business.

This is a new industry, which means nobody knows for certain what will happen next. The naive—and most common—approach is to assume the future will look like the near past. Amazon's Kindle, which is easy to use and lets you download books and other reading matter wirelessly, has transformed the industry. All credit to chief executive Jeff Bezos. And the company isn't hanging around. It just cut the price of the Kindle, and at last launched an overseas version as well.

But that does not mean Amazon's lead will last.

(After all, Palm once dominated the hand-held organizer business and look where that got them.)

The Kindle has weaknesses. Books purchased on an Amazon Kindle can only be read on a Kindle (or an iPhone). The company uses a proprietary closed format. As I've mentioned here before, it risks making the Kindle the Betamax (Bezomax?) of e-readers.

Meanwhile Amazon's competitors, including Barnes & Noble, are moving to an open, shared standard known as ePub. Books purchased in ePub can be read on any other device, including laptops. A wave of new e-readers hits stores this fall. And at long last, these are copying Kindle's key feature—the connection that lets you browse and buy wirelessly. Consumers finally have a real choice.
...
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:49 AM   #2
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Sounds like old Rupe's using another one of his clubs to beat up on Amazon. He's been doing that a lot lately.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:15 AM   #3
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Sounds like old Rupe's using another one of his clubs to beat up on Amazon. He's been doing that a lot lately.
Making the same observations that have been made here for a long time is beating Amazon up?

I am sure Murdoch called the reporter up and dictated the article.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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And at long last, these are copying Kindle's key feature—the connection that lets you browse and buy wirelessly. Consumers finally have a real choice.[/I]...
To be frank, I rather not have some random company integrate a cellphone chip into my reader, especially not when that connection is always on and can be used to manipulate its contents (just consider this: if they can delete a book remotely, would they not also be able to read anything you annotate on there? And track where you are? Call me mister paranoid if you like..). WiFi, now that's another matter, alas it is too late for me since I already purchased a reader without it.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FragFrog View Post
To be frank, I rather not have some random company integrate a cellphone chip into my reader, especially not when that connection is always on and can be used to manipulate its contents (just consider this: if they can delete a book remotely, would they not also be able to read anything you annotate on there? And track where you are? Call me mister paranoid if you like..). WiFi, now that's another matter, alas it is too late for me since I already purchased a reader without it.
With the Kindle, the connection is not always on. You turn it on and off at will.

I'd actually be more concerned about today's cell phones (though I'm not) than ebook readers. You can easily be tracked and who knows, maybe they track your phone internet surfing and maybe listen in on your calls.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:21 PM   #6
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With the Kindle, the connection is not always on. You turn it on and off at will.
I stand corrected, from what I heard I gathered the Kindle connection was pretty much always active. And you are right: your cellphone also makes it easy to track you (except that my phone is a prepaid one with no subscription). But I digress - what I intended to convey was that while real privacy is an illusion, you can at least try to prevent a single multinational from obtaining everything there is to know about you. Alas for sounding paranoid, but there's already a few companies out there with more than superb information retrieval networks (google, microsoft) that know a lot more about me than I would like a random company to do.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:24 PM   #7
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Take a look at the New York Times article that came out today also pointing out the inability of the Kindle to receive ebooks from libraries. This isn't just Murdoch. The mainstream press is getting the point as well.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/bo...s.html?_r=1&hp
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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that's an interesting one!

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Old 10-15-2009, 01:06 AM   #9
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wait wait wait ... so the bn device will support epub?
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:54 AM   #10
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I stand corrected, from what I heard I gathered the Kindle connection was pretty much always active.
Despite the perception of an "always on," persistent, connection, most Kindle users keep the Kindle's wireless connection off for other than downloads, given the wireless connection increases battery usage dramatically.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:24 AM   #11
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wait wait wait ... so the bn device will support epub?
Yes, it will. The question is not whether it will support ePub but whether it will use its own flavor of DRM wrapper so that other devices that also support ePub will not be able to support B&N ePub books.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:15 AM   #12
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As fr as I am concerned Amazon dug its own grave when it bought Mobi and then went on to make it so Mobi was exclusive and couldnt be put on a device running something like ePub.
Unless Amazon does something soon they are going to be dead in the water as far as potential customers are concerned.

""Hmmmm....what ereader should I buy?? ......Shall I buy the one that lets me read one format in DRM on my reader.... or shall I buy the one that lets me read the format that all the other ereaders can read, get books from the library and also read on my computer if I wish to do so."
Sorry, if Amazon doesnt do something soon then they will die as far as ereaders are concerned. I have a Kindle and I love it! I do however want to buy a reader for my daughter and at the moment buying another Kindle doesnt seem to make sense. How long will it be before ebook sellers decide they are not going to even carry the Mobi format?

Just my tuppence haipny worth
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FragFrog View Post
To be frank, I rather not have some random company integrate a cellphone chip into my reader, especially not when that connection is always on and can be used to manipulate its contents (just consider this: if they can delete a book remotely, would they not also be able to read anything you annotate on there? And track where you are? Call me mister paranoid if you like..). WiFi, now that's another matter, alas it is too late for me since I already purchased a reader without it.
On a Kindle, every time the wireless is turned on, Amazon makes a copy of the notes and clippings that have been made.

This is a double-edged sword. If you have a system failure and lose your notes, they can always be retrieved from the Kindle account. This is a big plus!

The other side of this coin is the lack of privacy. If Amazon has my personal notes and clippings, others can obtain them as well, either by hacking or court order.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:21 PM   #14
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Yes, it will [support ePub]. The question is not whether it will support ePub but whether it will use its own flavor of DRM wrapper so that other devices that also support ePub will not be able to support B&N ePub books.
Citation please.

I've tried to follow the B&N ebook re-emergence pretty closely and I've never seen anything where they said they would support ePub. All I've seen is their proprietary eReader format implementation, which is why they purchased FictionWise/eReader just before re-entering the ebook market space.

I'm hoping you can provide a link to a news release of B&N FAQ or some other authoratative source, because I really want to like the B&N solution. But so far all they've committed to is providing free eReader software for a variety of mobile platforms, Windows and the Mac. And their eReader software is exactly the same as the free download you used to get from FictionWise.com and eReader.com which does NOT read ePub formatted ebooks. Please prove me wrong (because I do want to be wrong).
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:07 PM   #15
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It is a bit of an Amazon beatup, but yes I think he is right. ePub is essential for mainstream acceptance. You can transfer Mp3s pretty easily, Amazon sell those without DRM. I can play that Mp3 I bought on ANY device I own, iPhone, iTunes on Macbook Pro, PC, Winamp, Songbird. The books I bought on the Kindle, not so easy to transfer, and that annoys consumers.

Consumers expect that level of interoperability. Anything less is a disaster in the long run. Occaisionally that is not the case, when the device is something much more attractive than the competition (iPods for example), but the Kindle isn't that much more attractive.
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