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Old 12-04-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
Nate the great
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Hearst just announced their ebook reader

Okay, they didn't actually announce the device yet, but the news released today is bigger than just a device. Hearst (a US media conglomerate) just announced the formation of Skiff, its new digital distribution platform. The rumored new device does exist and will be part of this platform. But it' won't be the only device. Skiff platform will support wireless delivery of content to more than just their device. According to the Skiff homepage, supported devices will include notebooks, PCs, tablets, smartphones, and dedicated reading devices.

We don't have much info on the gadget yet, but the press release does mention that it will have a color screen and that Skiff has partnerships with Sprint and Marvell.

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Old 12-04-2009, 10:18 AM   #2
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wow ! that is huge. a distribution plateform could really shake things up, especially by including magazines, blogs, etc. and most especially by not making it closed to other devices. that is definitely a good idea on the part of hearst ! and a colour screen for magazines will be great. i wonder which technology they are using ?
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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It's about time, this may be the salvation of many physical only print media and a real boost to those companies who publish limited or hard to get e-media.

I'd certainly use it:
  • IF it's cost effective
  • IF it's really cross device capable. I've got a Kindle DX now but am open to switch to other devices if an impressive enough device comes to market.
  • IF it's not crippled with excessive DRM, Amazon allows up to 6 devices to use one account, this is nice not to have to buy multiple copies of the same text.
  • IF it supplies close to print output. Not hampered by dropping the pictures and a lot of articles to keep size and bandwidth down.
  • IF it's timely, I'm not going to wait 2 weeks or more for an e version of a mag just so they can continue to push the physical version
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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The partnership with Sprint gives them a retail presence. It may lock out the iRex DR800SG though, which is the only multi-source (for content delivery) wireless device announced so far.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i wonder which technology they are using ?
Probably Adobe Air. But it all looks pretty vague at the moment.

I'm sure it will have DRM. As long as they use something like Air, it should work on multiple platforms -- though I'd think formatting/layouts for handhelds and larger screens and paper will increase the workload for putting out an issue.

Wake me up when they've got a prototype. Hearst and Sprint might still be in business by that point.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:43 PM   #6
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Without their own device, they're up against folks like nxtbook, texterity, and Zinio for magazines and everyone else for books. With a device, you're right back in the same boat you're in now with respect to trying to pitch a dedicated unit--except that now the customer really is better off with a netbook.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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I swear I heard the ghost of William Randolph Hearst.. no-one mention Rosebud!
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