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Old 10-29-2015, 04:05 PM   #31
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Wow, the discussion here is intense. O_o

I guess brain grey cells used for this topic are far more than what Branch Delay used for the 5.6.5 jailbreak hehehe

Spoiler:
Obviously, just joking. No offense.

Last edited by idoit; 10-29-2015 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:44 PM   #32
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:10 AM   #33
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Thank you for the split - sadly I wasnt fast to respond, but that comes with me having the opportunity to see where the discussion went so far.

I want to extrapolate three points - where I think this community still "doesnt get it".


We are talking about structural issues in here - and still, most people in here are fixed on inventing methods that allow "the correct jumping through hoops".

1. The power of the default

When most people are getting their eBooks in .kfx format - increasingly it doesnt matter that you may, or may not still be able to download older formats via a web interface no one - and let me repeat that - no one, is using. Peoples notions of what an eBook is, or aught to be will change.

2. The issue of the ownership of tools

If the tools to create an eBook (in the .kfx format and every format from now on) arent widely distributed - it doesnt matter if .kfx can be "opened" or understood - because as soon as it is - Amazon can roll out its successor in a matter of days.

When you dont have to reeducate a broader section of your production chain on "how to make an eBook", because you only have to have five guys in house that know it, and are responsible for the heavy automation that does this for hundreds of thousands of your clients, you just invent a new file format whenever you feel like it.

Consumers are educated now, that they will accept new fileformats in exchange for one or two new features ("Thanks product bloggers!") - that could as well have been implemented with azw3 - it wasnt a technical limitation, it was a marketing play - to increase lock in, to guide the conversation away from the broader changes this file format initiates. And furthermore, the consumer doesnt know or see about the fileformat at all.

If something as mundane as a signature key needs to be updated - auto delivery, pop him a "needs to be redownloaded" message ("better with no prompts") and thats it.

3. Structural implications

If the "workarounds" arent broadly used, because not only is Amazons concept of "delivery and usability" much more straight forward and easy, but also it offers better quality (serifs, better spacing, hyphenation). And not only does it offer better quality - people effectively dont come in contact anymore with anything we propose as a solution --

("Well see, then you have to go to amazon.com and into the web interface there (for the first time) and download a file format, which you have never seen before (on your eReader you only got those kfx files we dont like), and then you download this program, and then this plugin (which we dont want to give you a link for, just look for it), then convert into an OLDER fileformat - then do the hyphena- ...")

-- you guys will eventually fade into obscurity, because - people just dont care as much.

-

Now from then on you can focus all the available time on your hands to deliver the best individual product support to Amazon customers (which wont ask the questions we'd like them to ask, because - see above), but you will do so mostly because of hedonistic reasons ("I like to be useful, to help others, ..") - but not because it is really in your self interest as a society to do so.

I proclaim that there is a switch, where this community will work mostly for and in the interest of Amazon, while maybe still having the loophole that two or three dozen of us will hold dear (also entirely controlled by Amazon - if it is too popular, throw a few more hoops at it), but in the end - we will have lost the ability to

- produce books

- to independently distribute them

- to understand current formats

and to reach a broader audience.

I know social effects are not what most techies (I confess) usually think about (hack it, then look for a Steve Jobs to do the rest // hack it, then make a fun little app out of it, then put it on an Appstore, because the eyeballs are there) - but the shift is already under way.

You know you are not at a high point, when you are mounting the argument - yes, but with wireshark i can still...

You may have lost eBooks already, and there is a discussion remaining about, when do you stop supporting Amazon (for free, no less), when do you say something against it -

It sure doesnt feel like bashing, you decide.

Also - there is the scientific angle on this (Industrialisation of the distribution format ("its not a book, its a container")) that has identified this as a problem as well. But its media science, so who cares...

Another structural question that has to be asked is - why did publishers so easily agree to "never be able to produce an eBook again" in exchange for a mere percentage from Amazon (the monopoly distributer).

Last edited by notimp; 10-30-2015 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:13 AM   #34
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@notimp:
A very interesting set of points.
Ones that are each due (in my mind) a very carefully considered response.
So I will delay my own direct response for a period of careful consideration.

- - - - -

An observation:
This forum is frequented by members of at least three generations.
Which should add to the diversity of responses to your various points.
All of which should make interesting reading.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:57 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notimp View Post
Thank you for the split - sadly I wasnt fast to respond, but that comes with me having the opportunity to see where the discussion went so far.

I want to extrapolate three points - where I think this community still "doesnt get it".


We are talking about structural issues in here - and still, most people in here are fixed on inventing methods that allow "the correct jumping through hoops".

1. The power of the default

When most people are getting their eBooks in .kfx format - increasingly it doesnt matter that you may, or may not still be able to download older formats via a web interface no one - and let me repeat that - no one, is using. Peoples notions of what an eBook is, or aught to be will change.
No one's using the web interface?
No one's using Kindle for PC?

Both of those have been the standard way for people who don't own a Kindle or only "own" (on paper) a Kindle, to purchase Amazon books and format-shift into EPUB.
Because price comparison.

And peoples' notion of what an ebook is or should be, was always on shaky ground.
Most people have difficulty comprehending what a "file" is. They open files through applications, and if the application doesn't already know where the file is they get lost.
Welcome to the world of "people are stupid".


Quote:
2. The issue of the ownership of tools

If the tools to create an eBook (in the .kfx format and every format from now on) arent widely distributed - it doesnt matter if .kfx can be "opened" or understood - because as soon as it is - Amazon can roll out its successor in a matter of days.
I hate to say it, but KFX isn't really a focus of most people here, not as long as Amazon still offers the old format alongside the new.

Quote:
When you dont have to reeducate a broader section of your production chain on "how to make an eBook", because you only have to have five guys in house that know it, and are responsible for the heavy automation that does this for hundreds of thousands of your clients, you just invent a new file format whenever you feel like it.

Consumers are educated now, that they will accept new fileformats in exchange for one or two new features ("Thanks product bloggers!") - that could as well have been implemented with azw3 - it wasnt a technical limitation, it was a marketing play - to increase lock in, to guide the conversation away from the broader changes this file format initiates. And furthermore, the consumer doesnt know or see about the fileformat at all.
Consumers are absolutely not educated about any such thing.
Most have never heard of AZW3. They haven't heard of EPUB either -- even if they own a Nook or a Kobo.
Again, people who give a hoot about formats are very much the minority -- and of those who do give a hoot, an even representation can usually be found here on MobileRead, complaining about how AZW3 is "a marketing play to increase lock in".

Joy of joys... now they consider AZW3 perfectly normal and acceptable -- because they have moved on to complaining about KFX.

Quote:
If something as mundane as a signature key needs to be updated - auto delivery, pop him a "needs to be redownloaded" message ("better with no prompts") and thats it.

3. Structural implications

If the "workarounds" arent broadly used, because not only is Amazons concept of "delivery and usability" much more straight forward and easy, but also it offers better quality (serifs, better spacing, hyphenation). And not only does it offer better quality - people effectively dont come in contact anymore with anything we propose as a solution --

("Well see, then you have to go to amazon.com and into the web interface there (for the first time) and download a file format, which you have never seen before (on your eReader you only got those kfx files we dont like), and then you download this program, and then this plugin (which we dont want to give you a link for, just look for it), then convert into an OLDER fileformat - then do the hyphena- ...")

-- you guys will eventually fade into obscurity, because - people just dont care as much.
I have no fear whatsoever that we will fade into obscurity because of KFX.

Heck, this forum is not really about Amazon's file formats anyway. It's about the hardware platform.

The primary point of contact for KFX is the people in the calibre forums. And the people in the Kindle Formats forum.

Quote:
Now from then on you can focus all the available time on your hands to deliver the best individual product support to Amazon customers (which wont ask the questions we'd like them to ask, because - see above), but you will do so mostly because of hedonistic reasons ("I like to be useful, to help others, ..") - but not because it is really in your self interest as a society to do so.

I proclaim that there is a switch, where this community will work mostly for and in the interest of Amazon, while maybe still having the loophole that two or three dozen of us will hold dear (also entirely controlled by Amazon - if it is too popular, throw a few more hoops at it), but in the end - we will have lost the ability to

- produce books

- to independently distribute them

- to understand current formats

and to reach a broader audience.
I don't know about any hedonistic reasons. And I am pretty sure no one here will work for Amazon.
As for the interests of Amazon, we have always worked in the best interest of Amazon.
Jailbroken devices are value-added, more attractive devices, which is in Amazon's best interest. Many of the hacks here enhance the reading experience.

Better collections management, integrated with calibre.
Font control.
custom screensavers <-- can be cover of last book.

A wealth of debricking information and resources.

The only shame is that Amazon doesn't get this, and tries stopping us. But then again, we aren't much different in that way from the iThing and Android communities, except less popular.

Quote:
I know social effects are not what most techies (I confess) usually think about (hack it, then look for a Steve Jobs to do the rest // hack it, then make a fun little app out of it, then put it on an Appstore, because the eyeballs are there) - but the shift is already under way.
I'm still not sure what social effects you are worrying about... sorry.

Quote:
You know you are not at a high point, when you are mounting the argument - yes, but with wireshark i can still...
Huh??? That was simply a curiosity. Discovered whist about other things, I believe...

Quote:
You may have lost eBooks already, and there is a discussion remaining about, when do you stop supporting Amazon (for free, no less), when do you say something against it -
When does the iOS jailbreaking community stop supporting Apple -- for free, no less? We're a third-party group of unofficial hackers here. By definition everything we do enhances someone else's product.
And you are always allowed to say something against it. That is no guarantee that people will agree with you of course.

Quote:
It sure doesnt feel like bashing, you decide.

Also - there is the scientific angle on this (Industrialisation of the distribution format ("its not a book, its a container")) that has identified this as a problem as well. But its media science, so who cares...

Another structural question that has to be asked is - why did publishers so easily agree to "never be able to produce an eBook again" in exchange for a mere percentage from Amazon (the monopoly distributer).
Oh, that's easy.
Publishers were afraid of piracy, so they insisted on DRM.
DRM is the great lock-in, strongly "encouraging" the market leader(s) -- without it, Amazon would have considerably less power.

No one ever said publishers are smart...

This question has in fact been asked -- multiple times.
In the News and General Discussions forums.

Not so often in the Kindle Developer's Forum, since it doesn't strictly have anything to do with the practical aspects of hacking and software development on the Kindle E-Ink hardware.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:22 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by elborak View Post
It was already relatively easy to jailbreak 5.6.5 by simply connecting to the serial port, so I don't think a software jailbreak increases the likelihood of decoding the format by any significant amount. It might allow a few more people to contribute who might not be willing to hardware hack, but I doubt that it will make much difference in the long run.


Given that they know that there are intact serial port pads on many (all?) 5.6.5 devices, I seriously doubt they were relying on the lack of a jailbreak to protect the format.
Fair point. I hadn't thought of that. I wonder to what extent reverse-engineering the reading software will aid hackers to decrypt kfx, if at all. But if you can read / decompile the source...
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:31 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
I hate to say it, but KFX isn't really a focus of most people here, not as long as Amazon still offers the old format alongside the new.
Precisely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
Joy of joys... now they consider AZW3 perfectly normal and acceptable -- because they have moved on to complaining about KFX.
That's not a fair comparison. KFX is encrypted. AZW3 is not. KFX encryption is effectively an entirely new layer and type of DRM.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:38 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
That's not a fair comparison. KFX is encrypted. AZW3 is not. KFX encryption is effectively an entirely new layer and type of DRM.
AZW3 most definitely can be encrypted.

And then there's the Topaz format - encrypted and undocumented. But people did eventually puzzle out how to decrypt it and convert it - because there was no other option for those books.

If there are ever any books where KFX is the only option, I expect there'll be some clever people willing to do the hard work on extracting the contents.

But so long as there are other options, no-one's going to bother.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:42 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
AZW3 most definitely can be encrypted.

And then there's the Topaz format - encrypted and undocumented. But people did eventually puzzle out how to decrypt it and convert it - because there was no other option for those books.

If there are ever any books where KFX is the only option, I expect there'll be some clever people willing to do the hard work on extracting the contents.

But so long as there are other options, no-one's going to bother.
Everything can be broken. A bigger lock means the artist has to spend a lil more time on it, but eventually, it will be broken. has happened, is happening, will happen.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:16 PM   #40
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I try to sum up most aspects in my response without using direct quotes as it reduces readability on those long answers.

Yes - "everything can be hacked" is something that comes from experience. No, not everything will be hacked eventually (There are many examples of it out there, even in the consumer space).

I never buy into the savior parable of - if we suffer (implied: long enough) "he will come" - eventually, and explain to us - the workings of .kfx (and any future file format from now on) - and I see a problem even in those time intervals where -

feature parity - cant be secured for open (or reverse engineered) formats. When compatibility in calibre breaks (always "with the current file format"), you can start counting the days it will still be used by users who mainly care about "a thing that works". In an ecosystem that is designed to be a closed garden, and .kfx auto delivered. ("First go to the online interface, then...")

But thats not the meat of the argument - which is that Amazon has done something substantially different - beginning with .kfx and that is to restrict distribution on any tools used to create the file format - DRMed or not. This has not begun with the _silent_ release of .kfx (the books just appeared the day after the press release, no preliminary lead time), but with Amazon not seeding the production tools in the months before.

The process changed.

Control was handed over by publishers to the distributer, and the distributer only - when it comes to the right and the ability to create an eBook. This allows Amazon to iterate much faster, potentially shrinking the period any hack can restore - feature parity.

Amazon also "autoupdates" eBooks on Kindles - so distribution of new formats ("acceptance") is swift as well.

So discussion quickly moves into the territory of "old formats are good enough" - mainly, because we still understand them. Which also plays into the notion of "hurray, we dont have to learn anything new" - which in technology always has turned out to be the side of the argument you want to be on. *taptaptap*

Distribution does the rest. Once there are mainly .kfx books out there, and they at least are identifiable "by their features" - of course, then we will have a discussion - and decide, that *dang it* it has become the standard in electronic book publishing. And only Amazon can produce it. Well - how about, we go with them then - oh well, thats convenient, because we have no choice..

Want your books to be readable (gap spacing, hyphenation, ...) sign over your rights to create them in the first place.

Amazon controls, for example, but not limited to: File integrity, final layout, date of publishing (at least priorities), ...
-

K4PC and Amazons online interface being the vectors primarily used by "non Kindle owning, no tablet owning, no phone owing customers who buy Amazons eBooks" is basically like saying - there is no deep integration between software and hardware going on at Amazon - if you are coming to it from a Linux desktop ("runs fine on wine") still using Firefox. Its a lense that distorts (maybe a bit strong) your view. Its the reverse of the "if the customer uses a Macbook, hike prices up by 10% in your search results" approach. Online interface and K4PC are interchangeable in my argument above - and both can be controlled by Amazon as they see fit.

Including but not limited to: access, formats, discoverability, user experience....

Having a monopoly on producing, distributing and selling eBooks into your controlled environments (devices or software "players") and having control over how big the piracy side of the market can get, is pretty much a market lock down. Also you are controlling innovation on the sector.

While the public will do your support work for free.

This is the future. Where can I sign up...? Sarcasm. Sneaky. Again.
-

So on to the final point - the social implications of eBooks only being a monopolistically dispersed form of sharing humankinds thoughts, dreams and reflections - tightly controlled by one entity alone (with an affinity for on demand media ("Let me look at how you read that, ..") and recommendation algorithms). Nope. I got nothing.... Dont see the problem. Books, a pair of shoes - looks like an orange to me. Go wildcats!

Sarcasm. Again.

Boy, those publishers sure are NOT smart, arent they...

Last edited by notimp; 10-30-2015 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:39 PM   #41
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My two cents.

I read from the context that notimp is using the term: "society" in several different senses.
In the general sense that "society" is used and in the more limited sense where the term "community" is seen used.
Or even in the more limited sense where "community of interest" is the term used.

In other words, this forum can be described as a "community of interest".
As I am using it above, a group of persons who share a common interest.

Which brings me to the term: "person(s)".
For this discussion, I mean either a natural person or a corporate person.

Using my viewpoint, the corporation known commonly as "Amazon" is an individual person.
At the same time, a corporation can be a group of natural persons.
Ignoring the possibility of internal conflicts, I would be comfortable calling that group of natural persons a: "community of (self-)interest" also.

One question raised is if this forum is a: "community of interest" or a: "community of self-interest".
Hopefully, I'll get around to that question before I am done writing this post.

Starting with the most general, and common, use of the term: "Society", is the topic: "Can an individual person (natural or corporate) change society?"

I can't just write: "yes" and get on with it (the discussion). I have to share my viewpoint of why I would write: "yes".

Benjamin Franklin published a maxim in the 1757 edition of Poor Richard's Almanack commonly referred to as "for want of a nail".
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/...hard-s-almanac
This describes a chain of circumstances representative of what would become known as the "Butterfly Effect" in chaos theory.

It was Edward Lorenz who, in connection with his work on weather models, that first formally described what is known as the "Butterfly Effect".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect
The illustration in the right margin of that page does look like a butterfly, but that is not where the name came from.
The caption of that illustration gives a good, general description of what is meant by the term: "Butterfly Effect".

In the body of that page is a quote taken from Lorenz's 1963 paper:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Lorenz
One meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a sea gull's wings would be enough to alter the course of weather forever.
The controversy has not yet been settled, but the most recent evidence seems to favor the sea gulls.
If a hard science theory can be applied to a soft science question regarding change in society, then I have to answer "Yes" to the topic question above.
An individual person (natural or corporate) can change society.

The main difference between a hard science and a soft science is the nature of measurement used.

Although a hard science, mathematical equation can not be stated to apply Lorenz's theory of a "Strange Attractor" to the factors involved in social change, anyone reading discussion thread posts can see it at work.
How the responses seem to 'vibrate' in increasing degrees of divergence from the initial topic.

One can easily visualize those topic divergences, if plotted, to have the appearance of that illustration in the top right margin of the wikipedia page.

Visualizing the variations in divergence from current social structure during the course of social change is much harder.
But discussion of what may be a trigger or triggers of those variations is still possible.

This introduction to my viewpoint is just one more flap of a sea gull's wings in the overall topic(s) of this thread.

= = =

Comments on point 3 "Structural implications" - -

One person's (a corporate person, itself a community of self-interest) known as: "Amazon"
vs.
One person's (the community of interest represented by the member's of this forum) effect on the structure of e-book publishing.

- - - -

Quote:
Originally Posted by notimp
Now from then on you can focus all the available time on your hands to deliver the best individual product support to Amazon customers (which wont ask the questions we'd like them to ask, because - see above), but you will do so mostly because of hedonistic reasons ("I like to be useful, to help others, ..") - but not because it is really in your self interest as a society to do so.
I read: "society" as in a "community of interest".
This forum, which forms a "community of interest", is not a "community of self-interest".

That is, there are no share interests here in perpetuating the community.

The shared interest is in technology as a pass-time hobby.
In this forum, the interest forms around the Amazon Kindle product.

Members come (when they share that interest and have time on their hands) and members go when their interest(s) change or they no longer have "hobby time" to spend.

This forum does not concern itself with the structure of e-book publishing.
At least not directly.

The major concern here is the usability of the Kindle e-book reader.

If that causes the Amazon Kindle product to reach a broader audience, then it is just an artifact of what we are doing here.

If the Kindle product reaching a broader audience means the increased influence of the Amazon vertical monopoly in e-book publishing, then that is just some of the baggage the product brings with it.

Which is beginning to read the same as:
"For want of a nail ..."

Last edited by knc1; 10-30-2015 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:43 PM   #42
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Boy, those publishers sure are NOT smart, arent they...
It's more a case of short-sighted than lack of smarts. They see the immediate "threat" of piracy. They have a harder time foreseeing the longer term threat of ceding control to a company whose goals are almost guaranteed to evolve into something no longer in sync with the publishers' goals.

Book publishers are far from alone in falling into this trap (see music publishers and Apple/iTunes).
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:44 PM   #43
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Watch Craig & Tweek too! Awesomeness. I love South Park
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:52 PM   #44
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Quote:
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An observation:
This forum is frequented by members of at least three generations.
Which should add to the diversity of responses to your various points.
All of which should make interesting reading.
I like this observation... very true.
Also, nice job @notimp... I admit I have to read carefully too. Thanks for efforts.
And, time to change username to @imp (for important) Those were some important hardcore stuff!

Goddamnit oh boy, this forum is full of really thoughtful inspired people. Good job.

Last edited by idoit; 10-30-2015 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:59 PM   #45
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Wow. I've been gone and so much has gone on. Fantastic discussion going on here. I haven't turned on my wifi since the test exercise here on my new K5. Still happily reading and enjoying it.

Really enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks to all who contributed. I added reputation where I could.
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