Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Is Your E-Book Reading Up On You?" from NPR by MARTIN KASTE

E-books are quickly going mainstream: They represent nearly one out of 10 trade books sold. It's easy to imagine a near future in which paper books are the exception, not the norm. But are book lovers ready to have their reading tracked? Most e-readers, like Amazon's Kindle, have an antenna that lets users instantly download new books. But the technology also makes it possible for the device to transmit information back to the manufacturer. "They know how fast you read because you have to click to turn the page," says Cindy Cohn, legal director at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It knows if you skip to the end to read how it turns out."
Listen to the NPR All Things Considered podcast on this story. Read the full NPR feature story here. See this story from the Economist, as well; it's on the state of the retail side of the book business, in which it states, in part:
The context for all this activity is a technological transformation in bookselling that has devastated bookstores. Amazon, whose Kindle became the first e-reader to achieve critical mass, ahead of Apple’s iPad, announced a further innovation on December 8th, making books published on the Kindle available through web browsers. This came hot on the heels of Google’s announcement that it is launching its own e-books and online e-reader. Borders, which has lost money in each of the past ten quarters, has only recently launched its e-reader, called Kobo, in partnership with Indigo, a Canadian bookseller. One of the apparent goals of Borders in offering to buy Barnes & Noble is to get its hands on its rival’s superior e-book technology. That includes the nook, an e-reader which hit the market far sooner than the Kobo, though later than the Kindle.
Read that full Economist article, here.

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