TED’s New Ebook App Illustrates Apple iBookstore’s Shortcomings

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TED's new ebook series and ebook app highlights the concern that ebook purchases can lock readers into a specific platform.
TED's new ebook series and ebook app highlights the concern that ebook purchases lock readers into specific platforms.

The TED organization, which sponsors a range of conferences and talks on cutting edge topics recently launched an ebook series known as TED Books. Like the non-profit’s other initiatives, TED Books are “designed to spread great ideas.” Sticking to that ideal, the organization is making the ebooks, which will be released every two weeks, available across a range of ebook platforms including the new TED Books app for iOS devices.

The move highlights one of the challenges about ebooks – the choice of merchant and platform. That’s a particular concern when it comes to Apple’s iBookstore because purchases can only be read on an iOS device.

Is Your iPad Reading You?

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ibooks_hero

The Wall Street Journal today has a report on how the e-book industry is paying close attention not only to what books people read, but how they are reading them. Do readers skim the intro, skip around in the chapters? Do they read straight through? What are readers’ favorite passage to highlight and share? This kind of data mining is happening now, even on your iPad.

Should we be worried?

Hacked Nook Simple Touch Runs Like A Classic Mac

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flyingtoasters

Some people dream of flying sheep, but blogger Mike Cane thinks different, dreaming of flying toasters. His dream – in November 2011 – was to see the classic Macintosh OS running on a nook Simple Touch, the eInk reader from Barnes and Noble. His dream seemed far-fetched, perhaps, even to him, but consider the following specs:

Original Macintosh: 68000 Motorola CPU at a blistering 8MHz(!), 128K(!) of RAM, and 512×342 screen
Nook Touch: TI OMAP3621 (ARM Cortex-A8 core, 800MHz), 256MB RAM, and 600×800 screen.

The Nook Simple Touch outperforms the original Mac by quite a bit. All he needed was someone to bring his dream to life.

Hearst Exec: iPad Leads Digital Magazine Sales, Users Don’t Want Interactive Content

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Hearst see digital publications as the future but without interactive features
Hearst see digital publications as the future but without interactive features

Hearst, the publishing conglomerate that includes several of the world’s largest magazine brands, sees a bright future of iPad and tablet editions. Duncan Edwards, CEO of Hearst Magazines International, delivered some surprising statements as to what that future will look like at this week’s World e-Reading Congress in London.

The most surprising statement was that Hearst doesn’t plan to include interactive content in its digital publications despite work done in the company’s little known App Lab and the belief that users will pay more for a digital edition. Edwards also described mix of devices used by Hearst digital subscribers. That mix is headed up by the iPad but with Barnes & Noble’s Nook platform right behind it.

New Nook Company To Take Apple’s iPad Textbooks Head-On

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Battle for e-textbooks heats up with new Nook company
Battle for e-textbooks heats up with new Nook company

Barnes & Noble’s announcement that it was spinning off its Nook business and that Microsoft would be a significant stakeholder in the new company raised a lot of eyebrows. The partnership seemed unnecessary in order to meet the goals of settling a patent dispute and ensuring a Nook app for Windows 8 tablets.

It turns out that Barnes & Nobel will be shifting its textbook business to the new company along with the Nook and that Microsoft’s $300 million investment will likely be centered around creating an e-textbook initiative that will likely compete head-on with Apple’s fledging iPad-based e-textbook business.