While book publishers have been, for the most part, friendly to the idea of e-books – at least since the rise of the Kindle and its ilk – the shift from dead trees to lively pixels still scare many in the industry. Meanwhile, on the TV and movie front, streaming providers like Hulu Plus have been bucking heads with traditional content producers who are fearful of devaluing their content. A new report says Amazon’s looking to take all those anxieties and mix them up in one big worry stew by introducing a Netflix-like subscription e-book service to Amazon Prime accounts.
The Amazon tablet is becoming the white whale of tablets, but a report from TechCrunch may have finally shed some light on Amazon’s plans. MG Sigler claims to have used an Amazon tablet, and confirms that it is a 7-inch device running Android. However, it is totally forked version of the platform that bears little resemblance to Google’s current software.
There are times when nothing else will do but to dig your teeth into the meat of a good book. If you neglected to tuck a paperback, e-reader or tablet into your bag, Amazon and Google have you have you covered, thanks to Kindle Cloud Reader, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
Amazon's Kindle wasn't the first e-reader on the market, but it's continuing the Amazon tradition of shattering sales paradigms – Amazon announced today that it now sells more Kindle e-books than traditional print books.
Amazon reports that since April 1st, the company has sold 105 e-books for every 100 print books. That's not including all the free downloads of public domain books, either. It's not surprising when you consider just how ubiquitous the Kindle's become in just four years – even if you don't have an actual Kindle, you can read Kindle books using the Kindle app that's available for many mobile devices.
Amazon earlier this month announced a new addition to the Kindle family, "Kindle with Special Offers," and said the device would ship on May 3, 2011 for $114, a $25 savings over the regular third-generation Kindle. Well, it looks as though Amazon and its affiliates are eager to get the ball rolling, because we just got word that the ad-enabled Kindle is in-stock and ready to ship immediately, about a week ahead of schedule.
Following the recent release of the ad-enabled Kindle with a $25 price cut, Amazon today announced yet another potential cost saving feature, Kindle Library Lending. Launching later this year, this feature will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the U.S. just as you would do with physical books. The new feature works with all Kindle devices, as well as Kindle reading apps, so even if you're not invested in the hardware, you can still 'check out' an eBook.
Usually, if someone went around offering you a new Kindle for $25 under retail, you'd look at them slyly and wonder where they stole it from. But in the case of Target and Best Buy stores, they're going to be selling the cheaper Kindle starting May 3rd because it is ad-supported. On-screen ads may lower the price by $25, but will users accept that?
What’s interesting about the shift from an industrial age to a technological age is that we keep inventing new media: movies, records, radio, television, the internet, and now ebooks—and one of the things that’s most interesting about the invention of a new medium is watching it reinvent itself as it penetrates the culture.
In the study of mass communication, we see that a new medium always starts out building on the formats of preexisting media. A couple quick examples:
As movies grew up, especially in the first decade of sound, they went to novels and broadway plays for source material. (They still do. In fact, now they go to comics and TV shows too for ‘inspiration.’)
As radio spread, radio stations went to records and concerts for material to broadcast. Radio networks also went to vaudeville for performers and made stars out of Jack Benny, Fred Allen, George Burns, and others. (This is what killed vaudeville. You could stay home and listen to live performances.) Eventually radio started doing drama, mysteries, soap operas, game shows, and sitcoms.
When television began, it modeled itself after radio.
For more about what technology's history says about ebooks' future, read on!
Today's technology has us taking for granted what would seem like black magic back in the early days. Punch a search query into Google, for example, and you're presented with thousands, even millions of results in less time than it takes to sneeze. Surely some sinister force must be at work! More recently, Amazon upgraded its Kindle platform to include real page numbers, so if your book club references a murder scene on page 187, you can hop right to it on your Kindle just as if you were holding a dead tree version. That's nifty, but how did Amazon go about the mammoth task of updating its massive selection of ebooks with real page numbers? Find out after the break.
When the Kindle first launched, you could only pick one up from Amazon.com itself. In the last year or so, Amazon has smartly expanded into brick and mortar retail chains. Now the Kindle will be available in yet another place, AT&T Wireless stores. As you may or may not be aware, the global 3G radio in the Kindle uses AT&T's network in the US.