E-Paper technology has gone through a number of iterations over the years. Some of been widely adopted by companies like Amazon, B&N or Kobo and others were relegated into obscurity. The best new screen is called Carta and is currently employed by the Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite 2, Kobo H2O and Kobo Glo HD. In the near future, with Carta prices coming down we will soon see a ton of new e-readers adopt this technology.
E Ink Carta first debuted in early 2013 and the primary benefit is a dramatic 50% increase in contrast over earlier generations of ePaper, giving e-Readers a contrast ratio close to that of a paperback book. It also offers a better refresh rate when you are turning the pages of a book. I think what I like best about Carta is that it has support for ultra high resolution screens.
Until the last few months, Carta has been very expensive and could only be viable for the companies who sell both e-readers and operate their own digital bookstore. Due to the aging nature of the technology we will soon see new e-readers such as the Energy Sistem PRO+, Boyue T62+, Icarus and the new Onyx BOOX C67ML Darwin.
The one trend I have noticed with all of these upcoming products is that they are reissues. Instead of these companies developing a brand new e-reader they are simply just adopting the Carta screen on existing products and often giving them the + moniker.
I am eagerly waiting new products hopefully towards the end of the year that have been designed from the bottom up, with a high resolution screen and Carta e-paper. People want a 3rd party reader that isn’t locked into a specific ecosystem and runs a vanilla version of Android. This empowers people to be able to install any digital reading app they want.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
SEGA has been an early adopter of bringing its hottest properties to the mobile sector. One of the drawbacks of having so many games available on Android and iOS is depreciation. Some games no longer work on modern phones and others haven’t received any updates in a year. SEGA plans on scaling back on their portfolio and discontinue a number of titles.
In addition to the games being removed from the aforementioned app stores, SEGA will also be pulling mobile titles from the Amazon App Store and the Samsung App Store. The changes will be taking place over "the next few weeks", with SEGA saying it doesn't have anything else to announce at this point.
Some users have noticed that House of the Dead Overkill The Lost Reels seems to have already gone from Google Play store. Others have reported that Sonic Racing Transformed and Jet Set Radio is a bit flaky on Lollipop.
|Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Below is a roundup of free Kindle ebooks with positive reviews for your reading pleasure. Once again, Amazon is running a big sale on Kindle books today only as part of their main Gold Box Deal of the Day. The sale includes over 50 titles from […]|
The primary benefit of a print book is the clear path of ownership. Once you procure it from your favorite online or brick and motor store, its yours. There is no problem with loaning it out to a friend or rereading it for the hundredth time. e-books on the other hand is a convoluted nightmare.
When you purchase an e-book from a retailer like Apple or Amazon, you don’t own it. Instead, you are merely licensing it from the retailer for an indeterminate period of time. If you break one of the many terms of service, the book can be taken away by the retailer, or if the bookstore goes bankrupt, you lose everything.
e-books are often purchased by online retailers that act as agents for the publisher. They often provide the e-reading experience, from dedicated hardware to apps for Android or iOS. The terms of service that a retailers provide are often 50 to 100 pages of text. In some cases, they absolve themselves of all liability.
The Apple iBooks store makes sure to let you know that “IN NO EVENT SHALL LICENCOR BE LIABLE FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR ANY INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION . . . DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO YOUR USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE LICENSED APPLICATION, HOWEVER CAUSED, REGARDLESS OF THE THEORY OF LIABILITY (CONTRACT, TORT, OR OTHERWISE) AND EVEN IF LICENCOR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. ”
Amazon on the other hand spells out the situation with daunting precision “Your rights under this Agreement will automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement. In case of such termination, you must cease all use of the Kindle Store and the Kindle Content, and Amazon may immediately revoke your access to the Kindle Store and the Kindle Content without refund of any fees. . . . If you do not accept the terms of this Agreement, then you may not use the Kindle, any Reading Application, or the Service.”
In contrast, the print edition of a book has a more simpler copyright notice. It makes perfect sense and is not not written by an army of lawyers. "No portion of this book may be copied, reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, including recording, photocopying, or inclusion in any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher and author, except for brief excerpts quoted in published reviews."
In the last few years the entire e-reader and e-book industry has experienced massive setbacks. The Sony Reader Store was the first digital bookstore that was incorporated on a series of e-readers. They had a good run and closed up their online store in the US, UK, Europe and Australia last May. Hundreds of thousands of customers suddenly woke up one day that could not buy books anymore and had to deal with another company. Diesel e-Books, Txtr, Scholastic Storia and Blinkbox Books have all closed in the last calender year, leaving customers in a lark.
It is my belief that consumers are losing confidence in e-books because so many stores are closing and taking their purchases with them. In other cases they are sick of all the Apple anti-trust and Amazon vs the world drama. Others are pissed they can’t loan out e-books to friends or find themselves locked into one specific ecosystem and can’t transfer their purchases to other phones they buy, due to DRM.
Major publishers are also reporting diminished sales when it comes to e-books. In a recent financial earnings report Simon & Schuster stated that e-book sales only increased by one percentage point in the last three months, while HarperCollins said sales were down 3%.
In the last few years I have gravitated away from exclusively buying e-books and am buying print again. Apparently, I am not alone. Nielsen BookScan, which tracks what readers are buying, found the number of paper books sold went up 2.4% last year.
As Publishers Weekly puts it, "the 2014 figures are further evidence that print books are selling better than they have since sales of e-books exploded in 2010." The paper tome apparently hit rock bottom in 2012, but has since rallied in categories from children's books to adult non-fiction, and formats from trade paperback to hardcover.
In the end, its hard to have any faith in e-books.