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Last post Author Topic: Why ebooks are bad for you  (Read 20989 times)

Renegade

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2011, 12:12:32 AM »
Kind of related, I came across this:

Screenshot - 6_19_2011 , 2_27_15 PM.pngWhy ebooks are bad for you

Looks pretty cool. And, "Watch it any way you like". That sounds good...

1) XBOX 360

Don't have one. Next...

2) iTunes

Ummm... Sorry. I'm not a crack addict. My Mac is already infected with iTunes. I don't want to infect my main machine with it.

Next...

3) BigPond

WTF? Huh? TV?

4) FetchTV

Again, WTF? TV?

5) FoxTel OnDemand

Huh? TV? No thanks. Don't have it, and don't want it.

6) Austar

Huh? WTF? TV? Again?

Where's the download? If it's any way I like, then I like to watch videos in a normal media player that I know works properly. My personal preference is ALPlayer, or maybe VLC in a pinch. But certainly not some junk that I'd bet won't work properly.

Here are a few of the things I like:

1) Pause
2) Resume
3) Stop
4) Fast forward
5) Rewind
6) Seek
7) Watch whenever I darn well feel like
8) Stop. Do the dishes. Come back. Watch.
9) Stop. Eat dinner. Come back.
10) Stop. Do work. Watch the rest tomorrow.
11) Watch while I work. Realize that I never actually watched it, so watch it in a few days when I have time.

Networks do not work. They do not let you seek reasonably. Any kind of media content over a network is a complete failure. Seeking should take the time it takes to click, and not the time it takes to buffer 300 MB over a 20 Mbps connection that really only delivers a max of 10 Mbps, but practically only ever achieves 700 kbps, but can realistically be expected to get 100 kbps if all goes well.

Downloads in solid, third party media players work.

And these guys wonder why The Pirate Bay is so popular. Duh! It's called having a superior product...

It's a shame, because the film looks good, and I'd certainly be up for buying a copy if I could do it reasonably. I guess that's too much to ask.


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Carol Haynes

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2011, 07:03:10 AM »
Networks do not work. They do not let you seek reasonably. Any kind of media content over a network is a complete failure. Seeking should take the time it takes to click, and not the time it takes to buffer 300 MB over a 20 Mbps connection that really only delivers a max of 10 Mbps, but practically only ever achieves 700 kbps, but can realistically be expected to get 100 kbps if all goes well.

Actually not quite true - I subscribe to the DIgital Concert Hall (basically all of the concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic) and that works great. You watch either using you browser on your computer or I watch it on my Sony Bravia TV. The streaming content works really well on this site so some people can get it right.

It's a shame, because the film looks good, and I'd certainly be up for buying a copy if I could do it reasonably. I guess that's too much to ask.

You can - buy a DVD and then you can flog it on eBay afterwards!

Going back to earlier points my biggest concern is not with DRM per se, it is the restrictive nature of the DRM.

For example I like to borrow,lend and sell books. There is absolutely no reason why devices like Kindle can't have a lend and sell feature - like a physical books these books would only be in one place - ie. if you lend it to someone it is temporarily attached to their account and suspended from yours, if you sell it you transfer it to another account. It sems ridiculous that Amazon of all companies have a product that doesn't allow you to sell things when their whole business encourages people to sell unwanted items online.

Presumably the publishers have enforced this restriction but companies as big as Amazon should simply say if you want your book on our device this is the way it is going to be - especially now it is an established device. This would go a long way to making me feel more comfortable and in control of my library.

They should also make it a term of their original contact that if the publisher withdraws a book or it is withdrawn from the Kindle library for other reasons then people who purchased it are either not affected by the change or are given a non-DRM copy. There is absolutely no excuse for a system where you content is deleted - even if you are reimbursed for the cost.

All this goes for software too. Why can't systems like Valve's Steam and EA Games Origin have built in lend functions. Actually this would boost their sales because if it is a game someone likes they will buy a copy - especially if it is a co-op game they want to play with the lender. I just bought a copy of Portal 2 for a friend but I would have been a lot happier if he could have played it first and said "yes I like that"! (By the way Portal 2 is already less that half price on Amazon - at least in the UK).

Finally I don't mind activation on software but they should do it right. Why can't manufacturers include deactivate as an option and save all the hassles of having to contact them to get something to activate again. OK there will be occasions you will need to contact them because you can't deactivate the current copy (such as a computer dying or a dead hard disk) but these should be the exception rather than the norm.

Adobe got it right - you can install Photoshop on as many computers as you like but you can only use it on two without having to deactivate a copy and activate another copy. This means you can be as flexible as you need to be, and if you want someone else to use the software you can given them temporary access to the software by deactivating the copy on your computer.

Xara have got it wrong big time - they now allow only 3 activations on a product and lock it to a single machine - after that you have to buy another copy (at least in theory). This is ridiculous for software that costs nearly £300 and I am sure they will lose customers as a result - especially as they have become difficult to contact.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 07:05:18 AM by Carol Haynes »

Renegade

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2011, 08:10:26 AM »
Networks do not work. They do not let you seek reasonably. Any kind of media content over a network is a complete failure. Seeking should take the time it takes to click, and not the time it takes to buffer 300 MB over a 20 Mbps connection that really only delivers a max of 10 Mbps, but practically only ever achieves 700 kbps, but can realistically be expected to get 100 kbps if all goes well.

Actually not quite true - I subscribe to the DIgital Concert Hall (basically all of the concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic) and that works great. You watch either using you browser on your computer or I watch it on my Sony Bravia TV. The streaming content works really well on this site so some people can get it right.

It's true and not true.

No site in the world can fix the problem. Even Microsoft with an Akamai CDN can't fix it.

The problem is that every link in the path is a point for failure, and if you live somewhere with poor Internet infrastructure, then you're hosed. (I'm having yet another assie shiternet day.)

But for streaming? A movie? You need seriously SICK speeds to be able to seek. And Flash doesn't cut it. Only raw power from a real, compiled client can deliver. Browsers are flaky at best with stability, and just can't compare to the pristine experience you get in a real media player. (Not "Real Media Player". ;) ) Silverlight delivers the best video experience, but, it's not got the wide adoption for video, and Novell has basically killed any last hope of that unless Miguel can pull a rabbit out of his hat.

If the site works well, and the Internet infrastructure is there, AND the ISP is decent, then it can work. I just don't think that we're anywhere near "there" yet though. Acceptable broadband is in a few locations, but they're not representative.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Josh

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2011, 08:16:32 AM »
For example I like to borrow,lend and sell books. There is absolutely no reason why devices like Kindle can't have a lend and sell feature

You can do temporary loans (14 days) of books on the kindle. It is up to the publisher if they want you to be able to do this, however.

Source

johnk

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2011, 10:22:56 AM »
Networks do not work. They do not let you seek reasonably. Any kind of media content over a network is a complete failure. Seeking should take the time it takes to click, and not the time it takes to buffer 300 MB over a 20 Mbps connection that really only delivers a max of 10 Mbps, but practically only ever achieves 700 kbps, but can realistically be expected to get 100 kbps if all goes well.

Actually not quite true - I subscribe to the Digital Concert Hall (basically all of the concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic) and that works great. You watch either using you browser on your computer or I watch it on my Sony Bravia TV. The streaming content works really well on this site so some people can get it right.

It's true and not true.

No site in the world can fix the problem. Even Microsoft with an Akamai CDN can't fix it.
Well, for what it's worth, I recently bought a cheap Sony Blu-ray player which has the usual "widgets" for online services that most AV devices seem to have these days.

They included Lovefilm (DVD rental company that now does streaming, recently bought by Amazon). As I already use Lovefilm for DVD rental, the streaming facility didn't cost me anything, so I tried it. And it works just fine. I've watched a few movies without a single glitch, and the initial buffering only took 30 seconds or so. Yeah, not DVD quality, but perfectly watchable. Tried the Digital Concert Hall Carol mentioned, and that too streams well, no glitches, and really excellent picture and sound quality (and that's on a 5ft projector screen).

Now I have a very reliable 7Mbps internet connection, so others may not be so lucky. But streaming does work well with reliable, fast connections.

Tech note: when my current ADSL connection was first installed, speeds were higher (up to 12Mb/s) but unreliable. Generally speaking, ADSL2 networks will do everything they can to maximise your speed, but if you have a noisy line that can work against you. So I got my ISP to "lock" my speed at a much lower level, and my connection has been rock solid ever since (not a single problem in two years). I can download at 7Mb/s all day long. Worth bearing in mind if you have a dodgy ADSL connection.

iphigenie

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2011, 10:46:10 AM »
Actually not quite true - I subscribe to the DIgital Concert Hall (basically all of the concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic) and that works great.

This sounds intriguing - will have to look it up :)  :Thmbsup:

Also your points on DRM I totally agree with

The natural unit for digital goods is the household, not the individual person. It needs to be possible for people to use things on multiple devices and by multiple people, and not be required to buy additional copies unless there is simultaneous use. It's pure greed to want two people in a couple to have to buy a copy of something each, and is way more incovenient and expensive than the physical original in that way. Because even with a physical book you can have multiple people reading the same book almost at the same time (the way it works here it is very possible that R would start on a book I am still reading through, while I am at work for example, or doing something else... especially when a much wanted book turns up from a SF or Fantasy series)

« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 11:06:16 AM by iphigenie »

Renegade

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2011, 11:00:04 AM »

Tech note: when my current ADSL connection was first installed, speeds were higher (up to 12Mb/s) but unreliable. Generally speaking, ADSL2 networks will do everything they can to maximise your speed, but if you have a noisy line that can work against you. So I got my ISP to "lock" my speed at a much lower level, and my connection has been rock solid ever since (not a single problem in two years). I can download at 7Mb/s all day long. Worth bearing in mind if you have a dodgy ADSL connection.

Interesting. I didn't know that. Thanks for mentioning it.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2011, 04:01:04 PM »
I've read much in this thread.  I'm probably paranoid, but what happens to all the content if there is a SEMP (Stratospheric Electro-Magnetic Pulse)?  Don't mean to be morbid, but life after a catastrophic war would need to go on which requires information.  The ramifications of my comment are self-explanatory, so I won't belabor the point.

From another angle, just imagine how happy (and powerful) the antagonists in Orwells' and Bradbury's works would have been if the ebook would have been the technology in their day!   

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2011, 06:01:40 PM »
If there is an SEMP you could argue that data might survive better in the cloud

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #59 on: July 22, 2011, 06:05:14 PM »
If there is an SEMP you could argue that data might survive better in the cloud

If this is a pun... brilliant!

If this is not a clever remark then would not routers update good data with corrupted data as an "update" across the cloud?

Ath

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #60 on: July 23, 2011, 06:13:49 AM »
then would not routers update good data with corrupted data as an "update" across the cloud?
Most likely the routers would have died/crashed from the SEMP :-\

Carol Haynes

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #61 on: July 23, 2011, 07:55:40 AM »
Sorry to admit it that I wasn't being clever - but what I was thinking was that the cloud servers (and presumably mirrors) are sufficiently spread around the globe that an SEMP is unlikely to take them all down - so hopefully some data would survive.

As I understand EMPs your router would unlikely to send anything to corrupt data stored anywhere if it was hit by an EMP - wouldn't it just die instantly along with all other electronics in the area?

Locally stored data would certainly be destroyed - so it could be argued that cloud based data is more likely to survive because it should (hopefully) be mirrored in multiple places and accessible once you can find a computer that works!

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2011, 09:56:09 AM »
then would not routers update good data with corrupted data as an "update" across the cloud?
Most likely the routers would have died/crashed from the SEMP :-\

I'm not and expert or even remotely knowledgeable on SEMP, but what I think I understand is (I'm thinking, like what Carol is about the cloud) everything would not necessarily be destroyed.  If this is the case then their ought to be two classes of surviving computers/routers: computers/routers that have no corruption at all and computers/routers that have minimal to majorly corrupted data.  If these are mirrored somewhere doesn't it make sense there might be rogue computers/routers that have corrupt data (partially corrupt due to being on the fringe-edge of the SEMP) and would try to populate *all* the nodes in the network with the bad data?  Or, would the good computers/routers have the ability to stop the corrupted rogues from mirroring the bad data down and up the line? 

worstje

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #63 on: July 23, 2011, 01:18:07 PM »
Unlikely as CodeTRUCKERs example is, I have to agree that corrupted data is possible. I once had a broken down router (someone knocked it down by accident without telling me) and ever since then it randomly flipped bits in everything that came through it. Images especially had some really interesting artifacts. The safety systems in the TCP protocol or any of the other layers that are supposed to watch out for corruption so that it does not happen clearly failed as none of the hooked up devices were aware of any isses. Bits simply flipped.

If knocking something down can do that, I have no clue what a SEMP can do. Common fiction says they are supposed to toast electronics - so I counter that you only need to toast the one single but essential part to royally screw things up.

(This reminds me of a book I once read, involving a futuristic space mission and a saboteur and deadly accidents. Very intense repair efforts failed because a read-out display showed the opposite of what it ought to show for one tiny transistor-like thingy. You can't ever protect against corruption/brokenness for 100%, you can only approach it.)

def

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #64 on: July 25, 2011, 05:49:07 PM »
One thing that I think hasn't been mentioned so far in this thread is that sometimes the e-books are put together in a thoughtless way. While e.g. the printed equivalent of a programming book might come with a CD-ROM that contains addional chapters (that just didn't fit in the book) one can be pretty sure that these chapters are not available in the e-book (have seen it myself in an actual programming e-book).

kyrathaba

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #65 on: August 03, 2011, 02:54:38 PM »
I just finished my 20th eBook of 2011, and started on #21: Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Door Through Space" (got it free from Project Gutenberg).

wraith808

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #66 on: August 04, 2011, 10:19:39 AM »
I just finished my 20th eBook of 2011, and started on #21: Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Door Through Space" (got it free from Project Gutenberg).

I don't even want to *count* how many I've read this year.  It seems to be accelerating.  I went to a book fair about a month ago, and purchased several hard copies, but haven't even started them yet.  But in the same time frame, I finished 13 digital books.  It's just more convenient, no matter the philosophical or future possible disadvantages of DRM.

kyrathaba

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #67 on: August 04, 2011, 01:12:01 PM »
Quote
It's just more convenient, no matter the philosophical or future possible disadvantages of DRM.

+1.

We don't have a whole lot of extra space in our house, for me to store hard copies on bookshelves.  My Kindle is a tremendous space-saver in that regard.

CodeBoy

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #68 on: August 05, 2011, 03:04:35 AM »
There truly is nothing comparable to holding a real book in your hands. It feels like the essence of the book is lost when it is read on a kindle. I appreciate the benefits, but I think there is some sort of enjoyment factor which isn't quite there when it isn't the real thing... :(

kyrathaba

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #69 on: August 05, 2011, 06:50:19 AM »
The only thing I miss with Kindle is the smell of a new book when you first open it.

wraith808

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #70 on: August 05, 2011, 07:24:36 AM »
There truly is nothing comparable to holding a real book in your hands. It feels like the essence of the book is lost when it is read on a kindle. I appreciate the benefits, but I think there is some sort of enjoyment factor which isn't quite there when it isn't the real thing... :(

I guess I'm a heretic, because I've always been a reader, and I don't miss anything about physical books.  Other than reference books, which I've tried to use in digital form, but it's hard, everything else is a better experience.  Of course, I felt the same way about hardbacks vs softbacks, so...

Stoic Joker

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #71 on: August 05, 2011, 12:04:54 PM »
I guess I'm a heretic, because I've always been a reader, and I don't miss anything about physical books.

Yeah? ...Try swatting a fly with your iPad and get back to me on that.

 :D

Renegade

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #72 on: August 05, 2011, 12:11:05 PM »
There truly is nothing comparable to holding a real book in your hands. It feels like the essence of the book is lost when it is read on a kindle. I appreciate the benefits, but I think there is some sort of enjoyment factor which isn't quite there when it isn't the real thing... :(

+1

It's hard to articulate.

I think it's easier to flip through a book than a digital edition. Really, flipping through a digital book is nothing short of agonizing in my experience.

I just bought a book in both ebook (non-DRM PDF) and physical. I can easily read the physical, but the ebook is much more difficult to deal with.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #73 on: August 05, 2011, 01:05:15 PM »
I guess I'm a heretic, because I've always been a reader, and I don't miss anything about physical books.

Yeah? ...Try swatting a fly with your iPad and get back to me on that.

 :D

I never swatted flies with my physical books - I think you're the heretic!  ;D

Stoic Joker

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Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« Reply #74 on: August 05, 2011, 01:14:21 PM »
I guess I'm a heretic, because I've always been a reader, and I don't miss anything about physical books.

Yeah? ...Try swatting a fly with your iPad and get back to me on that.

 :D

I never swatted flies with my physical books

*Shrug* Just goes to show you what happens. First you never tried, and now you can't.

Kinda sad really ... Lost opportunities and all that.

*Sigh*