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Author Topic: Losing my e-Book religion  (Read 4603 times)
wraith808
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« on: February 21, 2012, 03:10:19 PM »

I've been a big user of e-books even before the current craze, starting back on my first windows phone many moons ago.

I've never complained about their need to use DRM.  I even purchased my library of books multiple times.  First in .lit format for the Microsoft Reader.  Then in Mobipocket format, then Ereader format.  I've begun to use epub when ever possible, but since Fictionwise was bought by Barnes & Noble, decided on B&N as my next platform.

I bought a Nook Color for my daughter for Christmas.  Other than buying books for her, that might be my last Barnes and Noble purchase.  And I might foot the bill (if she'll go for it) to get her a Kindle, if it's not similarly limited.  Let's start with a story.

I bought an iPad instead of a proprietary reader for myself- because I saw how the market was fracturing.  Since the iPad can use multiple stores as they all write an iOS client, and it had Stanza, which read all of my old books from Fictionwise (encrypted or not), I thought it was a good choice.

Barnes & Noble has updated their reader multiple times. 

First, it removed Fictionwise support, so I couldn't use my Fictionwise library, even though Fictionwise still proudly proclaims itself 'A Barnes & Noble Company'.  Thankfully I backed up the eReader, so I still have it... but still... and they won't answer questions about it, or it's fate.

The next updates *each* required that you re-download your whole library.  Even though inconvenient, it wasn't bad until the last one.

Barnes & Noble requires that you keep a credit card on the account.  I have a CC that I maintain to keep my credit active.  I don't actually use it much, and it has a low limit.  I had to use it unexpectedly, so it was at this limit- I was going to pay it off before the next cycle, but that was a ways off, so I put it off.

The new update required that I re-download my library.  First, I wasn't at a place where I had signal, so I couldn't re-download when I wanted to read.  Then when I was somewhere that I could... I couldn't.

About the same time, I bought my daughter a gift of a couple of books.  She couldn't download her books either.

I called their Customer (no-)Service.  The first point of disconnect- the problem worked previously, and the CS rep wanted me to do something totally unnecessary, rather than looking elsewhere (install IE).  When I refused to because I knew it wasn't a browser issue, he became non-helpful.

The actual problem, that another CS rep helped me understand, was that though this was a gift (to an 11-year old daughter to make it worse), it still required a working credit card.  In my case, it was the same problem- it required a working credit card. 

In the end, there was no way until it was under the limit that either of us could download any book... even if a) we used a gift card to pay, b) we were gifted a book, c) we were getting a free book, or d) we were downloading a book we already owned.

There is something seriously wrong with this.

I'm going to try Kindle to see if it has the same limitations.  It already has a leg up on Barnes & Noble because you can sideload to your library by e-mail.  Hopefully this CC BS doesn't exist either.  Because if I buy something and I can't access it because of your BS limitations when I want to access it, even though your service is still going- that's the deal breaker for me.
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IainB
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 04:54:36 PM »

There is something seriously wrong with this.

You post reads like a complaint, but I don't see why it should be a complaint.
Maybe you are spot-on in calling this discussion:
Quote
Losing my e-Book religion
In the discussions elsewhere in the forum you had indicated that you had invested in this kind of e-book technology.
However, for the life of me, I have so far been unable to understand how people could actually buy this technology without serious misgivings up front, because there is nothing to say that the suppliers will not tie you (the customer) up in knots like the ones you describe. Certainly, some customers' early experience of Amazon's Kindle indicated that that was precisely what they seemed to be seeking to do. So you are buying with the caveat emptor.

I think it probably requires the user taking a "leap of faith" to do that - so "religion" could be an apposite term to apply here.

You say:
Quote
I've never complained about their need to use DRM.
I cannot understand your lack of skepticism of such business practices, when all you need to do is look around enquiringly, including, for example:
  • Why are they doing it, and what benefit do they derive from it? ($$$)
  • What benefit does the user derive from it? (None at all. It's a disadvantageous constraint.)
  • How Microsoft years ago surreptitiously forced DRM into Windows Media Player - you couldn't turn DRM off at first, and it's still difficult for the inexperienced user to do that - e.g., monitor and control outbound traffic through the firewall. The default is that DRM is "ON", and the player "phones home" - a lot.
  • How DVDs were so artificially geographically "zoned" for supposed (but arguably quite unnecessary) DRM purposes.
  • Why Sony paid an estimated US$500M to the Big Studios to get them to standardise on Blue-Ray.
  • Amazon's well-publicised games with Kindle customers' property.

The bad ripoff experience with Barnes & Noble that you describe apparently follows your earlier decision to standardise on their e-book platform.
That apparently hasn't worked out too well, so you are now intending going to the Amazon Kindle platform to see how that works out.
There's a rationale for this:
Quote
I'm going to try Kindle to see if it has the same limitations.  It already has a leg up on Barnes & Noble because... [insert justification here]
You have already been seemingly suppliant in allowing B&N to make a victim of you, and now you are apparently going to give the same opportunity to Amazon to do similar, when all the evidence (QED) indicates that they probably will oblige. Their knots will probably be different in specifics, but similar in type.

I have to ask: At what point do you make a stand for yourself and refuse to allow suppliers any leeway or opportunity to rip you off, making you a victim once again?

You post reads like a complaint, but I don't see why it should be a complaint - because it seems to me that you asked for this situation.
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wraith808
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 05:14:57 PM »

You post reads like a complaint, but I don't see why it should be a complaint - because it seems to me that you asked for this situation.

You might not be able to see a difference, but *I* can.  There are certain lines that one can draw without making an ultimatum, and I said what it was in the post.  If it comes to a time when I can't access my purchased content when I want to without artificial limitations, then that's the line I draw.  I will do due diligence to make sure that this isn't the case, but why does *your* line have to be *mine*?  Just because you see it as an either or situation doesn't mean that everyone does.  I see ti a bit differently as an author (and the same thing happened with software when I started being a developer rather than just a consumer).

It's all well and good to want to trust people blindly, but I've seen that this is not a true stance from personal experience.  Some people believe that information just wants to be free, placing no value on the time and effort it takes to bring it to them.  Therefore I do believe there needs to be some sort of medium in between, where consumers can buy the product that the want easily, and access them easily, and perpetually, and have true ownership over them.  I also believe that the producers of said products should be able to make a living off of their works from the audience that wants to purchase them.  I believe also that the technology exists to make such possible.

But I (unfortunately) believe that greed, selfishness, and self-righteousness on both sides will never make the sides able to come to the table and come to something in the middle.  So I don't know if this situation will ever be able to be resolved in the way that it should be.

This belief doesn't make it so that I asked for anything, and indeed I've kept this post civil by the skin of my teeth in the face of a condescending reply to the situation, rather than a rational discussion of the salient points.
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 05:51:43 PM »

I'm not going to weigh in on who is worse in regards to B&N or Amazon. What I would like to do is encourage the OP to look at what's available in Android tablets before blindly buying the Kindle Fire. The Android Market has both the Nook & Kindle apps (as well as a slew of other ereader apps) and they all work on every Android tablet.

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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 06:28:08 PM »


indeed I've kept this post civil by the skin of my teeth in the face of a condescending reply to the situation, rather than a rational discussion of the salient points.

@wraith - Duly noted and appreciated. Thank you. smiley
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Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
wraith808
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 09:33:59 PM »

I'm not going to weigh in on who is worse in regards to B&N or Amazon. What I would like to do is encourage the OP to look at what's available in Android tablets before blindly buying the Kindle Fire. The Android Market has both the Nook & Kindle apps (as well as a slew of other ereader apps) and they all work on every Android tablet.

Oh, I don't plan to get a proprietary device again.  My iPad has the Kindle app (and has had it already installed- just never used).  I just plan to buy a cheap book, see if I need a CC, and if there is a need for the CC, I'll stick with the devil I know.  Because I'm a reader, and I enjoy the format, and several novelists release their books in one DRM format or another.  So if the choice is not to read or read in the short term, though it might seem short sighted, I'll read.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 12:07:04 AM »

By the way what is inkpot stuff that people talk about wrt to ebooks? I don't have a nook, so no idea about inkpot, sorry for tangent post, but what is that stuff?
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iphigenie
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 02:31:44 AM »

Very useful thread to remind why I resist using any of the big sites - even if it means now and then having to skip a particular author or book. There's so much available anyway smiley

Considering all the security cracks of the last year, I will not leave my credit card on file except in very rare cases. Not on skype, not on steam, etc. I do on amazon but that too might change.

So any ebook system that demands a credit card for accessing already paid books would be a no no in my book.

If you have a device that is not locked to a store, then look at the publisher's own store. many have one now and they are less likely to have silly tactics
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IainB
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 02:49:47 AM »

@wraith808: I am sorry if you didn't like my comment - I wasn't sure you would. And I do apologise if you feel offended in any way. It was meant in good faith and intended to help. I really dislike seeing people being made a victim of and always want to help, but when they seem to invite victimisation I find it terribly frustrating.

What struck me as odd was the apparent act of complaining about risks that eventuated - "There is something seriously wrong with this" - without articulating things more clearly. It seemed that you were demonstrating the behaviour of an external locus of control, whereas the unpleasant outcome (which you described at some length) apparently arose from your own (i.e., internal) buying decision(s). Whether wittingly, you had already effectively accepted the potential risks by the act of purchase, and established a legally binding contract with the suppliers - for both the hardware and the media to be loaded into it.

I can quite understand people wanting - or even being determined - to buy (say) e-book tablets regardless of the implications or potential risks (caveat emptor). The psychology of selling tells us that most purchases are irrational, which is why things are marketed the way they are - you just have to help the buyer stack up enough "want" to overcome any spoken/unspoken sales objections they may harbour.
So we justify buying the thing. But to whinge after the risks eventuate could seem to be shirking responsibility for the outcome - probably a form of displacement.

So I would recommend that people buy e-book tablets for the purposes you intend - e.g., including for reading books with greater facility/ease/convenience than (say) lugging a library of hardcopy books around. But always the caveat.
If you wanted to take the risks, then what could you lose in the gamble? Probably not an awful lot really - not a serious loss, anyway. And you'd get some bother if/when it did go wrong, prompting you to spend your valuable cognitive surplus attempting to resolve the issues with "customer services" - and (say) working out your annoyance by posting about it on a blog - rather than perhaps something more positive/constructive. And then spend more of your cognitive surplus finding a potentially better alternative.

But that's one of the principles in operation here - deciding to take a gamble, and accepting responsibility for the consequences and working through them. Life is a succession of problems and us working through them (per M. Scott Peck in The Road Less Travelled).

Here is the same principle in operation, but with much higher stakes:
Quote
Sometime in the late '70s (I think it was), there was a very sad case in the UK of a 5-year old little girl being mauled to death by two alsatians (German shepherd dogs). The dogs belonged to an experienced police dog-handler. They were friendly, highly-trained and child-friendly creatures. The police officer had decided to keep them at home when he was off-duty. I think the dogs both attacked and killed his little daughter in a short interval when she was quite alone with them whilst any adults were variously outside/upstairs. So nobody quite knew how or what had happened that made the dogs attack her.
At the inquest, the father said he "could have staked his life on the dogs being safe with the child" (OWTTE).
Well, of course, he didn't stake his life on it - he actually effectively staked his little girl's life on it, and she paid with her life for her father's loss of the bet.
The father's act of wanting or believing the dogs to be harmless could not affect or improve the little girl's inevitable statistical odds.
Not so easy for the father to displace responsibility in that case, I think, but it doesn't seem to deter others from  getting dangerous dog breeds in their houses, and children/adults paying for it by being being savaged or killed by them. Happens all the time. It was an absurdity then, and it still is.

By the way, writing in what could be a veiled threatening way, of having only just managed to control yourself from venting your anger on someone:
"... and indeed I've kept this post civil by the skin of my teeth in the face of a condescending reply to the situation, rather than a rational discussion of the salient points."
- is a common form of verbal bullying, and I would normally take exception to it. Furthermore, it does nothing to make or substantiate a rational point, so it is not of much use in a rational discussion of the salient points of an argument.
However, if you really are at your wits end, then just go for it - self actualise away and "knock yourself out" as they say. I shall quite understand!     smiley
(Sticks and stones shall break my bones...)

I should stress that, though you may have interpreted my comments as condescending, that was not my intention and I am categorically not responsible for any mis-interpretations that other people may place on my comments. Rest assured, I would always be happy to have a rational discussion of the salient points of an argument - if and when I come across one, and especially if I think I may be able to contribute something useful or helpful.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 02:56:26 AM by IainB » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 05:34:13 AM »

I'm going to try Kindle to see if it has the same limitations.
This looks like it could be rather good technology:
Look Out, Kindle Fire: Barnes & Noble to Launch Cheaper Nook This Week [REPORT]

Are you absolutely sure you want to switch to Kindle? I know B&N didn't seem to work out for you, but that does not necessarily mean that it couldn't work out for you in the future - especially given your increased level of knowledge and understanding from the experience you have already been through.
There's often some truth in the old adage that begins "The devil you know...".

You could otherwise risk ending up playing the impossible game of catch-up as these suppliers keep leap-frogging their technology.
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IainB
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 05:58:49 AM »

Then again, you might consider something I spotted in my reading list last December:
Mount a Nook in Your Dash to Control the Stereo and Monitor Your Engine
The story appealed to me as I like doing digital electronics projects like that.

At the time, I was becoming interested in the Nook - I think it was your comments about the Nook that had made me seriously consider getting one for my daughter Lily, but she said she prefers to have hardcopy books for now.
(She's a school librarian and likes books. She's also quite at home using computer technology - e.g., she's an avid SIMS3 player, and she uses Google Earth for geography and mapping, and Microsoft OneNote for making notes and writing her self-illustrated stories.)
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wraith808
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 08:12:31 AM »

@wraith808:[/b] I am sorry if you didn't like my comment - I wasn't sure you would. And I do apologise if you feel offended in any way. It was meant in good faith and intended to help. I really dislike seeing people being made a victim of and always want to help, but when they seem to invite victimisation I find it terribly frustrating.

What struck me as odd was the apparent act of complaining about risks that eventuated - "There is something seriously wrong with this" - without articulating things more clearly. It seemed that you were demonstrating the behaviour of an external locus of control, whereas the unpleasant outcome (which you described at some length) apparently arose from your own (i.e., internal) buying decision(s). Whether wittingly, you had already effectively accepted the potential risks by the act of purchase, and established a legally binding contract with the suppliers - for both the hardware and the media to be loaded into it.

What this arises from is my prior buy-in to the ecology, and to make clear my problems with the buy-in at this point, i.e. there are definite advantages- but from a customer service side let me show the problems that I encountered, so that my recommendations are leavened with experience, as such things might be.  Of course you're putting some measure of control in the hands of the supplier.  You do that no matter what sort of transaction you enter into, where your statement caveat emptor came from.  This has been a problem from the beginning of time with any sort of transaction entered into- the inherent problems between two sides that have competing interests.

The part I take exception to is blaming the buyer for hidden limitations of the purchaser, i.e. that the card that is used to unlock the book must be authorized whenever the book is downloaded.  eReader on Fictionwise used a similar unlocking mechanism, but the card was used to hash the book, so that the book could (and still can for the books in my collection) only be opened if you know the card number.  It doesn't communicate home and has no internet ties, so even though that card is long gone, since I have the card number, I can still utilize those books.  *That* I have no problem with- it's like a password.

And as far as not articulating, that, I believe, is incorrect also:
In the end, there was no way until it was under the limit that either of us could download any book... even if a) we used a gift card to pay, b) we were gifted a book, c) we were getting a free book, or d) we were downloading a book we already owned.

I even bolded it for emphasis.  Your ability to read the book is based on their system and their whim, even if you already own it.  Re-emphasized later.

Because if I buy something and I can't access it because of your BS limitations when I want to access it, even though your service is still going- that's the deal breaker for me.

I'm not complaining to say to them to fix it.  I'm working through the problems and informing others.  I didn't ask a question- I stated an issue.  I think you think that I expect you to sympathise or help or say 'there, there'.  This was an informative post for others that follow the road.

And I'm not changing hardware, as I again state:

Other than buying books for her, that might be my last Barnes and Noble purchase.

I'm using my iPad, which I originally purchased to mitigate any possible issues of either terms of use (this situation) or availability of content (some authors have historically not been available on both platforms- this has since been changed).
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superboyac
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 09:01:35 AM »

I'm not going to weigh in on who is worse in regards to B&N or Amazon. What I would like to do is encourage the OP to look at what's available in Android tablets before blindly buying the Kindle Fire. The Android Market has both the Nook & Kindle apps (as well as a slew of other ereader apps) and they all work on every Android tablet.

Oh, I don't plan to get a proprietary device again.  My iPad has the Kindle app (and has had it already installed- just never used).  I just plan to buy a cheap book, see if I need a CC, and if there is a need for the CC, I'll stick with the devil I know.  Because I'm a reader, and I enjoy the format, and several novelists release their books in one DRM format or another.  So if the choice is not to read or read in the short term, though it might seem short sighted, I'll read.
I came to the same conclusion with my ipad experiment.  Just too much hastle.  I want to say I've spent more time trying to get a pdf from one app to another than I have actually spent reading the pdf.

Even jailbroken, there are a lot of painful moments.  I found out how you can move files around in the iOS file system, but it's not the most convenient thing in the world.

I hope that Sparx tablet that 40hz posted a couple of weeks ago turns out to be good.  And, of course, I still have high hopes for a good Windows 8 tablet.

And i've even done an experiment with myself lately.  Since I've been using all these different devices, for several weeks I had them all right next to me in my evening reading area.  Laptop, ipad, android tablet, and books.  When the tablets were new, I used them primarily.  But I quickly got annoyed by how slow it was to do anything really good, AND uncomfortable.  But it was somewhat convenient.

Now, I thought that using a tablet for internet browsing would be perfect, but because there's no keyboard, I quickly went back to the laptop.  Especially for those moments in documentaries when you want to pause and search the net a little.  Laptop is still way better for that.

Then for reading, I eventually started reaching for the laptop again.  And books still are good.  And wraith, I know I questioned you on this before, but the Kindle really is far easier on the eyes than the tablets.  I didn't realize it until reading it for about 15 minutes.  That e-paper is lovely.

So my tablet experience has not been very positive.  The place I use it the most is the coffee shop, GPS in my car, or when I need to check something real quick on the move (how most people use their smartphone).  So it's useful and definitely part of my ecosystem now, but of all my tools, it's the one I can do without.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 09:11:50 AM »

At least in the UK Amazon doesn't let you gift Kindle Books - you can give someone a gift voucher they can use to purchase a book but they need their own account. I'm pretty sure you have to have an active payment on an Amazon account even if you are making payment by gift card but I am not 100% on that.

Also as far as I know you can't have independent Kindle accounts on a single Amazon account so if you purchase books for yourself on the same account as your daughters Kindle you will end up with her library and she will end up with yours.

UPDATE: My second point looks wrong - it looks like you can tell your Kindle account which devices to upload individual books too.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 09:18:50 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 09:56:39 AM »

I think the biggest problem has with Amazon is the fact that he's trying to download books he has already paid for & yet Amazon wants to authorize his card again for the purchase. There's no sane reason for them to do that.
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 10:12:40 AM »

Sadly, I have to say that all of these issues are why I never bothered with ebooks. Unfortunately it's going to get worse before it gets better, and the time frames are long, but big picture it all feels "temporary", like the music scene before Steve Jobs told the companies to attend San Terradino Fransican University (STFU) and sell plain MP3's.

I would only accept some four ebook formats: Text, RichText/Word/ODF, PDF, and your choice of some other lenient format.

I'm going to go on a limb with a throwaway prophecy and say China is the sleeping giant here. Watch what happens when they decide to learn competent English, make a non-ideological Linux Distro, make their own office package, their own ebook equipment, etc, then the western companies will be in trouble with proprietary formats.
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 10:29:26 AM »

Just to go against the majority(?), I'm very happy with my Kindle Touch. I find e-ink a pleasure to read, buying books easy and there's no problem backing up my books. If I wanted to I could keep my Kindle offline 24/7 and still put/pull books through USB. Software updates as well. No amazon fanboy, but this works very well for me, at least.
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wraith808
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2012, 10:46:53 AM »

Just to go against the majority(?), I'm very happy with my Kindle Touch. I find e-ink a pleasure to read, buying books easy and there's no problem backing up my books. If I wanted to I could keep my Kindle offline 24/7 and still put/pull books through USB. Software updates as well. No amazon fanboy, but this works very well for me, at least.

That's what I want.  And from my prior experiences with FictionWise before being bought by Nook, that's what I expected.  But the truth is far from this in the case of the Nook.

I think the biggest problem has with AmazonBarnes & Noble is the fact that he's trying to download books he has already paid for & yet AmazonBarnes & Noble wants to authorize his card again for the purchase. There's no sane reason for them to do that.

This!  (Other than the corrected Amazon)  Why should they have to use my CC on purchases I already made?  Thank you! smiley
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2012, 11:19:18 AM »

Just to go against the majority(?), I'm very happy with my Kindle Touch. I find e-ink a pleasure to read, buying books easy and there's no problem backing up my books. If I wanted to I could keep my Kindle offline 24/7 and still put/pull books through USB. Software updates as well. No amazon fanboy, but this works very well for me, at least.

That's what I want.  And from my prior experiences with FictionWise before being bought by Nook, that's what I expected.  But the truth is far from this in the case of the Nook.

I think the biggest problem has with AmazonBarnes & Noble is the fact that he's trying to download books he has already paid for & yet AmazonBarnes & Noble wants to authorize his card again for the purchase. There's no sane reason for them to do that.

This!  (Other than the corrected Amazon)  Why should they have to use my CC on purchases I already made?  Thank you! smiley

Indeed, it's like buying a car, taking it in for service, and then having them want to re-run the credit check before letting you pick it up. Then refusing to give you back your car...because your credit is maxed. And they wonder why piracy is such an 'issue'.
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2012, 12:59:04 PM »

make a non-ideological Linux Distro

Government mandated censorship. Rampant government corruption. Blatant censorship. Tolerance of nationalist hackers and cracker teams. Cyberwarfare bellwethers. Outright disregard for international law whenever it suits them. Poor civil and worker's rights records. Manipulation of their currency exchange rate to boost their balance of trade at the expense (and impoverishment) of their own citizens. Persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. A very loose hand when it comes to passing out capital punishment...

And all this in the name of creating a "Worker's Paradise?"

Non-ideological? Them?

This is China you're talking about right? Cool
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 01:15:33 PM by 40hz » Logged

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J-Mac
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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2012, 05:03:24 PM »

I buy ebooks ONLY when there is no other version of the book in print or available used (for a price less than my arm and leg!). And I buy only PDF ebooks that I can read on any computer (Keep 'em on Dropbox).

Otherwise I have found that I still prefer good old-fashioned books, you know - made with paper? I like using bookmarks, holding a nice hardback, turning real pages with my grubby little fingers.  smiley I experimented with MobiPocket when I was using Windows CE / Windows PPC / Windows Mobile (11 different devices over the years!) Then I was an "early adopter" of the original Kindle.  Blah! (That was a short, unexpected, reflexive BARF!) I found that I really just don’t LIKE reading "books" on a flat screen. I do keep reference books that I might need on the road, and I have a ton of free ebooks from Project Gutenberg. But give me a good old paper book that I can legally give away, sell, or whatever when I wish. And that I can stick a nice paper or even fancy brass bookmark in!

Jim
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2012, 06:32:07 PM »

Although I originally bought a Kindle mainly to read my own documents while on the move, I have started to buy ebooks recently (mainly the cheap 99p offers). I find the service excellent and reliable. For those concerned about Amazon unilaterally wiping their ebook collection, it is always an option to use a program such as Calibre to strip DRM from the Kindle files (i.e. creating a MOBI copy of the Kindle books), so that you always have a usable copy of your Kindle books if the worst happens. Against the T&C, I'm sure, but as the first rule of copyright enforcement is that the prosecutor has to demonstrate "economic harm" to the copyright holder (i.e. loss of a sale), you are on safe legal ground pretty much anywhere in the world.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2012, 09:29:06 PM »

make a non-ideological Linux Distro

Government mandated censorship. Rampant government corruption. Blatant censorship. Tolerance of nationalist hackers and cracker teams. Cyberwarfare bellwethers. Outright disregard for international law whenever it suits them. Poor civil and worker's rights records. Manipulation of their currency exchange rate to boost their balance of trade at the expense (and impoverishment) of their own citizens. Persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. A very loose hand when it comes to passing out capital punishment...

And all this in the name of creating a "Worker's Paradise?"

Non-ideological? Them?

This is China you're talking about right? Cool

Countries can be multifaceted. I'm talking about "500,000 Sq ft of manufacturing for hire, no hidden games" China. I have my MyMusic Mp3 Players, my Craig Mp3 Players (20 of them on a fluke deal, long story), and my six Radio Shack (Chinese) Alarm Clocks that are the best clocks I ever saw so I bought EIGHT of them so that when 4 gave out I have 4 left. I lost 2, still two left.

That China.

So If they get their ideological act together, drill out the component pieces while ducking the political crap, yes. I'd do it, under advice of 7 other Grade A Nerds that no other crap was going on.

It's either Them, Russia, or India. Not sure of the exact political climates. But once some company ANYWHERE gets a grip and decides to wag the dog, watch out.
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IainB
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2012, 10:32:05 PM »

For those concerned about Amazon unilaterally wiping their ebook collection, it is always an option to use a program such as Calibre to strip DRM from the Kindle files (i.e. creating a MOBI copy of the Kindle books), so that you always have a usable copy of your Kindle books if the worst happens.
Ahh! Thankyou for that tip. New info to me.
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xtabber
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 11:32:43 PM »

In addition to Calibre, you need the plug-in deDRM tools. See the Apprrentice Alf blog for information on how to get and use them to remove DRM from various ebook formats.

Calibre will also convert between mobi and epub, which allows me to buy books on Amazon and read them on my Nook Touch (e-ink). Removing the DRM also allows me to read Nook books in the Mantano or Moon+ readers on my Android phone and tablet (Nook for Android sucks big time).

My first choice for reading most books is usually the e-ink Nook Simple Touch, if I can buy them in any ebook format. On the other hand, real Android devices (Not Nook or Kindle color tablets) allow much easier management and navigation for a large collection of ebooks.
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