Posts Tagged ‘cory doctorow’

Problems for Apple? Probably Not but…

In Entertainment, Technology on April 30, 2010 at 10:22 am
Apple Inc.

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So, yesterday, I talked a bit about how there were some issues related to the availability of books on e-readers such as the IPad and the Kindle.

But, there was something that I overlooked.

Cory Doctorow, over at Publisher’s Weekly, has a different take on the situation, writing a column explaining why he won’t allow his books to be sold through Apple and why he thinks other authors should follow in his footsteps.

Doctorow, who is already on record stating he won’t buy an IPad in large part because of Apple’s restrictive policies about whether or not you can share your purchases with others (more often than not — you can’t), returns to that theme.

After pointing out that most pieces about the IPad “have been long on emotional raves about its beauty and ease of use, but have glossed over its competitive characteristics—or rather, its lack thereof” he suggests that writers tell Apple they can’t license their copyrights until they agree to allow people to share what they’ve bought.

“You shouldn’t take it from Apple, either, and that goes for Amazon and the Kindle, too,” he adds.

And he has a point. One of the great joys in reading a book is being able to say to someone, “Hey. You should read this” and then actually lend them the book.

I sort of can’t help but wonder if the e-reader conflict is going to turn into World Format War III (after VHS vs. Betamax and Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD).

While I wish Doctorow well, I suspect, sadly, there’s not going to be a lot of withholding going on. Just look at John Grisham who spoke passionately about the threat to bookstores posed by e-readers and refused to allow e-editions of his work but then caved after just a couple of months.

Meanwhile, Apple has an even bigger problem.

Jon Stewart.

It goes like this.

An Apple employee leaves his prototype of the new super-secret IPhone in a bar (sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke, which I guess it was for Apple), someone finds it, tries returning it to Apple, is rebuffed, so they offer it to techblog Gizmodo, which buys it, takes it apart, posts details about it and then, after Apple asks for it back, they give it back.

While it may not have been the most sound journalistic practice on Gizmodo’s part, it didn’t warrant what happened next, which was the cops busting down the door of the home of the Gizmodo editor who wrote the piece and seizing his computers.

On The Daily Show on Wednesday night, Stewart — a self=proclaimed long-time Apple user (as am I; I only wish the IPhone were available to Verizon so I can trade up my ITouch) — took them to task for becoming what they used to mock.

In the end, I suspect all the criticism in the world won’t really make all that much of a difference to Apple but it would be nice to think — especially today as Apple ships the latest iteration of the IPad (with WiFi and 3G) that Jobs is listening to all this and recognizes that as great as his devices are, there’s always room for improvement.

And the same goes for Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Sony and the others.

Maybe if there was a little less IPad vs. Kindle and a little more focus on the consumer, all would be good.

IPad's First Weekend: An Assessment

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

Well, as to be expected, Apple has released what it considers great news about the IPad’s quick jump out of the gate on Saturday.

The company says 300,000 units were sold that first day along with one million apps and 250,000 ebooks from its ibookstore. While that 4-1 apps to books ratio might seem surprising — especially given how, as I reported last week: the number of books for sale recently surpassed the number of apps — I would have to say, that some of this is clearly people getting the device and taking it out for a spin to see what it’s got.

The assessments have been fairly positive, though as expected, there are number of naysayers including Cory Doctorow’s declaration that he won’t buy one and doesn’t think you should either.

Over at Columbia Journalism Review, Ryan Chittum compares NYT and WSJ apps and concludes the Times wins on design and the Journal on content.

While we’re a long way from knowing just how much the IPad is going to help newspapers, as the Times itself reported last week, there’s a lot of advertiser interest in the device and hope that people will gravitate toward it.

According to the paper:

FedEx has bought advertising space on the iPad applications from Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. Chase Sapphire, a credit card for the high-end market, has bought out The New York Times’s iPad advertising units for 60 days after the introduction.

Advertisers including UnileverToyota Motor, Korean Air and Fidelity have booked space on Time’s iPad application. In a draft press release, The Journal said a subscription to its app would cost $17.99 a month, and the first advertisers included Capital One, Buick, Oracle, iShares and FedEx.”

While the advertisers are lining up, some of the publications are reluctant to dive right into the world of the IPad.

According to the Wall Street Journal, seven out of ten magazines are sold by subscription and publishers are reluctant to start sharing that revenue with Apple, which gets 30% of everything sold through its store.

And just when you might have been beginning to think that Apple is the only one innovating in the tablet market, HP would like everyone to remember that they’re around also, getting ready to release a device they promise will deliver a “holistic mobile experience.”

Notably, they highlight a couple of things missing from the IPad — Adobe Flash and expandable memory.

Should be interesting.

In the meantime, I think maybe enough about the IPad for a day or so… coming soon — finally — after trying to track it down, I’ve got my hands on Cathleen Schine’s new book… I’m almost done and so far it more than lives up to the hype.