Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amazon Unveils Kindle 2

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos displayed the Kindle 2 at a recent New York press conference. The device has a 6-inch, 600 x 800 pixel display that provides 16 shades of gray, an upgrade from its predecessor that only displayed four. The company claims that pages refresh 20 percent faster in the new version of the device, and the Kindle 2 is available for preorder and costs about $360.

The power charger is also smaller. What's more, you can charge the device using a micro USB cable. As before, you can shop for books directly from the wireless Kindle Store, using Amazon's Whispernet. With 2 gigabytes of internal memory, you can store more than 1,500 books. The original had 256 megabytes of internal storage (about 200 books). But the original also had an SD memory card slot. There's no such slot on Kindle 2.

Kindle 2 also can read out loud, even the voice is robotic and nowhere near the quality of a book recorded.

E-Book Formats: TomeRaider (.tr2 or .tr3)

The TomeRaider e-book format is a proprietary format. There are versions of TomeRaider for Windows, Windows Mobile (aka Pocket PC), Palm, Symbian and more. Several Wikipedias are available as TomeRaider files with all articles unabridged, some even with nearly all images.

Capabilities of the TomeRaider3 ebook reader vary considerably per platform: the Windows and Windows Mobile editions support full HTML and CSS. The Palm edition supports limited HTML (e.g. no tables, no fonts), and CSS support is missing. For Symbian there is only the older TomeRaider2 format, which does not render images or offer category search facilities. Despite these differences any TomeRaider ebook can be browsed on all platforms. Tomeraider is popular among readers because of its huge free document base. According to their records the Tomeraider Website has over 4000 free ebooks to read.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wall Street sees big sales for Amazon Kindle

Amazon.com has steadfastly refused to disclose details on the sales of its popular e-book reader known as the Kindle, which hasn't stopped Wall Street analysts from trying to pinpoint the number anyway.

A pair of analysts issued reports late Monday with their estimates, which put Kindle sales for last year somewhere between 374,000 units and 500,000 units. Analyst Mark Mahaney of Citigroup says this would put the device ahead of the early sales of the popular iPod digital music player.

Amazon launched the Kindle in December 2007 and quickly sold out its initial production run. The device was also sold out in the recent holiday shopping season. The company has long refused to disclose specific sales figures for the Kindle, and a spokesman would not comment on the latest estimates for the device.

Monday, February 2, 2009

E-Book Devices: Plastic Logic's eReader (Dossier)

Plastic Logic is a spin-off company from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory and specializes in polymer transistors and electronics. The principal product the company has developed is a flexible A4-size and robust plastic electronic display the thickness of a credit-card. It will be the core part of the upcoming eReader.

The headquarters of Plastic Logic is in Cambridge, United Kingdom. A factory for the mass-production of the display units was opened on September 17th 2008 in Dresden, Germany.

The release date of Plastic Logic's eReader is announced to be the second half of 2009 for selected partners only with general release in early 2010. It is intended as a replacement for paper, allowing electronic documents to be transported and read just like paper documents. It will have a thickness of less than 7 mm, a form factor of 8.5" x 11" and a weight of less than 16 oz. It will be capable of displaying MS Office documents (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), PDF files and others. The eReader has no official name until now, but on the homepage, you can find an image of the eReader displaying a fictitious market report from 2010, that refers to the eReader calling it Plastic Logic's Dossier.