Sunday, February 21, 2010

UK Kindle someday + Kindle-Blackberry review + Apple-Adobe conflicts

Amazon to launch a non-import international launch
for the Kindle, writes Martin Bryant for The Next Web, UK.  No date was given, but Amazon's Brian McBride "has confirmed that plans are definitely afoot for a proper international launch for the device."
' “Will Kindle become a bigger thing in the UK?  Absolutely, because we have not yet launched a UK version.” '
Instead of importing Kindles and paying higher prices for the books, Kindle owners in the UK would be able to buy locally.

  In the meantime, Apple is currently selling e-books only in the U.S.

We already have a review of Kindle for Blackberry and a fix for a possible downloading problem, by James C. of Kindlelove.

While I will sum up what James says in the report, please go to the site for the full lowdown, well-written, and for Shortcuts that he has there for this app, as well as details of the fix for an app-download-to-Blackberry problem that some might encounter.

Basically, James finds that the Blackberry app loads quickly (2.5 seconds), the books open and download quickly, and you can select Fullscreen display by pressing 'F'...

There are 6 fonts available and James goes into detail re number of locations shown for each size.

Non-copyright-protected MOBI format files from other sources downloaded or transfered to the Blackberry do open in the Kindle app but they should, as that is the basic format that the Kindle uses.

"eBooks, calibre-created newspapers/magazines/blogs, Instapaper files—all work and include the navigable table of contents.  Hyperlinks open in the BlackBerry browser."

Again, go to the page for his clear instructions on what to do if this new app doesn't download to your Blackberry, giving instead an error message.

Computerworld's Eric Lai headline the other day was that Apple disses our DRM for iPad, Adobe says (and Adobe's Flash too).

Word has been that Apple Inc. will offer publishers its own FairPlay DRM technology to copy-protect iBooks for its iPad and this seems to confirm that.  FairPlay, a source told Computerworld, has been used by Apple to protect TV shows and movies and was used until 2009 for songs sold via iTunes.
' ...But Apple's plan to use FairPlay instead of Adobe's flavor of copy protection will lock customers in to Apple's ecosystem, says [Nick Bogaty, senior business development manager at Adobe], as iPad owners will only be able to buy from Apple's iBookstore, and will not be able to transfer their purchases to other devices.

"With iBooks, there's no freedom of choice," he said. [That's the complaint some have lodged against Amazon's kindle format.]

While Adobe's flavor of DRM isn't an official standard, it's widespread enough, argues Bogaty, that consumers will "be able to use any e-reader they want, and purchase from any point of sale that uses [Adobe] Content Server."
Opponents of copy protection for e-books decry Apple's use of digital locks. "[FairPlay] is another in a varied number of DRM schemes that will ultimately confuse the consumer and harm e-book adoption," said Paul Biba, editor of the e-book blog TeleRead. '
Apple's Steve Jobs has refused to include support for Adobe's Flash, despite its use all over the Web, which led some to wonder how he could promise at the iPad launch "the best" web browsing experience you've ever had, since it will be displaying empty rectangles where flash videos are (ESPN, Hulu, JibJab etc.)
  There can be workarounds with apps created for that and also with the increasing use of HTML5 in place of or in addition to Flash (which Jobs and others consider bloated and buggy).
' ...Apple blocks the Safari Web browser for the iPhone and iPad from using any plug-ins but Apple's own Quicktime and Preview (for PDFs). That keeps out Flash, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

That's despite claims by Adobe that 7 million people hit its Web site in December alone looking to download a Flash player for their iPhone.

Bogaty says that while e-books that contain interactive elements such as Flash videos might not play fully on the iPad, they should still be able to sell via the iBooks app.  Readers will see a static screenshot of the video, he said, while the text will be unaffected. '
There are solutions for Flash video support in e-books and publications though, as detailed in the article.  Flash-enabled publications would be sold through the App store.
' The advantage is that it will let the Times and Wired directly track what customers are reading.
[ Oh, that's nice, and Plastic Logic's Que is planning that too.. ]

Such usage data is key for newspapers and magazines, who can use it to more effectively demonstrate to advertisers the value of the space for sale in their publications.

Such data would be harder to get if they were sold via the iBooks app's digital newsstand, something those publishers already fear, the Financial Times reported earlier this week. '
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-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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