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Monday, October 16, 2006

eBooks: will it work this time?

I have an e-book reader. it's a java thingy in my cell phone. never used it. the screen is tiny, and even if it weren't, in which occasions I'd enjoy a book, without having the opportunity to have the book physically there?

moreover, screens are awful for reading. Sony is trying to shake this up with its next big thing (well, they hope so)

It’s a handsome half-inch-thick nine-ounce slab, a bit smaller than 5 inches by 7 inches, “bound” in a protective leatherette cover. You can turn pages individually, or jump ahead 10 percent of the book at a time. A “mark” button produces a visual dog-ear on the page corner.

What distinguishes Sony’s effort from all the failed e-book readers of years gone by, however, is the screen.

The Reader employs a remarkable new display technology from a company called E Ink. Sandwiched between layers of plastic film are millions of transparent, nearly microscopic liquid-filled spheres. White and black particles float inside them, as though inside the world’s tiniest snow globes. Depending on how the electrical charge is applied to the plastic film, either the black or white particles rise to the top of the little spheres, forming crisp patterns of black and white.

let's hope it will work this time. and let's also hope that prices for downloads will not be exceedingly high. I laugh at people buying iTunes songs. I want part of the money saved in not having to print the stuff to be shifted onto me. not only in more money for the freaking shareholders. pah! Until then, I'll happily do without e-contents.

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