When I was a college student living on a lowly work-study salary, few things angered me more than shelling out dough for a required course book, only to have the professor assign a single chapter for reading. (It's been 10 years since I took the class, but I still remember fuming as I paid $30 for 30 pages in From Max Weber.) And don't get me started on science textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars but only net you a few bucks once the class is over.
In the middle of a gritty search war, did Microsoft's Steve Ballmer just commit the mother of all mistakes?
I've been wondering about that ever since Microsoft said it would close its Search Books and Live Search Academic projects, thus ceding the field of book digitization to Google. (While both Live Search Books and Live Search Academic are going dark, both Google's Book Search and Google Scholar continue to operate.)
This story was updated at 9:30 a.m. PDT Wednesday to correct the estimated number of Kindles to be sold by 2010.
Q: Is $360 versus $400 that big of a deal?
A: On a slow news day, apparently, yes.
It's not at all clear that a $40 discount is the shove fence-sitters considering buying a $400 device for reading electronic books are going to need. … Read more
Microsoft may be interested in acquiring Yell Group, the British-based parent company of directories like the U.K.'s Yellow Pages and the United States' Yellow Book, Reuters reported Tuesday. Yell isn't commenting, but shares of the company stock rose up to 5.4 percent amid the speculation.
Yell's properties do not include the U.S.-based Yellow Pages, which is operated by AT&T. Yell came to fruition with the debut of the British Yellow Pages in 1966, and expanded to the U.S. when it acquired Yellow Book USA for $665 million.
Sure, the MacBook Air can't spin a DVD or connect to a FireWire device, but did you know it possesses the ability to slice though a loaf of bread? If the photos on this translated-from-the-German forum post are to be believed, the Air can easily make its way through an oatmeal dinner roll. So, if you've been putting off an Air purchase because its features are too few for the price, add bread knife to the list and recalculate.
Before you get too concerned about the safety issues here (and it can't be too long before we … Read more
Chip designer Via Technologies unveiled its OpenBook Mini-Note reference design on Monday, in a move that throws some open source into its core business of developing chips for mobile devices.
The OpenBook design aims to aid PC makers in creating ultra-small notebooks based on Via's Ultra Mobility Platform. Last year, the company trotted out its Via NanoBook reference design, a prototype designed to compete against rivals in the small-computer market but at a lower cost.
"By making the CAD files of the external panels for the OpenBook available for download, Via has simplified design customization. You can now … Read more
The original MacCase is back. Nine years after releasing its first case, which had an unusual rounded shape that matched the contours of the iBook, the company is reissuing the clamshell briefcase.
Owing its success to the "'anti-status quo' element within the Apple community," MacCase calls the new version the "Classic Case" and pretty much kept everything from the first design, though it adds some practical elements such as rubber corners and a mesh lining to help the laptop cool down. It comes in five colors that read like a menu from Jamba Juice, including tangerine, … Read more
Microsoft's Live Search Team is ending its book search efforts, according to a blog post Friday. Its Live Search Books and Live Search Academic sites will be discontinued next week, and books and academic publishings will show up in regular search results rather than separate sites.
"We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners, the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users," read the blog post by Satya Nadella, senior vice president of search, portal, and advertising.
Prior to its swift end, Microsoft's book digitization project had indexed the contents of … Read more
Of all the copycat accessories that can be produced, the "AirMail" case for the MacBook Air has some unfathomable popularity. Started almost on a whim, it was followed by the higher-end "Air Manila" in hand-stiched leather, and now there's yet another pretender to the envelope throne.
Japan's curiously named Bird Electron, which has long been known for its odd products, apparently decided to take a safer route in this case and follow what appears to be a popular design. (The original version has been sold out for months.)
This one is leather too and, … Read more
With so many e-book readers coming on the market, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to build the technology into another type of media device. And what better way to complement a good book than music?
Iriver's new P10 portable media player does just that, though it's headed only for the Korean market so far. It has 33GB of built-in memory, handwriting recognition, and a 4.3-inch LCD with a 800 x 480 resolution.
If that's a tad small for reading the classics, you can still use it to watch the Simpsons because … Read more