Classics is a digital reading app that gives you access to more than 20 preset books in an inviting, intuitive interface. When you open Classics, you see a 3D wooden bookshelf with neatly shelved virtual books--all classic, public-domain titles such as "Call of the Wild," "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," the "Illiad," and "20,000 Leagues under the Sea." You can scroll through the bookshelf by flicking up and down, and red bookmarks show which books you've started as well as your progress (the shorter the bookmark, the further you've … Read more
In today's show, we find out that the demise of humanity is imminent (or that all of our robot mythology is fundamentally rooted in self-hatred), the RIM BlackBerry Storm takes the world by drizzle, and Microsoft hopes that actually giving you songs will convince you to buy a Zune. Oh, and we don't care about Yahoo Glue. In case you were wondering.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 857
RIM BlackBerry Storm arrives http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/rim-blackberry-storm-verizon/4505-6452_7-33311850.html
Meet the first multitouch consumer laptop: HP’s TouchSmart tx2 http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10102285-1.html… Read more
Stanza is a free application that lets you read electronic books on your iPhone. It's an excellent value, albeit with a no-frills approach that stops short of handling DRM-protected content and docs with heavy formatting or images.
Stanza provides a comfortable, customizable reading experience. You can quickly change text size via a slider in the settings, or using pinch and reverse pinch, adjust line and margin spacing, and choose from many different fonts. You can even pick your own text and background colors, in case you want old-school, CRT-style green on black. You can flip through chapters, rotate portrait … Read more
My two cents on e-book readers like the Sony Reader: awesome technology, overpriced hardware. I just can't see paying $299 for one. But $149? Now we're in the ballpark.
If you don't mind applying for a Sony Visa card, that's exactly the deal you can get. Here's how:
First, apply online for the credit card, which promises instant approval (assuming you have decent credit, natch). Sony's offering a $150 credit when you purchase something priced at $299 or higher--like, oh, the Sony Reader. Add one to your shopping cart at SonyStyle (in your choice … Read more
Before I unveil this week's iPhone apps, I wanted to see if anyone else had the same iPhone problem I have. I keep having this issue with iPhone app updates that won't finish downloading and demand that I connect to iTunes to finish the update. But even when connected to iTunes, not all of the apps update and I'm left with that number on my home screen saying I need to update when I've done everything I can to complete the process. I also get some update notices dated before I downloaded the app, which clearly … Read more
When we found out a couple of weeks ago that Sony was going have a Reader event in New York on October 2, we assumed--but weren't entirely sure--that the company would be announcing a new electronic book reader. Well, Sony has introduced a new Reader, the PRS-700, and I got to play around with it at the event.
Before I get into impressions, let's start with the highlights: As rumored, the PRS-700 has a built-in LED "reading" light (though it's not a backlight). There are no wireless capabilities, but Sony's moved to a 6-inch touch-screen display. Also, the new Reader has expanded built-in memory (up to 350 books) while retaining its Memory Stick Duo slot.
It's zippier, too--when you turn a page, the e-ink on the screen refreshes faster (we were told the PRS-700 has a faster processor than the earlier PRS-505, but we're waiting to confirm what the processor is). All of these upgrades add up to a higher price tag: the new Reader will retail for $400 when it comes out in November. That's over $100 more than what you can get the PRS-505 for today.
If you can ignore the high price for a second, the PRS700 is definitely a step forward for Sony in the digital-reader arena. If ever there was device that would benefit from the switch to touch-screen navigation, it's an e-book reader (Irex was the first with an e-ink touch-screen display, but that device was prohibitively expensive).
Like the iPhone and other next-gen touch-screen phones that have been appearing lately, the Reader incorporates some gesture-based commands. You can swipe your finger across the display to page forward or back (you can choose between a left or right swipe to advance pages in the settings menu). Swiping and holding your finger down at the end of the swipe allows you to advance or rewind through pages at a fast clip.
With the included stylus or your finger you can highlight words and add annotations via a virtual keyboard. The Amazon Kindle offers this feature via a Blackberry-style keyboard. However, the Kindle doesn't have a touch screen.
It's also worth noting that Sony is continuing with its effort to brand its Readers as "open" devices that are capable of reading multiple file formats. The press release says: "With the included eBook Library 2.5 PC software, you can easily transfer Adobe PDF documents with reflow capability, Microsoft Word documents, BBeB files and other text file formats to the Reader. The device can store and display EPUB files and work with Adobe Digital Editions software, opening it up to almost a limitless quantity of content." … Read more
I just got a news release from Sony that talks about how its $300 PRS-505 Reader Digital Book is slated to show up in Target stores nationwide this weekend along with its accessories. As I previously reported, Sony has a Reader event slated for October 2 as rumors of a next-generation Sony e-book continue to percolate (one CNET reader claims the new Reader will be called the PRS-700 and feature a built-in "lighting feature").
Here's what is in today's release:
This weekend, the Reader Digital Book by Sony will be available in Target stores nationwide. Beginning … Read more
Interesting news from the DemoFall conference held this week in San Diego:
Plastic Logic--a company founded to commercialize electronics built on flexible plastic substrates--demonstrated a prototype e-book reader (not yet named) and announced that it plans to ship this product in the first half of next year. You can read the press release for yourself.
This particular gizmo is very attractive. It uses a large, flexible electronic paper display based on technology from E Ink (the same company that makes the displays for Amazon.com's Kindle and Sony's Reader), but the device overall is remarkably thin and light.
And the whole thing is somewhat flexible, so it won't break if it gets slightly bent in a backpack or briefcase. Flexible doesn't mean invulnerable, but it's a lot better than the brittle glass displays of existing e-book readers.
Check out this video from DEMOfall, in which Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta demonstrates the prototype. I see some minor problems in the prototype's display--some dead lines and odd drawing glitches--but nothing that should interfere with the scheduled launch.
More importantly, even as a prototype, the display's contrast ratio seems to be better than that of the Kindle or Reader, mostly by virtue of the white being whiter--I'd have to make a direct comparison to be sure, though. I also see all of the critical features I want in an e-book reader: good display resolution… Read more
Just got an invite to a Sony Reader event in New York on October 2. No word on whether this involves launching a next-gen electronic book reader or just promoting some new capabilities for the current model, the Reader Digital Book PRS-505, as we head into the holiday buying season.
Either way it seems clear that Sony isn't quite ready to cede the e-book market to Amazon's Kindle. Sony's got the better design, but the wireless download capabilities of the Kindle clearly give it an advantage. Anybody wanna predict what Sony's next move is?
Like to read? Between now and Sunday, July 27, Tor.com is offering two dozen sci-fi and fantasy books free for the download. You don't even have to register; just click, download, and read!
Most of the books are available in HTML, Mobi, and PDF formats--choose the one that suits you best. If you're a BlackBerry, Palm, or Windows Mobile user, for instance, grab the Mobi files for use with the free Mobipocket Reader. Want to read on your iPhone or iPod touch? Any of the formats will do if you use freebie app Stanza (iTunes link): It … Read more