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Comment Having an eReader can get expensive... (Score 1) 415

Disclaimer: I was the sort of kid that brought home two bags full of books from the library each week. I've always read a lot.

I bought a Kindle Keyboard as soon as they were available for the simple reason that a small apartment can only hold that many bookshelves chock full of small paperbacks. Last year I read over a 100 books on it, which rather surprised me as I haven't read that many paper books a year since before high school. The reason is that the kindle is so light and convenient that I now can read anywhere: waiting in line, while shopping, while walking, while in the tub (plastic ziplock baggie!), while on the bus, while on the plane, while whenever really.

I didn't buy all those books from Amazon. I've read ebooks from Baen since the late nineties, and there's Smashwords, Gutenberg, Mobileread, authors selling directly, and author coops like Bookview Cafe. With Calibre, it doesn't really matter where you get the books from. Unfortunately, since I would like a steady supply of books from well-nourished, creative authors, I do pay for my books. Even at an average of 5 dollars a pop, it adds up, especially when you've run out of your favorite authors and desperately need more to read and therefore start buying anything with a half way decent blurb and not too fawning reviews in hope of finding a new favorite author.

There are rumors going around that new Kindles will be announced in time for Christmas this year. I might just get one. Eink, mind, and it really needs the paging-buttons on the sides as that makes one-handed reading with any hand in any situation possible. With wifi off I only need to charge it every three weeks or so (unless I'm caught by a fat, impossible-to-take-a-break-from page turner, then I read with the power cable plugged in...). I was opposed to touch but now that I have a phone with touch I can see it would be nice for moving about menus. Not for the actual paging though.

I would also say, definitely eink if you're serious about reading. I've read books on VT220s, big CRTs, Sharp Zaurus, DS (homebrew), android, print outs, iPad (borrowed), projectors, glossy magazine paper, grey mass market paperback paper, extra cheap self-destructing school book paper, expensive non-acidic archive quality hardcover paper, yellowed copy paper, newspaper, toilet paper (I hope it was a gimmick), the lot: eink (pearl) beats them all. Much better in sunlight than paper since the background isn't bright white.

If you do get a tablet, read with the colors reversed: white on black. You won't feel like you've stared into the sun for hours after just.. one.. more.. page.. hey, is that the sunrise?


Submission + - Japanese develop mobile phone with built-in scam detection (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "Japanese researchers at Nagoya University and Fujitsu have developed software that detects when someone is trying to scam you over the phone. The software, which runs locally on your mobile phone, has a 90% success rate at detecting remittance phishing (think Nigerian or fake anti-virus) and other similar scams. To achieve such accuracy, the researchers attacked the problem from two angles. First, the software identifies keywords like “indebtedness” or “compensation," and then it analyzes the victim's voice for "overtrust." Basically, when you are stressed out, you are more susceptible to scams — and this is why phone scammers use distressing phrases like “your computer is full of viruses” or “your distant relative has died.” By analyzing your voice pitch and volume, the researchers can detect when you are overtrusting whoever’s on the other end of the line. The Japanese National Police Academy and Bank of Nagoya are now moving ahead with real-world trials, and in theory every smartphone might soon have built-in scam detection."
Open Source

Open Source Developer Knighted 101

unixfan writes "Georg Greve, developer of Open Document Format and active FOSS developer, has received a knighthood in Germany for his work. From the article: 'Some weeks ago I received news that the embassy in Berne had unsuccessfully been trying to contact me under FSFE's old office address in Zurich. This was a bit odd and unexpected. So you can probably understand my surprise to be told by the embassy upon contacting them that on 18 December 2009 I had been awarded the Cross of Merit on ribbon (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) by the Federal Republic of Germany. As you might expect, my first reaction was one of disbelief. I was, in fact, rather shaken. You could also say shocked. Quick Wikipedia research revealed this to be part of the orders of knighthood, making this a Knight's Cross.'"
Data Storage

Submission + - 250 DVDs in a Quarter-Sized Device -- Coming Soon? (nbcbayarea.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new technique developed by scientists at UC Berkeley and University of Massachusetts Amherst may drastically increase the ability of devices to store things. The method lets microscopic nanoscale elements precisely assemble themselves over large surfaces. Xu explained that the molecules in the thin film of block copolymers — two or more chemically dissimilar polymer chains linked together — self-assemble into an extremely precise, equidistant pattern when spread out on a surface, much like a regiment of disciplined soldiers lining up in formation.

Submission + - Ubuntu now available for Eee PCs (bit-tech.net)

wehe writes: "bit-tech.net has a story about eeeXubuntu, a customized Linux distribution for the Asus Eee PC: "If you're one of the lucky few who managed to get an Eee PC ahead of the Xmas rush, I'm sure you've thought about replacing the rather basic operating system with something a bit gruntier. Well, how about something gutsier? Dedicated Eee PC owners have produced a customised version of Xubuntu 7.10 'Gutsy Gibbon', the lightweight desktop Linux release based on Ubuntu (which, in turn, is built on Debian). Featuring full support for the Eee PC hardware with no post-installation configuration to worry about, the new release also handles the fairly low resolution screen better than a standard Linux distribution would. Dubbed eeeXubuntu, the most important change the distribution has from the standard Xubuntu install is a tweak to reduce the number of writes made to the irreplaceable solid-state storage device inside the Eee, which has a limited lifespan. Available, as is the tradition for desktop Ubuntu derivatives, as a Live CD which allows users to try it out before committing to install it, the operating system can be installed to either the internal SSD or to an external flash drive.""

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