The suit takes aim at the practice of outlawing breaking DRM, with the Librarian of Congress permitted to make exceptions to the prohibition every three years, as well as outlawing any explanation of how to break DRM. The EFF calls this “an unconstitutional speech-licensing regime.”
Robotech_Master writes: I keep seeing complaint after complaint that e-books are stuck in a rut, and nobody is interested in 'innovating.' Amazon tends to get the lion's share of blame for this, as they're the incumbent in the e-book market, but what's keeping its competitors from trying as well? A good innovation could be a competitive advantage against Amazon, after all.
It seems to me that we're not seeing any innovation because most consumers are perfectly happy with their ten-year-old Kindle e-book tech, and Amazon's competitors have effectively already thrown in the e-book towel. Anyone who tries to come up with something new runs into the roadblock that consumers don't want something new if it's not compatible with the e-reading tech they already have.
And yet, we still see all these people crying out for innovation, but no one actually making a move to innovate. Well, here's the bell, there's the cat; knock yourself out.
Robotech_Master writes: After a recent Kobo software upgrade, a number of Kobo customers have reported losing e-books from their libraries--notably, e-books that had been transferred to Kobo from their Sony Reader libraries when Sony left the consumer e-book business. One customer reported missing 460 e-books, and the only way to get them back in her library would be to search and re-add them one at a time! Customers who downloaded their e-books and illegally broke the DRM don't have this problem, of course.
B&N's customer service rep's most helpful suggestion was that I could buy the e-book again—he even offered to give me the link. Is it any wonder Barnes & Noble is having such a hard time competing with Amazon?
Robotech_Master writes: The ongoing saga of the Neverstop plan shows that Karma Wireless just can’t seem to catch a break as far as high-bandwidth plans are concerned. After starting out with a straight pay-per-bandwidth plan, “Refuel,” for its $150 wireless hotspot, Karma thought it would innovate with a throttled-but-otherwise-unlimited 4G plan, “Neverstop.” However, it soon discovered that users were taking it at its word and using up considerably more bandwidth than Karma expected or could afford. After experimenting with further throttling, Karma subsequently revamped the plan into a $50 per month, 15 GB plan that throttled to dialup speed after it ran out.
However, now it turns out even that plan was too optimistic, and Karma has opted to dump the Neverstop plan altogether in favor of tiered monthly plan called Pulse—whose bandwidth costs significantly more. ($40/mo for 5 GB, $75 for 10 GB, $140 for 20 GB.) Karma's "unlimited" users weren't pleased the first time the plan changed, and now they're practically through the roof.
Robotech_Master writes: Prolific Amazon customer reviewer Harriet Klausner passed away last week at the age of 67. Klausner was a controversial figure: She never gave anything a negative review, her review blurbs cast doubt on how closely she actually read what she reviewed, and received dozens of free books per week (which ended up resold on Half.com via her son's account). Nonetheless, for a time she was one of the most recognizable names to any frequent Amazon.com customer; it was rare to come across any popular title that didn't have a Klausner review.
Robotech_Master writes: Peter S. Beagle's publisher Connor Cochran has announced that fan favorite The Last Unicorn and several other titles by Beagle will be available in e-book form from Amazon as of October 1. Apart from a brief sale via The Humble Bundle, this will mark the first time an authorized e-book edition of The Last Unicorn has ever been available for sale. It will be offered in both a "Classic" edition and a "Deluxe" edition, featuring sequel novella "Two Hearts" and an interview with Beagle.
Robotech_Master writes: Indianapolis has just launched a great new series of art installations intended to promote both art and literacy. The Public Collection will act as a sort of artistic big version of the "Little Free Libraries" that have been popping up lately—offering hundreds of books to the general public, including homeless and hospital patients, absolutely free.