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Will Amazon Put Advertisements In eBooks? 226

destinyland writes "A book editor at Houghton Mifflin argues ebook advertising is 'coming soon to a book near you.' (Paywalled unless you go through Google.) Amazon has filed a patent for advertisements on the Kindle, and the book editor joins with a business professor in the Wall Street Journal to make the case for advertisements in ebooks. Book sales haven't increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks. According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, partly because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple's iBookstore. One technology blog notes that Amazon's preference seems to be keeping book prices low, and wonders whether consumers would accept advertising if it meant that new ebooks were then free. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a 'shoppable' children's storybook online, prompting a fierce reaction from one blog: 'I hope it's the last. Books are one of the last refuges in our world from the constant cry by advertisers to spend money and fill our lives with unnecessary things.'"

Are the New Kindles Tablets-In-Training? 134

Hugh Pickens writes "TechNewsWorld reports that Amazon's new, slimmed-down Kindle devices are notable for several things, including upgrades to their experimental WebKit browser that makes it faster and easier to navigate, and the new 'article mode' feature extracts the main text-based content from Web pages for easier reading (as Safari does), suggesting the possibility that the Kindle may grow up to be a real tablet computer someday. Eventually, the tablet and e-reader categories 'are going to slam together,' says Rob Enderle, adding that they are 'held apart, largely because we don't yet have an affordable display that will do both tasks well.' One current problem 'is that TFT displays like the iPad uses suck for reading because they aren't outdoor viewable and are very power hungry. Display technologies like the Qualcomm Mirasol stuff will change this over the next 18 months, and by the end of next year — likely before — we'll begin to see converged devices.' Mirasol uses tiny mirrors, known as microelectronic machines, to create its display, which has the low power characteristics of E-Ink displays and the video-playing and color abilities of LCDs."

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