Sony Reader for sale, and thoughts on e-books was Re: [FoRK] Gibson's Spook Country

Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> on Thu Aug 30 14:26:49 PDT 2007

On 8/30/07, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:

> I really want somebody to nail this problem space, but it ain't going
> to be Sony.  Somebody needs to come along and pull a Jeff Hawkins on
> this;  a little product management would define an industry and leave
> all the previous, failed big-money experiments in the dust.
>
> And personally I think that the emphasis on e-ink display tech is
> misplaced;  they need to nail the UI, make the thing super-PDF
> friendly, forget DRM and fat client (esp. Windows) software, make it
> wireless and build out the server-based backend / library management
> apps first.  7200 page turns on one charge?  That's great, but I'm
> never going to read that many books between access to charging
> stations anyway, and I read *fast.*  Give me current display tech and
> a 5-hour battery but nail the above, and I'll be your friend for
> life.  Big bonus for building in a decent browser.

So two questions:
(1) is the only way to provide this a completely closed, integrated
stack (e.g. iPod) or is it possible to envision a system with the
requisite usability, but based on an open-ish platform/standard
(e.g.... well, I'm drawing a blank there.)

(2) everything you've said here is baldly obvious, and now that you
mention it, I do recall how brutally bad the Sony software looked.
Why, in 2007, six full years after iPod/iTunes, is it still so hard
for most companies (really, virtually all) to create software that
doesn't suck? I have my own theories, of course, but I'm curious to
hear what forkers think.

Luis

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