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Latest on e-books, e-paper, DRM and related technologies



Last Build Date: Tue, 23 May 2017 12:48:58 GMT

 



A million people and no bookstore

Mon, 22 May 2017 04:48:40 GMT

"Not having a bookstore, it creates this lack of self-worth." The Bronx, New York does not any bookstores yet they have 1.4 million people living there and 10 colleges. Here is one resident's plan to change that. http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-39979281/the-place-with-a-million-people-and-no-bookstore



Font Sharing Site DaFont Has Been Hacked, Exposing Thousands of Accounts

Thu, 18 May 2017 23:19:01 GMT

https://developers.slashdot.org/story/17/05/18/2042237/font-sharing-site-dafont-has-been-hacked-exposing-thousands-of-accounts ---Quote--- A popular font sharing site DaFont.com has been hacked, resulting in usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords of 699,464 user accounts being stolen. ZDNet reports:The passwords were scrambled with the deprecated MD5 algorithm, which nowadays is easy to crack. As such, the hacker unscrambled over 98 percent of the passwords into plain text. The site's main database also contains the site's forum data, including private messages, among other site information. At the time of writing, there were over half-a-million posts on the site's forums. The hacker told ZDNet that he carried out his attack after he saw that others had also purportedly stolen the site's database. "I heard the database was getting traded around so I decided to dump it myself -- like I always do," the hacker told me. Asked about his motivations, he said it was "mainly just for the challenge [and] training my pentest skills." He told me that he exploited a union-based SQL injection vulnerability in the site's software, a flaw he said was "easy to find." The hacker provided the database to ZDNet for verification. ---End Quote---



New UK Amazon Prime benefit

Thu, 18 May 2017 18:44:57 GMT

http://s.mobileread.com/upload/news/2016-10/Amazon_Prime_Reading_small.jpg"Amazon offers UK Prime members a free, rotating e-book library" https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/18/amazon-offers-uk-prime-members-a-free-rotating-ebook-library/



Amazon Charts is a different kind of "bestseller" list

Thu, 18 May 2017 18:15:16 GMT

From Amazon:https://amzn.to/2qx3Llw Via: https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/05/18/amazon-charts-weekly-best-seller-list/ For those tbat care: ---Quote--- Amazon has launched a best-seller list called Amazon Charts. The retailer has distilled its genre and category best-seller lists into a quartet of lists of the top-selling and most-read books (fiction and non-fiction get different lists). The lists reflect the activities of Amazon customers across all types of books: print, digital, and audio. Each entry will include a buy button (and a "read now" button) so consumers can find out more. ---End Quote--- More at Nate's. I guess they got tired of the APub and KDP select titles being blocked off lists. And with the NYT kicking so many books out of consideration they saw a need. More interesting than what is selling, in what people are actually reading in digital. They have parallel lists for ebooks and audio listing sales and *active* reads. And guess who's filling a quarter of the top slots? Harry Potter! The formatting is appropriately function-rich with buy and read buttons (of course) and for tradpub titles they now not listauthor and publisher but also yhe agent! Bragging rights for all. It also makes it easy to make out indie titles. Edit: here's the link to the Amazon press release. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2273973 Note the headline: ---Quote--- *Introducing Amazon Charts – A Bestseller List for What People are Really Reading and Buying* A reimagined bestseller list that shares how we read today SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 18, 2017-- (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon today launched Amazon Charts, a reimagined weekly bestseller list that shares which books are being read the most and which books have sold the most across all formats each week. The Top 20 Most Read is the first ever bestseller list to measure the books millions of Amazon.com customers are really reading and listening to by looking at the average number of daily Kindle readers and Audible listeners. The Top 20 Most Sold list ranks the most books sold, pre-ordered or borrowed each week from Amazon.com, Audible.com and Amazon Books. Amazon Charts include data across all reading formats – whether books are bought or borrowed, listened to or read – to accurately reflect how readers are really reading and buying books today. To see which books made the inaugural Top 20 Most Read and Top 20 Most Sold fiction and nonfiction Amazon Charts, visit: www.amazon.com/charts. ---End Quote---



How do you digitize a six foot wide book?

Mon, 15 May 2017 13:59:33 GMT

A wonderful article at BoingBoing about how the British Library is scanning and digitizing the 350 year old Klencke Atlas. It has been scanned in a lower resolution before, but this represents the state-of-the-art in scanning oversized books. Watch how librarians digitize a 6-foot wide book (http://boingboing.net/2017/05/08/watch-how-librarians-digitize.html?utm_source=moreatbb&utm_medium=nextpost&utm_campaign=nextpostthumbnails)



Developers of the MP3 Have Officially Killed It

Mon, 15 May 2017 10:30:05 GMT

*Developers of the MP3 Have Officially Killed It (http://gizmodo.com/developers-of-the-mp3-have-officially-killed-it-1795205540)* My favorite format :D ---Quote--- MP3, the digital audio coding format, changed the way we listen to music and drove the adoption of countless new devices over the last couple of decades. And now, it’s dead. The developer of the format announced this week that it has officially terminated its licensing program. The actual ownership history of the various patent rights involved in MP3 technology is complicated and messy. But the Fraunhofer Institute has claimed the right to license certain MP3 patents to software developers who want to “distribute and/or sell decoders and/or encoders” for it. The announcement that the company will end its licensing program was accompanied by a statement that reads in part: ---Quote--- Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, mp3 is still very popular amongst consumers. However, most state-of-the-art media services such as streaming or TV and radio broadcasting use modern ISO-MPEG codecs such as the AAC family or in the future MPEG-H. Those can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to mp3. ---End Quote--- The decision is largely symbolic, but it’s kind of like when all manufacturers start installing CD-ROMs instead of floppy drives. There will be some stragglers who still support the MP3 but newer formats will be the standard. AAC — or “Advanced Audio Coding,” — was developed in part by the Fraunhofer Institute and is considered the standard today. ---End Quote---



If You Had a Library with WTS Books, It's GONE Now!

Sat, 13 May 2017 00:28:49 GMT

I'll be as brief as possible. If you have a library on Westminster Theological Seminary Bookstore's website, it's no longer there. I found out by trying to retrieve a book from my WTS Books library on their website last weekend, and not being able to find a library of any kind! Let me directly quote an email that I received in response to mine concerning this: "We made the transition to the new site without eBooks, so they are not available on our new site." I got the representative to (grudgingly, it seems) to send me a zip file of all of my books. However, I haven't been able to unzip it, and I've had to write him, again, for instructions. But, bless his heart, he's given me a whole 6 days to get the zip file unzipped! This is very distressing. I have bought *hundreds* of ebooks from them over the last several years. And, there was no advisory, about this change, either by email (I checked my emails from them from the last couple of months), their old website the last time that I checked it, or their new website, that this was about to happen. None! If you created a library with WTS Books, I urgently suggest that you contact them, *now*, at support@wtsbooks.com or by other means, and ask for your ebooks. There are wider implications. I know that we technically do not own ebooks, we just own(?) licenses to those books. But, does that give ebook vendors the legal right to eliminate our ebooks? Apparently, WTS Books thinks that it does. I know one thing, I'm going to be downloading ebooks from all of my libraries that I can, across all vendors, to my hard drive just as soon as I can. Digital books have some wonderful advantages; however, I have worries about ebooks that I never had with physical books. For example, one of those pertains to the problem above. I have a huge physical library. I don't worry about someone coming in and taking a huge chunk of them away, like I do with ebooks.



Amazon changes BUY BUTTON policy, publishers go bonkers

Tue, 09 May 2017 13:32:53 GMT

From the Digital Reader blog: https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/05/08/book-publishers-whining-amazon-giving-buy-button-lowest-seller/ ---Quote--- Publishers are furious (and The Authors Guild is livid) that the copies of books that publishers had sold off cheap are now getting preferential treatment on Amazon.com. Starting about two months ago, Amazon changed their policy on buy button on book listings. The old policy was that Amazon controlled the button and when you clicked it you bought the book Amazon sourced from the publisher. Under the new policy, Amazon is giving the buy button to whichever seller can offer the best combination of price, customer service, shipping, etc. (The policy was announced last November and took effect in March.) As a result, consumers may be seeing something like in the following listing where the buy button gets you a book from a low-price third-party seller, and the copy Amazon bought from the publisher is pushed down to the "other sellers" section. ---End Quote--- More at the source. It helps to understand the difference between AMAZON.COM and AMAZON.LLC. because what we have here is Amazon.com (the online mall operator) demoting their Anchor store (AMAZON.LLC) to the same status as other *new* book vendors on the site. So if another book source can undercut AMAZON.LLC (by offering up a remaindered copy, for example) they are happy to give them top listing. Publishers, of course, are upset to see their deep discounted inventory (for which authors don't get paid) getting added visibility. Expend lots on whining about readers getting easier access to cheap pbooks.



Looks like a new Kindle Fire is in the works.

Tue, 09 May 2017 13:19:46 GMT

Not a main topic in this article but Good Ereader mentions it. Article date May 8. http://goodereader.com/blog/tablet-slates/amazon-shipped-out-2-2-million-fire-tablets-q1-2017 "Amazon has two new tablets in development and they have just hit the FCC to become certified. It is currently unknown what the true hardware specs are and when they will be released to the public. There is a strong likelihood that one will be a seven inch to replace the $50 Fire Tablet and the other will be eight inches or larger."



Amazon lowers free shipping minimum back to $25

Tue, 09 May 2017 05:12:28 GMT

*Amazon Reduces Free Shipping Minimum To $25 (https://bestblackfriday.com/blog/amazon-reduces-free-shipping-minimum-to-25/)* ---Quote--- In February, we reported that Amazon reduced their minimum order size required to qualify for free shipping for non-Prime members from $49 to $35. Now, less than three months later, Amazon is at it again. All orders of $25 or more featuring eligible items will qualify for free shipping, according to Amazon’s official shipping page . Please see the screenshot below of Amazon’s shipping page as of 5/8/2017. ---End Quote--- ---Quote--- While Amazon has not yet publically announced the change, they have traditionally stayed under the radar when adjusting their free shipping minimums. Here is a brief history of Amazon’s free shipping minimum order size adjustments. October 2013 — Minimum Order Size Increases from $25 to $35 May 2016 — Minimum Order Sizes Increases from $35 to $49 February 2017 — Minimum Order Size Decreases from $49 to $35 ---End Quote---