Monday, December 28, 2009

Another Balkanized Technology Rip-Off

Choices by koalazymonkey
Attribution-NoDerivs License

What new technology do you have that isn't already obsolete as soon as you buy it? Over the past thirty years, I can only think of one instance. I did actually buy a computer that didn't become obsolete within three years. Obsolescence is understandable it if the technology is truly developing, especially if greatly enhanced unique products are being produced. That doesn't happen very often.

From vinyl formats to programs to online image formats to music formats, the balkanized world of technology has introduced its most recent addition: E-BOOK READERS.

The concept of importance here is that the e-book reader world is balkanized, separated....segregated, for no good reason. One might surmise that it is greedy desire for exuberant overspending by the consumer. What is the purpose of planned obsolescence? Is this what drives the separation and format variations among the electronic publishers and e-book reader manufacturers?

Each e-book reader accepts a few electronic publication formats. NO e-BOOK READER accepts all formats of electronic publishing. This is the Betamax debacle all over again.

With a crippled world economy, I would suggest that e-book reader manufacturers and sellers should remember that the world has changed. Consumers can’t cavalierly be the engine of commerce. I believe that BUYING just for the sake of consumption must stop. It’s neither sustainable nor ethical.

PC World recently tested seven of the latest e-book readers that were available, except the newest one: Barnes & Noble’s Nook. It’s not available for testing yet.

I believe that the company who makes an e-book reader with access to all formats of electronic publications will win the market in the end. Pssst: publishers are you listening? You could solve this problem by selecting a publishing standard or allowing conversions to a variety of electronic publishing formats.
clipped from
If you think the universe of e-book readers begins with the Kindle 2 and ends with the Kindle DX, think again. That universe is expanding rapidly. We recently completed thorough hands-on testing of seven of the top e-readers available today and came to a surprising conclusion: Our number one choice isn't from Amazon at all; it's the Sony Reader Touch Edition.
Sony's $300 reader matches the Kindle 2's screen size and quality but adds a touchscreen and support for free e-books and Adobe ePub, an e-book file format that book publishers and resellers have widely embraced. Whereas Adobe's PDF reproduces a fixed image of a page, ePub permits text to reflow in order to accommodate different fonts and font sizes.
Of course, no company's lead in the rapidly evolving e-reader market is safe.
Barnes & Noble
announced its Nook e-reader
most people who got a peek at the device seemed to love it.
Nook isn't yet available for thorough testing, however.
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Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora e Sheryl!

I'm with you all the way with this one, as I am so often with your point of view on other matters. The same philosophical standpoint as you are expressing here is what made me so happy about learning to develop material in html - a universally acceptable and compatable text language that works just about everywhere and on any machine.

The balkanisation of technology has to stop if we are to unite globally, as we must do to survive.

A Happy New Year to you!

samccoy said...

Yes, I see it as a economic problem for the developed countries, as consumers can no longer be the engine of growth for these economies that are no longer growing.