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back to article Sony takes on the Kindle

Sony's new Daily Edition is aiming to take on Amazon's Kindle with its 3G connectivity and touch screen, but it will have to provide an acceptable face for DRM, with library lending and open standards. The Daily Edition will be available in the US come December, and includes 3G GSM connectivity that will allow users to download …

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Could be interesting...

to see who wins.

Mind, for me - I'll have the Sony sans touchscreen but with WiFi so that I can have e.g. RSS updates when abroad and the non-reflective screen.

Or lose the WiFi and the touchscreen and give me a nice discount instead.

In any case, how about selling the bloody thing in more countries?

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FAIL

Bookeen

It's Amazon's fault, not Bookeen. They've decreed that you can only have one DRM system on your device.

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Next up: Apple tablet?

This could get very interesting indeed..

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Nice-looking device

The Kindle really hasn't interested me, but I have had my eye on those Sony readers for some time now. This looks like an interesting one, assuming they don't pull stupid Amazonian-alike stunts.

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WTF?

I really don't see the point in these

Can anybody tell me what the point of these is?

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re. What is the point

The screens are non-volatile and high-contrast so they are legible in nearly all light environments from bright sunshine to midnight and they don't use power to display. The higher contrast makes them preferable to computer screens for reading.

The capacity means you can keep common reference works on them and have them with you all the time, great if you travel a lot for work. Standardised asset management - whether you like the DRM or not - just makes it easier to add and remove content from the device.

I've only seen one in real life and it looked very compelling - about the size of a 200 page paperback. I've pretty much stopped buying books apart from reference manuals and am seriously considering one of the second edition. I don't think 3G is a must have argument, yet but I do like the idea of automatically charging up my favourite plublications such as The Economist or The Register so that I can read it when I have some "inbetween" time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I really don't see the point in these

It's a mass-market gadget, not a geek toy -- you're not in the target demographic.

That said, as it's Linux it's hackable. A hackable wireless touch-screen low-power Linux box. Pleasepleaseplease somebody tell me whether there is a hardware difference between an SD and an SDIO interface, or whether the difference is all in the driver software.

Because a hackable wireless touch-screen low-power Linux box with SDIO would be just... well... mega.

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When can I get one without the mobile phone crud?

My iPod can't download new music OTA, and am perfectly happy syncing with my computer. Right now, these eBook readers are too expensive for me.

Taking those two into consideration, when is someone going to release one without all the mobile phone excess? It's got to be cheaper- I know the components aren't worth much but the service must cost a fair chunk.

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WTF?

Re: When can I get one without the mobile phone crud?

You mean like the current Sony model (PRS-505) that has been available for about a year?

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@Alastair 7

There are plenty of ebook readers that you side-load. In fact until this annoucement, only the Kindle had wireless.

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let battle commence!

Accepting AC's idea of not be the target demographic (and the hackable bit!)

Lovely idea - but wayyyyyyyy to expensive - and the cost of the books!

they seem to have a more realistic approach in the states - just good ol' greed here I suppose.

It's not as if it's new technology - just a bigger screen. I wuz reading on my Palm M105.....!

(god I'm getting old)....Sony, cut the price to 99 quid, and charge less than 50% for the ebook versions. might take off then.

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@cynic 2

There are actually two different DRM systems on the Kindle (Mobipocket and Topaz), although they're both tied to the same device key which are generated from a single source.

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Big Brother

Read article twice...

Read the article twice and still didn't find any reference to unimportant things like storage capacity and battery life. Or at least what they claim they are. If it isn't known yet, that should be mentioned, no?

Anyway, nice to see competition. I also think the wireless thing is not really essential, although I can be nice. They probably won't be taking it out, I suspect it helps leading people to impulse buys by making it so much easier than download to computer, upload to reader, with some possibly needed conversion in between.

Now it's wait for the Orwellian shenanigans to start with the Sony reader too. After their root-kit fiasco, it wouldn't be surprising.

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Walled gardens

"unlike the Kindle which still can't be sold outside the USA thanks to its reliance on CDMA."

CDMA is available in Canada, but the Kindle like MP3s are not available from Amazon.ca, so it's more likely a case of can't be bothered + control freak licences.

"The company reckons the two are technically incompatible"

I call BS, I expect that it's more to do with control freak licence incompatibility.

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@Charlie Clark

"I don't think 3G is a must have argument, yet but I do like the idea of automatically charging up my favourite plublications such as The Economist or The Register so that I can read it when I have some "inbetween" time."

This can be done* on a Sony PRS-505 for any site with an RSS feed via that wonderful bit of free software, Calibre. Both EL Reg and The Economist are among the 100 odd publications where someone with a bit of time and skill has submitted a well formatted script to Calibre for us all to use. I get both along with my local newspaper (which I had to script myself) and a couple of other magazines.

*It isn't quite automatic. I get up in the morning, turn on the PC, hit the "Download" button on Calibre, make a cup of tea while it takes 2 - 3 minutes downloading and formatting, hit the "Sync" button, drink tea while it takes 30 seconds to send to the Reader, read on bus. Easy.

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CDMA outside of the US

I was under the impression that CDMA was widely used in Asia?

At any rate - here in Norway (and parts of Sweden) the company IceNet (ice.no) provides a data-only CDMA network.

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Flame

These products are already irrelevant.

Come on... only stupid people buy Kindles. Why would annyone in their right mind spend 400$ or more on something that only reads books, when you can use EReader, get it free or buy it for 15$ and install it on any smartphone that can be used to phone, browse, text, listen to music AND read books!?!

Kindles have always been and will always be a very limited niche product.

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I liked the 505 so much that I bought one

I was sceptical about e-book readers and said so in various El-Reg comments. I was happy using my laptop and netbook with the free MobiPocket reader application and all the free e-books I could want from Gutenberg.org and other places.

Then I saw a Sony PRS-505 in Curry's and played with it, it was very nice indeed. I bought it from play.com at £150 (Jersey company, no VAT charge) and it arrived 3 days after my internet order was placed. Customs hadn't intercepted it and slapped any import duty on it so maybe I was lucky.

It is a pleasure to use and to read and with the free Calibre e-book management application you can load it with just about anything. I can load compatible files onto my 4GB SD card and plug it in and have them appear in the list of books. I can make my own books with text and pictures using the free PrimoPDF .pdf generator authoring them in Word. It's a very nice bit of kit.

The only 'downside' is that it's a bit slow at the menu level GUI response and doing any USB comms and any needed internal conversion. Having said that, it's a reader, for reading, not for messing about with. It also lists and plays any .mp3 files you put on there and you can listen to music as you read, if you want that.

With a touch screen, I'd want to look very carefully at it to see if the screen had an effect on contrast and if it introduced any blurring of the text. Has anybody seen one to be able to comment on this?

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Who rules?

The CONTENT will all be on Google.

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And Saint Peter in his doorway

Writes with one eye turned down floorway.

For the wisdom of the ages he can tell:

You may die and go to Heaven

And your Pulitzers be seven

But the editors will still all work for Hell!

.

(Copyright Cortland Richmond)

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Universality

You won't get me lumping out cash until it works like paper books:

* I can buy content from whoever I want anywhere I want

* The content becomes my property in a tangible way

* I can give, loan, swap content with other people

* I can give it to Oxfam who can sell it half price to students

* Oh and content has to be a lot cheaper than a paperback, to reflect the supply sides lower costs.

* I can generate my own content and give it away to friends

On the way, a standard memory card slot, a standard USB connector (also used for charging), and a week-and-a-bit battery life so I can take it on holiday would be essential too.

All that said, I quite like the idea.

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