Amazon to launch Netflix-style service for digital books?Amazon to launch Netflix-style service for digital books?

Details are still sketchy here, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon‘s looking to launch a Netflix-like subscription service for digital books, much to the chagrin of some publishers. According to unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Amazon is currently “in talks” with several publishers about the program, which would provide access to an online library in exchange for an unspecified annual fee. The insiders also claim that the service would be available for Amazon Prime subscribers (who currently pay $79 per year for free shipping and access to shows and movies) and that the proposed library would feature primarily older works, with monthly restrictions on the number of books a subscriber could read for free. Publishers would reportedly pocket a “substantial fee” for signing on to the program, though some are reluctant to participate, for fear that doing so would “downgrade the value of the book business,” according to one publishing exec. In fact, it remains unclear whether any publishers have thrown their hats in the ring, but we’ll certainly be on the lookout for any developments.

Amazon axes copied content, duplicate Kindle Store ebooks get the boot


If we take a can of Spam and call it “Engadget’s precooked pork meat product,” you’ll still know it’s the same mystery meat you ate for lunch, right? Under the idea of “private label rights,” authors can do just that: sell their works to others who can rebrand and resell them. This week, Amazon cracked down on duplicate ebooks in its Kindle Store, pulling titles because they “diminish the experience for customers.” One copycat who got the smack down called it a “kick in the pants” when his 22 titles got yanked. He did, however, admit he had the swift one coming. Aping authors can expect more book banning Kung Fu as Amazon continues to rid itself of “undifferentiated or barely differentiated versions of e-books.” Hi-yah!

Barnes & Noble offers 30 free e-books to switch to Nook — that’s one expensive carrot

Barnes & Noble offers 30 free e-books to switch to Nook -- that's one expensive carrot

It seems dangling deals to lure consumers away from competitors is all the rage these days, and Barnes & Noble has jumped on the make-the-switch bandwagon, offering $315 worth of e-books to prospective buyers of its Nook e-reader. Starting today, when owners of those other devices tote their current e-readers into a Barnes & Noble store and buy themselves a new Nook or Nook Color, they’ll get 30 free eBooks, with an apparent value of $315. Here’s the catch — because, you know there had to be one — Barnes & Noble’s won’t let you pick the books for yourself. Those 30 free eBooks will come pre-loaded on a 2GB microSD card. If you’ve got the taste of a corporate marketing team, and have been waiting for a reason to get in on the Nook action, check out the source link for more details. Full PR after the break.

Kobo eReader Touch Edition goes on sale in the US and Canada

At the moment, there are two very similar-looking e-readers with black-and-white Pearl E Ink touchscreens on the market, and now, the smaller and less expensive of the pair is up for grabs. The Kobo eReader Touch Edition went on sale today in the US and Canada for $129.99 (or $139.99 Canadian) at Best Buy, Borders, Walmart, and the Canadian bookseller Indigo. If you’ll recall, the 6-inch Kobo is thinner, lighter, and more compact than the Nook Touch, even though its screen is the same size. It also undercuts it by $10 but it lacks the convenience of any physical buttons. Could these trade-offs be worth the trimmer design? We’ll leave that to you and your wallet (and the guy who may or may not receive this as a last-minute Father’s Day gift).

Toshiba abandoning plans for Windows 7 tablet, Chromebook?


We were expecting Toshiba to launch its Windows 7 tablet during the second half of this year, but rumor has it that the company may be abandoning the slate altogether. DigiTimes is reporting that both the 11.6-inch slab and a forthcoming Chromebook have disappeared from Toshiba’s product launchpad, according to sources within the industry. The Chromebook will reportedly be slashed due to disappointing netbook sales in 2010, whereas the reasons behind the tablet’s cancellation remain less clear. DigiTimes suggests that Toshiba may be throwing all of its weight behind its new Honeycomb-powered Thrive slate, meaning that its Windows 7 counterpart could either be delayed even further, or simply relinquished. There’s obviously plenty of speculation swirling around, but we’ll let you know as soon as we receive more concrete reports.

Opera Mini lands on the iPad in version 6.0


Been loving the Opera Mini experience on your iPhone and wishing for it on your larger iOS device? Opera is today turning that desire into reality with the release of v6.0 of its Mini mobile browser, which now has support for all iOS portables, including the iPad and iPad 2, plus a specific shoutout for the iPhone 4′s retina display. The overall design of the web explorer has also been freshened up, with a “new look and feel,” while a social sharing function will let you blast URLs into Twitter and Facebook directly from the app. Additionally, the new version includes the ability to load tabs in the background and improves support for non-Latin alphabets like Arabic and Chinese. Hit the source link for the download.

NPG, CSU partner for $49 dynamic digital textbooks

The worst part of being a college student? Pricey learning materials… they make even Ramen noodles a fancy meal. This fall, students at California State University will be at least make a step up to fast food. CSU has announced a three-year deal with Nature Publishing Group for low-cost, interactive, web-based textbooks with access options for disabled students. The first to be offered is an introductory biology text, fittingly titled Principles of Biology. Students on the L.A., Northridge, and Chico campuses will each have varying payment and licensing models, but 49 bucks gets anyone a full edition starting September 1st. Professors can edit the content, which includes 175 “interactive lessons,” access to a database of research papers, and assessments for students. It can all be used on any device from a slate to a computer and even printed if you prefer scribing your notes with pen and paper or won’t be near an internet connection. Details are dry about future books using the system, but it looks like a promising break for college students. Still, before you get ready to ditch your books and backpack for more money and less backaches, we’d suggest skimming the press release after the break.

Barnes & Noble announces new touch-enabled Nook for $139 (video)

Nook Event

Not to be outdone by Kobo, which just unleashed its latest E Ink reader yesterday, the folks at Barnes & Noble are back with the latest update to their line of Nook devices. The “all new” Nook has the same Zeforce infrared touch layer as the aforementioned Kobo, and lasts up to two months on a single charge. The Pearl E Ink screen boasts “80-percent less flashing” during page turns, something that many fans of the devices have resigned themselves to having their eyes assaulted by. B&N is also quite proud of its streamlined interface which it brags has 37 less buttons than the Kindle 3. Around the back is a soft-touch rubber surface that should feel great in the hand while reading, though, we’ll have to wait to manhandle one ourselves to be sure. (more…)

Nook Color getting Flash and apps in April update, according to Home Shopping Network (update: official)


The little e-reader that could is about to do even more — according to a listing on the Home Shopping Network, the Nook Color will get an update next month that brings Flash support and additional apps to the platform. That suggests that we’ll finally be seeing Android 2.2 and perhaps an app store of some sort, though HSN isn’t spilling the beans right now — the cable station wants you to tune in at 12AM, 5AM or 9AM (or 12PM, 5PM or 9PM) ET this Saturday to get an exclusive sneak peek at the goods. Yours for just four easy payments of $74.97… which must seem like a tremendous deal compared to HSN’s “retail value” of $504.

Update: Barnes & Noble has now made this completely official itself, and confirmed that the update will include email support among other “exciting new applications.” Press release is after the break.

New Arrival: Teclast K9 7.0 inch Colour eBook Reader with HDMI output


Telcast K9 is the first colour ereader that equipped with a 7.0 inch c-Paper touch screen, up to 800×480 pixels. c-Paper technology makes the LCD response faster and no flash. Flip keys right and left, touch screen is very convenient to read books such as PDF files, Supported ebook formats include TXT、PDB、PDF、HTM/HTML、CHM、UMD、EPUB formats, while JPG and BMP photo formats are also supported. Support HD videos playback, compatible with 3GP、ASF、AVI、DAT、FLV、M2TS、MKV、MOV、MP4、MPEG、MPG、RM、RMVB、TP、TS、VOB、WMV video formats, support max up to 1920*1080p video playback. Powerful 3800mAh li-ion battery, last for up to 10 hours reading.

Product page: http://www.ownta.com/teclast-k9-colour-ebook-reader-with-7.0-inch-touch-screen-and-hdmi-output-function-4gb.html

Teclast K9 eBook Reader Common Features:

  • 7.0 inch c-Paper touch screen, 260K colors, 800×480 pixels, faster response than E-ink LCD
  • Better to read PDF files with fully touch screen
  • Compatible withTXT、PDB、PDF、HTM/HTML、CHM、UMD、EPUB formats
  • Support TTS reading
  • Support HD videos playback, compatible with 3GP、ASF、AVI、DAT、FLV、M2TS、MKV、MOV、MP4、MPEG、MPG、RM、RMVB、TP、TS、VOB、WMV video formats, support max up to 1920*1080p video playback
  • HDMI interface, share HD videos with friends
  • Adopts Cirrus Logic chip, as like iPod Touch player. Compatible with MP3、WMA、WAV and APE、FLAC music formats, support LRC show, and JPG, BMP photo formats
  • Built in 4GB flash memory
  • Powerful 3800mAh li-ion battery, last for up to 10 hours reading
  • TTS reading, Translation, Note, Aoto flip, Bgcolor, zoom, font size and color settings etc.
  • Slim body, the most thin up to 5mm thickness!

For more Chine ebook readers, please check: http://www.ownta.com/wholesale-dropship-electronic-gadgets/e-book-reader/

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