Amazon has run some opposition with its Kindle 2‘s text-to-speech function. The Authors Guild claims that Read-to-Me may violate authors’ rights. Executive director Paul Aiken said, “They don’t have the right to read a book out loud. That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.”
The Guild is worried that audio book sales will be compromised by the feature, but we all know that hearing an electronic voice isn’t even close to that of the author or other human reader. We don’t think they really have to worry at this point, do you?
You can pick up a Kindle 2 at Amazon now.
Read More | Real Tech News
File this under “that was quick.” M-Edge has released an Executive Jacket for the Amazon Kindle 2. The padded case has a mounting system to keep your new toy from dirt and bumps, and includes pockets for business cards or notes. Access to ports is available even when closed. Shown here with the e-Luminator (sold separately,) the 100% leather cover is available for $44.99. M-Edge has covers for other e-books as well including the Kindle 1, the eFlybook, Sony’s PRS-505 and the iRex ILiad.
Read More | M-Edge
This morning at a press conference from the Morgan Library, Amazon finally announced the long-awaited Kindle 2 e-book reader. The updated version will cost $359, and sports quite a few worthy improvements. First, it is much thinner than the original Kindle at just .36-inches thin. Yes, that is just about as thin as a #2 pencil, and thinner than an iPhone. It also sports 7 times more storage than the original, which means it can hold over 1,500 books. Battery life is 25% longer as well, which means you should be able to go a couple of weeks between charges.
When it comes to actually, you know, reading, the display is what matters. Luckily, Amazon improved that as well, as the new display can display 16 shades of gray, which results in clearer text and crisper images. By far, though, we think the biggest feature is the one they are calling Read to Me. It is a text-to-speech feature that lets the Kindle read any book, magazine, blog, or newspaper out loud to you. Kind of cool.
As we said, the new Kindle will sell for $359, and it starts shipping on February 24th. They are sold on a first come, first served basis, but if you are a Kindle 1 owner and order before midnight PST on February 10th, you will receive first priority. You can order one now at the Kindle 2 product page on Amazon.
Plastic Logic’s black-and-white bendable plastic substrate e-newspaper is about to be sprung. Larger than the Kindle and eReader, it has a full 8.5 x 11-inch display and works by gesturing. The device can be continuously updated wirelessly and can both store and display hundreds of books, documents, and newspaper pages. It is compatible with Word, Excel and Powerpoint files as well as PDFs. Available during the first half of 2009, the price and name should be announced at the next CES.
Read More | The New York Times
Working Class Heroes, the brand known for their minimalist felt gadget pouches, has returned with a new name and a brand new collection. Now known as Hard Graft, the new Dapper collection has been unveiled and three new designs have been added to the Hard Graft repertoire. Still constructed of high quality wool felt and leather, the Dapper collection features pockets reminiscent of those found on jeans, just big enough for an iPod or iPhone. And the collection now features three new pouch styles, two created specifically for the Kindle and the iPhone and a new Laptop Wallet featuring snaps along the open end. Prices for the entire collection range from 19 to 89 Euros and Hard Graft’s online store is open for business.
Hey, would you look at that - the Amazon Kindle is back on sale for the first time in months! If you’ve got $399 USD burning a hold in your pocket, and you want what we consider to be one of the breakout devices in the last year, then head on over to Amazon and purchase a Kindle. Seriously, all quirks aside, we’ve done a lot more (offline) reading in the past four months than we have in the past four years, all thanks to Amazon’s e-Book reader.
We expect these to go quickly though, so if you want one, act quickly.
Read More | Amazon Kindle product page
If you still haven’t invested in a Kindle, ECTACO has just released its jetBook. The device has a clear image on a larger screen and features bookmarks and auto-page turning. The display rotates for portrait or landscape mode and you can adjust the book’s font. Running on an internal Li-ion polymer battery, the e-book will support an SD card and has a built-in MP3 player for tunes or audio books. With support for most major languages, the jetBook comes with an MSRP of $349.95.
Read More | ETACO
Forget the Kindle and the Readius.You can now receive hundreds of books via ICUE on your cell phone, priced from .50 (~$.98) to £4.50 (~$9.00) Your phone will store them to read when you like, either one word at a time, a phrase, or moving left to right at your chosen pace. You can also receive newspapers, e-mail, and blogs.
Simply download the application 64888 to your phone and you are registered for free once you sign up with Bango for payment. Then select classic, sci-fi, western, or hot best-sellers off their menu and your phone company places the charges on your monthly bill. There is also a folder for storage. We think the idea is great, but that would take a lot of battery charging if your phone is one of the older models.
Read More | ICUE
Another reader has arrived to compete with the Kindle. The Dutch company Polymer Vision spun off from Philips and has been working for 2 years on its Readius which will hit stores sometime this year. The device is about the size of 2 credit cards, weighs about as much as a cell phone, and folds up when not in use. With its 5-inch display, you can read news, blogs, audio books, view podcasts, and catch up on your e-mail. The Readius can also make phone calls and connect online with cellphone networks, has a super-battery life, and should cost about the same as a high-end cell phone. The company also has plans to add a keypad in the future.
Read More | USA Today
Since the odds are slim to none that you can give a Kindle for Christmas, you may be able to opt for the Sony Reader, which has taken advantage of the situation and is offering 100 Classics from its Connect e-store. Simply purchase the device before January 31, have the recipient set up an account, and she/he will be credited for the amount. As a nice side note, the Reader is only $279.99 with free shipping, so that makes it a savings of $100.00 over the Kindle. You may not be able to access the Wall St. Journal, but since each Classic costs merely $2.00 apiece, that’s a lot of Shakespeare for the money.
Read More | Sony Style
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