Google books

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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2007-01-23 23:57:18

An interesting article on the future of Google Book Search over on ArsTechnica. It definitely has potential, I think mostly because Google's already at critical mass to pull it off.

The problem with other e-book formats seems to be that publishers aren't willing to put in the effort to convert the books in new formats unless there's a sizable number of people using the format, and people aren't willing to go out and buy the e-book readers unless there's a sizable number of books available. Basically a chicken-and-egg problem, except Google managed to crack the egg by ignoring publishers and converting all the books anyway. They also cracked the chicken by delivering it in a format that most people can read already (i.e. over the web).

My guess is that once this starts picking up steam, Google (or possibly somebody else) will release a mobile book-viewing client, not unlike Google Maps for Mobile or Gmail for Mobile. As for Sony, well, they're going to be left in the dust wondering what went wrong. Seems like they're ending up in that position quite often these days.

Posted by rohan at 2007-01-24 01:48:15
but can people read books on an electronic screen without getting headaches and going blind?
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Posted by Eric at 2007-01-24 09:43:12
That's what eInk is for! I badly want one of these, but they're still unreasonably expensive.
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