Pepper Pad PlusThe good: Pepper‘s news of a $500 Origami rival running Linux and apparently able to read e-books in the Mobipocket format, at the very least.

Perhaps that’ll compensate for the rotten reviews that the Samsung version of the Origami is getting–partly because the seven-inch screen doesn’t do justice to Win XP.

Not so good: The vanishing acts by eBookAd and Blackmask–along with Project Gutenberg‘s difficulties.

The site of eBookAd, the retailer-distributor, went dark with the company owing thousands to publishers and authors. As for Blackmask, it is in a legal dispute with Conde Nast–let’s hope a compromise is reached and the site goes back up.

On top of everything else, TeleRead learned that Project Gutenberg’s PG2-style problems have hardly gone away and actually may have considerably worsened. I didn’t enjoy breaking the news, but PG’s need for reform left me with no choice. Remember, we once took Blackmask and eBookAd for granted. They’re private efforts, but the essential Gutenberg reflects the efforts of thousands of volunteers, including those from Distributed Proofreaders, and if PG is to survive as a credible nonprofit, then Michael Hart needs to turn the trademark over to the group and be more open about his arrangements with affiliates and partners.

Something good, though not directly e-book related: The release of the newest version of the Drupal content management system.

And something good or bad, in the eyes of the beholder–something transcending technology: Erica Jong last week predicted that the Sixties may soon return, given so many young people’s unhappiness with The Establishment. Is she right or wrong? Hard to say. What I do know is that May 4 was the 36th anniversity of the Kent State Massacre–and, yes, the M word describes it exactly. If the Sixties return, let’s hope the replay will be less violence-ridden.


  1. We seem to hear nothing but bad news about the Samsung Origami device, but I’m not convinced it’s all bad. The only thing I’ve heard so far that worries me is that the screen is so sensitive that if you brush it with your hand (as happens when you write on the screen), it messes up the text input. But I love the case with the full keyboard in it (probably makes the whole package about like the Franklin paper planners we used to carry around before PDAs). And of course we already knew the screen was small, but it’s a luxury to have that size screen and full XP when comparing it to a PDA! I even saw somewhere that the battery life is pretty decent when you combine it with the optional extended battery. WIth all the battery life problems for UMPCs (especially before the low power processors come out later this year), why don’t they design some models with a variable size bottom that can hold a huge battery for those people that are willing to expand the size just slightly. I wonder if that’s possible, or if it would just make it too bulky to use at all. Personally, I’m guessing (without having tried one) that I’d take a little extra heft in order to get some great battery life.

    So anyway, I’m still excited about the Samsung model, but will probably wait for the second generation of devices with the low power processors, better battery life, lower price, and a round of lessons learned and implemented for the designs. I just hope those folding cases with the keyboard in them stay popular, because I love that idea.

  2. I’m with Bob on the folding cases and keyboards too. I just hope they last long enough to produce Origami2. With the past history of HandheldPCs … I feel a certain dread in the horizon. 🙁

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