I love the idea of cloud computing—which, as applied to e-books, means you would have the option of reading them off the Web via WiFi or other forms of wireless.
But let’s not make this the only choice, as envisioned by some. The latest evidence of the risks is a Kindle-related outage at Amazon last week. Reassuringly Amazon has focused on selling files of e-books, and, yes, Sprint and Amazon fixed the wireless-net problem quickly.
But in the future? Who knows, given Amazon’s emphasis on cloud computing as a back-office service and Google’s main focus so far on making books available on the Web—rather than as ownable files? Just what happens if systems go down for a long time due to to massive technical failure or a sophisticated hack?
I myself want to own e-books for real, not just be promised access. This is also, of course, what drives me and others, such as Simon Haynes, to carry on against DRM at Amazon and elsewhere. We are authors. But we are also readers.