The NIH issue
Anther issue is whether Google will apply its frequent Not Invented Here mindset. Or instead will it go by a standard in line with the IDPF‘s?
Or maybe even be influenced by the superior OpenReader specs?
While I’ve got my differences with OpenReader over the enforcement and implementation of the standard and prefer that standards work happen in the IDPF, I still believe in the technological virtues of the OR approach.
Laudable interest in mobile devices
Meanwhile—regardless of my eBabel concerns and also my fears that one company could exercise too much control over publishing as if:book has warned, or in the opposite direction let onerous, publisher-mandated DRM clutter things up—I’m heartened that Google cares about the mobile market from the start.
Along the way, newspapers could benefit as well, given the attractiveness of mobile devices as options for newspaper readers, who, after all, can’t lug and read from desktops on the subway.
Kickstart for e-book biz?
More importantly from a TeleBlog book perspective, I hope this gives the e-book industry the kickstart badly needs.
In the grand scheme of things, a big Google e-book push in the retail area just might be far, far more significant than the advent of E Ink readers. The real markets will remain for now on PDAs and cellphones and desktops.
All of this, of course, is predicated on the Times report being factual about the nuances. Oh, those little details!
Related: How about the possibility of a Google phone with e-book capabilities? Check out the Cleveland Leader. Interestingly, the blog notes that the device will lack on-board storage. So who knows? Even though online browsing doesn’t necessarily preclude the keep-the-book kind of offline reading, maybe Alex could be right in his fears even though I suspect otherwise.
Also of interest: University of Texas library in Austin joins Google Book Search project, from TechWhack.
Disclosure: I’ve got a tiny slice of Google stock for retirement purposes, but haven’t in the least refrained from being grouchy about the company when it deserves this.