1. Why is there no e-ink innovation in the U.S. (MobileRead)
The TeleRead take: Why is the Kindle line—well, so meh? All kinds of E Ink goodies are on sale from companies in Asia and European (more information here). But from Amazon? Well, better screens, and we read plausible rumors of a powerful chip in the next Voyage. And, yes, the hardware over the years has gotten sleeker and sleeker. But on the whole, the variety and innovation aren’t there to the extent they should be.
Where are the Amazon eight-inch E In devices with high-res displays and frontlighting? Have tablets really made them useless? And while Amazon surely has color e-readers on the way, shouldn’t they already be on sale? Could the meh factor be one reason why e-readers are no longer so hot?
Now MobileRead community members are speculating why the U.S. lags in giving us innovative E Ink devices. Regulations? Loss of manufacturing and design capability?
So what are you own pet explanations? And could more nimble robots eventually change the rules and make the U.S. more competitive in this area? What’s more, could Amazon’s grip on the e-reader market—enforced with obnoxious ties to content—eventually be fodder for the U.S. Justice Department? It’s sad, sad, sad when Amazon won’t even give us text to speech in its current E Ink models, or the ability to do something as basic as all-text bold.
Look, there are many things I love about Amazon’s hardware side. Smugness isn’t one of them. I do acknowledge plenty of progress, but we still ought to be seeing much more.
2. 4 Ways to Create an ePub (Book Designer)
The TeleRead take: The four ways are “From Scratch,” “Saving from a word-processing or page-layout application,” “Using a conversion app or online service,” and “hiring a designer.” This piece teems with pointers to specific solutions, ranging from an OpenOffice plugin to Scrivener and Adobe’s InDesign within the second category.
So, if you’re a publisher or self-publisher, how are you creating your ePubs? And why is that method best for you? This is most definitely not “one size fits all.”
3. Why Are Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Reading Utopian SciFi? (Motherboard)
The TeleRead take: In a nutshell, some speculate that Musk and Zuckerberg worry about artificial intelligence and obsolescence of of humans, including visionary-capitalists. Ah! Hoist by their own…
Well, maybe not, but you get the general idea. Now, if only the top dogs in Silicon Valley could show more concerns in real life for the effects of automation on the rest of humanity.
Meanwhile Motherboard tells us Musk and Zuckerberg are both reading the works of a Scottish writer named Iain Banks. “Banks’s brand of optimistic, high concept science fiction can be a good palate cleanser from all the post-apocalyptic stuff that’s all the rage right now. But underneath that optimistic surface lies a society run by artificial intelligence that looks an awful lot like the one Musk has previously warned about.”