Archive for the ‘eBooks’ Category

World War Hack

April 26, 2012 Comments off


World War Hack 

I saw a link to this Graphic Novel on DF or The Loop (can’t remember) and took a look.  The 1st Chapter preview was interesting and the price okay.  I guess…haven’t bought a graphic novel since Dark Knight Returns…but it was for a physical copy.

That I wouldn’t be able to read until May.


I passed on the pre-order.  If I buy a graphic novel, even one of the same caliber of Dark Knight, these days it better also be readable on my iPad and Kindle.

So if I remembered WWH in May AND there was a digital copy MAYBE I’d buy it in May.  Odds of that were really low.

That was probably not the answer Viper Comics was looking for.

Yesterday Viper sent out an email that said that pre-orders would get a digital copy that could be downloaded right away.

So I bought it.  Right Away.

Instant gratification and I get a physical copy in May.  Bonus.  That’s the way it should be done.  If you’re a small publisher or even a big one, it’s an eBook model with a lot of merit.

It’s a good story and worth a look at the preview.  Not anywhere close to Frank Miller good but good enough to get me out of graphic novel retirement.  So sometime in May it’s going to sit on the shelf next to Dark Knight Returns.

I think Ethan Bull and Tsubasa Yozora can live with that company. 🙂

Categories: eBooks

Claimchowder: Apple iPad vs Kindle DX: Which is Better for Education? | PCWorld

February 7, 2012 Comments off

Apple iPad vs Kindle DX: Which is Better for Education? | PCWorld.

I was looking at Kindle vs iPad/iBooks 2 for textbooks and ran across this gem from two (was it only 2!) years ago:

Yes, I realize it’s far too early to write the iPad’s eulogy in the consumer market, and I have no intention of doing so. The device hasn’t even shipped yet and, besides, numerous bloggers have already pointed out the iPad’s shortcomings. Still, the iPad does appear to be hard sell to consumers who already own a smartphone and a laptop, and its appeal as a household entertainment machine seems limited.


My household can’t live without the iPad these days and ironically the only thing it can’t do is run the Flash based math drill site my school uses.  Thank goodness for the TouchPad I bought for Flash.

I’m looking forward to learning with my kids.  I grew up as part of the first generation with video games.  They’re growing up as the first generation with truly mobile computing and the fulfillment of the e-Learning potential that my dad, as an educational technologist, glimpsed at in the 60s with the first computers entering K-12 schools.  Somewhere there’s a picture of me with a digital light pen and an IBM terminal catching electronic butterflies in 1968.

It should be fun.

Categories: eBooks, iOS Apps, Parenting

The pros and cons of the iBooks 2.0 textbook format – Baldur Bjarnason

February 2, 2012 Comments off

The pros and cons of the iBooks 2.0 textbook format – Baldur Bjarnason.

Bjarnason has 3 or 4 blog posts about iBooks 2.0 which essentially boils down to:

  • I don’t like it because I want everything to be standards compliant
  • I don’t understand why they did it because I can’t see any advantages
  • Therefore it was stupid

Mkay.  I see a lot of that in tech blogs. Sometimes the move being decried really is just stupid. Sometimes we have significant blinders on and the fact that WE can’t discern the competitive advantage of some move doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

All Baldur can see are cons. And the cons are huge in his eyes…with little or no way to mitigate. The strawman pros he provides are easily knocked down or disregarded.

In any case, Apple doesn’t want a time limited exclusivity…as indicated by the EULA…they want textbooks to be a competitive advantage for the Apple in the education market permanently. Fallbacks to “lesser devices” or adhering to a common standard everyone can implement are not things that Apple wants.

And there’s no real advantage for Apple to do ePub 3 if they are forever extending it beyond the approved standard anyway. It’s not as if Apple is done with evolving the iBooks format so no newly issued iBook will ever display correctly in a standard ePub3 reader since it will be using non-standard extensions.  Old books that used some feature that wasn’t approved or was modified will be broken as well.

What’s really funny was his analogy about Google making an incompatible fork of HTML5 in Chrome. Because essentially they did by pushing WebM/VP8 when everyone else was pretty much going down the H.264 path.

Of course, that’s a good point for him given the rather anemic uptake of WebM.  On the other hand Apple has momentum, iBooks is very cool and most the folks that are real WebM fans run linux. No one else really cares about which codec they use.

Interactive textbooks for $14.99 is a killer feature.  One Apple invested quite a bit in enabling and one they aren’t likely to willingly share. Especially not with the Kindle Fire and future Amazon tablets in the works.

Categories: eBooks