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10Mar/1112

DICK GORDON – HIS PLATFORM ON EDUCATION – HIGH TECH GADGETS FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS


Kindle ebook:DICK GORDON - HIS PLATFORM ON EDUCATION - HIGH TECH GADGETS FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS
Information provided by Sirrom0206 Senator Gordon & the Kindle Project The Kindle Project is an ambitious project but in the long term, it could be one of the best education projects introduced in the PI. If he does charge one or two additional Pesos per text/cell call, recreational cell phone users would off set the set up Kindle cost. The benefits of the Kindle reader: -Provisionally, there would be no need to print textbooks. -Those means no more or lower printing cost per student. -One textbook for all Filipinos thus lowering book development cost. -Education would become equal across the nation. Manila would no longer be the center for advance schooling. -Standardized book lists & tests could be created for all students based on grade level. -The Philippine library system would become digitally connected and act as one large national library regardless of location. -A standardized kindle network would enable out of print Filipino books to live again in a digital environment. -One of a kind Reference Books would no longer be locked away for selected readers. -Transferring students would have little trouble enrolling and fitting into another school on another island. - International Implications -International accreditation would be achievable for any school in the PI. Filipino schools could have sister schools in other nations, enhancing global/cultural understanding. -Students transferring to the USA would have an easier time proving educational qualifications. The ...

4Mar/110

More on raids in price-fixing probe. Publishers “explain” high ebook pricing.

The title should read, "...try to explain" the fixed higher-pricing of e-books.  See earlier article here on the raids.

The Guardian has a piece today on the raids, which includes quotes from some publishers trying to explain or defend the fixing of pricing so that prices are generally much higher and must be the same at all online bookstores needing Agreements with the Big 5, with no way for the online stores to offer sales or lower prices no matter what the case.  Random House has decided not to join Agency pricing in Europe during this time of probing questions.

Benedicte Page and Leigh Phillips report from Brussels, where they say that officials there have "refused to say how many or which publishers were targeted although a spokesman for Hachette, famed for its dictionaries, confirmed that it was among them.  The inquiry is understood to be focused on French companies."

Excerpts of particular interest, emphases and bracketed comments, mine:

' The EU competition spokeswoman, Amelia Torres, said: "We have suspicions of collusion to keep prices high.  But if our suspicions prove to be founded, this would have an impact across the EU because ebooks are sold across borders."  She added that the firms involved face fines if the commission finds "hard evidence".

The development comes on the heels of an investigation in January by the UK's Office of Fair Trading into whether arrangements between certain publishers and retailers over the sale of ebooks "may breach competition law".

Investigation teams have asked many of the biggest London publishing houses, including HarperCollins, Hachette and Penguin, for all records and documents relating to ebook sales.
. . .
Publishers see the agency model as crucial because it allows them to trade with Apple [which created the Agency plan and insists on it], which was already using it for iTunes, and also to control the price at which their ebooks are sold.
. . .
Ronald Blunden, Hachette's head of communications, denied that the company engaged in price fixing. "Emphatically no," he said. "We are dealing with distributors [such as Amazon] who have considerable clout.

"We found that in the US, electronic retailers began to apply large discounts on ebooks, driving the cost down.  Steadily the spread between the price of a printed book and an ebook became so substantial that we felt it was just unacceptable."

"It's important for the publisher to control the retail price," Blunden continued. "We don't want the items sold below cost, as the perceived value of books becomes damaged.  Once this happens, can we expect online retailers to absorb the cost of financing the editing and publishing of books?"

John Makinson, the Penguin group chief executive, argued that the "very important" agency model contributes to a competitive ebooks marketplace.  "To have vibrant competitive markets, it's important that Apple and the other digital vendors have a place in that market.  The agency model made it possible to have that choice," he said.

Makinson added that he saw "a certain irony" in an OFT [Office of Fair Traiding - UK] investigation designed to ensure competition and consumer choice.  "That in our view is what the agency agreement has provided," he said.

Their view of 'competition' is that the online booksellers must not be allowed to offer lower prices, which means online bookstore "Sales" are no longer possible and the customer cannot look for a lower price elsewhere as it would be fruitless.  Some consider this 'price fixing' while others consider it necessary publisher-control of book pricing, no matter how artificial or without reason.]

Novelist Nick Harkaway, author of The Gone-Away World, agreed. "If the agency model is really a problem under EU law, the law is the problem, not the industry," he said. "Otherwise you fall back into a situation where Amazon controls the market.  This is not to demonise Amazon, but they are a massive portion of the physical market and if their wholesale model also dominates the digital book market, it becomes much harder to negotiate with them." '

The Bookseller's deputy editor, Philip Jones, feels that if you let the market decide, then ebooks will become "too cheap" and they'll be unable to pay authors, editors or all the infrastructure that sustains the industry."

Yes, if an industry or individual companies (as we saw with digital music and with companies still limiting themselves to distributing physical copies of DVDs) cannot find a way to adjust to a vastly changing world, they won't be able to sustain the infrastructure as it stands.  The answer is not unceasing efforts to Stop the World from moving naturally (and insisting customers just pay up, and up) but to modify their infrastructure to reflect the real world and evolving technology, no matter how upsetting it may all be for them to have to change anything.

Read more at The Guardian story.

EARLIER BLOG ARTICLES ON THE E-BOOK PRICING WARS, WITH SOURCING
A Kindle World Blog history of articles on the e-book pricing wars

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite


Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

4Mar/110

More raids in price-fixing probe. Publishers “explain” high ebook pricing

The title should read, “…try to explain” the fixed higher-pricing of e-books.  See earlier article here on the raids.

The Guardian has a piece today on the raids, which includes quotes from some publishers trying to explain or defend the fixing of pricing so that prices are generally much higher and must be the same at all online bookstores needing Agreements with the Big 5, with no way for the online stores to offer sales or lower prices no matter what the case.  Random House has decided not to join Agency pricing in Europe during this time of probing questions.

Benedicte Page and Leigh Phillips report from Brussels, where they say that officials there have “refused to say how many or which publishers were targeted although a spokesman for Hachette, famed for its dictionaries, confirmed that it was among them.  The inquiry is understood to be focused on French companies.”

Excerpts of particular interest, emphases and bracketed comments, mine:

‘ The EU competition spokeswoman, Amelia Torres, said: “We have suspicions of collusion to keep prices high.  But if our suspicions prove to be founded, this would have an impact across the EU because ebooks are sold across borders.”  She added that the firms involved face fines if the commission finds “hard evidence”.

The development comes on the heels of an investigation in January by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading into whether arrangements between certain publishers and retailers over the sale of ebooks “may breach competition law”.

Investigation teams have asked many of the biggest London publishing houses, including HarperCollins, Hachette and Penguin, for all records and documents relating to ebook sales.
. . .
Publishers see the agency model as crucial because it allows them to trade with Apple [which created the Agency plan and insists on it], which was already using it for iTunes, and also to control the price at which their ebooks are sold.
. . .
Ronald Blunden, Hachette‘s head of communications, denied that the company engaged in price fixing. “Emphatically no,” he said. “We are dealing with distributors [such as Amazon] who have considerable clout.

“We found that in the US, electronic retailers began to apply large discounts on ebooks, driving the cost down.  Steadily the spread between the price of a printed book and an ebook became so substantial that we felt it was just unacceptable.”

“It’s important for the publisher to control the retail price,” Blunden continued. “We don’t want the items sold below cost, as the perceived value of books becomes damaged.  Once this happens, can we expect online retailers to absorb the cost of financing the editing and publishing of books?”

John Makinson, the Penguin group chief executive, argued that the “very important” agency model contributes to a competitive ebooks marketplace.  ”To have vibrant competitive markets, it’s important that Apple and the other digital vendors have a place in that market.  The agency model made it possible to have that choice,” he said.

Makinson added that he saw “a certain irony” in an OFT [Office of Fair Traiding - UK] investigation designed to ensure competition and consumer choice.  ”That in our view is what the agency agreement has provided,” he said.

Their view of ‘competition’ is that the online booksellers must not be allowed to offer lower prices, which means online bookstore “Sales” are no longer possible and the customer cannot look for a lower price elsewhere as it would be fruitless.  Some consider this ‘price fixing’ while others consider it necessary publisher-control of book pricing, no matter how artificial or without reason.]

Novelist Nick Harkaway, author of The Gone-Away World, agreed. “If the agency model is really a problem under EU law, the law is the problem, not the industry,” he said. “Otherwise you fall back into a situation where Amazon controls the market.  This is not to demonise Amazon, but they are a massive portion of the physical market and if their wholesale model also dominates the digital book market, it becomes much harder to negotiate with them.” ‘

The Bookseller‘s deputy editor, Philip Jones, feels that if you let the market decide, then ebooks will become “too cheap” and they’ll be unable to pay authors, editors or all the infrastructure that sustains the industry.”

Yes, if an industry or individual companies (as we saw with digital music and with companies still limiting themselves to distributing physical copies of DVDs) cannot find a way to adjust to a vastly changing world, they won’t be able to sustain the infrastructure as it stands.  The answer is not unceasing efforts to Stop the World from moving naturally (and insisting customers just pay up, and up) but to modify their infrastructure to reflect the real world and evolving technology, no matter how upsetting it may all be for them to have to change anything.

Read more at The Guardian story.

EARLIER BLOG ARTICLES ON THE E-BOOK PRICING WARS, WITH SOURCING
A Kindle World Blog history of articles on the e-book pricing wars

Via Andrys Basten’s A Kindle World Blog
3Feb/110

The Samsung Galaxy Tab suffers a high return rate

If you listed to some of the recent sales figured Samsung as thrown out you might think  the Galaxy Tab is one of the best selling Android tablet ever. Most industry people agree that the Galaxy Tab is one of the best true competitors to the  Apple iPad and can be considered the flag bearer of the Android OS in the tablet segment.

Unfortunately, numbers paint a vastly different picture and things aren’t exactly as rosy as it might seem. Like in the words of Samsung’s Lee Young who has gone on record stating sales of the Galaxy Tab has been ‘quite smooth’ and not ‘quite small,’ what also can’t be ignored is the number of Galaxy Tabs that is making their way back to Samsung which too is a quite significant 16 percent. What is even more disturbing for the South Korean company is that the return rate has in fact gone up from the 13 percent recorded in December to 16 percent in January. So the ‘quite smooth’ bit applies to the return rate as well, which might seem even more alarming considering only about 2 percent of the iPad plough their way back.

As for reason, well, it seems the version of Android – 2.2 Froyo that the tablet comes installed with is the prime suspect. Not surprising though for the particular version has been designed to render service in a smartphone and not on a tablet. And it might be having a hard time coping up in a tablet environment in spite of the best efforts on part of Samsung.

Fortunately for Samsung, its woes might not be long drawn as the first tablet oriented version of Android, Honeycomb is just round the corner though Samsung still has to find a way for the seamless integration of Honeycomb into the Galaxy Tab hardware.

via ubergizmo, via slashgear

Related posts:

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  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab News
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  6. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 might have Tegra 2 heart

23Jan/110

Why extremely high resolution screens matter for Apple’s next-gen iPad|Lastest Ipad News]

Why extremely high resolution screens matter for Apple’s next-gen iPad
Substantiated rumors of the next generation iPad using a vastly higher resolution...
Read more on MacDailyNews

20Jan/110

With slow sales and high rents, Westwood shops such as The Mystery Bookstore and Thank You Mart close doors to business|Lastest Kindle News]

With slow sales and high rents, Westwood shops such as The Mystery Bookstore and Thank You Mart close doors to business
The Mystery Bookstore is one of the stores in the Westwood neighborhood that recently announced it will be closing because of economic pressures. Thank You Mart recently announced that it will be closing soon, as lackluster sales and high rent have made it difficult to sustain the store.
Read more on The Daily Bruin

4Jan/110

Kindle Books for Lending will grow. / High interest in Kindle by Net users.

UPDATE ON KINDLE-BOOK LENDING SITUATION

As I mentioned in the initial announcement of Kindle-book lending, people were reporting very low percentages of books marked as "Lendable" and almost none of mine were so I felt they were still implementing the system but wanted to announce it before year-end as expected and that they would continue to enable Lending on the books as it went or when they had publisher approvals assured.

Since then, I've seen a report of what one Kindle customer representative had to say about the situation, and others have chimed in on what they see with their own libraries.  Here's a sampling from the latest posts at the same forum thread but shown there as sorted by Newest Post First this time.

'                                             Posted on Dec. 31, 2010 9:03 AM PST

K. Quist says:
I just got off the phone with customer support asking them why so few titles had
lending enabled.  They said that they were "rolling this out slowly" and that
more books were coming.  I asked how many books were lending enabled and they
could not tell me.  I asked if there was a way to search on Amazon.com for books
that have lending enabled and they said no ..."

+++
Posted on Jan. 2, 2011 7:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author 4 hours ago
David Dalton says:

Update: I checked a couple of new titles and I actually have 31 titles out of 42 that can be loaned out for a 73% rate ...

+++
Posted on Jan. 3, 2011 7:06 AM PST
Theresa M. Hogan says:
I have a total of 100 books on my kindle and 65 of them can be loaned out ...

+++
Posted on Jan. 3, 2011 10:16 AM PST
Cyndie says:
They are expanding the offerings for the lendable books, I see.  When I checked this over the weekend, very, very few of my books were available for lending.  When I checked today I have about 73 available, although granted, none by the mainstream authors.  There were several that I had gotten for free that are no longer free that I can lend now, although, to be honest, probably only two of those would I recommend to anyone ... '

Until late on January 2, numbers were not as good.  We'll see.  There's no real data yet on which bestsellers, for example, are marked lendable.

People have reminded us that self- or small-publishers who want to charge less than .99 per book will qualify for only 35% of sale price (or less if selling it elsewhere for less) but can opt out of lending programs.  To qualify for the net 70% level from Amazon instead, those publishers must sell their books for at least .99 and agree to having their books categorized as "Lendable" and must offer the text-to-speech and other special Amazon features.

   The Apple 'Agency Model' Agreement insisted upon by the Big5 publishers guarantees them 70% of the sale-price that they themselves set and these larger publishers decide which of their books are lendable and which ones will be allowed to use the text-to-speech feature.

 There are many who have posted that the lending program is too limited and should be made more flexible.  s;To see the authors' quite different viewpoints on all this, see the Amazon Digtal Text Platform forum discussion of the new Kindle book lending program.

HIGH INTEREST IN THE KINDLE BY INTERNET USERS
Silicon Alley Insider reports on Kindle sales.
"Almost One-Third of Internet Users Plan to Buy a Kindle."  I saw the Silicon Alley Insider article referenced at Teleread.com

An earlier article by SAI's Matt Rasoff on December 29 was headlined "Amazon Now Making As Many Kindles As Apple is iPads."

 He quotes Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Equity Research on the various interesting numbers in that article, much of that from Apple Insider.  The catch was said to be that Apple is ramping down production as they plan to announce the iPad 2 in January though other analysts don't think they'll do this that early.  Kuo also estimates that Amazon has sold 5.4 million Kindles since releasing the Kindle 3 in August.

  Rasoff points out that "The survey also bolsters the claim of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that iPad owners are buying Kindles:  40% of iPad users surveyed already own one, and 23% plan to buy one in the next year."

Amazon sells over 3 million ebooks in one week says Morris Rosenthal
This estimate, made by Foner Books's Morris Rosenthal, is based on an extrapolation from a Kindle sales rank graph.  In his Teleread alert on this, Paul Biba writes that Rosenthal goes on to say:

' Kindle is a runaway train heading for Manhattan, and as it roars through Penn Station and under the city, it is shaking the foundations of New York’s oldest trade publishers.  Increasing eBook sales mean increasing cost per unit for print books, since fixed production costs will be amortized over fewer print unit sales. '

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite


Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

30Dec/100

High paper prices hurt publishers in Kenya

Screen shot 2010-12-30 at 5.45.37 PM.pngFrom The Standard:

It is back to school again, but the book industry in Kenya is reeling under the effects of skyrocketing paper prices in the world market coupled with low purchasing power for their book titles.

Citing rising raw material costs for missed earnings, shrinking profits and frequent change of syllabus texts by the Ministry of Education, publishers are sending a cry to the Government to intervene by giving tax waivers on paper and inputs used to produce school books.

Publishers warned that free primary and secondary education goal may be jeopardised by the prohibitive cost of books beyond the reach of many parents and students.

But in this challenging environment, where Pan Paper Mills in Webuye , Kenya’s sole manufacturer of paper stopped production, publishers are struggling with strategies to protect their companies – without drastically raising book prices.

12Dec/100

$985 iPad in Brazil a vivid example of how high tariffs and protectionist policies hurt consumers|Lastest Ipad News]

5 iPad in Brazil a vivid example of how high tariffs and protectionist policies hurt consumers
The iPad lists at FNAC and other Brazilian stores for 5...
Read more on MacDailyNews

10Nov/100

eReader market dividing into high end and cheap and cheerful





It is beginning…… From Rolls Royce to junk……….

As many commentators have been saying for some time, as the idea of eReaders becomes more established, we are now seeing that both ends of the market are growing.  At the top end we have  sophisticated devices such as the Entourage and Kindle 3, and at the other end there are now an increasing number of cheap, almost throw-away eReaders coming onto the market.   Prices for some of these low end models have gone down to less that 80 USD a piece, and will get even cheaper in time.

Obviously those of us who see an eReader as a device we hope to use for some years will plump for the high- end ones.. Kindles, Sony’s, Kobos and so on, but there appears to be a place for the cheap ones too….   The sort of electronic device one would expect to find in mass outlets such as Wall mart and similar.  After all, one can buy an MP3 player made by a well known company for a relatively high price, or a no-name Chinese knock-off for almost nothing, both of which will perform as advertised, but the cheap one will of course give up the ghost long before the expensive one.   It will be the same with eReaders, of this I am sure.

The MiGear ereader is a good example of the cheap end of the market – it works, but is pretty limited in what it can offer you.

Not necessarily a bad thing………

I don’t see this as a bad thing to be honest, as people ask different things from their electronic devices – some simply buy them on impulse and don’t really know why they bought it, others after a lot of thought and research and know exactly what they want it for.   If you happen to be someone who reads at every opportunity, or at least pretty  often, then obviously a higher end device is what you want, on the other hand, if all you want it for is to store recipes or a dictionary, then the cheaper ones are a better bet.

It is this dichotomy that I feel will drive the two ends of this market over the next years.

Every day I receive more than a hundred press releases and alerts all relating to eBooks and similar, and as I have mentioned before on this blog, the number of eBooks that are appearing that are obviously aimed squarely at the bottom end of the market is astounding, eBooks on how to keep slim, how to feed your family, how to look after your pets and similar.   This is not the sort of thing that a “serious” eBook reader is likely to want to have, but is very much what a lot of people who are not really book readers do find useful to have at their disposal.   and if the device that they can keep such books on is cheap and easy to use, they will happily buy them.

An ereader for each person’s needs……

Basically, what I anticipate is the situation we currently have with shops, one has newsagents, who sell magazines, cook books and similar stuff, and one has book shops who sell (obviously) books.   And what I believe is that the eReader market will reflect this situation.  Cheap eReaders for those who would normally buy their reading and reference material at newsagents or airports and who consider their purchases to be more or less throw away stuff, and expensive eReaders for those who are serious readers.

If one’s eReader is going to live on a shelf in the kitchen, it would seem foolish to have a 200 USD device for that…..  Getting covered in fat, milk being spilled on it and all the other risks of such a life…….  Much better to have a truly simple eReader that you can afford to replace when it, inevitably, dies.

A whole house full of cheap and expensive ereaders:

This development seems to me not simply to be inevitable, but to have already started, a sort of democratization of the eReader as it becomes steadily more and more mainstream in our lives.   So ere long, we will all probably have a number of devices knocking about the house on which to store our various eBooks – one for serious reading, one for the kitchen, another for the TV room, perhaps several for the kids and so on…   Much as we do with MP3 players and mobile phones already.

As a result of this development, I am completely convinced that a steady stream of no-name eReaders will become easily available to us all, at almost no cost as production increases, and thus lowers the unit cost to manufacturers.  As a demonstration of this I have seen brand new MP3 players on sale in Chinese shops for as little as about 2 USD – and they worked fine too…….

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